Stillwater News Press

Our World

September 24, 2013

Poor Microsoft still doesn't understand what tablets are for

NEW YORK —

In New York on Monday, Microsoft unveiled two new tablets aimed at solidifying the company's hold on a key niche market: people who hate fun.
 
The Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 are jam-packed with productivity features guaranteed to make you feel guilty for using the devices for anything other than work. The big upgrades over the last Surface tablets that no one enjoyed lie in the technical specifications: faster processor, faster bus, better battery life, more cores on the GPU, etc. The new ones also both come with the full Microsoft Office suite, including Outlook, ensuring that your calendar alerts are the first thing you'll see when you sit back on the couch and pick up your tablet. Oh, and about that sitting back on the couch thing: Microsoft has fixed that too, tweaking the kickstand to make it easier to type away at that Excel spreadsheet while holding the tablet on your lap or sitting at a desk. Who needs to lean back and relax when you can use your tablet just like a PC?
 
Did I mention that the new Surface 2 is made from two pieces of magnesium instead of three? Because Panos Panay, the Surface product manager who introduced the device, sure did. With the new design, he enthused, "You can see the true magnesium of the product coming out." Whoo-ee! Are we having a good time yet?
 
And get this: Not only can you run Microsoft Office apps on the Surface 2 - this is the one aimed at the consumer market, mind you - but you can run all four Microsoft Office apps at the same time. In fact, as Panay demonstrated, you can even run those Microsoft Office apps on one half of your screen while playing Xbox games on the other! Can't do that with an iPad, can you?

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