Microsoft’s new tablet – The Microsoft Surface – My conclusion – Vaporware

Yesterday Microsoft announced that they would be making their own Windows 8/Windows RT based Tablet.

It will be called the Microsoft Surface.

At a pretty spectacular and intrigue filled event at Milk Studios in Hollywood California, the software giant unveiled the tablet and gave us a few details.

Microsoft Surface Tablet

Microsoft Surface Tablet

Here’s what we know

*A lot of this comes from Microsoft’s official announcement*

  • There will be two types of device – Windows RT and Windows 8 Pro
  • The devices are light – between 1.5 to 2 pounds – ** This may change based on config and manufacturing**
  • They have a 10.6″ screen
  • They will have USB ports: USB 2 for Windows RT and Windows 8 Pro USB 3
  • They will have built in stands – very useful
  • They will both have Touch Covers and Type Covers.
  • The Windows 8 Pro Surface Tablet will support a digital pen as well.
  • They are thin – 9.3mm – slightly thinner than the new iPad
  • The Windows RT version will come with Office ’15’ applications
  • The Windows RT version will come with 32 and 64GB, Windows 8 Pro will also have 128GB optional.

Here’s what we don’t know

  • Pricing – How much will this cost?
  • Availability – When can we buy this?
  • Battery Life – How long will each battery last on a charge?
  • Hardware Partners – Who will make this?
  • How well will Windows work on a screen that small?
  • How well will Microsoft Office work on a screen that small?
  • Geographical Availability – Microsoft’s official word is “Both (Surface tablets) will be sold in the Microsoft Store locations in the U.S. and available through select online Microsoft Stores.” Will they also be sold in other stores and outside the U.S.?
  • Will Microsoft Office be free or preloaded for a premium price?
  • Any video conferencing using the cameras?

and much more….

My take on all this

Microsoft do this all the time and it’s heartbreaking. They set up a really exciting concept and when you scratch the surface (pun intended), you see less than you thought was there.

From a marketing perspective, this was a dream event. They got the tech community excited about a new Microsoft product and paradigm. It was kept secret (except from Ina Fried apparently) and revealed in breath taking fashion.

Today is the day after and this falls perfectly into the dreaded IT category.

Vaporware.

I don’t say this to be derogatory but more in the clinical sense of the word.

Wikipedia defines vaporware this way

….The term also generally applies to a product that is announced months or years before its release, and for which public development details are lacking. …At times, vendors are criticized for intentionally producing vaporware in order to keep customers from switching to competitive products that offer more features.

This is more vision than tangible substance.

It’s a great step vision wise but does absolutely nothing to give Apple pause or change anyone’s mind the day after.

In order for the Microsoft Surface to mean anything, we need way more details than we have now.

In addition, we need to know what if any changes have been made to Windows 8 to make it more user friendly and intuitive.

This is a multi-part puzzle – part hardware and part software.

If Windows 8 remains the same as we saw in the Windows 8 Release Preview and the Microsoft Surface tablet is great and cheap, it won’t matter worth a damn.

I’m looking forward to seeing more.

That’s me.

What do you all think?

Please Leave Your Comments Below...

  • F J Kennedy

    What an incredibly mundane & unprofessional cover-my-ass review. Did this individual actually finish High School? 

    • http://www.windows8update.com/ Onuora Amobi

      Cover my ass? LOL When did I become responsible for MS hardware. 

      Mundane and unprofessional – those are new. I’ll take those with pride.

      Thanks for the comment.

      🙂

      • Ladislav Josephs

        You did not have to make your hate of Microsoft so transparent. What, the deal selling your site to MS fell trough? I am looking for unbiased review of MS stuff on your site, after all name Windows News implies that you would do that. Lately I see nothing but bashing Microsoft. Have you given a thought to possibility that Microsoft doesn’t want to publish all the details before the Windows 8 release? I am sure they have the hardware ready, but why give away all the specs to Far East copycats?  

        • http://www.windows8update.com/ Onuora Amobi

          The “deal” was an April fools joke.

          Thanks for your comment anyway.

