Microsoft Surface Tablet Features, Release Date: 'Windows 8 a Disappointment, Users Prefer Windows 7,' Says Survey
With Microsoft set to simultaneously debut its new operating system Windows 8 and first tablet devices, the Surface and Surface RT, on Oct. 25 the company is in the middle of a pivotal transition right now. It's no secret: Windows 8 means big changes for Microsoft's operating system. And for the company in general. Making such radical alterations to a product as clearly established as Windows will surely polarize consumers, and it seems it already has.
A survey taken by Forumswindows8.com, a large online community offering support for Windows 8 users, shows that out of 50,000 people, 53 percent rank Windows 7 as their favorite Windows OS, while just 25 percent chose Windows 8. Windows XP followed closely taking in 20 percent of the vote.
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The success of Windows 7 will always be a pebble in Windows 8's shoe. Windows 7 is the bestselling version of Windows yet. Microsoft clearly has a huge hurdle to clear just trying to lure users to its new operating system.
Windows 8, similar to Windows Phone 7, comes with a totally new interface, called Metro UI. Microsoft first introduced Metro in its Windows Phone 7. Later, advanced versions of the interface appeared in Windows Phone 7.5 and the newest Windows Phone 8. Indeed, the tile-based interface will add much grandeur to the look and feel of the Surface tablets, which it was designed specifically for.
So what's so wrong with Windows 8 it's already turning off users? According to the survey, price is at the top of the list with 35 percent saying it's Windows 8's most glaring weakness.
The downloaded Windows 8 upgrade has been given a promotional price of $39 until January 2013, which sounds reasonable enough to us. No other price has been confirmed yet.
The list of Microsoft's problems continues with system requirements, incompatibility, and instability all of which hover around 20 percent. This is where the company should really be concerned. Three of the biggest complaints lodged against Windows Vista were incompatible software, bugs, and hardware not being powerful enough to support it.
The survey was kinder to Windows 8's easy installation and quick startup and shutdown times listing them as major benefits, but Microsoft's new Metro interface only gained 22 percent approval.
Of course, what isn't clear here is how many people are using Windows 8 on a touchscreen, which isn't just where Microsoft thinks the software performs best, but touchscreens are also the focus of a high percentage of third-party manufacturers' hardware.
Perhaps most tellingly, only 26 percent of the 50,000 surveyed say they've actually used Windows 8, far behind Windows 7, and XP, at 75 percent and 58 percent respectively.
The survey does seem to point to tangible results of Microsoft's conscious shift away from its established way of doing things, to the more user-friendly approach applied by Apple with iOS and Android. When asked, 35 percent of voters said they would buy a Surface tablet, 33 percent an Android and only 26 percent an iPad.
So what does this survey really show? Growing pains. Microsoft is in the middle of a hugely necessary, and difficult transition switching over from Windows 7 to 8 and likewise with its introduction of the Surface tablets. It looks like the company needs to find a happy medium between aping other companies' strategies and finding its own path. Granted, that's a little harder when you're the new kid on the block, and you just have to prove you really are a big boy.
Microsoft Surface features
Both models sport 10.6-inch Clear type Full HD displays with 16:9 widescreen. That means they are among the biggest tablets in the market. If you are not satisfied with the typical 10.1-inch tablet, you can go for the Surface tablet. Along with the touch keyboards with the device, you can turn the machine to a small notebook.
The Surface tablet comes with five Touch Covers. Well, you can pick up any one while purchasing the machine. Different from typical keyboards, the Surface keypads provide brilliant typing experience thanks to their touch-based surface.
The Surface tablets mount both front and rear cameras. The front camera, named life cam by Microsoft, makes the tablet perfect for video chatting through Skype or other services. Using the rear camera, you can capture images and video clips.
Microsoft puts forward better memory options with the Surface tablets. The device comes in 32GB, 64GB and 128GB options. The 128GB is available only with Surface Pro. Further, you can expand the memory using external memory sticks thanks to microSD card slot. That is, you can store enough data including music, software items and video in external clips.
The 3mm Touch Cover features a revolutionary kickstand. Along with fully functioning keyboard and track-pad, the integrated kickstand helps you place the gadget in both portrait or landscape modes. The Touch Cover can be connected to your Surface tablet with a single magnetic click. Now you can easily type text and send messages quite easily.
According to Bloomberg, Surface will only be able to go online using a short-range Wi-Fi connection. This is a stark contrast to Apple's iPad 3, which has a 3G option, and a faster LTE connection.
Media tablets powered by new Microsoft operating systems Windows 8 and Windows RT will have an impact on the overall market - just not this year, according to market intelligence firm ABI Research.
Windows-based tablets will commence shipments at the end of October and capture an estimated 1.5 percent of total tablet shipments for 2012. Pricing for Windows tablets will be a key consideration for end-user adoption.
If priced aggressively towards current Android tablets, Windows tablets could see 2013 shipments increase 10-fold year-over-year. But if they're priced like Apple's iPad offerings, Windows tablets may only double or triple shipments in 2013. Growth in the total available market is expected to come from businesses adopting tablets, which is expected to be a strong area for Windows 8.