Cyberspace is buzzing with one word—Surface. And the question on everyone’s mind is the same: Will Microsoft’s debut tablet be the iPad killer?
It’s an exciting time to be a tech-freak. The Apple-Google, Google-Facebook wars have been interesting to watch, no doubt. What with each doing what it takes, to keep us happy and willing. But now, now is when things get hotter with the waking of the sleeping giant. Earlier this week, when Microsoft announced its entry into the tablet market with the Surface line-up, social networks went into overdrive, bloggers buzzed busily and tech gurus dissected the features of the tablet even as long-time Microsoft loyalists and Apple fan boys watched closely.
It might be the day of Apple, but history shows, it wasn’t always so. After all, it was Windows and Office that led to the near extinction of the Mac line in the ‘90s. However, since then Microsoft rarely if ever, seemed to be in the right place at the right time.
“Look at it, while Apple reincarnated in 2001, taking over the digital music scene with the iPod and iTunes, Microsoft refused to let go of its flop acts —Windows Media Player and Zune. Then, of course the search engine fiasco. Meanwhile there was Apple again with the iPhone which changed everything, which Microsoft countered almost a decade too late with the admirable but insufficient Windows Mobile. The only redeeming move Microsoft’s made in the past decade, which can also be considered the proof of its hardware might was the Xbox 360. It’s probably the only reason I’m willing to give its Surface a chance,” says Vishal Jain, a software developer with a city-based MNC.
Like it or hate it, there’s immense curiousity about Surface. Will Surface be the iPad killer is the question on everyone’s mind. “iPad killer? Definitely not. Just to hope that it’s a worthy rival to the iPad is to be overly optimistic. Surface RT, which runs on Metro, an OS designed specifically for a touch interface and Surface Pro which runs on Windows 8 are being touted to bridge the gap between touch devices and personal computers. It’s a tall claim, that even Apple has never made. Besides, will the Surface ever be able to match the eco-system of apps that iPad has at its disposal? We’ll only find out when it releases later this year,” comments tech-enthusiast and blogger, Prasanth R.
Surface will be the game-changer. If it proves to be a winner, Microsoft shall regain its lost glory. While the final verdict is still awaited, there are those who warn against writing it off.
After all, Surface does have some promising features. A source of endless frustration for many tablet, even iPad, users is to have to type on the screen. Surface responds to the challenge by including pressure-sensitive keyboards in its models called Touch and Type Cover respectively, that come magnetically attached, making it a “killer attraction.” While the details are still sketchy, its price which is estimated to be comparable to, or less than, the iPad is said to be another redeeming feature. Next, the memory. Surface Pro will run on an impressive i5 Intel processor and is said to come with 128GB of built-in memory, a far cry from the iPads 64GB. Best of all, both the Surface models come equipped with full-scale USB ports which means easier storage and transfer, not dependent on cloud, wifi or an Internet connection of some sort.
A Bengaluru-based management consultant and Microsoft loyalist, Rahul Sharma is vociferous in his defense of Surface. “Say what you will and make all the comparisons you want. But there’s no denying it. Microsoft makes the most user-friendly mass targeted products while Apple prides itself of its exclusivity and its incompatibility. Now, it’s going to pay dearly for it. Just you wait till Surface hits the shelves. Then, all bets are off.”