2012-10-23

Microsoft Gets Hard

Microsoft makes computers.
Microsoft's take is the same as it has always been: the tablet is a sort of PC, with all the flexibility, extensibility, and variety that that entails. This mindset is fundamental to understanding why Windows 8 is the way it is. It's also why Microsoft continues to sell its operating system to OEMs; it knows that there's too much variety in the market for one company to meet every need.

But Microsoft has a competing pressure. It wants to show off its software in the best light possible, and controlling the whole experience—software, hardware, and even retail—is how it plans to achieve that. ...

A black widescreen slab is what we have.

I think it's a good looking slab. The shape is squarer and more angular than many competing products, which I enjoy. It's slim, at 0.37 inches (9.4mm), and light, at 1.5 lb (681g). Its front face is dominated by the 10.6-inch, 16:9, 1366×768, Gorilla Glass 2-covered IPS screen. Above the screen are a 720p camera and a little light that illuminates to show that the camera is in use. Below that sits a Windows logo that serves as a Start button.

All hardware designed for Windows 8 will sport a Start button positioned centrally below the long edge of the screen (except for hybrid laptops, which are given more leeway in their positioning) and it is an irritating design flaw that Microsoft has mandated. Sinofsky has said that one of Surface's immutable design constraints was that it was intended for two-handed operation, held in landscape mode. Windows 8 and RT similarly are built for this mode with their convenient thumb keyboard. Problem is, when held this way the Start button is unreachable.

The front of the machine is covered edge-to-edge in Gorilla Glass. All other sides are metal. ...
Go to the link for the full review. This is exciting and I admit I'm kinda stoked. I'm a dual platform user and I don't have a strong brand loyalty or play favorites. So I'm excited to see what happens when Microsoft starts building computers.