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Microsoft Portables

Microsoft Surface Pro Arrives Feb. 9 268

adeelarshad82 writes "According to Microsoft, the Surface Windows 8 Pro will be available for purchase on Feb. 9 in the U.S. and Canada. As anticipated, the Surface Pro will be slightly thicker than the Surface with Windows RT, and will weigh about two pounds. The tablet is powered with an Intel Core i5 processor and 4GB of memory. It also includes an 802.11 a/b/g/n dual band Wi-Fi, a stylus for pressure-sensitive input, dual 720p HD webcams, a full-sized USB 3.0 port, microSDXC slot, and mini DisplayPort. Since the Surface Pro runs Windows 8 Pro, it will work with your corporate infrastructure, as well as any older apps that you used on Windows XP to 7. In terms of pricing, the 64GB version will cost $899 while the 128GB will set you back by $999."
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Microsoft Surface Pro Arrives Feb. 9

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 22, 2013 @08:37PM (#42663563)

    I'll start: this thing is too expensive for what it is.

    • by MrEricSir ( 398214 ) on Tuesday January 22, 2013 @09:04PM (#42663877) Homepage

      Yeah, but this has a kickstand. A kickstand! Aren't those all the rage with the kids these days?

      • I put a kickstand on my bike, and all the neighborhood kids are amazed by it. They never even heard of one. I was just tired of finding something to lean it on.
        • I'm going to try that! I put a playing card on with a clothes peg to make motorbike sounds as I rode..but a kickstand! Genius!
    • by steelfood ( 895457 ) on Tuesday January 22, 2013 @11:29PM (#42665071)

      No, it's not expensive. It's just plain useless.

      Windows RT was a dismal failure, and Windows 8 will be equally disastrous. It fails on the touch front and on the mouse and keyboard front. Having tried it extensively, allow me to name the ways:

      1) The Metro home screen is the only touch-friendly aspect of it. However, it is filled with useless Microsoft apps that can't function without an internet connection and are tied to largely inferior Microsoft internet services.
      2) It has the usual miserable Windows software keyboard and handwriting recognition, with fairly limited support.
      3) Outside of Metro, the remainder is the usual touch-unfriendly Windows interface meant for a mouse and keyboard, where fat fingers will simply fail. This is what gets me the most. If the thing is a touchscreen, then it should be configured out of the box to be touch-friendly. Instead, it is configured as un-touch-friendly as possible. And worse, while you can say switch Explorer to use large icons on a grid instead of the list or details view, many screens simply don't have a touch-friendly interface.
      4) The edge swiping is annoying and easy to do accidentally, The left edge "screen list" is useful, but only to bring up Metro apps.
      5) Having to go to Metro just to access the swipe that will bring up a button to get to the list of programs is painfully clunky. The bottom swipe should be active on the desktop screen, and it should be the list of applications, not an extra button.
      6) The right swipe should have been able to access the entire control panel, but instead, it's largely useless.

      On the mouse and keyboard front:

      1) The Metro UI and swiping is as horrible as expected. Some things have Metro and old Windows equivalents, but most do not. It's incredibly annoying to switch between mouse and keyboard, and touch, and that's pretty much what's necessary to use Metro.
      2) And I don't think I need to mention that you can't even get to your software list without going through Metro, which is already a three step affair even by touch.
      3) It doesn't come with the cover, which is another $150.

      Oh, and did I mention that you have to "activate" Windows before you can use some of its functionality? It's hardware made by Microsoft but there's somehow still a chance copy of Windows on it can be a bootleg. Activation is automatic with an internet connection, fortunately, but it's ridiculous that it's even necessary.

      I expect Windows 8 to be slightly better than RT, in that it can run traditional apps. And there are third-party programs to minimize the damage Metro causes for those who want to do useful work with it. But that's about as good as it'll get. It's still a touch disaster, and a fairly useless "entertainment" device (RT comes with Office, but no games preinstalled).

      Microsoft needs to shape up if they want to even have a shot at the tablet market. They possess a split personality disorder both on the UI front and on the developer front that they very much need to ditch. If they can't seem to figure out what kind of machine it is (or develop a separate "personality" for each purpose), nobody else will be able to. And people will avoid it.

      For starters, they're going to have to revamp the entire look-and-feel of their tablet Windows to be touch-centric. It'll be easy to go from touch back to mouse and keyboard, because the mouse is just a very, very fine finger. But they need to commit to it, instead of leaving half of the screens in the old Windows UI and the other (useless) half touch-friendly.

