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  1. #1
    Microsoft Announces Their Tablet
    I.M.O.G.'s Avatar
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    Microsoft Announces Their Tablet
    It's detailed in short on our sister site Overclockers:
    [FEATURED] June 18, 2012 Microsoft just announced their own Tablet - Overclockers Forums

    Anyone paying attention to it or have any thoughts on it as an iPad competitor?
    Matt Bidinger
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  2. #2
    Microsoft Announces Their Tablet
    vansmith's Avatar
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    I have to admit that I'm intrigued. I've made my views on Windows 8 pretty clear (as a desktop OS, it's an abomination) but in a tablet, I think it can work and work well (I am admittedly someone who likes WP7). From my perspective (as a student), the RT version is especially intriguing - it comes with Office, a full size USB port and a case that doubles as a keyboard and trackpad. Evernote is on board with a Metro version which is also excellent.

    However, I have some concerns. As far as I know, there is no stellar PDF annotation application (please feel free to prove me wrong because I'd love it if there were), no Dropbox (yet) and no third party browsers (I can't do IE10 for days on end). The lack of backward compatibility with the RT version is of no concern to me - you go into a tablet knowing that it's a new ecosystem.
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  3. #3
    Microsoft Announces Their Tablet
    Stretch's Avatar
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    As someone on my twitter feed said, they've only announced a prototype currently. Until they've announced:
    1. battery life
    2. price
    3. release date
    they have nothing.

    I agree.
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  4. #4
    Microsoft Announces Their Tablet
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    The price will be "competitive" so I'd expect it to fall in line with the iPad and higher end Android tablets in terms of price.

    The battery issue is an interesting one. Given that there is a lower powered ARM version and an Intel i5 version, I expect the battery life to be either considerably different or the same but accomplished through the use of very different battery sizes.
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  5. #5
    Microsoft Announces Their Tablet
    Doug b's Avatar
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    Here's my question: Balmer says that it's a PC and a Tablet. Best of both worlds, right? Sounds great, but... I can already see an issue with where apps will be coming from. Are they introducing a revamped sort of app store, or will they be doing it repository style, ala Ubuntu etc?

    To me, if there isn't a central place for well made applications (pretty much the opposite of most of the Android Market), then specs and the rest of it matter for nothing.

    I see a lot of people on the Overclock site bragging about the fact that it's a "computer" and that it has a better processor (Ivy Bridge, duh... no kidding) and that they'd dump the iPad in a heartbeat yada yada, but there are so many other things to factor in when considering a tablet.

    That said, I think the Surface looks absolutely beautiful and classy. The keyboard covers are also quite brilliant and in a way, I'm surprised that Apple didn't do something similar since they're all about being minimalist and taking a simple approach to solutions where efficiency is concerned.

    Admittedly, I'm also intrigued. To have such a form factor, and if the screen is anywhere close to as good as the iPad's, taking it with me on vacation, or a photo shoot or to a client for proofing while working would be fantastic. To me, the one thing that has always been a thorn in the iPad's side (for what I do) is not having the ability to attach external storage. If MS's offering here pans out the way they're expecting it to, and support remains strong, I'll most definitely "consider" going that route.

    It's a tool, just like the iPad. And if it happens to work better for me, I'm there.

    Doug

  6. #6
    Microsoft Announces Their Tablet
    Doug b's Avatar
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    Oh, here's the MS "Keynote" for anyone interested. Their tablet crashes somewhere around 14:10

    http://www.theverge.com/2012/6/19/30...ent-video-live

    Oh and Matt, shouldn't MS related posts go in the Lounge or something? I dunno.. was looking for this thread again, and didn't really think to look in the iPad section since it's not an Apple product.

    Doug

  7. #7
    Microsoft Announces Their Tablet
    I.M.O.G.'s Avatar
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    Dunno Doug, but I wouldn't be offended if a mod wanted to move this if they see fit. It made sense to me to put it here because I was interested in the perception from the iPad audience specifically.

