Surface – Microsoft Windows 8 for Tablets

The Windows Surface tablet will be available on the Oct 26 retail launch day of Microsoft Windows 8. Surface for Windows 8 Pro will come out later. The body of the tablet is a magnesium alloy chassis where the magnesium is chemically bonded on to produce a well-fitted, durable feel.

The screen is 10.6 inches and it has four edges of half-an-inch bezel allowing it to be comfortably held. The keyboard covers snap securely in place. A built-in stand fitted into a hinge runs along the back of the tablet. It is easy to flip out.

There is a Touch Cover and a Type Cover. The Touch Cover is ultra-thin and emphasizes portability while the latter provides keys that physically move when depressed. The covers are attached firmly to the Surface by a magnetic latch. Closing the cover against the Surface turns the tablet off. When it is folded against the back side, the keyboard is turned off by an accelerator.

The keyboard covers could prove to be revolutionary in design for Microsoft and, in a word, “cool.” This would be quite an acknowledgement for a company whose CEO was recently criticized for not being of the tight leather-pants wearing crowd.

The feel of typing on the Touch Cover is like typing on a less slippery and more comfortable surface than that of a screen. At the top of the keyboard are keys representing the Charm bar options of the Modern User Interface  Search, Share, Devices and Settings.

The Intel Ivy Bridge Core i5 processor allows the surface Pro to run as a more powerful tablet for most of the legacy power-demanding Windows programs. The touchpad on the Pro tablet allows extra-fine multitouch ability on the screen – you can reach into screen brackets or parenthesis.

Surface ARM tablets runs the less power-demanding ARM processors. They represents the specific tablet-friendly operating system created by Microsoft. With the Modern interface groupings of tablets, it derives directly from Microsoft Windows 8.

A power tool is that enabled by use of Semantic Zoom. It allows you to pinch in or out to decrease or enlarge the view of grouping sizes of the tiles. Seen as small groups, it is easy to move tiles from group to group and to switch and rename groups.

Specific RT apps from the Windows Store may be run on Surface RT. The Windows desktop in the RT configuration allows you to use Office applications and desktop IE. Full use of student and home versions of Office 2013 for RT will probably require the touchpad and the keyboard.

Surface Pro has a groove running around the edges to allow more air flow for cooling the Ivy Bridge Core i5. The Screen resolution is described as ClearType Full HD. It’s 227g heavier than the RT and 4mm thicker.  Surface RT is 676g and 9.3 mm thick. Its battery life is scored at 31.5 W-h compared to 42 W-h for Pro. Both tablets have two antennas for better Wi-Fi reception.

Surface was created to give Microsoft an edge in the tablet market, now controlled by the Apple iPad and to a smaller extent by Amazon’s Kindle. The company has done an excellent job in designing the tablet as a well-made Microsoft Windows 8 vehicle.

Two considerations that could suddenly propel Surface into the tablet market would be its entrance price and its hook-up with Microsoft’s Xbox that has become a stable with home entertainment systems. Surface has an Xbox app that could make it an Xbox touchscreen controller. Rumors have also circulated that Surface could enter the market at at $199 price level. Such a price should quickly give it market share.

Microsoft Windows 8 for Laptops

The Microsoft Windows 8 operating system was made to accommodate the new features of mobile technology. The features include extensive use of the cloud, the computer server industry that stores data of your company or your personal files like music, books and pictures in a growth of offsite computers.

This offsite storage phenomenon is one of the main features of the new technology that is pushing mobile technology into new experiences. Stemmed from Apple’s ingenuity and introduction of the innovative iPhone and iPad, the number of users is growing astronomically as they normalize the mobile devices. Microsoft is attempting to make a gigantic leap of faith that could cover all the mobile platforms at one time through one operating system, Windows 8 with its Modern User Interface.

It’s quite a remarkable task. The company has gotten several of its partners to begin building the various platforms using the new OS. Product prototypes from smartphones and desktops to tablets and laptops are now coming out.

