The picture to the right shows Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer with the Microsoft Surface. You can click on the image to view a larger picture.
The $499 Microsoft Surface will not be available until next week (October 26) but reviews written by those who have used the pre-release prototypes have generally been generally favorable. The Microsoft Surface is roughly the same size as the iPad (10.81 x 6.77 x 0.37 inches, 1.5 pounds) although the screen reportedly is not as bright as Apple's latest iPad devices. However, the Microsoft Surface will have more storage per dollar: 32 gigabytes of storage is standard at $499 while the same amount of storage on the Apple iPad costs about $599. Both systems are available with 64 gigabytes of storage for $699. At the higher price, the Microsoft Surface includes a Touch Cover with keyboard while the iPad does not include any similar cover or keyboard.
The Microsoft Surface will use a new operating system called Windows 8 RT. It is not the same as Windows for desktop and laptops, however. Other specifications include:
- CPU - NVIDIA T30, 2 GB of RAM
- Wireless - Wi-Fi (802.11a/b/g/n), Bluetooth 4.0 technology
- Cameras - Two 720p HD cameras, front- and rear-facing
- Audio - Two microphones, stereo speakers
- Ports - Full-size USB 2.0, microSDXC card slot, headset jack, HD video out port, cover port
- Sensors - Ambient light sensor, accelerometer, gyroscope, compass
- Power Supply - 24W power supply
The new Microsoft tablets will include Microsoft Office Home and Student 2013 RT Preview for Word, PowerPoint, Excel and OneNote, Windows Mail and Windows Messaging, SkyDrive, Windows Internet Explorer 10, Bing, Xbox Music, Xbox Video, and Xbox Games.
NOTE: The word "Preview" indicates these are really limited-time introductory versions of Word, PowerPoint, Excel and OneNote. To continue using them, the owner of a Microsoft Surface will need to pay for the software.You can pre-order the Surface tablet on the Microsoft Store at http://www.microsoft.com/surface/en-us.
I ordered mine today and plan to write about it as soon as it is received.
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