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    Preview of the Microsoft Surface Tablet

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    On Monday June 18th, 2012, Microsoft unveiled its new laptop/tablet which is hoped to grab a share of the market away from heavyweights such as Apple iPad and the influx of brand name and non name tablets running Google's Android Operating System. This new line of tablets from Microsoft has been named Surface and instead of Microsoft supplying the operating system (Microsoft Windows 8) to the laptop/tablet OEM manufacturers, Microsoft has decided to design, build and sell the hardware as well as the operating system. Microsoft is still supplying the operating system to their trusted hardware partners to install on laptops and tablets.

    Is this a huge gamble for Microsoft? Yes and No is the answer..
    Microsoft will NOT recoup the investment in the Surface and the mobile version of Windows 8 BUT the underlying reason for Microsoft to develop and sell this tablet isn't for immediate profit like most companies, but to jump start innovation at the OEM hardware vendor level (Toshiba, HP, Nokia, Samsung, Lenovo, etc).

    This new tablet will run Microsoft's new Windows 8 operating system, which implies some compatibiltiy between Windows 8 tablet applications and desktop applications. Previous versions of mobile OS's from Microsoft were based upon Windows CE, which developers did not embrace. Every new version of Windows Mobile OS has little compatibility to the Desktop version and poor compatibility to other versions of Windows Mobile (CE). This was the downfall of every version of Windows CE/mobile, and one of the reasons some developers of corprate applications are sitting on the fence when questioned whether they will develop apps for Windows 8, considering Microsoft's lack of migration strategy and support for applicatoins on all previous CE/Mobile platforms.

    Now with Desktops, laptops and tablets running the same version of Windows 8, you should see more Enterprise's embracing the Surface Tablet especially after the XP to Windows 7 migrations happening in almost all corporate/enterprise networks.

    The Windows 8 Operating system is another key element in the fight against the Apple iPad/Android. One of the main reasons some enterprise customers have not embraced and deployed Apple iPad's to their mobile workforce is the problems with having an app for desktops/laptops and developing another version of the same app for iPad's. For cororate/enterprise users, the primary concern is Office products and support which is the achillies heel for the mighty iPad and those Android tablets when attempting to infiltrate the enterprise market. Are there enough other applications out there ready for Windows 8? Not many yet.. Question is whether the big vendors SAP, Infor, Peoplesoft, other CRM's are developing a Windows 8 app/version that is compatible with these laptops.. Maybe Microsoft can influence these vendors to speed up development with the possibility of technical support/consulting from Microsoft? With Windows 8, there is the potential for less "double development" with one operating system and thus one app for desktops, laptops and tablets. Large Enterprise customers can also benefit from the Microsoft System Centre Enterprise apps for management of these tablets, which in many implementations, iPad's lacked.

    What does this mean to the average consumer? Well parents will still buy laptops, or maybe Microsoft Surface for their kids to use for school, but the kids will also buy an iPad for the cool factor.. This tablet is squarely aimed at the enterprise, with the bonus benefit of appealing to the average consumers. Fact is, each household will still have a standard Windows Xp/7/8 PC for all their needs, but the Surface Tablet does have a small market in the home market.

    Microsoft won't make a large profit on these Surface Tablets, but just by developing this tablet, Microsoft will have accomplished it's goal of jump-starting innovation, and development amongst their hardware partners, which in the end will help Microsoft/Windows 8 grab a share of the tablet market which Microsoft has been attemping to do for a decade.