Say what you like about Microsoft, but the company has never lacked chutzpah.
According to invites sent out on Thursday, the company is to launch its Surface tablet hybrid at midnight on October 26 from its pop-up stores. This means Redmond is expecting punters to queue up through the night for a chance to buy a system that has no firm pricing, limited specification data, and that hasn't been properly reviewed by independent third parties.
As El Reg has pointed out, Microsoft has a mountain to climb with Surface, although the tablet could inspire OEMs to be a bit more creative with Windows 8 systems. The Surface certainly looks good, but the devil is in the details – and there have been precious few of those.
Sure, Microsoft has released some specifications for the systems – one for an x86-powered Surface and one running Windows RT – but even at the launch event this June there was little chance to try the units out. No one is sure what processors Surface units will be running, how much RAM has been packed in, or if there's a battery in there that'll last a useful amount of time.
It's a brave plan, since midnight launches are more common with staggeringly popular things such as the latest Harry Potter tome. True, Apple fanbois and girlz are renowned for waiting through the night to be the first with a shiny new toy, but this is Microsoft we're talking about. With a few notable exceptions (some nice peripherals, later Xbox models) the company hasn't covered itself with glory on the hardware-design front.
Steve Ballmer may be convinced that the Surface systems will fly off the shelves, and Redmond will be issuing around 93,000 to full-time employees, but a midnight launch could be overdoing it, in The Reg's opinion. ®