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  (Source: Microsoft)
Company dives directly into tablet market at last, as first party iPad competitor

After a late start Microsoft Corp.'s (MSFT) mysterious 3:30 p.m. Pacific Standard Time (PST) event kicked off late Monday.  The event had all the feel of an Apple press event -- well except a little less polish in sticking to the schedule.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer remarked, "At our foundation, Bill Gates and Paul Allen made a bet on software.  [But] it was always clear that what our software could do would require us to push hardware, sometimes where our partners hadn't envisioned.  Our number 1 revenue product when I joined Microsoft was a hardware product."

He continues, "What is it? It's something new. Something different. A whole new family of computing devices from Microsoft.  This is the new Microsoft Surface."

With that Mr. Ballmer held up a flat, relatively unassuming Windows 8 tablet.


 
The new tablet is 9.3 mm thin and weighs 1.5 lb.  The case is built out of magnesium.  Windows chief Steven Sinofsky describes the process, stating, "liquid metal is formed into an ultra rigid and light frame."


The tablet packs a 10.6-inch screen, putting it in roughly the same ballpark as the Apple, Inc. (AAPL) iPad -- the current king of the tablet market. (The iPad has a 9.7-inch screen.)  The tablet also features a built-in kickstand and Wi-Fi that Microsoft brags is the "best of any tablet today."


 
The tablet also has a 3 mm fold out keyboard that doubles as a case, complete with trackpad.  But this is no ordinary keyboard.  The entire surface is multi-touch enabled.  For those with multi-touch misgivings Microsoft came prepared, with a second fully tactile clickable keyboard, which is ever-so-slightly thicker.  The tablet also features "digital ink" a pen-input technology that samples at 600 dpi.
 
There's two versions of the new tablet.  The first is built on Intel Corp. (INTC) Core i5 Ivy Bridge processors.  Cooling is accomplished through some slick perimeter venting. A second Surface is based on forthcoming ARM chips.


Mr. Ballmer comments, "I was asked, 'why now?'  We took the time to get Surface and Windows 8 right. To do something that was really different and really special. We're proud of the Surface like we're proud of Windows 8. Because of Windows 8, the Surface is a PC, it is a tablet... it's something new."

III. Specs Recap

Windows RT model
WEIGHT:        676 g
THICKNESS:   9.3 mm
PROCESSOR: Tegra 3
DISPLAY:       10.6” ClearType HD Display, 1366x768 pixels
BATTERY:       31.5 W-h
I/O:               microSD, USB 2.0, Micro HD Video, 2x2 MIMO antennae
SOFTWARE:   Office Home & Student 2013 RT, Touch Cover, Type Cover
EXTRAS:        VaporMg Case & Stand
SSD:              32 GB, 64 GB

Windows 8 Pro model
WEIGHT:      903 g
THICKNESS: 13.5 mm
PROCESSOR: Core i5 (Ivy Bridge)
DISPLAY:      10.6” ClearType Full HD Display, 1920x1080 pixels
BATTERY:      42 W-h
I/O:              microSDXC, USB 3.0, Mini DisplayPort Video, 2x2 MIMO antennae
EXTRAS:       VaporMg Case & Stand, Touch Cover, Type Cover, Pen with Palm Block
SSD:            64 GB, 128 GB


IV. Conclusions

Well, it's hard to argue that the Surface is anything but very slick.  

Ultimately the device's greatest strength (and weakness) is perhaps Windows 8 -- a GUI that is much more rich than Apple's iOS, which has seen few true advances in terms of GUI design since 2010.  Some people may prefer simplistic (iOS) others may prefer rich and colorful (Windows 8).  It's ultimately a style and comfort choice.

No one knows exactly how well or poorly Microsoft's first foray into the first-party tablet market will fare.  But one thing's for sure -- there's likely some unhappy campers in the OEM community after Microsoft just blew away their Computex presentations with a far slicker Windows 8 tablet design.

