This September or October, depending on when the powers that be decide to release their gadgets, we’ll see Apple’s iPhone 5 launch, and we’ll see Microsoft’s ARM-powered Windows RT tablet launch too, with the Intel-powered Windows 8 tablet to come ’90 days’ after the first tablet launches.
Although we’ve seen the unbelievably photorealistic “fake” black iPhone 5 renders from Martin Hajek (with Flickr black originals here), up by even more amazing, yet still “fake”, white iPhone 5 renders complete with iOS 6 (with Flickr white originals here), we’ve also seen the “real” Microsoft Surface tablet appear at a Microsoft event in Los Angeles yesterday.
And, just as you can see the black and also the white Flickr photos of those “fake” iPhone 5 models, you can also see the “real” Microsoft Surface launch event, finally available here to watch as an “on-demand”, free event – just like Apple does with its keynotes.
I say “finally available” because Microsoft didn’t stream the event live, and thus I watched a US tech news site’s “live stream” during the event, which ended up being mostly young hipsters desperately trying to be funny as they commented endlessly over the real news, photos and tid-bits their much harder-working colleagues were posting as text and still photos.
Watching the actual video of the event is a far more satisfying experience, just as it is to see those “fake” renders in all their photographic glory, although unlike the fake iPhones, we know the Microsoft Surface Windows tablet is definitely real.
Coming in two versions, one will be a match for the existing iPad called Windows RT, while the other will have the same features yet will be able to run Windows 7 software, and will be running Windows 8.
Aside from an inbuilt stand, ‘vapor magnesium’ case, removable battery, multi-touch screen tech, and an additional stylus capability for the Windows 8 version, a 10.6-inch screen and more, with more information here, Microsoft has also created two very snazzy keyboard covers.
One is but 3mm thick, and has a gesture based, pressure sensitive “QWERTY keyboard” layer built in, while a second 5mm thin cover actually turns those QWERTY keys into keys with actual travel, like a modern notebook keyboard.
It’s an Apple-like level of ingenuity and innovation, and most definitely whets the appetite to see and play with one of these tablets, far more so than many of the Android tablets out there today.
Indeed, Microsoft has definitely managed to back up its “secret squirrel” press invitations with a home run event, even though the analysts have predictably poured out to pour scorn and doubt over Microsoft’s ability to succeed.
It’ll also push Apple even harder to do something extra special with any future ‘iPad 4’ or ‘new 2013 iPad’, while potentially pushing Apple to hurry up on the mythical MacPad Air hybrid some people like myself keep expecting, but Apple isnt’t yet delivering.
In the same timeframe that fake iPhone 5 models have arrived, the real Microsoft Surface Windows tablet has been unveiled, and it looks like actual retail availability of both the iPhone and the ARM-based Windows RT Surface tablet will happen at a very similar timeframe.
That said, the full-powered Windows 8 Surface tablet might not appear until late 2012 or even early 2013, if Microsoft’s announcement that this more powerful version will arrive 90 days after the first version.
So… if you thought the Christmas/holiday/end-of-year shopping bonanza was already going to be big this year on all manner of fronts, it really has just gotten a whole lot bigger still.
The time to really start saving to buy these gadgets is now, if you haven’t already, and if they interest you enough to buy them this year.
May the best technologies win – and may there be more iCompetition still to emerge from under the surface!