Tuesday, June 19, 2012

A first look at Microsoft’s new Surface tablet | Ars Technica

A first look at Microsoft’s new Surface tablet | Ars Technica:

I cannot remember when the technology press said this of a Microsoft product.
What makes Surface special is the attention to detail. The standard of the fit and finish of the prototypes on display was extremely high. The shell of the Surface is made of cast magnesium, with a vapor-deposited finish called VaporMg. The result is an attractive, scratch-resistant finish that's easy to grip and comfortable to hold.
We are ushering in a new era of Microsoft products and capabilities. The prodigal Microsoft returns?

The Microsoft Surface

Update: Vote and view poll results for whether you will buy the Surface here: Surface WSJ Poll
The Surface announcement is a massive kick in the pants to all the OEMs. It signals a tectonic shift in Microsoft’s business model and its relationships with device manufacturers. This is Microsoft's tacit acceptance that OEMs cannot build hardware that showcases the capabilities of their software platform to the fullest.

Based on the press reports, the device is not bulky, is smudge-resistant, and is super responsive. Again, these are all first impressions, but I doubt that Sinofsky will allow a sub-par device to see the light of day. I am glad that they are taking their time to do this right.

This said, here are some of my concerns:
- No pricing information
- No release timeframe: I don’t want a firm date or month, but at least give me a release quarter!

Harken back to 2007; there are a number of similarities between this announcement, right down to the buzz it created and the extreme level of secrecy, and the first iPhone announcement. That announcement turned Apple’s fortunes around and cast the company into a new light. I get a strong sense that this is the recasting of Microsoft and Ballmer’s final chance at redemption. MSFT stock is at 30.87 as of this writing. Let’s see how this plays out…

Windows Phone OEMs be warned. This announcement opens the door to a Microsoft-branded phone!