On June 18th, Microsoft Corp unveiled two tablets under the umbrella brand, Surface. The two 10.6 inch touchscreen tablets will be released with Windows 8 Pro and Windows 8 NT for Intel and ARM chip architectures. The tablets feature a sturdy attractive design with a thin detachable keyboard, Full HD (1080p) screen, and a range of data interface options including USB ports and SD card slots. Together these features make the devices a netbook-tablet hybrid rather than a media tablet like Apple Inc’s iPad and competing Android-based tablets.
As Microsoft’s Surface or other tablets running on Windows 8 are aimed at different use cases and consumer segmentation as compared to the iPads, they will be little direct competition. Apple Inc offers an unmatched media consumption experience from the iTunes distribution service to the Retina display. The iPad is meant to be used in conjunction with a laptop and not replace laptops entirely. On the other hand, Microsoft Corp has focused on productivity use cases, and Windows 8 based tablets will be marketed as stand-alone devices, replacements for small-format clamshell portable computers.