Paul Taylor

How best to judge Microsoft’s next-generation tablet, the Surface Pro 3, which was unveiled by its new chief executive Satya Nadella at an event in New York on Tuesday?

One way would be to compare it to its previous incarnation, which received a more positive critical response for its improved features, but still did not really make a dent in the market share of Apple iOS or Android devices – Microsoft has recorded about $2.64bn in Surface sales so far. For comparison, Apple sold $7.6bn worth of iPads in the latest quarter alone.

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Microsoft is expected to unveil a third generation version of its Surface tablet later on Tuesday.

Then again, it might not.

What’s likely to come out of its New York event (4pm London time, webcast here ) has been kept tightly under wraps by the company, leading to speculation that ranges from a Surface “mini” being shown to a larger 12-inch tablet, to nothing more than tweaks to existing models.

Whatever is in store, Microsoft needs some fairly dramatic improvements for Surface to come anywhere close to matching the iPad’s appeal. Read more

From the FT’s Charles Clover in Moscow:

Russia’s gas monopoly Gazprom has ordered a custom-built, $3.7m gadget for its chief executive Alexei Miller to help him run the company, according to tender documents posted on the company’s website on Tuesday.

Gazprom says that the bespoke device is not just a run-of-the-mill tablet computer, but an “integrated workstation” for Mr Miller. The company is frequently under fire for spending too much money on everything from the 2014 winter Olympics in Sochi to steel pipe. Read more

Google’s tablet and living-room media device, unveiled at its annual developer conference, were enough to have some Google fans and tech commentators fawning over the company. Google also stepped it up another notch with a demonstration of the prototype Google Glass and a promise to turn it into a product by early 2014, reminding us that Google still has huge technology ambition – though some were not sure sure the company was taking the right direction. Read more

The way in which a new product is unveiled can sometimes be just as important as the product itself. However, in Microsoft’s case this week, a few hiccups didn’t appear to distract some tech commentators from writing glowing reviews of the company’s tablet computer, Surface, announced on Monday.  Read more

Robin Kwong

Critics like to say that PC makers were slow to recognise the threat from tablets and to respond with their own versions to rival Apple’s iPad.

This narrative may be the popular one, but it underestimates the challenges faced by traditional PC makers in coming up with a competitive and profitable tablet, Henry Lu, senior vice president of Micro-Star International, told the Financial Times. Read more

Robin Kwong

If consumers like iPad-like devices, and they also like smartphones, what could be even better than a Padfone?

That was the thinking at Asus, which on Monday unveiled its latest invention ahead of the Computex trade show. Read more

Chris Nuttall

Tablets, led by the iPad, will cut increasingly into PC sales from this year onwards, according to the latest forecasts from the Gartner research firm.

While the chipmaker Intel has predicted tablets will expand the PC market, Gartner suggests Apple and Android tablets will displace around 10 per cent of other PC sales by 2014. Read more

Chris Nuttall

One of the things noted in my review last week of the Samsung Galaxy Tab was the inferior screen compared to the iPad and Samsung’s own Super Amoled Galaxy smartphones.

Well, it looks like Samsung already has plans to fix that with the unveiling of a second-generation Tab with Amoled screen in Japan this week, although it’s unlikely to appear before the second half of next year. Read more

Chris Nuttall

Research in Motion’s new BlackBerry PlayBook will be taking on the iPad, the Cisco Cius and a host of other tablets when it appears early next year.

But its closest rival, both in looks, specifications and marketing strategy, appears to be Samsung’s Galaxy Tab, with the two manufacturers looking to pair the devices with their existing smartphones. Read more

Chris Nuttall

AMD has followed Intel in warning that revenues suffered in the third quarter due to slackening consumer demand.

The news on Thursday reinforced the view that PC makers and their microprocessor partners have suffered a tough “back to school” season. With tablets, eReaders and smartphones exciting the consumer imagination more than laptops, it could be an equally tough holiday season ahead. Read more

Tim Bradshaw

There are two ways one could think about Samsung’s new Galaxy Tab.

One would be to look at its slick casing, its compact 7-inch form, the latest Android software and extensive 3G support from European mobile operators, and say: here is a device which proves the iPad isn’t the only show in town.

