Microsoft Takes Apple iPad Head On With Surface for Windows

Microsoft Takes Apple iPad Head On With Surface for Windows

Colorful, but will it truly impact the iPad?

Microsoft today officially announced their new tablet, Surface for Windows, in two flavors, one with ARM chips (just like the iPad) and one with Intel chips, like standard laptops, including Macbooks. This is Microsoft directly competing with Apple for the iPad market, for sure.

Not surprisingly, their foray into making their own hardware focuses on the tech specs, even when they are talking about making the software the main point. The press release calls out the virtues of a cover with a super thin keyboard (called a Smart Touch Cover, an integrated kickstand, VaporMg-branded molded magnesium alloy and the like. There’s no details out yet as to whether the keyboard will come with the tablet or be an add on, as yet.

There’s no mention yet of pricing, but we do know that the RT version (running the ARM chip) will be available at or around the same time as the computer version of Windows 8 will be, with the assumedly more “pro” model available 90 days later. Both models will be sold online and in Microsoft Store locations.

Microsoft Takes Apple iPad Head On With Surface for Windows

It’s a fairly sweet looking tablet, at least in the product shots and promotional video released today as well. Though, it does look a bit on the thick side, right?

While the iPad’s tech specs are fairly stunning, we also know that the killer feature of Apple’s tablet is the app ecosystem. The only way to compete in a market so utterly owned by Apple will be to encourage and support developers in creating apps for the device, or Microsoft will have a tablet-shaped Zune experience all over again.

We’re sure to keep our eyes on this as more details emerge.

Via iMore

Related
  • adamblodz

    The cheap one is confusing.

    The expensive one will be… expensive.

  • Terra Evony

    Surface? What a stupid ass name, I wonder if i can do copious amounts of crack cocaine and bathsalts on this as the ipad tends to scratch when i do such. 

  • Aaron

    Having a non-Windows compatible (read: doesn’t run current Windows applications) Windows tablet (the Windows RT version with the ARM processor) will confuse the hell out of people. The Pro version (that does run current Windows applications) will be expensive and have shitty battery life… or be the weight and thickness of a brick and STILL be expensive.

    Why would Microsoft want to get into the tablet market that is seeing competitors drop like flies?
  • zviivz

    MS just screwed OEMs like HP, Dell, Acer, Asus, etc … 

  • Shameer Mulji

    Not only are they going head to head with Apple but also with all their hardware partners.  This is very risky.  You can’t sit on both sides of the fence at the same time.

  • Terra Evony

    Not only are they going head to head with Apple but also with all their hardware partners.  This is very risky.  You can’t sit on both sides of the fence at the same time.

    Well you can but you get the proverbial picket up the rear as payment

  • Terra Evony

    Having a non-Windows compatible (read: doesn’t run current Windows applications) Windows tablet (the Windows RT version with the ARM processor) will confuse the hell out of people. The Pro version (that does run current Windows applications) will be expensive and have shitty battery life… or be the weight and thickness of a brick and STILL be expensive.

    Why would Microsoft want to get into the tablet market that is seeing competitors drop like flies?

    Because Lip Balm is at the helm of this sinking organization

  • Jdsonice

    Ballmer has more money than brains. 

  • Tallest_Skil

    Takes Apple head on… butt first. 

    Does this thing even run in portrait?

  • Demonstr8r

    They should have called it Microsoft Vista

  • bookhout

    Well people did ask what Microsoft was doing when it took on Sony in the console market–and look what happened there. It might turn out to be a good product. I won’t be giving up my iPad anytime soon, of course. I do like competition though. Apple won’t make amazing things forever unless there’s some serious competition, and Microsoft has the money and muscle to provide some. Competition is good for everyone. That’s how Apple became so awesome; it had to outmaneuver everyone else.

