Monday, June 18th 2012

Microsoft Announces Surface: New Family of PCs for Windows

Today at an event in Hollywood, Microsoft unveiled Surface: PCs built to be the ultimate stage for Windows. Company executives showed two Windows tablets and accessories that feature significant advances in industrial design and attention to detail. Surface is designed to seamlessly transition between consumption and creation, without compromise. It delivers the power of amazing software with Windows and the feel of premium hardware in one exciting experience.

Advances in Industrial Design
Conceived, designed and engineered entirely by Microsoft employees, and building on the company's 30-year history manufacturing hardware, Surface represents a unique vision for the seamless expression of entertainment and creativity. Extensive investment in industrial design and real user experience includes the following highlights:
  • Software takes center stage: Surface sports a full-sized USB port and a 16:9 aspect ratio – the industry standard for HD. It has edges angled at 22 degrees, a natural position for the PC at rest or in active use, letting the hardware fade into the background and the software stand out.
  • VaporMg: The casing of Surface is created using a unique approach called VaporMg (pronounced Vapor-Mag), a combination of material selection and process to mold metal and deposit particles that creates a finish akin to a luxury watch. Starting with magnesium, parts can be molded as thin as .65 mm, thinner than the typical credit card, to create a product that is thin, light and rigid/strong.
  • Integrated Kickstand: The unique VaporMg approach also enables a built-in kickstand that lets you transition Surface from active use to passive consumption – watching a movie or even using the HD front- or rear-facing video cameras. The kickstand is there when needed, and disappears when not in use, with no extra weight or thickness.
  • Touch Cover: The 3 mm Touch Cover represents a step forward in human-computer interface. Using a unique pressure-sensitive technology, Touch Cover senses keystrokes as gestures, enabling you to touch type significantly faster than with an on-screen keyboard. It will be available in a selection of vibrant colors. Touch Cover clicks into Surface via a built-in magnetic connector, forming a natural spine like you find on a book, and works as a protective cover. You can also click in a 5 mm-thin Type Cover that adds moving keys for a more traditional typing feel.
An Amazing Windows Experience
Two models of Surface will be available: one running an ARM processor featuring Windows RT, and one with a third-generation Intel Core processor featuring Windows 8 Pro. From the fast and fluid interface, to the ease of connecting you to the people, information and apps that users care about most, Surface will be a premium way to experience all that Windows has to offer. Surface for Windows RT will release with the general availability of Windows 8, and the Windows 8 Pro model will be available about 90 days later. Both will be sold in the Microsoft Store locations in the U.S. and available through select online Microsoft Stores.



Contributing to an Expanded Ecosystem
One of the strengths of Windows is its extensive ecosystem of software and hardware partners, delivering selection and choice that makes a customer's Windows experience uniquely their own. This continues with Surface. Microsoft is delivering a unique contribution to an already strong and growing ecosystem of functional and stylish devices delivered by original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to bring the experience of Windows to consumers and businesses around the globe.
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126 Comments on Microsoft Announces Surface: New Family of PCs for Windows

#1
Ravenas
by: TheMailMan78
The Zune was an entertainment novelty. This has a real business application to it. Thats something the Zune never had. Will it be as big as the ipad? No. But this isnt even close to being another Zune.
It will be around for a short time, however, it will eventually disappear just like the Zune. Sadly for Microsoft, they take forever to realize a product isn't going to make it.
Posted on Reply
#2
Hilux SSRG
by: _Zod_
So they can be in Microsoft's walled in garden instead? I'd prefer to roam free via android thank you. If you are talking about the Pro version, well it will too expensive to compete with the iPad anyway.
I hope you are joking when referring to Apple's vs Microsoft/Google's walled in gardens?

Personally, I'd rather not have Google know anything about me if I have a choice.