      And they'll have to include the keyboard out of the box. The software keyboard is a stinking manure pile. Nobody's going to buy a Surface/Pro without an external keyboard. Nobody's going to touch Windows RT/8 without a real keyboard.

      Portable work devices are rarely perpetually-connected, while entertainment devices are usually connected. Including Office with RT to make it a useful work device was genius, but not including any games was equally boneheaded stupid.

      Only if they can fix the split personality disorder in the rumored Windows 8.1, could it be a useable OS. Otherwise, it'll just be another disaster.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 22, 2013 @08:40PM (#42663595)

    Mostly because work is buying me one.

    • by icebike ( 68054 )

      Mostly because work is buying me one.

      And quite frankly, that is the market that this tablet is aimed at. Everybody expectant it to be a dud. But I'm not so sure.
      It may well take off where there is a need to run tightly integrated software that ties into corporate environment, but which is not so mainstream that it would attract lots of developers wanting to port it to RT, or it is so customized or so proprietary that there is simply no market for an RT port.

      Of course, lots of C++/C# apps are source level portable to RT via a simple recompile

      • by symes ( 835608 )

        If the pressure sensitive stylus works well then I will want one of these. I am truly fed up with all the paper wasted just so I can make temporary notes on a piece of paper. It will be interesting to see what integration with MS 360 offers, or whatever it is called.

        • This is the big thing. I would love a tablet that I can take real notes on. Especially one where I can enter mathematical notes.

          Every tablet I have looked at has been very bad to taking notes on. They just don't have the accuracy required. This tablet even runs a full windows of windows which means I could take notes and still use applications like matlab and excel.

      • Of course, lots of C++/C# apps are source level portable to RT via a simple recompile.

        Very few apps are, actually. Remember that most traditional desktop APIs are off-limits to third-party apps on RT (unless you unlock it, which is unsupported and can go away with any update). Yes, Store apps can run C++ and C#. But .NET for C# is a very trimmed down profile compared to full desktop .NET (heck, it doesn't even have System.Data anymore!), and C++ has the entire standard library working, but little else. If your app had any kind of GUI, you'll have to rewrite that almost entirely (unless it wa

    • Mostly because work is buying me one.

      ...I'm sure I would not want to work on this all day.

      • by icebike ( 68054 )

        Mostly because work is buying me one.

        ...I'm sure I would not want to work on this all day.

        News Flash: Business learned long ago that there are different tools for different jobs. This is why you seldom see mail clerks riding among the cubicles on horseback.

        • News Flash: Business learned long ago that there are different tools for different jobs.

          That is not even remotely true, it generally buys thousands of identical large dull brand boxies, of the lowest specifications, and may or may not roll out a new OS or browser every 10 years...and to be perfectly honest would prefer working on one of those to that. I think business is the wrong market for this product.

          • You obviously have very little business experience. I've worked in several large enterprise environments and what you're stating is blatantly false in my experience. Typically there will be a standard desktop, a tower system, a couple of laptop models, and OS updates happen when ready, meaning once they've been certified to run said organization's software.

            I already have clients rolling out Windows 8. I would not be surprised to see the Surface Pro sell reasonably well in the enterprise.

      • by caywen ( 942955 )

        I wouldn't want to stay in a coffee shop or library all day, either. Fortunately, where I *do* work, I have a 2560x1600 monitor and a nice ass keyboard and mouse.

        I wouldn't want to work all day on a MacBook Air, either.

  • by girlintraining ( 1395911 ) on Tuesday January 22, 2013 @08:43PM (#42663629)

    After the stunning success of the original Surface tablet, Microsoft releases its successor, codenamed "Rodents of Unusual Size".

    • After the stunning success of the original Surface tablet, Microsoft releases its successor

      The Surface Pro will likely be much more successful than the RT. It runs win32, win64 and Modern UI apps natively & seamlessly integrates with Active Directory - Key features for business that the RT can't do...

  • At $LARGE_US_BANK we are only STARTING to roll Win7 out to the great unwashed. We still need IE6 for about half the bank's applications.

    Saying that Win8 is for corporate America is just masturbation.

  • by Joe_Dragon ( 2206452 ) on Tuesday January 22, 2013 @08:52PM (#42663737)

    at that price it needs at least 8gb ram

  • Every time I see the phrase "Microsoft Surface", I always think of the table computing platform now called Pixelsense. It's like I always have to do a mental double-take to realize that they are talking about a tablet.