Sources: The Verge, Engadget



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Whoa
By tayb on 6/18/2012 7:36:20 PM , Rating: 5
I never thought I would see the day that Microsoft would be competing with its hardware partners. Perhaps this tablet itself is the product of a partnership? So many questions about this! I'm usually not this excited about a Microsoft event, wow!!




RE: Whoa
By tayb on 6/18/2012 8:02:29 PM , Rating: 3
RE: Whoa
By TakinYourPoints on 6/18/12, Rating: 0
RE: Whoa
By tayb on 6/18/2012 8:13:56 PM , Rating: 2
I will get one pending price, performance, and battery life. I'm not confident in the performance of the Tegra 3 model, the battery life of the i5 model, or the price of either. 9 hour battery life with a starting price of $400-$500 or bust as far as I'm concerned. The hardware looks excellent and I can't believe they are including office in the WinRT version.

I'm not sure how hardware partners will react but they certainly can't be happy with this. Microsoft paid a cool billion for including IE with Windows I'm not sure what the reaction will be for this.


RE: Whoa
By TakinYourPoints on 6/18/2012 8:19:13 PM , Rating: 2
You're right if it uses a Tegra 3, but this doesn't release until January of next year. Hopefully by then it'll be using an SoC that is actually good.

As for the Intel model, I'm expecting 4-5 hours of battery life and a price of about $1200. It'll be like an HP tm2, a convertible laptop, except with good hardware and an OS properly made for touch.

Hardware partners will be pissed, but screw them, I think Microsoft knows they need to unify their marketing under a single piece of hardware that isn't compromised by a third party cutting corners. Could you imagine how bad it would have been if Microsoft only released an OS for the XBox and allowed others to make their own console hardware running it? Disaster.


RE: Whoa
By tayb on 6/18/2012 8:29:25 PM , Rating: 3
I just don't see this as successful at a $1,200 price point. It's just too expensive. It's way more useful than an iPad or Android tablet but not $700 more useful. Most people buying Windows machines don't spend $1,200 on anything, much less on a tablet.

I'm really crossing my fingers for a performance and battery life winner from the WinRT version. I'm really excited about the prospect.

I agree with the unified hardware. Competition is good, hopefully this puts a fire up partners asses. I think this leaves Android as the odd one out as far as tablets goes. I just don't see many people going with Android instead of Win8 or iPad.


RE: Whoa
By TakinYourPoints on 6/18/2012 8:44:14 PM , Rating: 2
An Intel based tablet will compete with ultrabooks, not tablets. The focus will be on x86 compatibility, not long battery life and low cost.

I think its why Microsoft made such a huge deal about the keyboard cover. At that price it really needs to make sense as an alternative to an ultrabook, and having a proper keyboard and trackpad option is a big part of that.


RE: Whoa
By tayb on 6/18/2012 8:54:34 PM , Rating: 2
I disagree. It's still a tablet and consumers are going to view it as such. I haven't seen hands on impressions yet but I do not anticipate the typing experience to be on par with ultrabooks, that keyboard is just too thin.


RE: Whoa
By TakinYourPoints on 6/18/2012 9:09:04 PM , Rating: 2
Well, an Intel based tablet needs to slot in somewhere. If it can't replace ultrabooks for some people then I don't know where the market is, it clearly isn't going to win on price or battery life compared to ARM based tablets.


RE: Whoa
By Mitch101 on 6/19/2012 10:09:51 AM , Rating: 3
To me this replaces a ultrabook its portable and touch screen when on the go and when your in the office you can use the HDMI to plug into a monitor for either dual screen or a larger screen. The only difference is 13.6" screen vs 10.6" screen.

They used SSD's for speed and it has a USB slot for say a dvd/blu-ray burner and a memory slot if you need it. Front facing camera for video conference.

This thing to me is much better than a Ultrabook.


RE: Whoa
By Sea Shadow on 6/19/2012 3:58:58 AM , Rating: 2
I can see how you would think that, but I'm more inclined to agree with TakinYourPoints.

