Microsoft's Surface technology is not new. It's an interface that Microsoft first showed off in table top form in 2007. But this iteration of Surface is new. It's a tablet, or more accurately a tablet platform. Monday Microsoft announced two new innovative tablets and a series of great accessories. A home run from Microsoft, a company that hasn't had many of those lately.
There are a few interesting things about the Surface announcement. For one, Microsoft went back to their roots and developed some hardware on their own. They didn't go through a partner, they developed it internally, and very quietly. And by all initial reports, it's a gem.
Another interesting thing is that it runs Windows 8. Say what you will about Windows but it is the number one operating system. It's a major force and it will be a big draw for the Surface tablet. And with Windows 8, the ability to run the same apps on your desktop, laptop, tablet, and maybe even phone, can not be easily dismissed. This is one big advantage, and one that Apple does not have in the immediate future.
Microsoft also introduced a series of very interesting accessories. Their version of the iPad Smart Cover for the Surface is the Touch Cover. It's a Smart Cover plus a keyboard and touchpad. Magnetic binding, bright colors, everything you'd expect but with the addition of a keyboard and a touchpad. And still only slightly thicker than a Smart Cover. Where the touch-only interface makes sense for the iOS devices, for users coming from a Windows world, they keyboard makes sense.
In the one misstep of the day. Microsoft took what is a brilliant platform, brilliant hardware, and made a confusing copy of it. There are two different versions of Windows 8, so there are two different tablets, both called Surface but with different specs, pricing, etc.. The old Microsoft rears it's ugly head and their goal seem to be keeping consumers confused again.
Take a look at the video below for some more info.
Microsoft has done something Google and HP/Palm failed to do. They created buzz, they created a killer hardware product, and a great operating system. This puts them square in the crosshairs of Apple as they are now the underdog to watch. Without even releasing the product, just announcing it, they have already leapfrogged Android in the tablet space.