Could the company’s Surface AIO PC be a wake-up call for Apple?
Scratching the Surface: the next step for Microsoft’s Surface range of devices will be the Surface AIO PC, which may look similar to this illustration by VectorDoc (via Shutterstock).
Microsoft is enjoying some success with their Surface 2-in-1 devices. Featured on many blogs and news sites, its Surface PCs were the subject of a web browser test with Edge coming out on top for battery consumption. Today, Tabard IT have learned about Microsoft’s plans to develop a Surface AIO PC. With Apple’s iMacs having led the fold, the Cupertino company has seen its star wane. Its iMac PCs have lost ground to their own Macbooks and iPads. Low-cost Android tablets and Google Chromebooks have had a similar effect, though Windows-powered PCs have also been affected by this development.
In spite of the above issues, there is still a user base that hankers for ‘traditional’ desktop PCs. Price wise, the iMac is out of the league of several households. Microsoft’s Surface AIO aims to cater for this market. To quote the late Jack Tramiel of Commodore Business Machines, a case of “power without the price”. Microsoft’s forthcoming Surface AIO will offer touch screen input, a feature also seen on Asus’ Eee Top PC of 2009, and Hewlett Packard’s HP TouchSmart PC (2007).
The right specification?
Microsoft’s proposed Surface AIO will be aimed at the average person in the street rather than power users and hardcore geeks. As with their present Windows 10 powered Surface laptops, expect compatibility with Windows Phone devices. It will be energy efficient with mobile device levels of power consumption.
The key to their future PC design is a new Intel processor. The Kaby Lake processor, due for launch in 2016 – 17, will offer native USB 3.1 compatibility and improved graphics power. What’s more, the Kaby Lake’s graphical architecture will support 4K video and 3D graphic displays – all with the same power as a fully-charged smartphone or digital tablet.
The right time?
In the last decade, television and internet convergence has gone from pipe dream to reality. Netflix and similar video on demand sites can be accessed from satellite and cable television decoders. A Microsoft Surface AIO could see the media centre PC shift from enthusiasts’ toy to an essential home accessory.
This isn’t only Microsoft’s mantra; the home computer as must-have home appliance was Apple’s idea with the Mac. Apple, take note…
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