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  1. Sir William Wiener's Avatar
    If Microsoft wants to create an incentive for consumers to purchase their products over their competitors then they should use their popular and desirable services as leverage. Let's start with the Surface Pro 2 why the hell can't Office 365 be thrown into a tablet/PC that costs north of $1000? Considering the main competitor of the Surface Pro 2 is the MacBook Air (in terms of price/capabilities and target market) then why isn't Microsoft throwing in a service that gives a potential buyer a reason to choose the Surface over the Apple? For someone who might be leaning toward the MacBook Air the free Office 365 on the Surface Pro 2 could be reason enough to pick the Surface for alot of consumers rather than buy another Product and have to also buy 365 separate and continue to renew a subscription.
    Considering the profit margins per Surface Pro 2 sold it would actually stand to make MS more $$$ if they offered Office 365 free in Surface Pro 2's and sold more of them and made the Surface division profitable.

    Same for Windows Phone (particularly Nokia now that they're owned by MS) what kind of service incentive does WP offer the consumer over Android and iOS? What if Microsoft threw in 2 years of free Xbox Live Gold or Office 365 (depending on consumer) when signing up for a 2 year contract with a Windows Phone? This would benefit the carriers as well as Microsoft and give the carriers more reason to push WP on to customers (the way it does with Android). If people walked into a carrier store and saw the big Xbox/Office logo over in the WP section and learned that a WP contract means included XBL Gold or Office 365 then more people would find reason to ignore any pitfalls of leaving their iOS or Android device for a new WP.
    aximtreo, piff2222 and James8561 like this.
    05-05-2014 08:20 PM
  2. fardream's Avatar
    Surface pro with office 365 sounds enticing, but I felt Xbox live gold and office 365 are pretty useless in Windows phone. Xbox music pass might be good, but that service on window phone is so bad.
    05-05-2014 08:37 PM
  3. Pierre Blackwell's Avatar
    The biggest issue when it comes to getting the word out to consumers on a larger scale has been the same as it always has been. Marketing. Microsoft is slowing coming to the realization that consumers aren't going to blindly follow what their employers use anymore. This is something that both Apple and Google tapped into years ago. Windows biggest issue in the tablet war is how can you compete with Andriod when they are willing to take a loss at purchase to sale a product to the consumer for $150, where MS can't compete. I don't care what incentives you include, a tablet for $150 sounds better then one twice it's price. As for the mobile market, MS is making headway and will continue primarily due to their low end target audience. The Nokia 1520 is one of the best phones out there along with the 1020, but it's the 520 and 620 that is gaining market share for WP. You make good points, but I just don't see those incentives gaining too much traction if no one knows about devices that they can utilize them on.

    Microsoft needs to put as much renovation into marketing their items as they are designing them. Then you'll see some competitive numbers that will have Andriod sweating, and Apple crying.
    05-05-2014 10:48 PM
  4. Markham Ranja's Avatar
    For someone who might be leaning toward the MacBook Air the free Office 365 on the Surface Pro 2 could be reason enough to pick the Surface for alot of consumers rather than buy another Product and have to also buy 365 separate and continue to renew a subscription.
    Considering the profit margins per Surface Pro 2 sold it would actually stand to make MS more $$$ if they offered Office 365 free in Surface Pro 2's and sold more of them and made the Surface division profitable.
    You're assuming that someone in the market for an Air finds Office essential. This is not necessarily the case. Airs are consumer machines, I don't think there are many corporations or other organisations that deploy Airs to their employees.
    Laura Knotek likes this.
    05-05-2014 11:13 PM
  5. jpal12's Avatar
    I think Microsoft should not sell 64GB Surface Pro 2s any more, and sell a 128 GB model with a type cover 2 for $899, a 256GB model with a type cover 2 for $1199, and a 512 GB model with a type cover 2 for $1499. Also, they should put a core i5 4310U/4360U in place of the 4300U.
    05-06-2014 06:08 AM
  6. aximtreo's Avatar
    I read the OP's post and I thought he was meaning to start some thoughts about what could be done. Maybe his offerings wouldn't work but there has to be something to stimulate sales of phone and tablets for MS.

