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Microsoft Handhelds

Microsoft Takes Another Stab At Tablets, Unveils Surface 2, Surface 2 Pro 381

Posted by samzenpus
from the let's-try-this-again dept.
Dputiger writes "Microsoft has unveiled both the Surface 2 and Surface 2 Pro, updating the former with a Tegra 4 processor and the latter with a new Haswell chip. Among the additional improvements are a more comfortable kickstand with two height settings, 1080p displays for both devices, USB 3.0 support, better battery life, and a higher resolution camera. Pricing for the 32GB Surface without a Touch or Type Cover is set at $449."
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Microsoft Takes Another Stab At Tablets, Unveils Surface 2, Surface 2 Pro

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  • by eclectro (227083) on Monday September 23, 2013 @05:28PM (#44928305)

    "This isn't an iPad 2" and "This isn't an iPad 2 pro".

    • by tuppe666 (904118) on Monday September 23, 2013 @05:37PM (#44928391)

      "This isn't an iPad 2" and "This isn't an iPad 2 pro".

      The iPad Market share of tablets is shrinking (down to 30%), they actual sell less than last year. Android are now dominant in tablets.

      Current share from IDC http://www.idc.com/getdoc.jsp?containerId=prUS24253413 [idc.com]

      • by the computer guy nex (916959) on Monday September 23, 2013 @05:45PM (#44928489)
        IDC counts shipments, not sales. The original galaxy tab was estimated by the IDC at over 2 million shipments, but later we learned it sold more like 50k. Web browsing numbers show the ipad at around 88% of marketshare, which counts actual purchased devices.
        • by organgtool (966989) on Monday September 23, 2013 @05:56PM (#44928635)

          Web browsing numbers show the ipad at around 88% of marketshare, which counts actual purchased devices.

          No, it doesn't. It counts the number of visitors of a particular web site that have content strings that claim they are using an iPad.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by aitikin (909209)
            And I already used all my mod points...Where's that +1 Insightful when I need it...
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by Anonymous Coward

            I set my android tablet to report that it was desktop chrome because I got tired of getting shitty webpages designed to be unusable on a cellphone that were completely unusable on a tablet.

          • And unless those devices were stolen, they are actual purchased devices. More accurate than IDC shipments.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Psyborgue (699890)
            While you and me might do that, how many users know what a user agent is, much less delve into third party browser settings to change it? There can't be enough people to mess up the numbers.
          • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 23, 2013 @06:15PM (#44928843)

            Why is this marked insightful? Are even 1% of users spoofing their user agent string? Are 0.01%?

          • by sootman (158191) on Monday September 23, 2013 @06:23PM (#44928913) Homepage Journal

            > No, it doesn't. It counts the number of visitors of a
            > particular web site that have content strings that
            > claim they are using an iPad.

            Yes! I'm sure TONS of people are using Android tablets or Surfaces but changing their user agents to make it look like they're using iPads. Because then it will look like iPads are more popular and then... sorry, I couldn't think of a single reason that anyone would do that. Someone who loves Apple but is forced to use a competing tablet by their employer? Seriously, I got nothing. Get a better version of a page? If anything, you change your UA to say "something on Desktop", not "something on iPad".

            Even if some people are doing it, I can't imagine it's enough to throw off the numbers. "Number of people setting non-iPads to send 'iPad' in their user agent string" divided by "about 90 million" [about.com] equals a very, very small number.

            • by organgtool (966989) on Monday September 23, 2013 @08:08PM (#44929735)
              That is not the point. The parent was right to smack down the number of units shipped since the number of tablets rotting on shelves is useless. However, that poster was wrong to quote a number without citing the source as well as believe that the number has any meaning since we do not know the method in which that data was collected. That number could have come from a careful analysis that only counted users once via their login credentials or it could have been from some asshole who had a blog that had eight pageviews, seven of which were from an iPad. The point is that we don't know, so his figures are just as useless as the ones in the post in which he was replying.
      • by MightyYar (622222) on Monday September 23, 2013 @07:01PM (#44929251)

        No problems with that report, but 3 observations:
        1. Total tablet volume shrank.
        2. Apple's year-on-year iPad sales were down, but compared with an absolutely stellar quarter in which the retina display was brand new.
        3. Most Android market share is in the low end where Apple has no presence at all. Most non-Apple market share is for "Others", followed by Samsung. Samsung does have some tablets which compete directly with Apple.

