Microsoft announces the Surface tablet [the competition]

Microsoft Surface
By James Richardson on 18 Jun 2012 09:38 pm EDT
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It has been all eyes on Microsoft tonight. Those crazy guys held a mystery event in LA and although most people speculated it would be a tablet announcement it wasn't confirmed until things actually kicked off. Steve Ballmer and his crew took to the stage and have now announced the Microsoft Surface tablet. Yes, they reused the Surface name.

Just to confuse things further, there are two variants of the new device. One running an ARM processor featuring Windows RT and the other with an Intel Ivy Bridge processor featuring Windows 8 Pro, which will be the more powerful of the two tablets. Combined with an integrated kickstand, full-sized USB support, 10.6” ClearType HD Display and a touch cover that also doubles up as a full keyboard, the 'Surface' on first impressions looks mighty interesting.

So from a CrackBerry point of view how will this affect the sales of the BlackBerry PlayBook? To be honest, PlayBook sales have never been fantastic, however with the device being upgraded to BlackBerry 10 at the tail end of the year things may well pick up. The PlayBook price reduction has certainly helped sales but this doesn't necessarily help RIM in terms of making money, something that they NEED to do right now. That said, only fair to note there is no telling that Microsoft has a home run here either. The Surface it seems thus far, is more of a laptop competitor than a tablet competitor and has already been the focus of some distate.

In the end, Microsoft unveiled a pretty slick looking tablet with no actual pricing, no availability date plus, they may have just potentially ticked off a lot of their own OEM partners by going out and making it all by themselves. Interesting, to say the least. If you need the full details on Surface, head on over to our sister site WPCentral or drop some comments here with your thoughts on it all.

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Reader comments

Microsoft announces the Surface tablet [the competition]

141 Comments

Its as much as laptop as the Asus Transformer and other similar products. The keyboard is detachable.

That's what's so interesting about it.

It's the first mainstream tablet (discounting early Windows tablets, which never took off) that can really be considered a laptop-replacement.

Most people who cling to their laptops -myself included- do so because they need a Windows-based platform, not a mobile OS.

I suspect price will make or break this and knowing MS it will be a $500+ tab. No threat to the current Playbook but who know where RIM is going in the tablet space if anywhere.

the case/kb is cool, i`ll give it that, but the rest is pointless.

How heavily did RIM get ciricised (rightly or wrongly) for announcing the PlayBook so early? why should this device be any different. they announce a device with NO price, NO release date, NO screen res info (just the size) NO processor info (just the main arcitechture) and we dont even know if the funky keyboard/cover is extra/included.

basically they coulda jus said `we making a tablet` and given off the same ammount of information. so ya, everyone that called the playbook vapourware wen it was announced should now have to be calling this vapourware too.

The reason to annouce is to slow sales of the iPad to businesses, and I think they've just done that. I mean anyone who would buy and ipad for business knowing this will come with full windows 8 has to be a total moron. Apple just heard the corporate door slam on them and the iPad.

This does up the ante on other OEMs but this is exactly what MSFT wants, and don;t think that Lenovo and HP won't come up with some compelling business tablets to compete, and thank God this will end their practice of loading bloat-ware on top of windows.

Anything to show something new on the horizon to stem the bleed of people switching to iPads is good. So Microsoft needs to get this out fast, and price it so people don't think twice.

I don't see it as competition for PlayBook. It is more of a laptop competitor, and maybe if close to the cost of the iPad it will slow iPad sales, or Android sales on things like the Transformer Prime.

The 7" playbook has a unique spot in the tablet niche. In that price range and with a BlackBerry phone attached, it is a useful tool. Not a laptop replacement. It is not trying to be one. I have a Windows/Linux laptop I do all my hardcore work on, but I often grab my playbook and use it for 80% of the stuff I used to use my laptop for.... At home and traveling, meetings, conferences. In fact I am typing this post now from my playbook.

So Microsoft Surface is not a PlayBook killer, unless you are shopping for an ultrabook anyways. It is like saying a laptop is a PlayBook killer. Well it is if you are willing to spend time 3-4x more for a tablet. I can still use my Intel laptop with Win7 and boot a Linux liveCD for less money and more memory/power and be productive.

I think the Microsoft Surface is cool, but it fits into a niche that is going to be somewhere in between a tablet and a regular laptop. Now keep in mind they said they will price it at the cost of an ultrabook, but without all the advantages of a laptop. Namely, laptops can be upgraded, configured, have many more port options, replaceable battery, boot other OS like Linux, and much more. So will it still be worth it? I hope so, just to see Apple have some serious competition..... And I hope the PlayBook still will have growth in the more affordable smaller size tablet niche.

Right on. Prior to the release of Windows 3.1, there was a software company called Geoworks that made GEOS, a windowing, multi-tasking OS for the PC. GEOS was shipping and the announcement of Windows 3.1 pretty much killed it, as everyone stopped to see what Microsoft was going to release, months, if not a year, later...

