If you ask most people today about tablet’s, the first thing they’re likely to think about is the iPad. While Microsoft’s recently announced surface tablet has generated a lot of buzz on tech websites, they’re going to have to introduce it to customers in a few months.
So there’s going to be a big marketing push around the Surface, and the main goal will be to differentiate it from the iPad. At this point, all we have to understand how the Surface will be marketed are images and a commercial. Take a look at the commercial:
Here are some observations: where the iPad is smooth, the Surface seems to be more industrial (e.g. sharp corners), where the iPad is a simple tool with 100,000s of apps, the Surface is a machine. Now, what’s interesting about all of this is that, well, its been done before.
When Android was being introduced to consumers via the DROID campaign in 2008, the Moto Droid used the same industrial imagery to compete with the iPhone. Take a look at the following Android commercials:
Motorola’s goal then, is the same as Microsoft’s – to differentiate themselves from Apple. The Droid campaign was largely successful because it was the only real competitor to the iPhone. In the tablet space, Apple is on top and, while there have been worthy Android tablets, Android has not replicated its success with smartphones with tablets.
Perhaps Microsoft, by recycling some of the concepts of from the DROID campaign, can be more successful in the tablet space. Or, maybe Google will launch their tablet at I/O 2012 and Android will continue its conquest of all things mobile. This is going to be an interesting Fall.