Microsoft today unveiled its new Surface tablet computer, which will compete head-on with long time rival Apple’s iPad. It is the first computer that Microsoft has actually manufactured itself: the usual pattern is to ship its Windows operating systems with other companies’ desktop PCs.
The tablet market one is an important one for Microsoft to get in on: it is tablets and smartphones that have allowed Apple to earn a market capitalisation higher than Microsoft’s, something that for decades was thought impossible.
Of the major American technology and consumer electronic companies, it is only Google that is yet to weigh in on the tablet scene. It’s a big scene, too. Apple has sold 67 million iPads since it launched the product back in 2010.
Microsoft’s Surface is designed with a more cinematic screen shape and size, and can incorporate special covers that contain an ultra-slim rubberised keyboard for using the tablet as a full-blown computer. Surface also includes full-size USB ports, something which fans of Apple were disappointed with the lack of in iPad.
It now seems as though it will only be a matter of time before Google gets involved however, as it has just bought Motorola Mobility for $12.5bn, mainly to get its mitts on the mobile company’s massive patent library. Perhaps Google’s will top them all…?