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Microsoft Announces 'Surface' Tablet

Unknown Lamer posted more than 2 years ago | from the but-will-it-run-Debian dept.

Cloud 712

MrSeb was one of several submitters to write in about Microsoft's foray into the tablet hardware market. From the article: "At its much-discussed 'big unveil' this evening, Microsoft did indeed launch a tablet — but rumors that the device would showcase a Barnes & Noble partnership were misplaced. Instead, Microsoft showed a ... device that integrates a better keyboard option than typing on the screen without adding size or weight. That's where the new keyboard — which doubles as a screen cover — kicks in. At 3mm thick, it adds virtually nothing to the device's size, but it opens up a world of inputs. There are two covers available — the Touch Cover (very thin) and the Type Cover (with proper, tactile keys). Microsoft is touting the device's magnesium body, vapor-deposited construction, full PC functionality, and additional features like being the first tablet to showcase a 2×2 MIMO wireless antenna. Windows RT (ARM) and x86 versions are both in the works, with the x86 version apparently having a higher quality screen. No word on hardware specs yet; Microsoft is claiming it 'rivals the best ultrabooks' and uses less power than the Core i5." Microsoft has a launch site with a few pictures. There is a vague spec sheet: the x86 version is slightly thicker and has a larger battery (and comes with a pen) than the ARM tablet, but that's about all it reveals. Update: 06/19 16:06 GMT by T : Nick Kolakowski at GeekNet's SlashCloud says this may be Microsoft's best chance to compete in a cloud-centric mobile computing world.

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Surface Tablet (2, Funny)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 2 years ago | (#40368161)

Surface Tablet
Firm for blade
Whose reflection shows
The foamy wave. . .
Burma Shave

Ref: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eternal_Father,_Strong_to_Save [wikipedia.org]

Man, You're Really Beating a Dead Horse (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40368203)

I think you've [slashdot.org] exhausted [slashdot.org] that joke [slashdot.org] for now [slashdot.org] . Jesus, is your house just post-it note after post-it note of burma shave style phrases?

Re:Man, You're Really Beating a Dead Horse (1, Redundant)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 2 years ago | (#40368415)

MyCleanPC is your God and savior (-1, Offtopic)

SmashAssOnEnigmas (2665555) | more than 2 years ago | (#40368465)

A few days ago, a customer brought in their PC for repair. They told me that they had a very nasty virus that was holding their computer hostage and wouldn't stop unless they paid the creators $50. "Alright," I thought. "That's pretty standard."

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Re:MyCleanPC is your God and savior (0, Offtopic)

alphax45 (675119) | more than 2 years ago | (#40368513)

Die in a fire!!!

Re:MyCleanPC is your God and savior (4, Funny)

wjousts (1529427) | more than 2 years ago | (#40368541)

Reformatting and using all of the usual software to try to remove the virus didn't help at all!

Wow! Must be one of those magic virus that hides itself somewhere in the computer that survives wiping the hard drive. Either that or you are the most incompetent tech ever. I wouldn't take a recommendation for scam PC clean-up software from the world's most incompetent computer tech.

Re:Surface Tablet (0, Redundant)

Robert Bowles (2733) | more than 2 years ago | (#40368487)

Mod parent up.

Funny.

It came first.

Informative.

Not the worst.

Burma Shave

Wait, Surface? (5, Informative)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 2 years ago | (#40368167)

Isn't "Surface" the name of their SDK for both devices and Windows 7 computers [microsoft.com] that's been available since 2009 [arstechnica.com] ?

Also, is this just like the Courier [slashdot.org] or will we one day actually see these devices like the Zune?

Re:Wait, Surface? (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 2 years ago | (#40368367)

Also their big-ass table [youtube.com] that was sold as kiosk devices in hotels and bars. They were only $10,000 each.

Re:Wait, Surface? (4, Insightful)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#40368381)

Close. Surface is their multi-touch-for-high-values-of-'multi' large-display technology, but yes, it is rather silly of them to use one name for two unrelated products.

Zune or Xbox? (5, Insightful)

Morty (32057) | more than 2 years ago | (#40368391)

The most important question is, which Microsoft model will this emulate, Zune or Xbox?

Zune -- MSFT enters an existing market with a device that is putatively well-speced and well-priced. But MSFT fails to get the details right, and has a crappy advertising campaign. MSFT sinks tons of money into it and eventually gives up.

Xbox -- MSFT enters an existing market with a device that is putatively well-speced and well-priced. But MSFT fails to get the details right, and has a crappy advertising campaign. MSFT sinks tons of money into it and eventually outspends the competitors and fixes enough hardware and software issues that it comes to dominate the market.