GEOS just like Windows blatenly stole from the original mac. In my opinion that's why windows took so long to be released they planned on copying mac and saw what GEOS offered and used the delay to steal that too. I liked GEOS I used it on my C64 friend had a Mac I couldn't afford one so GEOS let me have that experience!! Just my two cents
Ed

hmmm, i disagree, i dont see the point to another OEM making a windows tab, its just not financially viable now.
MS made a tab, thing is, for any OEM to make a tab, they have to pay windows royalties and licenses to use their OS. so as MS doesnt have to pay themselves, their price per unit cost would be lower even if the OEM built the exact same unit. this puts the OEM at a major disadvantage before they even rock up with a price. and thats before we think how HP`s last tablet did for them

Exactly. You know OEM's are pissed. How do they complete by providing a windows tablet? The profit margin is a lot smaller, and they would have to reduce the price to get people to buy theres instead of Microsoft. I think most OEM's will stick with Android as oppose to moving to Microsoft. The game did just get very interesting

But compete (or burn) they will. Do you think they are going to sit down and write an OS from scratch?
Microsoft is just doing what Google are doing. Provide the OS but delve into the hardware side of things too. A lot of people do not like it but they are running with Android anyway. All PC manufacturers will have to run with Windows 8.
Since Windows 8 is a major shift in OS functionality, it makes sense that Microsoft should release marker hardware of what they had in mind when they designed it.
This is the future of the PC and yes that metro UI looks ghastly on a phone and even worse on a PC/tablet. It is oh so sparse.

Exactly. I do not see us buying PC's at my job with Windows 8. I think as far as busnesses go this will get the vista treatment. How many companies are running apps that will not run on Windows 8. I know I will pass.

its not what google are doing though, as samsung for example get android free (less the patent fees it - ironically- pays MS) so that `could` mean their cost to build an android tab of the exact same spec as a win8 version would be less.

as for what i think to win8, well lets jus say MS have a history of good...bad...good...bad...good, for example xp - good, vista - bad, 7 - good, 8 - ...say no more.

also, what was the last hardware device MS sold? oh ye, the Kin, that went well lol

did you not watch any live blogs or read any news stories about this product? Literally every one of your questions were answered. Although, some more vague than others.

i had a quick browse around the main tech sites, and no none of my questions were answered, so feel free to try. screen res? processor speed? price? does the kb come with it or extra? NOBODY KNOWS

Yes, screen details have been answered: 10,6" 16:9 format. Res: 1366 x 768 pixels (For the RT version). Clear Type HD and Gorilla Glass 2. The Pro version will have a higher res, but this wasnt specified.
Keyboard: If they dont mention them being free then they wont be. The rest depends on marketing on release.

Processors: well you can make a pretty good guess based on what we know.
Price: The RT version will be priced to match similar ARM based tablets. The Pro wasnt specified further than "like ultrabooks"

10.3 is a little too much to qualify for a tablet.It might be difficult to carry around. should have been 8-9 inch.

NVidia announced last night that the Surface w/ ARM has a Tegra 3.

And the Surface Pro has a intel Core i5... so, you already know the processor :-)

And about the Surface Pro resolution, If i'm not wrong, there is a Full HD screen in the specs released in the Surface website, so... at least, 1080p.

I'm getting this, but will still use my playbook, size difference means different functionality. For example I'd rather read a book on the playbook. For RIM however, this really is competition since I can see business people going for the surface over the playbook.

I think RIM will have to lauch a plaubook with a similar form factor to compete, bu honestly they should just focus on phones.

I agree with you completely. And they need to make a full functioning Office suite. Full MS office on 10.6" tablet form will defo make people choose the Win8 tablet over any other. And they need to make the PB more snappy regarding boot times, app startup times etc.

I want one, a Pro with the tactile keyboard. I'll keep using my PlayBook for portability stuff - more of what is usually considered tablet stuff. Then I'll use this in place of buying a new laptop which I need to do soon-ish anyway.

You have your BlackBerry fans, your Apple Lemmings, your Samsung fans etc. Hopefully there is room for all of the manufacturers to be profitable. The alternative choices are definitely good for the consumer. Why is it that we assume in the smartphone/tablet business that there can only be one or two survivors?

I think it makes sense for MS to come in to tablet space. The Ipad is not only dominating the tablet space but also fuelling MAC sales and slowly killing PC sales - cross selling. Also, it's only MS after apple who are present in all three stages of the ECOSYSTEM (PC, PHONE, TABLET)
Now will have to wait and see how they will execute it.

While I agree with you that the IPAD is currently dominating the tablet market. I hardly think that PC sales are being killed by Apple Mac sales. In my business travels I can't really recall of any business large size who are not using windows based PC's. Likewise most of the people I know still use Windows based PC's.

I agree businesses are not make the switch but home users are. I know a lot of people who had Windows PC's that now have Mac laptops or PC's.

Honestly besides the size, there's not a real advantage of the playbook over this device. The fact that it's a fully functional PC with touch interface is pretty impressive. I'd like to see the battery life for it and the pricing. I'm also a huge fan of Zune and the zune software (iTunes is terrible) so having a tablet that will run the software is a huge win for me personally.