        I don't think anyone expects apple to return to the 70% market share days. I'd be far more concerned if Apple were having trouble with margins. As it is, I think they account for almost 100% of the profit in the tablet space. At the bottom of the market, you can pick up an Android tablet for $50!

        (Disclosure: I own AAPL)

    • by Capt.DrumkenBum (1173011) on Monday September 23, 2013 @05:37PM (#44928401)
      I was thinking "Epic fail 2, and Epic fail 2 pro".
      It is the price. They are still trying to sell at Apple prices, but MS is not, and has never been Apple. If they had released a tablet at around $300 they might have had a shot. There is a bit of a price gap at around $300.
      • by iamhassi (659463) on Monday September 23, 2013 @05:46PM (#44928495) Journal

        I was thinking "Epic fail 2, and Epic fail 2 pro". It is the price. They are still trying to sell at Apple prices, but MS is not, and has never been Apple. If they had released a tablet at around $300 they might have had a shot. There is a bit of a price gap at around $300.

        This. Microsoft needs to compete with Android tablets, not Apple. Microsoft needs a $199 tablet to compete with $199 Android tablets. Surface RT is still overpriced at $349. You're a software company, stop trying to make profit on hardware! Sell the hardware cheap and make the money from sales through the app store! You make the Xbox, haven't you learned anything from how console sales work yet? Or are you purposely pricing yourself far above market so you can lose money? Because that's exactly what this looks like, like you're not even trying.

      • by mlts (1038732) * on Monday September 23, 2013 @05:52PM (#44928591)

        MS could have just released both tablets as x86 ones, and they would have been decent replacements for primary PCs, especially if the tablets have a decent GPU/chipset.

        The Surface 2 is OK, but it has to fight against well-entrenched players.

        However, the Surface Pro 2 looks interesting as a primary computer, especially the one with 512GB of flash and 8GB of RAM. It won't win any benchmarks, but with the dock, it could be a decent desktop replacement, especially with USB 3.0 ports. In fact, it might have a long useful life, because it could run Windows Server 2012, Linux, or an OS of choice, and be easily tossed onto the top of a closet to act as a file or web server when it becomes too slow for mainstream software.

  • by tgeek (941867) on Monday September 23, 2013 @05:29PM (#44928311)
    Is like a broken Coke machine . . . maybe if they keep putting one more quarter in it, they'll finally get a cool refreshing drink . . .
    • Is like a broken Coke machine . . . maybe if they keep putting one more quarter in it, they'll finally get a cool refreshing drink . . .

      I am astonished they didn't al least take the opportunity to drop the price of the pro and create a mini pro at $200. Anything else is waiting another year to enter the tablet market. To come up with a different strategy is going to take time.

      • by tlhIngan (30335)

        I am astonished they didn't al least take the opportunity to drop the price of the pro and create a mini pro at $200. Anything else is waiting another year to enter the tablet market. To come up with a different strategy is going to take time.

        Probably because doing so would require going to Atom, and Bay Trail was only recently announced and probably just was available long after Microsoft had a chance to stabilize the hardware.

        And Atoms not including Bay Trail and later, run like crap. Which would make Win

    • by bitt3n (941736) on Monday September 23, 2013 @05:50PM (#44928559)

      Is like a broken Coke machine . . . maybe if they keep putting one more quarter in it, they'll finally get a cool refreshing drink . . .

      To be fair, at least since the 70's you've needed to use the same process to get a Coke from a working machine. I'd say it's more like they jammed a fork in an electrical socket, and when they got shocked they decided they better try turning the fork around first.

