Most every gadget buff is looking askance towards Redmond, as the slumbering giant of the tablet PC era, Microsoft, is finally coming out with a new tablet for its Windows 8 operating system. It’s not strictly Microsoft’s tablet, admittedly, and is being developed in part with Samsung, who is currently fending off a host of lawsuits from its close trading partner Apple.
But can the Windows 8 tablet hold its own against the upcoming iPad 3, as well as in the midst of a field of competitors that grows steadily more crowded with every passing day?
Plain and simple, right now, no one knows. There’s no way to know, right now. Only Microsoft and Samsung are even in a position to hazard a guess until next week, when rumor says that the Microsoft tablet will be unveiled. And interestingly, it’s small business marketing, basic marketing, that will tell us how well the Samsung / Windows tablet will do against the horde of competitors.
The marketing mix, the four-pronged strategy guide for most every marketing professional, is the ultimate decider here. There are four parts to it, and the Windows 8 tablet’s success will depend on how well it interacts with those four points.
Price: if Microsoft can keep the price down, they’ll likely see great success. The HP Touchpad shows us the true importance of pricing in a marketing mix, and if you keep the price down, the consumer will respond.
Product: a product that is superior to the iPad 2–let alone the iPad 3–is hard to find. But if it can be found, it will handily take over pride of place from the Apple juggernaut.
Place: if Microsoft’s tablet can be found in places where Apple and its competitors cannot be, it will make great sales by virtue of being the only game in town.
Promotion: if Microsoft can make its tablet look better than Apple’s, then they’ll likely find that they’ll get an early advantage. But if the product only looks better, then they’ll likely lose that advantage almost as quickly as it was gained.
So can the Windows tablet, even with Samsung’s help, beat the Apple tablet and the horde of other competitors out there? That remains to be seen. But with a little of that small business marketing magic, well, it can do better than you might think.