Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)'s Surface Pro has arrived, to mixed reviews and criticisms of its weight and compromises. I expect this to change once Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC)'s next-generation processor, code-named Haswell, arrives later this year. Haswell will allow Surface Pro to be as light and compact as ARM processor tablets such as the Surface RT. It will also render Surface RT pointless.
I've actually been surprised by the critical response to the Surface Pro, which runs the Windows 8 Pro OS on the latest gen Intel Core processors (code named Ivy Bridge). This is the first genuine tablet to run a 64-bit OS, which means it's capable of just doing just about anything a desktop can do. Running Windows 8 also endows this Surface with the ability to run Windows 7 software, which Surface RT can't do.
Despite the critical reception, I expect Surface Pro to do far better than Surface RT, despite its higher price tag. According to IDC, only 900,000 Surface RT tablets were shipped in Q4 2012, giving it a worldwide tablet market share of 1.7%, behind the Barnes and Noble Nook, whose market share collapsed from 4.6% in Q4 2011 to 1.9% in Q4 2012. I believe the value proposition for the Surface Pro is much more compelling than for Surface RT. Surface Pro will appeal to the millions of Windows users who want a tablet, but not an iPad, which they consider merely a toy.
Surface Pro will join the growing ranks of Windows 8 tablets and Ultrabooks (all of which will be touchscreen-based from now on), which I expect to propel Windows 8 licensing in the coming quarters. Unlike RT, Windows 8 is off to a strong start, with over 60 million licenses sold as of Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)'s earnings report on Jan. 24.
Haswell may improve the battery life of the Surface Pro by 10-20%, but its not going to get to the ballpark battery life of Android or iOS based ARM tablets. People who buy future versions of Windows 8 tablets will buy them as replacements for their laptops. So its not going to grow Intel's market share in any way.
"Haswell may improve the battery life of the Surface Pro by 10-20%, but its not going to get to the ballpark battery life of Android or iOS based ARM tablets."
[Your usual pack of lies and distortions.
"The fourth-generation Intel Core i “Haswell” processor family will enable true all-day battery life, representing the most significant battery life capability improvement in Intel history, the company revealed earlier this month.
“In the first half of this year, we will launch Haswell, enabling one of the most significant changes to the PC since Centrino in 2003. Haswell was designed from the ground up to enable breakthrough innovation in form factor, battery life and usability. It will deliver the single largest generation-to-generation battery life improvement in Intel's history and it is inspiring a new wave of ultra-sleek, convertible, touch-based designs across our customer base,” said Paul Otellini, chief executive officer of Intel.
The fourth-generation Intel Core i “Haswell” processor family will enable true all-day battery life, representing the most significant battery life capability improvement in Intel history, the company revealed earlier this month."]
[And from Fudzilla recently:
"Our sources close to Intel claim that we can expect as much as up to 70 percent more battery life compared to an equivalent Chief River (Ivy Bridge) platform. This is a huge success. Compared to an existing generation platform and even in the Shark bay Ultrabook baseline feature Intel dares to share that we can expect whole-day battery life."]