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Back in June Microsoft held a huge press event to unveil its first foray into the world of tablet computing since Apple changed the market with the iPad. The Microsoft Surface was revealed What We Know So Far About The Windows 8 "Surface" Tablet What We Know So Far About The Windows 8 "Surface" Tablet In Los Angeles on Monday, Microsoft pulled a surprise out of the bag in their Windows 8 strategy - a Microsoft manufactured and branded tablet, called the Surface. It's a sleek device to rival the... Read More , though any real details over its specs or pricing were harder to come by. Until now.

Earlier this week Microsoft finally revealed how the Microsoft Surface shaped up against the competition, and, crucially, how much one would cost to buy. The results are mixed, with many people expressing surprise and/or disappointment at the relatively high price point. But a Windows 8 tablet with Office pre-installed on it could still be a winner. It’s time to poll you, the MakeUseOf readership, for your views on the product.

This Week’s Question…

What Do You Think Of The Microsoft Surface?

Now that the full details of Microsoft Surface (at least the RT version) have surfaced we want to know what you think of it. First of all head on over to the official Surface website to get a true oversight of the device. Then come back here and express your views on it in the comments section below.

Do you like the aesthetic look Microsoft has gone for with the Surface? What about the specs? Is the price – starting at $499 and going all the way up to $699 – right for the Microsoft Surface RT? Should Microsoft have pushed the price down in order to take the fight to Apple?

Is the number of apps currently available from the Windows Store going to be a major problem for Surface? Will you be pre-ordering a Microsoft Surface RT or will you be waiting to see what the reviews say first? Are you more interested in a Microsoft Surface Pro, which is currently listed as “Coming Soon?” It’s time to have your say.


Drawing Conclusions

All comments will be digested to form conclusions in a follow-up post next week where we will detail what You Told UsOne reader will even win Comment Of The Week, which will be included in the follow-up post! What more motivation than that do you need to respond?

We Ask You is a weekly column dedicated to finding out the opinions of MakeUseOf readers. The questions asked are usually open-ended and likely to start a conversation. Some are opinion-based, while others see you sharing tips and advice, or advocating tools and apps to fellow MakeUseOf Readers. This column is nothing without you, as MakeUseOf is nothing without you.

  1. libby3360
    November 19, 2012 at 11:49 pm


  2. libby3360
    November 19, 2012 at 11:49 pm

    love it.

  3. automan 1
    November 19, 2012 at 2:42 am

    The only way I'd buy it now is if I won it in a contest. Some of the features are good ideas but Windows 8 has yet to prove itself with me, I'll wait.

  4. Austen Gause
    November 16, 2012 at 10:23 pm

    it looks cool but i dont really like the fact that it runs windows rt but if i ever got one im sure i would probably overlook it because it is still an awesome tablet

  5. rajanravikmar
    November 5, 2012 at 12:49 am

    Skimming through these pointless 'reviews' on a tablet that no one has actually touched yet is laughable and is rooted baseless nonsense.

    The tablet is incredible and completely different than what currently exists. The hardware is sleek and current. There is a lot to like and dislike but one thing is for sure.
    Microsoft is really serious about making a seamless experience from windows phone to Xbox to OS.

    Remember folks Google and Microsoft own all your data. The tools they are providing accomplish those tasks over well. New world now.

  6. pw
    November 1, 2012 at 6:35 pm

    Touch-screen ultrabooks.

    That alone makes Surface PRO pointless. More functionality, touch-screen, more RAM, more storage for a few extra pounds. Microsoft should just stick with what they do best, SOFTWARE. Their own software and OEM licensing (Windows 8) makes the Surface PRO the most pointless and overpriced device out there.

    From what I understand, battery use isn't anything to brag about either on the Surface RT, nevermind the upcoming PRO version.

