Microsoft is the second most valuable company in the world, according to Forbes in 2015. Microsoft was founded by friends Bill Gates and Paul Allen in 1976. Its early success was built on Microsoft’s innovative software developments and it was some years before the company began producing hardware.
Apple has claimed the 2010 iPad was the first commercial tablet, however Microsoft have disputed this, claiming the Microsoft Tablet PC released in 2002 was in fact the first tablet. The Microsoft Tablet PC used a notebook computer system with a pen, enabling users to navigate the interface. Microsoft has since moved on from this, but has continued along a similar concept with its Surface products launched in June 2012.
The Microsoft Surface series
Microsoft Surface devices are classified as ‘hybrid’ tablets, as they are both a notebook and tablet. The tablets have a sliding kickstand and optional keyboard, allowing users flexibility in how they use their device. Microsoft has produced nine tablets in its surface range, though only Surface 3, Pro 3 and Pro 4, and Surface Book available in Australia.
|Tablet model||Launch date|
|Surface 2||October 2013|
|Surface 3||May 2015|
|Surface Pro||February 2013|
|Surface Pro 2||October 2013|
|Surface Pro 3||June 2014|
|Surface Pro 4||October 2015|
|Surface Hub||July 2015|
|Surface Book||October 2015|
Microsoft also provides the operating systems and retail tablets for number of other brands, including Dell, HP, ASUS, Lenovo and Toshiba.
What’s next for Microsoft tablets?
The latest surface tablets are fresh on the market, so there is no information on what’s next for the tech-giant. It is expected Microsoft will announce any upcoming developments in early 2016.