Microsoft's Surface Can Still Win -- Here's Why


Not much besides iPad sales went right in Apple's last quarter. Now, if a new report is to believed, even that franchise is under threat.

According to a Forrester Research survey of 9,766 information technology workers, 32% want a new Windows Surface tablet while 26% want a new iPad. Only 12% want an Android tablet, ReadWriteWeb's Mark Hachman writes in covering the report.

Initial reports of outsized demand for the Surface appear to have been telling. Another researcher, IDC, says that Microsoft sold some 900,000 Windows RT tablets during the fourth quarter. Millions more could make their way to consumers when the full Windows 8 version ships on Feb. 9.

Source: Microsoft.

Could it be that users were simply waiting for more functional Windows tablet? It certainly looks like it. Surface Pro also includes Xbox Music Pass and a one-month trial to Mr. Softy's online answer to Google Apps: Office 365. That's an attractive package for existing PC-using tablet shoppers who have opted for the iPad in years past.

Still, the news isn't all bad for Apple. Forrester also found that the iPhone is winning an ever-increasing number of converts. Forrester says 33% of respondents said they wanted their next handset to be an iPhone versus just 22% for Android, 10% for Windows Phone, and 7% for BlackBerry, which has bet its increasingly uncertain future on the new Z10 and Q10 handsets.

Meanwhile, despite reports to the contrary, the iPad continues to outperform. Apple's online retail store shows a three- to five-day wait for some versions of the new 128 GB Retina tablet.

The Mac maker may not be as device dominant as it once was, but it's still arguably the world's most sought-after brand -- especially when it comes to the iPhone. That's a problem for Microsoft investors, who've watched their company fail to capitalize on the incredible growth in mobile over the past decade. Will the Surface change Mr. Softy's mobile fortunes? In this brand-new premium report on Microsoft, our analyst explains that while the opportunity is huge, the challenges are many. He's also providing regular updates as key events occur, so make sure to claim a copy of this report now by clicking here.

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