December 22, 2014 03:34 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

  • Google Scrubbing Search Results

    Video What’s the Top 'Trending' Search This Year?

    At the top of Google’s top-trending searches list is Robin Williams, the American comedian and actor who died four months ago. The list also includes the World Cup, Ebola, Malaysia Airlines, ISIS and Flappy Bird. Chances are that more people have heard of the game Angry Birds than Flappy Bird. More

  • Obama College Sexual Assault

    Video How the US Deals with its Sexual Assault Problem

    A new study shows young women ages 18 to 24 are the most common targets of rape and sexual attack. Many Americans are dealing with the problem. They are hearing and reading about the issue, from awareness and activism at colleges to programs to fight it at the highest levels of government. More

  • Video Helping California’s Homeless

    Federal officials believe there are hundreds of thousands of homeless people nationwide on any given day. Each one lacks a permanent place to live. Reasons for homelessness can include the high cost of housing, poverty and unemployment. Other reasons are mental health problems and bad luck. More

  • Rice farmers in Cambodia tend to their crops. Some 12% of the country's paddy fields are believed to have been destroyed due to the flooding in Southeast Asia.

    Audio Cambodian, Thai Rice Voted Best in the World

    For the third straight year, the World Rice Conference has voted Cambodian rice as the world’s best. This year Cambodia shares the award with Thailand. Cambodia produced just one percent of the world’s rice in 2012. It is trying to increase that amount. The award may help. More

  • Chinese President Xi Jinping, left, and U.S. President Obama participate in a welcome ceremony for President Obama at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2014. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

    Audio Is China Starting to Live its Dream?

    Trust in the American dream may be disappearing. But halfway around the world, a new dream has been gaining strength -- the Chinese dream. To be exact: President Xi Jinping’s Chinese dream. But, what is the Chinese dream? And how has President Xi started to make his dream for the country a reality? More

Featured Stories

  • Obama National Christmas Tree

    Audio The History of Christmas in America

    In the first half of the 19th century, Christmas was a very different kind of holiday than it is today. People did not have a set way of celebrating. Christmas was not even an official holiday yet. More

  • Video Music Shows in Private Homes Gain Popularity

    Attending a live musical performance, be it in a huge arena or a small cafe, is an exciting experience. But here in the U.S., a very different kind of performance is gaining popularity: house concerts. “There's just a totally unique experience as opposed to playing like a coffee shop or a bar." More

  • Lee Surrenders to Grant at Appomatox

    Audio Southern General Robert E. Lee Surrenders at Appomattox

    General Robert E. Lee’s military skill and intelligence helped extend the war between the states. But even his skill could not save the South from the industrial power of the North and its mighty armies -- armies that were better-fed and better-equipped. On Sunday, August 9, Lee surrendered. More

  • Uganda Playground for Disabled Children

    Audio Helping Uganda’s Disabled Children Play

    You may think that all children have freedom to play. But for children who look differently from others or have physical disabilities, the idea of play can seem far away. An organization in Uganda is seeking to change that. Read on to learn words needed to talk about this sometimes difficult topic. More

  • A microneedle used to inject glaucoma medications into the eye is shown next to a liquid drop from a conventional eye dropper. (Georgia Tech Photo: Gary Meek

    Audio Tiny Needles Treat Eye Disease

    Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness around the world. In the United States, more than two million people suffer from the disease. Now, researchers are developing very small needles that may offer a more effective and painless treatment for glaucoma and other eye diseases. More

Practice Your Writing

Confessions of an English Learner BlogConfessions of an English Learner Blog

Tell us About Our Programs