Buy: Windows 8

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Buy: Windows 8

According to those who have used the operating system, Windows 8 is one of the best software releases Microsoft has offered up in years. The platform is more secure than previous iterations, its design will streamline common activities and its application support will be welcome. The Surface is running Windows 8, making it an immediate winner for some customers.

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Don't Buy: Remember the iPad

The iPad is still the best tablet on the market. That device comes with hundreds of thousands of available applications, and its design is truly second to none. Microsoft's Surface is appealing in its own right, but let's not forget that the software giant doesn't have enough experience in the tablet business. So, until it gets some experience under its belt, it might be better to stick with the tried and true, iPad.

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Buy: Bang for the Buck

The Microsoft Surface comes in at an affordable price for what customers are getting. As noted, the device has a 10.6-inch display, and adds the quad-core Nvidia Tegra 3 for performance. With up to 64GB of onboard storage and shatter-proof technology with Gorilla Glass 2, it offers solid value for the money.

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Don't Buy: It's the Wrong OS Version

Those looking for the latest and greatest version of Windows 8 won't find it in the current Surface that's available for purchase. The Surface is currently available with Windows RT, the software version that runs on ARM-based chips. Unfortunately, Windows RT is not backward-compatible with x86 architecture. That's a problem.

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Buy: You're a Microsoft Fan

One of the immediately apparent features of the Surface is its Microsoft look and feel. So Microsoft fans will feel right at home with the device. From its software features to its hardware design, the whole tablet feels like a Microsoft product. Microsoft fans will love that.

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Don't Buy: Think of the App Support

Those looking for full support for legacy applications will need to ignore the Surface that's available now. As noted, Windows RT is based on the ARM processor, which means that nearly all the programs running on Windows now won't work on the currently available Surface models. That's a major issue.

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Buy: Microsoft's Attention to Detail

Microsoft has done something really special with Surface. The device comes with Gorilla Glass 2, making it scratch- and crack-resistant. The tablet also supports a cover that can act as a screen protector, stand and keyboard. It's that level of attention to detail that makes the Surface so appealing.

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Don't Buy: Other Vendors Are Out There

Don't forget that there are several PC hardware makers looking to take on the Surface. In fact, Dell, Acer and others have already said that they will be delivering Windows 8-based slates. Until those products come out, it might be a good idea to hold off on a Surface purchase until seeing what the competing OEMs have to offer.

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Buy: You're a Consumer

The Windows RT versions of the Surface tablet seem ideal for consumers who don't necessarily care about legacy app support, but want an alternative to the iPad. On paper, the device and its big 10.6-inch screen look like fine companions for tablet users who just want to kick back, surf the Web and answer an email every now and then.

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Don't Buy: You're an Enterprise

For enterprise customers, the Surface with Windows RT is a non-starter. The device won't support corporate software out of the box and isn't running the high-powered Windows 8 Pro or Windows 8 Enterprise that corporate customers would want. Simply put, for now, the Surface is not right for the enterprise.

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