June 18, 2012, 5:03 p.m.
This is as “Hot Off the Presses” as it gets!
I just finished watching a live podcast of PC World’s coverage of Microsoft’s LA introduction of the “Surface” tablet. Yes, this is Microsoft’s own hardware. And does it ever look snazzy! And practical.
In the words of PC World’s Melissa Perenson,
“Have to say, from the looks of this, Microsoft has out-Apple’d Apple.”
Prior to this event, there was much mystery and speculation about what the special Microsoft announcement would be. Among the speculations:
- Would it be a Windows RT tablet, with an ARM processor running tablet apps only — a direct competitor to iPad and other tablets?
- Would it be a full Windows 8 tablet, running full desktop programs — a PC in a tablet form factor?
Turns out it’s BOTH. Surface comes in two flavors, Windows RT and Windows 8 Pro. Both have a 10.6 inch display. The RT version comes with either 32 GB or 64 GB memory; Windows 8 Pro version comes with 64 GB or 128 GB. You can use it as a touch-screen tablet; stand it up on its own kick stand for viewing movies, etc; and the screen cover can be folded down in front of the free-standing tablet and serve as a keyboard.
Price? That’s still a mystery. It was said that the RT version would be inline with other tablets, but that’s a big window: from $200 to $700. The price of the Pro version was not addressed. Hopefully we’ll hear about that soon.
When will we see these tablets? The RT version will come out simultaneously with the release of Windows 8, presumably October. The Pro version will appear 3 months later… looks like an end of year introduction.
In my June TTT article I said I’d be waiting to see these Windows 8 tablets before I brought out my credit card. I think I’ve just seen my tablet.
Information is still somewhat limited, but here’s where you can go for more information: