Just about the last thing Microsoft (MSFT) wants to hear right now is comparisons of any of its products to the Zune, its failed iPod killer that mercifully got the axe last year. But InformationWeek reports that Canalys analyst Tim Coulling this week dropped the Z-bomb when discussing Microsoft’s highly-anticipated Surface tablets, writing that “the information available to date suggests the prices of both will be too high to capture significant market share, and a direct sales approach will prove inadequate” and that “we expect the Surface pads to have a similar impact on the PC industry as Zune did in portable music players.”
To make matters worse, Canalys has advised Microsoft’s original equipment manufacturer partners to hold off on producing their own Windows RT tablets until Microsoft agrees to ease up on the high licensing fees. If OEMs hold out on building Windows-based tablets, Canalys analyst Chris Jones believes that Microsoft will come crawling back to beg their forgiveness.
“Once the Surface puts a material dent in Microsoft’s [profits], it will need to repair relationships with vendors, who are already preparing lists of demands,” he said.