The Omnibus AFB Surface Topic

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    Posted: 19 June 2012 09:24 AM #31

    From http://curiousrat.com/

    What?s the price? According to Engadget, it will be ?on par with Ultrabook-class PCs?, so I?m expecting something in the $700+ range. Too expensive.

    Two separate processor architectures (Intel i5 and ARM) will give developers two separate platforms on which to build apps. Do they build for legacy Windows first, then if there?s time/resources, Windows RT? Or do they build for Windows RT and leave old-timey Windows in the past?

    How will apps be separated in Microsoft?s Windows App Marketplace? Will it be easy for consumers to download the right apps for their devices? I smell fragmentation.

    Three months from release is too long in this market, and at an app level, Microsoft didn?t show anything that could compete with the iPad?s extensive library. They needed some third parties onstage to demo apps they?ve been developing specifically for the Surface/Windows 8 tablets.

    The Digital Ink thing seemed cool, specifically how the tablet knows when the pen is on the glass and nullifies all extraneous finger/palm input automatically.

    The Touch Cover - is it included with the purchase of the device, or is it something you have to buy separately? Also, since it?s a multitouch device, does it have the same problems as typing on glass (as in, can I rest my fingers on the home row or not)?

    If the Touch Cover works well, it?ll really help sell Surfaces. If the typing experience is terrible, these things will flop.

    What?s the battery life on either tablet? Nothing was mentioned during the announcement.

    What?s it like to read on a 10.6-inch 16:9 screen in portrait mode for long periods of time? I?m assuming it?s uncomfortable.

    How hot does the device get after prolonged use? And seeing as how it?s made of magnesium and magnesium is highly flammable, is there worry of units spontaneously combusting in people?s hands?

    Is it loud with those vents around the edges?

    Does it come with the stylus, or is that a separate purchase also?

    How sturdy is the kickstand and can it be easily replaced?

    Will any of Microsoft?s partners be loading up these things with bloatware out of the box, requiring a trip to one of the company?s dozen Microsoft Stores to get ?Signature? service in order to have it all removed?

    Congratulations, Microsoft. You?ve announced a product that?s generated more questions than answers and worse yet, I don?t see many of the answers being in your favor. We?ll see how this goes?

         
  • Posted: 19 June 2012 09:37 AM #32

    calvinav - 18 June 2012 09:00 PM
    Logitech does have a very similar keyboard-cover available for iPads:

    http://www.amazon.com/Logitech-Ultrathin-Keyboard-Cover-920-004013/dp/B007PRHNHO/ref=pd_ybh_1

    This is an excellent keyboad.? 3rd party Co always fill the gap for the accessories consumers want in addition to the basic design.? Usually these products are better and cheaper than those offered by the OEM (iPad cover for example).? MS has done a typical product launch playing it very conservative.? No details, no advance reviews and no pricing.? Being in this industry and seen this movie dozens of times before: you can?t compete with vaporware and the more you try the more the argument changes.? We?ll see but as a competitor I am comforted by the fact that MS has only EVER made a profit on two hardware devices: the Xbox and the mouse.

         
  • Posted: 19 June 2012 10:05 AM #33

    fas550 - 19 June 2012 12:37 PM

    calvinav - 18 June 2012 09:00 PM
    Logitech does have a very similar keyboard-cover available for iPads:

    http://www.amazon.com/Logitech-Ultrathin-Keyboard-Cover-920-004013/dp/B007PRHNHO/ref=pd_ybh_1

    This is an excellent keyboad.? 3rd party Co always fill the gap for the accessories consumers want in addition to the basic design.?

    Logitech builds capable products, but they strike me as a Tier 2 manufacturer. The refinement just isn’t there.  With this particular design, I would prefer the iPad screen be at the back edge.  The shiny keys look cheap to my eyes.  The reviews suggest they’re getting closer.

         
  • Posted: 19 June 2012 10:26 AM #34

    Mercel - 19 June 2012 01:05 PM
    fas550 - 19 June 2012 12:37 PM

    calvinav - 18 June 2012 09:00 PM
    Logitech does have a very similar keyboard-cover available for iPads:

    http://www.amazon.com/Logitech-Ultrathin-Keyboard-Cover-920-004013/dp/B007PRHNHO/ref=pd_ybh_1

    This is an excellent keyboad.? 3rd party Co always fill the gap for the accessories consumers want in addition to the basic design.?

    Logitech builds capable products, but they strike me as a Tier 2 manufacturer. The refinement just isn’t there.  With this particular design, I would prefer the iPad screen be at the back edge.  The shiny keys look cheap to my eyes.  The reviews suggest they’re getting closer.

    Well we all have different tastes.  This is the 4th I’ve seen and tried and for me at least the best.  My priority is to have a keyboard but retain the feel and weight of the iPad as much to the origional as possible.  The other I tried, while functional I often thought that I might as well take my MB Air and be done with it.  Anyway understand your view.  My additional point in the post is that MS is better leaving the accessories to 3rd party and that MS trash cans are littered with failed HW projects.

         
  • Posted: 19 June 2012 11:13 AM #35

    It’s the software stupid!  As always MS emphasizes the hardware.  Most of the initial reviews of Windows 8 are abysmal.  The keyboard looks neat but unlike the excellent Logitech UltraThin keyboard, which I love, the MS board cannot be used while standing or lying down but the touchpad on the MS board looks to be useful.  It is the Apple software which has always made all the difference.

