Solution to NFC on the Surface and Future Generations
The Surface has been confirmed to lack NFC and GPS due to the Mg case. Whether or not that's the actual reason, Microsoft could give future generations of Surface NFC without the problems of the Mg case or increasing the price. They could add NFC to the Touch/Type Cover. This is assuming that the cover would be able to transfer data. I'm unsure of how they could approach the GPS issue, but the NFC in the cover solution seems relatively simple.
I've decided that I'm most likely going to be getting the Surface Pro. However, I'm hoping that Microsoft will allow news sites to have a hands on before the pre-order because, even though I bet Surface RT has great attention to details, its tough to preorder an untested product. So hopefully TheVerge will get a review of the Surface Pro out when pre-orders start. The reason why I'm getting the Surface Pro and not the RT is simply that it has active digitizer support. If Microsoft can get an active digitizer into the RT version next year I'll definitely be considering that.
Here's also what I think could make the next generation Surface line better even though there haven't been any hands on reviews.
-addition of an active digitizer
-larger battery (Microsoft should be aiming for 15 hours as the screen is 1366x768 and it has a weaker GPU than the iPad. While 8 hours is fine, I don't know why its not more)
-more powerful ARM CPU and GPU (it should rival or beat the iPad)
-126 GB option
-dedicated graphics should be considered
-an 11.6" screen should be considered to differentiate itself from the RT as a productivity
-the resolution should be considered (Microsoft said the RTs 1366x768 beat the iPad's
screen so why should the Pro waste resources on a higher resolution)
-bigger battery (if the RT gets 8 hours, I'm concerned about the Pro)
-next generation Haswell chips (or whatever Intel has)
-NFC (if possible)
-GPS (if possible)
-more colors (especially for the type cover)
-tablets traditionally need to sacrifice power for battery life, but if Microsoft really wants to encompass the one device fits all strategy, it will need to allow more powerful options for the Surface. At least for the Surface Pro, it would be nice to dock it when you get home to a larger monitor and have a more powerful GPU.
7 inch Slate
-I have to say the 7 inch form factor is something that I like. However, there haven't been any news of 7 inch Windows 8 slates. The Nexus 7, Kindle HD, and rumored iPad all are great looking tablets, and I may purchase the alleged iPad mini if the rumors are true because my 1st gen iPad is slowing down a lot, but if I bought a 10 inch device (like the iPad 3 or Surface) I'd rather be able to do work on it (I've found that the iPad's 4:3 screen makes this difficult).
-It specs should be near that of the Surface RT, only optimized for a 7 inch form factor
I've seen some really nice Ultrabooks but the problems is, not many have a proper hinge that allows for the screen to lay flat so it can be used as a slate. The Ultrabooks that I like include the Lenovo Yoga and Dell XPS Duo 12
Microsoft should create an Intel based convertible Ultrabook in form factors like 13, 15, and 17 inches. They should essentially be Surface Pro's for students (even though the Pro might be a good option for students). What's great about the Surface Pro is its attention to detail. If Microsoft put the work it put into the Surface on a 13-17 inch convertible Ultrabook, typists and those who want more powerful options would appreciate this.
-from reports the Surface has an amazing screen even though it only has a 1366x768 resolution. While I haven't held one, Microsoft may want to look into creating a large monitor for people who want a better experience at home.
-the next generation Xbox is most likely too far a long in the design process to completely build it from ground up, but I think it would be a good idea to create a powerful box device that runs a modified version of Windows 8 to have a Kinect friendly interface (think of its dashboard now). The only difference would be it would run Windows 8, and therefore, would have access to the Windows store. For this to actually happen, that means that the Windows store will actually need to support AAA games like Battlefield, EA Sports, Call of Duty, etc. However, we don't know if the Windows store will shape up to be an iOS like app store, or if they'll try and take XBOX and mix it together with steam and iOS to create a cross platform ecosystem that allows for games like Angry Birds and Call of Duty. Maybe it should be called the Surface 720 and be released every 3 years (to align with every new Windwos release and to keep the technology current). My point is, that Xbox needs to become more of a service rather than a piece of hardware.
-Microsoft could release a high-end Surface phone. It would be nice if it looked like the mockup that's been circulating around.
-they could also release a low end phone that runs a modified version of Windows Phone 8 that has a QWERTY keyboard and styles itself after Blackberry devices. It would not have access to the Windows Phone marketplace because of the odd resolution it would have, rather 1st party apps only (Xbox Music/Video, IE10, etc.)
-Microsoft should continue its work on Keyboards, Mouses, and Cases for mobility and performance
Of course, I haven't actually held or used the Surface, but I am running Windows 8 RP and own an Xbox 360, so I have an idea of where the Surface line should be if Microsoft is taking its philosophy to heart.
Any thoughts on what the Surface line should become? What Windows 8 product are you looking to buy? Why would you recommend the Surface over an iPad?
For me, I'm waiting for the Surface Pro 128GB and would recommend it to a friend because of the pen support, larger 16:9 screen, and the expectations of the Windows Marketplace.