I could tell from Zach Epstein’s anecdote that he was a voice I could ignore.
Call me a coding snob, but my dreamweaver rule, “ignore anyone who uses adobe dreamweaver after 2002”, has never failed me.
Very interesting to watch Steve Ballmer and Team pivot and say “we’ve been building hardware for years and we know how to do it”. We’ve been building mice, web cameras, keyboards, headphones, the Xbox 360 - which had a horrible “Red Ring of Death issue" for a while, and the xbox kinect.
Also, it is interesting to hear Steve Ballmer use the phrasing of the “we believe the that the intersection of X and Y ….” when this has been a phrase of Steve Jobs and Apple Inc. for quite a while.
Microsoft unveiled their two new “Surface for Windows" tablets yesterday which has started people talking about how the Surface for Windows products will replace the laptop in a manner that the iPad never could.
stole borrowed the brilliant concept of a magnetic connection for the device’s cover and then built upon that idea by offering keyboards with trackpads on the underside of the cover. This addition allows users who don’t want to type on glass with a software keyboard to feel more comfortable with a physical keyboard, though I don’t want to imagine how oily and smudgy that screen will be without any kind of cloth material to absorb the oil and dirt from a user’s fingers.
Note: It still seems as though the rapid adoption and success of iOS still hasn’t convinced Steve Ballmer or the Microsoft team that you can have a business machine without a physical keyboard. Blast from the past. There are only 2 Windows Phones that provide the user with a hardware keyboard and they are from HTC. None of the Windows Phones from Nokia/Microsoft have physical keyboards.
The keyboard cover is a novel concept for which I applaud them, but I am not exactly sure how this is supposed to replace the laptop. Microsoft’s way of implementing the keyboard and building a kickstand into the Surface product gives me the sense that this “portable/mobile” device is best suited for a table or a desk. Better yet, the Microsoft Surface for Windows seems better suited for a surface than being a “use anytime/anywhere device” like a laptop. If you are going to compete with the laptop you need to have a plan for the main feature of the “laptop” computer, which is “if you dont have a surface to place the computer on you can place it on top of your lap and still be ‘productive’”.
The fact that the keyboard cover, unlike some of the iPad keyboard covers/cases or a laptop, doesn’t provide a rigid foundation for the device to sit on/in makes me think that the keyboard cover and kickstand are worthless without a table, desk, or surface to place the device on.
On top of that, at least the apple “smart cover” folds back to prop up the iPad on a slight angle in order for the user to have a nice solid way to prop up the iPad while you are working in the park and place the iPad on your lap. I have a feeling that users won’t feel comfortable using the kickstand to place the Microsoft surface on their lap while they sit on a bench or sit on the ground, unlike a laptop or an iPad with a smart cover.
I bet you won’t see people using the Microsoft Surface any differently than how they would use an iPad, software keyboard and all, when they are in an environment without any solid flat surfaces.
Remember when the name “Microsoft Surface” referred to a big $10,000 interactive table? Microsoft has taken the “surface” brand and applied it to its new family of tablets, which leaves Microsoft to rebranded the interactive table project to now be Microsoft PixelSense.
Microsoft yesterday held an event to show off their own vision for what Windows 8 tablets could be. They have named this line of hardware “Surface”, which they are taking from Microsofts old pet project of an interactive table.
Surface for Windows 8 comes in two flavors, and in typical Microsoft fashion it is quite a mouthful. The consumer facing device is the “Microsoft Surface for Windows RT”. This devices is .36” thick, weighs 1.5 pounds, has a 10.6” screen, runs Windows RT as the Operating System, and runs an ARM based Nvidia Tegra CPU. This is more comparable to the iPad based on specs and the ARM based CPU.
The business or “professional” facing device is the “Microsoft Surface for Windows 8 Pro”. This device is .49” thick, weighs 2 pounds, has a 10.6” screen, runs Windows 8, and runs on an Intel CPU.
These two devices seem to have a slightly larger screen than the iPad, which runs a 9.7” display, but the Microsoft Surface models also run slightly heavier than iPad2 and 3rd Gen iPad.
Microsoft seems to have picked up a few tricks from Apple. The Microsoft team also unveiled their own concept for a versions of the smart cover. The Microsoft Surface for Windows makes use of magnets, just like the iPad2 and 3rd Gen iPad, to allow covers to snap to the device. Microsoft has taken the concept a bit further by providing the user a keyboard on the underside of the cover.
There are 2 versions of this keyboard smart cover. The first version provides a tactile keyboard and a multi-touch trackpad and is known as the “Type Cover”. The second version called “Touch Cover” senses keystrokes and gestures. It also appears as though these keyboard covers send data through the magnetic connection and not though Bluetooth, which is how iPad accessories do it.
There is no pricing or information about batter life for any of the Microsoft Surface for Windows models.