What's Left for Microsoft to Unveil About Its Surface Tablet?

Today Microsoft will have the official coming out party for its maybe-too-different Surface tablet and the baffling Windows 8 operating system that goes along with it.

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Today Microsoft will have the official coming out party for its maybe-too-different Surface tablet and the baffling Windows 8 operating system that goes along with it. Since its first over-hyped Surface related event in June, we've learned all the things about the gadget Microsoft didn't tell us the first time around. Like: the $500 price tag for the 32 GB model, the availability: tomorrow, and the not-as-good-as-the-iPad 7-hour battery life. At this point, reviewers and some customers have played with both tablets, giving us the impressions we'd need to make a purchase. So, then, why the need for the big Apple-style unveiling? We'll be there, starting at 11 a.m. EST, covering any excitement. But, before then, here's what we think might go down.

Answering the critics. While the tech world accepted the Surface as one of the biggest computing developments of the year, it didn't quite get it. Now would be an okay time for CEO Steve Ballmer to show us what his creation can do. Maybe, like every other gadget release this month, we will hear about the screen, a part of a computer that has become increasingly important, it seems. The Surface comes in at 10.6 inches, almost a full inch bigger than the iPad. Though, the resolution doesn't match the Retina display. Maybe we will hear about the touch keyboard, which our reviewers had a hard time getting used to.

A how to use Windows 8 tutorial. Speaking of questions, how about some answers on Windows 8? The lack of Start button, the swipe-y tiles on desktop, the old programs mixed in with the new—Microsoft has a lot of much appreciated explaining to do about this confusing new Windows.

The difference between Windows RT and Windows 8. Another thing our reviewers warned about was that Windows RT is not Windows 8. "But it's Windows on Surface RT that's the greatest letdown of all, the lethal letdown, because it's not Windows 8, but Windows RT. You can't tell the difference by looking at them, but you certainly will once you use it," wrote Sam Biddle over at Gizmodo. Tell us it isn't so, Microsoft. Or at least tell us the difference between the two.

More apps? Another problem with the Surface is that it has fewer apps than the local TGI Fridays, as Wired's Mat Honan described it. It doesn't even have the biggies like Facebook. Shower us in apps, Ballmer.

Maybe Microsoft will unveil another gadget. Wouldn't that be fun? CEO Steve Ballmer assured that the company has those kinds of plans in some future. "Is it fair to say we're going to do more hardware? Obviously we are... Where we see important opportunities to set a new standard, yeah we'll dive in," he told the BBC's Rory Cellan Jones earlier today. Today would work, especially with Microsoft's dramatic new Apple-esque take on product reveal events. But, not even the rumormongers have talked that up. So we'll call this a long shot.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.