    • by sqrt(2) (786011) on Monday September 23, 2013 @06:18PM (#44928861) Journal

      It's just sad at this point, watching them hemorrhage money in every hardware space except their video game console division, and even that seems successful DESPITE their mismanagement, not for any brilliant strategy. They need to refocus on their core competencies and give up chasing every market that's just not in their DNA. Give up phones. Give up tablets. Make a solid enterprise and corporate OS/Office Suite. Windows 7 is a great OS that deserves a proper successor without an abhorrent touch interface grafted onto it.

      Their customers are screaming at them to sell them what they want but MS is refusing to make those products. The problem is there's a lot more competition these days. MS isn't the only game in town anymore and they can't afford to ignore their customers--which are the OEMs and enterprise.

      • by davidbrit2 (775091) on Monday September 23, 2013 @07:19PM (#44929385) Homepage
        The problem is if they cede the home/consumer market, the average non-IT staff member will become familiar with something else from their personal use. Now as an IT manager or CIO, you can decide to either gravitate toward what's more mainstream (assuming software vendors fill in the necessities, which is typical), or increase training spending to keep end users on the legacy platform nobody uses at home anymore. You can't make that kind of organizational switch overnight, but eventually the IT staff will also migrate toward the new popular platform, and then staff expenses will go up (I'm often tempted to learn Cobol to soak up maintenance programming contracts). It's just not feasible to turn your back on mainstream consumers and expect to maintain growth in enterprise when talking about these kind of horizontal markets.
    • by steelfood (895457) on Monday September 23, 2013 @06:41PM (#44929079)

      Actually, the way I envision it, Microsoft is on the third 10-minute break from a 6-10 night class. It missed dinner right before class, and it's starting to get hungry. There's actually a full meal in Microsoft's bag cooked by its live-in chef. But it's lasagna, and Microsoft doesn't want to disturb the rest of the class with the pungent aroma of parmesean cheese and tomato sauce. Besides, class is almost over. There's only another hour left, and then Microsoft gets to eat its dinner to its heart's desire.

      Instead, Microsoft opts for a small snack, one that'd be good enough to satisfy it for the rest of class. It didn't bring one, but it saw classmates Apple and Google heading off in some direction down the hall and then coming back with snacks like hostess cupcakes and twinkies and pop tarts and pretzels and tons of other snack items. Apple and Google have been eating these little things during the previous hours of the lecture, and this made Microsoft hungrier.

      So during this third, final break, as Apple and Google head to the vending machine once again for more food, Microsoft decides to follow. Microsoft hides around the corner as Apple and Google are picking up some snacks. This being night time, the lights in the halls are off, giving Microsoft the perfect environment to remain hidden. Microsoft has had a lot of practice hiding away from the plain sight of others, watching them and then doing as they did, which helps now. It waits for Apple and Google to return to the classroom, and then goes up to the machine. Microsoft sees a brand of chips it likes. Microsoft doesn't normally each chips, preferring gourmet food over small snacks inthe past, but it sees that the bag is bigger than the other bags, and it's cheaper than most of the other comparable items in the machine. So after it punches the number in, the first bag comes out. But to Microsoft's surprise, the bag promptly gets stuck against the glass. The bag of chips in question is actually too big to fit between the rack and the glass.

      Now, Microsoft's standing in front of the machine, staring at it, wondering why its chips haven't fallen. From having observed others buy food at vending machines, it knows that it can just buy a second bag when the first gets stuck, and both bags will fall. So Microsoft puts in the requisite amount again and punches in the code for a second bag of the same brand. The second bag just gets stuck behind the first bag. It did dislodge the first bag a little, so Microsoft thinks this is a success.

      But Microsoft hears Apple and Google coming back for some more food, probably stocking up for the next hour or so of class. And so Microsoft runs to hide around the corner again. It notices that Apple and Google see the stuck bags through the window. They point at it and laugh and wonder who the poor sap was who tried unsuccessfully to get not one, but two bags of chips. Then they put money in, punch for their desired items, and walk away with carrying their loot.

