Tuesday, June 19, 2012

With Surface tablet, Microsoft breaks tradition

t’s the end of an era. Or maybe the start of a new one.

Microsoft — a company that traditionally has relied exclusively on its PC partners to provide hardware powered by its Windows operating system — is trying out a new business model with next Windows release.

The company is going to offer two Microsoft-branded tablets of its own, both of which are branded as Microsoft Surface.

Mystery solved: Microsoft’s new Surface tablet (pictures)

Microsoft isn’t actually manufacturing these new tablets itself — just as it doesn’t actually “make” the
Xbox or the now defunct
Zune media player. But it will be putting the Microsoft name on these devices. And this, many have speculated, will set up Microsoft as a head-to-head competitor with its own PC maker partners.

Pricing or any information on availability is not available yet. All officials are saying, via today’s press release, is that “suggested retail pricing will be announced closer to availability and is expected to be competitive with a comparable ARM tablet or Intel Ultrabook-class PC. OEMs will have cost and feature parity on Windows 8 and Windows RT.”...

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