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Partners unhappy with Microsoft Surface tablet

Microsoft recently announced their upcoming Surface tablet – set to target the Apple iPad. It would appear that Microsoft PC partners are unhappy with the new product, which was kept a secret until the recent announcements.

Reuters have reported that industry sources seem unhappy with the new Surface tablet release, claiming they were only told three days before the unveiling. The report said “As such, Microsoft's main partners remained “in wait-and-see” mode and had to monitor the news for details, one of the sources said.”

There are even claims that Microsoft are set to alienate some of their partners. Sources from Asus and Acer said that the news conference that Microsoft held this week was the ‘first they had heard' of the new tablet. Acer executives said they were quite surprised at the news.

Microsoft have been behind some key hardware innovations, such as the mouse and more recently the Kinetic and Xbox consoles. Their recent history has been primarily based around software however.

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An industry source said that some of the Microsoft partners are feeling a ‘sense of betrayal' at the news of the upcoming tablet release. Another said that some of Microsoft's partners will be very unhappy that they are releasing a tablet to challenge their own products, all based around Windows 8 OS.

Jan Dawson, an Ovum analyst told Reuters that the Microsoft Surface tablet represents a “huge vote of no confidence” in their OEM partners. Dell and Lenovo have commented that they will continue their commitment to Microsoft as a valued partner. An executive at a Chinese handset maker said off the record that Microsoft should ‘leave its partners to make the hardware'. Microsoft won't have to pay the same Windows 8 fees when selling their tablet, so partners will be facing higher overall costs of development.

The pricing of the new Surface tablet is going to be key to the sales, with many claiming they will need to undercut the price of the Apple iPad to generate a decent sales volume.

Kitguru says: Others claim that the Surface is doomed to fail, as Apple currently dominate the market and this is unlikely to change.

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