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It plans to do so through a better retail experience and marketing

Microsoft has big plans make sure this holiday season is better than the last. 

According to Paul Thurrott's Supersite for Windows, Microsoft's main goal is to sell 16 million Windows tablets over the holiday season. In order to do that, it plans to set the record straight on exactly what Microsoft is offering through better holiday marketing. It's also spending $405 million on Windows retail this year compared to only $241 million last year. 

Some troubles Microsoft is having is that there are various Windows OS versions available on the market right now (Windows 8, Windows RT, Windows 8.1, and even Windows 7). The same goes for hardware, where some have touch while others don't, some are All-In-Ones while others are laptops and convertibles, and so on.

This can be very confusing to consumers who aren't sure of the differences, and Microsoft's aim is to clarify this confusion so people will want Windows and buy exactly what they need.

The first part of Microsoft's plan is to label Windows 8.1 "the new Windows," which will let people know that this is the latest version and best version. Windows 8 was looking to reinvent Windows, and now Windows 8.1 wants to change how people perceive it, since Windows 8 took a lot of criticism for being so different from past versions and being too difficult to learn. 

Microsoft will also provide retailers with a special USB-based Windows 8.1 Upgrade Kit this holiday, since only 20 percent of PCs shipped will have Windows 8.1 pre-installed.

In the way of hardware, Microsoft wants to label Windows tablets as "more than an ordinary tablet," and Windows PCs as "the only PC with touch" for the holiday season. Pushing the touch feature will distinguish Windows hardware from that of competitors, and Microsoft even plans to give free $25 gift cards for the Windows, Windows Phone or Xbox online stores when customers buy Windows touch devices this holiday (offer runs from November 15 to December 28).

To help push these messages out to customers, Microsoft will go the store-within-a-store route (kind of like Apple's set-up within stores like Best Buy). This will offer a station specific to Windows-based devices and help customers figure out exactly which tablet, PC or phone they need without all the confusion (right now, Windows tablets and PCs line shelves without much distinction to the consumer).

It remains to be seen whether Microsoft can hit the 16 million mark, but its latest efforts should certainly give PCs a boost from last year's sales. PC makers sold 89.8 million units globally in the fourth quarter of 2012, down 6.4 percent from the same quarter in 2011, according to IDC.

Source: Paul Thurrott's Supersite for Windows

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RE: I really hope so ...
By nafhan on 11/1/2013 12:01:58 PM , Rating: 2
I hope you got a good deal on the Tab 2, it was overpriced and under specced the day it came out. I've had what sounds like about the opposite experience with my 2013 N7 - no complaints and between myself, wife, and kids it gets used all the time. I may buy a second one (at that point, I'll have spent less than what a single Surface costs).

Also, this was part of the conclusion of Anand's Surface 2 review:
I feel like at a lower price (and/or with a cover thrown in as part of the bundle) Surface 2 would have a much easier time attracting more than a niche.
He then likens it to a Chromebook.

The Surface 2 is great if your primary needs basically, what it provides: internet and MS Office, and you're willing to spend a couple hundred extra dollars to get a good MS Office experience. It's not a bad device, it's just bad compared to the competition.

RE: I really hope so ...
By w8gaming on 11/1/2013 10:21:30 PM , Rating: 2
His main point is centralized device management. Essentially he wants something to lock down the device capabilities while the device is connected to the work environment, which cannot be bypassed or worked around by the users. Not having much first hand knowledge myself there so I won't comment on how much support Android has for that. Read somewhere Samsung devices are supposed to have features on that areas. Since most work environment runs Microsoft OS therefore MS is of course the vendor best suitable for implementing features such as this.

RE: I really hope so ...
By nafhan on 11/4/2013 9:44:39 AM , Rating: 2
Actually, that was something he brought up in a later comment, and not what I was responding to.

"You can bet that Sony built a long-term business plan about being successful in Japan and that business plan is crumbling." -- Peter Moore, 24 hours before his Microsoft resignation
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