We know a lot about the Surface already. For instance, we know it will have a 10.6-inch screen, a pair of cameras, and one of two versions of the forthcoming Windows 8 operating system. But we don't know what kind of antennas will be on board – and in turn, what kind of Internet connections the Surface will support. 3G? 4G?
Try Wi-Fi only – at least at first. According to Bloomberg News, which quotes two anonymous sources, the Surface will initially retail without 3G or 4G compatibility. (Bloomberg implies that Microsoft is leaving the window open for a 3G or 4G Surface down the road.) That could be a disadvantage for the Surface, a tablet intended to compete with a range of tablets, including the iPad, that sell in 4G and Wi-Fi-only versions.
Right? Well, maybe not, James Kendrick of ZDNet suggests.
"Indications are that Wi-Fi iPads are the choice of many mainstream consumers as most folks rarely use them outside of hotspots. The 3G/4G iPads sell in much smaller numbers, and then only because Apple has such good deals with the US carriers to keep them contract free," Kendrick writes. "Microsoft needs to make a big initial push to get the Surface into the home, not the workplace. Wi-Fi is all that is needed to make that happen."
As Alexandra Chang of Wired notes, a recent study from NPD says a whopping 65 percent of users don't bother with anything more than a Wi-Fi connection. Count this blogger as one of those users. In the year that we've owned our iPad, we've had need of 3G service exactly once – and that was only in an airport, where the Wi-Fi connection was inexplicably down.
So yes, Microsoft. Go Wi-Fi only. You have our blessing.
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