New Microsoft Tablet

The initial impressions I’ve been reading about the Microsoft Surface have been positive. I think the cover-as-keyboard is pretty neat too, although that assumes it works well as a keyboard.

This article on Ars Technica goes into some of the whys about Microsoft making its own hardware. Based on the last time I bought a computer (summer 2009), I’d have to agree with this:

PC hardware is plagued with mediocrity, but to a large extent it can get away with it. The simple fact is, the PC is an entrenched, dominant tool. It doesn’t have to wow anyone or win them over, because it already has.

Seriously, is there a PC laptop with a good trackpad yet?

Didn’t realize this until I read it:

The Windows business model is predicated on selling the operating system to third parties, and leaving the actual task of system-building to those third parties. We’re so used to Microsoft’s existence and the success of Windows that it’s easy to forget that it’s actually something that’s essentially unique. Apple sells hardware/software combinations. So does IBM with its z/OS mainframe platform and its AIX UNIX. So too does Oracle, with Solaris (though Sun did of course dabble with opening up the operating system), and HP, with HP-UX. The same was true historically, too; Amigas were paired with AmigaOS, Ataris with TOS, NeXT workstations with NeXTStep, and so on and so forth.

 And the parallels the article draws between the Surface and the Nexus One are interesting. It remains to be seen whether it works out for Microsoft (obviously), but it seems like a solid playbook to follow.

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