  • ApplePr0n

    Let’s just hope this isn’t another “competitor” or “iPad killer” like [insert any tablet here] was supposed to be…

  • Andrew John

    They should have called it the FrankenPad, its all box shaped like Frankensteins head. The keyboard on the cover is a great idea as it will definitely be needed when the user has to type in 

    CTRL-ALT-Delete

  • cienzod

    The only thing I think is wrong here are the confusing 2 versions.  Am I the only one who think’s that the keyboard cover is a pretty damn good idea??  IF Apple had offered this instead of the Smart Cover the majority here (who are lambasting this product) would have called it inspirational!  If I could get this for my iPads I’d take it in a heartbeat.

    I don’t know if this will be successful, but finally there’s a product that might make Apple step up a gear again and give us something revolutionary instead of resolutionary.
    Also, I’d say that Microsoft are probably aiming (with the Win8Pro version) for the corporate market, which is crying out for a device that can be managed centrally.  The device is too thick at 13.5mm needs to be the same size as the RT version (and I honestly don’t get the whole two versions thing).
    But, let’s not all jump on whole “Apple can do no wrong, Microsoft can do no right” bandwagon…honestly that’s really boring and doesn’t fit in with the whole Apple mantra of not having to tell us they have the better product, they just design & make it = IF you have to tell me what’s wrong with Microsoft’s product, then they’re probably finally doing something right!
  • hack_in_the_box

    Though, it does look a bit on the thick side, right?”


    You do realize its thinner than the iPad right… *facepalm*
  • marsk

    Hah, that Smart Touch Cover keyboard looks really cheap ~ 

  • MacsFuture

    Microsoft actually just did a big favor for Apple. The MS Surface tablets will create confusion in the market place as to who is the runner up to the iPad?  Android Tablets or Surface Tablets.  As iOS will be the only platform that has a vibrant SmartPhone and Tablet market, iOS will continue to be the leader.  In theory, Android had the potential to catch up in the tablet market, but with MS coming out with the Surface tablet, it will more realistically harm Android’s chances in the tablet market, more likely than harm iPad as the market leader.  If you were a consumer wouldn’t you rather buy iPhones and iPads which are unified rather than a combination of two different platforms.  Same thing for businesses.  

    Surface is also in a catch 22.  MS didn’t announce pricing.  It as a real problem.  MS needs to price the Surface table at the same price as the iPad or much lower.  If it does that, it screws over its hardware partners, who can’t match MS prices and make the same prices as MS.  If MS prices the Surface to allow its hardware partners to match the prices and make decent profits, than the price of the Surface tablets wont be competitive with iPad.  
  • dieselmaniac

    Didn’t they learn their lesson with the Zune? 

  • Evil_Scot

    The reason for the pro is for corporates to run in house productivity applications written in native Intel code.
    Both platform should run Windows RT apps.

    I dare say I would be tempted by the ARM tablet to complement a Win 8 desktop.

  • Walter Henrique

    I still don’t like 19:9 screen (really ugly in portrait mode) =/

  • Brian Gregory May

    Love the keyboard.

  • Andrew John

    They should have called it the FrankenPad, its all box shaped like Frankensteins head. The keyboard on the cover is a great idea as it will definitely be needed when the user has to type in 

    CTRL-ALT-Delete

    I retract my previous statement. They should have called it “The Next of Kin”. Isn’t that who you call after something dies?

    So how much will the anti virus software cost for this, and will it have a blue screen of death or the red ring of death? So many questions not answered MS………
  • John Branham

    They will lose the tablet war as soon as someone says “what about that new Microsoft iPad?”

    scratch that, they’ve already lost.
  • Justin Gilbert

    This announcement is nothing but good for consumers. If its amazing, Apple will step up their game and we’ll see more innovations than otherwise. If it sucks then Apple will step up their game anyway to put themselves even further ahead of the curve.

About the author

Rob LeFebvreAnchorage, Alaska-based freelance writer and editor Rob LeFebvre is Cult of Mac's Games and Tips Editor. He has contributed to various tech, gaming and iOS sites, including 148Apps, VentureBeat, and Paste Magazine. Feel free to find Rob on Twitter @roblef

(sorry, you need Javascript to see this e-mail address)| Read more posts by .

Posted in News | Tagged: , , |