Editorial

Why isn't Microsoft selling an Xbox branded Type cover?

Why isn't Microsoft making this Type cover?

Microsoft pulled back the covers on its new Surface line of products and peripherals. Mixed in to today’s announcement was that they would begin selling 'refined' Type covers but we can’t help but feel that Microsoft is missing an obvious omission here.

The Xbox name is arguably one of company's strongest consumer brands and the green color, for Microsoft, is tied to the Xbox branding. Knowing this, why isn’t Microsoft making a green colored Type cover with the Xbox branding and positioning it as a gaming keyboard for the tablet?

The Surface line of tablets are capable gaming machines with the Surface 2 having access to the Windows Store which is full of games and the Pro 2 being able to run Windows Store games and some legacy games. But why is Microsoft not marketing the Surface from all respective angles?

If you are thinking that the Surface and the Pro are not designed for gaming, you need to think about causal gaming. Apple promotes the iPhone and iPad as quality gaming devices and the Surface and the Pro are equal, if not better, as the iOS counterparts at gaming. If Microsoft would market the Xbox Type cover as the ultimate gaming add-on for the Surface tablets, it could help to attract a wider market.

Sure, the Xbox Type cover we mocked up may not have many additional features besides a coat of paint, but Microsoft could easily program in hotkey setup to allow the Xbox keyboard to be customized by gamers.

The point here is that Microsoft has brands that resonate well with consumer market besides Office and it’s a bit baffling why they are not cross-leveraging them to help sell the Surface. An Xbox branded Type cover seems like a logical peripheral for Microsoft to build and seeing that they are already making colored Type covers, all they need to do is change the dye.

Special thanks to Andy for mocking this up.

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37 Comments

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Given the remix cover and whatnot, who's to say any other specialty covers are ruled out? There's a cool video about art students imagining what sort of things could 'click' in. If they open it up to third parties then we'd see some very interesting stuff.

Really all they have to do is make sure the Xbox Once Controller works with both of these. and then require the Controls be used by games that are Live enabled. BAM Surface becomes my on the road Xbox chevos hunting machine.

There are better ways to go about pushing your brand rather than mixing up names of products/devices that may just have some interconnectedness. People are quite easily confused.

Now... my sunglasses that say Xbox on the side of them, I see absolutely nothing wrong with that. (although maybe a bit "douche-y" but who really cares)

Not a type cover... a custom gaming optimized touch cover.

Like what they did with the DJ Music Remix Cover.

Give is a large touch area for targeting and a few large buttons that are easy to game on.

You know it's coming... it has to be!

Well you see that's where it's all headed towards in 2014 when Microsoft unveils the Surface Cover which is reprogrammable touch surface. It can become a keyboard, music controls, gaming controls, whatever... That will be a revolutionary device.

Microsoft didn't throw 1100 sensors into that thing just to get improved typing. Think bigger.

CygnusOrion said,
Well you see that's where it's all headed towards in 2014 when Microsoft unveils the Surface Cover which is reprogrammable touch surface. It can become a keyboard, music controls, gaming controls, whatever... That will be a revolutionary device.

That would be ****ing AWESOME! I'd buy one for all my devices.

This is silly. Xbox is primarily a set of entertainment services. The music cover for example is in conjunction with the Xbox Music and the Remix project.

You can use your Xbox controller with the Surface already and it works flawlessly.

MSFT is not using the Xbox branding on the surface as the Surface Pro is aimed at content creation and businesses, something that is almost the exact opposite of the Xbox. In other words, as said above, they would actually confuse customer even more.
Not even commenting on the fact that MSFT itself is somewhat confused right now, but maybe they actually need this friction from the market right now to sharpent themselves and start acting accordingly.
p.s. Pricing is ridiculous for where they stand on the market right now. It doesnt really matter how they compare spec-wise again the nexus or the ipad or the whatever. The perception in the consumers eye is that the surface is a flop, which it is, and MSFT arent doing anything to fix it. You dont change perception by incremental hardware upgrades and premium pricing.

I don't see a need for this Brad. Consumers are already confused enough as it is with Microsofts current branding.

That could be a cool idea, especially with how integrated Smartglass is going to be with X1. They could have hotkeys for common things you'll do when interacting through that app.

Why aren't they selling it now though? Probably because they need to prioritize some things over other things and this falls in the 'other things' bucket

you need to think about causal gaming

Is that the game you play before taking your assault rifle to the local school?

jakem1 said,

Is that the game you play before taking your assault rifle to the local school?

Wait, so there is a rifle that cant be used to assault people? Meh, ill have to check it out when I drive my assault car to store...

Or at least a true wireless controller. Having to plug in a dongle to use a wireless device is beyond frustrating.

DARKFiB3R said,
?

You can use the Xbox controller with Surface but you have to first plug in a dongle which sort of defeats the purpose. On the Surface Pro you can use a Bluetooth controller like the PS3 controller.

Because the Surface isn't an XBox? It's like asking why doesn't Microsoft sell an XBox branded mouse, desktop keyboard, or printer? Why leverage the XBox brand on unrelated hardware?

because Xbox is the name for their line of entertainment devices and services. for example you have the Xbox One for Gaming And the companion Xbox music Xbox video and Xbox Games applications for their respectable categories a touch or type cover is neither

bdsams said,
It's already used on Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone.

Right, but neither of which are XBox branded themselves. None of these services or hardware operate under the XBox brand.

Or.... wasn't there talks about a "Xbox Surface" type of device before? I thought I remember hearing about it some time ago but it seems nothing ever came of it...