Microsoft Windows 8 laptops will be one of three OS varieties: the Window 8 Home and Pro versions and the RT tablet version. The OEM companies will add their own features to Microsoft’s product, working actively to attract and reach different audiences of users with interesting, attractive and useful features.

Laptop users are those who would use tablet-size mobile devices but desire full-size keyboards. They would be business people and students who require advance cpu architecture to manage power hungry programs like Excel and Photoshop, Microsoft’s OneNote or InDesign. Reviewing a number of recently designed laptops for Microsoft Windows 8 reveals of set of new features and directions that vendors hope would well catch the eye of Microsoft audiences.

Asus has recently prototyped several ultrabook models with attachable screens to double as tablets. The Asus Taichi is a ultrabook that has a double-sided display. When the lid is down, it functions as a multitouch tablet that you can also use with a stylus. It can be fitted with a standard hard drive or a SSD.

The Asus Vivo is an 11-inch tablet powered by an Atom processor and paired with an optional-keyboard. The cameras are well set with a 2-megapixel front camera and an 8-megapixel rear camera. The feature of sharing files across platforms is available on this Windows 8 laptop with the addition of an NFC sensor.

These models are all touchscreens and include the Vivo Tab RT. It’s 10.1 inches and has a detachable keyboard and a Nvidia Tegra 3 quad-core processor and is primed more for content users of the tablet market. The Vivo Tab will reflect the best features of the Windows RT system, with facile application of the colorful outlay of multitouch, Modern UI tiles.

Samsung is going one step further, reaching into the Microsoft tool box and returning the legacy Start button in the form of an S Launcher widget. It sits on top of the screen and pulls up the list of programs and applications as the old Start button did. The S Launcher will appear on the Samsung Widows 8 products coming at Oct 26, the OS launch date.

Series 5 Ultra laptops from Samsung will run on the Intel Core i5 processor with a 500GB hard disk and 4GB of RAM. The screen is optimized for 10-finger touch, making it fully compatible for Windows 8. The i5 Series 5 Ultra will sell for $799, while a Intel Core i3 powered model will be available for $799.

The direction of the ultrabook book models with Windows 8 appears positive. The first five months of 2012 demonstrated ultrabook sales accounting for 11 percent of sales of $700 in the retail market.

Microsoft Windows 8 – Is Microsoft Ready?

John Dvorak is a sage observer of the tech industry from independent confines located somewhere within PC Magazine. He looks at the Microsoft 500-pound gorilla behemoth as too unwieldy to make mistakes, its reserves are too deep and problems can be quickly covered. But he challenges Microsoft’s forthcoming gush into the world of tablets and mobile technology as an avalanche that could end in a painful constipation, forced to run through a small distribution pipe.

Another way is to see the three million Microsoft Windows 8 Surface tablets with which Microsoft plans to flood the market in late fall as the company’s D-Day, trying to clutch a beachhead hold on a landscape already well staked by capable vendors Apple, Google, Samsung and others.

The company has only 30 physical stores, notes Dvorak. It would be virtually impossible for such a small physical footprint to handle the weight of three million tablets without collapsing. This is the reason why Acer cried out a few weeks ago, criticizing Microsoft’s planned entrance into the hardware portion of market with its Surface Tablets. Acer is a power broker in the PC market, number four among the world’s producers. Bloggers have bemoaned the fact that Microsoft will become a  competitor to its own partners.

These include Asus, Dell, Samsung and Lenovo. But they are producing Window 8 and Windows RT devices and have done no more than show cooperation and compliance with the mother ship. They have already begun putting out attractive models.

However, if you listen to Dvorak, the year-end holiday season will certainly be one to remember. Will Microsoft Windows 8 swiftly move into the hearts of millions and affect the tablet market? The Garnett market researchers predict the company will have a 12 percent share of that market by 2016.

