Even though Samsung is trying hard to get in between, Apple fans still mark Microsoft as the only worthy opponent that the company needs to defeat. The battle of superiority between theses genius computing giants has been on since ages and it will continue for ages too. However, Microsoft lost substantial grounds in the first decade of 21st century when Apple reached the pinnacle with its “i” range of devices and software: iOS, iPad, iPhone and the revolutionary, iPod.
From designing to manufacturing, Apple Inc. takes care of all the factors on its own and unlike Microsoft, who has over a dozen of OEM manufacturers. It however tried its best to compete against Apple but didn’t even come quite close to what Apple achieved. The Zune, Microsoft’s rival to the iPod is still unknown to most of the music player enthusiasts, Windows Vista was a big setback to the sales and though 7 was a lot improved, it still couldn’t manage to beat the features of Leopard and was completely blown away by the recent launch of Lion X.
The battle, however, has taken pace as Microsoft has strongly got consumers amazed with its Windows Phone and with the soon to be launched tablet, Surface. Though all configurations are not officially disclosed, it is been strongly speculated that Surface would eventually be the strongest competitor to the iPad as well as Android powered tablets.
In the official product preview of the Surface, it was announced that it would be available in two versions which will be Windows RT and Windows Pro. While the previous one would form the less modern and conventional feature loaded tablet, the latter seems powered enough to challenge even laptop and desktop computers. Windows RT version stands for the ARM based Tegra processor that forms its core. The RT version forms the basic Surface version and is probably the one which would be the main weapon of Microsoft in the tablet battle.
Next is the more advanced version of Surface, named as Surface Pro. Surface Pro outclasses Surface basic in almost all the features except the screen, which is 10.6 inches optically bonded, a very high resolution screen. Surface Pro hosts a core i5 processor and even a USB 3.0 port. It has internal memory options up to 128GB which is not available in any of the tablets in the market currently. Other features that Surface has are quite common to any other Android powered tablet or iPad. HDMI output ports, multi touch interfaces and several others.
With surface, Microsoft certainly has got the initial beat that can clock up its pace and growth in this battle for the best of the best. However, a lot of barriers stand in the way of making Microsoft the king of tablets or even closer to it. Most significant of it is the software.
Microsoft has never been smooth or original in terms of software. The debacle that came up when Windows 98 was previewed was almost brought back to life when Surface gave errors in operation during its preview. Also, the apps about which Microsoft is bragging are actually quite less as compared to that of iPad. The diversity and powerfulness that iPad has got from multiple vendors will make Microsoft take a hell lot of time even after the official global launch of the Surface. It will even get more complicated as Apple has already realized this opportunity and is making every possible and out of the box move to make it possible.
Other potential restriction that Surface might face is the hardware quality and manufacturing rate. Surface will be manufactured by Microsoft itself and not by its usual OEM manufacturers. While some consider it to be a brave move, Dell and Acer who are one of the biggest hardware providers for Microsoft call it a tough task and more of an impossible way to compete with other tablets. Microsoft is known for licensing their software, not for classy hardware.
Surface is ready to be launched in a few months, may be October or sooner, but how sure can the experts be even after the rave reviews, is still unknown and the answer is awaited.