Microsoft Surface tablet: what the analysts say

©IDG Communications, Inc. Photo contributed by Matthew Mikaelian.

With Steve Ballmer’s company making its first serious assault on the iPad, we look at what the professionals are saying. On Monday evening, Microsoft unveiled its Surface tablet – a own-branded 10.6in device with a keyboard that doubles as a cover, which will come in two forms: one with an ARM chip (“WinRT”), and another with an Intel chip (“x86″). Software can be written to run on both, but unlike Windows PCs, it won’t be exactly the same software on both. The price hasn’t been announced; nor has a delivery date.
Here’s what the analysts say:
Michael Gartenberg, consumer analyst, Gartner
”This was clearly a referendum on Microsoft’s partners. Microsoft felt they could not rely on others to deliver on their vision for Windows 8 in mobile computing.”
Francisco Jeronimo, IDC Research
“At the centre of CEO Steve Ballmer’s presentation was a single message: the integration between the hardware and the software is key to deliver better experiences to end-users. The hardware designed by Microsoft tries to capture the interest from users for a device that combines a PC-like and a tablet experiences. Therefore, this tablet is clearly targeted to professional users in the first place.
“The physical keyboard, the lack of a camera and the focus on the MS Office environment shows that Microsoft is targeting the business segment, where it can differentiate and take some share from Apple. Microsoft’s tablet will probably come with the best MS Office experience, the killer application of the device. The keyboard is also a very important accessory for a professional usage.

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