The Surface

(Almost) two years ago I’ve spent quite significant US$900 for an Android tablet. The first 7″ ‘real’ Android tablet on the market, which I was sure will worth every buck. That was my 7″ Galaxy Tab device, which I still love and use.

At that time I was still at Microsoft, although I knew the end of these Microsoft days was close. Some of my colleagues disapproved the tablet. However, I had my solid reasons why I cannot wait anymore and I need to get a tablet. I loved the Windows Phone 7 phone, it was great piece of hardware, but I highly disapproved the lockdown, which Microsoft copied directly from Apple and put at his users. That’s why I was sure that my next business phone would be an Android phone.

I was using Android-based devices since then. I’ve had my hands on different phones, starting with Google Nexus S, Samsung Galaxy II, Google Galaxy Nexus, HTC One X and right now Samsung Galaxy III. All those had their flaws and benefits, but the most important experience for me was the fact that I vividly saw the Android OS growing from 2.2 until 4.0.4. I also had some experience with Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1″ (which is with 3.x.x).

Until today I was wondering what would be my next tablet. I was thinking about Asus Transformer series, they’re great, nifty devices with a lot of features. Actually, I almost bought one few months ago, if it was not the Asus support, who ensured me there’s no way Bulgarian language would work with their hardware keyboard. And then I backed off.

…and I’m happy that I waited…

Microsoft SurfaceSo far I did not believe that Microsoft would give something, which would amaze and astonish me that high. Too many disappointments for the past (well…) few years! But fortunately that seems over now.

I just saw the full recordings from the Microsoft Surface announcement, which happened yesterday. I really enjoyed these 47 minutes full of perfection. I can clearly say that the Surface is the device (no, it’s not a tablet, it’s much, much more!), which is worth waiting. Not only because it’s Windows. Because it’s an actual business device, which can be fun as well. Because it will finally close the gap between the Tablet PCs and the real tablets, which you can use in an Enterprise.

I will have to wait for the Pro version. Which means I will wait at least another 9-12 months. But seeing that’re the plans, Windows RT resembles too much the Apple model, which I hate a lot! But Windows 8, on an Intel Surface device, is something which will worth spending $1600 (I think that’ll be the starting price of these things in my geography).

I am very happy with what I’ve saw tonight. Microsoft has finally come with a real product, which will (once again) change the world. I’m sure that Microsoft Surface will give back the speed and the innovation for the consumer computing market, which this company was lacking in the past years.

Microsoft initially won the browser war with Internet Explorer 4. Then Microsoft slowed down and now I can’t see how Internet Explorer will make it back. Especially with the fact that Windows RT will come with IE10 “eunuch edition”, which will not allow plugins at all (Flash does not count, and it’s shitty anyway). I hope Microsoft allows better browsers in its Windows RT market, because otherwise I doubt I’d ever like and own Windows RT tablet at all.

It is, however, quite different story with Windows 8 Pro. It will host full-blown IE10, with all plugin goodness, and it will allow installation of any other software just like any other PC: from any source. This will make possible installing and using Chrome (Firefox, you will rest in peace soon… too bad, because you were the changing factor of the browser market…). Of course, Google has to “surface” the Chrome, but I’m sure that’ll happen too. This combined with all the rest will make the Windows 8 Pro tablet the best future device for me and my needs. And probably for the other 500 million users.

I think that at the end, this will rejuvenate the desktop PCs. Especially for people, who need high processor power at their fingertips. Gamers will have hard time putting their favorite MMORPG on a tablet. Plus, the big screen there is a must. Also, although the Pro tablets are promised to be fast devices, I doubt they’ll match the power of a desktop PC, which can be properly fit and cooled.

But still, the surfaces will prevail. Because iPad might be great consumer device, but it’s total crap in the Enterprise. Plus, until you root it, you’re stuck inside the Fruit Farm of Apple. And when you root it, you lose your warranty. Windows 8 (Pro) won’t have that limitation, and will win (for good). I actually think that naming the device “surface” and not a “tablet” will be one of the key factors, which will help people distinguish, know and look for this particular device, and not “tablet” anymore. The fact that the Android devices are called “tablets” (just like the iPad) is one of the reasons, in my opinion, why they never succeeded (and there’re also about 100 other reasons, which won’t fit in this post). But with the Surface and Tablet now, we clearly know what’s the future, and what’s the past (well, and present).

So, unless Microsoft screws it up big time (for example, exclude my country from the “supported” list, or release a device without full pack Bulgarian keyboards), this future looks much clearer to me 🙂