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The newest member of the Surface family will reportedly run Windows RT instead of Windows 8.1

In a market dominated by tablets from Apple and Samsung, Microsoft has relied on its Surface tablets to entice potential customers. The first generation tablets launched in late 2012 (Surface RT) and early 2013 (Surface Pro). The second generation Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 launched in late 2013.
While neither generation of Surface tablets has garnered a large following, Microsoft is hoping to reach a broader audience with a new Surface offering later this month. The company teased the announcement today by sending out invitations to an event that will be held in New York on May 20.
According to The Verge, Microsoft will be announcing a 7.5” Surface that will slot in below the 10.6” Surface 2 and 10.6” Surface Pro 2. While both the Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 come with 1920x1080 displays, the 7.5” Surface is said to come with a peculiar 1440x1080 display (4:3 aspect ratio).

10.6" Surface 2
The latest reports also suggest that the 7.5” Surface will feature a Qualcomm ARM processor underhood and will run the much-maligned Windows RT operating system instead of Windows 8.1.
We’ll have to wait until May 20 to get concrete details on the device, but we’re almost certain that the newest member of the Surface family will be priced below the $449 cost of entry for the 32GB Surface 2. Apple’s iPad mini with Retina Display is priced at $399, so Microsoft’s tendency to undercut Apple offerings could see the tablet priced at $349 (or lower).

Source: The Verge

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By retrospooty on 5/5/2014 10:56:19 PM , Rating: 3
A 7.5 inch surface2 with a 1440x1080 screen at $350, knowing they are fixing the ui later this year is really tempting.

RE: Nice...
By inighthawki on 5/6/2014 12:06:51 AM , Rating: 5
Are you referring to the start menu and windowed metro apps? I'm not sure those are going to be particularly helpful on a 7.5" display.

RE: Nice...
By retrospooty on 5/6/2014 8:19:56 AM , Rating: 1
Yes I am and yes they are.

I have tried a few other store models in the 8 inch range and still find the new full screen menu atrocious... So I for one am happy MS is listening to millions and millions of people that hate the way they did it. And further more, the hybrid non full screen old start menu w/ live tiles looks brilliant. It's like taking the best of 2 different ways and making something greater than the sum of its parts. Nicely done.

RE: Nice...
By tayb on 5/6/2014 10:00:43 AM , Rating: 2
It is Windows RT. What is the point of start menu? The only desktop applications available are Office.

RE: Nice...
By retrospooty on 5/6/2014 11:24:38 AM , Rating: 1
Because I hate it. I hate it on a Desktop, I hate it on a tablet and I hate it on a phone. I don't like the new full screen forced start menu period. Not in a car, not in a house, not on a train, it's just soooooo lame.

I would be willing to buy now, knowing that the fix is coming in the fall updates... But honestly, in my OP I wasn't aware how cheap other Windows tablets have become in hte past 6 months. I looked afterward based on other people's replies. Sooo.... I am out.

RE: Nice...
By niva on 5/6/2014 12:40:21 PM , Rating: 1
Calm down.

RE: Nice...
By retrospooty on 5/6/2014 1:07:32 PM , Rating: 3
??? Calm down? Was my Dr. Seuss reference too edgy?

Sort of instinct at this point on this site. Any time you mention you don't like the Win8 start screen you have a slough of people harping on you about it like dood with his green eggs.

RE: Nice...
By Spuke on 5/6/2014 1:54:17 PM , Rating: 2
Unlike you, the Windows 8 UI config is not the end of the world. I still get work done with it like it is. The upcoming changes WILL be welcome but, quite frankly, I'm intelligent enough to make anything work. Maybe it's because VERY few things actually ever meet my expectations so I'm used to dealing with and working around substandard sh!t.

RE: Nice...
By retrospooty on 5/6/2014 3:22:05 PM , Rating: 2
"Maybe it's because VERY few things actually ever meet my expectations so I'm used to dealing with and working around substandard sh!t."

LOL... Point taken, and MS was counting on you and people with that same attitude to buy in to it.

I see it differently. If people werent up in arms about the Win8 UI, the upcoming hybrid UI wouldnt ever have been fixed.

“Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.”
? Bill Gates

RE: Nice...
By tayb on 5/6/2014 1:53:44 PM , Rating: 2
That doesn't answer my question. There is nothing to do on the desktop in Windows RT. It serves no purpose. There are no desktop applications to run. If you don't like the Modern UI you shouldn't get a Windows RT tablet.

