Microsoft stunned the world when it announced for the first time in its history it would manufacture its own personal computers.  But can the Surface family of tablets take on the iPad?  Can it give Windows 8 with Metro the edge?

Probably the biggest reaction was how OEMs such as Samsung, HP, and Dell would react.  Their bread and butter is Windows and now Microsoft is becoming a direct competitor.  What is to stop them from embracing Android for tablets and ditching Windows 8?  Well for one, it’s not much different than Google and its Nexus devices.  In addition, it’s not like Android is getting any traction in the tablet space.   Think of Surface in that line, as a blueprint, a blueprint and a slap in the face for the horrible hardware that had damaged the reputation of Windows over the years.

Microsoft introduced two Surface tablets, one directly at the iPad with its Nvidia Tegra ARM based processer, and a higher-end model with an Intel i5 Ivy Bridge processor.  The all magnesium design with Gorilla Glass 2 creates a solid device.  Microsoft touts the extreme engineering that went into the device and micron precision.  Such as the way the metal was formed and the 22 angles which make the tablet feel natural in your hands.  It does not have the Retina display of the new MacBook or iPad, but it does contain ClearType technology to smooth fonts.  The ARM has a 10.6″ HD display while the Intel version has a 10.6″ 1080p Full HD display with 208 PPI.

But the true breakthrough is in the magnetic cover, similar to the iPad’s Smart Cover but with a twist.  The 3mm Touch Cover doubles as a keyboard and trackpad for more advanced tasks.  Together with a .7mm kickstand, it allows you the best of both worlds.  Add attention to detail, such as having your background colour change to correspond with the colour Touch Cover you decide on.

Yes this is Microsoft taking its own destiny into its own hands, and for good reason.  Both Surface models are extremely well designed.  And they complement Windows 8 perfectly.  But it also shows exactly what Windows 8 is about.  It is portability with as little as possible compromise.  The Touch Cover is exactly the kind of innovation needed to push forward Windows 8.  Only time will tell if it can exceed the iPad or at least spark enough interest in Windows 8 to allow it to exceed.  For now it’s detailed statement of what Microsoft and Windows 8 stand for!


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