New from and for Microsoft: Its first computer, the Surface

This is the first general purpose computer that Microsoft has ever produced, but it’s not exactly the first computer hardware for the company. The Xbox has as much computing power as any desktop computer.

Nevertheless, it looks very interesting. Apple, of course, is downplaying it – did you expect them to do anything else? I think the keyboard is a brilliant move. Apple thinks you should rely on Siri more than a keyboard. Have you ever tried to get a voice-response computer to write a memo with formatting, images, and hyperlinks? You can’t do that stuff while you’re dictating; you’ll have to go back and do it later. So, Apple users’ written correspondence will always be text-only with a bunch of interesting word and punctuation choices from Siri, while Microsoft users’ written correspondence will be right on target (to the limits of the writer, anyway). I’m thinking the included keyboard was a very shrewd move by Microsoft, and Apple is hoping you don’t notice how incredibly useful the first ever peripheral invented for computers (before monitors) really is.

Needless to say, of course, I want one, but I want the Surface Pro version, with the nicer keyboard, more memory, and the ability to run other things than just Metro apps. I’ll have to a wait a little longer.

Meanwhile, I think I will hit the gas on the application that I’ve been designing for a while now… No announcement yet. Just pretend I’m that weird crackpot inventor uncle you have that is out in the garage day and night with the windows drawn and strange sounds emanating forth. And bring me a beer every so often, would you, please?

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