Oprah Winfrey is wowed, and that’s good news for Microsoft and the prospects for its Surface tablet.
Likening it to a Mercedes-Benz that you can hold in your hand, the Queen of Gab has put the new device on her list of Oprah’s Favorite Things 2012.
The endorsement comes at a good time for Microsoft, as it seeks to siphon away customers from Apple, maker of the wildly popular iPad, and win over the skeptics. A recent Associated Press survey found 69 percent of consumers had little or no interest in buying a Surface.
"The full-size keyboard built right into the cover makes work easy, the very smart kickstand makes watching a movie or Skyping a friend a delight, the less than a pound-and-a-half weight makes a great alternative to a laptop, and the many other features make it fun for work and play. Now, that's a wowser!” Winfrey wrote on her website.
It’s a boon to Microsoft because of Winfrey’s Midas touch. Just about anything she stamps her seal of approval to is gobbled up by the masses.
The Surface tablet making Winfrey’s list is impressive, considering most of the 49 items on it are toiletries, food items and the like. The only other tech items Winfrey endorsed are the Bose VideoWave II, a 46-inch high- definition television, home theater, and music system; a Jetson electric bike; a Dyson pedestal fan; and a Q37ci Elliptical Trainer, which you can get for $2,789 with a coupon from the former talk show host.
Unlike previous versions of the operating system, Windows RT runs on an ARM processor, typically found in mobile devices, instead of an x86 processor, which is used in traditional desktops and laptops. One of the major drawbacks of Windows RT is that it won’t run any old software. All applications need to be downloaded from the Windows Store.
“It has Microsoft Office, which is the most important reason I’m upgrading from my iPad,” said Joshua Jasper, a veterinary hospital manager. “My biggest concern is app selection, but I know that will grow over time.”
One of the accessories available for Surface is a $100 keyboard that doubles as a cover. Buyers may find it takes some getting used to as it doesn’t give any tactile feedback when a key is pressed. The wireless cover is surprisingly thin and clips securely onto the tablet.
The Surface has a 10.6-inch display and weighs 1.5 pounds (680 grams). It starts at $499 with 32GB of storage.
See PCWorld’s full review of Surface RT.