Microsoft introduced its own line of tablet computers at a much-hyped Press event in Los Angeles, marking a major strategic shift for the software giant as it struggles to compete with Apple and re-invent its ageing Windows franchise.
The new products of Microsoft, named Surface, includes a consumer device aimed directly at the Apple iPad, and another, larger machine designed to compete with lightweight laptops. Both include a keyboard that doubles as a cover, and both will be powered by versions of the new Windows 8 operating system.
The move breaks with Microsoft’s operating model of the past 37 years, which has relied on computer manufacturers to make and market machines running Windows. It could throw the world’s largest software company into direct competition with its closest hardware partners such as Samsung Electronics and Hewlett-Packard(hp).
However, the success of Apple in recent years has underscored the benefits of an integrated approach to hardware and software, and Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer said that, the company “didn’t want to leave anything uncovered” as it rolled out Windows 8. The new software is the biggest overhaul of Windows in years, and features a new touch-friendly interface dubbed “Metro”. It is scheduled to be available for the Christmas shopping season.
The lighter, thinner version of the Surface tablet, built on an Nvidia chip designed by ARM Holdings, will be the first to market at the same time as the general release of Windows 8, and will feature Microsoft’s popular Office suite of applications.
It is comparable to Apple’s new iPad, heavier but slightly thinner. It has a 10.6 inch screen and comes in 32GB and 64GB memory sizes.
A second, heavier tablet aimed at the new generation of lightweight laptops called “Ultrabooks”, running on traditional Intel chips, will come in 64GB and 128GB models. That will be available about three months after the ARM version, Microsoft said.
So folks, get ready to experience Microsoft’s Technology now!