With that said, I still enjoy the 7inch form factor though when commuting daily on the playbook.

I was just at the MS website to look at the Surface. Wow. How uninspiring. I totally don't see what is supposed to be the major differentiators with this tablet. I guess I'll have to wait and see what the specs are and what the final UI looks like.

it can run a full desktop operating system on it, so its a tablet pc. it can do everything your pc/laptop can do pretty much.

And the full desktop system is designed for portable products - unlike windows 7.
From what I've seen we can expect all this running as fluent as current WP phones.

So essentially it's form factor is a bit different from a laptop. Although I wouldn't say it's huge.

I guess when I look at it, I don't see any huge value proposition over what I already have at my disposal. Nothing that obviously provides me with some functionality or marked improvement in efficiency or ease of use.

Maybe I'm just expecting too much.

Lets be honest here. How many of us would have ditched Microsoft at the office if we could have?
I have always disliked how I spend months working on fine-tuning an excel macro that imports information from the web, only to have them screw it up for me.

I've always disliked how they used their monopoly power to kill competition (actually they about killed apple at the turn of the century) and stifle innovation.

Security? Please! I've learned the hard way not to trust Microsoft security. This is not only on Microsoft but Microsoft is the king if viruses.

Microsoft is lucky that they virtually killed all competition because if people had viable choices they would have stop using them a long time ago. Unfortunately, Google docs just does not do it yet.

No thanks. How many people are going to want to upgrade to the next OS for say 240 bucks? Not me. My Playbook OS 2.0 was free and all upgrades will be free. It is how BlackBerry does business.

if MS wanted to kill Apple, why would they invest $200 Million on Apple in 1997? Your statement contradicted the facts

They did it because without Apple they would have been the only software maker on the market and the monopolies commission would have forced all sorts of limitations on them. It was nothing to do with saving Apple. It did. But it was to save MS first and foremost..

Not only that, the whole I don't like Microsoft thing is getting old.

Apple has a monpoly on iTunes and the iPad and what do they do? Develop a walled garden that they control totally. Apple shafts people worse than MSFT. Please get over the whole MSFT bad thing it's very 1980s.

I highly doubt that this tablet is going to be considered competition for the Playbook let alone actually have an effect on the sales of Playbooks. The two devices are for completely different markets.

And let's not kid ourselves here; the Playbook isn't even considered competition by other manufacturers given it's lack luster sales. It's considered a niche device now; one that is relegated to a very specific group of users - a group of users that is small and insignificant in terms of market share.

I know that is going to make some people upset on here, but I would bet that Microsoft, when developing the Slate, didn't even consider, let alone acknowledge, the Playbook as being a potential competior to its new tablet. It simply doesnt matter. Their sights are set on a much bigger target - Apple and Google.

About the only thing that I am dissapointed about in terms of the Playbook is that now with an official MS tablet; the chance of seeing a tablet version of MS Office on the Playbook is now nil.

PS - Still love my Playbook. But also very realistic regarding the state that the Playbook and Blackberry is in.

Totally agree with you, although I really hope BB10 helps make enough profit and even gain new fans to where it'll help it make it the next Apple.

has this blog poster considered mental help? how does it affect playbook sales?? are you kidding. right now they are tied at ZERO. you all are acting like bb10 is the second coming of christ. you are all waiting for the great pumpkin to appear.

I'm not sure how Playbook is doing world wide now, but a recent report for Canadian sales showed that it now has over 20% of the tablet market.

Here I the UK it's not good. I was in Currys (consumer electronics chain) the other day and the PlayBook was not functioning and had DUST on it! It's a real shame because the only alternatives for people who don't want an iPad were the array of Android 'things! Which were working.

Pretty much the same state the Playbook was in when I dropped into a Best Buy in the US (I just had to see if everything I had read on here about them was true).
The Playbook, despite having the power cord right next to it, had been left to power-down completely.
I plugged it back in, powered it up and set the demo running on it. Everything that I could access without the administrator login.

I see the state the demo Playbooks are in, in places like Curry's or BestBuy, as more of a sign of a problem in the store, rather than a problem with the device. It also shows a problem with RIM's relationship with these stores.

Si.

same here in jamaica i am one of the few people that own a playbook, everyone else own ipads and android tabs, i would like to see where playbooks are seling and doing well, i think users on crackberry are just real diehard fans that they dont see that rim has already lost out in the tablet market

Like I said - over 20% of the market in Canada. Also, just because stores are not keeping the demo on does not mean that they are not selling. The IPAD III display at our local Walmart has not even had a unit in it for quite some time, yet they have lots for sale, There are between 1.5 and 2 million Playbooks in circulation, depending on whose information you believe.

Nice to see other jamaicans on here. I have a playbook as well. Use it mostly for youtube and very light browsing at home. Lack of USB and full ms office is a big problem.

