The Next Microsoft Era

Joshua Topolsky breaks down what Microsoft’s Surface Tablet means for the company in the grand scheme of things:

In fact, the entire tablet was designed in-house by Microsoft’s teams, and if you believe what was said in the presentation yesterday, design and functionality in hardware has suddenly become a big deal in Redmond.

That’s a big shift, and it’s an important one. The announcement of the Surface shows that Microsoft is ready to make a break with its history — a history of hardware partnerships which relied on companies like Dell, HP, or Acer to actually bring its products to market.

That may burn partners in the short term, but it could also give Microsoft something it desperately needs: a clear story.

The Surface Tablet, which if it is as good as MSFT is making it seem, will be a full-fledged replacement for laptops. It’s also a tablet. Everyone who has an iPad still uses a laptop for certain computing needs. Microsoft is basically saying you only need one device to do both.

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