Giant Bomb News

290 Comments

Microsoft Reveals Its iPad Rival: Surface

No details on pricing and availability, but it has a nifty looking keyboard.

There was rampant speculation about Microsoft’s secretive announcement all day today, but the most logical reveal was the actual one: a tablet. Inaccurate rumors had pegged it as possibly being Xbox related. Instead, Microsoft has re-branded the Surface name as part of a new series of tablets.

Surface will come in two flavors, Windows RT and Windows 8 Pro. The key difference? Only the latter will be able to run full-featured Windows 8. The Windows RT version is much more iPad-esque, locked into Microsoft’s new application ecosystem.

Microsoft appears to be positioning its tablet line as a more capable version of the iPad, especially since its Smart Cover equivalent has a keyboard on the other side. There’s even a version with tactile keys, if that’s your thing.

Complete specs on Surface are as follows:

The presentation was short on software demos, but 17-Bit, formerly Haunted Temple Studios, did reveal Skulls of the Shogun would be one of the premiere games compatible with Surface. It will also be on PC and Xbox Live Arcade.

The company could have knocked it out of the park with details on pricing and availability, but instead chose to punt that information down the line. Surface will be “priced to compete,” a statement that implies there are actually devices released that are, uh, not intended to be priced to compete.

Patrick Klepek on Google+
290 Comments
Posted by patrickklepek

There was rampant speculation about Microsoft’s secretive announcement all day today, but the most logical reveal was the actual one: a tablet. Inaccurate rumors had pegged it as possibly being Xbox related. Instead, Microsoft has re-branded the Surface name as part of a new series of tablets.

Surface will come in two flavors, Windows RT and Windows 8 Pro. The key difference? Only the latter will be able to run full-featured Windows 8. The Windows RT version is much more iPad-esque, locked into Microsoft’s new application ecosystem.

Microsoft appears to be positioning its tablet line as a more capable version of the iPad, especially since its Smart Cover equivalent has a keyboard on the other side. There’s even a version with tactile keys, if that’s your thing.

Complete specs on Surface are as follows:

The presentation was short on software demos, but 17-Bit, formerly Haunted Temple Studios, did reveal Skulls of the Shogun would be one of the premiere games compatible with Surface. It will also be on PC and Xbox Live Arcade.

The company could have knocked it out of the park with details on pricing and availability, but instead chose to punt that information down the line. Surface will be “priced to compete,” a statement that implies there are actually devices released that are, uh, not intended to be priced to compete.

Staff
Posted by Dizzmotron

I get the feeling that Windows 8 is going to make a great tablet OS, but a very poor desktop OS. I look forward to reviews of this and other tablets.

Posted by Ketchupp

Keys!

Posted by rldumle

could be cool i guess

Posted by BloodEffect

I'm impressed!!!!!!

Posted by yoshisaur

How does "Priced to compete" infer that there aren't devices intended to compete? It just means Microsoft plans to price it near or below the iPad price to....compete.

Also, looks pretty awesome, and if all goes well this will be my next lap device, especially with me starting Nursing classes in the near future.

Posted by KaosAngel

That shit going to flop.

No one is going to waste more money on a MS tablet than buy an iPad. Google tried it already and they still haven't made a dent.

Good luck with that, just like how Microsoft took out Apple and Google in the handset market!

Posted by Adaurin

Hurray for tactile keyboard!

Posted by zombie2011

That is one sexy machine,

Also Skull of the Shogun, finally the QL for that game was years ago and now it's finally coming out.

Posted by sofakingcool

Priced to compete better mean less than $500 fircken dollars like Apple charges.

Posted by zanshin

ipod -> zune

ipad -> surface

Do the math.

Posted by natetodamax

I can't really get too thrilled about this since I already have an iPad, but I'm curious to learn more about what this tablet has to offer. It's disappointing that Microsoft didn't talk about pricing or apps at the conference.

Posted by aajf

@ck1nd: I think Patrick simply meant to point out that the expression is somewhat redundant: no one prices their products in the hope that they won't compete.

Posted by SamFo

@KaosAngel said:

That shit going to flop.

No one is going to waste more money on a MS tablet than buy an iPad. Google tried it already and they still haven't made a dent.