Apple had 69 percent of the table market Q2. Samsung was number two with 8 percent, Amazon had third place at 4 percent with its Kindle e-reader. Some argue Apple’s recent billion dollar suit decision over Samsung will move more vendors to support the new Microsoft Windows 8 platforms.

Microsoft  will gain the beachhead this year. Industry pundits predict 1.5 percent by the end of 2012. A lot of the sales will come through online ordering as consumers become familiar with the new Windows Store.

It’s the company’s ecosystem that is being built where it hopes to establish a calculable presence near the Google and Facebook social network clouds. The company is shoring up its SkyDrive cloud offering. Users can establish a profile in Windows Live and use it to access cloud features that  smoothly coordinate content in all their devices.

Microsoft will certainly get some some street creds if it sells Surface RT tablets for $200as has been rumored. The company would then be following Amazon’s strategy – but remaining far behind that company – as it tries to make the Windows Store a viable standard enterprise, loved and assessed by millions and filled with a growing chest of apps. The company would charge for a bundle of new features, certain to raise revenue while shoring up a broad and responsive ecosystem.

The Surface tablets are being positioned to serve as remotes for the popular Xbox 360s. This winning arrangement has potentials of gaining larger market shares. In fact, Microsoft’s success with the Xbox is often forgotten, but it’s certain proof not only of innovative technology skills but of a skillfully managed entrance into the hardware market as well. By March 2012, the company claimed 47 percent of the game console market with 67 million units sold.

Indeed, John Dvorak may be in for a big Christmas surprise.

Microsoft Windows 8 Desktop

There are over 375 million Windows PCs. The license fees generated for Microsoft were $18 billion last year. Its Office Suite made $23 billion. The market for desktop PCs has long been rooted to the success of the company’s operating system. It will be the same when Windows 8 officially comes out on Oct. 26. The company’s OEM partners, including Asus, Acer, Lenovo, Dell and Samsung, are already producing desktop models.

An Easy Cross-Platform UI

The Windows 8 desktop begins with the Start Screen. The Start button has been removed and all the functions of the traditional Start menu are layered into the corners of the Start Screen and the tiles. With the Modern UI of colorful app tiles in the Start Screen, Microsoft has recognized the trend that current users and newer ones are following in increasing numbers. More users are enjoying the immediate consumption of pictures, video, audio files and other media. Tablets are increasingly becoming choice devices for email and web surfing.

Microsoft used its Modern UI to transfer the benefits and ease of mobile computing to the standard desktop platform. The enterprise desktop models continue to feed the company good revenue from a large demand market. The Windows 7 Desktop Screen, on top of an improved Windows 8 engine, is still very much available, accessible immediately through the Desktop tile.

From the Desktop Screen, the File Explorer window comes up that is instantly identified as similar to Windows 7 Explorer and legacy Windows formats. The layout is improved with a cleaner version and better ribbon options. Legacy Control Panel and Task Bar windows are accessed through the Computer option on the Explorer ribbon.

There are several improved features that are enhanced by the power that desktop hardware can produce. File copying is fast and easy with a helpful copy information box that allows you to pause the process.

The Explorer ribbon options automatically change from File, Computer and View to File, Home, Share and View depending on context. User library folder get different options that depend on media file types stored in them. Ribbon options in the Explorer are customizable. The new operating system was polished to optimize advanced Intel and AMD core processors.

Hardware Show and Tell

Minimal requirements to run Windows 8 include 1 GHz processor with 1 GB RAM and a 16 GB hardrive for 32-bit systems and 20 GB for 64-bit systems. Monitor screen resolutions should be at least 1,024 x 768 or 1,366 x 768 for optimal performance.

Although the PC market has contracted in the United States by 3.7 percent, the market is still expected to expand in a compound annual growth rate 2013 to 2016 by 7.1 percent,, down from a prediction of 8.4 percent. Mature markets in Canada, Japan and Western Europe, with the United States, will  expect a detraction of 1.2 percent this year, yet a better comparison to last year’s 8.7 decline.

