Microsoft showed a vision for a next-generation PC that combines the portability of a tablet with a minimalistic fold-out keyboard and integrated kickstand. The device’s cover serves as a full keyboard with a track pad, one innovation not evident on the iPad. Surface will be available later this year as the world’s largest software maker is stepping up its assault on the tablet market. Weakening personal-computer sales and curbing Windows revenue has led to a sort of re-awakening of the Tech giants who now have decoded to take one more swipe at Apple's dominance of the tablets' market. The new strategy threatens to sour Microsoft’s relationship with some PC makers, many of which have been investing to develop their own Windows 8 tablets and may not want to compete directly with the giant itself, Microsoft. The only OEM that’s going to be happy here is whoever Microsoft has contracted to build Surface tablets, and if these don’t sell well, that happiness could be short-lived. It's a bold and risky move at the same time as the possibilities of Surface being a major hit is also confronted by not-so-good experiences of Zune and Xbox. The destiny of surface lies in the sole hands of Microsoft. There's a big possibility that this big mystery could turn out to be a big mistake. So, does One Surface replace TWO Apple devices?
Microsoft’s idea for the tablet is a device that integrates a better keyboard option
than typing on the screen without adding size or weight. That’s where
the new keyboard — which doubles as a screen cover — kicks in. At 3mm
thick, it adds virtually nothing to the device’s size, but it opens up a
world of inputs. There are two covers available — the Touch Cover (very
thin) and the Type Cover (with proper, tactile keys). A full range of
hues is also available, from where I could get my sister a Pink.
Also, there's new Netflix app (launching alongside Windows 8),
support for pen input with text sampled at 600 DPI. The device is
capable of picking up the difference between a fingertip and an
accidental palm press, and tosses out the latter contact. The pen
magnetizes to the body when you aren’t using it — provided you can
remember to bring the two back together. The Surface has two digitizers,
one for hand input, one for ink; it turns one off when the other comes
close. The idea of a kickstand is to make the tablet useable on a surface without requiring an additional purchase, and the cameras are angled for capturing at the same 22-degree angle as the tablet sits at when mounted. The Touch Cover / Type Cover, however, is a
particularly nice piece. According to Microsoft, there won’t ever be a
need to remove either surface. Both keyboards incorporate accelerometers
that can detect when the cover is folded back and away from the device
and will deactivate it at that point. The keyboard also detects when
someone is simply resting their hands on it versus actually typing.
odd as it might sound, this is a device it
might be worth getting excited about. And the fact that the hardware
specs have not been revealed yet just makes the suspense get better. Who
knows what the Cliche would be, which iPad do you have or which Surface
have you got? Time will tell.
(Image sources: Microsoft, CNET).