Microsoft finally announced its most rumored (awaited?) tablet with much fanfare and after going through by usual reading list online, there’s been a lot of reaction on Microsoft’s announcement and this one is my favorite.
The most noticeable reaction is the availability and the price. There have been reports that the Surface will be available within the next 3 months, considering that’ll be on the last quarter of the year and by that time rumors on the next iPad will already be flying left and right and interest on the Surface will be reduce to a nil. As for the price, all Steve Ballmer said that “it’ll be price competitively” which to most people doesn’t mean a thing and reading Microsoft’s press release did help either, it just said “Suggested retail pricing will be announced closer to availability and is expected to be competitive with a comparable ARM tablet or Intel Ultrabook-class PC.”, so if we’ll believe Microsoft for that the price can be anywhere from $470.00 (Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime) to $1399.00 (Lenovo Ideapad u300s) which still does not make any sense.
Now for the hardware (specs), the specs of Surface is impressive and a disappointment at the sametime. First, Microsoft didn’t give much details on the specs aside from the information that they included in their press release. They left out minor but important details like screen resolution; in a Super AMOLED and Retina display world of tablets we cannot avoid people from comparing the displays of these tablets, then there’s the issue on the battery life, Microsoft just said that the battery is 31.5 W-h for the Windows 8 RT powered Surface and 42 W-h battery for the Windows 8 Pro, they did not mention as to how long the battery will last in a single charge, if the battery is not within the ball park of iPad (10 hours) or the 7 hours of BB Playbook then it’s not land on my shopping list even on my wishlist. Then the Touch and Type cover that Microsoft developed specially for the Surface, it looks creative and ingenious of Microsoft to create this type of accessory but it looks like Microsoft is still not want to give up that PC experience and not still not ready to give it’s user a difference kind of computing experience using Windows.
On the processor side, I must commend Microsoft on this one, since they supported both the lowly ARM up to Intel’s latest Ivy Bridge processor, then again this can send a fragmentation message to developers and confusion to consumers who plans or interested in getting a Microsoft Surface. I’m not even gonna touch on the I/O, wireless connectivity (only Wifi and Bluetooth 4.0) that Microsoft included on both the Windows 8RT and Windows 8 Pro model.
As for the rest of the stuff, like the available OSes on the Surface (Windows 8 RT and Windows 8 Pro) which like what I said above, can cause confusion to people who are planning to get a Microsoft Surface, on the brighter side of things the fact that the same OS will also be running on a laptop or desktop 3 to 6 months from now this means that you also use install the same application on your laptop or desktop to your Surface.
We may all have different opinion and take on the Microsoft Surface but one thing is for sure, Microsoft created the Surface in order to take control of their own fortune rather than relying on OEM Partners (which I’m sure are really really pissed off because of this move), they now control every aspect of the Surface user experience from the hardware, software, services and apps which is what Apple did with the iPad. But Microsoft need to hurry up and answer the availability and the price because question because the more they delay this thing the closer we get to the next “new” iPad or the next flagship Android tablet (specially now that Google is a hardware company via Motorola).
Microsoft may have a chance in becoming a serious iPad competitor only if they execute this plan properly and perfectly, or they’ll just end up in the list of failed Windows tablets.
So what’s your take on the recently announced Microsoft Surface? Do let us know in the comments below.