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During their splashy press conference on Monday, Steve Ballmer and the other Microsoft execs referred to the company’s upcoming Surface devices as tablets. So it makes sense to compare them to other tablets, right?
Actually, that’s only half-right. The ARM-based Surface for Windows RT looks like–and will be priced like–competing tablets, but the Surface for Windows Pro will be too heavy and expensive to compete head-to-head with the iPad. (For the sake of simplicity, I’ll refer to the two models as “Surface RT” and “Surface Pro” hereafter.) Surface Pro’s natural competition: Windows Ultrabooks.
The tricky thing is that the Surface Pro is the tablet that many Windows users think they’ve been waiting for. It’s the one that can do anything a desktop can do: It can run the apps we have already (like Adobe Photoshop CS6, and Camera Bits Photo Mechanic), graphics-intensive games (like Diablo), and other tried-and-true Windows software; and it has a serious laptop processor, Intel’s Core series, that can power through complicated work.
Evidently the Surface Pro won’t compete with top tablets in display resolution, either. Microsoft has said that the Surface Pro will have a “Full HD” display, meaning a display with a resolution of at least 1920 by 1200 pixels. That would put it on a par with the best Android tablets from Asus and Acer; but because those displays are 0.5 inch smaller, their pixel density should be better. And none of those tablets’ resolutions can compare with the Apple iPad’s at 2048 by 1536 pixels.
Surface RT vs. iPad and Android Tablets
If the Surface Pro isn’t intended to compete directly with the iPad, so be it. But what about the Surface RT? How will it stack up against an iPad or Android tablet? Those tablets, like Surface RT, run lower-power, ARM-based processors.
The Surface RT will give you more ports than most competing tablets, along with the ability to view two apps on one screen. The Surface RT tablets will carry at least 32GB of storage (the iPad and many Android tablets start at just 16GB). Though the Surface RT won’t have the iPad’s high resolution, it will have an optically bonded display, which eliminates the annoying air gap between the screen and the glass for clearer images, improved contrast, and reduced screen glare. Like its more powerful sibling, it will also have a comfortable built-in kickstand. All of those features represent useful improvements on today’s tablets.
But Microsoft’s Surface RT runs into trouble on other metrics. If its weight turns out to be 1.5 pounds (as currently estimated), it will be just 0.06 pound heavier than the current iPad; but iPad itself got heavier this year, not lighter. Android tablets, by contrast, are consistently moving toward lighter weight; for instance, the Surface RT at 1.5 pounds will be about 0.2 pound heavier than the Toshiba Excite 10.1 or the Asus Transformer Prime. Microsoft lists the Surface RT’s display as “HD” rather than as “Full HD,” which may mean a resolution of just 1366 by 768 pixels—and that won’t be competitive with iPad’s Retina display, or even with Android tablets like the Asus Transformer Pad 700, announced at CES, and the Acer Iconia Tab A700 (both with resolutions of 1920 by 1200 pixels).The Takeaway on the Two Surfaces
There’s no question that Microsoft’s decision to build its own tablets changes the market considerably. But until we know more-precise details about specs and pricing, accurately predicting how well the two Surface models will compete is quite difficult.
In the end, the Surface RT may not quite be an iPad killer. Apps are paramount to tablet buyers, and until we see what kinds of Metro apps Microsoft and its developer partners produce, many consumers may shy away from the Surface RT.
Surface Pro, meanwhile, will challenge the current crop of laptops and Ultrabooks–and there it may well win. Why purchase a classic clamshell-style laptop if you can get a tablet that quickly and elegantly becomes a laptop when you need one–all without sacrificing performance, interoperability, or functionality? The big question here is whether consumers can manage with a 10.6-inch display as their laptop screen; for many consumers, I suspect, the convenience of a tablet/laptop hybrid may be worth the drawback of having to put up with a smaller screen.
