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Microsoft Surface: Does it Interest you?

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On Monday night Microsoft announced their Microsoft Surface tablet line. Microsoft and more specifically Bill Gates has had a history with pursuing the idea of tablets, but unlike previous efforts, this is the first time Microsoft has decided to create their own hardware. The line consists of two models which the excerpt explains:

It's worth pointing out that the ARM-based WinRT (psst -- you can catch up on what exactly Windows RT is here) model is both thinner and lighter than the version with Windows 8 Pro. Moreover, the battery is sized up in the latter, presumably to handle the higher power drain of the 1080p panel and the Core i5 processor. Strangely, microSDXC and USB 3.0 are only supported on the Win8 Pro model; we're guessing it's either a platform limitation, or just run-of-the-mill cost cutting.

The strategy is new for the tablet space. Microsoft, to compete with the iPad spec and price, is creating a lower end tablet that will allow for the casual user to have an interest in the windows tablet. The rumor is that this will be powered by the Tegra 3 and if they can get the third party app makers behind the specialized OS, they could be able to compete. Of course, this is a big if.

The more interesting product though is the Windows Surface Pro tablet. With an i5, thin keyboard, and full blown Windows this could be the tablet the business sector has been waiting for since the first iPad. This will allow for all the benefits of running a full blown OS, but still mostly allow the user to have the device for more portable uses.

There are certainly issues with the release of these product. The biggest is the following:

 having the Pro model ship 90 days after the RT model reeks of kowtowing to Microsoft's partners to keep from blowing them out of the water with such a (seemingly) polished device.

Microsoft needed to show some balls on this. Their hardware partners shouldn't be afraid of Surface if they made a good product. Microsoft should have made an example out of their partners as their cheapskate mentality are a big reason for Apple gaining so much market share. They could have released this tablet and scared the other vendors that they need to step their game up. Instead, they allowed them to get a pass and I presumed release a slew of bad tablets that will leave a bad taste in consumers mouths for Windows 8.

So what do you think of this announcement? Despite its faults I like the premise of the pro unit and think it can catch fire in the business sector, if of course they can price it competitively. This could be Microsoft's big move, but they need to execute it perfect if they are going to slow down apple.