    Maybe some of us (you) can start to think a bit out side the box and come up with some suggestions. Apple has made a fortune providing computers to schools; low level grades through middle and high schools at a very attractive price. When these consumers got to purchasing age, a lot of them bought apple products.
    05-06-2014 07:54 AM
  7. nmercy's Avatar
    I think Microsoft should not sell 64GB Surface Pro 2s any more, and sell a 128 GB model with a type cover 2 for $899, a 256GB model with a type cover 2 for $1199, and a 512 GB model with a type cover 2 for $1499. Also, they should put a core i5 4310U/4360U in place of the 4300U.
    They should have a 64 GB Surface Pro but put an i3 in there and price it at the price of the current Surface ($499). Change the Surface to be an Atom with 32 GB and price it at half Surface price ($250). Have the Mini run RT and priced at $100 to $150.

    All Pros should come with type covers, Surface come with touch, and mini none.
    05-06-2014 08:25 AM
  8. hermantj's Avatar
    It's all about marketing. When the first Surface came out, I never thought I could buy one. I ended up knowing about it when I bought a Lumia 920 (that a colleague had bought before and convinced me, nothing to see with MS).
    When I fisrt brought my Surface 2 at the University, nobody knew what the Surface was. Then they saw me use it, and they all wanted a Surface 2.

    the surface is such a good product, but if poeple knew about it...
    05-06-2014 10:37 AM
  9. Sir William Wiener's Avatar
    You're assuming that someone in the market for an Air finds Office essential. This is not necessarily the case. Airs are consumer machines, I don't think there are many corporations or other organisations that deploy Airs to their employees.
    If you consider the fact that college age adults are the largest market for the Surface Pro and MacBook Air then a service like Office 365 would be an attractive feature for the Surface Pro 2 to have loaded in free. Here at my college campus you see Macbooks everywhere all using some form of Microsoft Office as their productivity app. I doubt it's very different on any other college campus where Microsoft Office isn't the top used productivity app across any OS platform. Even the ultra rare Chromebook users have some form of Microsoft Office loaded on. Google Docs isn't as popular nor as capable as a full Office 365 suite. Having said all this I feel it would be an attention grabber at the Surface's display at any retail store.
    05-06-2014 01:59 PM
  10. Sir William Wiener's Avatar
    Surface pro with office 365 sounds enticing, but I felt Xbox live gold and office 365 are pretty useless in Windows phone. Xbox music pass might be good, but that service on window phone is so bad.
    True but the XBL Gold assumes the potential customer would already have an Xbox One or Xbox 360 for the XBL Gold subscription throw in to be attractive to them, but yes a free 2 year subscription of Xbox music would be nice (I forgot about that service) considering that other carriers and OEM's are throwing in things like free Spotify subscriptions with the purchase of a phone and a 2 year contract.
    05-06-2014 02:01 PM
  11. Sir William Wiener's Avatar
    It's all about marketing. When the first Surface came out, I never thought I could buy one. I ended up knowing about it when I bought a Lumia 920 (that a colleague had bought before and convinced me, nothing to see with MS).
    When I fisrt brought my Surface 2 at the University, nobody knew what the Surface was. Then they saw me use it, and they all wanted a Surface 2.

    the surface is such a good product, but if poeple knew about it...
    Exactly, everyone who's used or seen me using my Surface Pro have been very impressed with it, with most of them asking me what it is and where I got it. The number of them shocked when I said the hardware was also Microsoft made was staggering, with the amount of money MS has dumped into marketing and product placement in television shows you'd think by now the Surface would be more of a household name.
    05-06-2014 02:04 PM
  12. gernerttl's Avatar
    I always push the education benefits when I talk to other parents. I like to tell them about when my daughter, who's in 1st grade, and I were waiting for her to get her flu shot. She had some sentences to write, and I forgot to bring a piece of paper. I had my Surface Pro with me. So she did wrote her sentences in OneNote and when we got home, I printed it out for her to take to school.

