Microsoft has long been enamored of the idea that tablets are the future, something I’m sure you noticed at the Surface unveiling some months back.That’s part of the reason why the new Windows OS first showed up on the Surface (before laptops and desktops), and it’s also why Win8 is centered around the execrable Metro UI (great for tablets but bad for any device without a touchscreen).
The commercials can be summed up pretty simply: Tablets Are Cool.
Note that the ads don’t say tablets are capable, or the Surface is better than the iPad, or even vaguely describe what you can do with it (I’m not sure Microsoft even knows). But one thing we can learn from these commercials is that MS wants you to think the Surface is a cool tablet.
If that’s not a sign of being caught up in the hype, I don’t know what is.
Over the weekend I posted about the late Spring Design Alex, and I used that funky looking ereader to discuss the eReader Bubble which was sparked by the launch of the Kindle. I asked for suggestions about what bubble might we be in now, and one of my readers responded with a convincing argument that we’re in a Tablet Bubble.
Look at that commercial again, and tell I’m wrong. MS doesn’t seem to be able to explain what tablets are good for or why they are the wave of the future; they’re just cool. It’s almost as if MS is obsessed with tablets because Apple is successful with the iPad – a sure sign that MS is caught up in the hype. And while I’m sure some readers will comment that the Surface is a great tablet and quite useful, that doesn’t mean MS got any further than tablets are cool.
If you accept the premise that we’re in a Tablet Bubble then there are a lot of assumptions which need to be reevaluated. The current prediction that touchscreens will supplant keyboards or the belief that tablets will surpass laptops as the dominant mobile work device might be true, but they might also simply turn out to be nuts when we look back from 5 years hence.
What do you think?