Dave Kinsey 0000-00-00 00:00:00
What is all the hype about the Microsoft Surface? Will the Microsoft Surface seriously challenge or possibly surpass Apple’s iPad? A panel of technology gurus at ZDNet and TechRepublic think so. Some say it just may revolutionize how we use tablet computers. The Microsoft Surface, which will implement the new Windows 8 operating system, was announced in June by Microsoft’s CEO Steve Ballmer. It is expected to be available at the same time as the release of Windows 8, in late October. Microsoft calls it “a tablet that works and plays the way you want. A new type of computing.” The overall size and weight of the Surface are similar to iPad while posting impressive specifications: a ClearType 10.6” HD 16:9 aspect ratio display (iPad display is 9.7” with 4:3 ratio), strong magnesium casing called VaporMg, a USB 3.0/2.0 port, a micro-SD slot, video out, 2 cameras (front and rear-facing), stereo speakers, twin microphones, expandable memory and several cool color choices. With an integrated kickstand and 3mm thin magnetic detachable cover that doubles as a fully-functional keyboard and trackpad, it looks like an extremely thin laptop. The device is charged via a magnetic strip instead of a traditional plug. While the iPad and Surface are both tablets, one could argue the similarity ends there. Unlike the iPad, the Surface will run Windows 8, providing a complete Windows desktop experience. This includes a new release of Microsoft Office optimized to take advantage of the Surface and Window 8’s latest features. While you can still enjoy the entertainment features of a tablet (handsfree), you can really get down to business too. Microsoft’s upcoming release of its flagship operating system is strikingly different than its predecessors. The new touch-friendly interface of Windows 8 is designed to run as a tablet as well as a desktop and blur the line between the two. On a tablet, the Windows 8 interface is very intuitive and really shines. Following the trend made popular by smart phones and now web browsers, Windows 8 (desktop or tablet, it’s all the same) will have a collection of free and paid apps you can shop around for, and you can even try paid apps before purchasing them. Apps are rated by users and include everything from widgets for the new Metrostyle desktop to business applications to games. Microsoft Surface Windows 8 Pro version offers a fast CPU and integrates the all new Intel Ivy Bridge chipset processor. This means the Surface will be as powerful as today’s latest ultrabooks and capable of running CPU intensive programs like Photoshop or video editing software. The Surface will be available with up to 128 GB storage capacity in the Pro model. At the time of writing this article, some details and pricing on the Surface were still unclear. However, it’s apparent that the Surface will be impressive. With so many accessories, Windows operating system, processor and keyboard, Microsoft offers a laptop experience in a tablet we haven’t seen before. Until now we haven’t been able to truly say that your tablet could replace the need for a laptop, but Microsoft may have just figured out a way. Until it’s released and we can test, the jury is still out. Give me a call after it’s released and I’ll share my experience. I for one will be one of the first placing my order in October to give it a spin.
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