Skip to comments.Microsoft Surface Could Totally Change the Tablet and PC Markets
Posted on 06/22/2012 6:08:58 PM PDT by SmokingJoe
The Surface tablet unveiled by Microsoft at its mysterious event in Los Angeles this week looked very impressive. It obviously faces very stiff competition from the Apple iPadwhich dominates the tablet market. But, theres a very good chance that businesses will flock to the Surface (or other Windows 8 tablets) if Microsoft delivers something close to what it presented to the media.
I am a huge fan of the iPad, so I dont make that claim lightly. I have owned all three iterations of the iPad thus far, and Im not prepared to abandon the New iPad any time soon. That said, I also love Windows, and I appreciate that businesses that rely on Windows PCs and Windows-based applications would love to have something like an iPad that also happens to be Windows. As it happens, Im also in a position to compare the two side by side
almost. I dont have a Surface tablet, but I do have a Samsung Series 7 Slate PC running the latest Windows 8 Release Preview. As far as devices actually available today to the general public go, this is about as close as you can get to what you can expect a Windows 8 tablet like the Microsoft Surface to be. --------snip------- The iPad is a tremendous device for working on the go, but it requires a lot of duct tape and chewing gum. You have to find apps and workarounds that let you be productive until you can get back to your real PC, and find ways to smoothly integrate and sync data between the two. But, with a Windows tablet you just use the same tools and software you always use.
(Excerpt) Read more at pcworld.com ...
The Windows Phone 7 is awesome too!
I am using Windows 8 right now on my ThinkPad. What an amazing operating system! A huge leap over Windows 7 and OS X.
>>A huge leap over Windows 7
How so? Thinking of upgrading.
I mean, I really think it's a great design and hope it does well. But geez, I wish the fanbois would give it a rest until the thing is REAL.
You can only scream "OMG! WOW! OMG! THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING! OMG! OMG! WOW!" for so long before people start walking away....
Too funny! Heavier, thciker, non-retina, likely lousy battery life, and likely more expensive than iOS or Android. Yeah, it will change everything...
kinda reminds me of when the Segway was announced
Exactly! I can still hear Bezos making a “Ballmer” of himself. Funny.
Agreed, but there's just as many articles out there trashing it on no more evidence.
You can do the same as me and upgrade to Windows 8 in this quick and easy way
It’s starting to look like the MS fans think W8 tablets will be viable and manageble in the enterprise, and the Apple fans are afraid of exactly the same thing.
Amazing; this review is spot on, finally a good balanced look at both platforms. My findings mirror the authors, having worked with each generation of iPad, I too am looking forward to the Surface, which is not a knock on the iPad cause I love it too, but for business use the Surface so far looks to be just the ticket.
I see the Applebots are running as scared of the Microsoft surface tablet as ever.
The Windows RT surface tablet is actually thinner than the iPad 3, not thicker. Plus its got MicroSD, USB 2.0, Micro HD VIdeo and 2x2 MIMO antennae for better WiFi performance, none of which the iPad has.
“likely lousy battery life, and likely more expensive than iOS or Android.”
Wishful thinking anyone?
Look, I understand if you are running scared of the surface tablet, but you don't gotta keep making things up about it do ya?
Apple did that with the original iPhone, which was announced in January 2007, and wasn't released till June 29, 2007. Didn't do them any harm did it?
You still have time to short Apple before the SHTF
I love my iPad, use it every day and love it for what it *can* do. But every day there is something that frustrates me, wont render, or just doesn’t do. Nothing big enough to kick the iPad to the curb, but enough that I have to keep the Laptop handy. The apps are great, but there aren’t apps for everything. Example for today - got my Merchant account at the bank. I processed my first set of credit card sales and wanted to check my new merchant account report. Sorry, the site uses Flash - had to wait until later and check on my laptop. I get the war with Flash, but am tired of working around it.
So I can’t wait for the Surface tablet that runs Windows and renders all the web sites. I’ll keep the iPad for games.
I have been a Windows developer for 20 years. I know FUD when I see it. Microsoft has done some great things in the past... But right now, it is vapor. No price. No specs. Windows 8 draws as many jeers as cheers. Well see. The completion could be good - but it is from Ballmer, so maybe not.
Thanks for posting the article. May I summarize?
“I don’t have one, but I hear they are great”.
It’s funny, because for too long Apple has kept the Ipad “locked down” by only allowing it to run the apps that Apple approves. Have to use Itunes to add files from an external source. Can’t watch certain types of video without re-encoding. And no SD reader or USB port? That’s a joke.
