Microsoft Surface can win you over

People can't stop talking about Microsoft Surface. It’s a very hot and disputed topic. Some critics say that the tablets (there are two) will fail, while others are enthusiastic. There's heated discussion about price, too.

For me and many others like me, Surface is the only tablet that can be used for more than common tasks -- certainly not Apple's iPad. Windows is a very powerful platform, and most professionals need it for work. I want to tell you why you need Surface.


The tablets

Even if you know the specs -- well, what little Microsoft disclosed -- there’s need to discuss them (again) from another perspective. The specs serve a purpose choosing the right tablet for your needs; choosing wrong is not an option.

Microsoft Surface with Windows RT: 10.6-inch ClearType HD display; 32GB/64GB storage; microSD, USB 2.0 and Micro HD Video ports; 2x2 MIMO antennae; and Office 15. Weighs 676 grams and is 9.3 mm thick.

Microsoft Surface with Windows 8 Professional: 10.6-inch ClearType HD display; 64GB/128GB storage; microSDXC, USB 3.0, Mini DisplayPort Video ports; and 2x2 MIMO antennae. Weighs 903 grams and is 13.5 mm thick.

Microsoft Surface with Windows RT

Let’s take them one at a time. Surface with Windows RT brings something that no Android or iPad offers. Microsoft puts Office 15 on the table (or tablet, if you will). Most of us edit documents, make presentations, need a reliable email client and so on. Having such a powerful program as Office preinstalled is reason enough for many to choose this tablet over any competing one. There are alternatives to Office, but none are as good nor as useful. I’d be lost without Office. So far, Microsoft Surface RT is the only tablet that can satisfy this need for me.

But there's more. Having a keyboard does wonders for productivity and that USB port isn’t there for bragging rights. What Microsoft wants to do is give people a tablet that really can replace a computer. The case doubles as a keyboard and the tablet has a kickstand. Plug in a mouse and you’re ready to go everywhere, while doing your work. This has more potential than many people imagine.

Is it the right tablet for you? Much depends on your needs and what you like personally, but I am sure that for many people that would like a tablet and professional programs installed, this fits the bill. Can it fully replace a desktop or laptop? I think it can, but only if the applications support Metro or the ones designed for Windows 8 (desktop version) and below will work as intended on Windows RT. If they don’t, Microsoft has got a solution for that too.

Microsoft Surface with Windows 8 Professional

This one appeals more to me. I need processing power, and the balance with light weight is a great bonus. Surface with Windows 8 Pro weighs 903 grams, or 2 lbs, and it can fully replace my laptop, and should run every single program I need. My world revolves around using design programs like AutoCAD, structural analysis applications such as Robot Structural Analysis Professional and engineering calculation software like MathCAD.

I study civil engineering and the programs that I need only work on Windows. There’s no other way for me to do my assignments other than having the right and only software platform available, which (light bulbs start glowing) is Windows. Some other well-known programs that will fit this scenario: Adobe Photoshop, Acrobat Reader Professional, Maya3D, VMware (if supported by the CPU) or Microsoft Virtual PC and many, many others. The list could go on, but you get my idea.

If developers make their current programs compatible with Windows RT, the other Surface will also make waves and it will be the more significant one of the two. Its competitors, mainly the iPad, don't offer the range of apps -- and certainly not those running on a real PC operating system.

How Much?

Price is a big consideration, but a mystery. Microsoft hasn't said how much either Surface will sell for, other than to say RT will be competitive with iPad and Pro with ultrabooks. A lot of speculations are made on price and the most current rumors are just that, rumors. The Windows 8 Professional model will be more expensive due to better specs, if nothing else.

Which should You Buy?

You’re faced with two choices: Get a Surface tablet and do real work, or get another tablet -- Android or iPad -- and do your work on a PC. From this point of view, I find Microsoft Surface to be a no-brainer. Editor's Note: Don't forget third-party tablets running Windows RT or Windows 8 Pro as alternatives.

I think that Microsoft didn’t design these tablets for everyone that might be interested in one, but those people who want the power of Windows and the applications behind it. People who have work to do, who need to be productive, not those who sit around and play. If this is what Microsoft has in mind, Surface is it. But the price has to be right. And as we all know, the right price doesn’t always mean cheap.

The best tagline for the new Microsoft Surface is: "The whole is greater than the sum of its parts".

I’m very interested in hearing your opinion about whether these tablets would fit your requirements for a tablet and how they could influence your day to day living. Please share in comments.

196 Responses to Microsoft Surface can win you over

  1. Info Dave says:


    Windows RT needs to connect to Active Directory to be a winner in the enterprise.

    Windows 8 on a tablet has to be cheap enough, cool enough, and have ten hours of battery life.

    • Lloyd says:

      Are you going to be at your tablet for ten straight hours? Windows RT is basically for  the casual user so why should it be part of Active Directory? Windows 8 Pro is designated to be for business use and/ the casual user.Why are you being so ridiculous?

      • If I'm on a 3 hour flight, would I rather have a laptop where I can tilt the display to any angle I want or juggle a keyboard and a tablet with a hokey kickstand?

      • maytrix1 says:

        @facebook-100000041004398:disqus Depends on how much weight you want to carry.  And it depends on what you are doing.  Perhaps it may work just as well.

    • James Foulk says:

      The pro needs to be priced the same as equivalent laptops to have any success, and equivalent battery life to its competitors.

      • Info Dave says:

        I agree, see above.

      • extremely_well says:

        No it doesn't. People have paid insane premiums on silly gadgets as iPhone on AT&T ($150+ monthly bills when it came out) so people will jump on Windows 8 tablets regardless of price. Heck, there were $1700 Windows 7 tablets that have had amazing success (out of stock for weeks)...

  2. symbolset says:

    Bringing the NT core to ARM again means a whole big mess.  This is a generation 1 OS from Microsoft.  I am not optimistic.  And then there's antivirus.

  3. srf_in_va says:

    As an accounting faculty at a community college, my work relies on Microsoft Office. No office, no sale. As a result, Android tablets and the iPad haven't been worth my consideration. Surface for Windows 8 Pro is the first tablet I've seen that could actually replace my notebook/laptop and, possibly, even my desktop. Nice one, Microsoft.

    • ted_player says:

      I'm a college faculty member, and I use a Windows laptop to create & edit content. However, I use an iPad for one purpose: reading and annotating PDF versions of journal articles. My iPad is like a magic piece of paper that can call up any article (along with my notes on it) any time I like. It syncs with Dropbox, so the edits I make on the iPad are available on my laptop too. It's fantastic!

      • Info Dave says:

        There is a genuine Aha! moment.

      • Xuanlong says:

        Then why not just edit them on your laptop in the first place? If that's the only thing you use it for, paying several hundred dollars for an iPad is just a waste of money. It doesn't do anything a laptop doesn't and can never replace one. Other than being able to brag that you have one, I'm not sure what justifies the cost. 

    • chipwinter says:

      If your wish comes true, then Microsoft is in trouble. Microsoft currently makes hundreds of dollars of profit on a PC because of Windows and Office. With a tablet, they'll either lose their profit center or try to charge tablet users large sums for updates or for Windows. Which won't happen, since Apple charges nothing for annual updates has set app prices at a few dollars.

  4. who wants to do 'serious' work on a tablet? not me, that's what a laptop/desktop's for right? Looks to me like we've gone from laptop to tablet to laptop again.. lol.. ok

  5. geoffmartin7777 says:

    I hope it plays Flash unlike the iPad which cripples the web.

  6. James Foulk says:

    Well, here's my take.  If Win 8 Pro costs 800 or more, then it is a failure.  I can buy a laptop that does the same, or more, cheaper.  I don't see what the difference would be, besides a touch screen.  I don't need a touch screen for productivity.  As far as the RT model goes, it is like a netbook with a touchscreen (except with an ARM processor).  Yes it will have office, but who would buy a 600 dollar netbook?  The simple problem is the fusion of laptops/netbooks with tablets.  It just doesn't make sense.  It offers no solutions that aren't already on the market.  I can buy a laptop for high end work, a netbook for low end work, what does Surface do that I can't do on these machines?  Nothing.  If they can demonstrate some need that isn't fulfilled already in the market, then I could see people buying it.

    • extremely_well says:

      I'd pay $2000 for a top of the line Windows 8 Pro tablet, so it's safe to assume Windows 8 tablets will survive even while you stick to your cheapo laptops for a few extra years...

  7. b woo says:

    No 3rd. party has yet had the opportunity to type on either of the two models, actually running, using its 3mm. thick keyboard. The coming-out party should have used fog machines extensively to go with the vapor hardware presentation: no pricing, no availability.

    You forget that Win 8 desktop programs will have to be re-compiled to run on ARM based Win RT tablets, and many major companies will see no compelling reason to produce such special versions, or cater to the new (back to the age of the Jetson's Metro UI ... which may be appropriate for very small form-factor devices).

    You are seriously going to use PhotoShop, Maya3d, and AutoCad productively, or Office, as a content creator, on a 10.6" form factor screen: I don't believe you. You are going to use touch for consuming content: I believe you.

    This piece has every appearance of being written with either sheer naivete, or it's a puff-piece sponsored in some way (payola) by MS.

    The statement: "You’re faced with two choices: Get a Surface tablet and do real work, or get another tablet -- Android or iPad -- and do your work on a PC. From this point of view, I find Microsoft Surface to be a no-brainer. " Is, at best, "hallucinatory" !

    I suggest changing the name of this site from "betanews" to "rabidbetanews."

    • extremely_well says:

      I, too, find it hard to believe someone would wanna use a 10" tablet screen for their primary screen doing what this guy said he does. BUT, if he's like me doing work in one-two physical locations 95% of the time, he could use large monitors (WiDi wireless) and full-size keyboard/mouse (auto-pairing bluetooth) for quick & joyful work in these one-two physical locations.

      I see no problem with him using 10" to do everything he said he does for upto an hour a day especially if in that mobile-hour he's mostly consuming the CAD/media he produced on the bigger screens... IMO that would definitely be better than carrying a much heavier laptop around...

