Microsoft's Big Announcement has Surfaced

Jack Simpson

Head of Marketing and Communications

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Yesterday, or overnight considering the time difference, Microsoft announced the launch of their tablet computer – Microsoft Surface.

As a Microsoft Gold Partner, we were eagerly awaiting to see what the big announcement would bring. While Microsoft kept the details of its reveal under wraps, the tablet computer rumours were shown to be true. Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO, announced the product at a Los Angeles event. Steve said that while the past several years have seen great change for Microsoft, Windows is still the heart and soul.

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Image “Steve Ballmer” by Floheinstein is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Surface has been designed to complement the new Windows operating systems perfectly. It will be available in two versions, one running Windows RT and the other running the full Windows 8. Windows RT is the new version of Windows that resembles Windows Phone and uses low power processors. The two touchscreen devices are said to have made “no compromises” between tablet and PC capabilities, including a full sized USB port.

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Image “Windows 8.1 2” by Vernon Chan is licensed under CC BY 2.0

No prices have been revealed but some spec was released; the version running Windows RT will be 9.3mm thick and 676g while the Windows 8 Surface will be 13.5mm thick and weigh 903g. Both will have 10.6” HD displays, a kickstand and a case incorporating a thin keyboard. Pro version will offer up to 128GB memory, while the RT version will come in either 32GB or 64GB. The casing is made out of magnesium and the screen is covered in Gorilla Glass 2 and optically bonded, a feature Microsoft brags was specifically made for the Surface.

Microsoft’s history with hardware has been largely successful, including the Xbox console, yet it has previously relied on other manufacturers to produce PCs. In this case, it seems Microsoft is determined to face Apple head on. And even the biggest Apple fans have admitted that the Surface cannot be written off. The response from critics has been mixed, but mostly eager for more information. With October being the likely launch date, it seems like we’ll have to wait a while!