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With the highly anticipated arrival of Windows 8 later this year, Fujitsu’s new devices will rival other hybrid form factors from OEMs including Asus and Lenovo. They will also go head-to-head, however, with Microsoft’s own homegrown tablet PC, Surface, announced in June.
While Surface may compete directly against Fujitsu’s own Windows 8 offerings, Fujitsu's Moore said he’s not concerned about Microsoft’s debut tablet dealing a blow to his company’s sales. Surface, he said, appears to be a more consumer-oriented device, and not one that would necessarily appeal to Fujitsu’s customer base, which stems largely from vertical markets.
Security features, for instance, like Intel’s vPro, Absolute Software’s Computrace and biometric fingerprint sensors, will come natively with Fujitsu’s upcoming Windows 8 offerings, making them enterprise- and vertical-ready, Moore explained. Microsoft’s Surface, on the other hand, appears to be targeted more at consumers -- at least, from what is known of the device today.
"We focus on verticals, and we have been doing this for 20 years now -- we’ve been doing this longer than Microsoft has been doing it," Moore said. "We have features like vPro and Computrace and biometrics and dedicated Smart Card [Slots] and Gorilla Glass and dual-class battery strategies within our convertibles, multiple ports, and USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 -- these are all things that the verticals use. This is not the kind of thing Surface is pushing."
Other Microsoft OEM partners, including HP, Dell and Lenovo, didn’t offer up much of a response to the Surface announcement. But, Microsoft channel partners, who are still in the dark as to whether they will be able to sell the device, have been eagerly awaiting the software giant’s Worldwide Partner Conference this week as an opportunity to learn more.
Upon their availability next quarter, the new Stylistic Q702 (shown above) and Lifebook T902 will sell for $1,099 and $1,899, respectively, both from Fujitsu directly and through its channel partners. Microsoft has not yet confirmed pricing or availability for Surface, or whether it will be available through the channel.