Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Microsoft posts full Surface tablet presentation online

Those already excited about the Microsoft Surface tablet announcement now have a venue to watch the sheer excitement of Microsoft's own executives and presenters show off - for the first time in public - an actual rival to the iPad.

Microsoft has uploaded video from the actual event to its own site. At the same time, The Verge has managed to post its own version embedded below (since Microsoft has a download link on its site, its possible The Verge just downloaded the MP4 file, then uploaded it to YouTube).

"Watch an on-demand version of the full keynote where Steve Ballmer, Steve Sinofsky, and other Microsoft executives unveiled Surface, PCs built to be the ultimate stage for Windows," the video's blurb says. You'll get to feel palpable excitement, as well.

Although this device has a long way to go - it hasn't even reached the market yet, and just as with Android tablets, which have been hammered over a lack of tablet-optimized apps, the software ecosystem needs to mature - the device has already received accolades.

That said there are still plenty of doubters, and perhaps with good reason.

The Microsoft surface tablet will ship with either Windows RT or Windows 8 Pro. The Windows 8 Pro version (Surface for Windows 8 Pro) boasts an Intel Core i5 Ivy Bridge processor, while the Windows RT model (Surface for Windows RT) comes with an NVIDIA ARM-based chipset.

You'll get 64GB or 128GB of storage with the Intel version, while the ARM option carries 32GB and 64GB storage tiers.

Critics have said the long wait between the announcement on Monday and the actual release could kill momentum, and that the lack of an already-existing software ecosystem could also hamper the device's uptake.

Others emphasize what we said ourselves: because of the iPad's dominance, Microsoft needs to undercut its price with these Surface tablets. While the company could obviously afford to do so, whether or not it chooses to be that aggressive remains to be seen.

Since the RT version will not ship until Windows 8 ships, and the Pro version not for three months after that, there is plenty of time for speculation and hype. How this all turns out in the long run will interest not just Microsoft, but its OEM partners, who can't be pleased to be competing with the company.

After all, there is an excellent chance that the Microsoft Surface tablet will pull traffic not from the iPad, but from other Windows tablet OEMs.

You can watch the Microsoft Surface presentation below.

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