With Zune, MSFT's front-running competitor was Apple. With Xbox, it was Sony and Nintendo. Now, it's Apple again. This does not bode well for MSFT's ability to win through.

I only see two ways that MSFT can pull through this: (1) they can leverage the Office and desktop monopolies to go after the business space; (2) their sheer desperation to keep from becoming irrelevant will force them to keep spending until they figure it out. With Zune, failure was on the table -- music players did not directly threaten their core Windows business. The iPad and Apple ecosystem, OTOH, now are threatening their core Windows business.

Re:Zune or Xbox? (1)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 2 years ago | (#40368523)

MS doesn't dominate the game console market, they are competitive now instead of being a joke but Sony and Nintendo are still around, and MS don't have any competitor for them in the handheld market.

Incidentally, most people i know who bought xbox over ps3 was because it was easier to get it modded and pirate the games, while sony managed to alienate all the people who bought a ps3 to run linux...
I chose ps3 over xbox for that reason, and i also had a few games for it... Now i have a unit which cannot play new games or else i will lose my linux install, so i won't be buying anything from sony in future, and i was actually looking forward to playing twisted metal having liked it on the ps1 years back.

Re:Wait, Surface? (1)

bemymonkey (1244086) | more than 2 years ago | (#40368399)

And also that huge touchscreen table project of theirs from a while back...

Re:Wait, Surface? (5, Insightful)

DrgnDancer (137700) | more than 2 years ago | (#40368411)

It appears to be a real product that they will sell, like the Zune. Most of the analysts seem to be debating the Wisdom of Microsoft competing directly with its hardware partners. Price point for the Win RT version has been stated as "competitive" with iPad, but the Windows 8 version is looking like it's going to be expensive (~$1000). It's going to compete with ultrabooks, and run i386 Windows software I assume. Still a bit of a risk going so high above the "standard" tablet pricing though.

Neat cover ... (5, Interesting)

hattig (47930) | more than 2 years ago | (#40368171)

http://www.thedailymash.co.uk/news/science-technology/microsoft-unveils-new-tablet-for-uncool-people-2012061931075 [thedailymash.co.uk]

IMO, the keyboard touchpad cover is an interesting (and required for Windows and Office) invention.

But the low-resolution display (1366x768) on the ARM version is going to compare badly against the iPad 3 and upcoming Android tablets, and the pricing will have to reflect that.

Re:Neat cover ... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40368223)

Yes, because over pricing under specced devices is Apple's idea, how dare Microsoft copy Apple.

Re:Neat cover ... (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40368237)

IMO, the keyboard cover is just what is needed in the tablet space. It is the number 1 selling accessory for the iPad. But I can't shake the feeling that we're gradually building a laptop yet again. Remember the netbooks that started small, limited, and cheap. They gradually grew larger and more functional until they were basically laptops. Further back there were the handheld PC's that started very limited and gradually aded features like a color screen, networking stack, web browser, until they basically resembled mini laptops (albeit still limited in functionality.) Some of them even run Linux.

Re:Neat cover ... (2)

satuon (1822492) | more than 2 years ago | (#40368315)

Remember the netbooks that started small, limited, and cheap. They gradually grew larger and more functional until they were basically laptops.

Well netbooks are still small (about 10 inch screen). That's not at all like the regular laptop which is 15.6''. The big difference for me is how much portable they are, I have a netbook and a laptop and if I want to do something quick I open the netbook, it's just more convenient to move it around.

Re:Neat cover ... (4, Insightful)

EasyTarget (43516) | more than 2 years ago | (#40368241)

That 'low res' screen will still look very good, and is way better than most people are used to from current generation of devices (yep, super resolution screens are better, but you really need to put them side-by-side for the difference to be obvious).

It is what is happening on the display that will make or break this, not whether geeks get a stiffy over it's pixel-count.

Re:Neat cover ... (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40368519)

Not to mention, those big metro flat-colored squares don't get any sharper at higher rez.

Re:Neat cover ... (5, Interesting)

DrgnDancer (137700) | more than 2 years ago | (#40368537)

I dunno. Work bought a couple of iPads recently for developing a mobile app. While the high res display is non-obvious in things like the desktop or e-mail, anything graphical is quite obviously and noticeably better on the new screens. We pulled up satellite imagery in Google maps and were quite literally shocked by the quality of the images. This was without any lower res screens to compare with initially, it was just obviously better than what we had seen before. After a few minutes someone brought out an older iPad and someone else an older Android tablet so we could do a direct comparison. That made the quality more obvious, but even standing alone, the quality was impressive.