Good luck with that, just like how Microsoft took out Apple and Google in the handset market!

I think this comment needs to be preserved for future laughs.

Posted by KaosAngel

@Voxel said:

I can't really get too thrilled about this since I already have an iPad, but I'm curious to learn more about what this tablet has to offer. It's disappointing that Microsoft didn't talk about pricing or apps at the conference.

MS ain't talking price because they know it won't compete price wise with the iPad. Amazon was blunt as fuck when they said the Fire was going to be cheap. This is the same deal with the handset market. Microsoft is late again, this time over 3 years late.

Only Google as a chance to top Apple in the tablet market. No one is stupid enough to buy a new tablet with no Apps and no history. The same shit happened when WP7 came out.

Posted by KaosAngel

@SamFo said:

@KaosAngel said:

That shit going to flop.

No one is going to waste more money on a MS tablet than buy an iPad. Google tried it already and they still haven't made a dent.

Good luck with that, just like how Microsoft took out Apple and Google in the handset market!

I think this comment needs to be preserved for future laughs.

How's Windows Phone 7 doing with Google and Apple?

Posted by R3DT1D3

With how they've postured Windows 8, this announcement was less than surprising.

Posted by Cloneslayer

could be awesome. I haven't got any tablet and I really don't want to get into the Apple ecosystem. If the desktop/tablet integration works as well as they are trying to sell it then it might convince me to upgrade to Win8 on the desktop when it comes out.

Posted by BeachThunder

Perplex the titles they use in the specs image are terrible.

Posted by Xeiphyer

If it can handle proper games, they support it properly, and battery and price are reasonable, I'd totally pick one of these up.

Posted by Jayzilla

the OS will be clunky since its trying to be all user friendly. all windows OS'es are terrible til you reduce there functionality to just operate the system. they need to offer just a straight OS for people who don't want all that bloated interface crap.

Posted by Sin4profit

Dunno if the digital pen is exclusive to the Pro version but if the Pro version is at or under $1000 it'll be the tablet i've been waiting for.

Posted by SamFo

@KaosAngel said:

@SamFo said:

@KaosAngel said:

That shit going to flop.

No one is going to waste more money on a MS tablet than buy an iPad. Google tried it already and they still haven't made a dent.

Good luck with that, just like how Microsoft took out Apple and Google in the handset market!

I think this comment needs to be preserved for future laughs.

How's Windows Phone 7 doing with Google and Apple?

Everyone has products that don't work. What ever happened to Apples PING? And Mac Mini's are basically dead... Think it's a bit premature to write off Microsoft this early.

Posted by Slixshot

If they support it properly, it'll do well. If not, it will not :D

Posted by adambyrney

This will probably be better than the ipad but the sheep wont notice. I've started to realise all the expensive crap people buy from apple (and others) as if we are all CEO's.......when it is basically a twitter/youtube machine.

So yeah these tablets will be much more useful when they can handle/accomodate real work and content creation. Until then privileged white people will still have angry birds.

Posted by KaosAngel

@SamFo said:

Everyone has products that don't work. What ever happened to Apples PING? And Mac Mini's are basically dead... Think it's a bit premature to write off Microsoft this early.

Nah, it's logic. MS late 3 years again, Apple's next-gen iPad and Google's Nexus Tablet out early next year to seal the deal. It's the same shit, MS is always late with this. No one is stupid enough to buy new hardware for close to the same price as an iPad.

Posted by Marokai
@Jayzilla said:

the OS will be clunky since its trying to be all user friendly. all windows OS'es are terrible til you reduce there functionality to just operate the system. they need to offer just a straight OS for people who don't want all that bloated interface crap.

Sadly it's part of an overall trend in design philosophy to actually convey less information, and tell what little information is left, in giant picture or block form. I fucking hate it too.
Edited by MarioBoza

I cannot wait to try this out hands on when it finally makes it ways to Microsoft Stores. Surface has got me really intrigued to see more. Good job MS!

Posted by DoctorWelch

@KaosAngel said:

That shit going to flop.

No one is going to waste more money on a MS tablet than buy an iPad. Google tried it already and they still haven't made a dent.

Good luck with that, just like how Microsoft took out Apple and Google in the handset market!

