On October 26th, Microsoft introduced its new line of products, headed by the release of Windows 8 and its ability to integrate with mobile devices. The flag bearer of the company’s new line is the Surface family, the new tablet developed directly by the company itself, which would be released as two versions–the RT model with ARM architecture (which is already on sale), and the Pro model, with more features and Intel hardware. At last it has been announced that the Pro model will be available in January of 2013.
Ever since it was announced last summer, the media and users have questioned the Surface regarding whether or not Microsoft entering the disputed tablet market is viable. Microsoft has created a hybrid platform and an operating system designed with the intention of fusing the desktop operating system market with the opaque, closed-off, and lone-ranger style of mobile operating systems such as Android and iOS. To accomplish this, Windows 8 has been split in two–a more traditional version for desktop computers and another focused exclusively on the Metro interface and its use with mobile devices. This conceptual design apparently isn’t being received as well as the boys at Redmond expected.
The first sales reports for the RT model, which was released a month ago, don’t seem to have reached initial estimates. Microsoft was hoping to sell 4 million units before the end of the year, but it seems that said figure will end up being half that. According to some media outlets, the Taiwanese businesses that provide hardware components for the Surface have seen a drastic decrease in orders. Dell, Samsung, and Asus tablets are facing a similar situation, which is why we assume that stock is being replenished at a slower rate due to the lack of demand. This situation has contributed to why the release of the Surface Pro model has been pushed up to January, 2013.
Surface Pro has the characteristics of a high-end laptop disguised as a tablet, with a dual core i5 Intel processor (the specs of which are still a mystery), 4GB of RAM, Intel HD Graphics 4000 GPU, 10-inch screen with 1920×1080 resolution, and a Mini DisplayPort output. Apparently, these features affect the weight and size of the device, making it greater than the RT model’s 676 grams at a whopping 903 grams, in addition to being 13.5 mm thick.
What still isn’t clear is the focus of this new device. All this potential, controlled by the Windows 8 desktop version, allows you to use all kinds of apps on the Surface Pro. The problem is that for all practical purposes its small screen can be an enormous setback when using it with the Surface Touch keyboard.
The true problem that Microsoft faces is how high they have priced the machine. The 64GB model will cost $899, while the 128 GB will cost $999, a price that is clearly much too excessive for a tablet, while on the other hand there are much more practical alternatives in the mobile-device market. Additionally, the Surface Touch Cover is sold separately, so you have to add another $120 to the final price tag.