February 01, 2015 00:29 UTC

Science & Technology

Microsoft Competes Against Apple With New Tablet

Read, listen and learn English with this story. Double-click on any word to find the definition in the Merriam-Webster Learner's Dictionary.

Microsoft officials introduce the Surface tablet computerMicrosoft officials introduce the Surface tablet computer
x
Microsoft officials introduce the Surface tablet computer
Microsoft officials introduce the Surface tablet computer

Multimedia

Play or download an MP3 of this story
  • Microsoft Competes Against Apple with New Tablet Computer

This is the VOA Special English Technology Report.
 
Microsoft has announced its first tablet computer. It is called the Surface, and it is designed to compete directly with the popular Apple iPad.
 
The computer software maker announced its new tablet last Monday at a media event in Los Angeles. Microsoft will offer two versions of the Surface. Each has a different processor. The Surface for Windows RT runs on an ARM processor. It is less powerful than the Surface for Windows 8 Pro, which uses an Intel processor.
 
The RT is also thinner and weighs less than the Pro. Either tablet weighs no more than nine hundred three grams. Both have screens that are about twenty-seven centimeters in size. That is a little bigger than the iPad’s screen.
 
Microsoft has not said exactly when the new Surface will appear in stores. But, it is expected to be sometime in September or October. This is about the same time that the company plans to release its new Windows 8 computer operating system.
 
Brenda Estrella owns a laptop computer. She has been considering switching to a tablet.
 
BRENDA ESTRELLA: "iPad for me is more of an entertainment device, like I see a lot of people carrying it around or taking pictures on it. For me, it's not that practical, so if Microsoft is coming out with a tablet that actually you can like type, and actually do different things other than just swipe, then that would be better for me."
 
Fox Van Allen is a technology expert. He agrees the Surface seems to have more to offer than the iPad.
 
FOX VAN ALLEN: "It's a very interesting new device. I think the key point here is that it's not just another iPad. It's a device that almost serves as a replacement for a PC."
 
Many technology lovers, including Catherine Clinch, are excited about the new tablet.
 
CATHERINE CLINCH: "The applause moments were on things that I think were predictable -- wow it stands by itself, you don't have buy a stand. It’s all together, the keyboard folds over, it’s a cover -- all those wonderful things. But when I look at this what I think of is the potential to get rid of the netbook, to get rid of the laptop, to maybe even down the line get rid of the full computer."
 
The Surface is meant to compete with the iPad. But not everyone is sure it is a better product. This includes iPad user John Ayala.    
 
JOHN AYALA: “Would I buy one over an iPad? No. I like Apple products right now. I am glad there is a competitor and I am glad there is an alternative, but I am sticking with Apple.”
 
For years, Microsoft made software, not computers. A few earlier attempts by the company to make and sell hardware products failed. That included the Zune music player. It could not compete against Apple’s iPod.
 
Estimates place the value of the tablet computer market at about seventy-nine billion dollars this year. Microsoft hopes to capture a share of that market with its latest device.
 
And that's the VOA Special English Technology Report, written by June Simms. Transcripts, MP3s and podcasts of our reports are at voaspecialenglish.com. I'm Steve Ember.
This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Leonardo OG from: Wampia
06/30/2012 11:05 PM
All is well or It's all right.

See you soon.


by: Ha from: Vietnam
06/29/2012 10:49 AM
Woo, i hope to see device soon!!! i think it will sells more than Apple


by: Puchong from: Thailand
06/26/2012 7:48 AM
Thank so much for sound of news, I think it is very good of improve lesiten english.


by: Janet from: California
06/26/2012 3:13 AM
is the key pad cover removable and can you turn it vertical like the iPad ?

