Monday: Headlines

18 Jun

Microsoft fans rejoice! The company announced the release of “Surface.”

Picture courtesy of Microsoft.com

It’s a tablet, similar to Apple’s iPad, but with a very slim keyboard and of course the Microsoft technology. From the pictures and the article information, “Surface” appears to be cross between Apple’s iPad and Apple’s MacBook Air. According to the Mashable.com article, “Surface” is “The first of its kind, Surface is designed to work as both tablet and PC and comes in a version running Windows RT as well as a version running Windows 8 Pro.” Reviews of the product are not yet available; however, it is exciting to see a new product enter the tablet category. While I still use some Microsoft products, I have been converted to an Apple lover. Still, I would be very curious to try out “Surface.” I am interested to see the products strengths and weaknesses compared to the strengths and weaknesses of the iPad. Apple’s iPad has certain carved out a niche for itself. It’s strengths (portability, touch screen, image quality, etc.) has allowed to be used in a variety of ways, including to service customers in department stores and to show job portfolios in interviews. “Surface” will need to distinguish itself and carve out its own niche in the tablet market to be successful. Of course, Microsoft’s biggest challenge is being “sexy.” Apple products have a “sex appeal.” They are cutting edge, good looking, and very visible. Plus, everyone wants to own something that Steve Jobs invented! Apple products are hot! Microsoft’s “Surface” will have to show off its unique personality and show off some leg to surpass the iPad.

After reading the article and looking at the pictures, what are your impressions? Can “Surface” rival or even surpass the iPad? Which product would you prefer?

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One more quick headline for you all, courtesy of Mashable.com. According to a report from the Association of American Publishers, “Ebook sales surpass hardcover” sales for the first time in our country’s history. Supposedly, I am apart of the high tech generation. However, I love buying and owning hardcover books, so this news was disheartening to me. I cannot image not having a bookstore on a college campus or having a library in my hometown. As an English major, I cannot help but wonder how this will change our culture, specifically how our culture interacts with literature. I think we are moving away from long novels. We want shorter, faster pieces of literature. I also think we will lose our emotional connection to literary pieces. Part of the emotional connection to books, like Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice or John Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath, is the physical interaction. Something about seeing the words on a page, holding the novel in your hand, turning the pages, underlying sentences you love builds a very special relationship between the reader and the book. The emotional connection and reaction will definitely change with poems. Many poets, such as acclaimed children’s poet Shel Silverstein, arrange their poems in a very specific way. The physical form of the poem is meant to invoke additionally meaning. But this will be lost on a hand held reading device. While I am not thrilled about this news, I recognize that the time is coming where books will be a thing of the past. If you did not believe it before, believe it now! Hardcover books, the printed word are dying out. Kindles and Nooks are taking over.

How do you feel about hardcover books declining in sales? How will this change our culture?

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Here’s a quick follow-up to Monday’s post regarding Microsoft’s big news. Check out these articles from Mashable.com for reviews on the Microsoft “Surface” and for comparisons to Apple’s iPad.

“Hands-on With Microsoft’s Tablet: Plenty of Surface, Not Much Depth”

“Microsoft’s Surface Tablet RT: How it Compares to the iPad” 

After reading these articles would you still buy one?

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