  7. langmc
    October 26, 2012 at 12:12 pm

    I am very pleased Microsoft woke up and realized they must embrace the touch and speak interface and move forward such as it has. Bravo. Surface RT is a great start for an Ipad competitor and far surpases any Android offering. I was hoping that they would release it with the release of the Invidia Tegra 4 since it is close to release as well. It definitely would have put them in front. I do think they need to rethink the display a bit. You cant put out a 1366 X 768 when Apple is putting out 2068 X 1536 in thier screens. I think the hold on Sirface Pro is precisecly what I was hoping with Tegra 4 and RT. Microsoft may be waiting for the next 4th Gen processor from Intel "Haswell" to announce the Pro version. I think early release of Surface before Tegra 4 was more to beat the market release before the XMAS holiday rush. We will see version upgrades so let the lemmings of the world buy up the inital product just as they blindly purchase every inferior apple phone the day they release it and let the smart amoung us hold out for the Pro version. I will none the less buy an RT version as soon as they announce improved screen resolution and a Tegra 4 processor. My 4 year old daughter navigates Windows 8 Preview edition so well, I think a Surface RT would be a better learning tool for her than an ipad.

  8. BenN
    October 25, 2012 at 4:22 pm

    At $300 I would have at least considered it. At $500+ for a tablet, no way. $600+ for a tablet with a keyboard (aka netbook), no way.

    It seems like the only selling point is that this is a Windows machine that can run office or something. Having Windows RT means that Office cannot be used commercially- "Office Home & Student 2013 RT Preview and the final version are not for use in commercial, nonprofit, or revenue generating activities." So you can't use it for work which seems to me to take away one of its only selling points. I suppose you can just ignore the license but that doesn't seem fair in a comparison with other tablets. That is kind of like saying the Surface is a great deal because you can shoplift it for free. If we are supposed to take the Surface RT as they offer it and use it as they expect then this is a personal device only. With Microsoft's use of Genuine Advantage, DRM, lengthy ToS... I assume they will enforce this to the fullest extent possible.

    Maybe Windows RT will be slick, but I doubt it. Windows 7 on a $600 HP Slate- I hate it. Work bought me this, didn't cost me a dime and I hate it and don't use it. Microsoft has a proven track record for slow, bloated and buggy. With changes this big and drastic I can't imagine Windows 8 or RT being any better. Windows 8 service pack 3 might be really cool.

    Google Nexus AND an iPad mini for the same price as the Surface. Or the Nexus AND a decent Desktop for the same price. Yikes! Too little too late and for too much.

  9. John Robie
    October 21, 2012 at 12:59 am

    This looks like the hottest thing since the Zune.

  10. Shane Eckley
    October 21, 2012 at 12:28 am

    I think of the iPad and Android Tablets as nice toys. They are great at doing certain things, but they cannot completely replace the need for a separate computer. Windows 8 hybrids are finally erasing the gap between tablet and laptop. I have Windows 8 running on my non-touchscreen laptop and truth be told, I'd recommend people stick with Windows 7 because the metro interface is mostly in the way. BUT, once the surface pro is released I plan to order it on day one. The touchscreen interface will be nice for most things and the keyboard will be nice for "real" computing needs. The portability of a tablet AND the power of a, win.

    • Shane Eckley
      October 21, 2012 at 12:30 am

      Oh, and for people who complain about the price, I'll gladly pay around $1000 for something that will replace my laptop and have additional advantages (touchscreen, battery life, etc.)

  11. Jonathan Faerber
    October 19, 2012 at 3:41 pm

    Far too expensive. Yes, I'd buy it sooner than the iPad but I'd buy an ultrabook sooner than both

  12. Prabha Rani
    October 19, 2012 at 11:10 am

    I liked it because it has very less weight, flat, just like a notebook. We can use it as a tablet PC and laptop too. I also like touch screen. So, I am planning to buy it.

  13. Dale Poole
    October 19, 2012 at 11:05 am

    I think if you put one into my hands I'd be better able to answer the question.

  14. Abidhusain Momin
    October 19, 2012 at 3:59 am

    Someone give me Surface for testing and R&D.. After that I will give some comments about surface.. ;) :P... lolll

  15. Yang Yang Li
    October 19, 2012 at 1:45 am

    The best part of the Microsoft Surface tablet is the 3mm thin keyboard that comes with it!

  16. Ryan
    October 19, 2012 at 1:39 am

    RT will become a hard sell when the Pro arrives, even with the Pro's higher price point.

