About halfway through June, Microsoft invited the press and technology bloggers to a mysterious event which was held in Los Angeles. It was the first time since Longhorn that Microsoft has generated actual excitement.
At the event, Microsoft revealed that it was releasing a new hardware device series called Surface, marking the first time Microsoft has ever entered the PC hardware business. They announced two new Surface tablets, the first called Surface for Windows RT, and the second called Surface for Windows 8. (Find out more about Windows 8 product editions here.)
The two tablets look very similar: sleek, elegant, and colorful. They run on different architectures – the RT version runs on the NVIDIA ARM architecture, while the Windows 8 version runs on the typical Intel Core i5 processor. Surface for Windows 8 runs on the Pro edition, not the base Windows 8 edition. Both have 10.6-inch widescreen displays, and a kickstand which flips out from the back.
Among other features, Surface for Windows RT version is thinner and lighter than the Windows 8 version, and it is quieter. It has an HD screen, at 1366 x 768, but its sister product has a full HD screen at 1920 x 1080 (what Apple would call a “Retina” display.)
Microsoft showed creativity for once, thinking out of the box when creating the cover for their Surface tablets. They decided that it could be utilized by turning the simple cover into a multi-touch keyboard! The keyboard cover comes in two types: the Touch Cover, which is only 3 mm thick but has a fully integrated, pressure-sensitive keyboard with a multi-touch track pad; and the Type Cover, which is slightly thicker, with real keys.
When will the Surface come out? Well, according to Microsoft, the RT version will ship with the general release of Windows 8 in September or October 2012. The Windows 8 version will ship 90 days later.
The Surface tablet will certainly act as competition to Microsoft’s hardware partners, but no matter. Microsoft has stimulated the playing field and added a source of inspiration and a blueprint for its partners. Hopefully, this tablet will not be a flop like all of Microsoft’s previous ones were, but rather a shining star. I am very excited!
Image courtesy: Microsoft
Read more at the SuperSite for Windows.