Microsoft just announced its Window RT or Windows 8 based tablet "Surface" to compete with iPAD and Android tablet such as Transformer Prime.
Joe Fedewa gave a good chart for comparison between MS Surface, Transformer Prime and iPAD (3rd generation):
Most interesting things of Microsoft Surface to me are its video and audio capability. Its Windows RT version supports HD Video. Both Windows RT and Window 8 Pro have two cameras. Use the front LifeCam to chat with the people that you care about. The rear-facing LifeCam is angled to 22 degrees so you can flip out the Kickstand and record meetings and events hands-free. With the rear facing camera which is positioned at a 22 degree angle, you basically create a tripod for hands free recording. This will be a nice feature for recording meetings. They also come with Stereo speakers and dual microphones tuned for Skype.
Actually the Transformer Prime dock can position at any degree angle for Transformer Prime to do video recording, even for 1080p video. On the last Saturday I used Transformer Prime 1080p video mode to record my son's piano audition and quite impressed by its video and audio quality.
The biggest advantage of Microsoft Surface perhaps is the seamless integration of Microsoft Office to help productivity for most computer users. "Create, collaborate, and get stuff done with Office." It is a start point for Microsoft to build a good ecosystem with new Windows to compete with iPAD and Android tablets. Asus Transformer comes with Polaris® Office which enables users to edit various types of office documents including documents (.doc), spreadsheets (.xls) and presentation (.ppt) files. iPad supports limited Office functionality. A rumor said that Microsoft Office will launch for the iPad and Android in November, but now it may be questionable. Ricoh America’s CIO, Tracey Rothenberger, sees huge value in supporting a Windows-based tablet, if only for the legacy apps.
On July 14, before Microsoft Surface announcement, IDC predicted that expectations of strong demand for media tablets in the second half of 2012 has led International Data Corporation (IDC) to increase its forecast for the worldwide market to 107.4 million units for the year, up from its previous forecast of 106.1 million units. In the latest forecast update of the Worldwide Quarterly Media Tablet and eReader Tracker, IDC also revised upward its 2013 forecast number from 137.4 million units to 142.8 million units. And by 2016 worldwide shipments should reach 222.1 million units.
In addition to increasing the unit totals for 2012, IDC also updated its forecast to shift a larger percentage of future units toward iOS and away from Android. IDC now expects iOS to grow its share of the market in 2012 to 62.5%, up from 58.2% in 2011. Meanwhile Android's share will slip from 38.7% in 2011 to 36.5% in 2012. IDC expects third-place Blackberry to slip from 1.7% to 1%.
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