In Response

by: Jozsef from: Hungary
06/28/2012 11:02 AM
in most cases the touch screen orientation rotates when you turn the tablet.


by: Yoshi from: Sapporo
06/26/2012 1:45 AM
I agree with Catherine Clinch. This Surface has some advantages other than its lightness and thinness. It's very convenient that it stands by itself and a keyboard is fold in its cover. I wonder how long the Surface would run in one battery charging.


by: Helene from: China
06/26/2012 12:35 AM
I'm happy when I see a new electric device appearing in the store .I worry about my two children who have an Ipad , an Ipod, a laptop and desk computer .when the surface is comming out i have to spend more money for my children because the surface is more offer and more practice than I pad. I hope its prices is less than Ipad i will be happy.


by: firas najjar from: uae
06/25/2012 6:50 PM
if i can join ms tablet to domain and manage it that would a dream come true for me. my second dream is a free light weight office. if these two options are available i'd be the first buyer


by: 123
06/25/2012 5:59 PM
The surface pro is way cool!!!!!!!!!!!!
I hope it is released really quickly, so that lovers of this tablet can buy it quickly.
I am a surface pro tablet lover. I LOVE THIS TABLET MORE THAN OTHER TABLETS


by: Thai Ngan from: Vietnam
06/25/2012 4:43 PM
Hopefully, the Surface would be affordable to the masses.

In Response

by: George from: Georgia
06/28/2012 5:45 PM
VOA - you are incomparable !!! Thanks a lot !!!

Learn with The News

  • NASA's Dawn spacecraft heading toward the dwarf planet Ceres.   (Image - NASA/JPL-Caltech)

    Video NASA Spacecraft, Dawn, Close to Reaching a 'Dwarf Planet'

    Dawn is set to reach the dwarf planet Ceres in March. Scientists will use the spacecraft to gather clues about whether the distant, ice-covered object may have once had conditions to support life as we know it. Dawn, which left Earth seven years ago, will also explore another small planet, Vesta. More

  • Students learning computer skills on a mobile bus in Nairobi, Kenya

    Video Mobile Computer Lab Helps Thousands in Nairobi Slum

    A non-profit group is working to give Kenya’s poorest citizens access to information and technology. The Craft Silicon Foundation provides people who live in Kawangware a computer lab and computer training classes on a mobile bus. The bus has 12 computers powered by the sun through solar panels. More

  • Audio Former Secretaries of State Discuss National Security

    Henry Kissinger, George Schultz and Madeleine Albright talked about Islamic militants, immigration and the crisis in Ukraine. Protesters interrupted the event and tried to arrest Kissinger. They accused him of wrongdoing in South America, Vietnam and other countries. | As It Is More

  • Patriots Football

    Audio The Epidemic of Cheating in Sports

    Throughout time, cheating in sports has caused debate and dispute. Athletes often do whatever it takes to win in competition. Some take drugs that are meant to improve their performance, such as steroids. These might make them run faster or hit a baseball harder. More

  • freedom house vid

    Video Freedom House: Democratic Ideals Threatened Around the World

    The rights group Freedom House has reported a general decline in political and civil rights around the world last year. The group said its measure of international freedom has dropped in each of the past nine years. It added that democratic ideals are now under the greatest threat in 25 years More

Featured Stories

  • Hillary Rodham Clinton, left, joins U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., and Gov. Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., during a get out the vote rally.

    Audio Why Do So Few US Women Hold Top Jobs?

    A new study by the Pew Research Center found that the public says women are just as qualified as men to hold top positions in business and politics. But women are still not equally represented in those top jobs. Most Americans think they will see a woman president in their lifetimes. More

  • AFC Championship Football

    Superbowl Sunday: The Patriots, the Seahawks and Katy Perry, Too

    The National Football League championship game is hugely popular with sports fans and television advertisers. Tens of millions of people watch the game for the competitive play and for the funny commercials broadcast throughout. Many also enjoy the halftime show. This year Katy Perry will entertain. More

  • NYC subway art

    Video New York's 'Underground Museum' Pleases Passersby

    For the past thirty years, artists have been asked to create works of art for New York’s huge subway and train system. The works often relate to city life or to the neighborhood of a station. Some people call it New York’s “underground art museum," with over 250 pieces of original artwork. More

  • agridrone

    Video French Farmers Are Using Drones to Examine Their Crops

    It used to be mostly the military that used small, unpiloted aircraft, called “drones.” The little planes were very costly. But as they have dropped in price more people have begun to use them. Rescue workers and farmers are among the new users. The drones save money and time. More

  • Video Is There a Better Way to Track Passenger Planes?

    New technology could help to more closely follow passenger airplanes, and find them when they crash; international group to meet next month to discuss changes. Airline industry leaders and regulators want to improve airplane safety. They want better, more dependable tracking devices. More

Practice Your Writing

Confessions of an English Learner blog
Confessions of an English Learner blog

 

 

 

Tell us About Our Programs