If I am interpreting this correctly, the device incorporates an active digitizer. If such is the case, I only need to point to the ink-ing experience of OneNote. OneNote + digitizer is an unparalleled experience for note taking and organization. I have seen plenty of attempt at "note taking" suites for tablets such as the iPad and other android devices, and they are all a far cry from even worth mentioning. The ONLY thing that ever came close was the Galaxy Note and it used Wacom tech in its digitizer.

Other than that, everything else just pales in comparison to a proper x86 tablet or slate with an active digitizer. I was first introduced to it by an associate and after playing around with it for an hour or two I immediately made up my mind and ordered myself a Lenovo x220t. I tossed in a few upgrades and ended up spending approximately $2000 on it, though an adquate system can be configured for ~$1k. That was over a year ago and I still feel it was worth every penny.

I was admittedly leery of people boasting about OneNote with an active digitizer equipped tablet. However I am now completely hooked and will never go back. I let my roommates play with it when I am not using it, and one has set his mind on buying his own slate (though from a different manufacturer) and he has no qualms with spending $1300 on a device that he intends to use daily as he goes through school.

I suppose you should consider the x86 version as less of a competitor to tablets and more of a competitor to the MacBook Air and other ultra-portables.


RE: Whoa
By Belard on 6/19/2012 4:58:11 AM , Rating: 2
Most people won't spend close to $1000 for a Tablet. Look at how people bitched about the high price of the $500 entry level iPad.

There isn't many companies making slates like the x220... He should stick with the Thinkpad design, I wouldn't trust anyone else.


RE: Whoa
By Helbore on 6/19/2012 8:01:17 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
Most people won't spend close to $1000 for a Tablet. Look at how people bitched about the high price of the $500 entry level iPad.


That's because the iPad is a giant iPod Touch. The x86 Windows tablet is a full PC, so there will be less bitching about the price. It's more likely to sell in to business, rather than consumer lines, though.

For those who would bitch about the price, they have the ARM-based tablet instead. That's clearly the whole idea of having the wo different models. For those who want a cheap tablet that is thin, light and has a long battery life, you have Surface for Windows RT. For those who want more power at the expense of battery life and form factor (and the added bonus of full Windows compatibility and Active Directory integration), then you've got the more expensive Surface for Windows 8 Pro.

I'd say that's better than a one-size-fits-all, "you do it our way or not at all," approach of a single model.

Not everybosy has the same needs.


RE: Whoa
By Skelum on 6/19/2012 9:49:50 AM , Rating: 2
You are soooo right !!!

Bought the iPad 1 with iOS 3 it started to go slow with iOS 4 and now it's just terrible with iOS 5. Apple is not selling you software but it's surelly making crap out of it so that you buy the latest more powerfull hardware. After 2 years my iPad 1 is not much more than an eReader.

On the other hand, Windows as been giving a second life to my hardware (Counting out Vista here). I have a 7 years old desktop that used to run XP. Things were getting slow and then SP2 came out.... Fast again... Now it runs Windows 7 perfectly and it costed me around 1500$ with all the RAM upgrade and HD changes. (NO SSD)

So a tablet at 1200$ that would last more than 2 years and perform like a PC is a bargain to me... But again people will want to buy the cheapeast thing without considering the long term value...


RE: Whoa
By TakinYourPoints on 6/19/2012 3:18:48 PM , Rating: 1
Long term viability of iPad hardware shouldn't be a concern. Complaining about a first gen iPad is like complaining about a first gen iPhone or iPhone 3G. They were released when they were in order to beat the rest of the market, which means there was a limit to the internal components available at the time. We reached a tipping point with SoC performance in mid-2010, now something like an iPad 2 will be viable for years to come, same as what has happened with the iPhone 4.

Paying more to ensure long term viability isn't really a valid argument anymore, not now that SoC performance has caught up with the demands of mobile operating systems and applications. In some ways the hardware is far ahead of those demands, just look at how overpowered the graphics hardware in the A5 and A5X is.


