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Is The Surface a Reason to Wait on an iPad?
Has Microsoft learned from their failed attempt to take on Apple's iPod with the Zune several years ago? Recently, Microsoft made a bold move in the tablet market; they announced their own version of a tablet-like device that is made out of some cool new material called VaporMG (MG for Magnesium). It's called the "Surface," and has a cool case with a built-in keyboard and it will run the next version of Windows. There is no official word on availability but we hear two versions will be released before the end of the year. Whether or not Microsoft can become a viable alternative to Apple's iOS and Google's Android remains to be seen but that doesn't stop us from coming up with a few arguments in Microsoft's favor.
Microsoft Has Office, Apple Doesn'tAs we've always said, software is what sells hardware. In the case of the iPhone and iPad the software is the huge library of apps. Microsoft's Surface will run two versions of Windows 8 both of which will run Microsoft Office. The higher end Surface "Pro" will run all Windows applications while the more "mobile" Surface will run WinRT which will not run all the desktop apps. As hard as other vendors like Google have tried to lure Office users away with browser or cloud-based alternatives, it appears that the majority of computer users still prefer to work in the Microsoft Office environment. Will Office be the software that sells Surface tablets? Furthermore, if Microsoft can somehow convince developers to port their iOS and Android apps to Windows 8, they might have an even more compelling argument to buy a Surface.
Real Keyboards Let You Do Serious WorkDo hybrid devices offer the best of both worlds? At the recent Computex show in Taiwan, hybrid computers, that is, tablets with touchscreen displays and keyboards were in a lot of manufacturers' booths. Of course you can buy a Bluetooth keyboard for an iPad and it becomes essentially a hybrid, Windows 8, with its touch-friendly Metro UI, offers a compelling operating system for hybrid computers that can be used for personal entertainment and serious work. The Surface will offer keyboards built into its cases.
Microsoft's Ecosystem Includes the XBoxWith many corporations around the world letting workers bring their Apple devices to work, the old arguments that companies like IBM, RIM and Microsoft used to make for better security and support are harder to defend. However, there's still something to be said for buying into the Microsoft ecosystem of server software, applications and home entertainment products like the Xbox with its recently announced SmartGlass technology.
Microsoft-Based Products Are Typically Less Expensive

OS Windows RT Windows 8 Pro
Light 676 g 903 g
Thin 9.3 mm 13.5 mm
Clear 10.6" ClearType HD Display 10.6" ClearType Full HD Display
Energized 31.5 W-h 42 W-h
Connected microSD, USB 2.0, Micro HD Video, 2x2 MIMO antennae microSDXC, USB 3.0, Mini DisplayPort Video, 2x2 MIMO antennae
Productive Office 15 Apps, Touch Cover, Type Cover Touch Cover, Type Cover, Pen with Palm Block
Practical VaporMg Case & Stand VaporMg Case & Stand
Configurable 32GB, 64GB 64GB, 128GB
Price? ~$600? ~$1,000?

Apple users are used to paying a premium for Apple products like MacBook laptops and iPads. The greater number of Android phone vendors has contributed to Android outselling iOS phones by offering a greater variety of devices many of which sell well below the cost of an iPhone. The big question everyone is asking is whether or not Microsoft devices like the Surface can offer a better value than an Apple device. Early reports indicate the Surface may cost around $600 with the higher end "Pro" version costing closer to $1,000. If this is the case, than the price advantage is nixed at least for the Surface. If the Surface becomes more of a "reference" design or model for other vendors to follow who might in turn, create lower cost versions of a slick Windows 8/RT mobile device, Apple may see some real competition from Microsoft.

Apple Doesn't Have a KickstandIf all other arguments fail to convince you to consider something other than an iPad, and frankly we can understand if you're leaning in Apple's direction, than how about a kickstand? The Surface won't be the first mobile device to offer a pop-out kickstand that keeps your device propped up for viewing but it is something that Apple doesn't offer at the moment.

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Kickstand, really?!?

For the record, I am definitely prefer PCs so if my bias is one way, it is that direction. But, I did win a raffle for an iPad so have had it for a few months. I never would have paid the money for it, but for free, I love it.

However, Retrevo, for about $20 you can buy a kick-stand for the iPad that is also a cover/screen protector for when you aren't using it. In general, I find Retrevo to have good content, but to dedicate an entire paragraph to a lack of a kickstand, REALLY?!?

For that matter, you can even buy a keyboard and stand that integrates for only about $50. It is an extra cost, but don't imply that it isn't an option that is easily integrated.

Clueless Much?

Lighten up there BigBen, it was meant as a humorous anecdote for crying out loud. People are just WAY too uptight these days.

