updated 02:36 pm EDT, Fri June 22, 2012
No cellular connection to keep costs down
Microsoft's newly-unveiled Surface tablets may not feature cellular connectivity options when the devices launch later this year. Sources familiar with the products' specifications have told Bloomberg that the decision to forego 3G and 4G capabilities is aimed at keeping pricing as low as possible.
The lack of a cellular connection could prove somewhat damaging to Microsoft's efforts to portray the Surface tablets as "go anywhere" devices well-suited to the enterprise sector. The tablets' main competitor, Apple's iPad, already comes in a cellular-equipped model, though the best-selling models offer only Wi-Fi. Still, some analysts doubt that the lack of cellular radios will be a stumbling block for the new tablets, citing figures that indicate that most tablet customers use the devices in their homes or other locations with Wi-Fi.
The Surface tablets' eventual connectivity options are but one of the mysteries surrounding the devices, which Microsoft developed in secret. The company has yet to detail battery life, processor power, or price for either of the Surface tablets. Known specs are limited to certain details that Microsoft revealed in its press event or on the Surface web site.