The Microsoft Surface tablet is slated to be launched in the fourth quarter of this year. Several rival manufacturers have spoken about the tablet. As per a report by CNET, Michael Dell of Dell Inc. has said that the sales of the Surface range of tablets would be relatively small.

In an earnings conference call on Tuesday, commenting on the Surface Tablet, Michael Dell said, “I think there's an understanding of the number of units that they're likely to sell is a relatively small percentage. Maybe in the 1 [percent] to 2 percent range of total PC units during next year”.

Microsoft's own hardware unveiled

Microsoft's own hardware will take on that of Dell's

The report also states that Dell CFO Brian Gladden too commented on the Microsoft Surface, “(About) Microsoft entering the space — we've spent time speaking to Microsoft and understanding how they're thinking about it. There clearly are opportunities for us as Windows 8 comes through and how we differentiate our products. At the same time they've announced the Surface product that will be in that space and we'll have products in there. I think you'll see a diverse set of offerings that take advantage of what Windows 8 brings to market”.

This is not the first time a hardware manufacturer has spoken about the Surface tablet. At the end of June, Oliver Ahrens, Acer's Senior VP and President for Europe, Middle East and Africa, claimed that Microsoft was trying to adopt Apple’s strategy. He was doubtful that it would succeed. He stated, “I don't think it will be successful because you cannot be a hardware player with two products”. He said that Microsoft would need to change some aspects of its game in order to compete with the likes of Apple. He went on to add, “Microsoft is working with two dozen PC vendors worldwide, including the local guys, whereas Apple is alone, it can more or less do what it wants. Microsoft is a component of a PC system. A very important component but still a component”.

Acer founder, Stan Shih has also voiced his opinion about the Microsoft Surface. Stan Shih has commented that Microsoft has no real intention to sell own-brand tablet PCs and the offering is an ploy to boost adoption of Windows 8. Microsoft hopes that marketing its own-brand tablet PCs will encourage vendors to offer Windows 8 tablet PCs, and thereby help expand market demand for the product line, Shih analysed. Once the purpose is realised, Microsoft will not offer more models, Shih said. Vendors adopting Windows 8 should interpret Microsoft's intentions positively, as they will benefit from Microsoft's marketing, Shih indicated.

Microsoft's new line-up of tablets includes a Surface running on the ARM processor that features Windows RT and another running on a third-generation Intel Core processor, featuring Windows 8 Pro. The brand is touting the Surface as “PCs built to be the ultimate stage for Windows”. Company executives stated that the Windows tablets and accessories feature significant advances in industrial design and attention to detail. The Surface is designed to seamlessly transition between consumption and creation, without compromise. It delivers the power of amazing software with Windows and the feel of premium hardware in one exciting experience.

Surface for Windows RT specifications and features:

  • OS: Windows RT
  • Weight: 676g
  • Depth: 9.3mm
  • Display: 10.6-inch ClearType HD Display
  • Energised: 31.5 Wh
  • Connectivity: microSD, USB 2.0, Micro HD Video, 2×2 MIMO antennae
  • Productive: Office ‘15’ Apps, Touch Cover, Type Cover
  • Practical: Vapor Mg case and stand
  • Configurable: 32GB, 64GB

Surface for Windows 8 Pro specifications and features:

  • OS: Windows 8 Pro
  • Weight: 903g
  • Depth: 13.5mm
  • Display: 10.6-inch ClearType Full HD Display
  • Energised: 42 Wh
  • Connected: microSDXC, USB 3.0, Mini DisplayPort Video, 2×2 MIMO antennae
  • Productive: Touch Cover, Type Cover, Pen with Palm Block
  • Practical: Vapor Mg case and stand
  • Configurable: 64GB, 128GB

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