Microsoft now reassured its affection for tablets! Its earlier attempts on tablets with Windows XP Tablet PC editions and Windows 7 had only slim chance to make a successful entry into the market, as both lacked a sound hardware counterpart. This time now, inspired by its Surface platform, Microsoft gets ready for its Surface tablet featuring the latest Windows 8 operating system. But, most importantly the new tablet now stands a chance to be considered as a real competition for Apple’s iPad (Apple still enjoys a near-zero competition for its tablet business segment).
Affirming its love with ARM processor, the Surface tablet comes in two processor flavors, Intel and ARM with the former being little heavy physically. Here are the things I see that could potentially go in favor of Microsoft Surface table and pose as a real iPad challenger in the consumer market:
- Most-widely adopted PC operating system vendor – both at enterprise and home consumer levels (how Windows 8 would the reap the benefits from the success of its predecessor is something yet to be seen since Windows 8 has a new user experience philosophy – Metro).
- One vendor OS targeting data center to PCs, to tablets and mobile phones, Windows 8 could mean a seamless experience among all these platforms and build a unified application ecosystem.
- Support for both Intel (high-end usage, costlier) & ARM processors (casual users, cheaper compared to Intel’s)
- Support for extensible memory storage – micro SD slot (iPad offers this option but via an accessory you have to buy separately)
- Standard USB slot – while what devices would be supported with USB on Surface is unknown, many iPad users crave for this on iPad for peripheral connectivity!
- In addition to touch and stylus inputs, two types of unique screen covers each doubling up as keyboard & mouse on their own – All out-of-the-box
It would be a huge win if this tablet can run existing desktop Windows applications (if not all, may be) without modifications and support developing applications targeting both PC and tablet with a single deployable package.
There are no words about Surface tablet supporting 3G/4G cellular connectivity but if the device lacks it, that would be my biggest disappointment.