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Xbox Surface tablet could be a winner

By

November 6, 2012

The rumored tablet would need great flagship games to succeed (hands: Shutterstock)

The rumored tablet would need great flagship games to succeed (hands: Shutterstock)

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Microsoft needs mobile. Though the company will continue to profit from Windows and Office, its long-term prosperity depends on smartphones and tablets. Gaming and mobile go hand-in-hand, and Microsoft has an iconic gaming brand in Xbox. There's an opportunity here, and apparently Microsoft knows it.

According to The Verge, Microsoft is planning a 7-inch Xbox Surface tablet. It would run a custom version of Windows, and would focus on gaming. It will probably run a custom ARM processor, and carry plenty of RAM for maximum horsepower.

Long-term thinking

These are our quick renders; no images have leaked

These are our quick renders; no images have leaked

This could be a smart move. Xbox is a household name. With the right combination of hardware and software, Microsoft could use one of its biggest strengths to transition into mobile. Even if the device was 90 percent focused on gaming, it plants seeds in customers' minds: Microsoft, Surface, great tablet.

What Microsoft needs is a halo effect. Make one iconic mobile device, and it's much easier to make more. Look at Apple: iPod paved the way for iPhone, which paved the way for iPad. Now the once-struggling company has a $117 billion war chest.

Much is unknown about this tablet, and a million things could go wrong. Do you think Microsoft is onto something here? Drop us a line in the comments.

Source: The Verge

About the Author
Will Shanklin Will Shanklin covers consumer technology for Gizmag. He's previously written for Android Central, Geek, GottaBeMobile, Android Police, and The Huffington Post.
He lives in New Mexico, U.S., with his lovely wife, Jessica.
  All articles by Will Shanklin
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4 Comments

The problem with Microsoft is they forget that the 'coolest' product they've made and how it was marketed. If they went mobile I'd expect them to drop the xbox name and branding of windows - minus the modular setup they have for phones and tablets. Call it something catchy and do what they did with the xbox - make the hardware - make the community - make the software.

Mark Penver
7th November, 2012 @ 12:53 am PST

I'm not confident Microsoft can pull it out of the bag. They have continued to neglect customers and provide second rate service. They have a history of releasing faulty or beta products and then fixing them with market support over years. And lastly the guy in charge, Steve Ballmer, has shown consistently that he is unable to put runs on the board. It appears from the outside that he's autocratic and lacking in vision.

There are lessons for Microsoft to learn and Google, Samsung and Apple seem to be people they can learn from. It just seems they're not interested in learning. They're kind of believing their own smoke at the moment.

It seems they need to do a bit of culture change, management change and maybe they'll have a chance.

As long as Steve is in charge I don't see that happening. I also don't see him walking away easily with his current record. He'll hang in there to try and show he has the goods. At some point Microsoft need to ask themselves is this guy up to the job.

Des Shinnick
8th November, 2012 @ 11:25 am PST

I don't think games like Halo could ever be successfully played on a tablet. I know Microsoft could make a tablet, but I don't believe that it could make its big name games run on it successfully.

Chad Garland
8th November, 2012 @ 01:09 pm PST

@ Des, you have a point about some things, but Microsoft is also trying hard not to be like everyone else. I believe this is why they try so hard to dance to the beat of their own drum. The other side to that is I believe the general population is resistant to change. They don't want different. They want small changes, but ultimately, works the same way as they are used to. Look at the Xbox One, Microsoft had a good idea with the DRM usage on games. Being able to fully install a game from disc to console AND be able to play it on any other Xbox One system, when you log in was a great idea. I admit, I didn't like the idea at first, but then I thought about the fact that I have internet capabilities most 95% of the time anyway, and the benefits of having your games backed up to the cloud. Now, what they could have done, was allow users the option to switch DRM on or off. That way, as long as the person has the disc or the game is fully installed, they can still play the game, when no internet is available. The only difference would be, they will not be able to use downloadable content, as it is verified, when you log in, or get updates. Just like it is now.

Vincent McLaughlin
9th July, 2013 @ 02:52 am PDT
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