Surface 2 tablet: Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) has been losing the smartphone and tablet war to Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Android running devices for a while now. In the hope of regaining some of the lost ground, Microsoft presented its new tablet models–the Surface 2 and Surface 2 Pro–yesterday, Monday Sep. 23rd, in New York. After the utter failure (and resulting write-down) of its previous version of the Surface tablet, launched in July, the company expects that these new devices will help it “steal” rival market share.
These new Surface tablets will be available for preordering as of today (Tuesday) and will reach retail outlets on Oct. 22nd. In order to lure more customers away from Apple iPads and other tablets running on Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s Android OS, Microsoft offers anyone purchasing any of the new Surface models will receive free Skype calling to landlines in more than 60 countries and unlimited Skype Wi-Fi on their Surface devices for one year. To make the deal even sweeter, the company is even throwing in 200GB worth of free (cloud-based) SkyDrive storage for two years.
Despite the announcement, the company’s stock fell 5 cents during Monday trading. Apparently, investors are not feeling optimistic. However, researchers and analysts see this launch as an encouraging sign. Microsoft continues to bet on its new devices and services strategy and, even if the Surface 2 tablets are not an immediate hit, they are still an important step in the right direction.
Other initiatives that point towards this transformation have already been implemented this summer, including CEO Steve Balmer’s announcement that he will retire before the end of the year, an extensive corporate restructuring, and the purchase of Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:NOK)‘s devices and services business for approximately $7.2 billion. Although some argument that Microsoft is late to this party, the reconversion gives this tech giant some hope as the PC market (once its main business) continues to decline and newer, more portable technologies arise. Check back here for more news on the Surface 2 tablet launch.
Disclosure: Javier Hasse holds no position in any stocks mentioned