"Contention could conceivably arise in the form of the Pro version of the Surface, whose SSD storage of 64GB to 128GB SSD means the tablet could be used as a functional PC -- even though its real bearing on the notebook market cannot be gauged until the Surface Pro is introduced sometime early next year," IHS iSuppli's report states.
The threat potential from Microsoft's device is more uncertain at this point given that pricing hasn't been set, the research firm said, adding that the device faces the $700 price ceiling of notebook PCs in general. The firm added that the Surface device includes a physical keyboard, not available on the tablet market leader, Apple's iPad.
Notebook sales have already been battered in the time that the iPad first entered the market in 2010.
Lucas Mearian covers storage, disaster recovery and business continuity, financial services infrastructure and health care IT for Computerworld. Follow Lucas on Twitter at @lucasmearian, or subscribe to Lucas's RSS feed . His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
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