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Microsoft Surface: A Misunderstood Jewel

Not a tablet, not a laptop, it's a third category of device.

I have a confession to make: I have a crush on Microsoft Surface.

My crush is carried on from a distance, like all the best crushes. I've only spent about five minutes one-on-one with Surface. My own tablet of choice is my trusty Nexus 7, although I'm tempted by the iPad.

And yet Surface -- or something like it -- has a great deal of appeal for most users. It fills a need not met by the current generation of laptops and tablets.

Notebooks are, of course, great content creation devices. You can take them around and about, put them down on a desk or table, and work. The human brain and WIMP interface (Windows, Icons, Menus, Pointer) have had 30 years to adapt to each other. WIMP computers have become extensions of our own minds, like cars. We don't have to think about using them most of the time. The latest MacBook Airs and Ultrabooks are so light and thin you can slip them in a briefcase and go, like a legal pad. And you can attach a laptop easily to a keyboard, mouse and big external monitor.

But laptops aren't great content-consumption devices. Laptops are, ironically enough, awkward to use for hours at a time on your lap top. You're pretty much limited to sitting upright at a flat surface if you want to use them for long stretches. That's a lousy way to read long prose, or watch a movie or TV show.

Content consumption gets a bad name. Say "content consumption" and people think of watching Two and a Half Men reruns and cat videos. But content consumption can also be high-value. You might be consuming a Dickens novel or Citizen Kane.

Content consumption is important to business. Business users need to read reports, email, whitepapers, business news, presentations, spreadsheets and information delivered over analytics dashboards.

That's where tablets come in. Tablets are great content consumption devices. You can bring 'em anywhere, use them standing up, lying down, or sitting around. You can easily tap out a couple of paragraphs of response to email, or annotation on a PDF.

But tablets are lousy for creation. For most people.

Read the rest of this article on Internet Evolution.

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User Rank: Apprentice
10/21/2013 | 7:46:26 AM
re: Microsoft Surface: A Misunderstood Jewel
Definition of jewel: something costly, useless and pretty.
Until the "pretty" part I'm totally with you defining Surface a jewel.
User Rank: Ninja
11/1/2013 | 9:48:43 PM
re: Microsoft Surface: A Misunderstood Jewel
Why don't you compare your definition of jewel with these from merriam-webster:
a valuable stone (such as a ruby or diamond) that has been cut and polished
a piece of jewelry (such as a necklace or a bracelet) that is made of valuable metal and precious stones
someone or something that is highly valued or admired.
But the way, I agree that the Surface Pro is something different. Hopefully, it'll take off and improve in the coming versions.
User Rank: Apprentice
11/5/2013 | 12:36:03 PM
re: Microsoft Surface: A Misunderstood Jewel
Jewels' essence may be more efficiently described by Marilyn Monroe rather than by Merriam-Webster: "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend".
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