      But regardless. If 10" is too small, there ARE DEFINITELY going to be 12", 14", 15", 19" tablets coming out VERY SOON (1-2 years). And they'll run both Windows and MacOS just because they can.

  8. jtr88 says:

    It would be nice to not have to carry my iPad and my laptop around.

  9. TYE2K says:

    I'm sorry, 

    Microsoft is late to the game, once again. Nothing they produce has "won me over" since Windows 2000. I am running Windows 7, only because all of the PC followers have accepted it, but you can bet money Ubuntu is my primary OS. 

    I think all of these "limited" tablets are simply a waste. iPad, Android, and now Windows. All of them represent a very narrow design platform leading us back to the days of thin-clients.  (And, yes I am a Software Developer in this industry.) 

    As they keep making this digital crap, and wonder.. to what end? More angry birds games? No mouse not joystick.. Just pinch grab your way to digital bliss? Really..

    •  Correction, Microsoft was first to the game in making computers that where ready for the needs of the office. Apple made people friendly computers, as in plug and play...

    • extremely_well says:

      I don't think running full-blown Adobe Suite and full-blown Office Pro are anywhere near the same level of productivity as pinching a bird on a slingshot...

  10. The surface also crashed three times on three different tablets during the demo with press.

    Second noone is talking about how they are trying to run all their apps on the little tiny tablet. I would think they could have understaood that tablet are not business worthy since you can not replace the high powered fast laptop with a SLOWER tablet. A slower tablet that will not even do anything bt open a browser. And when you open a browser you wait and wait and wait... It funny to think business owners will pay ten times a laptop for  ten times slower speed. WIth ZERO storage space, zero processor speed, zero everything, wer are going back to the EARLY 90's.

    MSFT has lost focus from its users. Their core userbase that is their revenue they have shut them out by pushing a product NOT ready for market. ANyone own a tablet understands they are worthless slow ass pieces of hardware that barely is able to open a single web page. To think they would load it down with BLOATED windows software, is insane. The executives are crazy, out of touch and doubt even own a tablet to understand what was needed when they released this waste of life.

    Microsoft will fail and this will isolate even more users. With the latest linus os becoming more user friendly and free. More and more OEMs will look at installing free operating systems instead of wasting revenue on strict licensing deals with a failing company.

    They have really failed on this.

    • extremely_well says:

      You keep saying "tablets can barely open a single web page" as if what the tablets you've seen are anything like what future tablets (of all OSs BTW) are going to be. This very-near-future tablet we're talking about here, Surface (64-bit), will be faster than my 15" laptop 1 year of age and I do EVERYTHING on it (except video editing) with great joy. So I know for a fact I'm gonna love my Windows 8 Pro tablet (not necessarily this MS one) since they're gonna use i5 or faster CPUs.

      Not sure I like the 10" screen though, since my goal is to totally replace my laptop, but I'm guessing 12" Windows Pro tablets will fly out in 2013 in full swing. I may still prefer 10" eventually since my use scenario is 95% of the time in one of two offices. I may opt to just get a large monitor and keyboard/mouse for each of the offices. The main advantage of 10" is that the total weight of tablet + 2 backup batteries will be much lower than same on 12". We'll see.

      One thing's for sure: having my real work and real personal full-blown Windows apps with me in a 2 lbs tablet is mind-bogglingly awesome.

  11. Jonathan Long says:

    I'd have to see this thing in action.  Currently, I use a thin laptop with VPN for security.  Thin laptops have serious limitations--specifically not hard drive to do a quick print job at an offsite printer--our usb ports are disabled for non-network printers when printing from the network.  There are also a number of people at my office that use an iPad with a VPN connection.  But we can also get e-mails pushed directly through the client on our Blackberries or iPhones or iPads.  There are some productivity points just for being able to use Outlook on both the desktop and mobile solutions without having to log into a VPN session.  I've been trying to decide between an iPad which I can inconspicuously use during internal meetings and a MacBook Air on which I can actually do some serious work.  A Surface tablet might be the answer.  There is also the convenience of looking up public information for offsite work when there is no stable connection to the internet.  Essentially, sometimes, I need to access secure information in our database from a protected session.  Other times, I need to access public or not so secure information quickly.  The Surface tablet seems like it might offer both security and quick access, a touch interface and a keyboard, direct access to Microsoft software (especially the Office suite).  Compelling!  But again, I'd have to see it in action.  The convenience I'm looking is just avoiding the workarounds that make current solutions annoying.  That may never be fully possible.

    •  Seems like Microsoft is meeting the needs of your IT department. Nothing wrong with that, but every issue has a simpler option that a new product. Oh, and I will be waiting for my Surface in the mail. Leave it to Microsoft to turn what has been seen as a toy into a actual device that makes sense.

  12. Patrick says:

    Based on my Windows 8 Beta Preview testing, the login via Microsoft "passport" account (vice a random user-generated account) is also a key innovation.  Users now login to Windows 8 with a Microsoft passport account.  Thus, Microsoft will aligning it's hegemonic networking standards with the emerging social media world, which will create powerful synergies for Microsoft to tap into.

  13. Xuanlong says:

    Finally an article by someone who actually seems to understand the Surface. The iPad and the various Android tablets out there will never be able to replace an actual computer. While it may not be the right solution for everybody, the Surface is the only tablet that does indeed have the potential to do that. 
    The Surface brings productivity to a new level for tablets. From the  Type Cover to the simple addition of a USB port, you can get things done with the surface. Nobody is going to do any serious work on an iPad. The on screen keyboard makes typing anything longer than a tweet a real chore. 
    The software is everything too. Microsoft gives you powerful apps like Office, and in general, software developed for Windows tends to be feature rich, with productivity in mind. Apps for iOS and Android on the other hand tend to be very simple and only useful for a single task. Studies show that most people who download apps for tablets and smartphones never use them after the first week of having them. That speaks volumes about the quality of those apps, as cool as they may initially seem. 
    As the article points out, the Surface is great for "People who have work to do, who need to be productive, not those who sit around and play." Anyone who thinks the iPad is the gold standard is quite obviously a member of that latter category.

    • lanre says:

      the asus transformer already does most of what the surface hopes to achieve and better keyboard

      • Xuanlong says:

        The Asus transformer is a fine tablet, don't get me wrong, when it comes to productivity it falls far short of the Surface. I guess it's biggest problem is more the OS. I've got no major issue with Android, it's an OS that started out on smart phones and much like iOS, really only has simple apps. I think pairing a keyboard with a tablet is a step in the right direction in making it more useful, but I have yet to see another tablet get everything right like the Surface.

      • GoTWhisKeY says:

        I still don't know whether i'll buy a Transformer Book or Surface Pro.

    • view2share says:

      Let's see here: 1) monitor 2) CPU 3) full software 4) keyboard & mouse -- it is a laptop.  I thought they have had laptops and Netbooks for years now.  

      Take off the keyboard and mouse, and then use a tablet for office apps -- how ridiculous.  Are you going to use Excel, and Word that way.  Will people be editing photos with tablets?  Tablets are large iPhones and work well for what they do.  You can view photos, surf the Net and do dictation for sending emails and such.  

      • Xuanlong says:

        At least the option will be there. Working on a spreadsheet on a tablet is obviously not ideal, but it will work in a pinch. The full features of MS Office will probably be best utilized with the addition of the TypeCover. Personally, I prefer a 17 inch laptop for most of my work, but for people on the go a lot, who like the extra mobility and flexibility of a tablet, the Surface opens up a lot of doors that the iPad never did.

  14. Lee Booe says:

    If I can afford it, I will certainly consider getting one.
    I cannot stand Android and I DISPISE apple.
    I already have 'too many' cheap Chinese android tablets and am attempting to get FULL linux on one of them (since android is only an ENVIRONMENT on a linux kernel).
    Once that happens, the others are PARTS...

    I'd like to see '98 or even '95 rewritten for the ARM environment.

  15. This is a tablet that I could use. I don't want a plaything only, I want a plaything and  work thing. Okay, one sell here... I think many more to come...

  16. OverThePhone says:

    I don't see how a tablet can realistically replace a laptop (or ultrabook). 

  17.  Yes, but it is not Microsoft and does not have the branding to make it happen.

  18. RCS_hkt says:

    I also am an engineer and use many of the programs you list as needing a full Windows x86 device.    But I just can't see a 10.6" tablet being a better choice than an ultrabook with 13" or larger screen.  It's a little heavier but the larger display and full proper keyboard makes it worth it if you are going to use it for more than just as a display device.

    The main use for me of a tablet is as a media reader and portable display device.  Otherwise the display is just too small for productive work.

    • Joco says:

      Exactly! I also wondered why suddenly a small screen, no KB, no mouse would improve anything in productivity. Especially for engineering software.

      • Mihaita Bamburic says:

         It has a keyboard already and you can plug in a mouse. It can't replace a small laptop (13" is too small for me), but it's a tablet being able to run all those applications. If you do want a tablet and you need to run those apps then it's the only one, if you don't need a tablet then you just don't care. That's how I see it.
        I think the small display can be a disadvantage, but it's more than enough to continue working when not at home or work. I know how engineering software needs bigger screens and resolutions, but for a while you're good to go. Hopefully I'll be able to test one when they pop up.

      • Adas Weber says:

        It has a keyboard (if you choose to use it) and it has a USB port where you can plug in a mouse. The Surface Pro also has a stylus.

  19. Mark G says:

    I have been using an HP Touchpad now for 8 months($99) and I was impressed, for awhile. I am a Windows user tried and true and though I was able to do somethings on my Touchpad, there are too many things that I can't. I am needing a lighter weight alternative to my old laptop and I am intrigued with the Windows 8 ability to cross platform. 

    I hope the Surface is all I hope it appears to be.

