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Microsoft launches the Surface Pro, a powerful Windows 8 PC with all the benefits of a tablet

Last year Microsoft launched both its new Windows 8 operating system and for the first time entered the hardware market with the Surface tablet pc. This represented the biggest shift in a generation for business IT systems and follows the popular uprising created by Apple for tablet and mobile computing.

The first Microsoft Surface named the RT was released last September as a tablet that combined the good looks of a tablet with a unique screen protector provided by a detachable keyboard cover. This initial version released last year runs a cut down version of Windows and enables the same look and feel experience as that obtained using windows 8 on a PC or Microsoft phone.

The second version, the Surface Pro, was released in the US on 9th February and is due for launch in the UK in April. In the US the release was sold out almost overnight.  The popularity of this new devise is driven by the fact that it looks like a tablet but can do everything other computers can in terms of running full blown windows applications. In effect it provides the power of laptop PC combined with the convenience of a touch screen tablet so therefore bridges the gap between the corporate world of windows applications and the mobile usability of a tablet.

For business users the Surface Pro reconciles the new dilemma that has emerged when working remotely of whether to take the laptop, the tablet or both!; often resulting lugging about a considerable combined weight.  It’s worth noting that the Surface Pro isn’t without some critics who have focused on the shorter battery life and heavier weight than a tablet. However, this misses the main point; the Surface isn’t just a tablet it’s a full blown PC and as such many business people may see it as an excellent alternative to having to carry around both a laptop and an iPad.

The Surface isn’t designed to be just a tablet you use on the sofa at home or flaunt in a coffee shop when reviewing a recent release on IMDB or watching the latest video on YouTube. It’s a powerful computer with enough performance and graphics capability to rival most other manufacturer’s laptop.

Microsoft’s move in bringing PC operating systems to tablets to run PC applications is definitely something that has enormous business benefits. While the rise in the “bring your own” device to work trend is providing organisations with new found flexibility in mobile working, it also brings huge challenges. Providing the freedom for employees  to use their own tablets and smart phones is creating a whole range of potential internal security threats that could easily nullify any gains.

Hardware platforms like the Surface Pro and Windows 8 enable mobile working without compromising IT security and reduce the chance of data being distributed through an employee’s use of unregulated cloud applications.

In summary the Surface may not be the sort of product to rush out and purchase as an alternative to an iPad, but it is certainly worth considering as an alternative to a laptop for remote or mobile users.

Rob Leverton

Rob has worked as an IT technician and project manager with Connexion for 14 years before moving into his current role as head of the technical services team.

Although Rob comes from a technical background he’s very much a people person and he is exceptionally good at building excellent working relationships with our customers and his technical team to deliver service excellence to our clients.

Rob Leverton

James Stratton

James is passionate about technology and how it can transform business.  Having worked with hundreds of businesses in many different sectors over the last 25 years he has a huge amount of business IT knowledge that he enjoys imparting to Connexions customers.

James is responsible for Connexions strategic development and also still enjoys a role in consulting and sales and marketing