What is the Microsoft surface?

By no means up to scratch on what’s “hot” and what’s “not”, I guess I’m a bit of a technophobe when it comes to gadgets trying to pull off the everything on the market cramped into one device trick. With so much crossover and hype (and vice versa) I can’t pretend I was particularly enthused to explore this new fad but the controversy of Microsoft’s new project intrigued me. Henceforth that age old dilemma: true love strikes most passionately when you least expect it. Within minutes I was torn; “no, you don’t need another laptop, your standard Dell more than does the job”, but simultaneously reverting back to a besotted teenager avidly scrounging for the up and coming release date.

Excuse the overuse of “sleek” and “professional” but these slip perfectly between quirky, colourful and unique. A tablet crossed with a laptop sounds pretty tacky but the fine tune weight balance between hand-held, free standing and lap seated use keeps it dynamic and neatly designed. Plus with availability in black, white, red as well as pink and ice blue they’ve got all demographics fully covered.

And of course, sitting at the heart of so many technology giants, Microsoft has combined two of the most effective marketing strategies out there: controversy and suspense. Undoubtedly treading on some pretty big-shot toes, if they’re going to expand into technology design they’ve got to go in with a bang. They need to not only live up to extremely high expectations based on their previous success but must quell the disgruntled mumblings of those less enthusiastic about their decision.

With holding the release date is a classic teaser as they hint for the exposure of two models: the first Surface RT model is building for an autumn appearance alongside the Windows 8 OS software. This will then be closely followed by the Surface 8 Pro model “three months later” – bang on time for some healthy holiday profit? Coincidence, we think not.

But what’s the difference between the two? Well for starters the size. The Surface RT increases significantly from just 8.3mm to 13.5mm in its Pro successor, although both sport 10.6” ClearType HD displays. This remains in keeping with the standard tablet size already on the market; easy to view, carry and use comfortably on the move. The difference in size can also be explained through the massive addition to storage space, doubling the Surface RT limits to reach heights of 128GB in the Pro version. They also run on entirely different core processors: the Surface RT with an nVidia-made ARM chip and the Pro, Intel Core I5.

Having these entirely different systems not only permits breathing space should one or the other flop, their joint or singular success has potential to seize the market by storm from two entirely different angles. Already having huge control over the technology sector, Microsoft could successfully blast through tablet, laptop and software competition within four months. No wonder there’s a few people quaking in their boots… Let the games begin!

Written by Charlee Owen,