Despite some sort of criticism, Microsoft Surfaces tablet features will make life tough for Apple iPad 4 and other exiting market leaders
Microsoft stuck to software for more than 30 years of its existence and has dominated the computing world with the formidable Windows operating system. Traditionally, the Redmond giant let partners deal with the hardware while it continued its monopoly in software. Taking a cue from the Cupertino-based Apple, Microsoft has managed to wake up from the slumber to take note of the change in the computing landscape, and here comes the Surface!
The Surface tablet marks the beginning of a new business model for Microsoft where it will create software and the hardware that will run them. But it’s not just manufacturing hardware; Microsoft is designing and engineering every small bit of detail that makes the hardware. Microsoft kept the development of the Surface under wraps successfully until the last moment, but now it is clear that there are makers who will manufacture the units in millions.
Seemingly late in the tablet territory, Microsoft has a strategy in place to market the products – both the Surface tablet and the Windows 8 operating system. The tiled operating system, Microsoft says, is more personalised and keeps the users connected to the system with dynamic updates. It’s evident that Microsoft has taken note of the evolution that’s happening online.
The Surface tablet from Microsoft is an evolution because though being a tablet, it acts like a PC. It gives users the flexibility to move their work from their desk to wherever the Surface tablet can go. It’s not super-refined cosmetically like the iPad, but the usability aspect outweighs everything else. While the enterprise users cannot put other tablets to practical tasks, the Surface will just blend in.
The Surface hardware
The Surface tablet has a plain simple design which looks good and looks like it means business. It is not bulky at all and the light durable ‘VaporMg’ magnesium alloy casing feels sturdy around the 10.6-inch screen. Productivity is increased via a full-sized USB port which can take almost anything that your PC is capable of – that’s one aspect that will make the transition easier.
There’s a kick-stand at the back of tablet which flips out at 22 degree angle to make it convenient to work on a desk and with the optional keypad. Unfortunately, the keypad has price tag, and we would have been happier if it came as a supplied accessory!
Usability scores are high, but there are some flaws in the design which call in for two-handed operation. So, when you work in the landscape mode, few of the functions feel difficult to access.
Does it have the appeal?
When you compare the Surface with other options, the practical uses take centre-stage rather than just the design. Microsoft has designed the Surface as a hybrid device that mimics a desktop but is build around online services that the Modern UI translates pretty well. That sure has appeal. For power users, the Surface has a quad-core processor and extendible storage options.
As for the apps store for the Surface RT, Microsoft better rope in more developers to write apps for enticing people to the Surface.