WebRTC Solutions Industry News

TMCNet:  The Philadelphia Inquirer Jeff Gelles column

[February 14, 2013]

The Philadelphia Inquirer Jeff Gelles column

Feb 14, 2013 (The Philadelphia Inquirer - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- Microsoft's new Surface Pro is tough to pigeonhole. Is it a tablet that doubles as a laptop A teeny laptop that doubles as a tablet An upgrade to last fall's Surface RT that runs actual Windows 8 A svelte solution to the age-old hassle of taking work home or on a plane On the surface, here's the Pro: an $899 tablet that, with a couple nifty add-ons, morphs into a $1,100 micro-laptop. With its sharp, HD display and Windows 8's "live tile" apps, the touch-screen tablet will keep its owner engaged for four or five hours without a power cord. Outfitted with a $130 compact "Type" keyboard and a tiny $70 "Wedge" mouse, the Surface Pro is a laptop suitable for nearly any professional use.

But dig a little, and you'll realize it's wrong to see the Surface Pro in isolation. To Microsoft, it's less a device than the centerpiece of a strategy born from years of being outshone, if not always outsold, by Apple and pathbreaking devices such as the iPhone and iPad. Microsoft's annual report makes it clear that this isn't a one-off, calling Surface "a series of Microsoft-designed and manufactured hardware devices." In Microsoft's dreams, its customers will come to see its Surfaces as something else still: as a centerpiece, along with their Windows Phones, of a complete ecosystem, much like the ones Apple has created with iOS devices and Google with its Androids.

It may lack the pizzazz -- or the legendary lines -- of an Apple product launch, but the Surface Pro's debut since Saturday has even been marked by tight supplies, which a Microsoft exec linked to "amazing" customer response but which also may have something to do with disappointing RT sales.

If you can get your hands on one -- as I did last week, courtesy of Microsoft -- here are highlights of what to expect: The core. The Surface Pro's core is a familiar tablet-style computer, with a 10.6-inch touch-screen display. To accommodate Windows 8, both the $899 64-gigabyte version and the $999 128-gig version come with 4 gigs of random-access memory, twice the RAM of the Surface RT and four times that of an iPad.

At nearly two pounds, the Pro is thicker and a half-pound heavier than the RT or an iPad. In compensation, its depth fits a full-size USB 3.0 port, as well as a microSDXC card slot and a Mini DisplayPort, to accommodate extra memory and peripherals.

What else Front- and rear-facing HD cameras, an accelerometer, gyroscope and compass -- all de rigueur now for an aspiring tablet. And a "Surface Pen" -- a stylus that doubles as a pointer and an input device that captures your scrawls.

The keyboard. Introduced with the RT, Microsoft's Touch and Type Cover keyboards connect via a powerful magnetic strip and transform the Surface into a serviceable laptop. Maybe there's someone who disagrees, but I find it hard to imagine why anyone would choose the Touch to save $10 ($120 versus $130), even if it does come in bright hues.

The Type Cover is an impressive creation -- a close-to-full-size keyboard suitable for pleasing a touch-typist that adds about a half-pound to the package. With it, the Pro weighs in a bit above 2.5 pounds -- between the 11- and 13-inch models of the MacBook Air and lighter than most of the new Intel-powered Ultrabook hybrids.

Battery. With a predicted life of four to five hours, this is the Surface Pro's most obvious shortcoming. That's half the life promised for a lower-powered Surface RT or iPad, and well less than the life of most Ultrabooks, though comparable to the life of an 11-inch MacBook Air.

Windows 8. The Surface Pro's specs may represent a trade-off between weight and battery life, but in Microsoft's view, there was no compromise on software. Unlike the Surface RT, which runs only app versions of Windows programs, the Pro can handle Windows 7 desktop applications as well as anything designed for Windows 8.

Its display may be a bit cramped for a large Excel spreadsheet, but with the Pro's elegant, built-in stand, it should be an easy fit for a jet's seatback tray.