         
  • Posted: 19 June 2012 11:13 AM #36

    MSFT is ?soon? to be an integrated vendor. No release date yet. This is the biggest takeaway from the event yesterday. I would think they could say ?4Q12? or ?2H12? or something to narrow down the potential release date. I think there is ZERO chance this product comes out this calendar year. Pretty remarkable they would announce this right now. I guess they are more afraid of iPad than I previously thought. Do they see death on the horizon and feel they have to fall on the sword a bit by trying (emphasis on trying) to slow iPad sales by any means necessary right now?

         
  • Posted: 19 June 2012 11:15 AM #37

    CNBC is reviewing the Surface now.  The two commentators are skeptical, as they should be.

    MSFT will be creating some confusion launching both an ARM and a x86 computer at the same time.  The former will lack the apps and the latter is a very compromised, diminutive laptop.

         
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    Posted: 19 June 2012 11:17 AM #38

    My guess is that Microsoft will sell the Surface at or slightly below cost, in order to gradually build market share and enthusiasm, much as they did with the Xbox.

         
  • Posted: 19 June 2012 11:20 AM #39

    firestorm - 19 June 2012 02:17 PM

    My guess is that Microsoft will sell the Surface at or slightly below cost, in order to gradually build market share and enthusiasm, much as they did with the Xbox.

    The only thing I’m pretty sure of is that they will eventually sell a product called the Surface. I can’t tell you when or for how much though. My guess for release date right now would be 1H13 which gives iPad another free run this holiday quarter. Insane that MSFT is so slow to the party.

         
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    Posted: 19 June 2012 11:39 AM #40

    It sounds like Microsoft put on a good show yesterday. Some slick looking stuff that will get some people’s attention. As others have mentioned, some big questions remain: price, date, battery life, real-life UX.

    Best headline I’ve seen so far:

    ‘Surface’ May Be Only Skin Deep

    Although the tablet looks good “on the surface,” it is hard to imagine that it will be anything close to even the first iteration of Apple’s iPad—much less the third. First, the OS closely resembles its mobile phone. Last I checked, they are not falling off shelves.

    http://www.thestreet.com/story/11585155/1/surface-may-be-only-skin-deep.html

    Outlook (email) better be available for RT on release. There are rumors it might not be. (sorry, no link) If this is true, Microsoft would be following in RIM’s footsteps towards utter failure.

    BTW, how does that built-in stand hold up on your lap? Or is it mean to be used mostly on a desk?

    I agree with Adam. The biggest takeaway is that MSFT just declared war on their OEM partners in tablets and PCs. I look forward to the carnage.

         
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    Posted: 19 June 2012 12:08 PM #41

    I agree with Adam. The biggest takeaway is that MSFT just declared war on their OEM partners in tablets and PCs. I look forward to the carnage.

    In a rare example of thinking long-term, I believe Microsoft saw the Apple and Google ecosystems coming to dominate future computing, and saw that it had no choice but to become an integrated hardware/software manufacturer.  Besides, they needed something else to sell in their stores.

         
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    Posted: 19 June 2012 12:19 PM #42

    I may be missing something, but I have not seen the video showing a demo of the software on the surface.

    Their slick commercial does not even show it turned on.

    I think it looks too thick no matter what the dimensions say.

    It reminds me of that Motorola tablet.  I forgot the name.  It was supposed to be the one to compete with the iPad.

         
  • Posted: 19 June 2012 12:25 PM #43

    My take on the surface:

    First, why did they announce it now?  It is clearly not ready.  Microsoft does this often, but many of their announcements become vapor ware.  They tried to emulate Apple by using a surprise announcement, but they forgot that when Apple does it the product is market ready.  These products appear to be three to six months away.  And why did they call it surface?  Is it to call attention to that earlier great success?

    Perhaps Microsoft is having a lousy quarter, and they want people to know that new things are in the works which will make a substantial difference…

    Actually they shoed two products, one a tablet with an ARMS processor to compete with the iPad, and the other a mobil laptop with an Intel processor which looks like a cross between an ultra book and a netbook.

    At this late stage they need products with a compelling reason for people to buy.  Microsoft is obsessed with the belief that the ability to run Office is a compelling reason.  It is to some people, but the millions of people who are buying iPads don’t seem to think so.  Furthermore I don’t know whether you can runoffice with an ARMS processor.  Other than that I don’t see one advantage.  It could be price, but I seriously doubt that Microsoft can come close to matching Apple’s manufacturing cost without cutting features.

    The use of the cover as a keyboard is a nifty idea.  I wonder how tactile it is.  And but the way, if they attach the cover magnetically and opening it turns on the computer it may patented.

    I hesitate to say sea on arrival because they haven’t really told us enough about it.  Also because it may never arrive.

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    The measure of the worth of a product is how much people are willing to pay for it, not how many people will buy it if the price is low enough.

         
  • Posted: 19 June 2012 12:29 PM #44

    Office is coming for iPad at some point, but MSFT knows it can’t/shouldn’t do that until they have an alternative for people who do want office on a tablet.

         
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    Posted: 19 June 2012 12:49 PM #45

    Bill Gates, following the introduction of the original iPad:

    “It’s a nice reader, but there’s nothing on the iPad I look at and say, “Oh, I wish Microsoft had done it.”

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    Sent from my beautiful new iPad. And yes, that’s a photo of an SE/30, my first Mac purchased in 1989.