Well, it's certainly a new day for Microsoft, isn't it? Yesterday's announcement of the Surface tablets signals a major shift. Microsoft has decided that being more like Apple isn't a bad thing: making its own hardware to go along with software means complete control of the pipeline.
That also means, of course, additional risk: Microsoft doesn't have a history of rolling its own, so there will undoubtedly be hiccups along the way, as the hard lessons will have to be learned -- lessons Apple has long ago internalized.
Still, I'm impressed by what I've seen. Making both an ARM and Intel version of the tablets is clever, and opens up opportunities that don't exist on the Apple side: the only touchscreen tablet coming out of Cupertino is ARM-based. There are likely to be advantages to having a more desktop-like tablet in addition to a traditional tablet. I like my iPad lots, but there are many times I would like the portability of that with the ability to get more serious work done like I do with a laptop/desktop. The Windows 8 Pro version (which runs the Intel processors) may be just the ticket for me.
One other thing: three huge cheers for the cover/keyboards, both the Touch and Type styles. Not having to buy one means more usefulness and lower cost out of the box.
So, although I'm encouraged by the announcement, the execution is another matter entirely. To that end, I've got some Surface questions for Microsoft:
There's a long way to go, and these questions will need to be answered in the positive for Microsoft to pick up some mobile mojo.
Posted by Keith Ward on 06/19/2012 at 1:15 PM
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