Daniel Eran Dilger in San Francisco
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Radio: Microsoft’s Surface and subsequent sink

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Gene Steinberg of the Tech Night Owl invited me to talk about Microsoft’s Surface and subsequent sink.

You can tune into the live broadcast stream Saturday night from 7:00 to 10:00 PM Pacific, 10:00 PM to 1:00 AM Eastern, at http://www.technightowl.com/radio/. An archive of the show is available for downloading and listening at your convenience within four hours after the original broadcast.

The Tech Night Owl LIVE is also broadcast on many local radio stations via the GCN network. There’a also now a mobile app for GCN radio.

NOW PLAYING! November 17, 2012 — Daniel Eran Dilger, Adrian Hoppel, and Jeff Baudin

You can also access the show’s Podcast feed, now available at: http://www.technightowl.com/nightowl.xml.

3 comments

1 Damfino { 11.20.12 at 8:22 pm }

I don’t think the shit will hit the fan for another few months. First, that wave of “early adopters” need to become disillusioned. Siegler (http://techcrunch.com/2012/11/19/i-got-one-but-i-dont-get-it/) is an example. He actually was hopeful and spent his own money on one. His column shows that he’s learned well and educated the rest of us.

It’s only after the initial wave of promise wears off that the extent of the blunder becomes clear. That’s when Microsoft gets a black eye from which it cannot recover.

In the meantime, its good to try to get our arms around the depth of the collapse. This one is more fundamental than anything I have ever seen. It isn’t on the scale of the little Kin or the even the Zune (and that whole anti-consumer DRM movement). This one is gonna make Vista look like a success.

What’s fascinating is that we have external signs of internal conflict. Normally, internal conflict is covered up to the point at which the public doesn’t even suspect.

Horace, for example, talked about the issue generically an early podcast called “Innovation Antibodies.” [http://5by5.tv/criticalpath/5] He used a biological metaphor. Part of Microsoft knows how far behind they are and the need to try to get into the tablet market in the worst way (they’re doing this.) But the other part of the company needs to protect Windows to their dying breath! That part of the company deploys “antibodies” to try to fight off the internal innovators as if they were an external threat! Thus, they fatally wound the very force that was intended to bring the company back to life.

Last spring I loaded the Win 8 preview in VMWare and came to the same basic point of view. I posted my review on my blog at http://www.secondcellar.com/scared-spitless. I chose the metaphor of schizophrenia since I wanted to express the conflict in psychological rather than biological terms. It’s a massive failure of leadership (We know who that is.), so it’s under conscious control. The CEO needs to manage this, but Ballmer obviously has no clue. He must have trusted Sinofsky to pull it off while simultaneously protecting Windows. Gene and several others have used the term but no one has really pushed it to its inevitable conclusion. I put in a video of a multiple-personality woman to try to make the comparison vivid. I’m not just trying to call them names; it fits Microsoft better than any metaphor that I can think of.

In the Surface, we have the first tablet that is not a “post-PC” device. It is a tablet for the PC generation! That’s schizophrenia.

2 John E { 12.04.12 at 11:10 pm }

well, the RT has been in the market 6 weeks now, and as predicted here it’s a bomb! reportedly moving at a rate to sell less than 1 million for the entire Holiday launch quarter – which ought to be its best.

while iPad sales, including the Mini which went on sale a week after the RT, might hit 20 million.

but have no fear for MS – the Surface Pro is coming in January! its hype will save the day. Combined Surface sales will double!

look forward to the next RDM post on this sorry saga.

3 daryl4d { 12.09.12 at 3:17 pm }

curious where you’re getting your numbers… I thought MS claimed they were going to put 5 million out there and apparently they sold out quite early in the cycle

although I am wondering where all the windows8 x86 tablets are. I was interested in the Asus VivoTab (x86 transformer-like tablet not the RT version)… can’t find it anywhere and the holiday season is in full swing. Yeah, I know it only has 3 gen atom chips but for the right price I’ll take it… and I heard it’s ok performance wise.

Why can’t MS succeed with it’s full version tablets? I’m not a techie but I can read so sure, some news/rumors do concern me.
1. a friend claimed he read someone is suing MS cause their Surface 64GB tablet only has approx half the space left after the OS is installed.(I haven’t confirmed this)
2. the wondows 8 initial news was 4 second cold boots and snappy performance… will it bog down after 6 months of updates?
3. SurfacePro has “vents” to cool it down? I didn’t know that.
4. Why can’t I find any W8 x86 tablets? Asus, please take my money..

Daniel, I’ve read your stuff and if you have the time, can you spell out technically why you feel “x86″ Win8 tablets won’t fly? I mean you compared Surface RT to Apple’s Ping, and you’ve said …
“The non-RT, Intel x86 version of Surface not only isn’t available yet, but it’s going to be too thick, expensive and heavy to compete with iPad, just like any other Ultrabook or previous Windows Tablet.”

But what I want to know is, hasn’t MS’s software evolved in the Window8 version to be more flexible and have snappy performance in the tablet space? Also, if you are going to lay the blame on Intel’s chips, in your opinion, how small do they have to shrink their chips to make it competitive with the iPad (or even exceed the iPad with MS’s no compromise stance). Right now they’re sitting at 22nm, next year 14nm is being touted… (yes I know it’s not all about chip size, but if you know a technical reason why it won’t matter, I’d like to hear it, or if you’ve written about it before, please provide the link). And actually, you don’t have to reply to me directly, maybe this subject is too comprehensive and deserves one of your article write-ups.

I really wish I had that Asus x86 tablet right now so that I could give you an honest update on it’s performance compared to my iPad.

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