    I'm not normally adverse to keeping up to date with technology and lingo, so I'm unsure why, long after I learned that they had renamed it, I'm still always stumbling over that expression and initially associating it only with MS's table computing platform.

    Sorry.... sorta OT... But I'm s

  • Compare to ... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Rougement ( 975188 ) on Tuesday January 22, 2013 @09:33PM (#42664137)
    An iPad at $400 cheaper and a MacBook Air for only $100 more. I'm not sure, at this price point, what MS are trying to accomplish. It just reeks of a hurried "oh hell, we must release something to counter Apple' Well, here's your something.
    • Re:Compare to ... (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Barlo_Mung_42 ( 411228 ) on Tuesday January 22, 2013 @09:41PM (#42664209) Homepage

      MB air is $100 more and doesn't even have a pen or touch?
      I'd rather have the Surface Pro.

    • Re:Compare to ... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Cinder6 ( 894572 ) on Tuesday January 22, 2013 @09:47PM (#42664285)

      Apple user here.

      Here's what the Surface Pro has over an iPad: Run desktop apps; ability to modify the OS as you see fit
      Here's what the Surface Pro has over a Macbook Air: Touchscreen

      Different tools for different people and different uses. I don't personally want a Surface (Pro or RT), and it certainly has some (pretty big) disadvantages, but that doesn't mean I can't understand what Microsoft is trying to accomplish. I think there's merit to their "Windows anywhere" goal, though it still needs some polishing.

      • It actually goes a bit further than that, even: the inclusion of the USB port and the support for Client Hyper-V (admittedly, it's a bit short on RAM, but it should be enough to, say, virtualize a Linux system) makes this a much more versatile device. I'd say it's cheaper than the MBA, but that goes away when you add the Touch or Type cover for keyboard and trackpad.

      • by caywen ( 942955 )

        Unlike the iPad, it also supports multiple users.

        Like the iPad, it supports iTunes - except that it actually, like, runs it.

    • Re:Compare to ... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by CohibaVancouver ( 864662 ) on Tuesday January 22, 2013 @10:34PM (#42664671)

      An iPad at $400 cheaper

      An iPad doesn't run corporate win32 and win64 apps natively. An iPad doesn't integrate with Active Directory for seamless access to network resources. An iPad only has a finger, not a stylus interface. iPad has no USB port.

      and a MacBook Air for only $100 more

      The Macbook Air has no touch interface and doesn't convert to a tablet / slate for easy use on an airplane in economy with the seat in front of you in full recline.

    • Don't forget this for 300 dollars less: []
    • An iPad at $400 cheaper and a MacBook Air for only $100 more.

      So then i have to carry 2 devices and it cost me $600 more?

    • by Luckyo ( 1726890 )

      And my E-450 laptop cost me 350 euros. But just like all the products you listed, they're aimed at different market segments.

  • by Overzeetop ( 214511 ) on Tuesday January 22, 2013 @09:58PM (#42664387) Journal

    Panasonic's 20" tablet has certain major advantages for me, as I do architectural-like work. Still, pressure sensitive pen input (if high-dpi accurate) and a 2lb mark is nice. 4 hours life sucks, but it's not as bad as the 2 hours proposed for the panasonic.

    The biggest draw for this is a machine that could replace both my iPad and my notebook computer (currently an 11.6" Acer Timeline). The ability to have a real OS and the ability to run real applications (Lightroom, AutoCAD, Bluebeam, Analysis software) is a major plus.

    The shortcomings, beyond the middling battery life, include the limitation that you can only get 128GB. While that may seem like enough for a tablet, this is a working machine and really needs have an option to go to 256, if not 512, for serious road warrior data sets (or photogs on the go). And *micro* SD? Slow AND limited capacity. Hard to believe on a tablet this big that SD was a deal breaker in the real estate department. The lack of included keyboard is just money. I have Apple products, so overly expensive SSD and accessories are already commonplace.

    • by Luckyo ( 1726890 )

      You may consider just getting an USB thumb drive for external stuff. Not the most elegant solution, but functional nontheless.

  • Anyone know if it runs 32 bit or 64 bit Windows?
  • by Holi ( 250190 ) on Wednesday January 23, 2013 @02:32PM (#42671873)

    That around 90% of the comments here will be from MS haters coming to bash something they have yet to see. For reasons they can only poorly describe.

Don't tell me how hard you work. Tell me how much you get done. -- James J. Ling