    EDIT: By the way, I think I pretty much agree with all your perceptions so far!
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  8. #8
    Microsoft Announces Their Tablet
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug b View Post
    Here's my question: Balmer says that it's a PC and a Tablet. Best of both worlds, right? Sounds great, but... I can already see an issue with where apps will be coming from. Are they introducing a revamped sort of app store, or will they be doing it repository style, ala Ubuntu etc?

    To me, if there isn't a central place for well made applications (pretty much the opposite of most of the Android Market), then specs and the rest of it matter for nothing.
    The Windows Store should handle that job. In fact, it's the only way to get apps in the RT (ARM) version. As to how MS manages the store, I'll have to defer to someone else.

    I moved this over to Schweb's Lounge - this kinds of fits nowhere and everywhere so we'll leave it here.
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  9. #9
    Microsoft Announces Their Tablet
    Doug b's Avatar
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    LOL Sorry Matt, I didn't mean to throw you under the bus bro! So I'm watching the Surface presentation, and one thing that I don't like about it thus far is the widescreen format/resolution. It's great for landscape orientation, but for portrait styled use, I think it's a bit on the narrow side. I'll have to hold one to be sure though.

    The other thing I'm noticing is how long in the tooth the code for Windows is getting. I realize that Win 8 isn't completed yet, but they'd have fared far better with their entire line of products if they had the courage to start from scratch with the OS, rather than just add layers on to what is essentially the same OS from way back in the day. Though technically, I'm not sure of how far back that actually is.

    It seems laggy and it actually crashed during the presentation, not a good sign. Kind of wish they had written an OS specifically for the Arm processor and maybe even did some major refinements with OS 8, as in get rid of unnecessary code and replace it with proper lines for such a device. But what do I know.

    I'll say this much though... REAL multitasking is looking really fantastic on this thing! At about 19 minutes in, check it out.

    Doug

    P.S. Steven Sinofsky is HORRIBLE at presentations!

  10. #10
    Microsoft Announces Their Tablet
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    I agree on the widescreen format . . . first thing I noticed. Beautiful for watching videos but Portrait mode would be challenging for these aging eyes.

    Regardless, I'm glad to see this (providing it doesn't turn into vaporware). Competition is great and it would be nice for someone to push Apple in this area.
    I've always wanted to be smart, handsome and modest. But, I guess I'll have to be satisfied with two out of three . . .

  11. #11
    Microsoft Announces Their Tablet
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    Like others here, waiting for more info like price and battery life, but am very impressed overall. Anandtech has a small hands on with the Surface and they are very impressed.

    I believe it will be some serious competition for the iPad. I love the idea of the ports. Windows 8 is a great Tablet/Phone OS, but Like Van I just can not stand it as a Desktop OS. I feel this is the intended usage for Windows 8 by Microsoft.

    Agree with the others here, but time will tell on the store and resolution.

    To end this, I am VERY impressed overall.

  12. #12
    Microsoft Announces Their Tablet
    Doug b's Avatar
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    Just finished watching it, and have a few more observations and comments. First I'll tackle what annoyed the heck out of me.

    1. The current generation of MS corporate heads are totally out of touch with the type of audience the Surface is aimed at. They need to stop trying to get "personal" with their kitchy catch phrases which make them come off as a bunch of geriatrics trying to sound hip and in touch. The use of phrases such as "eco system" and "personal experience" or possessive adjectives such as "yours" really come off as them trying to deliver the same speeches we'd hear at an Apple Keynote. That really annoyed the heck out of me. They need to get their P.R. team together and fire the lot. Start with a clean slate and have them take control of their own team rather than have corporate dictate the kind of cold, meaningless drivel that was present there. I could go on but.. I digress.

    The other things that stand out and that are not strictly positive are more questions than anything, so on to the positive:

    1. Wow. MS has the opportunity to do so much right here! The design/aesthetics, power, simplicity and functionality for a tablet here are truly looking to be outstanding! They really seemed to have taken their time and put an immense amount of detail into this thing from A-Y. *more on that after* From the beautiful keyboards to the sleek fold-away stand, central ventilation/cooling duct and even the proper place for the magnetic stylus.