Clueless Whom

Let's face it. Some of us have the months investment of time and multiple copies of expensive office versions so naturally the Ipod disappoints us.

I've screwed around with Windows 8 and have reaffirmed my long held belief that if it weren't for Xbox Microsoft really hasn't had an innovative product since they stole Windows of Xerox or Apple - take your pick.

The dual platform of the surface is the same old tired marketing program that all has been used since before Manhattan Island and "You want these glass beads or these really cool copper coins?" How about something new like All-Around Menus.

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Clueless yourself?

First, you might want to look up the word anecdote, since you clearly don't know what it means.
Second, no, it wasn't meant to be a humorous anything. Where do you get that from?!? It was reason number five in a five item list, for crying out loud (a list with not one accurate item).

on Apple's coat tails.... again

same old story...change the dates.

When Apple created Lisa/Mac albeit from Xerox Parc, Gates stole the ideas of mouse and GUI from Jobs to 'keep up'.

When PC tablets failed (after Newton of course) Jobs STILL made the iPad work because of 'usability and craftsmanship' now suddenly MS has NOT given up on the tablet market because of the outstanding success if the iPad.

I use a mixed environment-I am not snob-probably making less than most of you.

I prefer Apple stuff because they are tough as crap-work fast-have little issues-making me spend LESS time on the technology and MORE getting things done.

I have seen all the laptops, new tablets, new mp3 players etc. they all try to copy Apple design ! new laptops have the MacBook chick-let keys are silver thin subtract the optical drive have an instant on feature etc.

They same "imitation is the sincerest form of flattery" when you consider all you get with the Apple that 'premium' you pay for really isn't substantial and is quickly forgotten when you hear the problems are your friend who , just as fanatically, follow the MS Pied Piper to eventual demise and unproductiveness.

You just have to be open-minded that you are going to use whatever works best--at that time.
(at one time it happened to be a Timex-Sinclair for myself-so I have seen the entire industry unfold)

Technology is much like clothing styles. what is in style today will be laughed about in 5 years and (re)embraced in 10.

In closing, I have a great deal of respect for Apple as they really don't care what the market is dictating at the time-they end up dictating what the market will be. Their stuff is THAT good.

MB from Pittsburgh

on Apple's coat tails.... again

same old story...change the dates.

When Apple created Lisa/Mac albeit from Xerox Parc, Gates stole the ideas of mouse and GUI from Jobs to 'keep up'.

When PC tablets failed (after Newton of course) Jobs STILL made the iPad work because of 'usability and craftsmanship' now suddenly MS has NOT given up on the tablet market because of the outstanding success if the iPad.

I use a mixed environment-I am not snob-probably making less than most of you.

I prefer Apple stuff because they are tough as crap-work fast-have little issues-making me spend LESS time on the technology and MORE getting things done.

I have seen all the laptops, new tablets, new mp3 players etc. they all try to copy Apple design ! new laptops have the MacBook chick-let keys are silver thin subtract the optical drive have an instant on feature etc.

They same "imitation is the sincerest form of flattery" when you consider all you get with the Apple that 'premium' you pay for really isn't substantial and is quickly forgotten when you hear the problems are your friend who , just as fanatically, follow the MS Pied Piper to eventual demise and unproductiveness.

You just have to be open-minded that you are going to use whatever works best--at that time.
(at one time it happened to be a Timex-Sinclair for myself-so I have seen the entire industry unfold)

Technology is much like clothing styles. what is in style today will be laughed about in 5 years and (re)embraced in 10.

In closing, I have a great deal of respect for Apple as they really don't care what the market is dictating at the time-they end up dictating what the market will be. Their stuff is THAT good.

MB from Pittsburgh

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Kickstand

Are you for real.
It's a sad day in computer land when a pop out kickstand is a deciding factor for a tablet...

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"Sad day" beginning...

The "sad day" began when "snob appeal" was more important than any perceived performance of the hardware combined with the expense of the software to make it run...

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Product!

There is NO surface product, no price, no release date, no real product, no manufacture. It is vaporware until such time as Microsoft has fulfilled the criteria for sale of Product X, on Date X, for X Dollars!.

No Surface product?

Wake up you complete fool. Ffs!

What everyone fail to point

What everyone fail to point out is that this product will have viruses waiting its arrival to attack it. In that case, apple wins, and that has been the appeal for lots of people. I guess that's the legacy that will never die from Mr gates even after he is gone for doing what history has shown us he has done.

Mr Gate's legacy is better

Mr Gate's legacy is better then Job's as a whole ... considering what he has given back to community...

Source

agree, pure vaporware until put on the table for sale.

will purchase!

Hope they put the product out. Will buy for sure. Finnaly a iniature computer fully mobile with what???????

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