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Take two tablets: Microsoft's iPad rival to surface in time for holidays

Oct 18, 2012 @ 10:56 am

By Davis Janowski

Microsoft, The Surface
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((Photo: Bloomberg News))

I got a kick out of this slideshow of tablet history I came across during my morning cruise of other sites I routinely track.

No it does not go back to the Flintstones age and it is actually entitled “A History of Windows Tablets.” I added the emphasis to the word 'Windows'.

Microsoft does get credit for serious dabbling and development work over the years and even a brief bit of a production run of tablet PCs for the consumer market (they really only ever got any semi-serious traction in a few key verticals like healthcare, warehouse and manufacturing tracking etc.).

The show was put together by former colleague Mark Hachman over at PC Magazine.

It reminded me of this post I put together on the coming of Microsoft's much anticipated Surface tablet a few months ago.

Mark and others over at the magazine have been covering every new wrinkle of that tablet and for those interested here is a good piece comparing the specifications of the Slate to the iPad.

My own opinion is that Microsoft will do what it has always done, launch something good but not great (the screen for example has much lower resolution than that of the Retina display on the iPad).

Microsoft will undercut the price of the lower-end iPad by about $100 and grab some initially strong sales around the holidays among the cost-conscious (the lowest end WiFi-only 32GB model will be priced at $499), and anti-Apple, anti-Android crowd.

It will limp along for a year, maybe make a showing in a second holiday season and then fade away — not because it was unpopular with everyone but because Microsoft failed to see the margins it wanted and kills it.

Ads all over New York for the Surface, where there are already three or four iPads per square foot.
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Ads all over New York for the Surface, where there are already three or four iPads per square foot. (Davis D. Janowski)

It will work, it will play movies, it will open all those Windows files you have, maybe even make a good substitute for a netbook or laptop among the traveling business crowd (the market I initially thought that the BlackBerry Playbook would be a no-brainer for — oh well).

Related stories:

iPads are apple of advisers' eye

Tablet apps improving adviser mobility

BlackBerry PlayBook is here, but it's three inches too small for advisers

Android apps on the Blackberry PlayBook?

The Blackberry PlayBook cometh? (Take #1 online, links to stores etc.)

Samsung and RIM take dead aim at the iPad

Thinking of picking up an iPad? Here are a few things to consider

The iPad is here, almost

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