Analyst says the Surface tablet will be the next Zune

Analyst says the Surface tablet will be the next Zune
We've thought that the Microsoft Surface tablet looks pretty nice, and certainly could make a mark in enterprise if not the consumer tablet market, but not everyone agrees with us. In fact, one analyst went so far as to call the tablet the next Zune. Maybe the Surface won't be that popular, but it seems pretty harsh to drop the Z-bomb on it. 

Canalys researcher Tim Coulling is saying that it's all about the price, which for both the RT and Pro versions of the Surface "will be too high to capture significant market share". The official recommendation from the firm is that OEMs hold off on making any Windows 8 tablets until "Microsoft rethinks the high license fee". Then he dropped the Z-bomb in saying, "We expect the Surface pads to have a similar impact on the PC industry as Zune did in portable music players." Ouch.

Of course, the analogy, as harsh as it sounds, may be pretty accurate. The Zune wasn't really a bad media player and Coulling doesn't seem to see the Surface as a bad tablet. It's more a matter of launching in a very tough market at a price that isn't competitive enough. Like it or not, the iPad is still dominating the 10" tablet market (although Samsung and Asus are growing fast), and has proven itself as the only $500 tablet that people are willing to buy. The only reason the Kindle Fire or Nexus 7 have been successful is because of the price point, which Microsoft just can't match. 

It does really seem like Microsoft is aiming for the enterprise market with the Surface though, so success will be measured on quite a different scale than for consumer products like the Nexus 7, Kindle Fire, or iPad. As always, time will tell. 

Related phones

Surface Pro
  • Display 10.6" 1920 x 1080 pixels
  • Camera 1 megapixel
  • Processor Intel Core i5, Dual-core, 1700 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB
Surface RT
  • Display 10.6" 1366 x 768 pixels
  • Camera 1 megapixel
  • Processor NVIDIA Tegra 3 T30, Quad-core, 1300 MHz
  • Storage 32 GB

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43 Comments

1. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

Yea...price is gonna be key with the iPad dominating and Android tablets getting more popular. That and marketing.

33. anywherehome

Posts: 971; Member since: Dec 13, 2011

but to succeed he has to put it for free but Microsoft has no future with his OS for free because he has no any another product.....in every way he tries to be a leader he fails and loses money except for OEM (=corruption of manufacturers and governments: here: goo gl/FNz9f and here: goo gl/EYqOl Google has advertisement so he can destroy patent trolls and companies who blocks progress like Microsoft or Apple

40. Henrik

Posts: 141; Member since: Feb 18, 2012

Don't quit school for another 10 years, son. Stay there and learn something.

44. anywherehome

Posts: 971; Member since: Dec 13, 2011

can you read (the facts above in the links)? ;)

42. pikapowerize

Posts: 1869; Member since: May 03, 2012

oh puhlease.... microsoft fails with its vista and no one is denying that.. but why people still use microsoft instead of open source ubuntu and linux mint? because people wants life fast and easy...eventhough ubuntu and linux mint give it also... and there is a vast of application on windows... i am planning to change my computer to ubuntu but due to the most needed apps of today like skype etc etc... it dont support the platform.. especially the new release 12.04! on open source, where will this people get their salary? windows 8 might fail but, on the destop version only!! because the worst decison of microsoft on windows 8 is making the look on a destop verson similar to the tablet/touchscreen device!! but surface will get some love by that very same thing!!!

43. anywherehome

Posts: 971; Member since: Dec 13, 2011

fail with Vista? do you mean great profit from Vista OEM is a fail? ;) it doesnt matter how Windows good or bad is....the great profit is everytime because of OEM ;)

2. Jay_F

Posts: 236; Member since: Nov 29, 2011

Sad, but in all likelihood, the truth.

14. jove39

Posts: 2147; Member since: Oct 18, 2011

No...certainly not truth! Analysts are like movie critiques...who speak crap about movie...and movie later on turnout to be big hit...remember batman?

34. crankyd00d

Posts: 191; Member since: Oct 17, 2011

Not the truth but highly likely. Zune = good product and it bombed. Windows Phone = good product and still is grouped with the "others" option in market share statistics. Surface looks good but again the price is against them, I always thought that Windows Phone 7 handsets were way overpriced for having basically 2 year old tech, so I don't see their luck changing any time soon

37. JunitoNH

Posts: 1946; Member since: Feb 15, 2012

Yeah.........remember the iPad? Wasn't MS and the other laptop companies laughing before its release? Fast forward, everyone and their Mom and trying to get into the fray.