The pro version has a intel i5 and Microsoft said it will be priced similar to an ultrabook. So even though this thing looks cool, I would still pick a Windows 7 ultrabook over it any day. Tablets trying to replace laptops is fun and good and all. But why bother trying when you can get such portable and capable laptops now?

For an example look at the ASUS Zenbook. Its yummy, weights less than 3lbs, has a bigger screen, has Windows 7 and I'm sure by the time this surface thing comes out it will be cheaper much cheaper. Oh and the Zenbook can run Skyrim.

I don't think the price point of these tablets will be anywhere near the PlayBook, so no harm there. Otherwise, the Surface is amazing. I get that this is a BB fan website and all, but credit should be given where credit is due. They have done an amazing job with the tablet.

I think it is kind of big and long. If I want the tablet that big why don't i just buy a laptop instead. I personally still prefer Playbook.

I have been considering a 10 inch tablet to go along with my PB and been hoping to see a BB 10 inch in the future. I certainly have no interest in purchasing an ipad and this Microsoft tablet running windows 8 is certainly an interest to me, I am currently running windows8 on my regular laptop and eventhough some don't like the OS it is nice. This tablet from the picture looks nice but I will truly be interested if it has an onscreen keyboard also the surface keyboard can be folded back and used as a regular tablet. I currently have no interest in purchasing another laptop type device.

Really? If your going to criticize the Playbook, at least do it with style and class. Oh and just out of curiosity, just how many times have you actually needed to touch the power button anyways? I've had mine since launch and can count on one hand how many times I've needed to touch the power button - it's a touch screen device you know. (rolling my eyes)

Well I've actually had to use it quite a few times.. My 64gb PB seems to want to freeze on me sometimes. Particularly when I have been playing words with friends for a while. The Journal case has made that damn button completely unusable..

@forsakenwaste5,

You are one stupid pile of shite that has never contributed anything constructive..

Mods, please ban this moron.. I sick of having to read his garbage as I sif through the intelligent comments.

oh im sorry for having an opinion. in the crackberry's terms of agreement it doesnt say that you have to kiss blackberry's ass.

face the fact that blackberry's power button is flushed. am i right?

On early models, yes, the power button was flush with the top of the device. My first PlayBook had that issue, but it wasn't a problem unless I shut the thing down (and later wanted to power it up). I always have my PB in standby, and wake it with a bezel-to-bezel swipe. Touching the battery icon gives you on-screen buttons for Restart, Stand By, and Turn Off. Very quick and easy to use. So for me, the depressed power button was a non-issue.

I had an issue with my cameras not working and ultimately RIM replaced my PB with a newer one. The power button is raised. Now I do use it once in a while to put it into stand by as I'm slipping on the cover. So while it is better having it raised, it wasn't the major issue that you make it out to be.

Linux is my operating system, the only time I use Microsoft Windows is to send a word/pp/visio document to my co-workers, and the freakin thing crashes all the time. I think if after 20 years microsoft wasn't able to fix this I am confident that their new OS/ tablet is a POS. Playbook is my tablet of choice, great functionality/ stability/ size/ bridge/ browser/ multitasking/ pacemaker/ stellarium/ etc to be the few reason

These comments are just getting old and rediculous. Hello the world uses windows and so people already know that windows 7 is amazingly stable. Mine has NEVER crashed (yes I've recived "not responsing" periodically. It may close the windows and reopen it but it doesn't crash.

I like blackberry, I'm on this site but really saying windows crashes all the time is just dumb, unless you are still running 3.1

Windows is fine. Yeah it has it's flaws, just like Apple's OS does and any other OS. Don't be so narrow-minded. This is a very nice tablet, especially the pro edition.

It's an interesting product, and I think the keyboard with touchpad shows that this optional method of navigating a tablet is an important trend. I've used my Playbook more than ever since getting the keyboard/case. What a difference it is to type an article with the keyboard and use the mouse to click on the correct link or drop-down menu on a tablet. It feels more like the web isn't a compromise on a tablet, nor is using it for productive tasks - especially the portability of the PB's form factor.
It's funny how the tech media disses the PB when it is one of the best options for being a mobile journalist (short of some big wishlist items, camera connectivity via USB for one.)

Anyway, I'm liking the direction companies are going in the tablet field, and I'm interested to see what this MS product will do to the marketplace.

I love my Blackberry Bold 9900, and as a phone, I cannot ask for more (except more apps and more storage space for apps), but for a tablet, I've been waiting for a Windows 8 tablet. I've tried Winows 8 when they were letting everyone download the beta version for free. I think it would easily and fully integrate with my home PC since Windows 8 is actually just Windows 7 (same OS as my PC) with a new touch interface... The backbone is the same. So, sorry RIM, I was never really considering a Playbook, Android tablet, and definitely never considering an iPad, this is what I've been waiting for. :-)

Yes, sure the Surface looks cool but as many, many others have noted, there seems to be ZERO details whatsoever, not even potential release dates. Even if you're sitting on the fence, could you wait indefinitely for when/if this thing comes out?

