Winners & Losers: Microsoft polishes its Surface and Google fouls the Nest

Your living room’s on fire or, you know, whatever

1

 Microsoft

Spreadsheets never looked so delicious

Surface Pro 3 with a bite taken out of it

Are you in the market for a new computer? Are you stumped about whether to buy a hip-and-cool tablet or a boring-but-functional laptop? Well, here’s some good news—Microsoft this week unveiled the new Surface Pro 3, which combines the best parts of tablets and laptops into one device, making it the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup of computers. There’s a nice big screen for watching movies, but also a keyboard for getting work done. The initial buzz among gadget geeks is that this could be a laptop killer had investors excited too. The only downside is that the Surface Pro 3 also comes with a pen-like gadget for writing on the screen. We can only assume it’s there to give Microsoft fans something to put in their pocket protectors.

 Google’s Nest

Does it seem a little hot in here?

Nest smoke detector saying “Meh”

Earlier this year, Google spent $3.2-billion to buy Nest, which manufactures wifi-connected thermostats and smoke alarms. But it turns out the company’s smart smoke detectors had a really dumb problem—users could accidently turn them off without noticing. You see, one of the nice things about the $130 gadgets was the alarm could be silenced by a simple wave of the hand. That’s good if you accidently set it off by burning your toast, but bad if it gets deactivated during, say, an energetic game of charades. Sure, the devices looked pretty, but looks are secondary when your living room is on fire. Nest was forced to recall more than 440,000 of the detectors, but it’s too soon to tell if this news will cause consumers to—ahem—leave the Nest.

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