RE: Whoa
By zephyrprime on 6/19/2012 6:05:52 PM , Rating: 2
The ipad 1 was not rushed to market hoping to beat out other competitors because there were no other competitors at the time. Also, what makes the ipad 1 so slow is that it only has 256MB of memory. Even back when it was released, memory was dirt cheap and the memory on it is discrete commodity chips, not SOC memory.


RE: Whoa
By Skelum on 6/20/2012 9:35:59 AM , Rating: 2
Not sure why so many people are complaining about the first Gen surface then... They are providing the best hardware components at this time which explains the price... Perhaps quality will be consistent and price will drop. Just like an XBOX which used to cost almost twice as much... After all this is a Microsoft Model. Constant quality and performance with a price fluctuation.

Apple on the other hand seems to target a constant price but with limited lifetime... iPad 2 might have a longger life but you can only speculate... Let's wait for iOS 6...

And FYI about all that First GEN stuff... My Desktop I've been refering too is using the Core 2 E6300 which is the cheapest of the serie and the first one to be available at a fair price and also the first gen of Intel CPU used by Apple in their machines... So no way out of this... OSes are not performant when they always need more juice behind it... But that very same CPU can still run Windows 7 flawlessly!


RE: Whoa
By Belard on 6/22/2012 2:52:16 AM , Rating: 2
Running iOS 5 on my ipad1... Works good for me. I'm responding on this post with it


RE: Whoa
By Belard on 6/22/2012 3:00:22 AM , Rating: 2
You would almost be right... Except tablet PCs have been on the market since 2002 with window xp. They ran a full blown OS... Only a few industries bought those $1200-3000 tablets like the Thinkpad x series.

The form factor of the tablet, in general doesn't need a full blown bloated 15+ year old operating system.

By all means MS is fracking their partners... With the keyboard, I do see this device eating into the ultra book market. Why spend the same?


RE: Whoa
By Drag0nFire on 6/19/2012 11:24:46 AM , Rating: 2
I've always been a bit curious about the Lenovo tablets. Never got to play with one, so I've never seen the benefit. To those of us who haven't had the chance to play with the tablet + OneNote combination, can you describe some specific examples of things you can do with it?

Thanks!


RE: Whoa
By Sea Shadow on 6/19/2012 2:41:10 PM , Rating: 2
Sorry if this sounds like a pitch for Microsoft, but I really do love OneNote:

To start with the handwriting recognition is incredible. I have horrible chicken scratch for print and my cursive is marginal at best. Yet I can easily search through any of my notes that I have taken from school, with out having any trouble. Speaking of search, lets talk about the search indexing of OneNote.

So obviously it will search through your typed notes, and your handwriting too, but it also has a very powerful OCR (optical character recognition). This means that I can import pictures and screen shots right into my notebook and they are scanned for text which also becomes searchable. When a professor gives me a handout, I just go to their website and download the file and insert it as a printout into my notebook. OneNote "prints" it to the notebook just the same as if I had scanned the document. Any text is indexed and becomes searchable. I can then take notes on the handout, writing on top of it and highlighting like I would a physical piece of paper. Except now I have an infinite amount of space to work with. I am not cramming notes in margins since I have an infinitely large workspace to use. If I need more room I just pan the workspace and continue writing.

When I am doing research, I have OneNote docked to the side of my screen with my browser on the other. As I take notes I just copy and paste information from the source site into my notebook and it automatically generates URLs referencing back to where I copied the information. This makes writing papers much easier since it auto links your source as you take notes. That way you don't have to worry about remembering to write down where you got your information since it auto links it.

Inserting screen clippings is quick and easy, there is a button in the toolbar that you click and OneNote minimizes, allowing you to drag a bounding box around the material you want to insert. Done!

