HOME     MENU     SEARCH     NEWSLETTER    
NEWS & INFORMATION FOR TECHNOLOGY PURCHASERS. UPDATED 3 MINUTES AGO.
You are here: Home / Enterprise I.T. / Microsoft's Hopes Coming to Surface
Close the insights gap
Between you and your customers with Microsoft Dynamics CRM.
See real-time CRM work
Microsoft's Hopes Come to Surface as Tablet Goes on Sale
Microsoft's Hopes Come to Surface as Tablet Goes on Sale
By Barry Levine / NewsFactor Network Like this on Facebook Tweet this Link thison Linkedin Link this on Google Plus
PUBLISHED:
FEBRUARY
06
2013


This is the week when Microsoft might be able to get a bigger foothold in the increasingly important tablet category. On Saturday, the company's Surface with Windows 8 Pro tablet officially goes on sale.

Unlike the previously released Windows RT tablet, the Surface Pro is based on an x86 processor and can run legacy Windows applications. Given this capability, the company is hoping that its relatively high starting price of $900 will be considered reasonable, since it essentially marries a laptop with a tablet. By comparison, the 64 GB MacBook Air laptop is about $1,000, and the iPad 2 starts at $400.

The Surface Pro's release comes months after the formal unveiling in October of Windows 8, whose market acceptance has been slow. Last week, for instance, industry research firm Net Applications reported that Windows 8 had obtained only a 2.3 percent market share of desktop operating systems, compared with a 7.7 percent share for Windows 7 in its first three months.

'A Tweener'

Because of the slow start to the rollout of Win 8 and the mediocre-to-poor reception for the ARM-processor-based RT tablet, the Surface Pro is taking on a particularly important role in Microsoft's efforts to increase the platform's momentum and to give the company a better presence in tablets.

Initial reviews of the Surface Pro have praised its power, its ability to act as a PC and as a tablet, the HD screen, the quick start-up time, the metal kickstand, the touchscreen Windows 8 interface, and an optional snap-on cover that also serves as keyboard. The cover/keyboard is about $120 extra.

But the negatives have included a meager battery life of 4.5 to 5 hours, the pricing, its 2-pound weight, and some have complained about fan noise that occurs on occasion.

Leading computer reviewer Walt Mossberg of The Wall Street Journal, for instance, has called the Pro "too hefty and costly and power-hungry," and added that it's "something of a tweener -- a compromised tablet and a compromised laptop."

'Thin, Touch-Screen Ultrabook'

Ross Rubin, principal analyst at Reticle Research, noted that Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer pointed to the Pro as the "more significant" member of the company's new tablet family. Rubin added that, without the ability to run legacy apps, the RT's "dearth of apps" put it at the same starting point as any new tablet trying to jumpstart an ecosystem, such as the PlayBook from Research In Motion (now called BlackBerry) or Hewlett-Packard's TouchPad.

Rubin said the hundreds of thousands of Windows 8 applications will help to make up for "the relatively few optimized apps" that are designed for the Pro tablet's form factor -- although one of the tradeoffs for the tablet being essentially a Windows laptop is the shortened battery life.

He told us the pricing "can be justified" as reasonable for a "very thin, touch-screen Ultrabook." The strongest argument Microsoft has for the Surface Pro, he said, is that "it is a best-of-both-worlds solution."

Tell Us What You Think
Comment:

Name:

Like Us on FacebookFollow Us on Twitter
TOP STORIES NOW
MAY INTEREST YOU
Salesforce.com is the market and technology leader in Software-as-a-Service. Its award-winning CRM solution helps 82,400 customers worldwide manage and share business information over the Internet. Experience CRM success. Click here for a FREE 30-day trial.
MORE IN ENTERPRISE I.T.

NETWORK SECURITY SPOTLIGHT
If you're a Google Gmail user, it's bad news. About 5 million Gmail addresses and plain text passwords were leaked to an online forum on Tuesday. The good news: the data is old, but better security is still needed.

ENTERPRISE HARDWARE SPOTLIGHT
The tech giant is expanding its cloud solutions which promise secure access to enterprise phone, email, and storage apps. The latest addition to the Dell Mobile Workspace involves Vonage and MS Office 365.

MOBILE TECHNOLOGY SPOTLIGHT
The world's highest-capacity SD card is being offered by SanDisk, 512 gigabytes of flash storage aimed at professionals shooting 4K Ultra HD video or high-speed burst mode photography. Price: $800.

Product Information and Resources for Technology You Can Use To Boost Your Business

© Copyright 2014 NewsFactor Network, Inc. All rights reserved. Member of Accuserve Ad Network.