    Many tech bloggers are insistent they don't want to drop their iPads and Galaxy devices for the Surface, but they're wrong. This is not for them. The Surface is for people like me, who never bought into the iOS, Android or Kindle ecosystems, and were holding out to use Office and legacy programs on these devices. As much as Apple made inroads with a new market segment that is not as tech literate and needed devices that worked easier, Office still has that install base that has yet to make the transition to mobile. Not everyone is enamored of Apple Keynotes or tied down to walled gardens.

    At this point, Microsoft is right: even in this era of more mobile devices, there is still a high demand for fully featured computers. Microsoft's entry into the hardware market will transition fully featured PCs into this mobile future, and give them more control over how PCs as a whole will evolve in the next decade.

  17. TorchingIgloosdotcom
    October 19, 2012 at 1:02 am

    I'm sticking with Android. Microsoft is smoking crack with that ugly excuse for a tablet... and Windows Meh (8)

  18. Yiz Borol
    October 19, 2012 at 12:47 am

    So it's a very good question, but you gatta refine it: I'm a big fan of the Surface running Win8, not the Surface running Windows RT. When the Windows 8 surface appears I'm gonna spend a bit of time thinking about buying it, a lot of the consideration will come down to the cost, I basically already now the specs, really what matters is how much I have to pay for it...

  19. Alykhan Lalani
    October 18, 2012 at 8:40 pm

    its a great idea however I believe it is slightly overpriced. The fact that its more of a laptop-tablet hybrid makes it a bit thicker than what it should be. Also, the touch cover for $100+ is kind of ridiculous but overall great idea and should be a good competitor in the market?

  20. Bonny
    October 18, 2012 at 8:10 pm


  21. Bruce Thomas
    October 18, 2012 at 8:07 pm

    Microsoft wants to create a tablet environment that appeals to business because that’s where the market is for their Office Suite. No matter how much Apple tries, it can’t crack the business market in a big way because its “apps” aren’t compatible with corporate productivity software. So much business enterprise software is built around a Windows environment, that it only makes sense to continue on to the next level with personal devices that are compatible with a company’s information system. I believe that is why the price point is higher than expected, because the consumer way of thinking looks at price and number of apps as the key to success, but Microsoft looks at inter-connectivity issues, and that isn’t based on Android or iOS operating systems.
    The adoptability problem for Microsoft is whether companies will buy into the new interface and the learning curve for employees to become comfortable with it. Yes, Windows 8 can be switched to look like a traditional windows interface, but that isn’t the future. Younger employees will adapt naturally, while older workers are more concerned about how changes will affect their productivity. The issue here is whether the enterprise systems will be fully compatible with Windows 8. IT departments are naturally conservative, so if the Surface is going to be a major problem requiring huge support needs, then it won’t last long. Initial adopters will have to be satisfied proponents of Windows 8, or other companies will stay on the sidelines.
    New technologies could do much to resolve some of the inherent change problems. For example, many companies use a Citrix server to provide secure access to their enterprise software. This is one example, and I’m sure there are others, that can overcome legacy software compatibility issues. Personally, I’m looking forward to the Surface. The past few years, sitting in meetings or planning sessions that go on for hours and days are almost comical, if not annoying, as each participant sets up his or her laptop and then hides behind the natural barriers ringing the table. A flat tablet lying on the table is much more attractive, but the tablet must be as productive as the laptop.
    Perhaps the future of Cloud computing will be another element to enable Windows 8 tablets to marry the Office Suite with home office computing. Data and reports accessible anywhere without the need to go through corporate servers is good for travelers. Windows 8 is a new way to manage information, so users will see value if they can utilize creative ways into their work routines that present information easily and more attractively. That won’t be intuitive, I believe, but if interest in the new paradigm is generated, creative solutions will proliferate.
    Other companies, such as HP, Samsung, and ASUS, are bringing Office 8 tablets to the market. I think HP has a natural advantage in enterprise computing since it has several enterprise software systems to develop business solutions based on Windows 8, not just bring apps to entertain customers. That’s why the price points are higher than many consumers think are reasonable. My opinion is that business users are where the big money is for Windows 8, and consumers will need to wait awhile longer for cheaper tablets to use at home, unless they are willing to invest in a higher priced Windows 8 entertainment and personal productivity tablet. Count me in the latter group.