Of course we're all computer professionals (programmers and systems people), and we work with graphics day to day, so maybe that's part of it. All in all, I was impressed. Honestly, the screen update from my iPhone 3GS to my 4S, while nice and certainly noticeable in a direct comparison, hadn't impressed me all that much. On the larger screen it's *much* more obvious.

But what is it? (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40368331)

It's neither a tablet, a lap top or vagina

Re:Neat cover ... (0)

Troyusrex (2446430) | more than 2 years ago | (#40368333)

But the low-resolution display (1366x768) on the ARM version is going to compare badly against the iPad 3 and upcoming Android tablets, and the pricing will have to reflect that.

1366X768 is "low res"? Sure it's no retina display but it's still better than the original iPad and iPad 2 both of which were fairly impressive.

Re:Neat cover ... (2)

Gideon Wells (1412675) | more than 2 years ago | (#40368417)

I think the low resolution display is in part because they factored that display as the most used resolution when designing Windows 8? I remember seeing they did a survey and found that to be the case. It is a shame, though, that they aren't aiming ahead of the target since in this case they are producing the hardware. With Win8 they aiming to make it work for the lowest common denominator.

Re:Neat cover ... (4, Interesting)

ledow (319597) | more than 2 years ago | (#40368443)

All the flimsiness of a cheap USB keyboard would still be outweighed by that tacky cover.

Nice idea to put the keyboard in a cover. But so ridiculously thin means it will either break or the underlying matrix will be destroyed long before the usable life of the product itself. And isn't it just recognition that tablet-only input is insufficient? All you've done is made a laptop with a fancy thin keyboard, in essence. And thin keyboards are hard to type nicely on (travel distance is one of the best metric for judging a keyboard), especially if they are on a hard surface (which is what this would need - so my portable tablet PC now needs a desk to hold the keyboard!)

I have a roll-up-able keyboard in my parts cupboard. Useful for taking to people's houses to eliminate the keyboard as a problem. Although the keys are thicker, that seems to be through choice because the base surface and connectors are't, and yet it's waterproof, roll-able, costs literally pence, etc. And, despite being 90% rubber, that's infinitely more sturdy than that 3mm thick thing they expect you to type on.

Having a keyboard is a good idea. The tablet obviously NEEDS a keyboard. Having THAT keyboard, and as your "cover" (so people will rely on it to fend off certain other objects) seems quite stupid.

I still don't see the advantage of that over, say, a laptop or even just having the tablet on its own.

I'm confused (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40368185)

Is this launching before or after the Courier?

No Battery Life or Price? (5, Insightful)

Manip (656104) | more than 2 years ago | (#40368193)

Without realistic battery life estimates and a price this might have well be Vaporware. If Microsoft had a decent track record for producing mobile devices we might be able to let it slide, but the truth is Microsoft's previous attempts at the mobile space have had horrible battery life (e.g. less than two hours).

My fear is that the Surface will be a wonderful tablet but will wind up with such a short battery life that nobody buys it for that very reason alone.

Re:No Battery Life or Price? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40368339)

Don't forget about this marvelous quote on the web site [microsoft.com] : Images are design renderings and not photographs...

Of course there was a functional tablet on the video, but it may be yet another prototype that would be forgotten like the Courier.

Re:No Battery Life or Price? (2)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 2 years ago | (#40368413)

These are the ways that I was able to determine that it is different than previous Windows tablets:
  • Kickstand
  • Keyboard cover
  • Thinness
  • Weight
  • Windows 8

But that's not a whole lot.

Re:No Battery Life or Price? (-1, Flamebait)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 2 years ago | (#40368425)

Without realistic battery life estimates and a price this might have well be Vaporware.

Why? Fan-boys seem well prepared to forgive [msn.com] Apple [gizmodo.com] for any battery problems [forbes.com] . Why is it suddenly an issue for Microsoft?

Re:No Battery Life or Price? (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 2 years ago | (#40368463)

MS has made some really good and really bad hardware, and does seem to be learning. For example the XBOX 360 is generally pretty good, but suffered from reliability issues. Kinect was something special that no-one else has come close to yet. Their keyboards and mice are also pretty top notch.

I don't think they would be dumb enough to release a tablet with pathetic battery life. They clearly put a lot of effort into every other aspect of the design. It will at least be competitive.

We'll see (4, Insightful)

kqs (1038910) | more than 2 years ago | (#40368197)

If this was an Apple announcement I'd likely be excited, since most new Apple products have lived up to their hype. But I've been burned by Microsoft too many times. Until the products are on sale, until we have detailed specs, until MS proves it can over-deliver and under-price, I don't much care.