      Now Microsoft is a bit angry, jealous and upset over being ridiculed, and a bit frustrated that the chips it chose is still stuck between the rack and the glass. So it puts more money in, and punches the code for a third bag, hoping that this might dislodge the first and second bags. But this does not help. In fact, no matter how many times Microsoft puts money in, nothing falls out. Everything just gets stick. After a while, even the motor stops turning.

      But it doesn't matter. There are already four loose bags of chips ready to fall down, more than Microsoft can reasonably eat in the last hour of class. Microsoft has no more cash to spend. And class probably has resumed. Hungry, frustrated, broke, and in a hurry, Microsoft kicks the bottom of the machine, succeeding in only bruising its big toe. The bags of chips are still stuck. Then, after a moment of standing there thinking, even as class has certainly resumed for Apple and Google, a lightbulb goes off in Microsoft's head.

      Microsoft grabs the top of the vending machine, and pulls.

  • Key differences (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Doug Otto (2821601) on Monday September 23, 2013 @05:29PM (#44928313)
    The main thing that both Android and Apple based tablets have that Microsoft doesn't, is customers.
    • by symbolset (646467) * on Monday September 23, 2013 @11:46PM (#44931077) Journal
      Also, a non-Windows OS. I wonder if Microsoft considered selling a tablet that didn't have Windows on it? Those seem to do well.
  • by intermodal (534361) on Monday September 23, 2013 @05:30PM (#44928325) Homepage Journal

    People don't want Microsoft on their tablet. They've lost this war. Ironically, they're losing for the same reason IBM lost control of the PC: They can make all the products they want, but the software that people want runs on an OS owned by someone else.

    • by jedidiah (1196) on Monday September 23, 2013 @05:40PM (#44928431) Homepage

      No. It's the inverse of that. There are no legacy apps trapping people on the new platform. No one has any 20 year old Microsoft apps tying them to Microsoft's tablet.

      It's an open field and Microsoft has to compete on it's own merits including all of the ill will they have generated over the last 30 years.

    • by vux984 (928602) on Monday September 23, 2013 @05:43PM (#44928467)

      People don't want Microsoft on their tablet.

      The only people that care are the ipad buyers who want to buy an ipad because its an ipad, and few could even articulate why they want an ipad instead of an alternative, except that they "know" that's the one they want.

      The people buying droid tablets largely don't care that its droid. Sure, some of US do, but that's beside the point.

      MS can easily take a bite out of the android market by competing on price, if they want.

      MS can also go after the premium market with the competitive advantage the Surface 2 Pro has -- the ability to run windows / desktop apps.

      And -yes- this IS something there is a market for. One company I work with for example has all it's outbound reps using laptops to enter sales etc. The reps are clamoring to switch to a tablet for portability etc. Sure the point of sale system vendor could come around with a web interface or ios/droid client at some point, but today that doesn't exist.

      So the surface pro works for them today. Microsoft can go after and capture that market, even at 'premium' prices.

      They can make all the products they want, but the software that people want runs on an OS owned by someone else.

      What software is there that's exclusively on ios or droid that you think "people want to run"? Reality is people don't care about that. ipad has its brand name cachet, and droid has the open community, but the average person? Doesn't REALLY care; and the business user? Could very well see a lot of advantages to windows tablets if microsoft puts out a competent product.

      • by Dcnjoe60 (682885) on Monday September 23, 2013 @05:53PM (#44928605)

        Assuming you are correct and the droid buyers largely don't care that it's a droid, then most likely cost will be a motivating factor and many droid tablets can be purchased well below the Microsoft tablet offerings. For those that do care that it is a droid, cost may be less of a factor, but then there are most likely going to be droid features that appeal to that market segment. Either way, to the ignorant and informed droid purchaser, droid still wins.

        That leaves the premium market. In this market, MS has to compete directly with Apple and one would have to specifically want an MS product to not purchase the iPad.