  20. Baily says:

    I would have to see this tablet in action. The idea of Office running well on a tablet is comical at best. What is the CPU power behind the Surface. Given that Netbooks and tablets struggle to run "programs" that a desktop can, need more memory installed to make the MicroSoft OS run decent, I'd have to see the Surface actually do it before I actually would buy one.
    That said I like Windows 8 on my ThinkBook and if MicroSoft can put it all together that would be great. BUT...

    That is a big "IF"

  21. GreyGeek77 says:

    "when it comes to productivity it falls far short of the Surface."

    How can anyone except a MS Fanboy or Technical Evangelist spouting MS bullet points make such a claim when Surface has yet to appear in the office environment?   They can't.   This article is nothing less than a thinly disguised MS PR Memo desperately trying to build a "grass roots" momentum by austroturfing.

    • rogifan says:

      I sure as heck won't be using Office on a 16:9 display. And I'm sure my company HP laptop (with the fat discounts corporations get) was a lot cheaper than the Win 8 Surface will be. What incentive do companies have to purchase this over a traditional cheaper laptop? And with more companies adopting BYOD policies will they even be purchasing tablets for their employees anyway? And how many people use Office on a regular basis outside of the office. I have it on my home laptop and use it maybe once a month.

    • Mihaita Bamburic says:

      I have no affiliation with Microsoft, if that's what you're implying. The purpose of the article was to show that there are people that can use it as the only tablet. As you can see from the article words like AutoCAD, Photoshop and so on don't imply the basic needs one may have.

  22. matthewcook says:

    The idea that the Surface will be able to replace a computer
    is almost as ridiculous as the idea that an IPad can replace a computer. Yes
    Office may be on the device, but we have yet to see what the ability of Office
    in the tablet mode will be. Most likely, it will be some weaker version of the
    desktop parent, but maybe not. However, the ability to have an alternative to a
    laptop when you need one is the better benefit. Yes, you can use third party
    apps to transfer docs back and forth to the IPad or android tablet, but neither
    device has ever made accessing a network location or a non-uniform codec on the
    device easy. Even amazon got in the game but at least you can buy an amazon
    tablet knowing it is really only good for accessing the amazon store and your
    prime information. Windows has such an open standard built around all the
    things you do from video, audio, business apps and much, much more that when
    you are away from a computer, you will 
    not have to go through some third party app or iTunes to get to your
    data. If Windows won't support it, some company has made a business around
    making it be supported. I see so much potential to the surface that it will
    blow apple and Google this product will make you forget the IPad quickly. Just
    think, I will be able to map to a network drive, play a video or open a file
    that I have at the office to start a presentation, connect through a vpn to get
    to a network share or print at my office, or one of the many thing that you can
    do with a regular computer. I believe there will be some slow adoption and bugs
    due to as someone else stated, Microsoft coming late to the table but apple may
    have won the initial battles, but I believe due to their inability to get away
    from such an outdated piece of software called iTunes, Microsoft will win this
    in the long run. P.S. I have 3 IPads for my kids, a kindle and a kindle fire for my wife, we tried an android tablet which I think is holding up a table leg somewhere, a work purchased MacBook pro
    that me and my wife hate, 3 laptops of which 2 are running Windows 8 Release
    Preview, a HP touch smart running Windows 8 Release Preview and a server in my
    house running VSphere 5 with 80 TB of storage. I can't wait to use the IPads as
    Frisbees and chuck them out the window and replace them with windows 8 tablets
    that will connect to my Windows 2012 server farm running SCVMM managing
    everything my lab and business uses.


  23. Dwayne Baird says:

    I don't think microsoft have heard of the Samsung Slate

    • Geoff Coupe says:

      I suspect they have, since they gave away 5,000 of them at the BUILD conference last year. Indeed, it's probably the poor build quality of the Samsung that drove Microsoft to show what could be done with tablet design.

  24. rogifan says:

    Hmm..this product doesn't really exist yet, it's not for sale, you haven't tried it (even beta or prototype) yet you already know it's the only thing for you? Er, OK. Imagine if during Apple's special event for the first iPad they barely demoed any software (and what they did crashed), gave very few specs, no price, no release date and didn't let anyone get their hands on the product and try it out. Everyone would have laughed them off the stage and proclaimed the event a failure. It would've been a joke. No the real joke is people drooling over vaporware from Microsoft.

    • Robert Good says:

      Just like when iPad 2 and iPhone 4s came out...people were lining up to buy them when NOBODY had tried them.

      Read the specs and you know if its for you. For the corporate world, there is no question...Windows 8 is the only platform that will be allowed by IT. i-devices are nothing but a unmanageable security risk.

      Apple is a 'consumer' company...not a 'producer' company. Microsoft is for those that produce, Apple is for those that consume.

      Since Im a producer, not a consumer...the Surface is for me.

      • danman1111 says:

        Regarding corporate adoption of Windows 8: Windows 7 which was released in October 2009, Windows 7 only recently passed XP with over 50% of PCs. Nearly 2.5 years to 50% adoption. It will likely be years before corporate security folks buy into Windows 8, and i-devices and Androids will have an even bigger head start.
        You really can't be serious regarding consumer vs producer? There will be one suite of apps for the RT (MS Office), and how many apps for Windows 8 have been optimized for touch? Really, what do you expect to produce with? Photoshop? Adobe has been working for years to develop production apps for i-devices. Is there anything even on the horizon for Metro and the touch interface? 

        Even as a producer, you have to wonder how apps will be developed. Will they be touch? Will they be stylus? Will there be keyboard shortcuts? It is a bit unfortunate that there already seems to be some fragmentation with the Surface product. 

        Honestly, having used the Windows Phone a bit, I like it. I like it a lot.  The Surface has a lot of things going for it, but it is far from a slam dunk.

  25. Robert Fletcher says:

    I think the only way this tablet will fail is if #1, Windows PC's all of a sudden just stop selling. #2, Asus, Acer, Nokia and other come out with something better.  I know what i would do.  I would make my tablet so they work with Microsoft's keyboard.  That would be pretty dope.  Also the Window8 Pro tablet looks like it will hit a home run.  I'm not sure about the RT version.  I suppose if they sell it at like $200 - $300 then it would sell like hot cakes.  The pro version if they sell that at $500-$600, i bet it would eliminate the competition.  I bet microsoft will set the Pro version for $999.  I don't think they want to sell millions of there own devices which is why you will only be able to get it online and in the microsoft store.  You won't see these in Best Buy, Target, everywhere that there partners are.  ASUS has some really nice looking tablets.

    I totally believe microsoft made this tablet to inspire and kick there partners in the ass.  They want them to innovate quickly.  I think they are just rocking the boat and telling the partners -- Hey this is what Windows 8 is all about.

    We really don;t know how these things will power our games and software and its also possible that other partners may come out with something better.  Nokia might have a tablet up its sleeve that might blow the Microsoft Surface out of the water.

    But seriously, alot of us Windows PC owners have been waiting for years just for a Windows tablet and the Windows Operating System that was created for touch before we bought a tablet.  I've bought a couple of tablets for wife and i was given a kindle fire.  I've been waiting for MS to get exactly this. From the looks of it, it does look like it was worth the wait.

  26. Samuel Alvarado says:

    I like the idea of a windows fully functional tablet, but I will not buy it, here why, microsoft has a pattern of making what we think is a product, but its really a test run for microsoft.  So while you start to adapt to the initial product; Microsoft will decides to cut your product off and make a better one.  in hopes that you will be dumb enough to buy it again.  I dont think that they will ever dominate tablet and cell phone platforms wars.  Video games yes, software for pc, yes.  they really need to learn from Apple.   

    • Mick Truss says:

       How is what you described any different to Apple?  They release an Ipad or Iphone every five minutes and then they release things like covers for them to prevent you holding them wrong and stopping the 3G from working.  I've seen plenty of Apple fanboys queueing for days to buy the latest Ipad - even though they already have the previous one.  They seem dumb enough to buy it again...despite each one being barely different from the last.

      • steve_webb says:

        While they may "seem dumb enough"; they are actually savvy enough to realize that the high resale value of Apple products makes trading up more cost effective than upgrading.

        Compare the resale value of an iPad to the resale value of the Kindle Fire, then tell me which buyers "seem dumb".

      • steve_webb says:

        While they may "seem dumb enough"; they are actually savvy enough to realize that the high resale value of Apple products makes trading up more cost effective than upgrading.

        Compare the resale value of an iPad to the resale value of the Kindle Fire, then tell me which buyers "seem dumb".

  27. VasyaPupkinsan says:

    "I think that Microsoft didn’t design these tablets for everyone that might be interested in one..."

    I believe you.
    They did not design it, they superglued square peg to a round hole.

  28. DanielHsu2 says:

    Tablets will never replace Ultrabooks or PC's for that matter.

    Tablets are for fun and entertainment. You can have a case w/ a keyboard, but that would make it a thicker than an ultrabook if it wasn't already. Tablets will also obviously have weaker Ivy Bridges if they even have them, (Maybe like underclocked dual core Ivy Bridges?). Tablets are excellent for reading eBooks, sending emails, watching netflix/youtube, or playing little games, but they will never replace the PC/Ultrabook.

    I'm sorry, but Tablets are a fad. The only reason they haven't died yet is due to Apple's Marketing. Interest in Apple Tablets results in renewed interest for Android and Windows Tablets. Tablets did however give rise to Ultrabooks, thus they aren't entirely useless....

    • bmovie says:

      Nope. MacBook Air running Windows and Intel worrying about their bottom line gave rise to Ultrabooks. Ultrabooks were pre-speced by Intel.

  29. Froderik says:

    Microsoft has gambled massively on Win8 with Metro and these Saveface err Surface tablets!

    What if Surface tablets & Win8 itself don't sell as preyed for by Sinofsky & co due to Win8 with Metro / pricing / spec / competition etc.?

    Microsoft will suffer a massive / fatal loss of credibility in that scenario!

    I suppose there's always WIN7 SP2 WITHOUT METRO WITH START BUTTON/MENU!

