The Microsoft Surface with Windows RT is now available at the Microsoft Store for preorder with delivery by 10/26. The pricing was announced to be competitive with the Apple iPad:
And note, if you want a different color Touch Cover that will be extra.
Unclear on the difference between the Touch Cover and the Type Cover? Here’s the skinny:
As far as the other specs, hit the link above for the full details, but here’s a brief summary:
VaporMg™ casing: Made with VaporMg, Surface is precision crafted to be tough yet elegant, without excessive bulk. At less than 1.5 pounds, with a watch-like finish that’s incredibly smooth, and durable, Surface is a delight to hold and touch.
Integrated Kickstand: Integrated Kickstand provides uncompromised support and flexibility. Flip out the Kickstand for hands-free entertainment. Whether you’re watching a movie, or shooting video, Surface stands on its own.
Windows RT and Microsoft Office Home and Student 2013 RT Preview: Work anywhere, anytime with Windows RT and Office Home 2013 RT2 (which includes Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel and OneNote). Keep tabs on news, friends, and entertainment with pre-loaded Microsoft apps including Windows Mail and Windows Messaging, SkyDrive, Windows Internet Explorer 10, Bing, Xbox Music, Xbox Video, and Xbox Games. Visit the Windows Store to discover more apps and games.
Storage: 32 GB or 64 GB depending on model
CPU: NVIDIA T30, 2 GB of RAM
Wireless: Wi-Fi (802.11a/b/g/n), Bluetooth 4.0 technology
Front and rear-facing 720p HD video cameras: Capture life from all sides with LifeCam. The rear camera is angled to shoot straight ahead when the Kickstand is flipped out. The Kickstand also enables hands-free Skype video chat or recording. Custom lens design and an ambient light sensor maximize light intake while providing sharp focus so you’ll never miss a shot
Audio: Two microphones, stereo speakers
Sensors: Ambient light sensor, accelerometer, gyroscope, compass
Power Supply: 24W power supply
Warranty: One-year limited hardware warranty
It will be interesting to see how well Microsoft can play in the tablet hardware game on it own versus Apple. Reportedly they have placed orders for 3-5 million during the 4th quarter.
Market research company NPD released some of their statistics on PC sales at US brick and mortar stores that are causing a flurry:
You need look no further than numbers released today by NPD to understand Apple’s strategy. Its revenue share of the “premium” price market — that is, computers over $1,000 — is a staggering 91%. This means that 9 out of every 10 retail dollars that is spent on PCs in that price range, goes to Apple, as Betanews’ Joe Wilcox points out. That, for lack of a better word, is insane.
Analysts and journalists are often quick to point out Apple’s relatively low overall market share (less than 10%). But that completely misses the point of Apple’s Mac business. If Apple wanted to make a range of low-end computers, it absolutely could. And such machines would sell like crazy, boosting Apple’s market share. But there would have to be some trade-off in quality, and perhaps more importantly to Apple, to its high margins. And as it has proven time and time again, it has no desire to give up either.
I have no desire to own an Apple PC since I have too many applications and tools that require Windows, but I have always regarded them as the "high priced spread" or the "Mercedes" brand and respect them for it. The systems, peripherals, and software work nicely together without the "fit and finish" problems that plague Windows PCs because Apple tightly controls the ecosystem.
And that’s why Microsoft’s recent Laptop Hunter commercials really never made a lot of sense. Sure, from a marketing perspective, I understand the idea: It’s a down economy, lets play up the fact that our computers are cheaper. But in many of the spots, the shopper’s stated desired computer was simply not something that Apple even made. In the famous first commercial, Lauren wants a laptop with a 17-inch screen for under $1,000. Okay, Apple doesn’t make that product. So of course she’s not going to buy a Mac.
I was similarly puzzled – if you want a bargain PC, Microsoft is the only real choice so the ads were merely stating the obvious. If you want to go first class and unlike me have no need to run Windows applications, then head on over to the Apple Store and indulge yourself. If you are on a budget and want value, head on over to Amazon or TigerDirect or NewEgg or a hundred other places and do some serious shopping for a Windows PC.
I use Internet Explorer as well as Firefox for a variety of reasons and am constantly irritated at IE’s “Find on this page” functionality. You know – where IE pops up that irritating search box, Firefox just adds a search bar to the bottom of the window. In computer science parlance, the IE search box is “modal” and prevents you from doing anything else in that window until it is closed, while the Firefox search bar is “non modal” and allows full functionality of the browser window. However, you don’t need the technical explanation to learn how to fix it.