On June 18th, Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer held the “Surface” tablet at the launch party that was running Windows 8. The new tablets are apparently going to run Windows 8 and also Windows RT. Microsoft traditionally relies on their own PC partners in providing the hardware for their software, the Windows operating system.
Is this already the end though for Microsoft’s own entry into this market?. Apparently they will later on be backing out of making their own tablets in a few months and right now they are just showing hardware developers what they want in terms of hardware, which is not a move Microsoft usually makes. Anyways, they are offering currently two different Microsoft-branded tablets on their own which are both going to be running Microsoft Surface.
Of course Microsoft isn’t making the hardware themselves though, it’s just re-badged with their name on it all. The same way they “make” the Xbox consoles or the now dead Zune portable MP3 player (which tried to compete with the iPod and failed). All the pricing details have not been revealed yet, and I don’t expect it to be a cheap tablet and it probably won’t take over the iPad.
The Surface with Windows RT will be 10.6 inches and will be including Office Home & Student 2013 (which the actual next version of Microsoft’s Office 15 applications). It will be including support for a cover that is attachable allowing you to type and use it as a kickstand. It will come in in 32GB models or 64GB models.
Additionally the Surface Windows 8 Pro tablet will be available aswell, which will be 10.6 inches in size and also has the same cover option. It will come in models of 64GB’s and also 128GB’s, now that’s alot better.
So one tablet will be running Windows RT and the other will be running Windows 8 Pro. One will be running the “ARM” processor for the RT model and the other will be running an Intel core processor with Windows 8 Pro.
Microsoft Surface w/ Windows RT:
-Light at only 676 g.
-Thin at 9.3mm.
-Clear 10.6″ ClearType HD Display.
-Battery is 31.5 W-h.
-Software includeded is the Office “15″ Apps, Touch Cover and also the Type Cover.
-VaporMG Case and Stand included.
-Models come in 32GB’s or 64GB’s.
Microsoft Surface w/ Windows 8 Pro:
-Light at only 903 g
-Thin at 13.5mm
-10.6″ ClearType Full HD Display.
-Battery is 42 W-h
-Includes a microSDXC port, USB 3.0, Mini DisplayPort Video, 2×2 MIMO antennae.
-Comes with Touch Cover, Type Cover, Pen and also Palm Block.
-VaporMG Case and Stand included.
-Available in 32GB models and 64GB models.
I think they are wise to just enter and leave this market this time. If they show what they want to the hardware partners they have, then those partners can release tablets with Microsoft’s Windows 8 software and no matter what tablet you buy with Windows 8 will be a win for Microsoft. But even with that possibility, they will only capture maybe around under 15% of the market, while Apple will sit around at the biggest market share probably at around 65% and the Android tablets sitting around 15-25%. But I know, I shouldn’t think that far ahead, but I’m actually thinking of the current table market statistics that I saw on a Mac blog (which I am so sorry I cannot find the link!).
There are more developers interested in developing for the iPad than any other tablet, or I should say there are more interested in the iOS platform. But clearly, for educational use and just regular use the iPad can do it all with this much developer interest and support. If Apple wasn’t in the tablet market with the iPad, then Google wouldn’t be there to copy Apple’s design with the Android, and so Microsoft and other hardware and software developers would make their own boring tablets and crank the price up and take the full market share, which is of course, again, what I think.
So will the Surface, from Microsoft break the surface in the market of tablets?. No, but it will certainly have time to reach the surface for a breath of fresh air to later return to the bottom where Microsoft will then give up on purpose while in the know that they would fail no matter what and that their hardware partners will just keep Microsoft sitting at 25% above the sea floor instead of at the very bottom. What’s next for Microsoft in their own markets that they dominate in, like let’s say, operating systems?. Well all Apple has to do is partner with hardware developers like Microsoft originally did and make their PC’s CHEAP, or currently right now make their current Mac Mini’s, iMac’s and Mac Pro’s even cheaper. Anyways, that’s what I’ll save for another article. This is Mike, signing off. Oh and here is a video on Youtube about the Microsoft Surface:
Images & details Via Cnet