The original Windows OS was meant to be Microsoft’s first operating system that would incorporate a graphical user interface; years later, Windows is everywhere. Times have changed, technology has advanced, and today tablets are leading in a new era that is set to change the way we use computers.

Over ten years ago Microsoft revealed the concept of tablet computers, and a few OEMs did end up making some. It was an epic failure; batteries would drain fast, they were heavy and the operating system they ran on wasn’t optimized for tablets.

Then, in 2010, Apple revived the idea behind them and brought back tablets. Within months the iPad became the must-have gadget, throwing everything into Microsoft’s face. It has taken some time, almost two and a half years, but Microsoft and its partners are ready to tackle the tablet space again.

Windows 8, will be their ammunition, tablets their guns, Apple, yet again, the enemy. In ten years much has changed, processors have become tiny and efficient, batteries better and smaller, parts cheaper, and the market bigger.

Sadly, Microsoft will face a lot of challenges. They will need the right price, lots of applications (RT will not run normal applications, it will mostly use Windows Phone applications in the beginning), appeal to the market, and bring features that can compete.

Microsoft doesn’t need to make an iPad-killer, they need to make a whole new product, something unique and special, something different. Surface will be a part of that, but their partners will be the key to success.

Acer, Asus, HP, Lenovo, Samsung, and Vizio will lead the way, and they will need to make up for their current Android-powered ‘failures’. Microsoft has done their part, the way is paved, but the road is long.