You clearly don't understand the point of this tablet combined with Windows 8. It's not just a tablet, it's a legitimate laptop unlike all other tablets, that's the big difference. This combines the ultrabook and tablet market into one.

Posted by Crushed

It actually runs full Microsoft Office. That's actually pretty damn huge.

Posted by SamFo

@KaosAngel said:

@SamFo said:

Everyone has products that don't work. What ever happened to Apples PING? And Mac Mini's are basically dead... Think it's a bit premature to write off Microsoft this early.

Nah, it's logic. MS late 3 years again, Apple's next-gen iPad and Google's Nexus Tablet out early next year to seal the deal. It's the same shit, MS is always late with this. No one is stupid enough to buy new hardware for close to the same price as an iPad.

But you don't even know the price? Assume it was half the price of an ipad (i know it wont be but...) would you write it off then?

I'm an iPad user and can't see myself changing. But I think the tablet market is young enough that MS can definitely get in there. Don't forget how late they came into the console market, and now they are on top in the USA

Posted by Jeffk38uk

I actually find this reveal pretty compelling, the design looks really sharp, and the magnetic cover with that keyboard is pretty clever. And since it's Windows 8 you can just reat the OS like any windows install with the Metro app thing I believe. So long as you get the Pro tho I think. Either way, makes usage of say Photoshop a lot more easier.

Also, usb port.

Posted by MeatSim

I forgot Skulls of the Shogun still existed for a while.

Posted by Duxa

Complete specs? that doesnt tell us shit... where is processor speed? number of cores? architecture? Ram? speed? generation? power consumption (battery life).... 3g support?

So far its as vague as vague gets...

Posted by KaosAngel

@SamFo said:

But you don't even know the price? Assume it was half the price of an ipad (i know it wont be but...) would you write it off then?

I'm an iPad user and can't see myself changing. But I think the tablet market is young enough that MS can definitely get in there. Don't forget how late they came into the console market, and now they are on top in the USA

Yeah that's not gonna work, Apple owns the entire Tablet market and whatever hype this has will die in seconds come early 2013 when the next-gen iPad comes out that mimics the iPhone 5 this year and then the Nexus Tablet is out around the same time. It's going to be WP7 all over again.

Posted by Demoskinos

@DoctorWelch said:

@KaosAngel said:

That shit going to flop.

No one is going to waste more money on a MS tablet than buy an iPad. Google tried it already and they still haven't made a dent.

Good luck with that, just like how Microsoft took out Apple and Google in the handset market!

You clearly don't understand the point of this tablet combined with Windows 8. It's not just a tablet, it's a legitimate laptop unlike all other tablets, that's the big difference. This combines the ultrabook and tablet market into one.

Pretty much this.

Posted by Rapid

How does one trademark "Surface" but then again how does one trademark "Apple"

One again reaffirming my opinion that trademarks are just stupid.

Online
Posted by goatmilk

Here we go again. A lesson that Microsoft never learns.

Yeah, the Zune was technically superior to the iPods at the time but it flopped, and I'm guessing the same thing will happen with this. Why? Because MS can't market for shit. They just throw money at products and will them to succeed. Plus they come into the game late. How many iPads & Android tablets are already out there? Millions. I know this has more functionality than a normal tablet etc but it still won't get anywhere near the level of success the iPad has. One reason being the terrible interface (Metro) but mainly because Apple is EVERYWHERE. The people who don't want to pay the premium for an iPad already have a brilliant open alternative in Android.

If they launched this at $200 it might have a chance, otherwise it'll just be a relatively small group of people who buy it - just like the Zune. Just like Windows phones.

Edited by DoctorWelch

@SamFo said:

@KaosAngel said:

@SamFo said:

Everyone has products that don't work. What ever happened to Apples PING? And Mac Mini's are basically dead... Think it's a bit premature to write off Microsoft this early.

Nah, it's logic. MS late 3 years again, Apple's next-gen iPad and Google's Nexus Tablet out early next year to seal the deal. It's the same shit, MS is always late with this. No one is stupid enough to buy new hardware for close to the same price as an iPad.

But you don't even know the price? Assume it was half the price of an ipad (i know it wont be but...) would you write it off then?

