Two days and counting, my new Surface will arrive.  As an avid gadget guy, I’m pumped about this launch with Windows 8.

Could this be the breakthrough consumer product that competes with the iPad?  Maybe.

Here’s why:

1.  There’s the USB port, which I plan on using with external drives, scanners, and the like.

2.  A microSD slot which also allows me to add additional memory and download photos from my camera that uses microSD (really nice when traveling).

3.  It comes with all the productivity tools like Powerpoint and Excel.

4.  A seamless experience with my Xbox.  It also allows me to remote desktop to my work computers.  All of which I cannot do with any of my current tablets.

5.  And, it’s just under 1.5 pounds. (This figure has been corrected).

Andy Liu

That’s a tremendous amount of promise. If it can deliver, I may be using the Surface as my go-to tablet.

I also have a very short attention span.

If I can’t figure out a strong use case for that device quickly, it’ll end up becoming an expensive doorstop.

The iPad/iPhone/Apple TV combo has been by far the most compelling ecosystem for me. That’s followed by the Nexus 7/Nexus Phone/Google TV.  If the Surface/Xbox combo works extremely well, I could very well be on the path to Windows Phone 8 and to the Microsoft ecosystem.

Microsoft is taking a huge leap here, building devices that compete directly with their distribution partners or OEMs.  Bravo for doing it.

It takes courage, and sets the bar high for its partners, consumers, and its competitors.

I’m looking forward to seeing how this fight turns out — Apple vs. Google vs. Microsoft. And I can’t wait to get my hands on the Surface to see if it’s the real deal.

Let me know what you think.

Andy Liu is an angel investor and entrepreneur. He serves as CEO of  Seattle startup BuddyTV. This post originally appeared on Liu’s blog, Inspired Startup. It is republished here with permission.

Previously on GeekWireNo pressure, Microsoft, but I just spent my family’s iPad budget on a $599 Surface

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  • Bill Bliss

    1.5 ounces? Wow, that’s really light!

    • johnhcook

      Oops. I should have caught that one. I’ve corrected the info above to reflect that it is 1.5 pounds.

  • Jason Farris

    Folks would be foolish to dismiss this ecosystem without giving it a try. It’s a legitimate leap forward.

  • Roelof van Leeuwen

    There is in my opinion One extra Pro: One tablet can be used in a familiy by more people in their own accounts.

  • TedHoward

    My understanding is that Windows RT doesn’t support Remote Desktop. There’s the client side and the server side and Microsoft’s webpage ( just states “use Remote Desktop” under Windows 8 Pro but doesn’t mention the technology at all under the Windows RT column.

  • Tony Andrews

    Doesn’t give you remote access to Windows & Mac from most mobile devices? iPad is definitely supported.

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