The other would be to look at its slick casing, its compact 7-inch form, the latest Android software and extensive 3G support from European mobile operators, and say: isn’t this just an oversized smartphone? Read more

Joseph Menn

Hewlett-Packard will bring out a tablet-style computer running Windows after all.

That was the word today from HP’s third-quarter earnings call, which should reverse speculation around the time of HP’s Palm acquisition–and its accompanying enthusiasm for Palm’s WebOS mobile operating system–that the company was killing the Windows slate.

“You’ll see us with a Microsoft product out in the near future and a WebOS-based product out in 2011″, said HP personal computer division head Todd Bradley. Read more

Chris Nuttall

Tablet computers may be all the rage with the introduction of Apple’s iPad, but they will not have a big impact on the PC industry, according to Intel.

“Everybody says tablets are going to eat the notebooks’ and netbooks’ lunch,” Paul  Otellini, chief executive, told the leading chipmaker’s investor meeting on Tuesday. “On the scale of the PC industry,  they’re relatively insignificant.” Read more

Paul Taylor

Is Apple’s iPad media tablet the “Magical & Revolutionary Device at an Unbelievable Price” that Steve Jobs claims it is? Or will it be an embarrassing failure like the Apple Lisa, the Newton and Pippin?

We will have to wait until the iPad goes on sale in the US towards the end of March for the definitive answer to that question. But based on the iPad’s specifications, Apple’s new baby does appear to avoid many of the pitfalls that have plagued earlier tablet and slate-style devices. Read more

Personal View: Michael Gartenberg

With the Apple event just hours away, here’s a final view in our series on what it would take to turn its impending tablet computer into a true breakthrough product – and prompt gadget lovers to actually go out and buy one. Scroll down for earlier posts.

“Tablets, up until this point have not been very successful for the most part. Consumers have viewed them as in between a laptop and a cell phone, with lots of duplications in functionality and therefore one more thing to carry with them. It’s going to be interesting to see if Apple can come up with a way that can change the role of a tablet in a way that’s additive – something that you are going to want to use and not something that just duplicates what you already have. Read more

Personal View: Robert Scoble

As the world awaits the impending Apple tablet, gadget enthusiasts are wondering what exactly it will be used for. Is it a gaming device? An e-reader? A video player? We’ve asked some people in the tech world what they would want from an Apple tablet, and the answers might surprise you.

“I was a tablet evangelist back in 2003 and that’s how I got my job at Microsoft –  I sold tablets for NEC and back then we had a quarter-inch thick 10.5-inch [screen] tablet. So tablets aren’t anything new, that’s what a lot of people forget that they’ve been around a while. Read more

Personal View: Max Levchin

As the world awaits the impending Apple tablet, gadget enthusiasts are wondering what exactly it will be used for. Is it a gaming device? An e-reader? A video player? We’ve asked some people in the tech world what they would want from an Apple tablet, and the answers might surprise you.

“I have a very serious and legitimate attachment to yellow pads. I probably use 100 a year. I’m an obsessive user and buyer. That’s the competition to me. I’ve played with every tablet out there in the last ten years, and none of them come close to a yellow pad. Read more

David Gelles

Amazon is clearly concerned about the Apple tablet, judging today’s news.

Though it has yet to be unveiled, the impending arrival of the iPad, or iSlate, or whatever it may be called, is likely to shake up the market for digital books in a big way.

Apple is in talks with the major publishing houses in an effort to secure content deals for the tablet. If it succeeds in working out deals, integrating e-book sales into the iTunes store would be a cinch. Add to this that the tablet is expected to boast a large colour touchscreen, and you have an e-reader on steroids. Read more

Richard Waters

A week before its expected unveiling, the reverberations from Apple’s tablet are already spreading out through the media industry. From today alone:

Amazon raised the royalty rate it pays to publishers and authors of certain e-books to 70 per cent of the cover price – not coincidentally, the same split Apple has turned into an industry norm through its App Store.

YouTube said it would start a video rental service, reaching beyond advertising into a new payment stream (though a test with video downloads last year went nowhere and was later scrapped). It was described by one analyst as a salvo aimed directly at Apple, as Google and Apple race to become dominant “cloud” video platforms. Read more