Surface: New Microsoft Tablet Revealed! (Details and pics)
After last week's secret announcement card inviting tech bloggers and developers to a big unveil, the excitement has been building about Microsoft. For the Redmond company to be on the excitement radar is very atypical; we usually crane our necks back and forth for the alternating tennis match of feature releases between Twitter, Facebook, Apple, Google and others.
At 4:00 p.m. PST today, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer took the stage in Los Angeles, and got quickly to it, first touting the number of machines around the world running Windows. Ballmer quickly moved to why everyone was there, to either quell or fulfill the rumors that Microsoft had a tablet to share...
"With Windows 8, we did not want to leave any seam uncovered," said Ballmer, talking to a packed and excited house. "We wanted to give (Windows 8) its own companion innovation." We wanted to provide "something new, something different, a whole new family of computing devices..."
With that important word thrown out there, Ballmer brought forth a gleaming, new black tablet PC, as the word Surface appeared on the screen. Surface is "a tool to surface your passion, your creativity," said Ballmer to the excited crowd.
Windows Live and Windows Division President Steven Sinofsky took the stage shortly after Ballmer, demonstrating the new device. Details immediately out the gate? Surface comes in two models, one running Windows RT (a somewhat toned-down version of Windows 8) and an upscale model running Windows 8 Professional.
Surface has a 10.6 inch display (with HD on the Pro version), weighs in at 1.5 lbs for RT and 1.9 lbs for Pro, with thicknesses ranging from 9.3 -13.5 mm. The slick looking case is a vapor-magnesium, fused into a scratch-resistant alloy mix during the melting process.
Surface has an NVidia ARM processor for RT and a far more powerful Core i5 Ivy Bridge processor for the Pro version. The USB port (2.0 for RT and 3.0 for Pro) was shown to be capable of transferring a 1 GB file in 5 seconds - nothing to scoff at, either.Continued on the next page