These hardworking analysers have to be intense about mixing detailed financial and technical knowledge and combining it with a good dose of both common sense and educated “guesstimology”.
They must then do it in such a way that the companies paying for said analysis believe it is not only worthwhile, but worth continuing to pay for.
Thus, it is a tough job, and companies really have to do stunning stuff to keep analysts happy, and sometimes, no matter how stunning you think your stuff is, you just can’t keep everyone happy no matter how hard you try.
Whether Microsoft and its twin Windows 8 Surface tablets is in that position is something you can decide for yourself, but one thing seems certain: Ovum’s Chief Telecoms Analyst, Jan Dawson, doesn’t seem super-impressed by today’s launch.
It’s not hard to blame Jan either – after all, Microsoft’s track record in tablets and handheld consumer electronics encompassing the Zune and Kin phones is pretty awful, as is the absolute decline in the almost defunct Windows Mobile business, and the slow start to the Windows Phone business.
Still, there’s only so much spinalysis that I can add by twisting and twirling as I type – what does Ovum’s Jan Dawson have to specifically say instead about the Lord of the Tiles and its Twin Tablets?
Mr Dawson states that: “There are no surprises in the software – the Surface tablet uses the same two desktop and RT versions of Windows 8 we've been hearing about. As such, nothing has changed there and it still looks like a huge break with the past on the surface but with a jarring switch back to the old desktop world hidden beneath.”
“In theory, it delivers all the benefits of both the tablet-optimized environment and the classic desktop approach and apps, but in reality the versions available to try at the moment are a horrible mishmash of the two worlds that is likely to be confusing for the consumer”, concludes Mr Dawson’s statement.
Ovum’s media release then questions the kind of tablets Microsoft’s OEM partners are creating, given that Microsoft has felt the need to create its own tablets.
Ovum’s statement then states that: “Either they [Microsoft] are not happy with the devices out there, or they are not satisfied with only taking a licence fee from selling Windows based tablets.
“Either way, it is a huge vote of no confidence in its OEM partners, who should rightly feel slighted. It is rarely a good idea for an OS owner to start competing with its OEM partners, and this does not feel like an exception.
“The device itself looks compelling, but as usual we are left without pricing information, making it impossible to judge for certain what the market impact will be.
“Windows does have a huge installed base, and to the extent that IT managers see this device in one of its versions as a replacement for the Windows computer it should see some decent desktop adoption.
“But whether it sees much consumer interest will depend entirely on price and whether Microsoft is able to fix the poor UI experience in Windows 8 and RT”, concludes Ovum’s analysers.
So, it’s clear there’s no ovation from Ovum at this stage for Microsoft’s twin tablets and twin OS strategy.
Perhaps by the time Microsoft’s tablets actually launch and the final version of Windows 8 arrives, things will be different, but whatever the outcome, and with a plethora of tablets still to come, it’s clear we’ll probably never be hearing the words “there can be only one” and Microsoft in the same sentence.
My own thoughts on Microsoft's new Surface Win 8/RT tablets still to come in a follow-up article - keep an eye out for it!