Apple's New iPad
Apple's New iPad
As the king of tablets, it's no surprise that Apple's iPad is squarely in Microsoft's Surface cross hairs. The iPad is the reason Microsoft has no presence in the tablet space and could very well be the reason Microsoft is determined to break Apple's hold on the tablet market.
RIM BlackBerry PlayBook
According to Microsoft, the Surface for Windows 8 Pro is designed with corporate users in mind. Well, guess what? So is the RIM BlackBerry PlayBook. So far, the PlayBook hasn't performed all that well in the corporate world. Will the Surface buck that trend?
Acer Aspire S3
Microsoft has said that it believes the Surface can bridge the gap between today's tablets and Ultrabooks. Therefore, the Surface will go up against such Ultrabooks as the Acer Aspire S3. That device, while somewhat expensive, is an attractive device. It's a strong rival Microsoft will have to overcome when the Surface launches.
Dell XPS 13
In an odd turn of events, Microsoft has decided to position itself as a competitor to the Dell XPS 13. For decades, Microsoft and Dell have been strong partners, helping each other grow. Now, though, they're trying to compete for consumer dollars in the mobile space. The Dell XPS 13 likely will be one of the first devices the Surface has to overcome when it launches.
Apple's MacBook Air
If Ultrabooks have made this roundup, why shouldn't Apple's MacBook Air? After all, that's the device that kicked off the Ultrabook craze, and it's the product that can match the Surface both in design and functionality. Look for the MacBook Air and Surface to be real competitors in the coming months.
Pick a Chromebook, Any Chromebook
When Google's hardware partners unveiled their Chromebooks, the search giant said that it viewed the platform as a possible computing opportunity for enterprise customers. Microsoft has said the same about its Surface for Windows 8 Pro. You know what that means? A battle is brewing.
Samsung Galaxy Tab Line
Although much of the focus on the Surface has related to its battle with Apple's iPad, it's just as likely that the Microsoft tablet will also have to contend with Samsung's Galaxy Tab line. Samsung's tablets are leading the Android market, and could prove to be just as worrisome a competitor as Apple's slate.
Apple's iPad Smart Cover
Moving away from hardware for a moment, it's important to point out that Microsoft is also trying to one-up Apple with its Surface cover. Unlike Apple's offering, which is designed solely to protect the iPad, Surface's cover doubles as a multi-touch keyboard. It's a neat idea.
Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime
The Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime is arguably one the products on store shelves right now that closely matches the Surface in features and function. The device acts on one hand as a tablet, but it can be docked into a keyboard to turn it into a small notebook. Microsoft is trying to do much of the same with its Surface, though the "notebook" integration comes by way of its cover.
The Official Death of Netbooks?
It wasn't long ago that Microsoft believed there was a real future ahead for netbooks. Now, though, it's clear that's simply not the case. With the Surface launch, Microsoft will put the final nail in the coffin of netbooks, thanks to their 10.6-inch displays and notebook-like functionality. So long, netbooks. It was nice knowing you.