3. Pdubb

Posts: 249; Member since: Aug 08, 2011

Hmmmm... What is the price??? I did not think that MS announced a price yet. Kinda like people going crazy over the next iPhone being $800. Rumors are rumors maybe the Surface will bomb but you cannot use price as a factor when no official price is given. MS may be willing to take a loss just to gain mind-share. Kinda how Sony did with the PS3.

7. Jay_F

Posts: 236; Member since: Nov 29, 2011

I thought the price was rumored to be in the vicinity of the $400+ range. This was supposed to be the competition for the iPad/Asus Transformer series.

10. MichaelHeller

Posts: 2734; Member since: May 26, 2011

RT is rumored to be starting at $500, and Pro at around $1000.

31. CharlieAtInfinity

Posts: 253; Member since: Apr 10, 2012

$1000 ow thats a lot of money for x86 version.. probably I wont be buying the surface because of hefty price tag. For same money can get a i7 powered laptop with 1 or 2 GB Nvidia graphics!!

22. jos_031

Posts: 62; Member since: Jun 12, 2012

It is 1100 usd for rt and more for Intel one

4. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

Thats why I dont understand MS Office supposedly coming to iOS and Android in Nov. That coulda been used as a selling point for Surface tablets. IMO. I think MS's biggest problem is the perception from before and after the iPhone came out. Some, many ppl have jumped ship from MS mobile products and dont really trust them anymore for a good product. Whats gonna get ppl that never used a mobile MS product before to try one, and whats gonna get former users to come back? All I know is my first tablet will either be MS or Android. I ....might....be willing to invest in another eco system with MS.

6. MeoCao unregistered

MS office cannot be the selling point. There are many productivity suits that are better adapted to mobile OS and much cheaper too. Google Doc is growing fast, with strong support for the cloud it seriously threatens Office and MS has to save the Office first, their biggest source of income.

8. snowgator

Posts: 3621; Member since: Jan 19, 2011

Agree. No company that makes it's cash by volume instead of profit per unit (think Ford Focus VS Lincoln Mark 8) can afford to keep it's product "protected". The best way to support Microsoft and it's company vision is to get Office on as many products as they can. The Surface Tablets need to stand on their own, or they need to depend on other manufacturers to push Windows RT and Pro.

21. luxzy801

Posts: 140; Member since: Jun 16, 2010

I would have to disagree with you on some of the statements; I used WinMo for as long as smartphones have been on the market and I will say this, a lot of people stuck with WinMo to the end (That is why even when WP came out and even up until 2011, WinMo still made up at least half, if not more of Microsoft's marketshare) WinMo was, to some extent, flawed. But it was the manufacturers that doomed it to hell and gave that perception, not really MS. To give you an example, all smartphones since androids conception had a capacitive screen (iPhone, G1, Behold and so on) however, there were only 2 WinMo devices that had Capacitive and that was only a year after Android. Samsung, Palm, Acer, iMate and many others would always underpower thier devices and put crappy screens with a 100-150 ppi on a 3.5" TFT LCD (NOT EVEN LED OR AMOLED) and HTC made it completely unstable with its TouchFlo interface (I always took out the touchflo completely by altering the registry or just disabling it from the Today settings menu) and alot of the perception came from HTC because they were the market leader in WinMo, that is why so many people that started going for WinMo phones after the iPhone came out said it was slugish and always froze. After 9 years of using WinMo, I never blamed WinMo for the issues, the manufacturers on the other hand wanted WinMo DEAD and that was the end of that chapter. I am going to agree with you on the rest of your statement... I will not going back to any MS mobile product because to me, WP was a complete and utter dissapointment going from an OS that was android before android to going to an OS that is iOS after iOS. And MS office going to iOS and Android is just a way of saying WE WANT MORE MONEY, but will probably doom them in the end because, as you said, it would have been a perfect selling point for MS.

36. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

Yea....they waited too late to go capacitive screens. I never thought to look at it as the manufactures. I just read where there were some old Win Mo phones with capacitive screens, so it was possible on Win Mo. But....wouldnt that be kinda bad? I thought the old Win Mo was best as a stylus system? Especially with alot of things being so small. The iPhone, Android, WP is more of a finger OS vs the older OS's.