One thing that I don't think is great is the 10.6" wide size. It's odd. It's not nearly as much space as the "standard" aspect iPad and the length of it makes it a bit more awkward.

The Playbook is still pretty darn good still, but just having BB10 won't save it. By the time BB10 rolls around, the PB will be getting a bit dated and RIM runs the risk of not being able to capitalize on what little momentum they have with this thing. It already looks dated with the new tablets being announced, like the Surface in particular.

I would say please RIM, go for the "cheap" update with BB10. The PB is fine for the most part, just give me a really nice HD screen, slightly upgraded CPU and better battery life. Is that too much?

This looks awesome! But it's not a replacement for a tablet like the Playbook (sorry can't say the same for you, iPad), it's a replacement for a laptop/desktop... I can see myself buying one when my current laptop dies. This has no influence on my owning a Playbook, I get free tethered internet on that wherever I go. Plus, I throw my Playbook in my bag and keep it there most of the time "in case" I feel like pulling it out to read something or whatever... It wouldn't be the case with this tablet. When I take it somewhere it'd have to be planned, (make sure I'm very gentle with the purse, and it has to be one of my bigger purses, probably need to bring the charger with me...) same as with a laptop.

All I have to say is: anything but the iPad.

This would be my second choice for a tablet, second to the obvious PB. I tablet that would be so compatible with my laptop would be very nice but as long as BB supports the PB that'll be my tablet of choice,

I cant believe people are still comparing their playbook to tablets being released in the future. Damn! we do have some blackberry faithful in this joint.
Let me break it down for you. The playbook is crap. I have been using one for almost a year now, which is more than enough time for me to draw conclusions. It was unfinished when it was released and it is still unfinished! 2years after release!!! RIM scammed us guys.
Now... this Microsoft surface, is the future people. Nobody does software as good as Microsoft. I am using windows 8 on my PC at the moment and it is awesome!
I put my playbook on ebay yesterday after it has lost more than 80% of what I paid for it. In contrast, my wife's ipad will still recoup at least 80% of its original value.
Will be very very careful if I am ever going to buy anything from RIM. I hope they make a comeback. I really enjoyed BBM, but these days I am chatting to people more on whatsapp!

Bullcrap...as an owner of both Playbook and Ipad, I know both have their good points and bad points, but to say Playbook is not a good tablet is just some form of sour grapes.

yes you make some valid points, the OS was unfinished, i dont really think it is now though apart from the portrait PIM which i have in 2.1 beta.

sadly though your points are lost in the fact that im still chuckling a little at `2 yrs after release` as it came out mid april last year, so maybe 14 months.

PlayBook hasn't been out for 2 years. More like 1 year and 2 months.

I've always thought that if MS did it right, a tablet-focused Windows experience could be very compelling. However, I'm still not sure about Windows 8. On a non-touch screen PC, the metro UI bolted on to the normal Windows UI is just aweful. Windows 7 is great, but I don't have any interest in Windows 8. Maybe on a tablet the experience will be enjoyable, but a hybrid approach may hurt them more than benefit. We'll see. They have some nice features on their "Surface" tablets, and I do think they'll directly impact iPad sales, at least in the enterprise.

As for the PlayBook, I have no idea how you used yours, but I use mine all the time. I take it to work with me, use it as an alarm clock, browse the web, play games, etc. I do wish it had certain streaming video apps, but it is a minor thing.

As I type this on my word suggesting Playbook interface I can't believe that I actually paid over $600 for an IPAD and paid less than $250 for 32gb Playbook. I sure hope MS doesn't try to rob the consumer blind like Apple does. I guess that for a while I was a Lemming (sigh), but I have seen the light thanks to Playbook. Apple will not fool me with their Lemming inducing marketing again.

Have to wonder why MSFT would go for two different architectures such as Intel and ARM. Does anyone know how different programming is for these two platforms? Are battery lives comparable between the two?

Seems cutting your developers down the middle would be counter-intuitive.

Only x86 apps can run on a Windows 8 device. WinRT(Metro) app can run on both ARM and x86 devices. To reach more devices Windows developers should be writing WinRT apps.

Unlike RIMs Playbook, Microsoft Surface will come with all necessary application software. You know the stuff we waited almost a year for.

"All necessary application software"... really ?!

Ever thought that what is "necessary" for one person is different from what is "necessary" for another ?

There are still plenty of different software for many people I deal with on a daily basis which isn't even compatible Windows7.

I have spoken to a couple of my company's developers (yes, I work for a software company) and he tells me that the Windows8 Metro isn't as great - from a development standpoint - as a lot of developers had been led to believe... unless you're developing mobile app-type software rather than fully integrated software.

So, I'm not convinced by your "all necessary application software" comment.

Si.

Zune? Kin! Anyone? This company doesn't exactly have a good reputation when it comes to computing hardware. (Xbox doesn't count as its gaming thingy)

The Zune HD hardware is AMAZING. It's a beautiful crafted device. The kin i cannot speak for though.

I'm curious to know what price points this will come at, but I'm interested at the enterprise level as a real contender to the iPad (which we really can't use in my enterprise for [lack of] security reasons and interoperability).