I think MS is marketing the Pro version as an ultrabook competitor moreso than strictly tablet, but there is much overlap between the two categories.
Posted on Reply
#3
Rhyseh
Everyone seems to be missing where this product absolutely trounces the competition and that is that it is both a tablet and a fully functional PC in one. This is going to make waves in the business community, finally a tablet device that supports current business infrastructure, that can be controlled be group policy and secured by technologies that are already present in 90% of big businesses.... No more half baked solutions that you currently have to implment to make Apple and Android based devices work in big enterprises (not to mention the extra support costs that come with these devices)... This is a device that has the potential to be easy to implement, have low implementation costs and has a positive ROI (something all the other tablet devices lack).

Tablet devices are all well and good on their own, but for any serious business user you still cannot replace the laptop/desktop with one, the same goes for fully functional OS's on tablet devices they are just too unwieldy to use efficiently on the move. This product has overcome this limitation. I'm expecting very healthy sales figures from this product and windows 8 in general.
Posted on Reply
#4
MxPhenom 216
Corsair Fanboy
by: Ravenas
It will be around for a short time, however, it will eventually disappear just like the Zune. Sadly for Microsoft, they take forever to realize a product isn't going to make it.
I think it'll do fine assuming pricing is in the right area. The Zune was about 8 years or more late to the game. the Surface is only 3-4 years late. And one of the strong points I am reading about with the Surface is its legitimate keyboard. Not something big and clunky like what is offered from 3rd party for the iPad.

by: Rhyseh
Everyone seems to be missing where this product absolutely trounces the competition and that is that it is both a tablet and a fully functional PC in one. This is going to make waves in the business community, finally a tablet device that supports current business infrastructure, that can be controlled be group policy and secured by technologies that are already present in 90% of big businesses.... No more half baked solutions that you currently have to implment to make Apple and Android based devices work in big enterprises (not to mention the extra support costs that come with these devices)... This is a device that has the potential to be easy to implement, have low implementation costs and has a positive ROI (something all the other tablet devices lack).

Tablet devices are all well and good on their own, but for any serious business user you still cannot replace the laptop/desktop with one, the same goes for fully functional OS's on tablet devices they are just too unwieldy to use efficiently on the move. This product has overcome this limitation. I'm expecting very healthy sales figures from this product and windows 8 in general.
+1
Posted on Reply
#5
Galas
It's an excellent piece of hardware. Like most of Microsoft hardware.
But ... it runs Windows, and IE.
No, neither the iPad nor the top of the line Android flavoured tablets (Samsung, Asus, etc)


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aSaXj1vIGxo
Posted on Reply
#6
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
They're pre-production models they demo so all the bugs aren't worked out. That's why they have a spare available in case it does decide to act up. Usually the address the problem right after it occurs on stage.
Posted on Reply
#7
Galas
I don't really mind what happened on stage... it still runs Win / IE
Posted on Reply
#8
MxPhenom 216
Corsair Fanboy
by: Galas
I don't really mind what happened on stage... it still runs Win / IE
uh according to your system specs you have a system that runs windows?

And the Surface is a PC in tablet form you will be able to choose whatever browser you want.
Posted on Reply
#9
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
Thought I read somewhere that the Surface Pro version comes with Google Chrome pre-installed too (Google is as committed to dethroning Apple as Microsoft is).
Posted on Reply
#10
Wile E
Power User
by: FordGT90Concept
I wouldn't be so quick to judge. That CNN Money article I linked to was by far the hottest page on CNN Money last time I checked. There is a lot of interest in it.



The Zune was axed because Windows Phone 7 completely replaced it. Why would people buy a $200 Zune HD when they could get a Nokia Lumia 900 for $100 with contract? It's shocking Apple hasn't ended the iPod and iPod Nano yet.
It was axed because it didn't sell well, because nobody liked it. Mobile interfaces have never been a strong area for MS.

by: FordGT90Concept
It does not.