If not, just wait: No doubt Microsoft’s hardware partners are kicking plans to design Windows 8 tablets of their own into high gear–including models with bigger screens–to compete with the Surface Pro.
You're reading How Microsoft Surface Tablets Compare In A Crowded Market
As far as the price is concerned, a Windows RT tablet will cost you $499 for the 32 GB version without its special keyboard touch cover. This is the same price as the new Apple iPad 4’s 16 GB version. The 64 GB version with a touch cover will cost you $699. The cover, by itself, costs around $130, but only adds $100 to the price of the tablet when bought as a bundle along with the device. A 32 GB version with a touch cover, for example, costs $599.Construction
The Windows Surface RT tablet is about as thick as the iPad, and only about 20 grams heavier due to the extra hardware it packs in.
We’ll get to the hardware a little later. The construction of the tablet itself shows clear signs of a device that’s definitely built to last. Like the Zune, a lot of time was invested into making sure that the Surface has a solid construction that can withstand pretty tough conditions. Its exterior is made of “VaporMg,” an alloy of magnesium that’s molten into shape. It’s three times lighter than aluminum and has a very high degree of durability in comparison. The 10.6-inch screen is made of gorilla glass, and the entire tablet has an anti-fingerprint coating.Specs
With 2 GB RAM, a quad-core nVidia Tegra 3 CPU, and support for 802.11n (up to 150 Mbits/sec), you can’t go wrong! Many people reported slightly sluggish graphics when interacting with the operating system, so this probably isn’t the best gaming machine you’ll find. Also, its display is nothing extraordinary compared to Apple’s Retina display. Its support for a wide variety of memory cards and 5-point multi-touch would make up for these shortcomings. The audio on it isn’t very powerful, but provides a vibrant stereo output that will likely catch the attention of all the music lovers out there. Battery life is 8 hours with consistent use, and 360 hours (unconfirmed) on standby. The expansion card slot supports cards with up to 64 GB of storage capacity, adding a whole bunch of memory to your otherwise small tablet.Available Apps
Unlike Windows Phone 8, which will contain a ton of applications upon its release, Windows RT (the operating system that Surface runs on) has a very limited number of choices so far. There’ll probably be more apps in the future, but it’s a complete waste of time to check out the Windows Store at this moment.Prognosis
Is the Windows Surface tablet worth it? Perhaps not right now, but it might be worth the wad of cash in the near future. If you really like Windows 8, get it now and wait for new apps to come out. They’ll come pouring once the tablet gains traction. The slower graphics and regular display might make it rather dull, but it’s still got some strong points with its expandable memory capabilities, USB slots, and sturdy construction. You also have to understand that Windows RT is not the same as Windows Pro, and you can’t install desktop applications on it. If you are looking to run the full fledge Windows experience on the tablet, then the current version of Surface (running Windows RT) is not for you.Opinions?
Miguel has been a business growth and technology expert for more than a decade and has written software for even longer. From his little castle in Romania, he presents cold and analytical perspectives to things that affect the tech world.
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NFTs are all the rage, and for good reason too. But while the idea may seem new and radical to many, gamers have been dealing with similar concepts for ages in the form of exclusive, rare, and one-of-a-kind items. So, what is the difference between an NFT and, say, a unique weapon skin in CS: GO? Let’s figure that out.
Non-fungible token (NFT) is a direct, but obscure, term that’s sure to send your head spinning. But it’s a very simple idea. “Fungibility” is a simple concept referring to many items we use every day, to explain that you can exchange an item for exactly the same thing. For example, if you were to trade $1 for $1 you would, without becoming all philosophical, have exactly the same thing. But a non-fungible object means that there is no other item that is the same; the item is unique and cannot be directly replaced. This is most easily understood in the art, as there can only ever be one original painting like the Mona Lisa.
Examples are rampant: from buying the works of now-world-renowned digital artist Beeple, the Nyan cat gif, or even a tweet off twitter. To put it bluntly, an NFT can be anything as long as it’s unique.
