The Microsoft Surface Tablet is already starting to be overhyped, after being announced early last week. Meanwhile, the folks of gottabemobile have an excellent piece on why keyboard-based slates are doomed and can’t really compete with the iPad. Before the first iPad was released, I mean months before, people were already predicting it would suck and that people would miss their beloved keyboards.

Now guess what, the iPad sold big time and other companies are still trying to lure people back into loving keyboards. And now Microsoft revealed the new Surface Tablet, with a very interesting keyboard, but will people love it? It they would have, the products pictured above would have really taken off and not be remembered as failures. These are all Windows tablets and the Surface is possibly the only one of them to at least become famous. The first one is the HP TC110, that was loved for its then innovative attachable keyboard.

The second was a mere project/prototype, the Microsoft Origami Project from back in 2006. While other companies are trying to go past touchscreens and into eye controlled scrolling for example or typing in mid air and interacting with a Kinect-like camera, for some reason Microsoft decided it’s time to stick to the roots on this one. They’re basing the implementation of the keyboard accessory on the Microsoft Surface Tablet on the fact that it looks kind of cool, but will that be enough? We’ll have to wait and see the first sales figures this winter…

  • JohnnyL53

    I think you’re stretching things a bit to try and make a point. Surface is a tablet, first and foremost. It’s not a tablet with a keyboard no more than being able to hook the iPad up t a keyboard makes it a tablet with a keyboard. Surface will be a success if it succeeds as a tablet. The two keyboards being shown are innovative in that you would be able to have have a keyboard at your fingertips if you should every happen to need one. Otherwise they are in-obtrusive when used as a cover or can be easily detached. If the only think tech writers can seize on as an issue that will point to Surface’s success or failure is the availability of a detachable keyboard then they are really reaching.
    For many people, having that keyboard could make or break whether they decide to go with Surface and not buy a laptop. Most of us don’t even need a mobile computer for work. We only need to check email or read the news or something consumptiony, but sometimes we may actually need to type more than 140 characters for a twitter update and having a thin cover that doubles as a keyboard would be all we need to decide on a tablet instead of a laptop.
    For myself I have been trying to justify a thin and light laptop to take on trips where I would like email/internet access. Sometimes I need to check work email when I am out. With Surface I may not need that laptop.
    It’s a mobile solution that gives you some flexibility. Having a keyboard is not an acknowledgement by MS that Surface has to have one but more of an acknowledgement that the user may need to do more than just poke at a tablet with his finger. Of course you know that if Apple had come out with covers like this for the iPad they would have been hailed as creative/design geniuses.

  • Eppingo

    I have an iPad.  I have two keyboards from third party suppliers, one of which is very much like the Surface keyboard.  Sometimes I use the iPad with the keyboard, sometimes not.  versatility is surely the whole point. 

  • JN

    It is a good thing that MSFT Surface and Google Nexus tablet are coming.  They keeps Apple on its toes to innovate and keep the price down and foremost, being less arrogant and ego maniac.