The Christmas rush for the latest hot products is going to be more interesting than ever this year, with the release of the Microsoft Surface scheduled for October the 26th.
The Surface is Microsoft’s answer to the Apple iPad and it’ll be one of the first devices to be running the Windows 8 operating system. In a first for Microsoft the Surface will be a series of Microsoft-designed and manufactured hardware devices. That’s not pleasing hardware manufacturers who have partnered with Microsoft over the years, although they’ve manufactured the xBox they’ve never made pure computing devices before, instead allowing other manufacturers to make PCs and Laptops to run Windows on.
Microsoft plan to sell the device themselves, with 32 pop up store sites earmarked across the US for the launch date. These will be temporary locations in addition to the (surprising low) couple of dozen permanent Microsoft stores in the US. That will be a challenge for Microsoft, Apple who will be the main competitor for the Surface have stores in almost every major city in the world.
Regardless how difficult it is to buy in a retail store sales of the new device are expected to be strong. The big question is if you’re planning to buy a tablet which should you go for? Would you buy a Microsoft Surface instead of an Apple iPad?
What about Android tablets, which whilst adequate for browsing and email aren’t a patch on a laptop when it comes to functions such as word processing – with a detachable keyboard the Surface solves both the hardware and software limitations of other devices. Will Microsoft be able to attract customers away from Apple and Android by offering a Windows device on which you could install almost any software you choose?
I’m definitely tempted by the Surface, but with the price likely to be over £1000 it’s probably not going to be an immediate purchase. It’s looking very attractive though and as I’m not already an Apple customer I’d certainly favour it over the iPad.