Microsoft Surface Tablet PC: A roundup since its launch

The Microsoft Surface Tablet PC has been announced in June this year and launched in October. The actual availability of the Surface tablet started from 26 October, at the same time that Windows 8 operating system has also been made available. It has been just over 3 weeks since its launch and much news has been published about the Surface Tablet PC. We bring you in this article a roundup of news on Surface tablet since its launch.

Microsoft Surface Tablet PC

Surface becomes the most popular Windows 8 device: According to AdDuplex, unsurprisingly, Microsoft Surface with Windows RT operating system has become the most popular Windows 8 device. But Microsoft is not the number 1 manufacturer of Windows 8 devices. Hewlett-Packard is the number 1 manufacturer because it has a lineup of Windows notebooks.

Some issues with the Surface Tablet
Surface Touch Cover

1) Surface Touch covers defect: A small number of the Surface touch covers amongst those shipped have started to split at the seam after a couple weeks of usage. Microsoft is replacing those touch covers with new ones. The touch cover of a Surface tablet also doubles up as a touchpad that you can type on. This gives the Surface Tablet a Laptop like experience.

2) Surface and WiFi issues: Many users are having ‘limited’ connectivity on WiFi. Some users say that the limited connectivity disappears when they reboot their tablet but comes back after a few minutes. A forum moderator on the Microsoft support forums has said that they are investigating the issue. Users were suggested to drop their router mix to 802.11b/g until Microsoft fixes the 802.11n problem. I think we can expect some solution since Microsoft is pretty good at rolling out patches.

3) California lawyer sues Microsoft over internal storage: A California Lawyer, Andrew Sokolowski, has bought a 32GB Surface Tablet, loaded it with music and word documents and quickly ran out of storage. On digging through he discovered that a significant amount of storage was used by the operating system and apps like Word and Excel. Only 16GB out of the 32 GB is available for usage. That brings us to a bigger debate: Should Tablet PC manufacturers mention the available internal storage to users.

Microsoft to make more devices: Despite the issues mentioned above, the Surface Tablet still received good reviews. After the Surface Tablet and Xbox that have received a good response, Steve Ballmer, the CEO of Microsoft Corp has said that Microsoft will make more devices in the future. This will put Microsoft in direct competition with its hardware partners such as HP, Acer and Lenovo.

HP’s PC boss is not impressed: Todd Bradley, the head of HP’s PC business does not see Microsoft’s Surface Tablet as a challenge. In an interview with CITEworld , Todd Bradley listed the reasons why he does not see the Surface as a competition: “One, very limited distribution. It tends to be slow and a little kludgey as you use it .... It's expensive. Holistically, the press has made a bigger deal out of Surface than what the world has chosen to believe.”

The Microsoft Surface Tablet is still not launched in India. A seller on Ebay.in is selling an imported 32 GB Surface Tablet with Windows RT for Rs. 39,940. With the touch cover included, the tablet is priced at Rs.48,990. Since it is not officially launched in India, imported Surface Tablets may not come with warranty. We do not know when the Surface Tablet will be launched in India, but the price scares me even if I want to buy it.