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Jun 22 2012   5:34PM GMT

More Surface than Substance?

Ed Tittel Ed Tittel Profile: Ed Tittel

Wow! Talk about a LOT of hoopla. The recent announcement of the Surface tablet in Los Angeles last Tuesday has unleashed a firestorm of comment and controversy around Microsoft’s super-secret foray into Tablet computing. So far my favorite comment and analysis on this emerging phenomenon comes from Ed Bott, who has posted three times this week on the Surface tablet in his ZDnet blog:

Some very neat accessories (a cover that doubles as a keyboard) make the Surface pretty slick

Some very neat accessories (a cover that doubles as a keyboard) make the Surface pretty slick

Copied from the first slide in Ed's 7/21 slide deck on press reactions

Microsoft is saying that the Windows 8-RT version of the Surface will be available around the same time that Windows 8 ships (probably in October 2012) and that an Intel i5 full-blown PC model will follow sometime in the first quarter of 2013 more than likely. Of course, I can’t wait to get my mitts on one to see if it lives up to the hype, or falls to the pans and potshots. But it looks like that’s going to be a while yet before too many of us will be able to satisfy our gadget lust … err, I mean … our interest in new and well-engineered portable computing devices.

To me, the upshot is that the Surface isn’t just a flash-and-dash piece of demoware or vaporware, but a genuine challenge — or perhaps even “slap in the face” — to OEMs who’ve been trotting out the same-old, same-old Windows notebook and laptop PCs for some time now, even taking Ultrabooks into account. Some are hailing the device as a paradigm shift, while others even say it makes the MacBook Air and iPad passe. It will be nice to see how it all plays out when users and reviewers alike can actually starting using these machines. Can’t wait!!!

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