        So, in all three markets, uninformed, informed and premium, it would appear that the only reason somebody is going to choose an MS tablet, is because they really want an MS tablet and not because of the features, price, compatability or just about anything else. That would mean they should sell well with MS fanboys, but that isn't a really good marketing strategy for long term success.

        • by roc97007 (608802)

          I think OP is right in that droid buyers are more likely to buy a tablet to fill a specific need or set of needs, and not because it has a cute logo or a brushed metal case.

          I think you're right in that if MS wants to be a premium product, it has to be a product that people *want*, not necessarily *need*.

          And that's where it falls apart. People use Windows because they have no choice. This had been true for so long that Microsoft is unable to design a product under any other criteria than (a) "you'll use it

      • by narcc (412956)

        It's true. Most people don't care about the OS. They're buying a tablet for internet and games.

        Still, even for those of us that do care, I'd happily buy a competitively priced tablet from Microsoft if it ran whatever Windows software I wanted -- and had a real stylus.

        If they can get something like the Surface Pro 2 down to around $300-$400, which is really only a matter of time, I don't see why they couldn't grab a good share. Add a few other players with their own hardware and I can see Microsoft really

      • by X.25 (255792)

        MS can also go after the premium market with the competitive advantage the Surface 2 Pro has -- the ability to run windows / desktop apps.

        And this is exactly why MIcrosoft tablets are failing.

        Why do you geniuses assume that people want to run Windows/desktop apps on their tablet?

        Do you realize that majority of people have exactly what they want on tablets, and don't need 'desktop apps'?

        Do you want Total Commander or ACDSee or AutoCAD running on your tablet? Which, exactly, are those 'desktop' applications that people can't wait to run on their tablets?

      • by exomondo (1725132)
        I really thought the Surface Pro would have been the geeks' dream. Fullsize USB port, HDMI out, stylus, keyboard attachment, etc... and you can run Linux on it instead of Windows! It's like the N900 of tablets.
      • by roc97007 (608802)

        People don't want Microsoft on their tablet.

        The only people that care are the ipad buyers who want to buy an ipad because its an ipad, and few could even articulate why they want an ipad instead of an alternative, except that they "know" that's the one they want.

        The people buying droid tablets largely don't care that its droid. Sure, some of US do, but that's beside the point.

        All true.

        MS can easily take a bite out of the android market by competing on price, if they want.

        Um, maybe. I guess anyone will buy anything if it's cheap enough, but Win8 is a hard sell.

        MS can also go after the premium market with the competitive advantage the Surface 2 Pro has -- the ability to run windows / desktop apps.

        And there you lost me.

        And -yes- this IS something there is a market for. One company I work with for example has all it's outbound reps using laptops to enter sales etc. The reps are clamoring to switch to a tablet for portability etc. Sure the point of sale system vendor could come around with a web interface or ios/droid client at some point, but today that doesn't exist.

        There are those who would disagree [salesforce.com]. If your sales software is a thick client bound to Windows, you're about a decade behind the times, chum. Modern sales interfaces are html based, and friendly (or, at least, no more unfriendly) towards tablets as they are laptops.

        So the surface pro works for them today. Microsoft can go after and capture that market, even at 'premium' prices.

        They can make all the products they want, but the software that people want runs on an OS owned by someone else.

        What software is there that's exclusively on ios or droid that you think "people want to run"? Reality is people don't care about that. ipad has its brand name cachet, and droid has the open community, but the average person? Doesn't REALLY care; and the business user? Could very well see a lot of advantages to windows tablets if microsoft puts out a competent product.

        Um, again, as many have said, if Microsoft had come out with this several years ago, they might have made a dent in the mar

      • by jonbryce (703250)

        You can run desktop applications on an iPad or Droid slab by using Remote Desktop, VNC or similar, except that in the time it takes to try and control an application designed to be used with a keyboard and mouse on a touch screen, you could drive back to the office and just do it on your desktop computer.

        People may think they want to run desktop applications on a tablet, but believe me, they don't.

