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看好微软Surface平板电脑的3大理由

Don Sears 2012年06月26日

很多人都不认为微软的平板电脑能获得成功。但是,我们有足够的理由相信这款平板电脑绝不是儿戏,微软拓展新领域的努力值得予以充分的重视。

     如果所有事情都能按照微软的计划,按部就班地向前推进,这款平板电脑就会转变为一台笔记本电脑。它所采用的功能完备的操作系统、与云应用和传统企业级软件的协同运作、再加上搭载Windows系统、能自动同步的智能手机,这些都应该会让首席信息官们为之倾心。对独立的Windows开发者来说,他们也同样会心驰神往。微软认证的开发者已达数百万人(有人估计,全球至少有800万人)。今年第4季度,Windows 8就将正式发布。对开发者来说,有这么一个可供开发的新平台也是件赏心乐事。

理由3:微软的假想敌是笔记本电脑和谷歌,而绝不仅仅是iPad

    现在,微软为自己设定的目标是,开发更轻、更便携的设备。2012年,主要硬件供应商已纷纷推出依托于英特尔公司(Intel)平台架构的“超极本”——即超轻、配置高端的笔记本电脑,主要是模仿苹果大获成功的MacBook Air而来。而Surface可能会将这种竞争推向纵深。托普罗斯基称:“尽管提到要推出混合型的产品,它将同时具备平板电脑和PC的功能,但让业界迄今还蒙在鼓里的是,微软究竟打算怎么利用Windows 8。但是Surface似乎使有关Windows 8的消息变得确凿起来,并且它将这一不断进化的操作系统植入了一个合情合理的产品包中。”

    谷歌(Google)则是这一竞争方程式的第三个要素。凭借安卓(Android)系统,谷歌通过大量原始设备制造商和电信运营商的销售已赚得盆满钵满,但它还是无法撼动iPad的霸主地位。Surface可以和谷歌展开较量,但还无法真正和iPad叫板。来自券商Cowen & Company公司的分析师布莱恩•普罗姆称:“我们确信,基于快速成型技术(RT-based,Rapid-tooling)的Surface平板电脑将只能算是iPad一个实力平平的挑战者——鉴于其支持Office套件的能力,这一点主要是针对企业级市场而言。进一步来看,因为iPad已证明,即便它不支持Office套件,照样能够广受终端用户的青睐,因此我们相信,快速成型的平板电脑很有可能将蚕食企业级PC的市场(而不是iPad的市场)。我们希望,Surface在拓展平板电脑市场上的表现要比Android的平板电脑截至目前的表现要更漂亮。”

    一直以来,业界流传着一个看法,导致微软落后于人的根本原因是鲍尔默紧抓着操作系统不放,导致公司缺乏活力。但是现在开辟的新方向将催生一个完整的Windows生态系统,这可能会成为一台导向成功的引擎,让微软重新焕发勃勃生机。

    译者:清远

    If everything goes according to Microsoft's plan, this tablet will have morphed into a laptop. A fully functioning operating system that works with cloud applications and legacy enterprise software, and Windows-based smart phones that synchronize should perk the ears of CIOs. Same goes for independent Windows developers. Microsoft's certified developers reach in to the millions (with at least one estimate coming in at 8 million globally). With Windows 8 on the 4Q horizon, a new toy to develop for is likely a good thing.

Reason #3: Microsoft's targets are the laptop and Google, not just the iPad

    Microsoft is setting itself up for lighter, more portable form factors. In 2012, the major hardware vendors have been pushing Intel-based (INTC) 'ultrabooks' -- the super light, high-end laptops modeled after the success of Apple's MacBook Air. The Surface will potentially push that even further. "Despite allusions to hybrid products that function as both tablet and PC, it's never been clear what Microsoft intended to do with Windows 8," wrote The Verge's Topolosky. "But the Surface seems to solidify the message of Windows 8, and it puts the evolving OS into a package that makes sense."

    Google (GOOG) is the third piece of this competitive equation. With Android, Google has multiple flavors being sold by a host of OEMs and mobile carriers, but hasn't bitten the iPad. Surface has a chance to compete with Google here, but not really the iPad. "We believe the RT-based Surface tablet will prove to be only a modest challenger to iPad - most specifically in the enterprise, given the device's support of Office," wrote analyst Bryan Prohm of Cowen and Company. "Moreover, because iPad has proven to be popular with end users despite lacking Office support, we believe RT-based tablets are most likely to cannibalize enterprise PC sales (not iPad sales). We expect the Surface will expand the tablet market more than Android tablets have to date."

    The argument that what has kept Microsoft behind as a company is Ballmer's grip on the OS and it's a stranglehold, but this new direction for a full Windows ecosystem may end up being the success engine that keeps it thriving.

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