Microsoft Surface and Windows Phone 8

Microsoft have had a pretty good couple of weeks, launched two new products and gained plenty of column inches and a small measure of restores credibility.

First out of the blocks was Microsoft's third attempt at a tablet, a recurring theme in the early part of each decade since the nineties and largely unsuccessful - until now, perhaps.

The Surface takes the game to the Apple iPad, offering similar usage profiles with added advantages for those prepared to take the plunge.

Integrating a keyboard and trackpad into its own version of the iPad's Smart Cover is a stroke of genius; the use of Windows RT on the lower end tablet should keep the price competitive whilst the high end Windows 8 Pro version will probably compete with current Ultrabook designs.

Then, earlier this week Microsoft launched Windows Phone 8 and promised a very impressive smartphone experience that, if delivered on, will make this very difficult for the iPhone 5 this autumn.

On the downside, current handsets will only get limited features of WP8 via a WP7.8 upgrade to ship very shortly. Foe consumers it won't make a large difference, however it could play havoc with Microsoft's OEMs who are going to have a hard job selling into the market in the new three - six months...