Hype (-1, Troll)

killmenow (184444) | more than 2 years ago | (#40368283)

since most new Apple products have lived up to their hype.

Really? Last time I looked the world was still far short of utopia.

Re:We'll see (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40368291)

Over deliver and under price? You're talking about Apple right? I'd say they "Deliver" and "Over price" to say they under price is just funny.

Re:We'll see (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40368457)

Of course Apple delivers - but wait, you're just holding your phone wrong...

Re:We'll see (4, Interesting)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 2 years ago | (#40368305)

I am kind of excited, because unless they locked the bootloader, this will be a cool device for Ubuntu or another linux. Hell Let's install Android ICS on it.
Android tablet hardware quality is pretty lacking, MSFT will certianly put out a device that is as nicely built as the ipad. And I really want a high end Android tablet.

Re:We'll see (5, Informative)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#40368447)

The ARM one will certainly be locked - MS requires that as a condition of other manufacturers of Windows RT devices, and I can imagine no reason they wouldn't do so themselves. The x86... maybe, maybe not. I don't know.

Re:We'll see (1)

makomk (752139) | more than 2 years ago | (#40368469)

One word: Siri.

This is particularly true for Apple customers that do not, in fact, live in the US.

Had to include a keyboard (5, Funny)

GeneralTurgidson (2464452) | more than 2 years ago | (#40368205)

How else do you CTRL+ALT+DEL a Microsoft operating system?

Re:Had to include a keyboard (5, Funny)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 2 years ago | (#40368311)

The face palm multitouch gesture?

Re:Had to include a keyboard (5, Funny)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 2 years ago | (#40368325)

If it has a built in accelerometer, you could shake it upside down like an etch-a-sketch.

Re:Had to include a keyboard (2)

BenJury (977929) | more than 2 years ago | (#40368485)

The first person to do this so that the jesture kills any crashed applications will get all of my money.

Re:Had to include a keyboard (0)

humanrev (2606607) | more than 2 years ago | (#40368337)

Normally it's achieved via a soft/hardkey dedicated to the combo keystroke.

Oh shit, sorry, I didn't realize you were joking. Most other sites have people actually enthusiastic about this thing and debating between each other about the merits of what is known so far - but I guess a 90's era joke is what's first modded up to Score: 5.

Re:Had to include a keyboard (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#40368461)

Joke or not, you can't use windows without ctrl-alt-del. It's required to unlock the screen.

Re:Had to include a keyboard (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40368511)

In win8, the default lockscreen requires you to press a random key - or swipe up - to reveal the username/password entry fields.

Why? (0)

Kupfernigk (1190345) | more than 2 years ago | (#40368477)

It's just an attempt to keep the Microsoft desktop model relevant in the second decade of the 21st century. It's like the GM Volt, which is an attempt to produce a hybrid vehicle which is as much like a traditional US car as possible. The Volt isn't nearly as good as an (insert Toyota/Lexus hybrid of choice here) where the entire power train is designed for efficiency. This thing is going to be outgunned by (Apple/Samsung/Asus) very quickly.

I could be wrong, but I suspect that the history of computing will record that the Microsoft Surface itself was "a 90's era joke moderated up to +5" (by the Microsoft marketing department).

Surface is the iPad you can work on. Video. (1)

ehack (115197) | more than 2 years ago | (#40368211)

http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/news/presskits/windows/videogallery2b.aspx [microsoft.com]

I plan to get one of these to use all day with OneNote.

Microsoft is blending the device for viewing and for creating.

Re:Surface is the iPad you can work on. Video. (1)

mcwop (31034) | more than 2 years ago | (#40368271)

You can view and create on an iPad or android tablet. I'd wait for battery life stats first, before claiming all day work.

Re:Surface is the iPad you can work on. Video. (1, Funny)

catmistake (814204) | more than 2 years ago | (#40368323)

Thanks for posting. No slashdot summary comment browsing is complete these days without an unbiased and independent thinking commenter scrutinizing Apple with a well constructed bashing.

Re:Surface is the iPad you can work on. Video. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40368439)

The presentation was nice, but I found the video that has surfaced of Ballmer before his morning swim [youtube.com] more revealing.

LAUGHTER HEARD FROM STEVE JOBS' CRYPT !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40368213)

How does one spell FLAHP ??

3 mm thin (4, Funny)

SMoynihan (1647997) | more than 2 years ago | (#40368219)

From the Microsoft release:

"At 9.3mm, Surface for Windows RT is just thin enough to still sport a full sized USB port."

So if it was any thicker, it couldn't have such a port?? I know they don't want to say it is thick, but no need to murder the English language in the process.