    HDMI, USB 2/3 and a micro USB port, without sacrificing form factor or weight. Running REAL applications and not just ports of them? YES PLEASE! Using Photoshop or Lightroom on a 2 lb. tablet would be one of the best things to happen to me since sliced bread, if it is implemented properly. Just being able to have my entire catalog available, and all of my photos on an portable external drive is ... well, droolalicious. Now of course, I could have an MacBook Air or any other notebook for this kind of thing, but we're talking about portability now!

    Ok, so the MBA is quite light, but it's also a notebook with a totally different form factor. We're talking ultimate convenience and ultimate portability all round'. This tablet seems to fit that bill to me. I guess I could go on a bit more, but have to get ready for work soon. So on to questions:

    What about security? This is after all, Windows that we are talking about. Not an mobile OS like iOS that is sitting nicely behind it's lovely walled garden, minding its own business keeping its users safe from all the bad people out there!

    The OS its self. What assurances do we have that it's not just more bloatware from MS that will eventually cause the entire platform to come "crashing" down? I have lived without BSOD's for more than 5 years now, and don't feel like going back to them at this point.

    Hate to be short, but must get running. More later.

    Doug

  13. #13
    Microsoft Announces Their Tablet
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug b View Post
    What about security? This is after all, Windows that we are talking about. Not an mobile OS like iOS that is sitting nicely behind it's lovely walled garden, minding its own business keeping its users safe from all the bad people out there!
    Stick with the ARM version and you should be fine here since the only applications that can be installed are ones that come from the Windows Store. However, such an option precludes you from running the software you mentioned earlier. Looks like you get one world or the other.

    Quote Originally Posted by Doug b View Post
    The OS its self. What assurances do we have that it's not just more bloatware from MS that will eventually cause the entire platform to come "crashing" down? I have lived without BSOD's for more than 5 years now, and don't feel like going back to them at this point.
    I have a bit of a different experience than you. I find Windows 7 to be relatively stable and solid and most people I know tend to agree. Aside from that, you bring up an interesting point about bloat. A Windows install will be much larger than an iOS one and one has to wonder what MS will be doing to accommodate this (since the HD sizes are fairly similar except for the top of the line pro model).
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  14. #14
    Microsoft Announces Their Tablet
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    Van, I agree on Windows 7 but in our case it's because we know what we are doing. I have seen some seriously messed up Windows 7 systems in the hands of careless people who download everything out there no matter what!

    7 though is a very stable and fine OS. Probably the last Windows for a Desktop I will ever like.

  15. #15
    Microsoft Announces Their Tablet
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    I'll admit, I was a little surprised to see MS debut two Windows tablet models. When I first saw Windows 8 and their intentions to create an ARM-based version that could run only Metro apps, I thought it would be confusing for users (many of whom think "Windows" and assume "this will run all my Windows apps"). But when they unveiled two - a model that runs the full Windows OS and a hobbled version that only runs Metro apps, I was dumbstruck.

    Microsoft has to do something to disambiguate what a Windows tablet is. If they don't market this thing right, it will create tremendous confusion and ultimately sink it as a mass-market product. It will likely find a niche with the hardcore Windows fans, but that is a very small and nearly insignificant niche - that would be the same niche that the Tablet PC sold to, and we all know how successful that was.

    So, this should be interesting to watch. One thing that really strikes me is how derivative both models are. Truly, there's nothing new to see here on the Intel-based version, this has been done time and again, but this time with Windows 8. The Windows RT version is a little more significant, but again, the iPad is very well entrenched, as is the Kindle Fire and the myriad Android tablets. Again, Microsoft isn't bringing anything new to the table.

    In short, this is kind of a yawn in much the same way the Zune was at the height of the iPod's popularity. But it should be interesting to watch.
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