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Microsoft Surface v. Apple iPad v. Android Challengers: Who wins?

If you were expecting this post to be a comprehensive review of the new Microsoft Surface, launched this afternoon in a mysterious event in an undisclosed location hosted by he-who-shall-not-be-named (continuing with the mystery theme, not a comment on you, Mr. Balmer), then I am sorry to disappoint you. The Twittersphere has made it clear that Surface pricing details and availability had not yet been disclosed as this post went to "press."

Instead, I decided to look at this news through cleantech goggles and discuss what the impact will be from an energy perspective. So in the battle of Microsoft Surface versus Apple iPad versus Android Tablets, who wins? I have no clue.

I do, however, have an idea who loses: the consumer. Don’t get me wrong, the world will continue to get top-flight devices built on platforms by companies like Apple, Microsoft, Google and Samsung that will keep them checking email, watching video and shooting pigs with birds long into the night.

Where the consumer loses is when battery technology can’t keep pace with the accelerating power and feature race taking place in today’s tablets and smart phone industries. The battery issue will continue to hold companies back from putting all of the power and features consumers want in devices, and even impact the physical form factors they take.

There are several new battery chemistries that hold promise, but most of today’s devices don’t employ them. Until they get beyond lithium ion, I think we’re in for some bad reviews about the charge/discharge capabilities of next generation devices. 

Energy storage is a major issue that rears its ugly head in transportation (electric vehicles), renewables (grid-level storage) and now, consumer electronics. It’s high time that the media, government and private industry more intensely focus their attention on one of the biggest technology bottlenecks facing society.

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Jason Morris

Jason Morris

Executive Vice President at MSLGROUP

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