Microsoft is set to enter the crowded Tablet market in November with the release of the Microsoft Surface. But will they be able to knock off Apple from the top branch?
As a software business, Microsoft is not one to enter the hardware market lightly and the reason for it is being attributed to the massive success of the all-conquering Ipad.
There will be two flavours of the Surface: Windows 8 Pro and Windows RT – Pro will sport a speedy Intel chip whilst the RT version will be running on an ARM processor. Is there any significance to this? Yes: Microsoft have been in bed with the Intel x86 architecture (which runs your desktop processor) for many, many years so for them to not only acknowledge ARM CPU, but begin to support them as well is nothing short of historic. It also leaves you asking which you need.
If you’re a consumer looking for a different take on the IPad the go for the RT version: it’ll be speedy enough for what you need and you’ll not really need the extra punch that the Intel processor will bring. However, if you’re a small business looking to do work on the move and need a tablet to work on the Pro version is more useful: X86 processors will be capable of running programs such as Outlook and Office without much fuss and should also run on your business network with few problems.
The Pro version will also come with larger memory with two different sizes being offered: 64gig or 128gig. This’ll help businesses such as photographers who need large amounts of room for pictures.
To key or not to key:
The Surface tablet will have a cover that doubles as a keyboard – great for businesses that write large articles or send lots of emails. It also shows Microsoft thinking outside the box and creating something truly original.
Microsoft are also actively working on a new verison of Office, dubbed Office 15 which will support the Surface tablet.
Microsoft’s software is king in business so a tablet that is capable of running full versions of Office and Outlook will be a great selling point.
App's have become big business for small start-up businesses such as Instagram so it may be something that smaller companies will be able to cash in on. Perhaps the only fly in the ointment is that Microsoft's app store is yet to show any signs of taking off - this should hopefully change with the release of Windows 8 and the Surface.
Microsoft Surface is due for release in November, 2012