Microsoft has now officially announced the Surface -- more specifically the Microsoft Surface for Windows RT and the Microsoft Surface for Windows 8 Pro. The difference in branding between Apple's disyllabic iPad and Microsoft's mouthful of a brand highlights the almost diametrically opposed philosophies behind the two approaches as well.
iPad is singular and mobile native. Surface is bifurcated and seeks to bridge the divide between mobile immigrant and native. iPad is the epitome of Steve Jobs' obsession to simplify and democratize computing, desperate to dent the universe and drag the mainstream into the future. Surface is the epitome of Steve Ballmer's obsession with Windows, a Microsoft wounded and waylaid by anti-trust desperate to maintain some of their desktop relevance in the age of internet and interconnected devices.
Microsoft bet big on Windows, and with muscle and resolve they won what was up until now the biggest prize in technological history. But they lost badly on the internet. They've been bloodied in media, though the fight is far from over. And their mobile strategy has seen them ground-and-pounded through a mess of partnerships, Kins, and new partnerships.
Now they have Surface. And now they have to win.