    • smarterthanuare says:

      Microsoft could always follow suit with what they're doing on WP 7.8. They could introduce Windows 7 SP 2 on the desktop with a new Metro UI. Running on top of the existing Windows 7 code base. This would significantly improve the user experience on Windows 7.

  30. Nikos petrakis says:

    Ok, I think that a tablet that has ..lets say 1.86 GHz core 2 duo, L2 cache 4MB, 32GB and can fully realize a Windows 8 (or any other full desktop OS) and has a an ultra thin Ipad like soft cover- doubling for a keyboard- can replace laptops. Especially, if the price is at $800 or less and one can switch it from the "Full OS" to a "Dumb" one like current Tablets with apps at a tap of a button. The question is this feasible???

    • smarterthanuare says:

      Funny how no one mentions RAM when they're talking about the hardware it takes to run Windows 8 smoothly. There's not a single budget or mid range laptop/tablet that has 32GB of RAM. It's extremely rare that they come with more than 8GB RAM.

      • Mihaita Bamburic says:

         You don't need more than 4GB of RAM to run even the most common applications at a time. The iPad comes with a mere 1GB of RAM.
        32GB of RAM is useless unless you run heavy programs, like Photoshop, VMware with a few operating systems, CAD programs with tons of files opened and so on all at once. It's enormous.
        8GB of RAM is dirt cheap these days and it would be 100% sufficient for anyone with a tablet.

      • smarterthanuare says:

        @Mihaita Bamburic - I agree. It seems that several people in this thread think that a tablet should have 32GB of RAM though.

  31. ppgreat says:

    No, the whole world must run on Microsoft to be successful.

    That's why the largest tech company in the world with the largest market cap anywhere couldn't possibly exist without running Microsoft products. NOT!!

  32. Nathan McOllie says:

    People stop calling Windows8 PRO a tablet, it's not a tablet. It's netbook. A thinner, more powerful, more mobile, more versatile netbook.

    • havasu46 says:

      It's a tablet and a notebook. Netbooks have crummy keyboards.

    • ToeKneeC67 says:

      It's a tablet unless that keyboard can't be removed - correct me if I am wrong, the keyboard is just part of the case that can be taken off - even replaced with a better one, one day.

      • view2share says:

        Remove the keyboard, then try to use the Office....  I practice, if you are utilizing those things NOT found on an iPad, you are usually going to be using it as a Netbook / Laptop / or dare I say as I am here, using a desktop computer.  Sure it is portable -- what is wrong with ultranotebooks then ?  If you long for a tablet, just get one -- no need for full heavy duty OS and Office to check the news, weather and send an email.

    • mshulman says:

      Actually, it's a more versatile tablet, not the other way around as you claim.  

  33. Bob DeGrande says:

    The "real" PC operating system (which only applies to the Pro version of the Surface) is a large minus, not a plus.

    A tablet running full Windows 8 is NOT going to run it well. The first generation iPad, with a slow processor and 256MB of RAM, ran quickly because the OS was very lean, The same is true of Android.  Modern versions of Windows have much heavier requirements, which is why running, say, Windows 7 on a netbook was not a good experience (the opinion of Windows expert Paul Thurrott).  It will require faster processors Ian i5), and more RAM (64GB will be the smallest configuration)   This will cause major heat and battery life issues (the 2 lb. weight is clearly due to a large battery). Performance will also degrade over time due to there still being a registry in Win 8. These sort of issues are not even specific to tablets, they apply to ultralight laptops as well.  Apple actually lowered the clock speed of the Macbook Air in one line to avoid heat issues.  Running a full multiuser, multitasking OS on limited hardware is asking for trouble. Hardware that will be able to run Win 8 well is going to be quite expensive, enough so that it won't succeed in the marketplace.

    I think that Win RT tablets have some chance to do well - a Microsoft "iPad equivalent" that can run Office is a pretty compelling product as long as Microsoft can attract developers.  Full Win 8 tablets will fail even in the enterprise market - and I say that as someone who ran a corporate PC support area for 20 years. The notion that IT is eager to support this is a dream. many iT departments are just now considering Win 7 upgrades, will probably skip Win 8 because of the new user interface, and will take Win 9 seriously when it is released.

    • havasu46 says:

      You don't get it. The Surface Pro has a full blown Intel iCore processor not an Arm tablet processor. I've got a W7 notebook and it's just fine for everything. How's Paul Thurrot?

    • smarterthanuare says:

      Since Windows Vista and 7's performance don't degrade over time then Windows 8's performance probably won't either. This was a bug that existed only in Windows XP and earlier. 64-bit Windows 7 runs perfectly fine on any Core 2 Duo based laptop with 1GB of RAM. In fact, Windows 7 runs significantly faster than Windows XP on this type of configuration. Windows 8 is even faster than Windows 7 on the same hardware.

    • Mick Truss says:

       Not going to run well?  Don't you think that Microsoft might have tested it with a bit of diligence with regard to performance?  They've made a few 'mistakes' in the past and they will have learned from that.  I've been waiting for a Windows tablet since the Ipad was released and the fact that Microsoft have released it means that they want to ensure the quality of the user experience and gain a market share.  Remember in the late 80's and most of the 90's - Microsoft and IBM PC architecture almost killed Apple's locked-down, over-priced products.  They offered user choice and value-for-money.  Now we're entering the tablet age, this could well happen again.  Remember the Playstation and what happened when Microsoft released the XBOX and sold it at a loss?  Sony has been on the back foot ever since.  If Microsoft want the tablet market (and I hope they do), it will be extremely difficult for any company - including Apple to compete.

    • mshulman says:

      Why don't you think it will run well.  I have it running on my Acer Iconia w500 Tab and it runs well and it wasn't even made for windows 8 or with windows 8 in mind.

      Perhaps you should get some real world experience with it before you speculate about its performance.

      • steve_webb says:

        Open up your copy of Windows and count the gigabytes of space taken up by  hardware drivers: displays, printers, scanners, cameras, etc.

        The iPad iOS is lean and fast in part because Apple eliminated all the bloat in OS X that did not apply to the iPhone and iPad. Microsoft CAN NOT DO THAT because the Surface inludes USB and HDMI out! Microsoft must either provide the drivers or drop Plug and Play. What's the point in having Microsoft Word if the OS does not include PRINTER FONTS? Display fonts are not enough. I almost forgot the microSD and microSDXC.

        Don't get giddy about having the full Microsoft Windows experience in a tablet like the Surface RT until you try it on an Atom powered netbook. 

        You could compare Surface Pro to a comparable Windows Laptop if you knew how much RAM it had. The iPad can get by with a 42 W-h battery because it runs iOS on 1 GB of RAM. The Surface Pro has the same size battery as the iPad and the Dell Inspiron 14z Ultrabook. The Dell uses 6GB ram to run Windows, and gets only 6 hours from the battery. The Dell starts at $699.

        Will the Surface Pro compete with Dell's "comparable ultrabook", or will it be a compromise somewhere between the iPad and the Dell?

  34. havasu46 says:

    I presume the RT 64Gb will be $599 and the Pro 64Gb $999. I've got a great desktop, notebook, XBox and Lumia 900 so I think I get an Surface RT and see how it integrates with my other stuff.  The I'll upgrade my Lumia 900 to a Lumia 920 WP8. If and when I need a new note then I'll but a Surface Pro.

  35. Byron White says:

    I will buy one. It is what I have been looking for in the Pro version. I would have no problem with $1200 range if they do what I think they will do.

  36. Bryan Evans says:

    As someone typing on a Samsung Slate now, I can say that I am interested in seeing what MS has come up with. The keyboard looks interesting since I use the on-screen keyboard.

    As for how I use it, I am in sales, so I can carry the slate for note taking (OneNote), having instant access to many documents which I might need, and the occasional use of engineeing software. Office Pro works very well, including annotations while showing Powerpoint presentations. Since I want full windows applications, this slate works well for my daily uses while on the road. Much of the input is with the stylus. 

    I still have a laptop which I use while at the office or home since it has a keyboard and larger screen. It is just larger than what I want to carry with me and it is difficult to manage while in meetings.

    The major downside is that since it runs an i5 processor, the battery life is pretty poor. I might get 3-4 hours life on a single charge. If MS manages to improve the battery life and includes a stylus, they could have a device which will work well for my needs.

    • smarterthanuare says:

      It depends on what kind of i5 processor. I personally haven't seen the specific spec list for the Intel-based Surface. Ivy Bridge processors get significantly better battery life than Sandy Bridge so you'll probably get much better battery life than 3-4 hours if this is the type of i5 being used.

  37. blue787 says:

    I have a couple questions:
    1. Has anyone , I mean anyone actually sat down for more than an hour with this thing ?
    2. How do we determine if a product will be successful if it hasn't been released yet ?

    I know I'm probably the only one on this board who believes the iPad (all 4 or whatever amount they have out) is a poor excuse for a productivity tablet. Infact, they don't even call it a tablet, because it's an iPad. I saw a report on CNN where some journalist and tech correspondants discussed it. None of them saw it in real life, or touched it. It was however doomed to failiure. One of the guys while laughing said iPad is about "Lifestyle" or some scrap like that. That was the height of irresponsible journalism.

    Personally, anything apple outside of the iMac is a toy, an absolute plaything. Only with full-blown OS's can you get serious work done, MS Windows, OSX and Linux qualify as serious OS's. If that is offered on a tablet for the first time, then good for those who have "actual" "serious" work to do.

    They are many who will nay-say on the Surface. So what is fundamentaly wrong with MSFT coming to the table with some new hardware, seemingly eclipsing the OEM's ? Isn't there enough space in the "iPad world" for a new tablet (and yes like or not Apple fans, the iPad is a tablet-plain and simple, it's not classified as anything else-put down the koolaid kidies). I welcome the Surface, finally a serious work-based tablet.

    • view2share says:

      To use the software, you then have a laptop.  Think about it.  It is a tranformor, it becomes a laptop or Netbook.  If people want a clock, dictation machine, Net surfer, and a super sized iPhone, they already have it with an iPad or other Tablet -- no need for full software / office.  Are you going to hold a tablet and use a ten key at the same time.  Are you going to be doing a lot of editing of photos on this thing, in the tablet hand held mode???