Surface should let you run the same programs that you run on your home or work PC, or anything else you can download for that matter. Meaning, I could put the software on it that I use for work and have a viable tablet solution to do the tasks I do every day. You can add files via USB or SD. Heck, you could take pictures with your digital SLR camera using a full size SD adapter then put the micro SD in your tablet and see or edit the pictures instantly, without having to email them to yourself or going through Itunes. You wouldn’t have to have another computer, period.
I’m not a Microsoft fan, but they hit a home run when they decided to put a desktop OS on their tablet and include an SD and USB port. If Apple had done this from the get-go, I might own an Ipad right now.
I’m still dying to know if I can boot Ubuntu on a Surface, though...
So, can I install Linux on it?
Ah, yes, the Seqway, code name Malissa, Elissa or something. Going to transform transportation forever. Some Scot or Irishman bought the company and then rode one of the things off a clift.
As for touch-screens, they drive me nuts. I’m a touch-typist and can’t stand not being able to feel the keys. Touch-screens have turned touch-typists into finger probers.
Just my rant.
Only if you're thinking of buying a new phone. Even the top of the line Windows 7 phones will not get an upgrade to Windows 8. Everybody who bought one is stuck on 7.
Which is why Microsoft completely ditched it, replacing it with the incompatible Windows 8? This will be the second time in a row that Microsoft abandoned its previous generation of mobile users.
The only reason it's a tenth of a millimeter thinner is because it has a lower-resolution screen. It's actually a good bit thicker than the normal-screen iPad 2. And it'll feel even thicker in your hands because of the squared edges (necessary to put all those ports in it).
The battery comparison is interesting, 31.5 vs. 42.5 W-h. Apple uses that larger battery to drive the high-resolution display, so battery life may be about equal. Apple has set the 10-hour standard, and nobody wants to fall below that.
IIRC, you were first saying that when Apple was around 200, and now they're almost 600. Anybody who took your advice then would be in a world of financial hurt.
Don't have any Apple stock. Nor Microsoft stock. Nor any other stock.
If I had any money, I'd have Apple stock instead, and could take your advice. But having no money, I have neither, so I'm afraid I cannot take your advice.
> Agreed, but there's just as many articles out there trashing it on no more evidence.
And they sound even sillier and shriller, if that's possible. :) And I've taken some to task for trashing something that can't be evaluated yet.
Like I said, I like the design and think if it's marketed well, it has a decent chance in the marketplace. If you check my posting history, I've been saying for months that Microsoft should get the lead out and put something on the market that can compete credibly with the Apple juggernaut. So I'm happy to see this getting brought to the public attention. I just wish it was REAL, like in a few weeks instead of a few seasons.
So will Windows RT tablets, with purchases through Windows Store.
Have to use Itunes to add files from an external source.
Various applications have the ability to load their own files.
Cant watch certain types of video without re-encoding.
Every system has the set of videos that it has codecs for.
And no SD reader or USB port?
Thankfully. Managing everything between the internal memory and SD card in my Android was a PITA.
Heck, you could take pictures with your digital SLR camera using a full size SD adapter then put the micro SD in your tablet and see or edit the pictures instantly
Since you note the use of an adapter is acceptable to you, just get the iPad Camera Connection Kit, which comes with USB and SD adapters. If you are a serious photographer, this setup even supports RAW (and Apple is continually shipping RAW updates as new cameras come out).
Im still dying to know if I can boot Ubuntu on a Surface, though
No. Windows 8 will use Secure Boot, optional on PCs, but mandatory for tablets. No OS or driver without a cryptographically signed key will run on the hardware. Fedora purchased a key through Microsoft's developer portal, and that pissed off a lot of people. Ubuntu has not purchased a key.
> Apple did that with the original iPhone, which was announced in January 2007, and wasn't released till June 29, 2007. Didn't do them any harm did it?
Your point is acknowledged.
But I might comment that in 2007 there wasn't a similar competing smartphone already in near-total dominance of Apple's desired market. Things like the Blackberry were widespread but that wasn't what the iPhone was intended to compete with.
Microsoft faces the more difficult situation that having tipped their hand, they've given Apple and their third-party accessory vendors many months to come up with competing features. For example, the cool keyboard/cover. If somebody doesn't offer one for the iPad within 3-4 months I'll be astonished.
So while the 5-month delay didn't hurt Apple, I don't think Microsoft has that luxury. I hope it doesn't hurt them.
Don’t forget... people will be able to watch Youtube videos on it from day one without trying to pull some crazy hack or workaround.
Pfff your Obama/Apple fanboi site won’t let you hotlink :’(
> No. Windows 8 will use Secure Boot, optional on PCs, but mandatory for tablets. No OS or driver without a cryptographically signed key will run on the hardware. Fedora purchased a key through Microsoft's developer portal, and that pissed off a lot of people. Ubuntu has not purchased a key.
