After attending the MMA Forum a short while back, then spending two days at ad:tech and finally listening to reports from CommunicAsia which just ended, I had really had enough of the digital world. I desperately need a holiday from all this before I crashed like an overloaded site.

Then came the announcement that Microsoft was launching a tablet. Steve Ballmer who is certainly nowhere as cool as the late Steve Jobs, presented Microsoft’s new Surface to the press this week. As someone in love with my iPad, I was not particularly interested at first. But as the details emerged, it became more and more obvious that here was a device which could threaten the supremacy of the iPad. Obviously as someone who uses Windows on a PC and laptop daily, any device which links me better with my main OS deserves investigation. But there are three major advantages which could give the Surface the edge to everyone. One, it has a proper stand which means you can view movies sitting back in a chair, secondly, the lid accessory on the iPad has become a slim external keyboard on the Surface and, finally, there is a USB port which is a major omission, for some of us, on the iPad.

While the iPad has to some degree replaced my laptop, the Surface can seriously take over. My only suggestion for an improvement might be to have a cordless, screen-less, wafer-thin phone which one could slide out of the case. Then I need only carry one device!

I write this without having seen the Surface or tried it out. I hope I won’t be disappointed. Microsoft needs to market this well. It is a major step for a company better known for software (save the Xbox). I hope the guys in HQ will invest enough budget in advertising and smart creative to sell the Surface properly.

Competition encourages innovation so we should be pleased to see the newcomer. I am now going away to a quiet island to sit on the sand and swim in a clear blue sea and forget all these digital shows for a while, leaving the high-tech world behind.

But, of course, I wouldn’t dream of getting on that ferry without my iPad in the beach bag!

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