The way NFTs stay secure and actually prove ownership is that they are stored on the blockchain, providing a public ledger that proves ownership and any transactions that have been undertaken with the asset in question.
This means that NFTs are essentially proof of ownership of a digital, non-fungible asset—and that can be pretty much anything.
Virtual goods and games
While blockchain NFTs are relatively new, similar things have been around in games for ages. Exclusive skins in CS: GO, Path of Exile alternative art items, certain Fortnite outfits, Runescape Party hats and much more are pretty similar to NFTs.
However, there is one clear difference: these game-based items are not found on the blockchain but are instead found on gaming servers themselves. This drops their inherent value all the way down to the big old zero; given that the creators of the game could duplicate, delete, move or remove any of these items at will.
Thus, the value of these virtual goods comes from price tags placed on them either by the game-makers themselves or by players in online marketplaces. That is to say: the value is as much as anyone will pay for it. This can of course lead to purchases such as CS: GO’s infamous Howl skin which sold for $130,000 due to a number of reasons, the prime one being that it had a very low float value (which corresponds to the quality of the skin).
Of course, this isn’t too dissimilar from NFTs, as many NFTs also thrive purely on perceived value—but the difference lies in the blockchain which provides the public ledger that proves ownership, value, and the ability to make transactions.
Existing on the blockchain also means that these items have inherent value outside of any given system. For example, if you were to put your favorite CS: GO gun skin onto the blockchain you would theoretically be able to remove it from the CS: GO context and it would retain its value. Obviously, this isn’t possible due to how it’s all currently set up, limiting CS: GO skins to remain within Valve’s ecosystem.
That said, there are certain places where you can buy and trade skins, such as Eldorado. gg. Their players can buy and sell CS: GO skins, Runescape party hats, and much more with cryptocurrency. But, while the items themselves are outside of the blockchain, they remain inherently different from NFTs.
Will gaming move towards NFTs?
According to a survey by digital media consulting firm Vorhaus Advisors, 63% of gamers say that they would spend more on virtual goods if they had real-world value and could be traded and sold for that real-world value.
On one level this is obvious: players would spend more if they are not “spending” their money but “investing” it in the digital goods which could then be sold on to make back the money. Or, in certain cases, even make a profit.
So, this all sounds great: gaming companies will just jump on board, right?
Well, there will be a tonne of teething issues before NFTs find a real home in gaming.
First of all, selling NFTs in-game would inherently be taking away some profits from game developers. Not only would they now have to ensure certain items have inherent value, but they would be allowing players to sell their items on the Blockchain and away from in-game marketplaces. This means that those cuts that developers charge for transactions would be going elsewhere, resulting in a huge dip in profits.
Secondly, as NFTs work on blockchain, they require transactions to be verified. This incurs gas fees which would need to be paid to the miners facilitating the proof-of-work on the blockchain—hemorrhaging more money to outside sources.
At least immediately, implicating NFTs seems like a challenge for developers. But if the craze continues, we can be fairly sure that NFTs will come to gaming.
So, while NFTs and rare in-game items are quite different, it seems like we’ll probably be stuck with just the latter for now—leaving the control with developers. However, as DeFi becomes more and more mainstream, it’s fair to say that there’s a good chance we will see gaming utilizing the blockchain in the years to come.
The Microsoft Surface Studio is one of the best computers on the market, though the inability to use the screen as a regular monitor is a problem for many. Now, the device was created mainly for creators, which means, it is powerful enough to play some games.Surface Studio overheating while gaming
Many owners have been using their Surface Studio to play all sorts of games, and with that comes a lot of problems. The latest we’ve come across is a user who complained about his Surface Studio overheating while gaming.
This particular user was having issues with Rainbow Six Siege and other games that were not named. With this in mind, we summarize the problem had nothing to do with the games themselves, but rather the computer.
