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Network World - Somehow in this day of insider rumors being leaked out, Microsoft kept its latest creation under wraps until just before its Surface tablet was announced. Remarkable in this day.
Microsoft's two 10.6-inch tablets are built on Windows 8 and are expected to ship in three months. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer called the Surface a PC, a tablet and a new experience.
"This will be a threat to Apple's dominance in the tablet market," said Steven Osinski of San Diego State University.
Experts suggest that pricing will be one of the main differentiators for Microsoft's tablet. The Windows 8 Pro version of the Surface will be priced in line with Intel-powered ultrabooks by other vendors, Microsoft said. Those guidelines could put the Windows RT Surface at more than $600, and the Windows 8 Pro at more than $700, and possibly higher, several analysts said.
The issue Microsoft is facing is that the tablet puts the company in the position of competing against its traditional OEM business partners. With Windows, Microsoft has historically focused on the software alone and allowed its hardware partners to design the hardware. Surface marks a major shift in that strategy.
Network World blogger Marco Chiappetta does not believe Microsoft's product is anywhere near knocking the iPad from atop the market. "To say Surface is an iPad killer is sensationalist at best and ridiculous at worst. Microsoft's upcoming Surface tablets and the iPad are two different animals. It's going to take a heck of a lot more than Surface to knock Apple from its perch atop the tablet market."
CIO Magazine's Tom Kaneshige holds the same outlook: "For all his sound and fury on the stage, Ballmer often doesn’t take the high-risk, high-reward chances necessary to become a star. If he assumes his conservative stance this time, Microsoft’s newly announced Surface tablet will likely suffer the same fate as the lackluster Bing, Zune, Origami, Mira, Portable Media Center and, most devastatingly, Windows Phone."
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