      • by fwarren (579763)

        The market has pretty soundly kicked the Surface Pro to the curb at the current price point.

        I don't see anything that makes the Surface Pro 2 a more compelling device. All the "icing on the cake" that is added with new hardware features goes on top of the same "cake" that vast majority of MS customers have already rejected.

        They have on "must have" features to make people leave Apple or Google hardware.
        They have no "must have" software on the tablet side to make people leave Apple or Google software.
        They can

    • by CohibaVancouver (864662) on Monday September 23, 2013 @05:49PM (#44928555)

      People don't want Microsoft on their tablet.

      ...anyone who works in an office environment does.

      I have a Surface Pro (NOT RT. Repeat after me NOT RT) tablet at work - and it works like a charm. It's a Core i5 running Metro + Win 8 pro. Runs full MS Office and has access to all network resources. At my desk it has its desktop extended to another monitor (try doing that with an iPad) with attached keyboard & mouse. Away from my desk it's got a detachable proper clicky keyboard and a nifty stylus.

      If I'm "tableting" with it and I just want to check something or watch something on the train I tap a metro tile's app and pull it up

      If I need to do 'real' work I go to the Windows desktop.

      All my colleagues carry two devices (iPad + Note/ultrabook PC) - I carry one. Every time I pull it out at a meeting or at the airport people say "oooh... what's *that*?" The RT noise is distracting people from what is otherwise a very cool machine.

      You couldn't pay me to lug a laptop around anymore.

      • by bradvoy (686502)
        Same here. I've used an iPad and an Android tablet in the past, but my Surface Pro is far more useful because it runs Office and all my other Windows apps and yet is as portable as other tablets. There are only 2 problems with it: 1. The battery life is much shorter than an iPad or Android tablet. The Surface Pro 2 should be much better in that regard. 2. It costs too much. I got mine for free, but otherwise I wouldn't have bought it. Microsoft is NOT solving that problem with the Surface Pro 2; they
      • by fwarren (579763) on Monday September 23, 2013 @06:46PM (#44929125) Homepage

        This works because of your usage case. "I need a 10 inch tablet and would be willing to run office in metro mode, and want to be able to plug a monitor keyboard and mouse into it and am willing to spend $1000-$1200 to do so."

        That is NOT a large market at this time. The sweet spot for tablets is 7 to 8 inches. The display is to small to use office effectively. My CFO chokes on $1,000 plus work stations for people that need them for AutoCAD and Photoshop. Since a standard desktop computer is less than $700, that is a hard sell.

        There is not a large market for $1000 tablets that would be great on the road AND as a primary workstation.

      • And whose fault would that be, exactly? For five months, Surface MEANT "Surface RT." Did someone hold a gun to Microsoft's head and say "Release Surface RT first?" Did someone hold a gun to Microsoft's head and say "Do Surface RT in the first place?"

        Remember that portability was supposed to be one of the primary design goals for Windows NT, and it originally ran on, IIRC, Digital Alpha, IBM PowerPC, SPARC promised (but never delivered), etc. etc. If they'd stuck to their design goals, every Windows applicat

  • by JoeyRox (2711699) on Monday September 23, 2013 @05:34PM (#44928365)
    If they're looking to rid themselves of excess cash.
  • £200 for one with a good keyboard would be reasonable, but against the Nexus 7 + the Bluetooth keyboard I already have... Nah.

    • I read the list of prices for accessories (more power, keyboards, etc.) and thought, "only Apple can get away with charging an arm, leg, and testicle for pieces parts". A bare Surface costs $450, two to four times what anyone else's tablet costs, but when you buy the doodads to make it impressive then you've doubled the cost. And while we might not flinch at a $900 notebook computer, $900 for a tablet is a stretch.