          🙂

  • eaanders

    Most reviewers are treating this as just another technology review and missing the real import of the message. This is a major step in the right direction for Microsoft. Having control over both hardware and software is a major reason for Apple’s success. It insures greater security and less confusion in what to expect from a product. And, it puts support of the product squarely on the shoulders of one company. This was a necessary move if Microsoft wants to develop the product loyalty that Apple has from its users. Expectations are very important in changing a user’s image of a company, and if it takes a little vaporware to do it, bully for Microsoft.

    • http://www.windows8update.com/ Onuora Amobi

      Oh I absolutely agree with you 100%.

      I just think that we still need to get more detailed information about the devices. The “devil” is in the details as they say.

      🙂

      • Rikikrik

        This article remains a load of crap. MS is a trusted company delivering quality products for years to enterprise and SMB throughout the whole world. They don’t have to endulge you or anybody with details, because their reputation is impecable. All information was given and details will be there when needed. Your opinion is not important, why do you always think that such a company should adhere to your opinion. How arrogant can we be in this world. All the speculations and negativity must stop, Microsoft in due and right time will detail every bit of data. The amount of information given is too much to even speak of them in detail, the anouncement would not be an anouncement anymore, but would take days, boring everyone out of their minds. The anouncement was to give us a preview of the new direction Microsoft is heading, a taste of what’s to come, that was the aim of the anouncement. Nothing more nothing less. 

    • darkpr0fit

      I agree, however as we seen before Microsoft loves to hype it’s products. In this marketplace Hype is cheap,I agree with Onuora, enough talk show us the details.

    • http://www.windows8update.com/ Onuora Amobi

      I respect the opinion.

      Thanks for the comment.

  • Arnold Andino

    I have been reading this site for a while to get info on windows 8. I never ever comment, But I have had enough. Onuura dude…you just don’t get it. Plain and simple you don’t get it.

    • http://www.windows8update.com/ Onuora Amobi

      Alas maybe I don’t. Time will tell.

      Thanks for the comment.

      🙂

      • Damian Klop

        Mr Amobi, I agree with you in the sense that it isn’t concrete and just a concept. Apple states each new unveiled model will do this, has this, will cost this much and you can buy it at this date at this place. And the masses go crazy as they know what, where and when and they know it WILL happen This is not that. It looks great but will the price be great? 1000 dollars, 1500 dollars? I want one but price will be a big factor. It reminds me of the HP Slate. It had a big unveiling and was talk about as an ipad killer. Then people stopped talking. Then it wasn’t coming out and then it did but no one really cared and no one talked – only businessmen.

        • http://www.windows8update.com/ Onuora Amobi

          That’s all I meant.

          We need more details…

  • Mazdarotor

    Mr. Andino,
    I subscribed to your emails thinking I will be getting informatin about Windows 8 and the rpoduct releases, it turns out evrytime I get an email from you it is to bash Microsoft and the Windows 8. I had acopy of the first pre release for developers and though found it awkard to work with for some items on a computer it looked promissing as a final product.
    Though true that not all information is available yet I am looking forward to getting my hands on this device, having the power of using all the software we are used too plus the new applet items is a fantastic oppertunity.
    Also let’s not forget, though this is Microsoft’s first tablet, it certainly is not their first device as they have been in the entertainment and gaming systems for while and so far I have been very imnpressed with my devices.

    • http://www.windows8update.com/ Onuora Amobi

      Thanks for your comment. Much appreciated.

  • John E Reese

    It would be nice to have one item which will fill in for tablet, laptop, and maybe cell phone.  The idea of touch pad and keyboard attach to tablet without adding any more weight or thickness.  Down side, price, battery life, no user updates (more memory or upgrade any parts) and no details about if the system gets a virus.  Does the unit have a BIOS?  or Windows is build into a chip and no way to update or add SP’s.

    • http://www.windows8update.com/ Onuora Amobi

      Yeah. It’s a great concept and the device looks very sexy.

  • Ray

    Keep bashing Microsoft [I follow your posts] >> they deserve it! Although I have been using Windows for many years, they are always consistent in disappointing by rushing to market with unfinished product. They ALWAYS  leave room for improvements to be made later. If they had waited until they had a finished product to do a major release, it might have been a game-changer for the IPad. What we are left with at this point is a great concept and few solid details to get excited about! And whoever thought up the name “Surface” should have been fired on the spot!!!

