Today's announcement, aside from all the bells and whistles of their unique approach in making a content creation device as much as a consumption device, was the use of VaporMG (pronounced Vapor Mag). When I saw the detailed presentation by Panos Panay, the general manager of Microsoft Surface, I was intrigued at his continual use of the word perfect and the variations there of predominantly centered around the material, the feel and precision of it.
The first thing that came to mind after seeing VaporMG is the strong resemblance to Liquidmetal Apple is expected to use soon. In the case of Surface, magnesium, is injected into molds allowing for very high precision craftsmanship at unbelievably small thicknesses such as .65mm in the case of the Surface -- a similar process and technology is also applied with Liquidmetal. I'm not certain if this was a mere coincidence, but on the same day the Surface was announcement, Apple decided to extend their exclusive license to Liquidmetal for another 2 years. Apple originally acquired an exclusive license to Liquidmetal back in 2010 for mobile devices and is highly rumored to be used in the next iPhone. Recent leaks of a very thin metallic like enclosure, if legitimate as many have been in the past, provides some support for this rumor, however we will not know for sure until Apple releases their iPhone 5 around October 2012.
I praise Microsoft for taking a full frontal attack on mobile. I praise them for thinking out of the box in creating a content creation device as much as a content consumption device. I have to admit, many times I've wanted to create a blog entry and didn't quite find the right convenience to do so with the screen-based touch keyboard and even found it somewhat inconvenient to pair up the bluetooth keyboard as well. Having the keyboard integrated into the cover seems like a novel tradeoff to both scenarios.
In summary, competition is great for innovation and I look forward to awesome Liquidmetal or VaporMG products to come in the near future from both companies.
Apple Extends Exclusive License to Liquid Metal:
iPhone5 Liquid Metal Enclosure Leak: