This could be a big deal.
And that’s really all I can say so far because all the major details still remain missing. Let’s start with what we do know. First of all, the new Microsoft Surface 2.0 has a revolutionary kickstand built into the device itself. It also has two new internally-developed keyboard attachments, which doubles as a screen cover. One of them is thinner, but the other reflects the actual buttons of a keyboard. Both come in multiple colors. On the software side, the Surface will be running Windows RT, but will also have Windows 8 on within the year. Finally, we know that the screen is 10.6 inches with a width 9.3 to 13.5 millimeters, depending on the version.
So why do I like it? To start, Microsoft has obviously invested a lot of money in mobile technology, and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. Unlike Google’s Android, Microsoft’s Windows 8 operating system is a clear deviation from Apple’s iOS, which brings real competition and diversity into the marketplace. Therefore, as a consumer, I appreciate the shifting economics that Microsoft brings to the table. Second, the new keyboard means a user can generate input as quickly as their fingers can type. This type of innovation is absolutely necessary for bringing mobile technology to the masses since many people have to use physical keyboards for user input. Therefore, as a proponent of mobile technology, I am excited that we are taking this big step forward into the future. Lastly, the new operating system will integrate nicely with other Microsoft software, meaning it should have native support for the MS Office Suite. This is great news to IT departments who want a enterprise-grade method of going mobile, but is also great for workers who are used to running robust enterprise-grade applications. Although other apps like Google Docs are coming close, there still isn’t any software on the market that has as much power as MS Office. Therefore, as an efficiency and productivity geek, I really like the idea that we will finally be able to get real work done on the go.
What might go wrong here? Well, although we know Windows 8 is different, we don’t know if it’s necessarily better. Will consumers get used to the fact that there is no menu bar, or that everything is based on tiles? If there isn’t enough traction for Windows 8 for it to make a significant dent in the marketplace, then we are probably stuck with iPad clones for the rest of our lives. It’s not even that you and I need to like Windows 8; it’s that enough other people need to like Windows 8 to make sure that we have healthy competition and innovation in the space. Next, although the keyboard looks great, I am a firm believer that the stylus will be the way to go when it comes to truly natural user input. When people scribble a thought down onto a notepad, they aren’t using keyboards, and when we all start adapting to writing on tablets, we won’t be using keyboards either. Finally, although Windows 8 works great with MS Office, the future of productivity is in the cloud. This means Windows 8 needs to work great with external cloud services or MS Office needs to step up its game in that area. Overall, there’s just a lot of unknowns in deciding whether or not Windows Surface tablet will be a game changer. I, for one, hope that it will be!
More Info: http://www.microsoft.com/surface/en/us/default.aspx