Weekend Roundup: Microsoft launches Surface 2, Apple refreshes iMac with Haswell processors, and enterprise tech in Boston

Microsoft outs Surface 2 tablets

Microsoft's first attempt to break into hardware didn't exactly go swimmingly, but that hasn't stopped it from attempting to realise its tablet manufacturing ambitions a second time. This week, we saw the unveiling of the Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2. The new Surface tablets are lighter and thinner than their predecessors, as well as being a fair whack nippier thanks to the inclusion of NVIDIA's Tegra 4 chipset. Running Windows 8.1, the Surface 2 shows that Microsoft is determined to establish an in-house hardware line beyond the consumer-facing Xbox One, but its bloody-minded determination to make a success out of Surface isn't impressing everyone.

John C Dvorak, for one, feels that the Surface 2 shows Microsoft can't get rid of losing ideas, though there is obviously a more charitable way to look at it. Growing pains for first-time product lines are hardly uncommon, and it's entirely possible that the Surface 2 will fare better than Microsoft's first slate effort. We're looking forward to getting our hands on the Surface 2, but in the meantime, check out our Microsoft Surface 2 vs Apple iPad spec comparison to see how the new device stacks up against the competition, or if you just can't get your head out of the office this weekend, find out more about what the Surface 2 means for business and enterprise.

Touching down in Boston

As well as reporting on blockbuster product launches like Microsoft's Surface 2 cloak-pull, ITProPortal also ventured across the pond this week to meet with some of the brightest lights of the renowned Boston technology scene. We had a cracking time to say the least, with some highlights including our meeting with network software specialist Ipswitch. Specifically, we sat down with its president of network management, Ennio Carboni, who providing us with some insider insight into one of the hottest trends in tech: BYOD. To put it bluntly, Carboni is a fan, and his message was that businesses looking to resist changes in device provisioning and management were swimming against an unstoppable tide. Instead, enterprises should be learning from universities and embracing BYOD.

We also heard from Dr Mark Campbell, CTO of all-in-one data backup and DR solutions expert Unitrends, who talked us through the most common disaster recovery dilemmas and how to avoid them. Down the road from Unitrends, disk-based backup hardware company ExaGrid Systems was another firm on our hit list. Based on our visit, we can now reveal that ExaGrid will bring its hybrid cloud DR solution to the UK soon, as it looks to build up its global user base, which currently account for roughly 15 per cent of its customers. Stay tuned for more, as we'll continue to reflect on our time in Beantown next week, as well as paying a visit to Splunk's .conf2013.

Apple refreshes iMac with Haswell processors

So often, Apple's desktop offerings play second fiddle to its ritzy mobile devices. But for those in the know, the iMac is actually the firm's standout product. This week, we saw Apple refresh its all-in-one offering, beefing up the iMac with the addition of Intel's new generation Haswell processors. The 2013 iMac can be configured with either Core i5 or Core i7 architecture, and also comes with next-gen 802.11ac Wi-Fi. As before, the 2013 iMac is super-svelte and can be had as either a 21in or 27in model.