Microsoft Surface could be Wi-Fi only at first
| by Karan Shah |
The one big question everybody has been asking about Microsoft Surface is the inclusion of a 3G slot. Not much was delved into at the keynote and that left most people wondering if Microsoft Surface would come with a 3G slot after all. As reported, Ben Bajarin, an analyst at technology consulting firm Creative Strategies mentioned that, “Wi-Fi-only models are the larger part of the market right now and Microsoft’s decision may enable it to keep costs down. Still, it could curtail the company’s efforts to promote Surface as a device you can use anywhere and in any way. The way that Microsoft is positioning this product --that it’s highly mobile but also has the functionality of a notebook -- that customer might be more interested in working from any location and not being bound by Wi-Fi.” Another source, Carolina Milanesi, an analyst at researcher Gartner Inc. said that due to the fact that 3G is still expensive, most tablet customers are using the device mainly at home, to avoid additional mobile phone connections. The analyst further went on to mention that, “Wi-Fi only is not a limitation for Surface”
We clearly feel that a Wi-Fi only launch at the beginning will be one of the biggest drawbacks that Microsoft will have to work hard to overcome. Today, consumers have the power and they have the right to choose if they do or do not require 3G or 4G offices and if a company comes out with a Wi-Fi only model at first, there are sure to be voices raised. We had seen something similar with the Asus’ Transformer tablet and not many were happy with the fact that only the Wi-Fi version was available initially.
The inclusion of a 3G slot isn’t something alien with tablets right now and we’re hoping that Microsoft Surface comes along with 3G access, because this device looks beautifully portable - but imagine you’ve taken it out on your business trip and your connectivity options are limited only to Wi-Fi. That in itself would be a deal breaker for most people. However, it’s important to note that both tablets come with full-sized USB ports, so a partial fix would be 3G via USB dongles, something that’s become popular out here in India. Still, if Microsoft is pitching this tablet as a transition from consumption to creation, Internet on the go is an absolute must.
On a related note, we reported earlier that the Windows RT model of the Surface tablet is likely to be priced above $599 (approximately Rs. 33,800), while the Windows 8 Pro Surface tablet is likely to be above $799 (approximately Rs. 45,000). This of course, is going to be the pricing of the tablet in the U.S. When they do come down to India, we can expect prices to be a bit more than that. Keeping in mind this price tag, if 3G/ 4G is not included, then it might dent Surface’s chances to reach the pedestal Microsoft wants it to reach.
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