With the tablet wars running rife and chief rival Samsung plagued by legal woes in the USA, it comes as no surprise that Microsoft are next to bring out their own tablet, the Surface which is to be released this next quarter. Running on Windows 8 it’s expected to give Apple’s iPad some stiff competition. Or will it? I already hear all the gurus hailing Microsoft as a has-been and there will be no competition. Like many anti-gurus out there the only thing I run which is not Microsoft is Mozilla Firefox and Chrome, the rest just works – and works well. It’s well known that Microsoft engineer some pretty classy hardware – don’t say now, it was then as well. Microsoft made phenomenal keyboards – as they do again. The Surface is going to be a real headache for our friends at Apple. Before I jump on my high horse, let me explain…
I was around when Windows 98 was released and all the end user gurus climbed out of the woodwork and said it was a load of crap – driver issues. Millennium was released which was dodgy to say the least – the gurus hailed this as their greatest victory – Linux was king. Next came XP – again, no drivers and the gurus jumped for joy. Then came Vista which promptly forced the release of Windows 7. We don’t know why but one need only take a guess – Vista had it’s charm but was not without it’s stable of problems. Vista made the gurus hail Apple and Linux as the greatest invention known to man (next to the Kindle’s release a while later). In all this time I have labouriously upgraded my PC a few times and along with it the operating system. I never used Millennium and I never had the time to upgrade to Vista. Windows 7 I believe to be the most stable of platforms (next to the old NT of course). Windows 8 is released in beta form and all the gurus that hate Microsoft (and buying software) are all loading it. Windows 8 they lament is a waste of time and money. Although they have not spent a cent they found it pertinent to inform all the infidels of the pitfalls of Microsoft and it’s release of version 8. Interestingly enough the same gurus lambasting Microsoft knew very little about the Surface – Windows 8 was run on their notebook or PC at home. I asked many of these gurus what they thought of the Surface and indeed many of them gave me their thoughts, much of what had been read in journals and newspaper articles. I cannot tell you how the Lamborghini Diablo behaves on a wet road because I have never ridden one, dry or wet. I care not to comment. The Surface has not been released yet and yet the only ravers have been Microsoft. I have seen Windows 8 in action and I am not enthralled. Like a V10 engine without it’s chassis components the Surface has no meaning for me. Windows 8 will come into it’s own only once the Surface is released. Microsoft release sophisticated and quality hardware – the Surface will be the same. Windows 8 cannot be tested until it has it’s chassis components and its in your hands. Like the V10 engine may be designed for an Audi R8, Windows 8 is after all designed for the Surface.
The iPad took the world by storm, Apple is renouned for their beautifully designed and styled equipment, thanks to Steve Jobs and his vision – Microsoft is known for their software. And now of course hardware. The two versions being released run on the ARM or Intel processors, Windows RT or 8 Pro software and leave us with only one throught? What are the hardware giants running Microsoft operating systems thinking now that Microsoft is competing directly with them? Only time will tell but one thing is for certain, Windows 8 is going to bring about changes in the industry never seen before. Make or break, Microsoft is going to ruffle some feathers in high office.
Watch this space!