Re:3 mm thin (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40368431)

It's irritating how companies just keep using buzzwords.

It doesn't weigh 676 grams, it's 676 grams "light".

It's not 9.3mm thick, it's "9.3 mm thin"

If they really think that'll make any difference with regard to someone buying it, they're kidding themselves. It makes me want to go get an iPad, because the tech specs for that say "Weight: 1.44 pounds (652 g)"

Re:3 mm thin (4, Funny)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 2 years ago | (#40368475)

I think it's not bad for a native Hindi speaker, come on. The whole article cost $0.38.

They missed one of Apple's best ideas (5, Insightful)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 2 years ago | (#40368221)

One idea that Apple has made good use out of is completely absent from Microsoft's presentation.

Ships Today!

Those two words are sometimes as important as the technology being demonstrated. Doing otherwise diminishes any excitement a good presentation brings.

How this played out to me is, that's nice. Oh, I can't get one? Oh.

As in, its forgettable.

Good notes, regardless.
Integrating the keyboard into the cover. This mitigates one of the biggest issues I have seen people with other tablets have. They do little real note taking and the few who did, well they had laptops or a BT keyboard.

Microsoft Office integration, will have to see how this plays out but this is the killer app. Integration with current use of Office and the like. Make it seamless please.

Re:They missed one of Apple's best ideas (5, Insightful)

mcwop (31034) | more than 2 years ago | (#40368261)

I take notes with my iPad, and have no problems doing it. I do mind map most of my notes. You can do plenty of work on the iPad.

Re:They missed one of Apple's best ideas (2)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 2 years ago | (#40368321)

I take better notes with my Fujitsu stylistic because it uses a Wacom tablet and does notwork at all with fingers. I cant get used to the hand hover required for the ipad.

I really wish the ipad had both and when it sensed a pen it disabled the capacitive touchscreen.

No! Are you trolling? (-1)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 2 years ago | (#40368281)

Ships Today!

There has always been a [short] delay before Apple's products shipped. Remember that to be successful, one does not necessarily have to imitate Apple.

Apple has had its share of failures, reminds me of the Apple Lisa.

Re:No! Are you trolling? (2)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 2 years ago | (#40368343)

Not always, for some things certainly but more often than not you could buy devices straight after the keynote, as stores then opened. More often it was things like the iPad, iPhone etc which had a delay, but I've bought laptops on the same day.

Re:No! Are you trolling? (3, Insightful)

Wovel (964431) | more than 2 years ago | (#40368353)

When the enter a new space you are correct. The differences are: Applemuses the product in the demos, Apple tells you when the device can be ordered, Apple tells you when the device will be shipped, and Apple tells you how much the device will cost. This is no more a shipping device than the slate was.

Re:No! Are you trolling? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40368377)

There has always been a [short] delay before Apple's products shipped.

Apple's most recent product announcement proves that entirely wrong.

Re:No! Are you trolling? (3, Funny)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | more than 2 years ago | (#40368405)

Apple has had its share of failures, reminds me of the Apple Lisa.

Well since the Lisa was 29 years ago, I'd say that a good track record.

Re:No! Are you trolling? (5, Insightful)

Sinister Stairs (25573) | more than 2 years ago | (#40368441)

Apple has had its share of failures, reminds me of the Apple Lisa.

It's bemusing you had to go back 30 years to be reminded of an Apple failure. ;)

I dislike Apple (as a company) even more than Microsoft now, but your statement just underscores how successful Apple has been in the past decade. Microsoft? Not so much.

Re:No! Are you trolling? (3, Informative)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 2 years ago | (#40368449)

Yes there was a delay but Apple told people two important things: (1) how much and (2) when it went on sale. Even if Apple didn't tell a specific date for the original iPhone, they did specify a quarter and the reasoning was that the device had not been FCC approved yet. For other devices, the public knew these essential facts.

They've Lost It (5, Insightful)

blcamp (211756) | more than 2 years ago | (#40368245)

Is this a bad laptop, or a bad iPad wannabe? I can't really tell at this point.

I've made a career and a living off Microsoft products, and I'm grateful to the life that company has allowed me to provide for myself. But it's clear now they're in decline. They've lost their edge, their focus... their ability to innovate. This is a defensive play, and it's just not gonna fly.

And I'm not just a consumer and a developer, but an MSFT shareholder. As such, I'd like to see Ballmer get out of Redmond and make way for someone to bring the company back to a leadership position... while there's still time.