    • Roger
      October 21, 2012 at 9:56 pm

      You should check your facts about the iPad. It is dominating the enterprise when it comes to tablets. Apple has a well known list which shows implementation of the iPad in almost every Fortune 500 company. Apple also has a IT developer program for IT's that has pretty much killed the compatibly issue, Apps that are capable of working with MS Office files are everywhere. Apple actually has a head start here compared to anyone else including Microsoft. I Also should note, a lot of companies are now allowing & supporting employees to bring your own devices if they so choose to do so. Microsoft dropped the ball on this long ago. The tech industry is showing more & more signs everyday that Microsoft is becoming more & more irrelevant. MS Stock is trading in at only the $30 range.

      • Bruce Thomas
        October 22, 2012 at 12:46 am

        I don't disagree with anything you said. Apple dominates in tablets because they are the dominant supplier, but tablets are not yet the computing devices on corporate desktops. Computers and lap;tops are still dominant there, and Apple has a small share. I was writing from experience. The iPad is ubiquitous in many companies, but there is and always will be a compatibility problem with windows-based enterprise systems. I can't see IT departments letting go of their control of the systems that run their companies because Apple has an app developer program. Using a non-native system to tap into corporate systems multiplies potential problems and support costs, and budgets are tight, so something has to give. Besides, Microsoft Office is a tool for personal productivity. That is much different than enterprise apps, such as accounting, production, inventory, cash management and so on - systems that are tightly integrated and controlled. I'm sure there are products and applications in development for the future that could change everything, but not today.

        • Roger Brown
          October 22, 2012 at 1:07 am

          You have good points. I don't disagree with those either. But the Internet, IT & cloud computing are changing the structure. Also some companies are taking note to thier employees boost in productivity do to the simplicity of GUI in iPad. Microsoft has tried to answer this with Metro. But people are tired of working with OS systems that menus were designed for geek & IT centrics. Not to mention the over done repetitiveness to do some simple tasks. Just my opion. They put to much of the internal grit in the open for the normal user. It's a mess. I have worked with both. I used to build PC's. I know how to get through all of the system. But when you want to just get something done its very irritating.

    • Rajaa Chowdhury
      October 25, 2012 at 8:37 am

      Besides I can still run Windows out of the server alongwith all the enterprise applications it runs on an iPAD with Windows Terminal Services using RDP or other options like Citrix client, 2X client, VMWare client, etc.

      • Bruce Thomas
        October 25, 2012 at 3:20 pm

        Sounds like you are in a good place, then. We'll have to see how the Surface or other windows tablets perform. I think they will do OK.

  22. Anonymous
    October 18, 2012 at 7:58 pm

    The Surface RT looks like a very nice machine, but it's way out of my budget as a graduate student. At that price, it's approaching the mental point of "full-blown computer". Microsoft is going to have a long uphill battle to fight if they want to market a tablet as a laptop replacement.

  23. Peter Lydon
    October 18, 2012 at 7:16 pm

    It's a fairly dumb name and they could probably have come up with a more dynamic name. Names are important - remember all the early jokes about iPad - but even more important when attempting to break into the existing market. "Where's my surface" doesn't sound as cool as "where's my iPad". I dunno because I'm not a marketing expert - maybe 'ColourPad' or even just 'Colour' might have been better or even just 'Tablet' considering Microsoft were really the first with a Tablet PC ( I bought my first one about 10 years ago now).

    That said, the Surface looks great. The kickstand is a great idea, as well as the completely necessary smart cover/keyboard (bet Apple are kicking themselves over the integration of the keyboard with the cover). Windows 8 looks very exciting although I haven't tried it yet. All told, given the Enterprise advantage of MC and the familiarity of productivity suites plus integration with xBox - this is an exciting looking product coming at an exciting time. Can't wait to try one out.

  24. Ran Kinory
    October 18, 2012 at 7:09 pm

    Too late, too expensiv.

  25. Robert Kowalczyk
    October 18, 2012 at 6:26 pm

    It's a beautiful OS. As an artist, I can see past their place holder graphics and still backgrounds. Plus it opens up cloud access to all devices.