As for apps, Microsoft is still far behind. Hendrik Koekkoek, an analyst at Netherlands-based Distimo, says the Windows 8 store counts about 43,000 apps, versus more than 700,000 apiece in Google Play and Apple's App Store -- including more than 337,000 designed for the iPad.

Microsoft says its offerings should meet most users' needs -- look before you leap if you need a particular app. But if you or your employer is wedded to Windows, the Pro may meet needs you didn't even know you had.

-- Contact Jeff Gelles at 215-854-2776 or jgelles@phillynews.com.

___ (c)2013 The Philadelphia Inquirer Visit The Philadelphia Inquirer at www.philly.com Distributed by MCT Information Services

[ Back To WebRTC Solutions's Homepage ]

FOLLOW US

Featured Podcasts

Oracle in Enterprise Communications

Most in the industry have heard of the acquisition of Acme Packet by Oracle. What you may not know is that Oracle has a number of telecommunications products including a UC suite, WebRTC Session Controller, and Operations monitoring tools. Oracle is pursuing both the enterprise and service provider.

Featured Whitepapers

WebRTC Security Concerns

This whitepaper covers two of the most relevant topics in communications industry today: WebRTC and security. We will introduce the problem of security in WebRTC including those traditional VoIP attacks that are going to be present in WebRTC services. Later we will mention ad-hoc WebRTC attacks and protection mechanisms, to close with an overview of identity management solutions.

Migrating Real Time Communications Services to the Web

In the Internet age, businesses that own fixed and mobile communication networks, including traditional Communications Service Providers (CSPs) of all kinds, are being challenged with some tough questions: How do we stay relevant to our customers?

Delivering Enterprise-Class Communications with WebRTC

WebRTC is an emerging industry standard for enabling Web browsers with real-time communications capabilities. It enables enterprises to enhance Web sites, empower BYOD users, and improve video collaboration and on-line meetings, to name but a few examples.

WebRTC Report Extract Reprint

This document examines the growing important of WebRTC, both generally and for telecom service providers. It considers the expanding range of use-cases, the multiple layers of interoperability likely to be desired by telcos, and some implications in terms of network integration and mobility.

WEBRTC SOLUTIONS PAPERS, SLIDES, COLLATERAL

Robust Enterprise Grade WebRTC Systems and Services


The emerging WebRTC standard has become one of the industry's hottest topics – and with good reason. Being able to "communications enable the web" has Communications Service Providers as well as Enterprises busily making plans for deployment. But, as these plans unfold, reality is starting to intrude on those plans. Our expectations of telephony services are much higher than web browsing. We expect the phone to connect instantly, operate with minimal disruption, and work seamless across any network, anywhere, at any time. There is also an understanding that phone service is inherently secure. With WebRTC, the expectation is for these applications to behave in the same manner.

This session looks at the user experience and expectations of a WebRTC Enterprise service. It will also cover how a WebRTC enterprise handles security, reliability, and interoperability within browsers and networks.

ORACLE COMMUNICATIONS WEBRTC SESSION CONTROLLER

The Oracle Communications WebRTC Session Controller enables communications service providers (CSPs) and enterprises to offer WebRTC services – from virtually any device, across virtually any network – with carrier-grade reliability and security.

Sales Presentation: Oracle Communications WebRTC Session Controller

Agenda:
- WebRTC Market and Opportunities
- WebRTC Challenges
- Oracle Communication WebRTC Session   Controller
- Summary

ORACLE COMMUNICATIONS WEBRTC SESSION CONTROLLER SOLUTION

Communication Service Provider (CSP) voice service revenues continue to face pressure due to shifts in communication preferences and competition from non-traditional service providers. Voice communications are now often embedded into applications outside the domain of traditional telephony voice usage. CSPs have been challenged to effectively leverage and monetize new web-oriented communications technologies.