Amazon announced its Kindle Fire HD, which hasn’t hit the shelves yet. This time last year, Amazon was all the buzz with the announcement of their first Kindle Fire. To be honest, I thought their timing was great and they really did innovate with that first Kindle Fire. Let’s face it, the previous Android tablets weren’t selling well and sorely lacked something that the iPad had, cloud storage. Since Amazon had their own cloud storage, all Kindle Fire purchases could be centralized and stored in one place. They also were able to integrate Amazon Prime which could deliver movies and other digital content straight to the Kindle Fire. This year however, it was almost like you could hear a pin drop when they announced their newest lineup. I honestly hate this for Amazon because they have a pretty good thing going with this new Kindle lineup, but it’s just not innovative. It’s all just little tweaks and improvements.
The last mystery to be unraveled will be the pricing on Microsoft’s up and coming tablet, the Surface. Microsoft seems to be creating the most buzz and curiosity, and quite frankly, I believe they are stalling the tech companies in a major way right now. There are a lot of vendors out there who are manufacturing Windows 8 tablets, but try getting a price for them. Everyone is waiting for Microsoft’s October 25th announcement on the Surface before they even dare to price their own stuff. Honestly, Microsoft is creating almost all the buzz right now. It’s like they’ve loaded all of their canons and firing them simultaneously in the hope that something will hit its target. Seriously, if you could consider they are introducing a new OS with Windows 8, a new Windows Phone OS, the Surface Tablet, and Office 365, you have to agree with me that they are like the little 3 year old in the corner screaming “look at what I can do Mommy!” Gees Microsoft, get some focus! I hate to be the bearer of bad news Microsoft, but you’ve got two problems. Number one, Windows 8 is such a radical departure from anything your users are used to seeing, all you will do is confuse them. Mark my words, the holiday season is going to be really confusing for the average consumer out there. When all of these new Windows 8 machines hit the shelves, people are going to freak out at how different it is. The second problem you have is you are packaging confusion with innovation. It’s all just a variation on a tired old theme. One thing these Windows 8 tablets have going for them is they will be more powerful, but I am not sure that will be enough to make a big enough sale to drive millions to your product.
So now I appeal to you geniuses out there. As I have outlined for you, this is what happens when the MBAs run the show. The Ivy League graduates that run so many of these companies. Don’t get me wrong, they will make money, but they don’t have the guts to gamble. We need more dropouts like Zuckerberg, Jobs, and Gates who had a vision and made a real difference in their world. Calling all innovators out there, now is your time. Calling all investors out there, for goodness sake, please find some of these innovators and fund them. Let’s put September 2012 behind us and move forward!