It’s not often I get excited enough about a new product launch that I’m willing to stand in line to purchase it with my hard earned money, but Microsoft has done it with last week’s announcement about their tablet PC, Surface. It’s Microsoft’s answer to the iPad.
Everyone keeps asking me about tablets and how they can be used at work as well as at home. Until now, my reply has always been the same, “It’s a great idea in theory, but I just don’t see a practical use from a business perspective.” Let’s face it; most people only need a few basic applications to get their work done. For me, I need Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, and Outlook) and access to our line of business applications, Microsoft Dynamics NAV. But, that has been the “gotcha” with iPads and Kindles. Email is easy with a tablet, but Office documents and line of business applications are not typically supported.
I tried to overcome the business application hurdle by using the HP Windows 7 Slate tablet (aka a laptop without a keyboard), but it lacked the functionality I needed. So, I moved onto the lightweight Samsung Series 9 laptop. Weighing just over 2.5 lbs, it’s lighter than a Mac Air, but I miss the the ability to write notes and fold the screen flat which the HP Windows 7 Slate tablet gave me.
The Microsoft Surface with Windows 8 Pro will solve all those dilemmas. Weighing less than 2 pounds, you get a full HD display measuring 10.6 inches, touch cover, type cover, and a pen with palm block…not to mention full size USB 3.0 connector. There is also a Windows Surface RT model. This model is a slimmed down version with that doesn’t have the pen and palm block and has a ClearType HD display.
Microsoft hasn’t announced a specific release date for the Surface yet, but it should be this Fall. We’ve also heard that the Surface Pro will be out about 3 months after that. That’s just enough time to save up my allowance. ;-)
Check it out and weigh in…