Samsung’s Early Dip

Samsung publicized three all-in-one desktop PCs that will run Windows 8 to be ready in October. The Series 5 will sell for $749 with a 21.5-inch display; a Series 7 desktop will sell for $1,099 with s 23.6-inch display and another one with a 27-inch display will sell for $1,699. An Intel Core i3 processor powers the smaller model with 6 GB of RAM and the i7 will power the 27-inch with 8GB RAM.

These models will have detachable keyboards and touchscreens with high resolutions. Samsung has made the models their distinct own by introducing a widget called the S-Launcher. This app acts as the traditional Windows Start button and is certainly to bring more Microsoft adherents to Samsung’s side.

Unwrapping the Mystery – Microsoft Windows 8 and Why Should I Want It?

In a way, Microsoft Windows 8 represents the dawning of a new age for over 90 percent of the world’s desktop computer users. That figure defines the overwhelming majority of people and businesses who use some form of the Windows operating system, and, importantly, it demonstrates a long record of service and achievements that the company can stand on.

The new operating system is not only a great improvement of previous versions of Windows, including Microsoft Windows 7, but it also acknowledges that Microsoft is opening its technology to the new scope of mobile computing. By the time Windows 8 is officially released to the public in October, Microsoft’s new mobile Surface tablets will also come out, and, additionally, the new Windows smartphones will be issued out by Nokia.

Microsoft Windows 8 will be able to function as the unifying operating system on all these platforms – desktops, tablets and phones – and laptops as well. This ability underscores the power of the new OS and will represent the advance of Microsoft over the other tech companies, including Apple and Google.

Among the many reasons why you should want Microsoft Windows 8 are:

  • You will be entering the new age of computing emphasizing mobile technologies.
  • You will be able to use the same Modern UI on desktops, laptops, tablets and smartphones.
  • Windows 8 uses memory resources better and operates much faster than Windows 7.
  • You will have advantages of an expanding Windows ecosystem that includes Skydive, the Windows cloud, and the Windows Store.
  • Sharing files such as documents and pictures will be possible with one or two clicks
  • Security on Microsoft Windows 8 is much improved.
  • Microsoft Windows 8 is easy to use.

New Age of Mobile Technology

Tablets are now functioning in full gear. After Apple polished the technology, they along with Amazon, made the devices popular. The iPod and eReaders took flight. Schools realized the value of using eReaders to hold textbooks and, latter, used the full tablet to hold video lectures as well.  Businesses now use tablets to communicate and exchange files with their employees in the file and they are now seen widely in the media of film and TV.

Most importantly, tablets are becoming the device of choice for typical computer use by millions of consumers. The touch-technologies used on smartphones, also polished and promoted by Apple, are now becoming the norm and the wave of the future. It was only a matter of time before Microsoft would incorporate the new technologies into its products.

Advantages of Microsoft Windows 8

Microsoft Windows 8 represents an improvement over Microsoft Windows 7 not only in terms of better architecture but also from its practical integration into the new mobile technologies. There will be Home and Pro versions of the OS for desktops reflecting regular and business uses. Laptops will also be similarly made with the enhanced Ultrabook laptops receiving Windows 8 Pro operating over multi-core processors. The trackpads on laptops will be able to receive touch gestures similar to those employed on mobile touchscreens.

The new Microsoft Surface tablets will run specially designed apps on the less powerful ARM processors. With longer battery life, the tablets will have their own versions of the Office Suite and other apps from the Microsoft Store.

Are the touch technologies incorporated by Microsoft Windows 8 practical on a dual operating system? Will the public accept an OS that can use mouse and keyboard and access touch-gestures, too? Many in the computer industry think that Microsoft has done an excellent job building the two technologies into Microsoft Windows 8 and its Modern UI. We all look forward to how the public will receive this new combined way of computing in the fall when Windows OS gets it full release.