Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has an uphill battle on his hands.He needs to break into the tablet market, taking on both the iconic market-leader, the iPad, as well as as an ever-burgeoning range of svelte Android tablets.However, after Microsoft’s repeated attempts over 30 years to break into the tablet market, it now seems the software giant has the right tools to make it right.
The Microsoft Surface tablet was officially unveiled in Los Angeles last night, and from the favourable first impressions, it looks like we have a three-way race in the tablet market.The Surface comes with a 10.6″ screen, a clever magnetic cover which doubles as a keyboard, and a kickstand to hold it upright on a table.
IPAD AND SURFACE SIDE-BY-SIDE
Surface 676g iPad 650g
Surface 9.3mm iPad 9.4mm
Surface 10.6″ iPad 9.7″
Surface yes iPad no
Surface 32GB/64GB iPad 16GB/32GB/64GB
Surface unknown iPad around 6 hours
Surface unknown iPad from $499
Surface comes with a number of features which make it more similar to a laptop than a tablet – most notably, a built-in keyboard which could help the device appeal more to business customers.And the fact that Microsoft is using the same Windows 8 operating system for the Surface as for laptop and desktop computers could mean that customers will find it easier to switch between different devices.
CEO Steve Ballmer was on hand at a press conference in Los Angeles to announce the tablet, calling it part of a ‘whole new family of devices’ the company is developing.The 9.3mm-thick tablet, which uses the RT version of Windows, comes with a kickstand to hold it upright and keyboard that is part of the device’s cover. It weighs under 1.5 pounds.In a possible nod to the device’s chief rival, it will apparently be 0.1mm thinner than the latest iPad.
- Microsoft reveals Surface Windows 8 tablets (guardian.co.uk)
- Microsoft announces Surface tablet (firstpost.com)
- Microsoft Unveils Surface Tablet (mashable.com)