Remember the Microsoft Zune? It was a media player that was ultimately launched to compete with the iPod and has since been retired. Then Microsoft tried a bizarre mobile experiment with the Kin One and Kine Two phones, two devices that hardly ever spent time on store shelves before Microsoft ditched them entirely. One analyst thinks Microsoft’s Surface RT tablet is about to join both of those phones in Microsoft’s grand catacomb of death.
In a note obtained by Fool recently, MKM Partners analyst Israel Hernandez said the Surface RT is “on track to join Zune and the Kin in the great consumer electronics discount rack in the sky.” Hernandez admitted that Microsoft’s more powerful Surface with Windows 8 Pro tablet is a better product for consumers, but argued that it’s too expensive. He does miss one point, however: Microsoft’s learning experience through failed products. The Zune might have been a failure in the grand scheme of things, but it also helped Microsoft pave the way for its music player software on Windows Phone. The Kin One and Kin Two also provided a learning experience on how not to launch a phone.
We actually think the Surface RT is a valuable product for consumers who want a device for browsing the web and accessing data stored in the cloud. It’s far from powerful and can’t run x86-based applications, however. Worse, its app store is basically bare in comparison to the offerings on iOS and Android tablets. Hernandez may be right, but we hope Microsoft has a brighter future planned for the Surface RT.