39. luxzy801

Posts: 140; Member since: Jun 16, 2010

It was built on the stylus system as its initial release back in CE 1.0 through WinMo 2005, however, if you compare WinMo 5 to 6.1 or greater, you would see that the text was bigger on 6.1+ which allowed for an easier interaction with the device, and to tell you the truth, even with my Treo Pro, I have only used the stylus a total of about 5 times in the 3 years that I have had it. There were also today home screen ad-ons such as the SPB pocket plus 4 which gave WinMo much greater functionality in a sense where everything could be done from the today screen without even having to press the start button or using the stylus (Works like a charm on my Treo and my HD2). Capacitive touch screens could have been on WinMo phones since 2008 with WinMo 6.1, that is the main reason why barely anyone heard of WinMo 6 is because after they released 6, they immediately added capacitive capability and screen sensitivity control functions to the registry allowing the units to run on capacitive with different sensetivity controls, and named it 6.1. If you took a WinMo 5 or 6 device and a 6.1 or a 6.5 device, both with resistive touch screens, you would actually even notice on the resistive screens that 6.1 and 6.5 had become more sensitive to touch that the previous versions of WinMo. Take a look on google pix and compare some of the pix between 5 and 6.5 or 5 and 6.1 and you will see it off the bat, also take a look at spb pocket plus to get an idea of what could have been possible if the manufacturers started pushing better tech with WinMo. It kinda pisses me off because I am still a huge WinMo fanboy but I think it might be time to switch to something else since there is no waiting for MS to come out with something similar (DAMN YOU MS, DDDDAAAAMMMNNNN YYYYYOOOOOUUUUUUU) LOL

41. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

Yea....SPB made life with my Omnia 1 bearable....lol. Thats one reason I paid the $15 for the Android launcher. I also never really used the stylus, I think I lost it to be honest. I left Win Mo after the Omnia 1, I didnt even bother trying to update it. Win Mo will always hold a place in my heart for being my first smart phone. And really began my learning lessons on mobile technology. And one reason.....even if I post negative things here n there about WP....it would be my next choice for a smartphone. I agree with alot of what you said in your posts.

26. tuneslover

Posts: 11; Member since: Jun 15, 2012

MS Office will never come to Android.

28. kunyuk

Posts: 56; Member since: Jun 29, 2012

It will come in November for ios and Android, if I'm not wrong

5. MeoCao unregistered

The best way for MS is to license the technology like the razor thin KB or magnesium case to the manufacturers.

9. snowgator

Posts: 3621; Member since: Jan 19, 2011

Hey, another analysis. Good, it's been hours since we had a random prediction from some "expert" without all the facts. As for the Tablet in question, if MS cannot take a look at the market and figure out that the largest problem of the first wave of Android tablets were they were to expensive, then they deserve to fail, period end of story.

11. 305Bucko

Posts: 506; Member since: Aug 07, 2011

I disagree with Analysts. MP3 players were a dime a dozen. Sandisk, logitech, creative labs just to name a few, when the Zune came out it was just too bulky and not cheap. NOT TO MENTION not a real necesity A tablet on the other hand started out as a cool luxury and has now started to become a necesity as its starting to become more practical than Desktop PCs and even laptops. Ive owned the Asus Transformer and was not impressed. I chose to keep my iPad because I can remote desktop to my Windows PC like a charm and with the Ultrathin Logitech keyboard it has rendered my laptop useless since I take it everywhere. HOWEVER, just like Steve Wozniak, I cant wait to try the Surface! FINALLY a device I will be able to do EVERYTHING on! No jailbreak, rooting, customROM required. But well see if its the real deal. I think it will set the standard. ADD XBOX LIVE GAMING AND ITS ON LIKE DONKEY KONG...literally Windowsphone on the other hand.. mehh

18. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

I have splashtop app for both my iPad and Xoom running ics. Both can do remote desktop well. My xoom just receive jellybean upgrade alert. Personally i like my xoom better. Can't wait to try out google now. BTW, Surface does have potential.

38. 305Bucko

Posts: 506; Member since: Aug 07, 2011

Splashtop works great. Flash runs very smooth remotely. its even better than logmein. With Spashtop, who needs a laptop. Question Joey: I have owned an android Tablet and I find that the iPad runs smoother and most apps are better designed and less glitchy. Please give me your honest opinion, because I have not tried it again since honeycomb, why do you prefer your xoom? Did ICS or JB address these issues? do you honestly prefer it over your iPad? explain

12. jove39

Posts: 2147; Member since: Oct 18, 2011

Analysts need to understand entire Surface lineup isn't competing with tablets/iPad category...only RT version...which I hope will be competitively priced...whereas PRO version will compete in ultrabook category...which justifies ~$1000 price tag!

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