Microsoft Surface : Big Deal? Big Blah? What Will It Be?
Microsoft’s just made it’s own tablet with their own hardware, yes, Microsoft hardware(haven’t heard of that much, have you?)
Microsoft’s decision to make its own tablet computer is a sign of frustration with its longtime hardware partners and a big bet on the technology giant’s future, according to analysts.
Microsoft Surface’s main competition is the iPad. For a long time, every tablet released by any tech giant, be Samsung,RIM, were tagged as iPad ‘killers’ but all failed either due to their hardware not being upto the mark or the screen wasnt as good as the retina display. The only closest tablet which dented the iPad was the Samsung Galaxy Tab, and maybe the Motorola Xoom.
“It’s a bold move by Microsoft, and it shows just how concerned they are about Apple and the threat Apple is to their ecosystem right now,” Gartner analyst Michael Gartenberg told AFP.
“This is (chief executive Steve) Ballmer pushing all the chips to the middle of the table and betting really heavily,” he continued. “Microsoft is clearly all-in.”
Microsoft Surface is a line of tablet ultra-portable PCs designed to work with Windows RT and Windows 8 operating systems.Different versions will be available featuring ARM and Intel CPUs and the display is a 10.6″, 16:9 widescreen HD Display (RT version) or Full HD Display (Pro version). The product was announced by Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer at a Los Angeles event on June 18th, 2012 at Milk Studios. The ‘Touch Cover’, a magnetic case complete with a multitouch keyboard and a trackpad, was also unveiled at the Los Angeles announcement. ”For the CPUs, the Surface with Windows RT will use an Nvidia ARM CPU, which most likely means a quad core Tegra 3 chip, like you’ll find in the Asus Transformer Pad TF300. On the Windows 8 Pro Surface, Microsoftconfirmed a full-fledged third generation “Ivy Bridge” Core i5 quad core chip like the chips in current Windows laptops.” As of June 18 2012, no pricing or release date is available.
Microsoft on Monday unveiled its first tablet computer, the Surface, running on Windows software to take on iPads.
Chief executive Steve Ballmer described the iPad challenger — complete with ultra thin covers-cum-keyboards in a range of colors — as a tablet that “works and plays”
“It looks like a really nice product; well designed and well thought out,” said NPD Group analyst Stephen Baker.
Microsoft did not reveal when Surface would be available, or the prices for the various models. But the Surface should release with Windows 8 operating software later this year and be pricing should be as per your iPad or competitive.
While going through the spec list, I can tell you that Microsoft has the components for success: impressive hardware, stunning screen quality, an online shop for “apps,” and troves of films, music and other content at Zune and Xbox Live.
The Microsoft Surface line features VaporMg, the molded magnesium casing that houses Surface’s components paired with a PVD finish, which is a manufacturing process that produces a durable finish. VaporMg allows magnesium to be melted down and molded to the details needed for Surface. Also included in both Surface models is a USB port, a micro-SD slot, and a magnetic strip to attach accessories such as the ‘Touch Cover’ and ‘Type Cover’. There are also two cameras, front-facing and rear-facing.
Although Microsoft so far (06-19-12) has omitted mentioning the resolution of the display, it seems like the Pro-Version features a FullHD display at 1920×1080, and the normal version an HD display at 1280×720. This is an improvement compared to Apple’s iPad2, but only close to the current iPad’s Retina display.
Microsoft recently announced SmartGlass applications that let tablets synch with its leading Xbox 360 videogame consoles and invested more than a half-billion dollars in Barnes & Noble’s Nook e-book business. Microsoft also owns Skype internet telephony service.
What remains to be seen is whether Microsoft can put those pieces into a winning formula or whether it will repeat the failure it had when it launched Zune MP3 player hardware to compete with Apple’s iPod devices.
Independent analyst Rob Enderle of Silicon Valley hung blame for the flop on Microsoft’s shoulders, contending that the company didn’t give Zune the funding and resources it needed to be a market hit.
“This is Microsoft’s chance to show they have learned the lesson from the Zune,” Enderle said.
“This time Microsoft is really going to have to step up,” Enderle continued. “With the right resources, this could work.”
While Microsoft could shrug off losing the MP3 player market to longtime rival Apple, it can’t afford to lose a tablet market with the promise of eclipsing and even replacing the desktop computers, according to analysts.
“This time, if they lose, it is the desktop computer and with that goes three-fifths of Microsoft,” Enderle said.