The Surface RT tablet has been a disaster for Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT). Microsoft admitted that it produced more tablets than it could actually sell, and had to write down $900 million for the Surface RT in July. Microsoft had to slash the price on the Surface RT recently to spur sales.
Despite the failure, Microsoft is already planning the next generation Surface tablet, which is expected to release in 2014. In an interview with CNET, Nvidia Corporation (NASDAQ: NVDA) CEO Jen-Hsun Huang said his company, which provided the processor in the original Surface RT, is “working really hard” on the next Microsoft tablet.
Huang didn’t provide many details on what Nvidia would do differently this time, though he did point toward the absence of Outlook, which is Microsoft’s email, calendar, contact manager and note-taking app, was a primary reason for the failure of the Surface RT. Huang called it Microsoft’s “killer app,” and said Nvidia is working to bring it to the next Surface.
At the very least, Huang’s statements confirm rumors that Microsoft is in fact developing a sequel to the Microsoft RT. There are also rumors that Microsoft is planning to introduce a version of the Surface RT with a smaller screen.
Though the current Surface RT uses Nvidia Tegra 3 processors, Bloomberg reported that the next generation of Microsoft tablets will be powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon processors.
If Qualcomm is providing the processors, it remains to be seen what role Nvidia is playing in development of the next Microsoft Surface tablet.
Would the addition of Outlook make you more willing to purchase a Surface RT? Can outlook save the Microsoft tablet? Let us know in the comments.