I blame stupid consumers (pay much more for an iPhone 4S and get less):
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303640104577436443119293310.html

Nokia's hands are tied when they only ship 2 million units compared to Apple's 35 million units. Nokia is fighting a monopoly. I suggest watching the video at the bottom of this link:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/14/nokia-layoffs_n_1595599.html



Xbox 360's primary competitor is Sony's PlayStation 3. What does that have to do with Apple and Google?
The iPhone 4S is way better for most consumers than Win7 handsets. There is a shitload more you can do with it. Sorry, but Win Phone 7 is a piece of locked down crap, just like iOS, but it has even less available for it. How does that not suck exactly?

Now, all that said. I like this product. I would love to have a Pro version. This fits the power user niche quite nicely. I get my toy, but then I also get a work computer when I need it. All I would need to make it perfect is a keyboard dock option that added some extra battery (like the Transformer) and preferably an ethernet port.
Posted on Reply
#11
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
by: Wile E
The iPhone 4S is way better for most consumers than Win7 handsets. There is a shitload more you can do with it. Sorry, but Win Phone 7 is a piece of locked down crap, just like iOS, but it has even less available for it. How does that not suck exactly?
iPhone 4S doesn't have 4G, Lumia 900 does. iPhone 4S does not have an FM tuner, Lumia 900 does. iPhone 4S has a 3.5" screen, Lumida 900 has 4.3". That's just scratching the surface, and oh yeah, it retails for $200 less.

Most people say Windows Phone 7 is much easier to use than iOS too. This is off topic, so I'll stop there.


by: Wile E
All I would need to make it perfect is a keyboard dock option that added some extra battery (like the Transformer) and preferably an ethernet port.
It is too thin for RJ45 jacks.
Posted on Reply
#12
Wile E
Power User
by: FordGT90Concept
iPhone 4S doesn't have 4G, Lumia 900 does. iPhone 4S does not have an FM tuner, Lumia 900 does. iPhone 4S has a 3.5" screen, Lumida 900 has 4.3". That's just scratching the surface, and oh yeah, it retails for $200 less.

Most people say Windows Phone 7 is much easier to use than iOS too. This is off topic, so I'll stop there.



It is too thin for RJ45 jacks.
And despite that, the Lumia still has WAAAAYYYYYYYY less available for it in terms of apps, peripherals and integration into things like car stereos.

And I was talking about an alternative, slightly larger, keyboard dock with an additional battery, some extra ports and an rj45.
Posted on Reply
#13
naoan
by: Rhyseh
Everyone seems to be missing where this product absolutely trounces the competition and that is that it is both a tablet and a fully functional PC in one. This is going to make waves in the business community, finally a tablet device that supports current business infrastructure, that can be controlled be group policy and secured by technologies that are already present in 90% of big businesses.... No more half baked solutions that you currently have to implment to make Apple and Android based devices work in big enterprises (not to mention the extra support costs that come with these devices)... This is a device that has the potential to be easy to implement, have low implementation costs and has a positive ROI (something all the other tablet devices lack).

Tablet devices are all well and good on their own, but for any serious business user you still cannot replace the laptop/desktop with one, the same goes for fully functional OS's on tablet devices they are just too unwieldy to use efficiently on the move. This product has overcome this limitation. I'm expecting very healthy sales figures from this product and windows 8 in general.
What kind of business realllly need tablet over noteboook or ultrabook/thin anyway?
Posted on Reply
#14
KieranD
by: Drone
I see Surface as another flop by MS. People either buy ultrabooks or they buy ipads. I don't believe this thing's gonna be ipad killer.
They said that about Android Smartphones and they do pretty well against iphones now.
Previous Windows tablets are a bit meh but this is Microsoft taking it serious now with Windows 8 for ARM with a proper tablet orientated OS.
Posted on Reply
#15
Galas
by: nvidiaintelftw
uh according to your system specs you have a system that runs windows?