  26. matt
    October 18, 2012 at 6:23 pm

    the tablet is cool, but do they have to push the same OS for PCs???

  27. Usman Mubashir
    October 18, 2012 at 6:08 pm

    I'd love it

  28. Andrew Rossaak
    October 18, 2012 at 5:57 pm

    Many of those who wanted/needed a tablet have one - and I think many of the undecided will look carefully at the existing popular options before going the MS route. I would wait and see.....

  29. Stefan Grundlingh
    October 18, 2012 at 5:51 pm

    One small click for man...

  30. Vipul Jain
    October 18, 2012 at 5:39 pm

    1. You come up with an OS that is fresh. While the market is settled with Android & iOS.
    2. You price the product higher than both settled OS.
    3. You expect to get sales and market share.
    4. You fail because only the rich would experiment with their money on this, since you can get the settled OS devices for half the price!

  31. Deekshith Allamaneni
    October 18, 2012 at 5:25 pm

    I saw it's preview. It was good looking. It is a strategic move by Microsoft to save Windows-8. But I don't think it works. It is not that appealing compared to competition when features and price is considered. And people who want to but a tablet for status will go to Apple. Lets wait and watch.

  32. Sanat Puri
    October 18, 2012 at 5:04 pm

    The price does seem to be a touch on the "no way I'm gonna pay that much for a tablet/skateboard hybrid" side. But there's no denying its biggest advantage; Office. For people using services like Excel, Powerpoint and so on, it's a no-brainer. Its biggest disadvantage; having Windows RT. The only way you can get apps is through the Marketplace, which can be a deciding factor for some. For those who were expecting it to be an ultrabook, this may be disappointing. It looks more similar to an overgrown Windows phone than a laptop. But maybe I'm wrong. I would love to see Microsoft prove me wrong.

    • Rajaa Chowdhury
      October 25, 2012 at 8:34 am

      Congrats Sanat for winning 150 points. Kudos mate!!! :D

  33. Bois Wilson
    October 18, 2012 at 5:02 pm

    This looks brilliant. Most of the time I don't need to type and just need the tablet for browsing. Sometimes, however, I need to type and having that thin cover/keypad is a MUCH better solution than trying to type on the screen. Also, the accessory kepad looks like a good accessory to have handy when you have to do a lot of intensive typing. The built in stand is a nice touch. If the screen is good and the performance is consistent with what is being suggested then this should be a total winner.

  34. Anonymous
    October 18, 2012 at 5:01 pm

    If they can integrate the functions of a tablet with the MS Office apps without an extensive learning curve, this could be a winner. If the new OS is too unfamiliar, users will avoid it in droves. If this isn't an immediate hit, it will probably not survive in a competitive market.

  35. Doc
    October 18, 2012 at 4:53 pm

    Overpriced, immature software (the Office that ships with it isn't even RTM!), and too closed-down (a la Apple) to have much of a lifespan. I predict huge price drops and people porting Android to it within weeks, much like the HP TouchPad.

  36. Félix S. De Jesús
    October 18, 2012 at 4:41 pm

    This Tablet have some advantages including connectivity of many devices like an USB port, in which other Tablets doesn't include and sells separately for over $30-40. It is a good option for those who wants Windows in a Tablet without getting any issue of compatibility.

    But, It is very overpriced. $499 tablet with Microsoft Windows RT 8, and $100 more to get the keyboard, makes the people purchase a new laptop instead on purchase this tablet.

    • Doc
      October 18, 2012 at 4:57 pm

      Almost every Android device with a mini-USB port can use a USB OTG (On the Go) adapter to add devices like mice, keyboards, etc, it's just that nobody markets that feature; plus, any Bluetooth-enabled device can add wireless peripherals, making USB mostly irrelevant.

  37. John Buxbaum
    October 18, 2012 at 4:38 pm

    its the first really USEFUL tablet, rather than an oversized phone with a hugely egotistical price. the iPad is nothing more than an entertainment device. The Surface will go beyond entertainment and provide productivity as well..