Gaming related heat is nothing new, but when it comes down to the Surface Studio 2, we have to look into these because it is not a common occurrence:
Surface Diagnostic Toolkit
Heat transfer and airflow
Do not play demanding games
Update drivers and firmware
We will now talk about this problem in more detail.1] Surface Diagnostic Toolkit
Most problems related to the Surface line of computers can be fixed by running the Surface Diagnostic Toolkit. The Microsoft Surface Diagnostic Toolkit is a lightweight, portable diagnostic tool that runs through a suite of tests to diagnose the hardware of Surface devices.
If there are any problems with the diagnostic tool to fix, then it will do so. There are times when the toolkit isn’t capable of getting the job done, so in that case, let’s look at some other options.
Related: Windows PC shuts down while gaming2] Heat transfer and airflow
One of the main culprits that cause a Surface computer to overheat is the ventilation airways under the system. Some units also have these openings at the side and rear.
The user must check these vents to make sure nothing is stopping proper airflow. Be sure dust is not clogging the airways, and if that is the case, then bring it to a professional if you’re not versed in cleaning the device yourself. We recommend a can of compressed air if you want to DIY.
In some situations, depending on the extent of the dust, a complete pull down of the Surface Studio may be the only option to deliver a proper cleaning of components.3] Do not play demanding games
Yes, the Surface Studio is a powerful computer, but it was not built primarily for gaming. Therefore, you should consider running games at low graphical settings to not place a lot of stress on the graphics card and CPU. If running the game at the lowest setting still doesn’t end the issue, then play something else.
One should also close all apps running in the background so that the game can gain access to all available memory and CPU resources.4] Update drivers and firmware
The next step, then, is to download the latest drivers and firmware files if they are available. Simply visit chúng tôi to download the latest drivers and firmware for Surface. From here, you will want to choose the .MSI file that matches your current Windows OS build and hit Next.
Once the download is complete, run the file right away, then restart your computer to get things going.
We hope this post helps you.
Now read: Surface shuts down after black screen with Thermometer icon appears.
OK, so you only recently purchased a new Surface device, or you had one for quite some time now, and for some odd, yet unknown reason, maybe after Windows update, the display is not rotating. We know that your Surface was designed to rotate content on the screen whenever you twist and turn it, which is the same as your smartphone. Now, when the screen fails to rotate as expected, the first thing on the minds of many users, is probably the product is defective.Surface screen is not rotating
In most cases, this is not the case at all. Rotation relies on the software; therefore, we can assume that changes were made to Windows 10 unknowing to you that caused the rotation to fail. We are going to look into a few options in order for you to determine what is the cause, so keep reading, ladies and gentlemen.How to make Surface screen auto-rotate
If the screen of your Surface device is not rotating automatically, then try the following suggestions to fix Surface auto-rotation problems:
Remove the Surface Cover or any external screen
Take a look at the Auto Rotation Settings
Restart your Surface
Install the latest Windows 10 and firmware updates
Run the Sensors Troubleshooter
Restore your Surface.1] Remove the Surface Cover or any external screen
When the Surface typing cover is attached, or an external display, the screen is stuck in landscape mode for the entire time. Now, in order to get things to rotate, the best option is disconnecting either the Surface cover or the external display.
After doing these things, check if your display now autorotates without any issues.2] Take a look at the Auto Rotation Settings
If you are still having problems, then maybe it has much to do with the auto-rotation settings than anything else. To check on this, please remove the cover, and swipe from the right edge of the screen to reveal the Action Center.
From here, you should see the Auto Rotation lock, and if its dimmed, then that means it’s deactivated. To activate it, tap the lock with your finger or mouse, and that should do it.