I'm an iPad user and can't see myself changing. But I think the tablet market is young enough that MS can definitely get in there. Don't forget how late they came into the console market, and now they are on top in the USA

If this thing starts at $500-600 it is easily worth it. Stop talking about this thing if you don't even know what it is. You're acting like this is a stab at just the tablet market and it's not. It's an attempt to combine three markets, tablets, ultrabooks, and entry level laptops. Even if it starts at $800 it's still going to cut into ultrabook sales, and it pretty makes the already pointless iPad obsolete because you can actually be productive on this thing unlike an iPad that is pretty much used solely for leisure.

Edit: Also, I'm talking to KaosAngel, not you directly. Sorry about that lol.

Posted by big_jon

Looks nice, but I want a laptop with a bit of power, I do not have the money for a tablet, and a descent laptop.

Posted by KaosAngel

@Demoskinos said:

Pretty much this.

Let me know when it makes a dent into Apple's market of selling over 500,000 tablets a day or close to Apple's 67 million iPads sold.

Posted by bozosc

the pro version looks rad, something i want to try

Posted by SamFo

@KaosAngel said:

@SamFo said:

But you don't even know the price? Assume it was half the price of an ipad (i know it wont be but...) would you write it off then?

I'm an iPad user and can't see myself changing. But I think the tablet market is young enough that MS can definitely get in there. Don't forget how late they came into the console market, and now they are on top in the USA

Yeah that's not gonna work, Apple owns the entire Tablet market and whatever hype this has will die in seconds come early 2013 when the next-gen iPad comes out that mimics the iPhone 5 this year and then the Nexus Tablet is out around the same time. It's going to be WP7 all over again.

Ok the 'logic' you were using is just gone now. You don't even know what the iphone 5 is, how much this W8 tablet is going to cost and a butt ton of other factors. BUT you are writing of this tablet, because come early 2013, apple will have released a new tablet that is better than this because it's in line with their as yet un released un announced iphone?

Posted by KaosAngel

@SamFo said:

Ok the 'logic' you were using is just gone now. You don't even know what the iphone 5 is, how much this W8 tablet is going to cost and a butt ton of other factors. BUT you are writing of this tablet, because come early 2013, apple will have released a new tablet that is better than this because it's in line with their as yet un released un announced iphone?

iPhone 5 stuff has been leaked. A lot of it was shown in the beta code for iOS 6 that's already out there. You not keep up with this stuff?

Posted by kristov_romanov

Is that a trackpad on the keyboard? That seems a little redundant.

I am keen to try one out though.

Posted by mshaw006

Do they really have to doublespeak the specs sheet? God damn.

Posted by Sin4profit

@KaosAngel said:

@Voxel said:

I can't really get too thrilled about this since I already have an iPad, but I'm curious to learn more about what this tablet has to offer. It's disappointing that Microsoft didn't talk about pricing or apps at the conference.

MS ain't talking price because they know it won't compete price wise with the iPad. Amazon was blunt as fuck when they said the Fire was going to be cheap. This is the same deal with the handset market. Microsoft is late again, this time over 3 years late.

Only Google as a chance to top Apple in the tablet market. No one is stupid enough to buy a new tablet with no Apps and no history. The same shit happened when WP7 came out.

it's Windows 8 OS, so it'll have the back catalog of windows 7 and most likely whatever's backwards compatible with win7 as well.

Posted by KaosAngel

How the hell Microsoft have such a low resolution? This shit is only 1080p from the specs, Apple's already been doing well above that.

Posted by tonyisdeformed

why all the wm7 hate? I have a 7 phone and love it! Purchased it after have android, iPhone,and 3gs phone. I love the thing compared to the rest. It may not have a great app store for games, but it is super fast and has all the useful apps I need.

Posted by BestUsernameEver

@tonyisdeformed said:

why all the wm7 hate? I have a 7 phone and love it! Purchased it after have android, iPhone,and 3gs phone. I love the thing compared to the rest. It may not have a great app store for games, but it is super fast and has all the useful apps I need.

Windows *Phone. I have a winpho as well and it's fantastic. People make fun of it because it's a microsoft product, little do they know it's actually good.