Microsoft’s Surface is here, high-tech ad proclaims

Look what just surfaced on Microsoft Surface team’s YouTube channel. This television commercial could be equally confusing to those who deemed the previous Movement ad too childish to begin with and perhaps over-the-top. One thing is certain: Microsoft is determined to make as much noise as possible about this tablet. The company today officially launched Windows 8 and will begin selling the Surface on Friday.

Apple the same day is scheduled to put its iPad mini on sale across 34 countries worldwide. Armchair estimates peg advertising expenditure for Windows 8 and Surface launches anywhere in the ballpark of $1-$2 billion.  I’ve also included a new making-of video for the Movement ad right below…

Microsoft tells us some nice things about its tablet, which was announced back in June, in a YouTube blurb.

This is Microsoft Surface. From touch to type, office to living room, from your screen to the big screen, you can see more, share more, and do more with Surface.

And this here right below is the previous Movement ad.

From earlier this morning, Microsoft uploaded this Movement making-of video.

And another one depicting the making of the Surface’s Touch Cover along with the satisfying click sound to it.

First reviews panned the Surface for being too buggy.

For example, The Verge thinks that “instead of being no-compromise, it often feels like more compromise” because “it does the job of a tablet and the job of a laptop half as well as other devices on the market”, adding the device “often makes that job harder”.

Editor Joshua Topolsky gave it a score of seven out of ten.

Here’s The Verge’s video review (sorry, Flash-only).

For mainstream types, The Wall Streete Journal columnist Walt Mossberg wrote that apart from the lack of quality apps “and somewhat disappointing battery life, it may give you the productivity some miss in other tablets”.

David Pogue of The New York Times praised the hardware but also spotted problems with the software. Nearly half of respondents in our poll think Apple must pay notice to the Surface.

To me, the Surface is a fresh newcomer that deserves attention for its novel approach to multitouch user interfaces, great support for gestures, seamless integration with the rest of the Microsoft universe and other perks.

You may love it or dismiss it as a waste of time and engineering talent, but I think Microsoft is in it for the long haul. Such a strategy paid off in console world and I have no doubt in my mind that Windows will become a viable third option in mobile.

Finally some healthy competition to the iOS-Android duopoly, don’t you think?