Jason Smith

I'm Jason. This is my home on the web where I write. 

What's this new Microsoft Tablet?

You may have heard about a new tablet computer that Microsoft is coming out with called the Microsoft Surface.

I tried watching the keynote presentation of the device and I just couldn't bear it, it was too painful. When people are talking to an audience and reading off a teleprompter, but desperately trying not to appear to be reading, it just makes me squirm. Just stand behind a rostrum with some notes so everyone knows you are reading and they'll be ok with it. Or practice a bit more so you're not looking like you're reading. Or make a 40 minute long video with a voice over. 

Anyway, whether the announcement was polished or not has no bearing on whether the product is any good. Great engineers and designers tend to make poor PR people anyway, (except Steve Jobs), so what about the actual tablet?

Here's the basic gist of it all.

There was no word on batttery life, so we don't know if it sucks or not.

There was no word on price. Kind if important I would have thought. I simply cannot think of a good reason to keep the price from people.

No word on availability. Another key piece of info if anyone is to actually buy one.

No proper demonstration of the product. In fact, the tablet stuffed up on stage when they tried to show a couple of things.

It has a USB port.

There will be a tablet that runs a version of Windows called RT. That's basically a dumbed down version that will be incompatible with the other version of Windows. And there will be a version of the tablet running the full version of Windows.

It has a really neat built in stand, and slim magnetically attachable keyboards are available. They look like they double as a cover. Because of the design though, I cannot see the product sitting neatly on your lap in bed, so it doesn't quite provide the usefulness of a laptop.

Still, it's a really good looking machine.

My opinion:
The most amazing thing that has happened here is that Microsoft have released a product where they make the software AND the hardware, just like Apple. So without saying it, they have acknowledged that Apple's business model is working when it comes to tablets and are meeting them head on. I make no bold predictions as to who will "win" in the future, but to be in with a chance, this is what Microsoft had to do.

Another interesting thing I noticed while trying to watch the keynote, was that the Microsoft people called it a PC (Apple call the iPad a "post PC device"), and tried to make out like it will be able to replace laptops or notebooks. This is a claim Apple have not made for their iPad, as they are quite happy to continue to sell MacBooks as well. Microsoft don't actually HAVE any laptops they make themselves, so they wouldn't be cannibalising their own products by pushing the Surface as a laptop or notebook replacement. Not sure how Dell and HP will feel about all this though.
I look forward to an actual working model making it's way into my hands soon so I can form a proper opinion.

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