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A vision for Microsoft's smartwatch and four more Surface family members

Jon Phillips | April 16, 2013
Don't discount the Surface Watch outright. With just the right features it could be much more successful than any Surface Tablet.

Surface No-Excuses Keyboard

Microsoft's Type Cover and Touch Cover keyboard accessories are valiant efforts, but neither delivers a great typing experience. The Type Cover provides very little key travel, and the Touch Cover doesn't even provide any keys whatsoever. These are stopgap solutions, and they're not impressing anyone. I can't use either keyboard cover comfortably, and I haven't read a single product review that professes unconditional love for either one of them.

Enter the Surface version of the best Microsoft mobile keyboard you could possibly imagine.

Microsoft Touch Cover keyboard
Does anyone actually love either the Touch Cover or Type Cover? Let's see a show of hands.

Redmond's engineers will fashion a keyboard that elegantly connects to the Surface tablets' existing magnetic cover connector. The new keyboard offers generous key travel along with smaller keys than what we find in the Type Cover, widening the ridiculously narrow key gaps that Microsoft somehow thinks people like. In one fell swoop, the No-Excuses Keyboard turns the Surface tablets into productivity powerhouses, and people begin to take the hardware seriously.

Surface 8 Tablet

How can Microsoft not be planning to release a smaller version of its Surface tablet? The Wall Street Journal reports a wee tablet is in development, and, indeed, Microsoft needs a low-priced position in the tablet market, if not also a direct response to the iPad Mini, Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire. In my fanciful mind's eye, Surface 8 boasts an 8-inch display (naturally), and comes with a custom OS and software build that borrows the best from Windows 8, and-yes-tosses out the desktop entirely. It's a move designed to gently acclimate users to the idea of a Windows OS that's entirely dependent on the modern UI.

So what do you think? Which of the products above will be the first extension of the Surface family? The current tablets may not be selling well, but standing still isn't an option for Microsoft. We will see another Surface product this year. We just don't know whether it will stand on a table, fit in our pocket, or go on our wrists,


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