RE: Nice...
By Spuke on 5/6/2014 1:55:04 PM , Rating: 2
I'm sure retro is talking about Win8 tablets not RT.

RE: Nice...
By inighthawki on 5/6/2014 2:11:40 PM , Rating: 2
Retro's OP was referring to the new 7.5" surface tablet (ARM based, so Windows RT), and stated that the upcoming interface changes (which I confirmed as him meaning start menu + windowed metro apps), so I believe his question is still valid. It was kind of what I was getting at when I asked - Those UI tweaks will be massive improvements, but on a 7.5" RT device I wasn't really convinced it would be strictly better.

I personally don't really like metro. On my PC at home I never step foot in the metro environment. It's retarded (fullscreen calculator app, lol).
That said - On my surface, which is a 10" ARM device, I actually find myself within metro quite a lot. I find metro works incredibly well on smaller devices (tablets, 10" and below, phones etc) and that the desktop on these devices is, at least for my use cases, fairly impractical to be productive or useful. I would certainly need to try a 10" or 8" device using the new UI tweaks, but until then I'd remain incredibly skeptical that it would be any better.

RE: Nice...
By Spuke on 5/6/2014 2:50:14 PM , Rating: 2
Retro's OP was referring to the new 7.5" surface tablet (ARM based, so Windows RT)
Oh ok, I stand corrected. I am also of the opinion that RT in desktop mode would be stupid.

RE: Nice...
By retrospooty on 5/6/2014 3:18:12 PM , Rating: 2
Honestly, I was assuming that (like the 10 inch models) there would be both an RT and an x86 model. in spite of what this particular article might say. Why wouldn't there be?

Anyhow, moot point.

RE: Nice...
By inighthawki on 5/6/2014 6:49:51 PM , Rating: 2
Ah, I see. I got the impression from the article that the goal was for a 7.5" arm tablet and that was all. A bay trail device would be nice to see though, but I certainly wouldn't expect a 7.5" "surface pro"

RE: Nice...
By retrospooty on 5/6/2014 3:18:13 PM , Rating: 2
Honestly, I was assuming that (like the 10 inch models) there would be both an RT and an x86 model. in spite of what this particular article might say. Why wouldn't there be?

Anyhow, moot point.

RE: Nice...
By atechfan on 5/7/2014 2:59:12 PM , Rating: 2
Intel is also part of the event. That's about all I can say right now.

RE: Nice...
By datdamonfoo on 5/6/2014 3:27:02 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not sure what you mean by the full screen calculator app dig. If I open the start screen and type "calculator", the normal desktop calculator opens, not a full screen app. How are you opening the full screen app on your desktop computers?

RE: Nice...
By inighthawki on 5/6/2014 6:48:57 PM , Rating: 2
Ah, no no. What I was getting it was the fact that fullscreen nature of metro is a limitation, and doesn't make sense for my desktop usage, and the metro calculator was an example of a complete and utter waste of my screen realestate. It just a lead-in to my next point that it makes more sense on smaller devices, since there is less "wasted space" because the device is already small.

RE: Nice...
By datdamonfoo on 5/6/2014 10:19:42 PM , Rating: 2
But, isn't that just tautology? The only reason the metro calculator exists is for computers that will primarily use metro instead of desktop. For desktop computers you would just use the normal calculator app. Also, keep in mind that it's not strictly fullscreen, as you can move it to different sizes in split screen. But again, it's a moot point because all the desktop programs are there so why even bring up the metro apps? No one is forced to use them; they are ancillary on desktop computers.

RE: Nice...
By inighthawki on 5/6/2014 10:39:58 PM , Rating: 2
I realize that, but was entirely my point. I was trying to point out that on my desktop I dont use metro because of things like the example I used, but on a smaller device that's exactly where it's useful.

I'm not sure I see where you're going with this. I think we're both saying the exact same thing, except that you misinterpreted my initial statement.

RE: Nice...
By inighthawki on 5/6/2014 11:46:05 AM , Rating: 2
So just to be clear, when you played with those 8" devices, did you actually play around in the windows desktop? I have not used 8 (7.5)" devices specifically, but having used a 10" surface 1 and surface 2 before, and I'm not convinced that what you want would be strictly better. I cannot imagine being very productive on a 7.5" display with the windows desktop on an ARM based version of windows, even with the described changes.

Don't get me wrong - I'm really happy they're listening as well, I just have reservations about how well it would actually improve the experience on such a small form factor.