  38. danman1111 says:

    The idea of Surface is neat, but the more I think about it, the more it seems like a quagmire. Two points in particular how am I supposed to interface with it and how I would really work with one?

    MS Office continues to have problems with how I'm supposed to interface. I would like to use the keyboard, but with ribbon I can only do some things by clicking. Now there will be another way to interface, touch. How will developers handle these elements, what would be preferred? This leads to my second concern.

    I use an iPad in three positions, standing, sitting and sitting at a table. Mostly sitting and sitting at a table. If I'm sitting with no table, then touch is my only option (the keyboard and trackpad cover won't work in my lap). If I'm at a table, I can use the keyboard and trackpad cover.

    I will go out on a limb, it will be impossible to have the same user experience with a keyboard/trackpad vs. touch. So which will developers choose to optimize? How will users use an app optimized for keyboard and trackpad while standing?

    I can see Apple chuckling at this effort by Microsoft. A product that looks good on paper, but one that no one can use. 

  39. bmovie says:

    The only difference between a Surface (either version) and an Ultrabook is the amount of finger grease on the screen. How much more productive are you going to be going back and forth from keyboard to screen? You already have the apps you need. Why buy them again? 


  40. ilev says:

    Microsoft Surface can't win you over.
    Win8 RT dosn't have any applications apart from E10 and a BETA version of Office 15 (the iPad will get Office too by the end of the year), while the iPAD has 250,000 applications.
    Win8 RT can't join a domain or connect to Active Directory ( the iPad does both).
    Win8 Pro has 0 windows/third party applications that support touch. If you need to use a keyboard (and a mouse) why pay $1000 when you can buy 3 laptops that run Windows 8 for the same price ?

    Microsoft will remain the lone manufecturer of both Tablets as OEMs are already going against this move, like Asus...

    • Adas Weber says:


      In terms of the Surface Pro, you are forgetting a few things...

      1. Legacy Windows applications DO support touch - what they don't support is gestures. That's a big difference - it means that you CAN still use legacy apps and click on everything that you would normally click with a mouse. Sure, it's not optimised for touch.

      2. Windows RT is managed via Active Directory and MS provides other supporting software to manage it on a domain. Windows 8 (Surface Pro) obviously has full domain support just like Windows 7.

      3. Legacy applications can be promoted in the app store alongside Metro applications, where a web link takes you to a vendors web page from which you download and install the software. That is a huge advantages for software vendors in terms of being able to promote the applications, and it means that the Surface Pro could effectively launch with over 4 million apps.

      Don't underestimate the power of legacy Windows applications in making the Surface Pro a huge success.

      As for your first statement "Microsoft Surface can't win you over", well that's been proved wrong. There are plenty of people who are already won over by this, myself included.

  41. jsk2 says:

    Huh? Apparently the author didn't do his homework.

    The iPad has been able to use any BlueTooth keyboard since its introduction. Heck, a keyboard dock was one Apple's original accessories! (You can always use Apple's cover to hold the iPad upright while you type on a keyboard, just like the Surface's kick-stand.)There are several word processor, presentation, and spreadsheet programs available for the iPad that can work with Office files. Next time try a simple search of the App store. I guess the only real problem was that none of them were made by Microsoft?!?

    • Mihaita Bamburic says:

      Sorry to say it, but there's no real alternative to Microsoft Office, other than maybe OpenOffice. Whatever programs the iPad has aren't as fully featured as Office. This matters to a lot of people.
      Surface has a keyboard and USB port, which could mean that you could plug in a mouse. That was the point.

      • bmovie says:

        So how many Word users really go beyond needing headers, footers, show invisibles and complex mathematical formulas? 

        Most formatting done for publishing get stripped out anyway. InDesign and QuarkEXpress eventually reformats all your hard work. 

        Once you rely on a mouse and a keyboard, your Surface reverts back to being a laptop.

      • Mihaita Bamburic says:

         That may be true, but there's more than Word. I rely on PowerPoint and Excel as well. I like Office and I'm very accustomed to how it works. If there's an alternative I woun't act like there isn't one, but as a suite it's unbeatable so far.
        You make a good point though and I totally understand where you're coming from, but I bet there's people that want it there and that's it, they don't want to look for alternatives, they just want the safety of having the de facto Office suite. You can't disagree with that, you just can blame them for not trying to look.

      • Mihaita Bamburic says:

         That may be true, but there's more than Word. I rely on PowerPoint and Excel as well. I like Office and I'm very accustomed to how it works. If there's an alternative I woun't act like there isn't one, but as a suite it's unbeatable so far.
        You make a good point though and I totally understand where you're coming from, but I bet there's people that want it there and that's it, they don't want to look for alternatives, they just want the safety of having the de facto Office suite. You can't disagree with that, you just can blame them for not trying to look.

    • Sangram says:

       Does the AppStore have all those professionals only apps the author listed?

    • Mick Truss says:

       You know, all of the really heated critisim I've heard about the surface seems to come from Ipad owners.  Why?  Because a lot of people who own Ipads (not all) are Apple fanboys (and girls). This has always been the case with Apple products, you have to buy into the whole Apple cult - and the Apple logo has become a fashion accessory.  What can you do other than mess around on an Ipad?

      If I want to really do something other than suf the web, watch movies, play games or mess with many other meaningless, time wasting apps, I'd own an Ipad or Android tablet.  However, I want something I can work seriously on and integrate with my work systems.  Microsoft make working easy and the professional tools for business - including Office, SQL Server, Visio, Project, Exchange / Outlook are unmatched by any company and certainly will never be matched on other non-Windows tablets.  I make money using Microsoft software and Microsoft make it easy to do so and I'm looking forward to the release of the surface.  I just hope they do what they did with the XBOX and sell at a loss to shaft the competition and gain market share.  It worked then for them and their customers and it would work again.

      • bmovie says:

        "However, I want something I can work seriously on"
        It's called an Ultrabook...or better yet, it's called an "working partner"!

      • jsk2 says:

        Wow. Microsoft or nothing. So who's the fanboy.

        I don't own or use an iPad or Android tablet. I use a laptop for the very reasons you should. (Though I find Microsoft's software to be more of a hinderance than a help, so I don't use them.)

        You were very specific in your article: Finally a tablet that let's you use a keyboard. As if no other tablet has ever offered that ability. That is dead wrong.

        According to you, you need a keyboard and a mouse to do your work. Based on the programs you list as having to use to do your work you're right. You do. The portable device you need has been around for decades. It's called a laptop. Using a tablet and then trying to find a place to set up all these attachments while traveling is absurd and is NOT going to work for you.

        By the way, tablets and/or convertibles that run the full version of Windows has been around for many years. What has stopped you from using them, I wonder? No Microsoft logo on the back?

    • Mick Truss says:

       Haha!  I probably do come across as a Microsoft fanboy - my post certainly comes across as that but it's the ease of use I like.  Sure their software has bugs but their applications are huge and complex and in context, the proportion of bugs is tiny and generally get resolved through updates.

      I have a laptop but it means carrying that around in a fairly large bag with a fairly large charger.  I don't use a mouse, the touchpad is fine (in fact I prefer touchpads to mice).  I respect Microsoft for the tools it provides to carry out decent work.  It's not Microsoft or nothing (I've used various Linux distros on and off but the result is always a much less pleasing experience due to less integration between applications and therefore more dead-time working around it.  I end up running Windows in Virtualbox software on Linux to do what I need to do quickly and eventually  I always find myself re-installing Windows.

      Microsoft do a good job of allowing the focus to shift onto what your doing rather than how to do it.

  42. jbelkin says:

    The MS Surface tablet is already dead. It's VAPORWARE. It's NOT 1994 anymore. You cannot announce technology is coming with NO PRICE or release date. It's RIM all over again - you really are backing a product that is now the RIM Playbook 2? MS thinks by pre-announcing this, people will stop buying Macs or ipads. They are wrong. People have had a tablet that ran WINDOWS since 1999 and have rejected it - how is this different? Outside of a niche market, who really wants to run Office on a tablet? People say it but when push comes to shove, 70 MILLION IPADS later, who needs Office again. Corporations don't even want to pay for office anymore - well $5 - that's why they are switching over to Docs, OpenOffice or anything else. MS has ONLY three real revenue streams, Windows, Windows Server & office. THEY need to figure out how to make money in a POST PC world so this is their bureaucratic shot at the ipad - thinking people want a HEAVIER, slower and battery draining tablet to run office and WINDOWS*. The future of WINDOWS is a tiles version that everyone cannot figure out and hates so what better time to switch to the Mac, the ipad or chromebooks? (no one wants android on a tablet). WIN 8 has barely any apps and WIN 8 RT has barely any apps - so why are people switching to WIN 8? At least WIN 3 to 7 all looked essentially the same with no retraining required - who is going to spend billions to retrain their employees? 

    Ms believes they are still the technology leader so this will be prced at $999 and $1,499 and of course, it's has to be worth more than the ipad ... on day one it's released, it will be undercut in price by every other Pc manufacturer - MS tablet will outsell the Zune but not the Newton. It's a cute niche product but not a mass market product.*NOt to mention  the two flavors of WINDOWs are 100% incompatible so other than annoying developers, IT and consumers, who's left? 

    • bmovie says:

      If you really must lug your Microsoft Suite of Office apps, get an Ultrabook. They're here now, probably cost less than the mythical Surface Pro, come with a mouse and keyboard and run the apps you already own. They'll probably survive a drop better than the mythical Surface Pro and you won't be a Beta Tester. Hey, the money you save from not having to pay for dumbed down beta apps written for the mythical Surface Pro could buy baby a few pairs of shoes!

  43. yeahmannn says:

    So much pessimism here. Here's why Surface or some iteration very close to it will succeed.