    • http://www.windows8update.com/ Onuora Amobi

      LOL.. Thanks for the comment.

      Don’t mean to bash anyone. Just stating the facts as I see em.

  • Michael

    Don’t play with us MS, get the device ready for market, ship it to stores around the world, and THEN announce it with ALL it’s details and tell every body to get down to their local store to buy one.

    They would have caused a stampede by doing it like that, and no-body would have given a second glimpse to the other products ALREADY on the shelf.

    • http://www.windows8update.com/ Onuora Amobi

      That would have been cool…

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_5WJGC7242GFDP2QXANKF5WTMEA Rex

      However, that would be antagonizing the OEMs beyond forgivence.  As much as I would like this now, I am happy that I can sit and think and judge without making rash decisions. 

  • Thanhbinh2009

    price? 3G / 4G? Camera?

    • http://www.windows8update.com/ Onuora Amobi

      Exactly.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_5WJGC7242GFDP2QXANKF5WTMEA Rex

    Strictly by the definition you are using, you may be right.  But there is an element missing from that definition.  That is the implication that the product will never make it to market (disappear into vapor).  This implication is so strong in the term, that I can not agree to the useage for this instance.  Obviously most of the details have been worked out.  It is evident from the reporters comment on the tablets on the attention to details.  Certainly there are unknowns.  The biggest are the dirrect result of Windows 8 not complete.  Also it looks like MS Office may not be complete which could result in a wide variance of how the battery performs.  However, vaporware, I dont think so.

    I remember you got so excited about the Macbook Pro (basically the old one with a new high tech screen).  These are so much more exciting to me.  A lot of inovation in probably the most mobile computers possible.  They have hit the potential I saw in Windows 8.  A lot of other sources on the internet seem to agree with me.

    • http://www.windows8update.com/ Onuora Amobi

      Yes but I have one of those Macbook Pros in my house now. That was part of my excitement – the next day i walked into the Apple Store and they were right there.

      Hard to be skeptical about an announcement when you can touch and buy the product the next day.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_5WJGC7242GFDP2QXANKF5WTMEA Rex

        For the Macbook Pro which is, excuse me, boring (just my opinion); that may was possible.  But you wont find the same level of show to store on Apples secret projects either.  There is something else going on here you should consider.  You might think the other OEMs are unhappy with this latest developement, but consider the consequences of them unveiling it days before Windows 8 is to be released.  That would be basically declaring war on the other OEMs. 

  • Rikikrik

    What a crappy article. Nobody gives every detail, not even Apple, and Microsoft gave enough information about things like pricing (not more than an Ultrabook or an Ipad) and timing (say in september and december), availability (throuhg Microsoft strores, internet store and maybe produced by other Vendors) etc etc. The details will come later. Everybody is now aware that something awesome is coming and happening and that the details will come soon. But the information was specific enough and that’s more than enough. Maoubi was not listening otherwise he would not be wining and writing this crappy article.

    • http://www.windows8update.com/ Onuora Amobi

      Apple announced new Macbook Pros and they were on shelves in 24 hours.

      Not sure what you are talking about.

      • Rikikrik

        Microsoft does not have to imitate Apple when it comes to details, all details will be given when they are ready, in due time. Microsoft does not have to indulge your wishes for details and immediate product launches after the anouncements. They choose to do things differently, live with it and stop complaining, because it seems to have worked for them for as long as they excists, decades thus. Apple has made a lot crappy products for years before becomming famous with it’s products, despite giving details. Does it really matter when the details come. I would like to see more indepth articles with analysis and factual information about Microsoft and their achievements compared to their competitors and less opinionated articles of things that do not matter. Opinions do not matter, becuase most of the time they are very baised and personal. The facts and analysis speak another language that cannot be refuted and prove that most people complaining about Microsoft do not know what they are talking about.

  • Panos Dionysopoulos

    interesting that my comment from yesterday has disappeared, where my bemoaned your lack of professionalism, misuse of the term ‘vaporware’ and obvious bias. 

    • http://www.windows8update.com/ Onuora Amobi

      I didn’t delete your comment.

      If I did, I would have banned and deleted your account (which clearly didnt happen).

      Probably a discrepancy with Disqus, the commenting system.