Enterprise Demand Driving Surface Clones
Every man and his dog seems to be coming up with some variation of the Microsoft Surface hybrid. Apple and Google have recently moved into Microsoft's territory, whilst Lenovo, Acer, Asus, et al seem to be putting together devices that compete directly with the Microsoft product.
I'm pretty sure that is because the Surface is the only growth component in two markets which are slowly but surely shrinking away: tablets and PCs.
There was another indicator to the success of the Surface just before the event where Microsoft announced the latest Surface Pro and the all-new Surface Book. HP and Dell announced that they would be adding the Surface Pro to their roster of enterprise products, selling and supporting them as they would their own offerings.
Why would they do this?
Apparently because enterprise customers are demanding that they do so. In fact it appears that both companies were faced with two options: supply and support the Surface or lose enterprise business. Unsurprisingly both chose the former path.
If enterprise is standardising on the Surface Pro, for even a small subset of users, it means that Microsoft has found a valuable market niche and managed to produce the right product to exploit it.
That hasn't happened for a very long time. As a result other PC OEMs have had to try and copy what Microsoft has done. Some more successfully than others.
It appears that the tablet and PC markets are inextricably linked together and the Microsoft Surface heralded a new version of the post-PC era. One that looked very much like a merged version of the two.