Windows Surface & Windows 8

A lot has happened in the last couple of months regarding Windows.
And if you haven’t gotten the latest news. Microsoft has just announced its own tablet, called Windows Surface. Which was revealed at Microsoft’s mystery event yesterday.

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Windows Surface will come in 2 Editions.
1 with Windows RT (Which is Windows for ARM using NVidia Tegra)
1 with Windows 8 PRO (Which uses a Intel Core i5 CPU)

The specs is as following:

Surface for Windows RT

  • OS: Windows RT
  • Light(1): 676 g
  • Thin(2): 9.3 mm
  • Clear: 10.6″ ClearType HD Display supports up to 1366 x 768 resolution
  • Energized: 31.5 W-h
  • Connected: microSD, USB 2.0, Micro HD Video, 2×2 MIMO antennae
  • Productive: Office ‘15′ Apps, Touch Cover, Type Cover
  • Practical: VaporMg Case & Stand
  • Configurable: 32 GB, 64 GB
  • Price ?

Surface for Windows 8 Pro

  • OS: Windows 8 Pro
  • Light(1): 903 g
  • Thin(2): 13.5 mm
  • Clear: 10.6-inch ClearType Full HD Display support up to 1920 x 1080 resolution
  • Energized: 42 W-h
  • Connected: microSDXC, USB 3.0, Mini Display Port Video, 2×2 MIMO antennae
  • Productive: Touch Cover, Type Cover, Pen with Palm Block
  • Practical: VaporMg Case & Stand
  • Configurable: 64 GB, 128 GB
  • Price?

The tablets also come with a touch cover, which is basically the keyboard for those that prefer typing via a regular keyboard. (But not everyone want a keyboard so this should be optional, so users don’t have to pay for stuff that they aren’t going to use)
Both tablets also come with two cameras, one front and one in the back. And dual microphones.
And a lot of these specs are still not confirmed as the release is still “Along way”

From the conference “Microsoft would not confirm which processors will be in them, how much RAM they’ll have, what the battery life will be, what the price will be, when they’ll be released, what GPUs they’ll have, or what the screen resolution will be.”

A lot of people complain that Windows RT “Only supports 1366 x 768 Resolution”. While the pro version supports up to 1920 x 1080.
And someone complain that how can this compare with the Ipad ? Which has 2048×1536 resolution. Of course if you can’t compete with the IPAD with similar features well then you can’t price the tablet as high.
Then again, many people don’t see that this tablet is coming with USB support, can’t see that IPAD has that? Of course you can by an adapter from Apple themselves if you want ( how convenient )
But the minimum requirements  for running Windows RT is native resolution/color depth is 1366×768 at a depth of 32-bits. So I’m guessing this might change before the release

Another thing is this release might be confusing for customers, why?
Since Microsoft is releasing this in two editions (One using Windows 8 PRO and the other using Windows RT) regular users might think that this is like the different Ipad versions. One comes with 3G + WI-FI and the other one just with WI-FI.
But there’s a huge difference. For those that don’t know Windows RT is a brand new OS made for use on ARM CPU’s. Therefore I lacks a lot of features found in the regular desktop version of Windows(Domain join, remote desktop, policies, Bitlocker etc) a lot of services removed etc.). And one other thing is that applications that a compatible with Windows 8 IS NOT COMPATIBLE WITH WINDOWS RT. Windows RT only works with Metro-style apps. And this is what Microsoft wants, since they are pushing out a new OS which comes with the new GUI “Metro” they want programmers and developers to start making metro apps. Because then you can have an application that works over different platforms.
But this will most likely confuse the customers (Why can’t I use App1 on my Windows RT tablet when it works just fine on my other Windows 8 tablet?”
Microsoft has got to work hard in order to “clear the air” before releasing the tablet and the new OS.

Many people are annoyed that Windows RT won’t be able to run native apps (Which can run on desktop versions of Windows) And it lacks a lot of other features that regular windows has.
Well I’m glad that Microsoft didn’t include things like domain join and policies. Why? first of running policies on a tablet will ruin the experience and make it sluggish, and it goes the same for domain joined.
But unlike Apple, Microsoft has a solution in order to manage these tablets, in Q1 2013 Microsoft will come with a possibility to manage these products using SCCM and Windows Intune.
And back to the native apps, of course it’s a shame that Windows RT is unable to run native apps. But its like trying to use diesel on a gasoline engine (It just won’t work)

A lot of other vendors like ASUS, ACER, HP & Toshiba have also announced that they are going to make tablet for Windows 8.  So why did Microsoft want to enter the tablet market since they already have a lot of partners
that want to create tablets using Microsoft OS?? Microsoft has come to the same resolution as Apple, if you manufacture all of the different components for a system like hardware, software & the operating system yourself, you get more control and therefore you might get a more solid system. Since Microsoft already has the OS and most of the apps, why not just create the hardware beneath as well. This will also make less hassle when installing drivers for instance (For the Windows 8 Pro version)

How is this good for the consumer?
Well since Microsoft is charging OEM’s for 80 – 85$ for the license for arm-based tablets. So since Microsoft themselves don’t need to pay this cost, their tablet will be a lot cheaper than the others ones for other vendors. (But then again, charging the OEM’s 80 – 85$ for the license might kill the tablets since they cannot compete with Apple on the price, it remains to see)

But then again, is this a kick in the head for hardware partner’s of Microsoft ?
A bit, since they now are going to make their own tablet which is going to cost 80- 85$ less, makes their own tablet more appealing in the market for buyers. But then again more competition always makes a product better (well almost..)

And to sum it up.
A lot is happening right now! If you aren’t convinced yet, take a look at this video from the release –>

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