Re:They've Lost It (3, Insightful)

Reibisch (1261448) | more than 2 years ago | (#40368289)

I'll no doubt get modded down for this, but why can't it be a new product category? Why does everything have to be considered either a laptop or a iPad?

Re:They've Lost It (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40368379)

First you have to define what makes a product category. If a product can easily fit inside an existing category, then it can't define a new one.

The way I see it, we've got desktop, laptop/netbook/ultrabook, tablet, phone, watch, glasses. There's also the "implant" category but I don't want to become a Borg.

Re:They've Lost It (1)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 2 years ago | (#40368427)

...why can't it be a new product category?

It is a compromise between two existing categories. I'm glad a company with the technology and money of Microsoft will make this widely available. Sometimes real world use is needed to accept an idea that may look weak when analyzed from a distance.

Re:They've Lost It (3, Insightful)

phayes (202222) | more than 2 years ago | (#40368453)

It needs to be in a category all by itself to avoid its sales figures being completely dominated by the iPad or being a footnote to other Win8 sales.

That way Microsoft can crow about how they are number one in their category however tepidly the devices sell...

Re:They've Lost It (2)

O('_')O_Bush (1162487) | more than 2 years ago | (#40368531)

Answer to 1. Because it isn't a new product, it is just a tablet pc made thinner. 2. Because people are ignorant or forgetful.

Tablet pc's (tablets with keyboards/peripheral support, or laptops with touchscreens) have been around since at least 2007 when I bought my first one. Tablets are not new, and neither are their compromise forms. Capacitive screens are newer, but the rest is same-old.

Saw the keyboard earlier. (1)

BanHammor (2587175) | more than 2 years ago | (#40368251)

I saw that type of keyboard on early Sony-Erricson smartphones. Looked strange enough. I guess it may be better on tablets.

Oliver will be happy (3, Insightful)

michaelmalak (91262) | more than 2 years ago | (#40368253)

Microsoft has released the Banana Jr. 6000.

Watch the keynote (3, Informative)

bencoder (1197139) | more than 2 years ago | (#40368267)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OCmudUDv3GA [youtube.com]

From about 10minutes in IIRC. I'm actually pretty impressed with the device(s).

Re:Watch the keynote (1)

Wovel (964431) | more than 2 years ago | (#40368365)

Who can wath balmer's wide stance trying to get it from both sides in the airport bathroom.

Lame (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40368303)

(Posting AC because I'm at work)

I haven't watched their presentation (and I probably won't) but I somehow suspect their product announcement wasn't anywhere near as interesting as their primary competitor's presentations typically are. What amazes me the most, however, is just how poorly they presented the products to the press. Reading Engadget's review, for example, the review is rife with "but we weren't allowed to touch it so I don't know how good it is" and "we were only able to demo it for a few minutes so who knows" and various incarnations of "we just don't know anything about this product because Microsoft didn't really show us anything important". I simply cannot fathom how they feel that is the way to announce what presumably is an important product for the company. You would think that generating strong interest would be high on their priority list but not having working hardware and/or not allowing the press to meaningfully interact with the device is really the wrong way to go about it...

While I think their keyboard-in-a-smart-cover is a very cool idea, I don't see anything with the device that impresses me beyond what other companies (and certainly Apple) are offering and their product announcement was sufficiently fumbled that I don't think they even think there's enough in the device to impress people (it's the only reason I can imagine them wanting to keep people at arm's length from the device...).

no thanks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40368307)

Having a separate keyboard is crap. the point of having the keyboard on the touch screen is you don't have some extra appendage. if I want a keyboard, I'll use a desktop.

Vapor-deposited magnesium case? (1)

Hadlock (143607) | more than 2 years ago | (#40368313)

Anyone want to shed some light on this process? Or is that simply some sort of oxide coating over the magnesium?

Re:Vapor-deposited magnesium case? (3, Funny)

Registered Coward v2 (447531) | more than 2 years ago | (#40368409)

Anyone want to shed some light on this process? Or is that simply some sort of oxide coating over the magnesium?

It's the hardware equivalent of vaporware.

Expecting this today (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40368319)

Apple is now suing Microsoft for violation of their "unknown released features" patent.

Incredible (-1, Redundant)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 2 years ago | (#40368345)

They can't even align bolts [microsoft.com] properly.

When all you have is a hammer... (5, Insightful)

chill (34294) | more than 2 years ago | (#40368349)

When all you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail. Microsoft seems to be making the mistake that tablets are going to fully replace PCs. They aren't. They, like phones, are going to compliment them. Each is a different tool with different strengths and weaknesses.

There is a reason people don't use iPads and the like for serious spreadsheet and keyboard-based work. They aren't designed for it. Slapping a keyboard in the cover isn't going to change the fact. You can already get keyboards for the iPad and Android tablets.