      But we'll see how many Win 8.1 tablet fanboys will shell out like they were Macintosh and iT

    • but against the Nexus 7 + the Bluetooth keyboard I already have

      What Bluetooth keyboard do you use with your Nexus 7? Android 4.3 broke compatibility with my ZAGGkeys Flex; apparently it's detected as a "non-alphanumeric keyboard" (that is, a gamepad), and fixing it would require wiping the thing to gain root to rename a keyboard layout. At least if a keyboard is bundled with a tablet, you can be pretty sure that the tablet's manufacturer is going to put in effort not to break the keyboard.

  • by bogie (31020) on Monday September 23, 2013 @05:37PM (#44928397) Journal

    Microsoft, in late 2013 just came out with 2 tablets that don't offer LTE? Oh right next year they say. Smart business move.

    The people with the money to burn on these devices and a wireless plan to go along with them just want to pay once and then have connectivity everywhere without thinking. Definitely a short-sighted move IMHO.

  • I did not read anything in the improvement list that solves why people didn't want the old versions. Just improved specs, but a faster tablet no one wants is still a tablet no one wants. What is going to prevent this from being another billion dollar loss? Building fewer upfront so they don't have to throw as many away?
  • still wrong (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Tom (822) on Monday September 23, 2013 @05:38PM (#44928415) Homepage Journal

    They're still missing the point, so my bet is that it'll collect just as much dust as the old one.

    What MS is selling is basically an ultrabook with a touchscreen, not a tablet. They're still not getting that a tablet is an entirely different device with different needs and usage cases.

    MS has never been user-aware, always developer-focussed. I'm so happy it's finally biting them in the ass.

    • if their tablet OS wasn't sitting on millions of desktops that I and thousands of others have to support. *ouch*
    • by Zibodiz (2160038)
      Have you ever used a Surface? I don't own one (I'm lucky to have a used $200 Fujitsu convertible), but they are seriously competitive hardware. The OS feels very tablet-like (how can anyone complain otherwise while still complaining about Windows 8 being 'designed for a tablet and not appropriate for a desktop"), and unlike an iPad, I don't have to relearn everything just to use it -- I already understand the interface because I have Win8 on my laptop. Contrary to what the ads say, iPads are a pain to us
    • How is the RT version any less of a tablet than an iPad? If anything it has all of the capabilities of an ipad+ more features. The only thing I can see that it's lacking is app selection and over the last year that's a gap that's been pretty well closed.

  • by tlambert (566799) on Monday September 23, 2013 @05:40PM (#44928439)

    Bullwinkle: Hey Rocky, watch me pull a rabbit out of my hat.
    Rocky: Again?
    Bullwinkle: Presto!
    Lion: ROAR!!!
    Bullwinkle: Oops, wrong hat.

  • No sign of a price cut on the old one here in the UK yet (and there's no hope in hell I would buy version 2 at list), but this got me thinking... how cheap would the old models have to be before I would pick one up?

    The Pro, I'd probably take a look at if it was in iPad price range, but the RT... if it was in the £100 area? I'm still not sure. One thing's for sure, the keyboards are laughably overpriced. Here in the UK, at today's exchange rates, you'll have to fork out a cool $176.51 for the rea

  • Every time MS releases a new Phone or Tablet all I can think of is the execs at Apple and Google saying "Big whoop wanna fight about it?"

  • by wavedeform (561378) on Monday September 23, 2013 @05:57PM (#44928651)
    If history is any guide, most people will wait for version 3.1, when it may become just good enough.
  • At these prices, these tablets are guaranteed to sell as well as the first generation!
  • Finally! I've been looking for a nearly $500 wedge to prop the short leg of my dinner table up with!

  • Android: the system you use while waiting for Windows to boot.

    • I own a Nexus 7 tablet running Android 4.3, and my aunt owns a Gateway PC running Windows 8 with Classic Shell. In my experience, it takes about the same time to cold boot Windows or Android, and the same time to come out of suspend whether on Windows or Android. Are you comparing resume on Android to a cold boot on Windows?
  • Give them your old ipad, get $200 credit toward in-store purchase.
    I am not sure, however, what people would want more:
    my old ipad 1 or $200 at microsoft store.
    At least, it *would* make a better Christmas stocking stuffer than
    some socks and a toothbrush.

