Why Microsoft's Surface May Be Your Next Work Tablet
It's been almost a full day, and tech bloggers everywhere have had time to digest the details regarding Surface, Microsoft's mobile rectangle of (hoped for) resurrection. By now you've heard of the two versions, as CEO Steve Ballmer pointed out the nVidia ARM processing version running Windows 8 RT and the souped-up Intel i5 stylings of the Windows 8 Pro version.
Ballmer and crew reeled us in like a smart realtor, walking us through the efficiency apartment with a modest but small master bath, before revealing the two-story full Victorian restoration down the street. Many tech bloggers have already begun extolling the virtues of Surface's Pro version, while others wonder aloud how it would do in a Tusken Raider Death Match against a fully armed (and pissed off) iPad3.
Is the Surface actually planned to take on Apple's burgeoning market share? You betcha. Likely, however, Microsoft is seeking a once and still familiar niche for itself, a tablet-based toehold, which may ultimately transform where (and how) iPads are used.
Microsoft's end game for Surface is to turn it into the DeLorean from Back to the Future, and give us all a ride back in time. Returning us to earlier times, when Macs were for fun, unless you were an artist, or worked in journalism or digital media. Back then, Microsoft had a strangle-hold on Office software, and was considered the proven, ever-stoic device for real work. Office work. School work. Government work. Apples were for folks cooler than us.
With Surface, the folks at Redmond want to make us all time-traveling Marty McFlys. And I think they just might be able to do it this time around.
The high-end version of Surface has increased processing power and file storage capability, so that it can run the full-on version of Windows 8 Professional. Which means having right from the box the software needed to plug-and-play with server-based office networks. Whether via wireless or hard-lined connection, the Pro version of Surface will be managed in ways familiar to the IT staff in a medium to large scale corporation, government organization, university, or school district. Many of these organizations provide their administration, staff and students specific resources based on their role with the organization. Specialized scripts run upon unique user login (and yes, you'll be able to create a network-level login on the Surface Pro) to allocate these resources.Continued on the next page