With Google's Nexus 7 rising, Microsoft needs to 'Surface'

Microsoft Windows 8 Surface tablet can't arrive too soon. Google's Nexus 7 appears to be a hit, which could dent enthusiasm for another major tablet platform.

Microsoft Surface.
Microsoft Surface. Microsoft

It's probably an understatement to say that Microsoft is in a hurry to release Windows 8 and the Surface tablets that run on top of it.

Enough of a hurry that Redmond, on Wednesday, needed to make sure you knew that Windows 8 will arrive by October 26 .

I'm guessing the Surface products won't be too far behind.

With Google Nexus 7 on the rise, Microsoft wants to (let's call it a hunch) get in the game before consumers begin focusing too much attention on Android.

Android, you know, the OS that seemed to be stuck in neutral on tablets. Until the $199 Nexus 7 arrived. Now, apparently, Google can't make enough of them .

The big question is how many Nexus 7 tablets will Google sell over the coming months.
The big question is how many Nexus 7 tablets will Google sell over the coming months. Google

That's only going to whet consumers' appetites. Instant cachet like this is priceless. It's what every vendor (Motorola comes to mind) dreams of. The kind of cachet that has been reserved for Apple's iPad.

Yes, Surface is a different creature. It has a 10.6-inch screen and the Windows 8 Pro version will sport powerful Intel Ivy Bridge processors.

But if the Android tablet's time has finally come, Microsoft will have yet another dragon to slay -- as if the iPad wasn't already enough.

Read the full CNET Review

Google Nexus 7 (16GB)

The Bottom Line: With its excellent design, useful software features, and low starting price, the Nexus 7 is the cheapest way to experience the best that the Android OS has to offer. / Read full review

About the author

Brooke Crothers writes about mobile computer systems, including laptops, tablets, smartphones: how they define the computing experience and the hardware that makes them tick. He has served as an editor at large at CNET News and a contributing reporter to The New York Times' Bits and Technology sections. His interest in things small began when living in Tokyo in a very small apartment for a very long time.



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