  • to something else. I mean it worked when they released Vista 2.0, oh I'm sorry Windows 7.
  • computing. Right now, the vast majority of offerings come with Win 8 which no one seems to want. It will either drive desktop sales to Apple or if Goog isn't dumb, they'll solve the problem by providing desktops with Android or Chrome OS. Of course, linux is always lurking, but most people will stay away from linux because it is too different from what they are used to. It's too bad- linux has had MS beat on reliability for years, but people don't seem to care about reliability.

    MS is just another also-r

  • Can it run Android?

  • White Star Line has announced the Titanic Deck Chair 2. Details at 11.
  • They closed the big thing holding people back on Pro -- the gap on battery life -- I will be getting a Surface Pro 2 to replace my everyday machine.

    And a dock when they come out. Perfect.

    MS still overpriced RT. They need to lose money and get it out there for the RT to have any hope of generating the critical mass of developers needed.

  • Here is the most remarkable fact about Surface RT (Windows on Arm) in combination with the new Windows Store at BestBuy:

    A significant amount of the floorspace of America's last remaining generic brick and mortar electronics vendor, is now devoted to a product that does not sell.

    The Surface RT is product does not have a naturally won position in the market place. The product exists simply because Microsoft has the money, a long standing relationship with BestBuy, and the desperation to place the excess inve

  • Surface 2 and Surface 2 pro? That means we're still missing the Surface 2 Enterprise, Surface 2 Ultimate, and the Surface 2 Home.

    Because it's Microsoft. And no product is worthwhile unless it has at least a half a dozen or so pointless variations.

  • by Stormy Dragon (800799) on Monday September 23, 2013 @06:49PM (#44929153) Homepage

    You have to wonder if Microsoft's recent history of walking away from every hardware platform after a few months is starting to take it's toll. Even if you thought their new tablet was a good product, are you going to risk hundreds of dollars on a product that will be unsupported a year later because its manufacturer can't seem to stick behind anything?

  • hardware vs software (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 23, 2013 @06:50PM (#44929157)

    Posting as AC for employment reasons. A few months ago, the corporate powers gave us all shiny new Surfaces. Every employee got one, and the lines were an hour deep at times. But I would estimate as of now, 1/3 of them are still in their boxes, and only 1 in 5 are seeing regular use. The problem is that the Win8 IFKAM blinky-tile interface is a hard sell even inside the company, and 8-RT's limited auth model just adds to the confusion. Presented with an RT device in a thoroughly AD-managed environment, it's still totally unclear how to associate the Live/MSN/MSID account with a domain account, and corp versus personal-id usage. Most employees still can't explain how it works. I can't imagine how customers figure this out if the mothership can't get it right.

    The real twist is that the Surface hardware is GREAT. I was a fan of the Archos android tablet design (first with a kickstand), and the Surface RT did it better. The Surface RT also kicked ass wrt build quality (partly because initial refurbs were unloaded to internal employees -- you're welcome), screen and sensor quality, speed and memory right up there with Samsung and Asus high-end arm products The Surface Pro screen is top-tier, and the performance is excellent for the form and battery life. The problem is the OS. If I could run Android on the RT hardware, I would use it every day. If I could put *ANY* other OS on the RT hardware, I would. At least on the Surface Pro you can turn off the EUFI cruft and install Windows 7 or Ubuntu or Mint or whatever else floats your boat.... If only the marketing wasn't openly hostile to the way that a lot of users want to use computers.

  • 1080P? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Osgeld (1900440) on Monday September 23, 2013 @07:41PM (#44929517)

    My fucking nook has a 1920 x 1280 screen and cost 150 bucks

  • It is sad .... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by jotaeleemeese (303437) on Tuesday September 24, 2013 @07:05AM (#44932585) Homepage Journal

    .... that even the astroturfers are not trying to prop up this debacle.

    Slashdot isn't the same without them.

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