Microsoft Surface: What is it?

Windows 8 has been repeatedly discussed by technology experts. Opinions on that topic are nearly evenly split between those who hate the changes and those who love it. Windows 8 may be the company’s biggest release since Windows 95 introduced the world to the start menu. However, Windows 8 is not the only product that Microsoft will be releasing on October 26th. The new Microsoft Surface tablet will also become available on that day, and may be even more important for Microsoft.

The first version of the tablet will be available in the 32 gigabyte or 64 gigabyte sizes. Buyers can also purchase some rather unique accessories: either the Touch cover or the Type cover.  The touch cover looks like a normal screen cover, but it actually has a touch sensitive keyboard built in. These keys are flat and do not move, but the system still reads it as typing. The type cover is a slender traditional keyboard with keys that operate like  normal keyboard. Both covers contain powerful magnets which attach to the tablet easily and will not fall off without you wanting it to. The body of the tablet also contains a built in kickstand. The body of the tablet is created with magnesium and gorilla glass, both of which are very hard to break.

 With all of these positives what could possibly go wrong? Quite a bit actually. The primary source of trouble will probably stem from the fact that the first version of the tablet will run on Windows RT with the Windows 8 pro version being released 3 months in the future. The issue with this? Windows RT does not equal Windows 8. Do they look the same? Yes. Does the interface react the same way? Yes. Does Windows RT use all of the apps in the Windows Store? Yes. So what is the difference? Everything.

Windows RT is an entirely different OS designed to take advantage of the mobile ARM platform. ARM chips are those that are often used in mobile devices like phones or android tablets. The normal windows simply can not run on the platform. Windows RT is an entirely different OS which has been designed to completely mimic Windows 8. The main issue with this is that all legacy Windows applications are not usable on the first version of the Microsoft Surface.

If users understand this fact then everything will be fine. Windows RT will be a good OS as long as users understand what they are getting. Unfortunately, Microsoft has not done a good job in explaining the differences to people. It looks the same as Windows 8, so users think it is Windows 8. The Surface Tablet looks like a great product, and we can only hope that a misunderstanding is not what derails it.