From Kevin C. Tofel over at GigaOm: Microsoft Surface with Windows 8 Pro: $899 in January

Now that Microsoft’s Surface with Windows RT has launched, the company is sharing details about the more powerful tablet known as Microsoft Surface with Windows 8 Pro. The device, available in January 2013, will cost $899 for a 64 GB model while doubling the internal storage adds another $100. Optional keyboard covers will also be available while the tablet does come with a digital Surface pen and Palm Block technology.

Microsoft has to get over their obsession with having “Pro” versions of their products.

It’s not new. They’ve had “Home” and “Professional” versions of Windows for a long time (at least since XP).

The thing is, people don’t care about “professional” versions, nor can they tell the difference between pro and regular versions. Mac users seem to have been ok with just one version of OS X since it came out in 2001.

I’ve worked with and visited the offices of Fortune 500 companies and I’ve witnessed, on a regular basis, CEOs, EVPs and Senior Directors using iPads during meetings. They don’t need “pro” versions of the iPad. Any “professional” qualities the iPad might have are implicit.

The only people who care about the “Pro” qualifier on Microsoft products are people who work at Microsoft.





This new Verizon/Windows Phone commercial is pointless.

The whole point of bringing technologies and devices into our lives so they can help us solve problems or make things that were once difficult to do, easy to do.

In this commercial, Microsoft is showing broken and cumbersome technologies surrounding us, then it shows how Windows Phone helps fix these things, right? WRONG. They show you how to customize live tiles and look at your contact list.

Awesome solutions you’re providing us, Microsoft. Way to go.





MacNN: Apple internal video shows thinking behind stores

This bit is the key:

The approach appears to be very successful, and under Johnson’s watch the chain became the most profitable per-square-foot retail chain the world, even surpassing high-margin jewelry and apparel chains. Retail imitators like Sony, Microsoft and in particular Samsung have tried to mimic the approach, but their implementation — lightly-differentiated copies of the Apple Store with a more rigid consistency from one store to another — has failed to resonate with the public, as recent surveys have shown.

Mimicking is exactly what Apple’s competitors do, including Microsoft with their poorly performing Apple Store rip-offs.

It all gets back to what I wrote back in August. The fact that this internal video has been made public isn’t going to make a lick of difference to Apple’s competitors, because they’re likely to just mimic an approach to retail, not internalize a process and way of thinking. Apple cares about making people happy because they know it will inevitably lead to sales. You can’t mimic care. People know when you’re being sincere.

This silly “care” thing extends way beyond the retail experience and into Apple’s products. They make things they enjoy using and they think others will enjoy using while the competition makes iPad and iPhone and MacBook competitors. Apple’s competitors don’t think about the human experience, they focus on filling a product category.





It was a truly black Friday for Microsoft last week. As in devoid of the light from Surface screens.

Over at Fortune 2.0, Philip Elmer-DeWitt reports Apple sold 11 iPads per hour versus zero Microsoft Surface tablets at the Mall of America in Minneapolis.

Microsoft continues to show its DNA as a company knowing how to sell to businesses, not to people.

Then again, it seems even that business edge is fading.