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Digitimes Research: Surface 2 series tablets unlikely to help Microsoft in mobile market
Jim Hsiao, DIGITIMES Research, Taipei [Monday 30 September 2013]

Microsoft announced its second-generation tablets, the Surface 2 series on September 23 in New York. Their specifications are similar to those of previous market rumors, while the industrial design also showed no surprises, according to Digitimes Research's findings.

Although first-generation Surface RTs had brought an US$900 million inventory adjustment charge to the software giant, and most major brand vendors have already quit developing Windows RT-based products, Microsoft is still aggressive pushing its Surface 2 series tablets.

As ASPs for Windows on Intel (WoI) tablets have already reached below US$300, The Surface 2 series' US$449 and above price point is rather unfriendly to consumers. The release of Surface 2 also creates differentiation issues with upcoming Lumia tablets.

In addition, Microsoft Office, which the software giant originally expected to help create an distinct advantage for the Windows platform in the mobile market, is seeing trouble becoming standardized. As the company's competitors are providing alternatives, Microsoft has already starting offering Office on other mobile platforms, which is expected to cause even more difficulties for the Windows platform to move forward.

Microsoft's current plight is due to its late entry to the mobile market, high product prices, and weak ecosystem compared to its competitors. Microsoft's strategy of developing its tablet operating system using its PC operating system as the base, is the main problem preventing Windows-based tablets becoming standardized, Digitimes Research analyzed.

This article is an excerpt from a Chinese-language Digitimes Research report. Click here if you are interested in receiving more information about the content and price of a translated version of the full report.

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