    Take a laptop, make it super thin and light, allow the keyboard to fold back, and add a touchscreen. That's Surface with Win8. Now why wouldn't you want that? Because there aren't enough Metro apps? That's irrelevant! Apps are just gravy. Hell, I can imagine not using Metro apps at all. Because you'll get fingerprints on it? That hasn't prevented Apple from selling iPads. Because it's expensive? How much is a MacBook?

    As for Surface for WinRT, imagine you're part of the 95% of the population that uses only a web browser, Office, and a media player, all of which are included and optimized for Metro. I'm gonna assume the big name apps will be there. Netflix and Kindle. You don't even need dedicated apps for things like Facebook and Google Maps on a tablet. Why wouldn't you want this? Because there's no farting app?

    • bmovie says:

      ...then get a Chromebook. They do everything your little heart desires and they've been out over a year. They don't need maintenance, a pretty much do all the things you want and come with a keyboard. Why be a Microsoft Beta-Tester?

      • Adas Weber says:

        You know what's funny...

        Clearly the new Surface is generating a LOT of positive interest and you simply don't like the fact that Microsoft has designed something that people really want. You are trying so hard to get people to ignore it by trying to paint it in a bad light or by suggesting alternatives, but it won't work!

        You can say what you like, but the Surface offers a great solution for a lot of people.

      • yeahmannn says:

        I'll get a Chromebook just as soon as there's a touchscreen version with a keyboard and Office without the need for a Citrix server.

      • computer_guy123 says:

        Wow bmovie, you are kinda ridiculous.  What's with all this surface hate?  You are trying to turn people away from the Surface tablets before they even come out, without any grounds at all for your dislike of them.  In each comment you have made, you suggest that someone goes for an ultrabook or something similar, apparently never considering the fact that there are many of us who don't see the need for an ultrabook and haven't seriously considered one.  But a tablet that can do full on pc work, and also serve as a casual tablet when that is all you need, now that is something different.  Why do you have to try to turn others away from something they like?  Go get an ultrabook or chromebook for yourself if that is what you prefer, but don't think that everyone has to give in to your repeated commands of "get an ultrabook", "don't be a beta-tester for microsoft", etc

  44. Webstats Art says:

    A lot of people like Microsoft, especially in China. Don't underestimate Microsoft's ability to enter this space internationally. America is now only a small part of the digital world and a small part of the world's population.

    • bmovie says:

      They like Microsoft in China because it is so easy to copy and steal; bootleg and resell Microsoft. 
      You buy a "hand crafted" beige box and they throw in a free DVD of bootleg Microsoft and Windows apps and games. Who wouldn't "love" Microsoft. Lucky for you Americans pay for the stuff you steal and bootleg.

      • Mick Truss says:

         Yup, but Microsoft know this - in fact it was unofficially part of their strategy in the early nineties when Bill Gates pretty much said he would rather people were running a pirate copy of Microsoft software than a legal copy of non-Microsoft software.  Why?  Because if people use it, they get used to it and having invested time and effort learning how to use it they will then be unlikely to ever look at anything from any other vendor.  Eventually, it becomes an industry standard in businesses and the money starts rolling in.  China is no exception, Microsoft knows it's a potentially huge market and they want them to get used to using Microsoft products.

  45. As a professional, I want to know how long the battery lasts and how much it's going to cost. And I need it today, not some time this fall. I'm a professional using tablets on the workplace and in mobility everyday since 2010. Please don't brag about the *need* to wait for Microsoft gracefully promising something that doesn't exist today and comes thirty months late. Because this is the third time in three years Ballmer takes the stage announcing a tablet and I'd like actually be able buying one instead of just getting buzzwords.

    • bmovie says:

      Articles on the Web, based on the parts announce, have said that the battery life will be disappointing. Go Ultrabooks and you won't have to wait. My guess is that this premature announcement of the Surface was meant to not only pre-empt Google's tablet announcement buy to also boost Ultrabook sales for OEMs. Once Surface surfaces (pun intended), OEMs would not be able to make a better tablet, but only a cheaper tablet. At best, the would only be allowed to make the same Surface with plastic instead of Magnesium mist. 

      Laptops and desktop computers are perfect and are here to stay.

      • Guy Meintjes says:

        All the articles are highly speculative at best, no one has had any hands on time with the surface [And by hands on I don't mean the few seconds granted at the media briefing]. As a result issues like battery life etc. remain a mystery. I do know that MS was working with Panasonic on a new type of battery and perhaps we'll see something interesting from that partnership applied here. While I do like the iPad I've never really seen it as more than a gadget, not a business device, Windows together with the cloud features MS is offering already, make it viable as a highly portable work tool. I must say I'm quite inclined to ignore the New New iPad (or whatever they call it) whenever it arrives (... next month probably) and go for this. Also, while I do agree that desktops and laptops are here to stay I quite like the idea that I'll be able to work wherever I want and know that everything will be synched with my desktop/laptop so I can work with it the second I get back to the office.

    • skruis says:

      I have an S7 (which is similar to Surface) with an older version of the i5 and I get around 4-4.5 hours out of it on a single charge (obviously, it depends on what you're doing and how bright the screen is - mines at 30% - the Samsung screen is pretty dang bright).  That's not huge but if you figure that Intel has improved the power efficiency of their CPU's with the newest batch, it might be enough to push Pro into the 6 hour range or more depending on what size battery they're bundling with Surface.

  46. jfplopes says:

    In all honesty although I hope Microsoft fails I have to admit that they have pretty good chance to succed.
    And in fact I think they will.
    I have an iPad but have been testing Windows 8 and from an OS point of view Windows 8 actualy surpases iOS.
    It can actualy do more stuff than iOS can.
    But above all it gives people the choice to have a full blown PC as a tablet run all the powerful software available if you go the ultrabook route.
    So why do I want Microsoft to fail?
    For the exact same reason I want Apple to fail.
    Both Microsoft and Apple are locking their OS. They are turning the OS into a console like system with ever more limited access to what you can and can't do.
    A single app store where customers are forced to get their software from and developers need to share their app revenue.
    But above all the dictatorial control the OS maker gets being able to limit competing apps from their OS.
    The dumb mainstream consumer is lured to the trap with the "ease of use". But as time passes it will pay the price of a locked system with no chance for true competition.
    What is the alternative? Android. It is the only popular OS that allows installation of apps outside the app store, and allows competing app stores.
    It also give a lot more freedom in what you can do with it.
    Problem is Android doesn't have the desktop weight Microsoft does, nor Apple popularity on the tablet market and the incresingly popular Mac OSX.
    Android may surpass Apple but dealing with Microsoft will be a lot harder.

    So if you ask me what would be my next tablet?
    The problem is my answer is I would by a Windows 8 Pro tablet.
    And I just hope Windows 8 app store never gets the popularity other App Stores have and that developers keep building desktop apps outside the app store.
    But I'm sure they won't. Because consumers like app stores and they will end up using it.
    I will for sure.

    • Adas Weber says:

      In terms of lock-down (or not), Microsoft is offering something that Apple isn't - the MS app store also displays legacy desktop applications with a link which takes you to the vendor's software page. This takes a step away from the usual market-place lock-down and offers vendors a huge advantage in that they can easily promote their legacy Windows applications through the app store, but without the lock-down.

      Obviously this applies only to the Surpace Pro version.

      • jfplopes says:

         Completely agree. And that's why they'll win.
        If Apple achieved success with their locked platform so will Microsoft specialy because of the advantages they have that you mention.

        And we must not forget other advantages Microsoft has like their consoles, their Mediaroom platform and so on.

      • bmovie says:

        "MS app store also displays legacy desktop applications with a link which takes you to the vendor's software page."

        Er. Excuse me. 
        I think or Google search can do the same from a computer at the local Public Library.

    • bmovie says:

      Monkey shit.

      Eleven years after they uttered the word "Tablet" , Microsoft is again revisiting the concept with a tablet of their own. Apple says "post PC era" and Microsoft blinks. 

      There is nothing wrong with the laptop or the desktop. We've reached the point of perfection. Stop messing with it. Sales are down because of World Recession not because of the iPad. Microsoft got suckered into making a Surface. The only thing we all gain is that the notorious "ribbon" in Office dies...or not.

  47. Lance Flores says:

    Like Apple but what I need something do work. Don't have time for games. If I can work during my travel the MS tablet is what I'll buy.

    • bmovie says:

      Buy an Ultrabook or a MacBook Air. You won't be a Beta Tester for next year's "New and Improved" Surface or the OEM's "Less is More".

  48. i think that a lot of people is missing the point. i have samsung tablet, and as soon as it comes out ill get both versions of ms tablet, one for wife (rt), pro for my self...

    i see it using like this :-)

    at office i have dock with 24" lcd, keybord mouse
    at home the same thing 
    so i can un dock it work on to go, read and so on and when i  need to do more stuff i need biger screen, just dock it and you are ready to go

    for me this is what i was waiting for and now its finaly coming

    • bmovie says:

      You get a bigger screen with an Ultrabook. You won't have to pay extra for a keyboard and all your Windows apps will work. Battery life will be better and you will have more choices which you can buy right now.

      • you are still missing the point, if i wanted ultrabook i would buy one... but i dont want this is what I need  
        i dont know why people get upet about products like this if they are not for them.

        if you dont see yourself using a product, it does not mean milions of other dont see it

        every product has its customers, so pleas dont force your opinion to others. i know why i want this product, you see why you dont its your choice, so please respect my choice as i respect yours

      • Talk2Tony says:

        Here lies the problem , will Microsoft start eating it's own kind will the introduction of The Windows surface tablet damage it's partners ultra book sales?

    • extremely_well says:

      Soon enough you won't need to dock anything. WiDi for wireless video, bluetooth for keyboard/mouse... Just plug to power source and off you go.

      I plan to get two sets of kvm myself for some Win8 tablet.

