Some people eat, sleep and chew gum, I do genealogy and write...

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Is there a Microsoft Surface in your genealogical future?

Sometimes it is really hard to tell if the competition between Apple and the rest of the computer/mobile device community is really "heating up" or staying about the same. New product announcements are regularly stylized as "Apple killers" but Apple just keeps gaining on the rest of the industry and making tons of money. The real challenge is not between Apple and Microsoft, but between both and Google. Android operating system usage is way ahead of either Apple or Microsoft.

As genealogists we are enticed by the new devices being introduced. Of course there is the component of the genealogical community that is still using Windows XP or some ancient Apple system, but if you are considering an update, you are going to see some major upgrades in hardware over the next year.

Microsoft has started off their offerings with a new Surface Pro 4 seen above (excuse the background noise to the intro video, just mute the sound, they don't say anything anyway). Here is a quote about the new product from MacRumors, an Apple Mac blog.
Overall, the Surface Pro 4 is 30 percent faster than the Surface Pro 3 and 50 percent faster than the MacBook Air, with 16GB of RAM and 1TB of storage. The company says it compromised "nothing" in the new iteration, maintaining a thin body while offering significantly better performance. Microsoft also introduced a new Type Cover, with a larger trackpad, backlit keyboard, and an integrated fingerprint reader for users on the older Surface Pro 3 who don't have the camera authentication of Microsoft Hello on the Surface Pro 4. The Surface Pro 4 will be available on October 26, starting at $899.
Microsoft is also introducing a new Microsoft Surface Book, their competition to the MacBook Pro. The background music is better in this video.

Here is what MacRumors has to say about the Surface Book:
When comparing the Surface Book directly with the MacBook Pro, Microsoft stated that its new laptop is two times faster than Apple's device. The Surface Book will also let customers remove the screen, turning it into a temporary Surface Pro 4-esque tablet. The Surface Book is priced at $1,499 and will launch on October 26, along with the Surface Pro 4. The new Lumia 950 and 950 XL, Microsoft Band 2, Surface Pro 4, and Surface Book will also be available for customers to pre-order beginning tomorrow, October 7.
 For me the issue is not the device as much as it is the operating system. I see the handwriting on the wall; I will have to upgrade my desktop computer some time and my laptop. But for now, I am happy with both and I will stay with Apple.

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