Well, that's poop-y. (The Secure Boot I mean.) Microsoft's fawning imitation of everything Apple does -- in this case running a closed "walled garden" -- is getting out of hand.
Key-wise, I wonder about CentOS, since that's closely related to Fedora. CentOS is my favorite distro by far.
Nope. Whoever compiles the binaries has to sign, and I doubt Fedora will let them use their key.
The major reason for this is historical. Apple announces as it did this year at the *developer* conference. Traditionally, Apple announced the products and developers and accessory makers then had several months to get their products ready so they could be available upon release.
And with one glaring exception, Apple announces and then delivers. You know it's not vaporware, you know it's a finished product that will hit the shelves on that date, and during this time Apple is mainly having its manufacturers ramp up enough supply for the release date. That exception was the white iPhone 4. Engineering white glass that wouldn't bleed light and interfere with the camera, flash and proximity sensor was apparently more difficult than anticipated.
“But having no money.....”
Sell some assets and short Apple before this iPad destroyer comes out
I’m all for competition and applaud an Apple / MS shootout.
MS certainly doesn’t have a rep for “user friendly” and it will be interesting to see how their venture into hardware turns out.
Ford vehicles equipped with MS supplied MyTouch/Sync were responsible for Ford moving lower in the JD Power quality ratings.
It's Windows 8 on a USB stick—full operating systems and user files—that you boot to on another Windows PC. It won't have access to the PC’s hard drives; just the USB data space.When finished, shutdown, remove stick and the computer reboots to it's original O/S configuration.
Caveats: It has to be a USB 3.0 with at least 32GB free space. I've made them on as small as a 16GB 2.0 stick, but awfully slow to load. 3.0 is definitely fast to load and run!
This let's me carry my desktop around with me. As long as someone has a system that's bootable from USB and a USB 3.0 port, and they'll let me use it ;->
The reason for that particular announcement was far from historical. It was to generate buzz for the product, 6 months before launch(which did did).
“Traditionally, Apple announced the products and developers and accessory makers then had several months to get their products ready so they could be available upon release”
And that doesn't apply to Microsoft surface tablet?
All that applies to the surface tablet as well, no?
Listen, Microsoft was able to keep the tablet secret for so long, but how long do you think it was going to remain secret, after Microsoft has just signed a contract with a Taiwanese ODM(Pegatron)to manufacture the product(which they have),and they actually started making it?
” You know it's not vaporware, “
Neither is the surface tablet. Its been contracted out already:
Symbian devices(mostly from Nokia) and Blackberries did dominate the smartphone market at the time, no?
Things like the Blackberry were widespread but that wasn't what the iPhone was intended to compete with
The iPhone wasn't going to compete with the Blackberry and Symbian(which had an even beigger market share worldwide)? Well the iPhone (together with the Androids)has managed to wipe out the market shares for Blackberries and Symbians.
“Microsoft faces the more difficult situation that having tipped their hand, they've given Apple and their third-party accessory vendors many months to come up with competing features. “
Yes, but then Apple tipped their hand with the IPhone announcement too. Till his dying day, Steve Jobs believed that Google ripped of Apple's iOS for their Androids. However, it never stopped the iPhone from being widely successful, did it?
Well, the surface has microSD, USB 2.0, Micro HD Video, plus 2×2 MIMO antennae, (none of which the iPad has), which should have added up to make it a bit thicker, instead the RT surface is actually thinner than the iPad.
As for the screen, the Surface has a cleartype HD screen screen (that measures 10.6 inches diagonally, compared to 9.7 inches for the iPad), that comes in the 16:9 aspect ratio, which is more suited to watching video in the widescreen format, compared to an aspect ratio of only 4:3 for the iPad.
Its too hard to explain in writing. You have to try it and see. You can download it for free at http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-8/release-preview
It takes a bit to learn the new way of doing things in Windows 8, but once you do, its hard to go back. Its also visually beautiful. Apple is releasing a new version of OS X with more iOS tidbits in order to sell more phones. The iPhone, after all, is their new cash cow. Microsoft is releasing a new version of Windows that really provides the user with a much better computing experience, in my opinion.
“So will Windows RT tablets, with purchases through Windows Store.”
Does this mean the traditional installation from .exe files, either from the Web or removable media is now out the window?
“Various applications have the ability to load their own files.”
Yeah, but it’s not like an Android tablet, in that you can hook it to any computer and go. If I had an Ipad, and I was on the road, I’d have to have a laptop along as well in order to sync files from a computer.
“Thankfully. Managing everything between the internal memory and SD card in my Android was a PITA.”
I agree, the way Android manages SD is a PITA. But, if you simply plug in your card and can open the card directory in My Computer or something, that’s way more functional. I assume Windows 8 will have this capability?
“Every system has the set of videos that it has codecs for.”
