There's no connection made between Microsoft SmartGlass (that does still exist, right?) and the Surface tablet. It's the one cool thing Microsoft could have going for it -- Xbox integration -- and it doesn't exercise the option to promo it aggressively vis-a-vis its new hardware.
And then there's Office. When you walk into a Microsoft store and fiddle with Surface, you should immediately be compelled to fire up Word or Excel or Power Point to determine if a Surface tablet can work for you from a productivity standpoint. Microsoft's ad campaigns should cue the user to do check this out.
They should send the message, loud and clear, that we have this great new tablet that leverages the two things you love about us -- Xbox and Office. We've got the entire family covered, whether they're playing, watching television, doing homework or at the office.
Without this type of logical and seemingly no-brainer marketing plan in place it's a waste of money, time and real estate for Microsoft to open retail stores. From the word go, they have no chance at being successful.
--Written by Rocco Pendola in Santa Monica, Calif.