Microsoft invented the practical tablet concept 12 years ago, so it's great they're finally getting into it. I had a Lenovo X200 tablet PC back in 2008, and while it was cool, the cool-factor wore off quickly due to XP not quite being a real tablet OS. Windows 8 looks like it will change that.

SO it's a Windows computer with a flimsy keyboard? No thanks. I have a MacBook and I'm about to get the new MacBook Pro with the retina display for when I want a computer experience. I love my PlayBook because it really is an underrated powerhouse, but would love a future PlayBook with the carbon fiber weave and chrome accented treatment of the 9900. iPads are cool but I feel like I can do all the same stuff on my iPod touch (an iPad with OS X Lion or Mountain Lion would be a different story...).

Microsoft should stick to making software for PCs that need to be wholly replaced every 3 years.

Lol, OSX on an iPad great, but Windows 8 on an "iPad" is not. Just say you don't like Microsoft and never will.

Oh, and lol at replaced every three years. When did XP come out? Aren't millions if not billions of people still using it? How many animals has OSX ran through now?

The author of this post is a disgrace!
Microsoft strongly hinted the Surface RT version will be released in Q4 this year. How the heck do you expect a release date when there's no firm release date for Windows 8/RT WHICH THIS DEVICE IS RUNNING?!
How many other tablets/Ultrabooks had a release date at Computex?

I've read most of the blog coverage of this device and i have seen exactly ZERO of this 'distaste' you speak of. This fanboyism is shameful

The Surface RT tablet looked as ready as anything showed off at Computex, and significantly more ready than Blackberry 10.

Microsoft has met all its recent milestones it set. Xbox dashboard update, Win 8 developer preview, consumer preview and Release preview ALL met previously announced milestone dates.

Look at the big financial problems which RIM has got. This tablet is a huge competition for the Playbook and iPad. You can wish what you want, but the Playbook will never be succesfull. RIM should stop its development and waisting money. Full Windows compatibility is very good and important.

The playbook was a great bridge to keep me out of apple's hands until a great win tab became available. The surface will be it and the playbook will enjoy its well earned retirement. Now come the fanboys, caveat lector.

I can see this being a real threat to IPAD dominance in the full size tablet arena, if it has full Internet Explorer capabilities and interfaces well with Windows based PC's. Especially in the business world where the Windows based PC is so dominant.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vF0ALmcCiLA
at 2'30 is what I'd like to see in the future, versatile smart phone portability, multimedia display on length, booklet display. With a miracast like solution (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VUok7kZjbbk), I would see me using it as a laptop replacement with letting it becoming a complimentary control panal and wacom/touchpad tablet replacement (with pressure sensitive screen a la touchco now in amazon, or a la stantum). But I still need real keyboard such as the wireless touchpad apple keyboard.
I don't believe in large but actually not large enough tablet screen. Playbook with 7 is closer to the better form factor than any of these.

Okay. There are two Microsoft Tablets running two different and incompatible versions of Windows.

One tablet is small and sleek but doesn't run any of the programs written for Windows that have ever been written.

Another version has a fan and is clunkier but does run existing Windows programs.

No mention is made of price or battery life.

Oh yeah, both tablets run something that is called Windows but have a completely different User Interface than every single version of Windows that has been shipped to date.

One more thing. Microsoft announces these things months before it has product that is ready to ship.

WTF is going on with Microsoft?

Don't be an ignorant troll.

Metro apps will run on both of the two tablets, the Pro has a fan but still comes in a sleek design...'clunky' is a silly term to use.

Both tablets run variants of Windows 8. The Metro UI has been used by millions of the people who have downloaded the beta releases and Metro HAS been getting lots of coverage in the media. Microsoft has no dislike of effective advertisement, which is more than I can say of RIM.

Windows 8 has no firm release date so how do you expect a tablet running windows 8 to have a firm release date? Both Windows 8 and this tablet have a 'fall' release date. How many of the ultrabooks running Win 8 at last Computex had a release date?

As other people who are much more intelligent than yourself have surmised, announcing this early is a smart move to build consumer awareness AND to spur WIndows 8 OEMS to take as much effort into building sleek, excellent Win 8 hardware. This is a WIN-WIN for microsoft. Unsurprisingly, you aren't bright enough to see this.

For someone who likes to put the intelligence of others at issue, you need to evaluate your own because everything that you wrote is either wrong or just plain badly reasoned.

The part I like best is that you accuse me of trolling Microsoft on a Blackberry forum. You surely have a genius level IQ for coming to that conclusion.

Even more pathetic. I was able to dissect your post and point out where you displayed abysmal logic and ignorance. Why don't you show me where i wrote anything that was 'wrong' or badly reasoned?

Empty barrels truly make the loudest noises...which is why you cannot bring yourself to take on any of the valid points I posted up there. But it's ok, I understand ;)

All of Microsoft's OEM partners suck, so why shouldn't they just start making the hardware themselves as well?