    Ultimately, I think the biggest obstacle to selling more Surfaces (both Pro and RT) is the price. Even the RT model is still too expensive when compared to most Android models. And if somebody is going to throw down $999 for the 128GB Pro, they could get an Ultrabook for less and does everything the Surface Pro does, minus the stylus. Is the Surface more capable than either a Galaxy Note 10.1, Galaxy Tab 10.1, or an iPad? Yes, most defiantly. But a person's final buying decision is usually based on how much money is in his or hers checking account.
    tgp likes this.
    05-07-2014 02:25 AM
  13. himanshushirodkar's Avatar
    well, my personal experience in India... I went to a store to buy a WP device... the rep tells me don't buy a Lumia it doesn't have Bluetooth, wi-fi and he went to extent of saying that it doesn't even support 3G. this the scenario... people don't want to sell Lumia's because they don't get heavy commissions on them like Androids... and secondly they really don't know how to use the devices... I did buy a 620... because I flattered him like dirt and showed him on the demo piece how things were done.... but this has been a very bad personal experience... Marketing is absolutely essential so is the awareness of the platform... People haven't forgotten the mistakes of WP 7 and due to this fact everyone is spreading wrong publicity and information about the devices and OS
    05-08-2014 05:53 AM
  14. prasath1234's Avatar
    well, my personal experience in India... I went to a store to buy a WP device... the rep tells me don't buy a Lumia it doesn't have Bluetooth, wi-fi and he went to extent of saying that it doesn't even support 3G. this the scenario... people don't want to sell Lumia's because they don't get heavy commissions on them like Androids... and secondly they really don't know how to use the devices... I did buy a 620... because I flattered him like dirt and showed him on the demo piece how things were done.... but this has been a very bad personal experience... Marketing is absolutely essential so is the awareness of the platform... People haven't forgotten the mistakes of WP 7 and due to this fact everyone is spreading wrong publicity and information about the devices and OS
    I cant imagine in india sales rep like that.ohh:D:o

    Sent from my C2305 using WPCentral Forums mobile app
    05-08-2014 06:47 AM
  15. MilkyTee's Avatar
    I think the idea of throwing in six months or a year of Xbox Live Gold is a fantastic idea.

    -It's of little cost to MS.

    -It would reel in existing Xbox owners with a very attractive deal.

    -It would entice new owners who aren't on Xbox Live to invest themselves in the eco system

    -It would give people who don't own an Xbox console to maybe consider buying an Xbox. Or to buy an Xbox over a PS4 or Wii U etc.

    I really can't see a downside to that. Xbox as a brand is far more recognisable than Windows Phone is. Xbox Music would be nice as an alternative (like Spotify has been given away with certain Droid handsets at times), though I'd say the costs associated with giving that away for free are far greater than Xbox Live Gold.
    05-08-2014 08:35 AM
  16. himanshushirodkar's Avatar
    I cant imagine in india sales rep like that.ohh:D:o