  38. Anonymous
    October 18, 2012 at 4:37 pm

    I like the idea of the Surface but, until I get one in my hands, it is hard to say if it worth the price. I recently picked up a refurbished Samsung Galaxy Tab 2, 10.1 for $200... So for the Surface to be worth $500, $600 or more it better be damn fast and full of must-have Apps... I think there is only a slim chance of that happening right out of the gate...

  39. Jose Moreno
    October 18, 2012 at 3:10 pm

    When will Microsoft get an original Idea. How will it compare to the ASUS or Samsung android tablets? If Microsoft is going to compete with Apple, then it needs to lower the price and put the tablet in the hands of students & parents that are on budget in this tight economy. Flood the market with the product and watch it to see if it lives up to Microsoft's claims. Apple's certainly lived up to its hype, can Microsoft?

  40. Arron Walker
    October 18, 2012 at 1:59 pm

    It looks like a fantastic piece of kit; the only issue is it's a bit expensive. While not too much of a surprise, I think a more competitive pricing model would really kick off it's popularity. Some people think the backlog of software available for ios and Android will be a problem... but this is Microsoft. You really think that's going to be an issue?

    • Doc
      October 18, 2012 at 4:55 pm

      "Piece of kit"? Are you sure that wasn't a typo...instead of a "K" you were meaning to type two other letters?

  41. Sushil Kathpalia
    October 18, 2012 at 11:32 am

    Actually looking good after reading lots of reviews this but I have to see how it can be more useful than dell netbook which is only used to surf internet & for blogging..
    Some features looking good front & rear camera...
    But what about Huwaei or other USB Modem. Will it work on this??
    I have a doubt??

  42. Harshit Jain
    October 18, 2012 at 10:28 am

    It is "AWESOME" and "MUCH MORE USEFUL"(Real USB 2.0 port, Advanced File Manager, full desktop internet explorer along with touch version, Office 2013) than Ipad at less price.
    [For Android users ]-> NO PROBLEM OF GETTING UPDATES :)

    I love Metro user interface(I can't stop calling it Metro) and it blows ipad's and android's UI out of water completely.

    It has bundled Office 2013 RT.

    What more do you want?

  43. Anandu B Ajith
    October 18, 2012 at 9:53 am

    A Very Nice Tablet Which I Look Forward To Buy

  44. Rene Bernal
    October 18, 2012 at 9:32 am

    It looks promising but I hope there will be suffice quality apps to blend with this.

  45. Koshy George
    October 18, 2012 at 8:52 am

    Surface Pro>Other tablets>Surface RT>Windows 8 Pc

  46. T. Wilson
    October 18, 2012 at 5:59 am

    Considering they are years behind Android and Apple in terms of ecosystem and the obvious fact that specs don't really sell these devices, price was their only "in".

    Pricing it roughly the same as the market leader and charging an additional 100.00+ USD for their only real differentiating feature is certainly going to work against them.

    If they had pulled this out of their hat a year and a half ago, it'd be a different story.

  47. Nohl Lyons
    October 18, 2012 at 4:15 am

    I saw a demo video of Surface on a table top. It was awesome. Not sure how it holds up in a crowded tablet market.

  48. Rajaa Chowdhury
    October 18, 2012 at 4:00 am

    As I was reading reiews of the Microsoft Surface Pro version price point expectation at around the price of ultrabooks at $1000 plus extra the price of Office pro 2013, I was expecting the RT price point anything between $200 to $400 with the MS Office Home Student 2013 ported. This would really given a run for the money to Google Nexus, Amazon Kindle and the expected iPAD Mini. At $500 price point, I would rather opt for a low end notebook and port Windows 8. Besides Marketplace only offers one fifth of the number of applications to App Store or Google Play (Android Marketplace). Still, it is a interesting offering no doubt, but I will play the wait and watch game. Somehow, I feel theire will be a downward revision of prices, if Surface gets a lukewarm response based on pricing, as Microsoft have lot in stake on this piece of hardware.

    • Rajaa Chowdhury
      October 20, 2012 at 2:42 pm

      Oh, BTW forgot to mention that probably we all would wait for it as a Giveaway in MakeUseOf. What say Guys? :P

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