Microsoft Surface: Is a keyboard a step backwards?
Image by ericnvntr
Surface by Microsoft is a brand new direction in tablet design, but is it the right direction? Isn’t having a keyboard, well, a little bit passé?
Yes it is:
No matter how small a shell you manage to squeeze it in, a keyboard adds unnecessary weight and mass to the Microsoft Surface. For a device that is meant for portability, why go through the painstaking process of stuffing the components of a modern computer into such a slim frame, if only to have to clip on an additional accessory?
It’s not a proper keyboard
Early reports from the unveiling of the Microsoft Surface revealed that journalists were only allowed to get hands on a model not connected to its keyboard. Display models that were attached to their keyboards remained off limits. Was Microsoft dampening any chance of negative reports from this unveiling?
The first hands-on reports from testers will have a big influence on how this tablet is perceived to its target audience; within that audience are ‘word per minute’ hungry business users…
Developers will get lazy
The Microsoft Surface puts developers in an awkward position. Do they revolutionise their existing software to run as touch screen only, or make a touch screen port that works well enough, but rely on people to use the keyboard attachment to get work done faster? Hardly revolutionary thinking, but it will happen. In a world where companies like Softel Group are working on interactive TV and the other high-tech solutions, it seems a bit strange to be going back to clunky old ideas again…
No it isn’t:
It’s an added bonus
The keyboard is an additional extra. If Microsoft are serious about making a big impact in the tablet market, they will focus on tablet-specific technology and software. The keyboard is an additional extra if people want to use it that most other tablets don’t offer.
People want accessories
The official iPad smart cover is hugely popular, so chances are that Microsoft would have released an official cover anyway. The fact that they managed to squeeze a keyboard into the deal is amazing!
It has business appeal
Apart from ‘creative’ industries, Microsoft based computers are the workhorse of industry. Apple even cheekily hints at this themselves in the popular series of adverts.
Are you for, or against, the inclusion of a keyboard?