When Oprah Winfrey endorses your product, it's almost sure to fly off the shelves. Winfrey offered a major thumbs-up for the Microsoft Surface tablet on her Web site that could give the product a holiday shopping boost.
The Microsoft Surface endorsement came as part of "Oprah's Favorite Things 2012," a feature on Oprah.com where the celebrity picks, plans, tests, touches, sniffs and snuggles thousands of items and picks her very favorites. The list will be featured in O's December issue, but the endorsement is getting attention online this week.
Under the header "Take One Tablet and Call Me in the Morning," Oprah writes, "The Surface, Microsoft's first tablet, feels like a Mercedes-Benz to me, people! The full-size keyboard built right into the cover makes work easy, the very smart kickstand makes watching a movie or Skyping a friend a delight, the less than a pound-and-a-half weight makes a great alternative to a laptop, and the many other features make it fun for work and play. Now, that's a wowser!"
Oprah Also Liked iPad
The iPad won similar honors from Oprah, landing on the Favorite Things list in 2010. Here's what Oprah said about Apple's product at the time: "Words cannot describe what I feel for this magnificent device. Thanks to my iPad, I now read about four newspapers a day. I write my column for 'O' magazine on the iPad way before the deadline because I love writing on it so much."
It's not clear if Oprah will scrap her iPad for a Microsoft Surface, or if she'll comment on the new iPad mini. But Microsoft has to be thrilled with the nod from the former talk show queen. When Oprah speaks, people listen.
Designed and engineered by Microsoft employees, Surface promises advances in industrial design. For example, Surface lets software take center stage by supporting a full-sized USB port and a 16:9 aspect ratio. Surface has edges angled at 22 degrees, which Microsoft said is a natural position for the tablet at rest or in active use. The idea is for the hardware to fade into the background and the software to stand out.
Microsoft's Industrial Design
Microsoft pointed to Surface design features like the casing, which is created using what's called VaporMG, a magnesium-based combination of material selection and process to mold metal and deposit particles that creates a finish similar to a luxury watch. By leveraging this approach, Microsoft said, Surface is thin and light yet also rigid and strong. The VaporMG approach also makes room for a built-in kickstand that makes it convenient to watch movies or take photos and videos with the Surface.
Using pressure-sensitive technology, Surface's Touch Cover senses keystrokes as gestures. That paves the way for faster touch typing than with an on-screen keyboard. Touch Cover clicks into Surface via a built-in magnetic connector. Microsoft also offers a 5mm-thin Type Cover that adds raised keys for a more traditional typing feel.
Microsoft will offer two models of Surface: one running an ARM processor and Windows RT, and one with a third-generation Intel Core i5 processor and Windows 8 Pro. Surface for Windows RT is available now, and the Windows 8 Pro model will be available in the first quarter of 2013.