Yes, they work in limited scenarios, but that doesn't mean people are going to give up full tactile respone and 27" monitors when doing long typing sessions. You think people have issues with carpal tunnel syndrome NOW, wait until they're doing all their typing on one of those things!

Most typical office tasks involving the classic Office suite of products aren't going to change. Those tasks still need to be done, and spreadsheets, word processors and heavy data entry aren't going to disappear anytime soon.

It is the software that drives the hardware. Microsoft knows it. Ballmer's famous "developers, developers, developers" chant is proof of it. Apple knows it, too. This is why they continuously tout the number of apps available for the iPad. And it is why, despite my dislike of Apple's walled-garden approach, I'm getting an iPad. There are apps there to support private pilots that just don't exist on Android (or Windows 8). LOTS more.

Microsoft will sell a bunch of these, simply because they'll most likely dump a wad of cash into promoting them. But, unless they come up with more compelling reasoning that "you don't have to give up Office" for these, I can't see them passing Android or Apple on the sales charts.

Re:When all you have is a hammer... (2)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 2 years ago | (#40368527)

Make no mistake that MS doesn't know what it is doing. It is only doing what it knows and it knows PCs. People here on Slashdot are predicting that people will hate Win 8 on desktop and Ballmer must be stupid. I don't think that's the case. They know desktop users will hate it; they don't care. MS sees that consumers are migrating to tablets and consumers don't want Windows tablets. Windows 8 is not about helping consumers. It is about MS trying to force their way into the tablet market. For other ventures like WP7, MS is struggling to capture developers and consumers which a chicken and egg problem.

For Windows 8, consumers will have no choice; they are getting a tablet OS whether they want one or not. Developers will have no choice but to develop for Metro. They just need a tablet to sell. They haven't been very successful in the past. So they hold an Apple like event; make a few modifications to the existing Windows tablets, and behold! A new device.

Open Spec? (1)

scharkalvin (72228) | more than 2 years ago | (#40368351)

I'm sure the damn thing is going to use a protected bios so it can't be 'jail broken' to install other OS's. Which would be a shame because it's a nice looking design that would probably work very well with Ubuntu on it.

Re:Open Spec? (2)

Necroloth (1512791) | more than 2 years ago | (#40368437)

We talking about the iPad or Surface?

Re:Open Spec? (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#40368489)

The ARM one will, no doubt. The x86 one... well, based on Microsoft's track record on this type of thing, probably.

Re:Open Spec? (1)

cstacy (534252) | more than 2 years ago | (#40368525)

I'm sure the damn thing is going to use a protected bios so it can't be 'jail broken' to install other OS's. Which would be a shame because it's a nice looking design that would probably work very well with Ubuntu on it.

Looking forward to the SurfaTosh! Although I might like to run Surbuntu on it...

Funny (2, Insightful)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 2 years ago | (#40368363)

And the press is already setting it up for failure, comparing it to the Zune and saying iPad at least 20 times in each report. I'm no Microsoft fan-boy, but rabid Apple fanaticism is not much better. How about waiting until the product is actually launched before starting to say how it can never match the iPad?

Re:Funny (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40368505)

The iPad is in it's 3rd incarnation, the 4th will be alone soon enough. Apple utterly dominate the slate market. If MS are going to enter this market, they're going to have to compete. They not even close on specs, and we don't know the price, but you can be sure it won't be $150 game changer entry.

MS killed the Zune, even though it was a damn fine music player. They weren't making enough money for MS, so it got canned. Slate/tablets are going to be even harder to get into, and this current product doesn't even hit netbook specs. That is why it is doomed before even hitting the market.

What do their buddies think? (4, Insightful)

hishamaus (1991142) | more than 2 years ago | (#40368369)

I'd be very interested to know what other manufacturers that buy Windows licenses think of this. I mean Dell, Samsung, Asus ... etc

Re:What do their buddies think? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40368501)

If they thought anything, they'd build one. As it is, they aren't interested in building in a sizeable $$ disadvantage, by having
to pay the Redmond tax. So, Microsoft had to build it themselves.

Question is, if they use the Xbox formula, where are they going to make up the loss of $$ for each one they ship?

Will it run Linux, too? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40368371)

Bets are open: How long will it take for someone to root this?

Gay Smurf Keyboard? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40368373)

imo the keyboard looks like something a GAY SMURF would use.

But... (4, Funny)

zig007 (1097227) | more than 2 years ago | (#40368397)

Does it run linux?

