MarketWatch First Take
Microsoft adds new twists to Surface tablet6/18/12 9:09 PM ET (MarketWatch)
SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) --
The software giant has added some new, innovative twists to the Surface, including a built-in kick stand and keyboard that also acts as a cover for the 10.6" screen. These apparent improvements by Microsoft (MSFT) , have yet to emerge in tablets deigned around
Al Hilwa, an analyst with IDC, called it a "Swiss Army knife of a tablet" and said that he believed Microsoft was forecasting where the PC is headed. "I like that they put a stake in the ground in terms of how they imagine the future of the PC," he added in an email. The move by Microsoft to try and set the direction of hardware was a bold departure in the PC space, where partners such as chip maker
Two models of the Surface will be available, one designed around Intel chips and the other designed to run chips using ARM Holdings Ltd (ARMH) designs, which have been preferred in smartphones and tablets because they consume less power. It also appears that ARM-based designs enable thinner devices.
The ARM-based Surface will be 9.3 millimeters thin, compared to the thicker Intel-based tablet which is expected to be 13.5 millimeters. Read more about Microsoft's Surface.
Now, the big question is whether or not it will price at or below
A battle royal of the tablets may finally be in the making.