RE: Nice...
By retrospooty on 5/6/2014 12:31:03 PM , Rating: 2
Ya, i dunno... I am not likely going that way anyhow. Likely a larger 10ish inch x86 version would be better. That and the competition is alot cheaper than I thought at my OP.

RE: Nice...
By inighthawki on 5/6/2014 2:13:00 PM , Rating: 2
If you don't mind my asking, what did you plan to use it for?

RE: Nice...
By retrospooty on 5/6/2014 5:50:37 PM , Rating: 2
A downstairs laptop/tablet for my wife and I. We each have a PC upstairs on each of our desks and we keep one laptop downstairs. It's an older Lenovo T400. This would replace that and add the ability to go tablet mode when on the couch or whatever. I am actually good with my tablet there, but she wants a full KB and Windows.

RE: Nice...
By retrospooty on 5/6/2014 5:53:24 PM , Rating: 2
LOL... As I read my own post, I feel spoiled. 2 PC's, a laptop, and 3 tablets (plus 2 smartphones) and we need a convertible laptop/tablet.

This is why other countries hate us! ;)

RE: Nice...
By abhaxus on 5/7/2014 1:05:27 AM , Rating: 1
Pretty sure it has little to do with our gadgets and more to do with our stable government, ample food, good education, and excellent health care.

RE: Nice...
By inighthawki on 5/7/2014 3:37:48 AM , Rating: 3
Is that sarcasm?

RE: Nice...
By retrospooty on 5/7/2014 12:35:56 PM , Rating: 2
Well, compared to alot of 3rd world countries, we do have all that, especially the food part.

RE: Nice...
By atechfan on 5/7/2014 6:17:13 PM , Rating: 2
A quick walk through Walmart shows that many Americans get far more than ample food.

RE: Nice...
By inighthawki on 5/7/2014 7:19:24 PM , Rating: 3
Yeah it depends on what his baseline was. Compared to other first world countries, for example, our education system is a mess. And compared to a war-torn country fighting a civil war against a dictator for their independence, then yeah our government is super stable. So I was just legitimately confused by his examples since they can be argued for both sides of the equation.

RE: Nice...
By atechfan on 5/6/2014 6:05:54 AM , Rating: 2
If it is RT, as rumoured, it might not be so tempting for you.

RE: Nice...
By GulWestfale on 5/6/2014 7:10:42 AM , Rating: 2
7.5" with windows RT for 350 bucks? no thanks. you can already buy 10" tablets with windows 8 for about the same price.

RE: Nice...
By retrospooty on 5/6/2014 8:24:55 AM , Rating: 2
I hadn't been looking and a didn't realize how cheap other Windows tablets have gotten. After looking, I agree, it would have to be alot cheaper than $350.

RE: Nice...
By Da W on 5/6/2014 9:04:06 AM , Rating: 2
Where's the Nvidia Tegra K1 tablet with streaming?
Where's the AMD kabini tablet and where's their streaming?
That is what i need.

RE: Nice...
By karimtemple on 5/6/2014 9:41:39 AM , Rating: 2
Kabini's old news now. You ought to be asking for Mullins.

RE: Nice...
By ritualm on 5/6/2014 11:10:40 AM , Rating: 2
While Nvidia needs big-time design wins, AMD needs more than that. The latter has consistently failed to show up to the fight. It's sad when I count more Tegra 4 tablets in the wild than Kabini.

RE: Nice...
By retrospooty on 5/6/2014 12:33:52 PM , Rating: 2
Nvidia isnt getting design wins because of past behavior. OEM'S avoid them because of overreaching claims that don't pan out and production issues that slow things up. They are just difficult to deal with and not open and honest about things that are coming. It's going to be a tough climb for Nvidia to unburn those bridges with OEM's.

RE: Nice...
By ritualm on 5/6/2014 2:13:28 PM , Rating: 2
Nvidia has an easier time than AMD.

AMD is all vaporware at this point with mobile devices. All talk, all lofty aspirations, and nothing concrete to really show for it.

I'm still waiting for a credible AMD CPU/SoC alternative in something that is not a budget PC.

RE: Nice...
By Da W on 5/6/2014 2:40:39 PM , Rating: 2
Try Xbox and PS4 design win to start, both sold over 6M unit in 6 months. That makes a hit on the production chain. Add Hawaii GPU that are all the craze. For a 3B$ market cap company on the verge of bankruptcy, i think they've done pretty well. They fumbled pretty bad with Bulldozer, but it takes time to throw a bad CPU design to trash and make a new one. How long did Intel took with Pentium 4?

