A few weeks ago, the Internet was abuzz with Microsoft’s grand announcement of its new tablet computer. The device, which will run Windows 8, is sort of a cross between tablets and laptops. Housed in magnesium casing, this gorgeous gadget plans to compete head-to-head with the iPad and those high-end Android tablets.
Though Apple doesn't seem to be worried much about Microsoft’s latest endeavors, Android tablets, which are still struggling to take off as expected, might have to face a stiff competition from Redmond. Currently, the Android market is ruled by Kindle Fire, which has more than 50% of the market share. With Android having no ‘iPad-killer’ to boast of, Microsoft Surface seems like a good contender to root for in these tablet wars.
Microsoft Surface: A Disruption in a Stagnated and Monopolized Market
Love it, hate it, but you simply can’t ignore it. Microsoft’s latest attempt has managed to disrupt a market, which has been a victim of monopoly as well as stagnation. There are people who are too obsessed about iPads to care about any competing products, and there are people who are always looking for iPad alternatives but haven’t been able to find that right product. Microsoft targets the latter category thus making it hard to ignore.
No Novelty Here, But it is Tablet Computing Done Right
Remember the ASUS Eee Pad Transformer that we showcased earlier? Oh yeah, the idea of a tablet-cum-laptop hasn't entirely been a new one. Microsoft Surface builds upon the same idea but in a better way. With amazing design and some cool specs, Surface does look like something you’d spend your hard-earned cash on. Moreover, the device looks quite beautiful; beautiful enough to flaunt it around. Beauty aside, the design looks quite functional and practical. It’s something you can carry to work everyday.
Surface: It’s a Double-Edged Sword.
Microsoft Surface not only targets the tablet market, it also appeals to the people who’re looking for new laptops. Moreover, Surface can even convert unsatisfied netbook and Chromebook users, making it even more threatening to the whole PC industry. Of course, Surface may not sweep away everything in an instant; however, if everything goes right, it might just be the breakthrough Microsoft was looking for for so long.
Surface Might Prove the Skeptics Right
Well guess what, as with every Microsoft product, Surface too has its fair share of flaws. And boy, they’re huge. In the keynote that was supposed to demonstrate the features of this amazing product, an unfortunate technical snag raised many questions about the product. And it’s quite obvious that eyebrows will be raised, as Microsoft has a poor track record when it comes to launching products. Remember Vista? Oh yeah, that unfinished catastrophe that nearly ruined Microsoft’s reputation.
Android Tablet: All Eyes on Google Now
Oh Google, I hope you have something better to offer. Ice Cream Sandwich is cool. It can run just as well on tablets as it does on smartphones. But, there has been no Android tablet that has managed to really strike a chord with the iPad-crazy consumer. Leaving aside Kindle Fire, the Android tablet scene is quite a mess. I hope that the search giant has something big in store for its tablet-crazy fanboys and fangirls.
So, Is it a Threat?
Yes, and a big one. Despite the fact that the product comes from a company that has been terrible with hardware (P.S: Zune), it does look like something that cannot be taken lightly. If other manufacturers don’t bring something interesting in the next few months, Android tablets might just lose the little popularity they've been enjoying so far.
Written by: Abhishek, a regular TechSource contributor and a long-time FOSS advocate.