Poll: should Apple hit the panic button because of Microsoft’s Surface?

The mobile landscape on Monday became a tad more interesting place with the announcement that Microsoft was going to enter the race with its own tablet product marketed under the Surface moniker.

We’re now less than an hour away until another major Microsoft presser, this one concerning Windows Phone. With that in mind, iDB thought it’d be interesting to gauge our readers’ opinion on the Surface vs. iPad dilemma…

With Surface, Microsoft finally has a tablet business model. Some even go as far to spell doom for iPad, such as The New York Time‘s Sam Grobart or Gizmodo’s Jesus Diaz who published a piece headlined “Microsoft Surface Just Made the MacBook Air and the iPad Look Obsolete”

You’ve got your regular pundits on the other side of the spectrum, such as MG Siegler and Daring Fireball‘s John Gruber who notes that the Surface competes “directly against Windows licensees”.

OEMs are apparently stoked and reportedly feel betrayed, though Acer founder opines that Redmond is not committed to the Surface, which in his words is meant to help Windows 8 take off and won’t be around for too long.

It’s easy do dismiss the Surface as a product without a shipping date or a price. On the surface (pun intended indeed), the two different hardware versions – one based on ARM chips and the other running Intel’s silicon – will only confuse folks with their respective  “Surface for Windows RT” and “Surface for Windows 8 Pro” branding.

Plus, it’s got a pen, which brings back to memory Steve Jobs’ saying: “If you see a stylus, they blew it”.

Conversely, it could also be argued that the Surface raises the water line with its ability to run both shiny new Metro apps and legacy Windows programs (only in the Pro version, though), meaning it’s the world’s first Windows and Office tablet.

The surface also has a full-sized USB port, is 9.3mm thick and sports a magnesium alloy case.

And its clever kickstand cover which doubles as a physical keyboard will no doubt appeal to many, though it’s questionable how comfortable typing on a 3mm thin piece of plastic is compared to, say, Logitech’s 8mm thick UltraThin iPad keyboard case.

So with both advantages and drawbacks ticked off, it’s time to cast your vote right below. Should be fun.

One thing’s certain: competition in the tablet space is heating up.

While Apple’s iPad will continue to dominate with an IDC-estimated 63 percent of all tablet shipments in 2012, what the next year and the year after will bring is now difficult to predict.

At the end of the day, we’re all for competition here and iDB will be making sure to keep tabs on what the competition is doing.

We’d love to hear your your opinion on the Surface and why you voted how you voted.

Meet us in comments.