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Hoping the Surface is more than skin deep

June 28, 2012

Everyone is talking about Google i/o today and all the crazy demos, gargets, software releases and so on, but I feel like re-treading a somewhat well worn path, Microsoft Surface.

I know it is fun to mack on Microsoft and to look at the Surface as yet another iPad imitator, but I for one am pretty excited about it. I really hope
Microsoft is able to deliver something of quality this time..

I have an iPad (ok, I have two) and I love them.

They are the ultimate media consumption devices. They are great for movies, music, streaming media to my TV (AirPlay and AppleTV is the best combination since CoolWhip and BBQ chips… try it if you don’t believe me,) but the problem is, the iPad is just a consumption machine, not a productivity one.

Yes, I know a bunch of people will get all burned up and talk about how they created magnificent works of Keynote on their iPad. I’ve seen all the “too-hip-for-laptop” people in meetings furiously one-figure typing out some sort of hieroglyphic-style notes. I respect their devotion to the iPad, but it is painful to watch.

 And contrary to what Galaxy Note fans are thinking, the tablet is not merging with the phone (ha… I wrote “Galaxy Note” and “fans” in the same sentence.)

If there is any convergence of devices, it is between the tablet and the laptop. The tablet (OK, the iPad) is a great consumption device, the laptop is a great productivity one. Neither really does well in the others’ territory (seriously, do you want to watch Netflix or flip through a magazine on a laptop??)

The Surface seems to get this and combines the best features of a tablet and a laptop into a single device. A touchscreen with removable keyboard, awesome! Heck, I even like the form factor and Metro is pretty good looking.

Obviously, there are a ton of unknowns…. What is it going to cost? When is it available? Can Microsoft do anything right?

But if the Surface delivers as promised, it could be one compelling device. I’ve already stated elsewhere that I’d be willing to consider hanging-up my MacBook Air for a Windows Ultrabook. I may scrap that idea (and my Android tablets and iPads) in favor of an all-in-one Surface.

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