Microsoft and Apple go head to head

Kristen Laing

Tuesday, October 23, 2012    

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THIS week will see two of technology's heavyweights, Microsoft and Apple, square off in the Tablet arena. Microsoft has officially stated that it will release its newest and most innovative tablet, Surface, this Friday, October 26, while Apple still has its loyalists in the dark — only promising to make a special announcement at their event today, the 23rd, under the cryptic tagline: "We've got a little more to show you".

iPad Mini for real this time?

Though the iPad Mini rumour mill has been churning since late 2009, it seems that their may be some truth in the rumour that today will be the day that the Mini is revealed.

The Wall Street Journal reported on October 7 of this year that Apple has placed an order for 10 million units of the iPad Mini to component suppliers in Asia, though this is after they had previously reported that production has already started on the device. Supposed leaked pictures of the smaller iPad have also popped up on Twitter and Instagram, though it has not been confirmed if these leaked photos are real.

The rumoured iPad is said to have a 7.85-inch display and will also sport the new Lightening connector found on the iPhone 5. But whether Apple dispels Mini rumours or confirms them today, our only hope is that whatever they release will not be another technological letdown like the iPhone 5.

Surface back-ordered

On the other side of the technology globe, Microsoft has learned what innovative ideas and a stellar ad campaign can do for sales of an initial release product. The Surface went on sale for pre-orders, last Tuesday, October 16, four months after it was unveiled by Microsoft. And as of last Sunday, October 21, a Microsoft representative confirmed with cnet.com, all Microsoft Surface tablets are now officially back-ordered in the US. This means that the orders cannot currently be filled, but only recorded for delivery at a later date. The cheapest and most popular US$499, 32GB models being pushed as far back as three weeks.

The Surface gained popularity through a series of brightly coloured, upbeat ads that showed the 10.6-inch tablet with its own built-in kick stand and a snap-on 3mm thick Touch Cover keyboard (optional) that doubles as the tablets cover. The tablet also comes with front and rear facing HD cameras; and the Windows RT operating system, which unfortunately is not compatible with older Windows applications, though it does come with the Microsoft Office Home Suite.



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