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Microsoft’s Surface: Will it be worth scratching?

Molly Wood Jun 18, 2012

Microsoft has announced Surface, a tablet PC meant to challenge the iPad, Apple’s tablet computer, which currently enjoys dominance among tablets.

Surface has a 10.6 inch screen, a little bigger than an iPad. Also has a kickstand so you can prop it up while using it.

Bryan Barrett from Gizmodo.com says if the Surface is starting to sound more like a laptop to you than a tablet, you’re on to something.

Bryan Barrett: One of the versions of it is actually more like a PC in tablet form, if that makes sense. It’s got a cover to it, that when you open it up, it turns into a keyboard, sort of like the MacBook Air — a very thin laptop, except with just the tablet frame. We’ve never seen anything like that before.

Microsoft hasn’t announced a release date or a price for the Surface. It will probably come out in the fall, right around the time that the Windows 8 operating system comes out.

So something called the Surface will take on the iPad, we just don’t know when it comes out or how much it will cost. We also don’t know exactly what’s in it.

Barrett: One of the versions is going to have a processor that is much more powerful than the iPads, more similar to a laptop processor. And then there will be a less expensive version that’s going to be pretty comparable to what you see in the iPad. But Microsoft is being pretty mum on the rest of the specs. We don’t know how much memory it has. We don’t know how fast the processors actually are. And those are things that they aren’t sharing yet. And it will be really interesting to see once they finally do, if it’s because they’re hiding something or if it’s just because they’re working out all of the kinks.

We do know that with Surface, Microsoft, traditionally a software company, is again entering the field of hardware. Hoping Surface will be a hit like the Xbox, not a joke like the Zune.

Thing is, you can download software, you can’t download objects.

Matt Rosoff is with Business Insider Intelligence.

Matt Rosoff: I think Microsoft is going to have to get it into people’s hands. They’re actually going to have to have a way to try it out and test it out. It sounds like Microsoft is only going to sell this thing through Microsoft stores and through the Microsoft store online. So it doesn’t sound like you’re going to be able to walk into Best Buy and test one out. 

If you want to get an iPad on the other hand, there are hundreds of stores.

Rosoff: And that’s where Apple really has an edge. By time the iPad was introduced in 2010, Apple already had a couple hundred retail stores around the world. You know, right now it’s so easy. If you want an Apple product and you’re in a major metropolitan area in the United States, you know where the Apple store is. And you can walk into the Apple store, you can try them out. You try them two, three, four times, and then you finally buy one. And Microsoft doesn’t. I think it has about ten or fifteen retails stores right now. So that’s going to be the hardest thing to do. There’s going to have to be a way where people can try this thing out.

Matt Rosoff from Business Insider Intelligence.


Google releases its Transparency Report twice a year, detailing requests from governments and copyright holders to remove certain links from search, remove videos from YouTube.

The latest report has just been released and the number of requests has never been higher. Google also says it’s seeing what it calls an alarming rise in censorship requests from democracies.

Google refused requests from Spain and Poland to remove blogs and links to articles critical of the government. It also said no to Canada’s request to remove a YouTube video of a Canadian citizen urinating on his passport.

And it said no when a U.S. law enforcement agency wanted a blog removed for defaming an officer.

In all, Google complied with less than half of the requests from the U.S. government. 

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