Dell - sucks
HP - sucks
Sony - sucks
Samsung - sucks
Toshiba - sucks

At first read this could be a laptop replacement. Not as portable as my PlayBook so I don't see it as a threat to RIM more likely to Apple and most definitely to all Android tabs.

Definitely interested, any idea on the price and specs?

I agree with James that this new Surface Tablet does look slick. I think it is a good move from Microsoft to vertically integrate its tablet product so that it has more control over the design, pricing, and other aspects.
In terms of how it affects the RIM PlayBook? I think it is obviously one more competitor for the PlayBook and will put downward pressure on the demand for other tablets. I mean, Windows 8 does have a lot support for its ecosystem than BB 10, so some consumers that might normally buy a PlayBook will instead look at the new Surface Tablet.

I think it looks good. It's about time Microsoft did something about tablets and finally brought one to market. Would have way rather had the "Courier".

The PlayBook needs USB support if it really wants to excel in the market. Businesses and consumers will see the advantage of being able to download your photos on the go, use an external keyboard, etc. And imagine the possibilities of third party devices, printers, etc...

IMHO, that's the big bonus that the Surface has... That, and the huge plethora of windows software already available...

[[[The PlayBook needs USB support if it really wants to excel in the market. Businesses and consumers will see the advantage of being able to download your photos on the go, use an external keyboard, ]]
PB has external keyboard via bt

What is the big deal? Of course, it is a full blown and revamped tablet. But other gizmos also improve with leaps and bounds too

I think this is the first in a few shots Microsoft has coming trying to reclaim their relevance in the sector, and I think they have a chance here. I think very quickly behind this they will showcase Windows Phone 8 and tie it into existing infrastructure. What's the biggest complaint about PlayBook - no Netflix no Skype. Xbox 360 currently has everything - Netflix, Hulu Plus, ESPN, HBO GO, Amazon Instant streaming on their 'Live Gold" and I expect to see that ported immediately to the tabs and WP8 in a "we give you everything" package designed to keep you in house the way Apple does. Microsoft owns Skype so that should be the least of their worries, as will Office (announcing a home and student package will come with the Tabs is a great idea).

This is where RIM/BB has to show they can compete, a place they are sorely lacking at the moment. Their competition are going to be on complete media packages, buy it once and use it on everything/everywhere type plans.

Sure you are a "guy who does" but do you have kids? They want the xbox package on everything. You're already paying for it and Microsoft works with your Exchange software at work pretty well, the phone and the tab support MS Office. It compelling to say the least

Color me impressed, or at least intrigued. I really like the keyboard and generally like what I see out of Windows 8 and will have it on my desktop shortly. So this is part of why MS is getting into the tablet market to stave off the competition and to staunch any further bleeding to Apple and Android (and did I really read in this thread someone talking about "killing" Apple? Too big to be killed). But its all about synergies with your desktop, phones and tablets. If I'm running Office (and I am -- have for years and years) a tablet that offers the best and most seemless tablet version of Office will be attractive. And if I'm running Outlook (and I am for years and years, etc., etc.). Unless RIM releases a 10 inch form factor before the Surface surfaces, I will be mighty tempted. Because I'm keyed up and pining for Blackberry 10, this development won't induce me to make a switch from Blackberry to WP for my smartphone, but MS has cemented its status as the next best thing for me.

Based on Windows Phone, I think this will be a worthy competitor. Price will be a major factor in it's success. I don't think it has to be cheaper than the iPad but it can't be more expensive

To add to the above....I have a Playbook and I am very happy with it. This announcement by MS won't make a difference in Playbook sales one way or another IMO. They are going at Apple...

Microsoft has taken an interesting direction with this release and I believe that direction is where the future of tablets and laptops will head - basically the 2 forms will meld together. The distinction between laptops and tablets are blurring together slowly over time as one becomes ever smaller and lighter and the other becoming more powerful.

Depending on what the specs are for the Surface tablet, it may be a serious challenger to both the tablet and laptop market. If the Surface is as powerful as an average laptop but has the convenient tablet form factor - most consumers will prefer to buy it over having to spend twice for the other two (and at times carry twice as much). Of course that comes down to pricing as well.

However, will this change be dramatic and happen overnight? Most likely not. It will take some time for the public to understand and accept the evolution of this type of technology (generally speaking).

Edit: skimmed through some spec from WPCentral - Surface will not challenge the laptop much at this time given inferior memory capacity and among other factors. Personally, I wouldn't buy it if its capability cannot surpass my laptop. As for tablet functionality, PB is good enough and the pricing is great for what it can do and what I use it for.

The only thing that could make a difference in Playbook sales is people actually wanting to own one. They are giving them away for less than the price of a night on the town and... crickets.

[[[.I have a Playbook and I am very happy with it. This announcement by MS won't make a difference in Playbook sales one way or another IMO.]]]

Ditto. The form factors (PB & Win tablet 10') are entirely different.

