Apple likely not shaking in its boots over Microsoft Surface tablet

Redmond unveils tablet devices to much fanfare, but large questions loom

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Microsoft's big, dramatic unveiling of its very own tablet devices on Monday sparked the usual -- and historically appropriate -- skepticism from many tech observers.

But the cynicism wasn't universal. Wall Street, for starters, pushed up shares of Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) more than 4.2% to 31.11 in early Tuesday trading.

But it was the gushing reaction to Redmond's Surface tablets from many quarters of cyberspace that seemed odd and premature. A sampling:

"It looks amazing."

"The Surface tablet's integrated kickstand is sheer brilliance..."

"Microsoft‬’s 'Surface' Tablet should be a game changer!!"

And here's the most over-the-top reaction, this from a self-described Apple fanboy:

"Microsoft knocked one out of the park yesterday. Completely. Hit. A. Home. Run."

Don't get me wrong. Technology lovers are entitled to be excited about products that aren't designed in Cupertino, and -- with the exception of Redmond shills seeding Twitter and various comments threats on tech websites and blogs -- I don't doubt their reaction is genuine.

But isn't it a tad early to be proclaiming Microsoft's comeback, or the game-changingness of the Surface tablets? Keep in mind the following:

* No one outside of Microsoft has used a Surface tablet yet.

* We don't know what the pricing for the two different Surface tablets will be.

* We don't know when they'll be available.

* Microsoft's history in the tablet market is dismal.

* A few exceptions aside, Microsoft always has been a software company, but will be making the hardware for the Surface tablets. How will that go?

* Apple is way ahead of Microsoft in the tablet market and can reasonably be expected to respond (assuming it perceives a threat here).

The bottom line is, for all of Surface's "amazing" looks and "brilliant" physical features, nobody knows how the damned thing runs. And if it flops in the marketplace, nobody will care.

So until further notice, let's all calm down.

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