Help wanted: marketing guru (4, Insightful)

mrsam (12205) | more than 2 years ago | (#40368419)

Microsoft needs to hire more people in marketing. Whoever thought up of this name "Surface", needs to be fired.

Hey, didya hear about this hot new tablet? It's called "Surface"!!!

It's obvious that they're trying to pick a generic name, in the spirit of "Word" and "Access". But, for some reason, this one doesn't fly. When I read this yesterday, I had to double-check and make sure I didn't accidentally stumble on The Onion.

Really, if they wanted to pick a generic name that's likely to form a subliminal association with this gizmo, they should've just called it "Jumped the shark", and that would've been the end of it.

So basically a thin laptop (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40368455)

Firstly, the thin keyboards are a mainstay of iPad, and nothing special:

http://www.logitech.com/en-us/tablet-accessories/keyboards/ultrathin-keyboard-cover
http://www.ilounge.com/index.php/reviews/entry/hatch-co.-skinny-keyboard-case-for-ipad-2/

Look closely and you'll see a mouse rectangle on that Microsoft keyboard. i.e. it makes the slate/surface thing into a laptop.
So they've released a LAPTOP that's skinny. Which is probably the best thing they could do given Metro limits. Old apps will run as a laptop, and the Metro ones they'll use as a tablet. So it's a plus.

I still don't think it will succeed, for one thing I'd like the screen portrait, not landscape for surfing and editing.
So why is the pop out stand only landscape?? ASUS has an amazing cover that folds and can do portrait of landscape,
couldn't they have made the kick out stand a little smarter so it could work in portrait and landscape?

http://www.netbooknews.com/41840/asus-transformer-prime-origami-case-appears-on-amazon/

Feels like they don't know the market (1)

Grayhand (2610049) | more than 2 years ago | (#40368471)

"Instead, Microsoft showed a ... device that integrates a better keyboard option than typing on the screen without adding size or weight. That's where the new keyboard — which doubles as a screen cover — kicks in" First off like others have noticed that's called a laptop. Without a store I'm not a 100% sure about loading content. Part of the elegance of an iPad is the ease of purchasing and loading content. iTunes does largely suck but it can take seconds to buy a song and it loads passively. eBooks are a big part of iPad's success so I'm assuming it's why they got in bed with Nook but nothing has been said about that intergration. Their $1,000 full OS version sounds a lot like what people thought Apple would come up with when they released the iPad. I say that one is risky because it wouldn't be hard for Apple to come out with a $750 or $800 iPad with a full Mac OS and a retina display which would make the Microsoft one a serious dog. Overall it feels like it's a work in progress and in a couple of years it might be great but Apple has two years already on them and they launched with a tight product and they had years of success with portable OSs before they ever released the iPad. The Kindle Fire has them low balled so they'd be fools to release a cheap version and Apple could kill them there as well if they wanted. The Microsoft one just feels like too little too late and it's primary market are Apple haters.

Precision stylus (2)

nojayuk (567177) | more than 2 years ago | (#40368481)

I saw somewhere that the Surface stylus has a 600dpi resolution. The x86 Win8 Surface should run full-featured Photoshop/CS and assuming the stylus is pressure-sensitive (and there's no reason it wouldn't be in terms of cost, technology etc.) then this will make a portable version of the Cintiq, tempting for graphics people, photoeditors etc.

Interesting but... (5, Interesting)

Registered Coward v2 (447531) | more than 2 years ago | (#40368491)

it looks more like a Macbook Air than an iPad, despite it's being a tablet. MS even says:

Microsoft is claiming it 'rivals the best ultrabooks' and uses less power than the Core i5.

which reveals the problem it faces:

Despite being a tablet, the keyboard makes it a "computer" in the minds of a consumer; and yes I know the iPad is a computer but what's important is the psychological difference in the consumer's mindset and approach. A tablet is a portable device that does a lot of neat and useful things but isn't as full featured as a computer; so you are willing to accept tradeoffs such as no really powerful office suite that is fully compatible with the desktop version.,/P> That's one of the brilliant things about the iPad - it's design broke the user's mindset and created a new paradigm - complete with a new OS and user interface. MS, maybe because of its desktop centric worldview can't seem to understand that and has come out with a device that they may call a tablet but will probably be viewed by many as a computer; and unless they meet those user's expectations of what a computer s they may just have yet another netbook on their hands. We've seen what tablets did to the netbook market, and it will be interesting to see how this device fairs.

Microsoft's PC Junior moment (2)

srussia (884021) | more than 2 years ago | (#40368503)

Now you can have all the compromises of an ultrabook and a tablet all in one tidy package.

what a great name (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40368539)

not

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