Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) is going to unveil its Surface Tablet in late October, and the anticipation is almost as intense as it is for Apple’s iPhone 5, but for entirely different reasons. While iPhone is anxiously awaited due to Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s history of exceeding expectations, the Surface tablet is more of a test for the Window’s manufacturer. The new tablet will feature the brand new Windows 8 package, and it will mark Microsoft’s first attempt in the tablet market, moreover, there are some truly juicy specs and features, which were revealed earlier this year and finally, everybody wants to see how well it competes with Apple’s iPad and Samsung’s Galaxy Tab.
Another of Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)’s product, whose release date is speculated on and not confirmed, is the Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK)’s Windows 8 smartphones. Rumor is that it will be announced on September 5th during the Nokia World Event. The expected release dates may range from October- December of this year. It won’t be unfair to call the Windows 8 phone, Nokia’s lifeline. The Finnish company has otherwise performed badly over the past few years, and if mobile Windows 8 is a hit, we will be looking at a ‘reincarnation’ for Nokia.
Another aspect of this new tablet is how it has caused distress among Microsoft’s OEM partners. Acer, the Tiawanese computer manufacturer, has already voiced its reservations on this new venture. Campbell Kan, Acer’s president for PC global operations, said in an interview with Financial Times, “If Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) … is going to do hardware business, what should we do? Should we still rely on Microsoft, or should we find other alternatives?,” Mr Kan said.
Microsoft bringing its own tablet has slighted the profile of its partners. The PC business is already slowing down, where individual vendors like Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ), Dell Inc. (NASDAQ:DELL), and Acer witnessed a decline in sales in this quarter of up to 13 percent. These hardware manufacturers rely on Windows licensing, and Microsoft’s attempt in the hardware market with its own Surface tablet can be interpreted as a vote of no confidence. Moreover, Microsoft has left its significant mobile device partner, Nokia, out of the Surface game. While MS is deeply engrossed in making the Surface picture perfect, we heard reports (DigiTimes–Reuters) that Nokia is working on its own tablet in partnership with MS. Well tough luck for Nokia, as it seems Microsoft has left it stranded on this one. Microsoft is looking at branding this new product with just one name, and that is its own.
Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK) needs a boost more direly than Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), the company can essentially wipe out, if it fails to deliver with its upcoming smartphone, although the chances of that happening are smaller as Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK) was able to generate handsome sales with its Lumia phones that featured Windows 7. So both companies, the Finnish cell phone leader of the past, and the troubled Windows manufacturer, need their products to make a wave in the IT market, or else face extinction.