Note that auto-rotation locks automatically once the Surface Cover is attached and is in typing position. Folding back the cover should activate the auto-rotation unless it’s locked in the first place.3] Restart your Surface
What we have here is one of the basic fixes of anything that has to do with Windows 10. In most cases, a simple restart of the computer is good enough to get the job done, so that’s what we’re going to do right now, OK? Good.4] Install the latest Windows and firmware updates
Chances are, the latest version of Windows 11/10 and Surface drivers & firmware is not installed on your computer; therefore, we have to fix that. Bear in mind that your Surface computer requires both firmware and Windows 11/10 updates to stay at optimal performance.5] Run the Sensors Troubleshooter
Running the troubleshooter is super easy. Just open the Sensors Troubleshooter, then follow the instructions on your display, and that’s it for that.6] Restore your Surface
The final step today, which should always be a last resort, is restoring your Surface computer to how it was before. Bear in mind that restoring could remove recently installed apps and drivers, so please keep that in mind before going any further, old chum.
Read next: Screen Auto-Rotation not working or grayed out in Windows Table Mode.
Focus on what employees value
Industry-leading companies will always be able to outbid for employees who are focused primarily on total compensation, so startups and smaller enterprises shouldn’t plan on winning bidding wars. However, smaller and more nimble companies can offer something that can be more difficult for their larger competitors to provide: flexibility.
As you consider the perks you use to lure potential employees, look for low- or no-cost benefits that employees may value highly. Employees who have grown accustomed to working from home may want to maintain that arrangement. Parents may want to take personal time in half days to attend school events without expending an entire day. Staff may want to work on cross-departmental projects to learn and grow or have a guaranteed opportunity to meet directly with company leadership to express their ideas and concerns. Employees who are thinking about retirement may want to know that their benefits package is managed by one of the expert provider firms.
In discussions with applicants, stress that you see the hiring process as a conversation rather than an offer to be accepted or declined, and encourage them to think creatively about and ask for what truly matters to them. You may not be able to give them everything they want, but at a minimum, it may remind them that working for a more entrepreneurial company can mean more flexibility and a greater focus on their needs.Look inward
Oftentimes, employers look outward when hiring when they could be looking at their existing talent pool instead. Your business may have junior employees who are well suited for development and promotion.
Though the stereotype is that Gen Z and young millennials jump from job to job, Ryan Jenkins, co-author of Connectable: How Leaders Can Move Teams From Isolated to All In (McGraw Hill, 2023) and founder of chúng tôi said that doesn’t need to be the case.
“When it comes to attracting, retaining and engaging young workers, the answer is connection,” he said. “Employers have to create environments, whether in-person or remote, where workers feel seen, heard and valued. When you do that, job performance improves by 56 percent.”
In the right environment, young employees can even become assets for recruitment. “Workers are 167% more likely to recommend their employer when they feel connected to their colleagues,” Jenkins said.
Focusing on improving employee retention rates, not just among junior employees, can be a smart strategy. A Work Institute study found that three-quarters of employee turnover is due to preventable causes and that the No. 1 reason employees leave is for career development. With this in mind, give your highest achievers, and indeed all employees you want to stick around, opportunities to sharpen their skills and move up the ladder.
When an employee asks for a raise or a new title, remember that saying “no” may necessitate replacing them, thereby creating new costs that far exceed the request. However, Jenkins stressed that money is not the only factor in keeping employees happy; it can be just as important to create and maintain the kind of culture that makes employees want to stay. “When individuals have a strong sense of belonging and connection at work, they have 313% less intent to quit,” Jenkins said.
You can track your employees’ performance and determine who might be ready for a promotion by using one of the best HR software platforms, many of which include career development tools to help coach your employees.
Another way to keep employees satisfied is to ensure that human resources functions, including payroll and benefits administration, are efficient and reliable. Working with a top-tier professional employer organization can be a cost-effective way for smaller companies to handle these tasks. When employees do leave, find out why by conducting an exit interview.Hiring is hard, but it’s not impossible
Talented employees are the lifeblood of a successful company. With smart recruiting, hiring and compensation strategies, many of which are free or low-cost, you can separate your company from the pack and attract top talent.
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