    • skruis says:

      The only accessory that MS left out that I was really hoping for (after seeing Surface) was an official dock with some good connectivity.  Hopefully that magnetic connector on the bottom is good for more than just the keyboard (which is still pretty awesome).  I'm currently using the S7 and I'm using in a pretty similar way:

      1. Dock it in my home office to a 24" lcd w/ Bluetooth kb and mouse.

      2. Dock it in my actual office for independent usage with VOIP software/chat, used in addition to my primary multiple-monitor workstation (also running Windows 8).

      3. Replaced my laptop as my mobile device, bring folding dock, portable Bluetooth keyboard and mouse and do all of my work using the tablet.

      SkyDrive desktop is installed on both devices (Slate/Workstation) so my important files are always in sync across devices as well as accessible on the cloud from anywhere.  OneNote is also installed on both devices so my important notes are always synced with SkyDrive.

      Sure, you could do all of this with a laptop but then in addition to that, I get to use my Slate for:

      1. Lounging around, gaming, casual computer usage

      If I didn't need multiple monitors, with the core i5 and 4GB of RAM, this Slate (Samsung Series 7 Slate) could be my ONLY device.  Maybe that'll change with Surface which will come with the mini-DisplayPort (my monitors are all displayport capable).  It would be perfect if Surface could drive all three from the single mini-DisplayPort connector (3x1920x1200).

  49. Edna_Bucket says:

    First they copy the iPhone, then they copy the Asus Transformer. What next, the Windows Toaster?

    The only thing "new" is Windows RT. Does Microsoft really believe customers want to pay $600 to file bug reports, when an iPad is $400 and Kindle Fire sells for $200?

    • Bing Matyong says:

       Comment like this makes no sense at all. Comparing apple to orange.

      • Edna_Bucket says:

        Asus has a Windows 8 / Android, dual-boot version of the Transformer, sporting Ivy Bridge, for people needing to run CAD applications:

        I shall make a prediction: The day that silly, old fool Steve Ballmer has a single innovative thought in his silly, bald head, is the day pigs sprout wings and perform Ride of The Valkyries.

      • bmovie says:

        Orange Computers in new, refurbished, and used rack mount HP Proliant DL380, DL360 and Dell PowerEdge 1850 R610 and R710 servers, workstations and ...

    • bmovie says:

      The Windows Toaster will fail miserably when it rains. The forecast for Redmond, Washington calls for occasional downfalls. 

      Sources say that the Surface will be made by Apple's iPhone maker based in Taiwan and not by any of Microsoft's OEM manufacturers for laptops or desktops. 

      If people really want a Windows tablet that's "touchy feelie", wait a year to let someone else beta-test it...or dies. You've waited eleven years. What's one more year? How many of you bought the original Surface table computer???

      • Edna_Bucket says:

        Until they can pronounce "Microsoft service" at their call-center, I'm giving "Microsoft Surface" a wide berth.

    • extremely_well says:

      The Kindle Fire is actually $85 on a billion ads on craigslist. If you don't have (a custom-ROM) Kindle Fire, you're losing on an amazing bargain for so much technology. I'm actually thinking of giving some as gifts... Digital picture frame which I can control remotely..cracked contacts (my mom uses a paper phonebook), personal TV, grandkid monitor (view only, no cam/mic), ability to remotely control the tablet via Webkey etc.

      Just awesome value.

  50. Brian King says:

    I love to see the MS haters (Apple fans) fishing for loose threads to pull at on this one.  Fact is that most of us (not all certainly) have to use Microsoft products in our work life and this new tablet will integrate seemlessly with that.  Thats a huge gap that the Apple products just haven't and frnkly can't fill.  Apple has a nice product. I am not going to put it down at all.  I just need and want that product that is better blended with the larger portion of my life, work.

    • Talk2Tony says:

      Hi Brian
      I am an Apple Fan and have been from the 80s, I write a tech blog on Mac and tech called talk mac tech. you may find this hard to believe but most Apple fans actually applaud Microsoft for doing the " Right Thing" by that I mean working to design and implement a unique machine as opposed to stealing design from Apple. As it has been said many times by Apple that they do not mind competition in fact welcome it they just are opposed to the hard work, time and money spent by Apple and it's gifted engineers being stolen and used to compete. I hope you can appreciate the difference.

      That said, it is much to early to know if Microsoft will be successful with the surface to little information was released. The one thing we do know is that Microsoft has taken a whole different approach to the tablet an obviously worked very hard to make it happen.

      • mshulman says:

        As if Apple doesn't take ideas from others as well?  Every company does and Apple is no different.  

      • Talk2Tony says:

        Apple does copy some incidental things, but to a large extent they develop their own vision. If you disagree please provide some examples to make your case.

    • bmovie says: what's wrong with an Ultrabook? It's here now. What's wrong with a MacBook running both OS X and Windows. My bet is that Mountain Lion will support Windows 8. Having the "Best of Both Worlds" is having both worlds. Once you add a keyboard and a mouse to a Surface tablet you're back to having a laptop anyway. 

      • skruis says:

        But when you don't bundle it with the mouse and keyboard, you've got the couch lounging factor.  When you do, you've got the work factor.  It's a pretty slick device that's versatile enough to fulfill most of your needs.

      • LA Stone says:

         What's wrong with them for me is that I can't write or draw on either.  I currently own a tablet PC which does get the job done, but the user experience is awful.  It's heavy and hot and the touch experience leaves plenty to be desired.  But since it's the only game in town, I have to play it.  The Samsung Series 7 Slate and the Asus eee pc slate are the first slate style PCs that really takes things to the next level, but with Windows 8 so close, it makes sense to wait and see how much better they will be.  Apple doesn't make anything remotely as useful as even my current clunky tablet PC.  The Windows Surface Pro at least promises to be far better than anything anyone is currently making right now.  Then Samsung, ASUS, Acer, HP, etc will all present their ideas for Windows 8 slates and we will have our choice of whatever size and shape we want.  Frankly I want something at least 13".  Bigger if possible.

  51. Talk2Tony says:

    Now that Microsoft has given us a hint on what their version of what a tablet should be. We can begin to see where they are headed. Instead of slavishly copying Apples vision they have staked out their own path. This early peek is meant to stop the flood of Microsoft users from making an early decision for the Google tablet to be shown next week. Microsoft is hoping that it's loyalist will wait.
    The one thing that Microsoft is copying from Apple is that they are finally adopting the Alan Kay theory that it is crucial to develop ones own hardware to interface with its software and Microsoft is doing that. By creating a fully deployed ecosystem as well as a vertical market approach. The hastily arranged press conference to introduce tHe Surface was exact replica of Apples famous media events right down to their own Jony Ives. Microsoft is opening their own retail outlets and building phones with Nokia.
    The next step we see will be Microsoft forming a partnership with HP to design and build their own line of PCs.

    • It's just silly for the marketing "techies" here to try to spin what Microsoft has done as anything other than a knock-off of the Apple/iPad technologies.

      Newsflash for Tony - Micorosoft has ALREADY partnered with HP to build Tablets.  I had one about 5 years ago and I loved it.  The product has since gone through it's entire lifecycle and has been retired.

      Folks just didn't like Microsoft's design.  They prefer the Apple/Android style - which Microsoft has now adopted as their own.

      • Talk2Tony says:

        if you read my comment again you will notice I said PCs. It is my believe that Microsoft will partner with HP like they have with Nokia and build their own line of PCs.
        Microsoft branded and closely integrated with it's hardware. This would enable them to get rid of the bloated code needed to sustain all the third party manufacturers and give microsoft a platform to showcase their vision of a windows computer and go head to head against Apples line.
        As you may know that the model Microsoft built its empire on has reached its life span, it is no longer capable of supporting a profit in the pc market. Microsoft needs to raise the margins and the only way to do it is to break it's relationship with its partners or delegate them to the lo end while Microsoft moves in on the high end.

      • Mick Truss says:

        Knock-off Apple technologies?  How?  They'd have to work really hard to produce a tablet as good as the Ipad is at absorbing so many man hours on doing nothing worthwhile.  Everyone I've seen with an Ipad (and to be fair it's a lot of people) have used it to show their mates how great it is at web-surfing, watching movies, reading newspapers and magazines, playing games or messing around manipulating photos.  The Apple logo is all these people care about - it's like owning a pair of Converse shoes or sporting the latest white afro (or similar scruffy hairdo that people have these days) whilst wearing a funky striped sweater, skinny jeans and hanging out in Starbucks all day trying to look cool.  The outcome is that it's a toy and an accessory that get's you into the hip crowd (of know-nothing pillocks mainly).  Once Microsoft releases the Surface, people that actually want to work seriously on a device that they can carry around easily will buy it, other people will see that and want it.  I mean apps, really?  I am so fed up with people going on about 'cool' apps that do nothing at all but cause usually reasonable adults to waste hours playing (whilst generally being fairly unsociable).  I remember when I was a kid and devices like this would have only been seen in sci-fi movies or programmes.  When they were, they were portrayed as tools that enabled sophisticated, intelligent people to work.  Over the last couple of years since the Ipad was released I've dispaired because they produced something truly sci-fi made real and promptly transformed it into a plaything and a fashion accessory.  At least Microsoft are pitching the Surface towards productivity and endeavours that require a serious tool rather than a 'gadget'.  Sure it will be fun to use as well - and cool and we all know that it will be able to integrate with our business software, PC systems, printers, TV's, XBOX and any other number of systems that are Microsoft compatible.  I'll be buying a Microsoft Surface, not because I want to be seen with the windows logo to make me cool (I've never seen anyone with a windows tattoo), but because it's going to enable me to be productive without lugging my laptop around in a huge bag.

  52. i would surely go for an ultrabook,it not only provides more funtionality than a tablet but also lets me install the os i want,who wants to be stuck with windows all the time?

    • extremely_well says:

      I'm pretty sure some custom ROM will let you change the OS in near-future tablets (if not specifically this MS brand tablet).

    • Niro says:

      You can install whatever OS youw ant on the pro's runs on an i5 proc...

      man people just make assumptions instead of reading these days don't they...what are you doing to our kids, school system?! :(

      • skruis says:

        But they may have implemented that new system, what is, UEFI, that supposedly prevents users from installing unsigned OS's/software onto the device.

