It seems like just yesterday when Microsoft introduced the Surface Windows 8 tablet in October 2012, causing consumers to be wracked with both anticipation and plenty of confusion. This touch-friendly tablet was the first early showcase for Windows 8 and is also the first computer that Microsoft developed completely on its own.
The initial Windows 8 tablet was running Windows RT at the time, which was a variant of the Windows 8 software that came with complete, specialized versions of Microsoft Word, Excel, OneNote and PowerPoint along with various integrated apps. It also featured some drawbacks as the device was not yet compatible with any of the programs that could be run on an older Windows system, which proved to be a major turnoff for many people who were otherwise in the market for an impressively engineered tablet.
However, Microsoft has finally announced that the Microsoft Surface Pro will be released within the United States and Canada on February 9, 2013. This iteration has all of the added benefits that many of the turned-off consumers have longed for the last three months. This new tablet will be sold through the retail Microsoft stores, Best Buy and Staples, as well as the online Microsoft store.
New Microsoft Tablet on the Way
A 64GB model will be available for $899 or there will be 128GB of storage for $999. The high definition screen measures 10.6 inches and comes with 1920 x 1080 touchscreen capability. As an added bonus, it is possible to drive an external monitor to jump the resolution up to 2560 x 1440. In addition, the tablet ships with a Surface Pen, which is the Pro’s version of a stylus, and it stores easily by magnetically snapping into the side. In addition, the Pro comes with Palm Block technology to prevent accidentally making inputs when writing on the screen.
Microsoft can use the Surface Pro as an opportunity to recover from the poor reception that the Surface RT had, and it may even stop the iPad from continuing to infiltrate the market of enterprises looking to incorporate tablets into the workplace. If they succeed, it will also prove that Microsoft knows how to put together a touch- and tablet-friendly interface that can also integrate with a desktop experience in Windows 8.
Microsoft designed its operating system so that it can be versatile, working on standard desktop computers along with tablets. This line of thinking is how the Surface came to be, though the approach does have its fair share of risks. For instance, Apple has a different approach with its own line of devices, keeping the iOS and OS X systems separate.
Like the RT, the Pro will allow consumers to get outer cases that can actually double as keyboards that are surprisingly durable and usable. These upcoming so-called Touch Covers, which will be available in red, magenta and cyan, will be priced at about $130 each. Additionally, one other option is a $70 touch mouse with four-way scrolling.
Tablet fans are eagerly awaiting the February 9 release of the Surface Pro, which will hopefully allow Microsoft to redeem itself for its previous RT device.