They look like they will be priced to target different markets so it may make very little difference. For the business user the surface will likely be the tablet of choice. Full office support and an actual functional pdf reader will be a huge win for the surface.

now I wonder if we will be able to run windows app on that or it will need to be an app specific for the tablet. that would be a tablet killer if it does.

The tablet looks promising but so have many tablets that were announced SIX MONTHS before release. By then, the new iPad will have been out for 9 months and ready for another upgrade and there will likely be a new version of the Playbook on the market (assuming RIM survives). Of course, Google is watching as well. Therefore, don't make the mistake of comparing this tablet to what is available now.

All this announcement does is give competitors a chance to incorporate some of the new features of this tablet into their own. I also didn't see any mention of a LTE equipped model, which is an absolutely necessity for many people.

I was a PlayBook owner and have played with Windows 8 Preview Release on a Samsung Series 7 Slate. The only advantage the PB has is it's 7-inch form factor and that's really it in my opinion. Everything the PB was suppose to be in terms of productivity is there in Win8. The "fun" factor too. Skype, Netflix, Office, Adobe Acrobat, Xbox games, subscription to Xbox music. All my photos with access to the cloud "Skydrive" Baked in social network support. The PB casing was also a huge leap over all the other Win tablets, but I think this may surpass that. Even the Win8 tablets have the bezel swipe found on PB, but they use it in a lot wider fashion.

I still am a BlackBerry fan at heart, but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't going to buy this the first day it's available.

What is this Playbook you speak of? Did it help you with a lot of successful passes or interceptions? Surface might outsell the Playbook in a month won't that be bad... I keep saying over an over in the hopes you get it Hardware without software will never work fix your app quality and quantity that is all.

Now this is how you rollout a mature product, not a half ass tablet like playbook, I never liked the initial launch of playbook and this today turned the tid for everyone. I was saving for BB10 device not all that money will go into Windows 8 PC

IMHO, I see the win 8 products version as something that will compete with netbooks and ultrabooks. Full windows 8, up to 128gb of storage, microsdxc card slot, full usb......
This particular model I see as a laptop replacement than a tablet. And yes, it will assimilate greatly with my playbook.

Say what you will but the average consumer (those who don't come to Crackberry everyday) will be like "Playbook who?" if RIMM doesn't impress. I and the IT manager may make a distinction between a tablet vs a laptop replacement, but the average Joe or Josephine wont. All they'll examine are (in this order)

- Price <-Playbook wins
- App Availability <-Playbook is getting there
- Wow factor (read is the user experience worthy to cause envy) <-Time will tell with BB10

By the way, I agree with SoUnCool. This is how you release a tablet. I hope RIM is paying attention. My 10 year relationship with RIM depends on it.

A lot of surmising and predicting going on and perhaps rightfully so but here and now the only thing I see that is attractive is the full size USB port. That lends a lot of options including using thumb drives for storage. I wish I had that option with my PlayBook (64gig)but as much as I wish for that, I still absolutely love my PlayBook so it isn't a deal-breaker. You would think that they have chosen the best highlights to announce so if that is all they have, it is pretty uninteresting. That said, anything that puts a dent in Apple is downright sweet in my book.

Looks like I'm one and done in the Rimm mobile space. I bought a Playbook because it was different, and I bought a 9850 just for the bridge features. I thoroughly enjoy my first Black Berry experiences (came from Android), and was looking forward to BB10; but I was always waiting on Microsoft offerings, and figured I'd just buy another desktop. Surface Pro seems to be all that in one.

I'll still keep my Playbook, and my wife's; I'll probably hook them up to TVs and use them as internet browsers and media streamers, with the phone as a control.

I don't think Rim or Apple have anything to worry about from the 800lb MS Gorilla that just entered the room. Android on the other hand might need to start looking over it's shoulder.

RIM / Blackberry is so doomed. Playbook owners will never forgive that you cannot get Netflix and Skype onto Playbook to make it usable. Look at Microsoft, is already getting attention and interests..all it take is to start demo with one of the most wanted apps - Netflix! RIM, I own Blackberry and picked up a Playbook for its now cheap price, you definitely do not deserve a second chance. Let Microsoft shows you how to get things done right!!! Amen.

This is the first real device that can unseat Apple's market share. If I can REALLY leave my laptop behind and carry this (and not fool myself with a half-a-device like an ipad or a playbook) then this is what I'll carry. The rest are just toys.

I wonder how long it'll actually take before somebody hacks it, circumvents and enables access to the BIOS of it and then, enables USB booting and then releases the howto/tool under the public domain... Linux would run like a fucking DREAM on that surface tablet.

Reading too many fanboy comments from all sides here. Frankly from what I saw in the introduction to the Surface I liked. Whether it performs as promised is another thing all together.

What I do like is that it runs Windows which will be compatible with the rest of my home. It has a full sized functional USB port and it has a microSD slot. I like that I can still use external hardware and add disk space.

I like my Playbook but I really wish they would get BB10 out sooner rather than later. I get they don't want to release a lemon, but the world is moving on without them. But given what I see in the MS tablets, they have the hardware I would like to see.