Microsoft recently announced that they will launch their very own tablet ? The Surface. What really raised some eyebrows was that this is the first time that Microsoft has ventured into building their own hardware that operates their Operating system. However, I think that this move may ultimately be great.
Surface ? At a glance
Microsoft?s Surface tablet will come in 2 versions ? Windows RT (aka Windows 8 lite), and Windows 8.
Windows RT won’t have the full desktop version of Windows 8, it runs only Metro apps available through the Windows app store. The popular Microsoft Office will be available at no extra charge. This will be launched in the Fall of 2012.
Windows 8 will launch 3 months after RT. The Windows 8 version will be specked up with an Intel Ivy Bridge CPU ? allowing the tablet the power to handle most programs while being light on battery life.
Screen wise it will use something called ?digital inking? for a better feel and incorporate ?palm block tech?. This allows the tablet to shut off the touch sensor when the stylus is near and your hand wont smudge the touch screen of the tablet. Thus allowing for a better writing experience.
Outside – the tablet will be supported by a kickstand and covered by 2 types of covers; Touch Cover and Type Cover. The type cover comes with an attached keyboard for those of us that hate typing on tablets.
Here are the finer details of the Surface Tablet:
Surface (Windows RT) tablet key specs
- Windows RT operating system
- Nvidia ARM CPU
- 9.3mm thick
- 676 grams/23.85 ounces
- 10.6-inch ClearType HD Display
- 31.5 watt hour battery
- Ports: microSD, USB 2.0, Micro-HD video, 2×2 MIMO antennas
- Storage options: 32GB and 64GB for Windows RT
- Front- and rear-facing “HD” cameras
Surface (Windows Pro) tablet key specs
- Windows 8 operating system
- Intel third-generation Core i CPU
- 13.5mm thick
- 903 grams/31.85 ounces
- 10.6-inch ClearType “Full HD” Display
- 42 watt hour battery
- Ports: microSDXC, USB 3.0, Mini DisplayPort video
- Storage options: 64GB and 128GB
- Front- and rear-facing “HD” cameras
A bad Thought comes to mind: Microsoft Vista
First of all, I want to say that I am pretty impressed with the pitch that Microsoft is making. The Surface seems well thought up and I honestly think that we need a 3rd player in the tablet market after Apple and Android.
Microsoft?s pedigree will almost ensure that they will make it a decent attempt at breaching the tablet market that?s held by Apple. This pedigree has one glaring blemish ? Vista. I had only used Vista after XP came out and was not stuck with the heartaches that came with the Vista OS. My experienced with Vista left me wondering how a billion dollar company like Microsoft could get something so wrong.
Could Windows RT be another VISTA? Lets hope not. Microsoft should have learnt its lesson on how to make things work in the desktop arena and adopted it onto its mobile operating systems.
One step that they are doing right is to have absolute control over its hardware options ? like Apple. This will ensure that all software will be compatible with the tablet.
Much have been written about the multiple testing devices used by Android developers. The fragmented nature of Android means that software may behave differently from phone to phone due to different software and hardware configurations. Right off the bat ? Microsoft has eliminated that problem by building their tablet ground up. That is a great start.
Sunny days ahead
The HP touchpad powered by WebOS was actually a worthy challenger in the tablet market. It got buried in its infancy after being pulled by HP when they decided to exit the mobile market. This left Apple and Android.
I welcome Microsoft?s entry into the tablet market. The Surface tablet has obviously been in the pipeline for a while and I look forward to its launch to see its take up rate ? this will surely be boosted by Microsoft Office?s popularity.
Worldwide, 500 million customers use Office. Microsoft Office’s market share has held steady at 94 percent for years (according to market research firm Gartner). This will be in the Surface?s favor and Microsoft shows it with the incorporation of a better writing and typing experience.
In the end ? all these quality players in the tablet market will only benefit us ? the consumers. Who knows, maybe I could actually write my articles on a tablet soon.