More specifically, every system has a set of videos that it DOESN’T have codecs for. And Apple is by far the worst. I’ve never had to re-encode a video to get it to play on my Android tablet.
“Since you note the use of an adapter is acceptable to you, just get the iPad Camera Connection Kit, which comes with USB and SD adapters. If you are a serious photographer, this setup even supports RAW (and Apple is continually shipping RAW updates as new cameras come out).”
More money and kludgy add-ons to duplicate functionality that other systems have already. Silly, especially at twice the price.
“Windows 8 will use Secure Boot, optional on PCs, but mandatory for tablets. No OS or driver without a cryptographically signed key will run on the hardware.”
AAAAAAAAAAAAAND we have our dealbreaker. Thanks but no thanks...I’ll keep my netbook.
Let me restate what I meant, hopefully more clearly, using the venerable car analogy.
Wheeled passenger vehicles existed long before automobiles appeared. Let's say the existing horse-and-carriages all had one horse. If (say) Henry Ford had come out with a two-horse carriage, that would be "competing" -- he offers a similar product with some "advanced features". He could be said to be advancing the state of the art of horse carriages, but he's not going to wipe out one-horse carriages simply because his has new features.
But if instead he comes out with an automobile, that's not what I think of as "competing", so much as "replacing" -- it replaces the old market with a new one that is radically different. It's a different product type. No matter how advanced a horse and carriage might be, it no longer has a place, except where automobiles are disallowed.
When Apple came out with the iPhone (and its associated apps and store), it was radically different. There simply was no longer a place for the Blackberrys and Symbians. Those older phones were useful horse-and-carriage products. Apple came out with an automobile, and within a short time, the old carriages were obsolete and disappeared.
With Surface, Microsoft has proposed another automobile, similar to the existing autos, but with a different engine and styling, and they've added a radio and a backseat for folks who want to go parking on a Saturday night. It will compete with the existing automobiles, and probably well, but it will not replace them because it's fundamentally the same product type, differing only in features that other manufacturers can add if they want to.
All I was saying is, competing with entrenched dominant products is a lot harder (sales-wise) than coming out with something radically different, that replaces the entire older product market.
I did a little more reading. I didn’t understand the difference between the Pro and the RT.
RT will be locked down, ala Ipad. Pro will run straight Windows 8. Also, secure boot is confirmed for RT only. Pro isn’t confirmed yet. If they decide to leave it open, this might be an attractive product for me, provided it doesn’t cost a million dollars.
Should be interesting.
If I ever need SD, USB or video out I'll buy the adapters (wife's months of having one has never produced that need). Otherwise I prefer to buy something without the extra baggage. Antenna? Don't know. The WiFi on the iPad is pretty good, better than the Android phones and the iPhone in the house.
instead the RT surface is actually thinner than the iPad.
They managed .01 centimeters thinner, and that only because they don't have to cram in that high-res screen. Any news source that has compared the specs in inches lists the same size rounded to the hundredth because that's a four-thousandth inch difference which gets rounded down.
As for the screen, the Surface has a cleartype HD screen screen (that measures 10.6 inches diagonally, compared to 9.7 inches for the iPad)
ClearType HD is a marketing term, just like Retina. Here's where you probably say "the Surface has ClearType and the iPad doesn't." That's because ClearType is Microsoft's name for an old antialiasing technique for text called subpixes rendering. The iPad doesn't need to anti-alias text because the pixels are already smaller than your eye can resolve at normal viewing distances.
that comes in the 16:9 aspect ratio, which is more suited to watching video in the widescreen format, compared to an aspect ratio of only 4:3 for the iPad.
Great, if that's all you do, but the iPad does a lot more than movies. I've found 16/9 a bit squished otherwise.
Of course it generates buzz, but the tradition goes further back than the iPhone. Remember, that announcement was when AT&T itself learned all about the iPhone.
after Microsoft has just signed a contract with a Taiwanese ODM(Pegatron)to manufacture the product(which they have),and they actually started making it?
Just contracted out? If that's true, it's terrible for Microsoft, and really stupid. That would mean the manufacturer has yet to tool up and work any bugs out of the mass-manufacture of the devices. We wouldn't be seeing this thing for at least a year. I have a feeling you're wrong on that point.
And I notice in your article, only Wi-Fi at first. Sad.
Win 2 Go is interesting. But, for me, the possibility of being able to boot an image of a work pc on a different device loses much of its value when the image is removed from the context network / workgroup and the resources available therein.
Secure Boot is impressive, and is the most compelling reason for me to consider an upgrade.
The Metro UI makes sense on a phone or tablet, or maybe even a touch-screen enabled PC. But for the existing base of installed screens... I’ll be using the Win 7 UI mode.