Noticed the news yesterday? Mullins, then ARM/X86 SoCs, new high end x86 core, HSA, GCN.... i'm seeing powerful mobile devices coming from AMD in the near future as well as a comeback in the CPU market! Actually, Intel should fab AMD's SoCs to help win the war against ARM. AMD is ennemy no more, ARM is to Intel.

RE: Nice...
By ritualm on 5/6/2014 6:24:51 PM , Rating: 2
Both the Xbox and PS4 are home consoles, definately not a growing market. Meanwhile, AMD has exactly ZERO presence where it really counts these days: highly mobile. Why? Because the only thing they're really good at is good performance at low prices... and that's all the advantages they have.

For their high-end CPUs to perform nearly at the same level as current-generation Intel counterparts, both power consumption and heat output have to go way up, and they lose the low-price advantage. First 5GHz desktop CPU... when the megahertz race ceased to matter after Netburst YEARS ago. Winning formula indeed.

For their chips to offer equivalent performance for less money, they lose on performance per watt. Mullins is about as good as Atom 2-3 generations ago, and it still has high power consumption as a big gotcha.
Noticed the news yesterday?

To which I reply:
"If you don't show up to the fight, by default, you lose."

- Eric Demers

AMD, for all its announcements and claims in the highly mobile market, has absolutely nothing to show for it. More of the same deja vu, and it's getting old.

RE: Nice...
By retrospooty on 5/6/2014 3:44:20 PM , Rating: 2
"Nvidia has an easier time than AMD."

Good point. The 2 are very similar in alot of aspects, although AMD has a better history going back decades and some huge recent design wins with XBO and PS4. If you take away AMD's past success and recent success and just look at the lowly middle parts, you have Nvidia ;)

By Manch on 5/6/2014 1:04:28 AM , Rating: 2
Where is the baytrail Surface? That would sell MS! Not another RT tablet!

RE: rt.....RT......RT!!!!!!!
By Samus on 5/6/2014 3:06:00 AM , Rating: 2
I love my Surface RT but it's annoying they are still making ARM tablets when Intel now has clearly superior performance mobile processors. It makes no sense, it isn't like they're doing it for margins. Intel would hook MS up (probably sell to them for what they're paying NVidia, etc) just to get the potential market share a Bay Trail Surface would gather.

This would eliminate the whole need for Windows RT, which as of Windows RT (8.1) can no longer be "jail broken" to emulate x86 code.

Just a stupid move. Win32 compatibility is the only reason people run Windows, that's why the Surface doesn't sell as well as it could. And the Surface Pro is just too big/heavy to be considered for tablet use. The battery life is pretty bad, it gets hot, and its uncomfortable to hold with one hand. Bay Trail would fix ALL that.

RE: rt.....RT......RT!!!!!!!
By atechfan on 5/6/2014 6:05:01 AM , Rating: 2
If the Surface Pro 2 is too heavy to use, you need to hit the gym. Seriously, what is wrong with people? It is also plenty cool in regular use. It only heats up noticeably in prolonged gaming sessions where the GPU is being taxed. The battery life is around 8 hours, which is less than higher end ARM tablets, is better than most of the Ultrabooks that are the Pro 2's real competitors.

RE: rt.....RT......RT!!!!!!!
By jeepga on 5/6/2014 12:39:46 PM , Rating: 2
I agree. It's on the heavy side for a tablet, but not uncomfortable. Hot? Mine gets warm, but it hasn't been uncomfortable.

I rarely play games on it, and those probably aren't that intensive. For the most part I use Visual Studio for work and personal projects, draw in Fresh Paint, photo editing in PhotoShop, read eBooks, and the typical stuff such as the Web, Mail and Calendar.

RE: rt.....RT......RT!!!!!!!
By Samus on 5/6/2014 7:25:37 PM , Rating: 2
My point was (and I'm saying this fully knowing the Surface is neither a tablet OR an Ultrabook, but both) that used as a tablet, the Surface Pro's are simply too heavy, thick, and warm compared to any other tablet.

The Bay Trail tablets for 1/4th the price (Dell Venue 7 Pro, for example) offer superior EVERYTHING compared to the Surface Pro, except for high-end performance and the larger screen.

