Microsoft Surface is the flagship line of tablet computers designed and marketed by Microsoft. Microsoft Corp introduced its own line of tablet computers on Monday at a much-hyped–>press event in Los Angeles, marking a major strategic shift for the software giant as it struggles head on with its rival Apple Inc and tries to re-embellish its ageing company.
Microsoft doesn’t want to take any chances with Windows 8—if it’s going to be the best tablet OS ever, it’s going to need some serious hardware. So Microsoft is getting serious and building its own tablet. Meet Surface.
Have a look at Surface in this teaser video
Microsoft Surface tablet specifications
Windows RT model: 676 g, 9.3 mm, 10.6″ ClearType HD Display, 31.5 W-h, microSD, USB 2.0, Micro HD Video, 2×2 MIMO antennae, 32 GB or 64 GB.
Windows 8 Pro: 903 g, 13.5 mm, 10.6″ ClearType Full HD Display, 42 W-h, microSDXC, USB 3.0, Mini DisplayPort Video, 2×2 MIMO antennae, 64 GB or 128 GB.
(Surface for Windows 8 Pro also includes a Pen with Palm Block)
The pressure is on Microsoft to deliver, for the first time, a computer under its own brand, rather than software running on another company’s hardware. But then isn’t Microsoft breaking with a 37-year old model where it had licensed its software to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) such as Dell Inc or Hewlett-Packard Co , which made the machines? Now Microsoft will be viewed by the OEMs as both a competitor as well as a partner.
You could say that it’s a direct competitor to the iPad, and you’d be right. But you’d also be right to say that it’s a competitor to the MacBook Air. The detachable keyboard cover is slick, and if it works as good as it looks, it’s a no-brainer to take it with you everywhere. This is a laptop, every bit as much as it’s a tablet. “Tablet that’s a great PC – a PC that’s a great tablet,” said Steven Sinofsky, president of Microsoft’s Windows division, describing the Surface. But the point that Microsoft missed here is that when people pick a tablet, they don’t want a computer… or they would buy a laptop. Isn’t it simple enough to understand?
But if the device is nice, and has huge potential in the market, where did Microsoft go wrong? Let’s talk about it, starting with the fact that there’s no availability.
If there’s one thing that Microsoft could learn from Apple, it is “announce and ship”. Today we saw the Surface. When can we buy it? The only thing we know is that it will be available in conjunction with the release of Windows 8: That is to say, ‘not today’. Surface is still wrapped in so much mystery (no pricing, no availability, no processor speed) that it remains something of an enigma.
On the other hand the Surface tablets are smart, good-looking, carefully considered, well-built, slick pieces of kit and there’s nothing even close on the market today. Of course, they’re not on the market today either, but unless the PC OEMs inject a serious dose of quality in their build and design processes, the Surface units will stand alone when they eventually go on sale.
Microsoft’s intent with the Surface tablets is to create hardware that puts the software front and centre, to provide the hardware necessary to allow Windows 8’s strengths to really come to the foreground. At the launch event, however, the software took the back seat. This was all about the hardware, that’s an odd conclusion to make about a device from a software company that usually lets others do the manufacturing. Well now Microsoft is playing to widen its share in the hardware market, in contrast to manufacturing just mice, keyboards and webcams previously now it enters the hardware market cleverly vested and armoured with the new “Surface” to scratch on.
^Leave your thoughts on the “Surface” below about MS’s new gadget
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