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Posted by on Jun 19, 2012 in Hardware Articles |

Microsoft Surface: The dilemma of not knowing what we stand against

Microsoft Surface: The dilemma of not knowing what we stand against

During the presentation of the new portable Microsoft Surface , Steve Ballmer, CEO, said:

“The is a PC. The Surface is a tablet. And the Surface is something new. “

And we did not know how to react. Because we are people and we like the neat categories. Tell us one thing and another is a notebook is a tablet. And if companies do not know how to name your creation, to invent, as always invent everything, but leave us alone. Like when they invented the term netbook. Or nettop, or ultrabook, among many others who have gone through our heads.

Because this serves to define a category of products, both for our peace of mind as to better sell the device. For we are normal people who go into stores and buy, if you see something that does not mean not buy it, and if fashion is a product category all talking about “that” strange term (netbook, ultrabook), we also want it.

Because we are like children, to which more than explain things, you have to bring them a name and display them, seeking to have the same as our friends in the neighborhood. But now launch the Surface and tell us that “it is a PC and a tablet” is meaningless. We definition, please, as they have in the past.

What if I want to define? Their problem, because as much today as when the Surface officially goes on sale, people ask “what is it?” Rather than “what does?” Or “what are its characteristics?” To answer the first question we need more, something that allows us to respond, “a tablet” or “is a notebook.” And then explain what it does and by what characteristics.

Where are we now?

Currently, the PC market for the general consumer is divided according to several parameters, technically, all of PCs (Personal Computer or PC), under the only requirement of the operating system, Mac OS X or any Linux distribution, but always desktop.

Are the desktop, ie giant towers with separate monitor for the desktop, the most classic and known apronte computer. Also still alive notebooks, laptops currently allocated to provide good performance with portability fee, displaced in the latter area for netbooks, ie the mini-notebooks, and also new ultrabooks, ultra-thin devices with internal platform Intel.

There are also nettops, which are smaller desktop towers, and the HTPC (Home Theater PC), same concept but pointed to its use as a replacement for home media centers, for playback of entertainment content on TVs great.

On the other hand we have the phones, which are defined not only by its smaller size, but also for mobile operating systems like Apple’s iPhone OS, Google Android or Symbian, along with the necessary touch screen that is absent in the previous PCs.

Here stand the smartphones as main speakers, going strong to remove ground in the market for ordinary phones (feature phones). He accompanied the tablets or tablets straight in Spanish, with screens between 7 and 11 inches and no physical keyboard, which have been the last revolution in the field of computing, driven by the arrival of iPhone to mass category.

Finally, recently appearing on the market are hybrids or convertible laptop running Windows 8, size 10 or 13 inches and capable of becoming either in tablet or touchscreen computer to the table with physical keyboard, integrated whole under one device.

Also worth mentioning that use the platform hardware or internal ultrabooks with Intel chips, low power consumption allowing a thin and light. And in fact, Intel is who is driving the format, “suggesting” to manufacturers to implement this design in three ways. Three, no more, they have presented to society and some manufacturers begin to implement to sell , as obediently manufacturers adopted ultrabook models that Intel did to your order. In fact, the ultrabooks why are all the same on the outside, are equal and are so boring, but that’s a topic for another column …

And then came the Microsoft Surface …

As can be inferred from our previous complaints (ok, my complaints) and the words of Steve Ballmer, this device is not positioned formally in any of the categories just described, mixing elements from several of them.

On the one hand, the eye is a tablet, touchscreen tablet simply, could not be easier. But after Microsoft plays with us by telling us that there are two models of the Surface: hardware and a Windows RT, and one with Intel platform and Pro ultrabook

Worse still has a pedestal to put on the table and a physical keyboard, so it very well could be a hybrid, but is the version with NVIDIA chips based on ARM, then, is not a hybrid, because they have Intel system ultrabook and … well, you understand the confusion.

We mean that the Surface is a hybrid, but Microsoft does not say and does not let us say thanks to the existence of an ARM version, which should rightfully be defined as a mobile device. Moreover, it is within the models as Intel seeks to impose standard for hybrids, which are three and are well defined, as we explained.

So is it a tablet? No, the physical keyboard because it has internal platform ultrabook and more importantly, for use desktop software, namely Windows 8 Pro Is it a hybrid? No, because it does not comply with ARM and Intel. Is it a full-fledged PC? No, because it seems physically tablet.

So we agree.

The Microsoft Surface is a hybrid. I said and why . Not a conventional one, but semantically is that: a computer that combines aspects of a tablet and a notebook.

If we start to examine the technical aspects of the device, we realize that it is not straight in the category, but we do not pull on the strands either: create a segment for each new product hits the market and is unlike anything we’ve seen before is to think of more.

And this is that Microsoft highlights the audacity to do something like the Surface, either because they really want to innovate in the field of computing and have love of art, as they say, or because they want to implement a new standard (and sell) the rest of the manufacturers. Or simply because they have money and like it.

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