On the Surface, Lenovo Isn't Worried About Competing with Microsoft

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News Posted: Fri, Aug 17 2012 11:51 AM
Unlike some OEMs (cough *Acer* cough), Lenovo isn't the least bit concerned about its ability to compete with Microsoft in the tablet space, or at least the company is putting on a darn good poker face. That's not to say Lenovo is thrilled with going up against Microsoft, but at the end of the day, Lenovo believes it will put out a better product.

"Although we don't like Microsoft providing hardware...for us, it just adds one more competitor," Lenovo CEO Yang Tuanqing stated during a conference call. "[Microsoft is] just one of our many competitors, We are still confident in ourselves; we are providing much better hardware than our competitors, including Microsoft."

Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet

Plain and simple, Lenovo said quite frankly that it's "not that worried" about Surface, a point the company repeated a second time. How true that statement is might depend on whether or not recent rumors suggesting Surface could debut at just $199 are true or not. Even if Lenovo builds better hardware, an aggressive pricing strategy -- however unlikely -- would tip the scales in Microsoft's favor.
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Exactly. Windows 8 wil suck surface wull be over priced. And there are many good thrd party companies out there like lenovo

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CDeeter replied on Fri, Aug 17 2012 4:14 PM

Good for Lenovo, no whining, just getting on with business as usual.

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rapid1 replied on Fri, Aug 17 2012 11:54 PM

From what I am hearing the $199 thing if it happens will be the ARM one, where the more expensive one would be the more capable INTEL platform. That is what LENOVO will compete with. IBM built the first slate and they build some tight notebooks as well. Most or at least a large number of Corporate or big business customers insist on IBM and TOSHIBA laptops, and yes DELL/ HP etc get some of that business but as a singular manufacturer I would bet more would have IBM for there higher ups than anything. So that's who they will supply the top end slates to I bet and there happy with that as well. LOL maybe they will even throw us some OS/4 warp right!

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Of course they're not worried. They make quality products, and are putting a lot more R&D into making even better quality products.

The only reason OEM's like Toshiba, HP, Dell, and others are worried is because just about every computer they put out is a complete POS, packed with bloatware, software unoptimized for the hardware, and flimsy frames and displays that evoke cheapness. And retailers are losing money on every sale of those shitty computers, to boot!

There needs to be a standard, and Microsoft and Lenovo seem perfectly willing to provide that. Unfortunately, that means locking down the software-hardware relationship, which means modular machines like gaming rigs and servers moving over to Linux may keep the market healthy and let everybody win.

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Erakith replied on Sat, Aug 18 2012 4:39 PM

I like this comment; it seems to me that moving to Linux for the enthusiast (or gamer) segment wouldn't overall be a bad thing, the problem comes with the crossover.

If games aren't going to be Windows optimized, then what does the person who WANTS a machine that can be both for productivity and video game entertainment? Will systems have to be dual boot? It sounds primitive, and frankly, it is.

I'm sure MS will learn from their mistake and will make "Windows 9" less of a restrictive platform. They ballsed up with Vista, and learned - Windows 7 is excellent. Perhaps we'll see history repeat itself and the next Windows iteration made with everyone in mind, not just portable users.

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JDiaz replied on Mon, Aug 20 2012 3:32 AM

It's a mistake I believe to think Windows 8 is only for portable users. There are aspects of W8 that are also good for multi-monitor usage as well as alternative desktop usage. For example, entertainment centers, products like MS Surface tables and interactive large displays, kiosks.

The main idea behind metro is simply to prioritize information and integrate it into the UI.  Other than that it can, like any design element/paradigm, applied to virtually any environment.  Also how the OS works under the hood is something a lot of people seem to be ignoring and is a lot more than just a UI change.

While some design aspects are also there for reasons like only about 2% of all people can actually multi-task without being less productive in the process.

www.psychologytoday.com/blog/brain-trust/201202/is-your-brain-multitasking

Many people just think they're good at multitasking but in reality just confuse multitasking with actual distraction. Examples include employees who use a computer for work are, on average, distracted every 10.5 minutes. Another is 62% of the web pages that Students open during class are completely unrelated to the lecture.

While some may prefer to clutter their displays when juggling their attention between multiple apps and information but what a lot of research shows is that isn't a good way for most people to be processing information.

It just so happens many of the design elements to improve work flow for the average person is also good for portable devices. Like making the most use of a small screen to more efficiently display information.

While things like menu's, are really only needed at certain times and that's how Metro treats menu's by letting them pop up when needed but hiding them when not.

Similarly, between portable devices and improvements in power efficiency and options that will be provided by the next gen hardware coming out that in many cases no one will really need to shutdown or even close a app most of the time.  So there's a De-emphasis on features that are likely to be less used.  Though they still provide keyboard shortcuts and other customization options can be taken advantage of if that's not the case for the user.

Whether people are ready and willing to accept these changes is another matter but those who use portable/mobile devices are pretty much already used to similar and that's the main reason why W8 will likely do well on those devices but also because it's the first major desktop OS that can actually work on pretty much any device without forcing you to try to use it like a desktop, which is one of the reasons why Windows has never before been successful in the tablet space.

So a lot is riding on perception but that can be a very tricky thing.

For example, Vista was actually mostly fixed by the time the SP release came out but it was too late to change public opinion. So MS basically just tweaked it a bit more and renamed Vista Windows 7....

http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9117399/Ballmer_Windows_7_is_Vista_just_a_lot_better_

So I wouldn't underestimate what MS could do by the time of the W8 SP release comes out, or the power of a little marketing to help change opinions.

Also, W8 is also a response to the ever advancing trend of convergence as more and more people use multiple devices in their every day usage.  W8 can potentially unify all those devices and not only allow sync of data between multiple devices but also allow to potentially use the same app on multiple devices.  Along with providing similar convenience as say Chromebooks promise by letting you switch devices as easy as it takes to log into your account.

There are of course compromises with any design choices and MS is taking a risk as to whether their solution will still satisfy as many users as the previous, even if it means losing some it may still be worth it if they gain a net increase of users. 

It is however a trend that many of the alternatives are also following, albeit at a slower and more transitional pace.  So we shall see if it was well planned or folly but MS has been planning this for years and they got lots of things coming out later that will start shifting the odds in their favor.  So it's a gamble for sure but high potential gains means high risks have to be taken.

Companies like RIM and Nokia once had market dominance but got too comfortable and didn't take the risks that produces the kind of innovations that keeps companies viable over long periods of time and they've paid the price.  So it's not like MS wouldn't be gambling if they had gone the other way either.

The traditional desktop is inherently too inflexible and unadaptable, along with being held back with years of legacy, that eventually the only way to move forward was either with radical change or simply start over...

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