The Showcase: Microsoft’s Final Stand

On the surface, Microsoft’s latest venture unravels itself in an unfamiliar role in the technology landscape – being the underdog. Four generations of Apple’s iPads, innumerable Galaxy Tabs and Amazon’s fervently waited Kindle Fire reign paramount. The Microsoft Surface RT is an impressive tablet computer, but has to be cutting-edge to challenge Apple’s supremacy. The eminent release of Windows 8 re-enforces the make or break contingency Microsoft faces, but does it stand a chance?

At first glance, you’ll find yourself drooling over this sumptuous piece of machinery. In terms of appearance, Microsoft’s latest product is the kinkiest porn my eyes have set view upon. Imagine going to a prom with Megan Fox; the number of jealous stares you’d draw. Now imagine walking around the Computer Science atrium on Jubilee Campus with one of these bad boys wrapped under your arm. Rather than precociously assuming my sexuality to be ‘Robo-sexual’, allow me to elucidate why the Surface would allure even the most alpha of males to a lifestyle of Mechanophilia.

The tablet boasts a distinctive design, facilitated by those unmistakeable keyboard covers with enough colours to match the mood of a schizophrenic. The 10.6 inch widescreen display is more than adequate for watching your favourite movies in glistening HD. Whilst Apple’s iPad 4 fosters a superior Retina Display, the Surface packs a punch through its remarkable wide-screen viewing angles.

Accommodating premium materials in its construct, the Surface RT has a distinctive look with its tapered edges. Apart from an inordinate feel, it’s loaded with some neat additions that make a nerd’s life that little much easier. Full-size USB ports along with an expandable SD card memory slot provide an immersive mobile experience. The built in kickstand is a cheeky appendage, re-iterating the Surface’s hardware prowess. Despite its aesthetic appeal, however, I believe true love is more than just skin deep.

Let’s take a moment to consider Microsoft’s newly released operating system, Windows 8. Combining the previous interface of Windows 7 – which we know and love – it integrates sublimely with the new fun and interactive live-tiles. At times it seems like an information overload, but that’s not necessarily bad now is it?

Windows 8 is a game changer. But the Surface RT does not implement this same operating system. Contrary to what adverts have you believing, the RT is inherently a different product to what you or I regard as Windows 8. Try downloading your most beloved apps such as VLC media player or Adobe Photoshop: you can’t. Windows RT restricts which APIs (application programming interfaces) developers can use, so RT apps must inhibit only Windows style interface, ultimately limiting the number of downloadable features. Seems bogus to me, and I’m Microsoft’s Student Ambassador.

To conclude, the Surface is a bit like the young blonde you’d bring to a work dinner to impress your cohorts. You’ll be unable to keep your hands off her for a night or two, touching and exploring, but she’ll never have you falling head over heels.

Adil Manji


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