Now that the smoke has settled and we've all had a chance to take in Microsoft's sudden Surface tablet announcement, we need to ask ourselves, can the Surface live up to its hype? Here's three things Microsoft needs to get right if it wants the Surface to have any chance of success at disrupting the iPad and Android-dominated tablet market.
Microsoft is the secret owner of a powerful ecosystem. "Secret," because until now the company has done very little to get its various products to talk to one another. Today Microsoft is taking a promising step forward, announcing that Windows Phone 8 will be designed from the ground up to natively interact with Windows 8 when both launch later this year. Alongside this deep integration, with Windows Phone 8, Microsoft is pushing a redesigned Metro homescreen that allows for more user control, a SIM-based mobile wallet and a built-in mapping solution that isn't Google Maps.
It took two years and three iPads later, but today, at a special event in Los Angeles, Microsoft unveiled its answer to Apple's tablet: the Surface. (No, it's not that Surface.) The Surface runs Windows 8 and is the slickest hardware Microsoft's released since the Xbox 360.
Microsoft's drumming up a huge wad of excitement for a mystery announcement slated for later today. Is it a tablet? A last minute rumor revealing a leaked document suggests Microsoft will unveil a 7-inch Xbox tablet.
While most people were celebrating Father's Day this weekend, the gaming world was rocked to the very core when an alleged 56-page document document (with images) claiming to detail Microsoft's next-gen Xbox plans surfaced.
Much praise has been heaped on Windows 8 tablets for being a different experience than iOS and Android, but there is still no poster child tablet to rally up consumers. New speculation suggests that Microsoft could unveil its very own flagship tablet to lead the Windows 8 charge next Monday.
Microsoft had an awesome idea: imagine if your Kinect could tell how you were feeling by analyzing your body language, or even the expression on your face. Then Microsoft took it to the inevitable, shrug-worthy conclusion: using this innovation as a better way to serve you ads.
Microsoft's impressive SmartGlass has been billed by many as a shot across Nintendo's bow. After all, even if the Wii U operates on wholly different technology and software, the end result is remarkably similar. However, at E3, we were able to learn that the Wii U will retain at least one potent advantage over SmartGlass. That is, the ability to play full-scale titles on the second screen.
With the Xbox 360 already dominating the living room, it only makes sense for Microsoft to want to wrangle up the tablets and smartphones to create a seamless multimedia experience. That's Xbox SmartGlass.
It was rumored that Sony's next PlayStation (currently code-named "Orbis") and Microsoft's next-gen Xbox (code-named Durango) might lose the optical drive in favor of digitally-downloaded games. The WSJ's learned that these ideas were once very real at some point during development.