    Sent from my C2305 using WPCentral Forums mobile app
    well it is the fact...
    05-08-2014 09:17 PM
  17. hotphil's Avatar
    If Microsoft wants to create an incentive for consumers to purchase their products over their competitors then they should use their popular and desirable services as leverage. Let's start with the Surface Pro 2 why the hell can't Office 365 be thrown into a tablet/PC that costs north of $1000?
    The Pro is aimed more at businesses, who'll cover Office licensing under their existing arrangements. Home/Students can use one of their allocated licenses on the Surface Pro. Or to put it the other way - would those markets be happy "paying for" an included copy of Office that they've already paid for elsewhere?
    Considering the main competitor of the Surface Pro 2 is the MacBook Air (in terms of price/capabilities and target market)
    I'm not sure the target markets are the same.
    Same for Windows Phone (particularly Nokia now that they're owned by MS) what kind of service incentive does WP offer the consumer over Android and iOS?
    OneDrive beats iCloud. And Android's fine if you don't mind inconsistent app UI's/malware etc. And for me, the clincher against Android was that'd I'd rather have devices made by a technology services company than an advertising company.
    What if Microsoft threw in 2 years of free Xbox Live Gold or Office 365 (depending on consumer) when signing up for a 2 year contract with a Windows Phone? This would benefit the carriers as well as Microsoft and give the carriers more reason to push WP on to customers (the way it does with Android). If people walked into a carrier store and saw the big Xbox/Office logo over in the WP section and learned that a WP contract means included XBL Gold or Office 365 then more people would find reason to ignore any pitfalls of leaving their iOS or Android device for a new WP.
    They want to keep the Xbox and Windows brands distinct. If Xbox and Windows start blurring then you've got the perception of entertainment and productivity environments being similar. And MS haven't ruled out selling off the Xbox brand.
    05-09-2014 12:28 AM
  18. Pierre Blackwell's Avatar
    I would have to disagree with that. If that was the case why would MS put Xbox Music and Video as their primary music and video applications, and on top of that integrate Xbox games to where you can earn points for your Live account? If anything they are trying to bring them all together. That's the vision expressed during Build. That's where in my opinion they will capture the curiosity of most consumers that have been on the fence. If they could someone capture and advertise a family at home all engaged in there own activities, but all connected via an MS device. The Dad is putting together a presentation for work, will the mom is talking to family on skype using a laptop. The daughter is on her WP talking to friends on Facebook and twitter via the people hub showcasing the amazingly fluid integration, and the son is playing Titanfall on his Xbox one, when the mother calls out for all of them to talk to grandma via Skype. Those would be the types of commercials that would give people the incentive to cross the threshold.
    05-09-2014 09:27 PM
  19. kencaz's Avatar
    I think one of the biggest mistakes MS has made in the last couple of years was Office for the IPAD. They were doing so well, and they had a small edge with the surface because of office. Now, someone who may have been on the fence between an Ipad Air or Surface will probably go with the air because of the Name and a lot of confusion that went on when surface was first launched, mainly with RT. So MS may have gained a services crowed but have critically injured it's hardware base because of that release of Office for Ipad. As was stated in the OP. MS should at least offer Full Office versions for Surface PRO and throw in 365 for the first year as well as more Onedrive Storage, at minimum. Then they may start getting some of the Tablet crowd away from Apple.
    05-09-2014 10:16 PM
  20. gernerttl's Avatar
    I think one of the biggest mistakes MS has made in the last couple of years was Office for the IPAD. They were doing so well, and had a small edge with the surface because of office. Now, someone who may have been on the fence between an Ipad Air or Surface will probably go with the air because of the Name and a lot of confusion that went on when surface was first launched, mainly with RT. So MS may have gained a services crowed but have critically injured it's hardware base because of that release of Office for Ipad. As was stated in the OP. MS should at least offer Full Office versions for Surface PRO and throw in 365 for the first year as well as more Onedrive Storage, at minimum. Then they may start getting some of the Tablet crowd away from Apple.
    Actually, they will have a better time of it by poaching from Android. Those are the people most likely willing move into the Microsoft ecosystem. They are more likely to have a Windows based PC or laptop. Another way is via business. That was how Microsoft Office became so popular. They made it easy (and relatively cheap) to enterprises. The employees used it, and then using HUP managed to get it out to individuals. If Microsoft uses a similar strategy with its hard ware, then it can position itself nicely as viable and cost effective alternative to Android.
    HoosierDaddy likes this.
    05-10-2014 12:01 PM
  21. prasath1234's Avatar
    Ya microsoft competing with android to gain market share i agree with u.

    Sent from my C2305 using WPCentral Forums mobile app
    05-10-2014 12:13 PM
  22. CSMR250's Avatar
    If Microsoft wants to create an incentive for consumers to purchase their products over their competitors then they should use their popular and desirable services as leverage. Let's start with the Surface Pro 2 why the hell can't Office 365 be thrown into a tablet/PC that costs north of $1000? Considering the main competitor of the Surface Pro 2 is the MacBook Air (in terms of price/capabilities and target market) then why isn't Microsoft throwing in a service that gives a potential buyer a reason to choose the Surface over the Apple?
    This is basically the same as a price cut as Surface Pro users will buy Office anyway one way or another. I think Surface Pro users are not that price sensitive but are very quality sensitive.