  53. mshulman says:

    I actually can't wait to buy one.  Although I'm not sure I'll buy the MS version, I may wait to see what else is out.  I already have an Iconia w500 tab running windows 8, so there's no rush for me.

    • extremely_well says:

      I agree. MS simply kicked their manufacturers in the ass. Now those OEM's will attempt to outdo MS's tablets in order to remain relevant. And unlike popular belief here, no, the OEMs won't wait for MS tablets to come to market to gauge success. Windows 8 tablet success is a guarantee by anyone who understand anything about technology... Every single OEM will make Windows 8 tablets in 2013. It's as clear as the sun in midday.

      • skruis says:

        I've got the S7 and apart from some minor screen defects (raises above the bezel), it's been pretty great.  The only thing that might make the Surface better is the newer version of the i5, battery life, the screen and there will probably be more accessories for it than there are for the S7.  Samsung charges way to much for their official accessories.

        Either way, the amount of people that have bought already existing tablets just to try out Windows 8 properly and the amount of people that have continued to use as their primary OS/device is pretty encouraging.  OEM's will have to move fast to capture the market because Surface will sell pretty well.  My semi-techy brother saw it on his own and can't wait to buy one and my iPhone owning friend was pretty impressed with it to and was actually telling me, who has a W8 tablet already, what the advantages were of having one over an iPad.  There's some real buzz surrounding Surface.  It's just a shame that it will be months before we have it in our hands.

        But launch is too soon for the OEM's to revise their lineups.  Perhaps we'll see some stellar 2nd generation models from the OEM's to match Surface?

  54. Ken Berger says:

    All your points are valid for the user who wants a very portable computer that can run the stuff they currently use, but MSFT has not told / shown us enough to remotely determine that ether surface can do this.  
    The Atom processor must be powerful enough, the amount of Ram need to be enough and keyboard needs to be useable enough. If this turns out to be an other netbook in terms of power then it will be DOA as you will still need a Ultrabook or MacAir to do real work on.
    Also Office is losing ground quickly as it is not as currently designed suited for lower power machines or non enterprise use.  Word is bloated and hard to use, it needs a ground up re-write  (and hopefully the Metro version will fix this) most students and many C level executives do not use it any more and they are the ones leading the consumerization of IT.
    Excel on the other hand continues to be the gold standard.

    The whole surface thing is a bigger question as MSFt has revealed so little, and the big question remains why so little (as in are there issues with the stuff they are not talking about from price to performance and reliability).  The fact that it crashed during the demo is not a good sign as it makes it look like Vista!

    MSFT rarely does 1.0 products well, and tho time they probably won't get a change to wait until 3.0 for it to really work. On the other hand if they can deliver a good Office experience on a tablet at a competitive price they will continue to own the enterprise space.

    • Adas Weber says:

      It's NOT an Atom processor. It's an Intel i5 Ivy Bridge processor. They've already explained that.

    • Niro says:

      The Atom processor must be powerful enough"

      Intel i5 inside on the pro version...makes your whole post kind of moot doesn't it?

    • bmovie says:

      I can understand the power of Excel with its macros and formulas.
      Perhaps PowerPoint has its power for creating presentations most people grew up with and to then present it on the same machine would be efficient...but what is the value of Word in today's paperless world? 

      You only need one serif typeface, one san serif typeface, a symbols font...headers and footers, tabs, baseline shifts, and a table of contents, word count maybe HTML and convert to .pdf. All word programs have spell check, find and replace, and dictionaries. Unless you are doing scientific papers with complex formulas, where is this need to umbilical cord yourself to Word?

  55. Robert says:

    I've been asking all around and have confirmed from Microsoft that the Microsoft Surface with Windows 8 Pro INCLUDES Hyper-V. Let me say again, the Surface with Windows 8 Pro INCLUDES Hyper-V. OMG. This is bloody awesome. I'm thinking Surface RT for the wife and kids and Surface Pro for me. I hope they plan on making a lot of these.

    • skruis says:

      I heard they're only planning on selling them in Microsoft Retail stores and on-line.  I was really hoping to see these in Best Buy.

  56. scxfan says:

    Seriously. Are you really going to run AutoCad on a 10.6" widescreen display?


    Maya 3D.

    You are drinking the kool-aid pretty heavily my friend.

    • mshulman says:

      You could always connect the tablet to a larger screen via a dock.

      • Alfiejr says:

        or just get a good laptop with a larger screen instead. which is what 99% of those users will do.

      • Niro says:

        @Alfiejr:disqus "or just get a good laptop with a larger screen instead. which is what 99% of those users will do."
        Oh yea?  If I have to travel with my heavy camera gear, and I can take this little tablet with me to do some quick editing and when I get home dock it so I can do some of the heavier work that requires that bigger screen...I will!  Why would I get a giant laptop with me when I can take this 1.5lb one instead?  Most of my heavy work will be done on a PC anyway, or a docked laptop (or docked surface now I guess).

        But then again, you performed a study about what "those" users will do, didn't you?

      • mshulman says:

        @alfiefr:disqus If that was what 99% of users do, then the iPad wouldn't be as successful as it is.

        I may still have a laptop, depending on performance of a tablet or even maybe just for a larger screen, but if I can also get everything my laptop can do on a 10" tablet to travel with, I'm all for that.  

    • Mihaita Bamburic says:

      I'm not saying you could replace a laptop. But you could work on it. That's the whole point. I work with AutoCAD and Robot on a 17" 1680x1050 screen, so I know where you're coming from, but there's a good enough resolution.
      I think that if you're going to have to work on the go and even look at PP presentations you're better off with Surface.
      I never said it could replace a fully fledged laptop, but it could be the solution for many people looking for a tablet that can do more than the common stuff we have come accustomed to do on one.
      I think many people would surprise us by using various little programs, that they want and/or need on a tablet, that we can't even think of. There's potential.

  57. scxfan says:

    I think the keyboard is more hyped than the tablet itself.

    • bmovie says:

      Everyone seems to be magnetized to the keyboard, but it's an admission by Microsoft that they could not come up with a better onscreen, digital solution. Imagine a floating, transparent keyboard with a digital mouse that you could call up when needed! No need for a physical keyboard or mouse. Something like that would truly justify a name like "Surface".

      • Mick Truss says:

         Yeah a keyboard that takes up half the screen space.  That's cool, half of the screen left to work with.

      • skruis says:

        Hmmm, I rather actually like their onscreen keyboard implementation.

    • danman1111 says:

      But the keyboard is a red herring.

      Can't use the keyboard standing or sitting (without a table). At a table, who wants to use an 11 inch screen when a 13-15 inch screen is cheaper and has a physical keyboard.

      The only way this product works is if it is a touch product (or stylus) that you can use while standing. 

      Jack of all trades, master of none. MS needs to fully integrate the touch screen into apps and leave the touchpad in the past. 

  58. bmovie says:

    We've had the personal computer since the late 1970's and the US probably has the most computers per citizen of any country in the world, but we have not ended up being the smartest or richest nation in the world. In fact, child poverty has risen and math scores have dropped. We have not wiped out wars or disease, or stopped tornados and floods and use computers mainly for the consumption of goods we can't afford and the playing of games when we aren't bootlegging movies. Don't think that buying a tablet (any tablet) that allows you to swipe and scroll will better solve or improve any of the problems and things we now deal with via keyboard, mouse and monitor. 

  59. steve_webb says:

    "Surface is the only tablet that can be used for more than common tasks..."

    Finally, a review from someone who has actually used the Surface!

    oh...wait...never mind.

    • skruis says:

      I think his comments are more geared towards Windows 8 and the accessories than Surface itself.  Anyone that's used a Windows 8 slate knows that it can be used for more than common tasks.  It's already happening though...that a reference to Surface is an automatic reference to Windows 8 as a whole and not that specific device itself.

  60. Guy Meintjes says:

    I've personally used a Samsung tablet running Win 8, not mine sadly, someone closely affiliated with MS. I used MS Office 2010 on it, which worked great. I was even shown hyper-v running server 08 and MS-SQL 08 on a tablet. The Surface is optimized for Win 8 so I imagine it'll be even better. Personally, I can't wait!

  61. bmovie says:

    Think Windows 8 is such a hot deal? Listen to Joe Wilcox fumble the Windows ball on Tech Nite Owl Live with Gene Steinberg from this weekend. Not only is it a bad blind date, it's Coyote ugly!

    ...then download the player/podcast

  62. Flydog57 says:

    Since you study engineering, one thing that you will find interesting in the Surface Pro is that it includes a stylus.  Windows+OneNote+a stylus is a great way to keep all your notes.

  63. kmuzu says:

    WiFi only

  64. ilev says:

    Modbook Pro puts the Surface to shame.
    The Modbook Pro’s configurable base system includes a 2.5GHz dual core Intel® Core™ i5 processor or 2.9GHz dual core Intel Core i7 processor, up to 16GB of RAM, a 2.5–inch SATA drive (up to 1TB HDD or up to 960GB SSD), an 8X SuperDrive® DVD burner, an Intel HD Graphics 4000 chipset, 802.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0 wireless connectivity capability, a built-in 63.5-watt-hour lithium-polymer battery and a 60W MagSafe® power adapter.1
    Alongside the MagSafe power port, the Modbook Pro’s base system has one Gigabit Ethernet port, one FireWire® 800 port, one USB 3.0 port, one Thunderbolt™ port, one SDXC card slot and one audio line in/out.
    Modbook Pro users can enjoy the full range of OS X Mountain Lion-compatible applications running on the base system, including favorites such as iTunes® and iLife®.
    In addition, users can run OS X’s Boot Camp® application to install 32- or 64-bit Microsoft® Windows® 7 (sold separately) to turn their Modbook Pro into a powerful tablet PC.

    • Brett Gilpin says:

      I stopped reading the second you mentioned the "dual core Intel Core i7 processor." Obviously, you don't know computers and their processors.

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