What Is The Microsoft "Surface" Tablet?

Earlier in the year, I shared a rumor going around that Microsoft was planning to release its own tablet device. As it turns out, it wasn't just another idle rumor after all. Microsoft has in fact come out with its own tablet device-the Surface.

Again, just as rumored, Microsoft has decided to follow in the footsteps of Apple, by developing its own software and hardware for the tablet.

Till this time, Microsoft had chosen to develop software and sell it to other companies, thereby making loads of money on it. Of course, the company did manufacture the hardware for its Xbox gaming console, but this move did not directly impact its competitors, except maybe for Sony, which came out with its own PlayStation.

Now, with Surface, Microsoft will have the double challenge of selling Windows 8 to PC manufacturers who wish to enter the tablet industry, plus selling its own tablets directly to consumers. Needless to say, Microsoft's partners would be miffed with this move, especially also since the giant has set a very high standard for itself with its latest offering.

However, nothing is known about Microsoft's plans for the future. No one seems to know if the company would continue to manufacture these tablets or if it would release the hardware aspect back to its partners at a later time.

The word is that Microsoft will be selling the Surface via its own online stores and Website. If that is the case, then the other manufacturers can sell their own Windows 8 tablets via the other channels, online and otherwise.

Incidentally, the Surface will be available in two variants, both measuring 10.6 inches diagonally, both being slightly bigger than the Apple iPad.

My question here: Is Microsoft taking a big risk with its Surface tablets? Will it eventually end up alienating its own partners?

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