    More important than cutting the price, MS needs to improve Office for tablets.
    1. Produce a version of Office for tablets which does not even exist at the moment!
    2. Allow an install of tablet Office and desktop office on the same tablet (essential for Surface Pro since this device is all about being a tablet and laptop/desktop in one) using just one Office 365 licence. And have these two apps play nicely together. (It would be best if they were 1 application which could switch between a desktop and tablet mode but that would be a massive architectural change; could not be done before Windows 10.)
    Same for Windows Phone (particularly Nokia now that they're owned by MS) what kind of service incentive does WP offer the consumer over Android and iOS? What if Microsoft threw in 2 years of free Xbox Live Gold or Office 365 (depending on consumer) when signing up for a 2 year contract with a Windows Phone?
    WP already comes with a mobile version of Office. So it's already free. I think this Office needs improving especially Outlook which is the most used Office app and which is substandard for professional use.
    05-11-2014 08:02 AM
  23. gernerttl's Avatar
    You make some valid points. However, the Surface Pro and Pro 2 are competing against the iPad Air, Ultrabook series notebooks, and now, the Galaxy Note Pro 12.2, not just against a MacBook Air. Here is a price comparison (all based on Best Buy prices).

    Surface 2 (64GB): $549.99
    Surface Pro 2 (64GB): $899.99
    IPad Air (64GB): $699.99
    Galaxy Note Pro 12.2: $749.99


    Surface Pro 2 (128GB): $999.99
    MacBook Air (128GB): $999.99
    Ultrabook (several models). $400-1300 (depending on several options)

    I tried to keep it to an apples to apples comparison as much as possible. And now that Office is available for iPad, that will make it harder to sell Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 devices.

    IMO, the Surface series are over priced. If Microsoft wants to sell them, they need to be more competitive price wise.

    How can they do that?

    1. Offer Office 365 free for one year. This approach worked for GM in selling Onstar subscriptions. You buy a GM vehicle equipped with Onstar and you get one year Onstar for free. I have done this and actually used Onstar a few times when I or my wife was in a situation that required the service (i.e. three flat tires in the middle of nowhere).

    2. Reduce the price of all Surface devices, and add a free touch cover (thank Chris_Kez for that idea), to be more competitive against Android devices. Yes MSFT will take a loss initially, but as more and more people start using its devices, more and more will start using its services. And eventually, it will become a "self licking ice cream cone" so to speak.

    3. Tailor advertisements to go against Android powered devices. MSFT wild get more bang for its buck. It can still do adverts targeted to Apple users as well, but MSFT would do better to focus on Android.

    4. Target businesses (as I posted previously). Then using some form of HUP target those businesses' employees with discounts on devices and services. This worked swimmingly well with Office.

    I'm sure there are some more that MSFT can do, but this would be a start.
    Last edited by Timothy Gernert; 05-11-2014 at 07:40 PM.
    smoledman likes this.
    05-11-2014 02:36 PM
  24. smoledman's Avatar
    I'd throw in 1-year free of One Pass(100GB OneDrive, XBox Music, XBox Live Gold) with the caveat that you keep the 100GB of OneDrive even if you do not renew the Pass.
    05-11-2014 02:39 PM
  25. Chris_Kez's Avatar
    Couple of things:
    1) Xbox Live should already be free for everything except multi player online.
    2) Most people would just prefer less expensive hardware in lieu of some temporarily "free" service, whether that's OneDrive, Xbox Live or Office.
    3) MS is in a tough spot with Surface. Price it too high and no one buys; too low and they're in channel conflict with their partners (who don't have the luxury of a billion dollar software business to underwrite a money-losing hardware division). Also, MS can't seem to keep up with the little demand they do have.
    4) If I could have MS do one thing to make Surface more affordable, it would be the inclusion of a free Touch cover with every device. I think this would be better than any kind of bundled service offer, and fit with the mission of the device.
    05-11-2014 03:18 PM

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