But the Bay Trail tablets have backwards compatibility, superior battery life, lighter weight, thinner chassis, and virtually no heat disipation, compared to a Surface Pro.

And that's why the Surface RT/2 should have Bay Trail, not an ARM chip. The Surface Pro has its place (because it is hella fast) but it just doesn't make a good "tablet" when the Surface RT's form factor, battery life and weight are really ideal.

And the conundrum is, Microsoft really makes the only good Windows tablets. The Surface build quality is just ridiculously good. The Dell, Asus and even Lenovo Windows tablets are just garbage in comparison. Nobody else is using Magnesium (or even Aluminum) and the result is a cheap feeling product.

RE: rt.....RT......RT!!!!!!!
By atechfan on 5/7/2014 10:23:28 AM , Rating: 2
No one else is using premium materials because no one else wants to charge a premium price. None of the cheap Android tabelets are well built either. The Android tablets that do have a higher build quality, like the Note series, are expensive.

MS wants to keep the ARM version of Windows alive as a backup in case ARM overtakes Intel. Plus they are developing Windows Server ARM edition in case the ARM micro-server model actually gains traction. RT development has some overlap here. Sure, the RT is not nearly as useful as Windows x86 tablets to many, but it really doesn't hurt anyone by being available. Some people actually prefer RT to x86 on a tablet.

That said, MS needs to merge Windows Phone and Windows RT, I think. There would be less confusion if, like with iOS and Android, people knew they were getting the samemobile OS in both phone and tablet form.

RE: rt.....RT......RT!!!!!!!
By NellyFromMA on 5/6/2014 9:27:13 AM , Rating: 2
Weight on Surface 2 (RT) could be better. A comparable Intel offering is heavier even today. Until addressing weight isn't a line item on the improvement list, there is no reason to cut off a distro of Windows for ARM.

Even after, now MS has another hardware platform it can target which is actually a very handy capability. They can now hedge their bets against Intel and not have Intel unfairly bully MS into decisions that aren't in its best interests, and this tactic is probably the primary reason Intel started getting serious about low-power offerings altogether. It wasn't until Intel started getting whiny about MS on ARM that we saw them actually produce anything in the realm of competitive in the mobile space.

The Intel and MS relationship has been sour for some time now and I doubt MS will ever trust them again after the Vista fiasco, followed almost immediately by defection and preference to Apple, and later Google as well.

No, I don't think the Arm offering is going away any time soon actually as it addresses a need that takes place before MS can fully consider customers to begin with. MS is also getting very good at durable cross-platform compilers and the ARM platform is probably where they want to the most robust cross-platform apis given the Market explosion ARM has seen in awhile.

There's really no evidence to support that ARM has been outdone by Intel hands-down, or that this will happen in the next 5 years even. So, RT is here to stay, even if its future forms aesthetically take a different direction.

I expect in a rev or two we'll see a more open desktop environment on the Arm based distro as the cross-compiler starts to map out analogies or worthwhile compound analogies in the Arm instruction set that allow re-compiled desktop apps to function stable.

RE: rt.....RT......RT!!!!!!!
By karimtemple on 5/6/2014 9:47:57 AM , Rating: 2
I was so ready for a Bay Trail Surface. And a LOT more Bay Trail devices than we got in general. What the hell happened!

Well, there's always Cherry Trail. mmmmmmm cherry trail.

RT? Stupid Move
By Gunbuster on 5/6/2014 7:52:34 AM , Rating: 2
Um, Dell has the Venue 8 Pro that can be had for ~$150. Why on earth would anyone get an RT device when full X86 models are cheaper?

RE: RT? Stupid Move
By Rage187 on 5/6/2014 9:38:12 AM , Rating: 2
Link to the Venue 8 Pro for $150?

RE: RT? Stupid Move
By Gunbuster on 5/6/2014 10:29:57 AM , Rating: 2
Refurb deals at the dell outlet.

RE: RT? Stupid Move
By Spuke on 5/6/2014 2:04:52 PM , Rating: 2
That's friggin cheap.

By YouInspireMe on 5/10/2014 3:27:31 AM , Rating: 2
4K may be overkill on a small screen but the ability to output 4K from a phone will be a killer feature when 4K content becomes widely available.

By SDBud on 5/6/2014 1:40:04 AM , Rating: 1
Typical MS. Give us crap, and expect us to be grateful.

NOT likely!

"So if you want to save the planet, feel free to drive your Hummer. Just avoid the drive thru line at McDonalds." -- Michael Asher

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