As I write this, I don’t think many people have quite realised what Microsoft have done, and I’m sorry but I’ve only just realised the significance too…
For more than 90% of people, their PC is used for email, web browsing and to a certain extent, word processing, home banking and for some – creating and presenting stuff using PowerPoint.
We have seen quite a paradigm shift in the last two decades away from the desktop computer to laptops – with most students, home users and businesses purchasing laptops as the price has tumbled. We are now seeing the same transition again from laptops to Tablets with benefits of longer battery life, instant on and far greater mobility again with prices tumbling so that pretty everyone can afford a tablet of one sort of other.
However there have always been those who needed “Microsoft Office” the industry standard productivity suite. Today it still costs £389.99 for the full subscription free version of Microsoft Office Professional (Word, Excel, Outlook PowerPoint, Publisher, Access and OneNote). This also means you will need to pay to upgrade this version in the future when Microsoft releases its next version.
So how about the deal of the century? The “No-Brainer” to use Kevin Bacons expression? How about a full version of Microsoft’s office with no subscription costs, a £100 off and and they’ll throw in a tablet for free?
This is effectively what Microsoft are doing with their SurfaceRT Tablet. Today you can buy the original SurfaceRT Tablet (from Microsoft, Currys, John Lewis and may others for as little as £239. This comes with a non-subscription (perpetual) version of the latest version of Microsoft Office 2013. full access to the Microsoft store. And with 8 hours of battery life, not only can you connect keyboards, and mice, but also external screens, or TV’s. In fact even if you buy the newer Surface2 RT you’ll still only pay £359 – less than Microsoft Office on it’s own!
Sure there are people who need to run applications that are not available in the Microsoft Store, those who want to do video process conversion, or Photoshop editing and the SurfaceRT will not be able to run these and clearly isn’t the device for them.
But for 90% of home users and a whole host of business users, this HAS to be a compelling option delivering superior productivity and mobility for a price that’s really hard to argue with!