Last night while watching a rerun of The Mentalist, a commercial for the upcoming Microsoft Surface tablet came on. Clearly the focus is on the design, and in particular the magnetic click-on keyboard/cover, as well as the integrated ‘kickstand’. In fact, that is pretty much ALL you see in the video other than a few touch-gestures to make it clear this is a tablet device, and someone tapping to start a video and to end the commercial. Oh, and a user interface paradigm NO ONE KNOWS ABOUT (i.e. Windows 8, only tech folks have a clue about it yet).
For me it is somewhat reminiscent of the iPod ‘Bounce’ commercial … but instead of an established market-leading product, we have an unidentified product doing something that reminds me of taking a Smart Cover on and off over and over again as if THAT is some sort of ‘feature’. No features, no specs, no actual use, no pricing … nothing.
UPDATE: After I wrote this Microsoft announced pricing – $499 for 32GB base unit without keyboard, $599 for 32GB WITH keyboard, and $699 for 64GB with keyboard, all WiFi based. My initial reaction is that pricing isn’t so high as to be a non-starter, but it is high enough to kill ‘impulse buys’. For me that means Microsoft needs to do better than ‘iPod Commercials’ to get traction.