And the Surface is a PC in tablet form you will be able to choose whatever browser you want.
Yeap. I actually put that AFTER posting my previous comment. I knew some MS lover would point it out.

Yes, I Have 1 of 5 PCs running windows at home. It's my gaming rig. Of course MS is way ahead in that department.

Based on my daily basis of multiple OS usage is why I said so.
Posted on Reply
#16
ensabrenoir
Hhhhhmmmmmmm................tablets.....now I get it
Posted on Reply
#17
pcexpert
I have only one question:
"Will the good old x86/x64 PC applications, that we have now working on Windows 7 or XP, WORK on Surface with Windows RT ?"

If not then this is just a waste of money and time...
Posted on Reply
#18
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
Windows 8 RT is no different than Windows Phone 7 or iOS in that all applications must be coded for it and are either preinstalled or obtained through Microsoft's Store:
http://blogs.msdn.com/b/b8/archive/2012/02/09/building-windows-for-the-arm-processor-architecture.aspx

Windows 8 Pro will have all the benefits of Windows 7, at least as far as backwards compatibility and software availablity is concerned.

Said differently, Windows 8 Pro Surface competes with MacBook Air and Windows 8 RT Surface competes with iPad.


Edit: Caveat: Apparently Microsoft ported the .NET Framework to ARM so applications built for .NET could be recompiled (or already compiled for "Any CPU") to work on Windows 8 RT. At least that is my understanding of it.
Posted on Reply
#19
Bundy
This is a great product in concept and a serious contender to replace my business laptop. My next purchase is going to be a tablet of some sort, mainly due to the easy carrying shape they offer plus convenience of use on planes. Laptops are old school and iPads are toys when serious business needs are considered.

I think Microsoft have placed themselves right in the middle of a big customer base.
Posted on Reply
#20
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
It's the 1980s all over again! Apple dominated a market, Microsoft introduced a similar product for the business minded, and Microsoft mopped the floor with Apple. XD

The multi-billion dollar question is: does history repeat?
Posted on Reply
#21
babash*t
This should read 'Microsoft have announced a new way of ripping whatever's left of the average PC user's money'
Posted on Reply
#22
remixedcat
by: FordGT90Concept
iPhone 4S doesn't have 4G, Lumia 900 does. iPhone 4S does not have an FM tuner, Lumia 900 does. iPhone 4S has a 3.5" screen, Lumida 900 has 4.3". That's just scratching the surface, and oh yeah, it retails for $200 less.

Most people say Windows Phone 7 is much easier to use than iOS too. This is off topic, so I'll stop there.



It is too thin for RJ45 jacks.
show me something like poweramp or moboplayer for windows phone 7....
show me something like farproc wifi analyzer or amped wireless wifi analytics....
does it have DSP?
Posted on Reply
#23
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
We've been over this before.

You use niche software and Android was intended for niche users. 99/100 people never use wireless analytical software and Windows is targeted at the 99% that simply want internet access, not the 1% that want more than that.

It has Zune for music and everything that comes out of a phone sounds like shit anyway so DSP is about as useful as putting lipstick on a pig.
Posted on Reply
#24
Ravenas
Here's how all this is going to work:

Apple will continue to dominate smart phone sales. Android users will eventually begin to leave Android for safer and more reliable Microsoft Phones.

The Microsoft Surface is going to be a flop. People are going to buy a similarly priced laptop instead of this.

At best, the Microsoft Surface will lure people into a Windows Store.
Posted on Reply
#25
TheMailMan78
Big Member
by: Ravenas
Here's how all this is going to work:

Apple will continue to dominate smart phone sales. Android users will eventually begin to leave Android for safer and more reliable Microsoft Phones.

The Microsoft Surface is going to be a flop. People are going to buy a similarly priced laptop instead of this.

At best, the Microsoft Surface will lure people into a Windows Store.
Do you understand that most field reps want tablets at this point and this windows tablet will work SEAMLESSLY with 99% of companies infrastructure?
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