Microsoft is worried. Possibly terrified. It doesn't admit it, of course. But it stood impotently by as smartphones and tablets ate away at its dominance.
Initially, it pooh-poohed the iPhone and iPad (and Android too), then pinned its hopes on traditional Windows partners kicking off a fightback.
Fearing it will miss the boat as consumers shift loyalty to portable devices, Microsoft decided to go it alone.
The result is Microsoft Surface, a tablet based on a cut-down version of Windows 8. It attempts to marry the touch-friendly simplicity of a tablet with the powerful heritage of Windows, but ends up a little confused.
The Seattle giant gets many things right on Surface, starting with the elegantly designed hardware littered with thoughtful touches. A sturdy 10.5-inch slate with connections for USB, HDMI and micro-SD, it aims to be closer to a laptop than an iPad.
Features such as the lip that flips out to form a kickstand or the ability to create secondary user accounts (such as for kids) give it a leg-up over some rivals.
But as much as Surface breaks the mould with the smart tile-based metaphors and swiping gestures of its interface, it's Microsoft's reluctance to let go of the Windows framework that may be its undoing. That and the relative lack of tablet apps.
Beneath the tiles lies a curiously stunted version of Windows, completely unsuited to finger-prodding. It's mostly redundant, save for when you use the touch-unfriendly version of Office. But the sight of the complexity, tiny icons and scary Windows messages ("Action Center has detected one or more issues for you to review") will put off many seduced by the promise of iPad-like simplicity.
Microsoft Surface costs €480 for the basic 32GB wifi-only version (which has only 16GB of storage available to the user).
But if you're determined, you're better off springing for the bundle with the nice keyboard cover at €580. A 64GB edition costs €580/€680.