Back to ink; OneNote handles the combination of ink/touch input really well. I can smoothly pan around, slowly with one finger, or quickly with two. I can use a pinching gesture to zoom in or out (works but it could be more fluid, as the steps of zoom are just that, steps and not very fluid). The moment I put pen to screen the palm rejection kicks in and the touch screen is ignores inputs while I draw. This prevents accidental touches while I drag my palm around. It is actually a proximity thing and activates when the tip of my pen is 10-15mm away from the screen. Just enough to trigger when I want it, but turns off when I lift my pen and use my middle or ring finger to touch the screen (while still holding the pen).

Another benefit to having an active digitizer is the pressure sensitivity. I can really draw and sketch on my screen just as well as I can on paper. This is great for when I need to copy a diagram, draw out some compound, or sketch a concept design of a product. Obviously this benefit goes well beyond OneNote and really shines with Adobe Illustrator or AutoDesk Sketchbook Designer.

Some of the pens for active digitizers also incorporate pressure sensitive "erasers" which is really just a plastic ball on the other end of the pen. In OneNote the pressure sensitivity of the eraser is ignored and it just wipes out pen strokes as it passes over them, but leaves behind typed text and everything else. In Sketchbook Designer the pressure sensitivity is recognized and I use it to smooth edges and perform other operations just like if I was using a real eraser on paper. Now I will admit the system does occasionally have a bit of an identity crisis and thinks the eraser is the pen but I just draw a quick stroke or two on the screen and then flip back to the eraser and it works fine. I think this has more to do with Wacom's drivers than anything.

Along with all of the ink features, OneNote has a really neat ability to insert actual copies of files into the notebooks. I now keep all of my papers in my OneNote notebooks. I save new files to my desktop and then drag and drop them into my workbook. OneNote prompts me to see what I want to do with the file and I tell it to insert a copy of the file into my notebook and it creates an icon that represents the file (the icon will take the form of whatever application it is related to). From then on, I just access the file by double clicking it in my notebook. The appropriate application is automatically launched and I can edit and change the document as I want. When I save it, it is saved right back to my notebook. OneNote will not quit until you have saved or closed those files so that you do not accidentally loose a change you have made to one of the inserted files.

Another feature of OneNote that I really like is the integration with Microsoft's SkyDrive (cloud storage associated with your window's live account). For older users we have 25GB of free storage, but I think new users can get 7GB of free storage. All of my notes are automatically synced to my account along with inserted files/printouts/audio recordings/etc.

I can access them anywhere in the world from a web interface. Granted the web interface doesn't have near as many editing features as the actual product installed on a machine.

That covers the main points that stand out to me personally. There are lots of other things, but this post is already long enough. If you want to know more just shoot me an email. Take my alias, remove the space between Sea Shadow, the rest is (at) your standard Gmail.com


RE: Whoa
By Sea Shadow on 6/19/2012 2:59:42 PM , Rating: 2
Ouch, sorry about the horrible typos. The one that drives me crazy the most is in the 5th paragraph:

*....the touch screen ignores inputs while....


RE: Whoa
By tayb on 6/19/2012 11:49:40 AM , Rating: 1
I just don't see a successful product at $1,200. I'm sure they would move units but it's not going to knock around the iPad, which should be the goal. If someone is in the market for an iPad they most likely are not in the market for a $1,200 tablet. These products are in completely different price segments.

Even for an ultrabook this is a pricey entry price. The MBA has an entry price of $999 and scales up from there. You get the added bonus of an active digitizer and a touch screen but for most people the digitizer is not much more than a gimmicky add on. I owned a Fujitsu T4220 convertible while I was in school but I sold it after my freshman year to get something more powerful. The inking was nice but the price premium isn't worth it, pen and paper is extremely cheap.

Your friend who has no problems dropping $1,300 on a Windows tablet is the exception, not the rule. No other PC manufacturer has been able to mimic Apple's success at Apple's price points. I think this thing needs to debut at $999 or less and match the MBA battery life.


RE: Whoa
By immortalsly on 6/19/2012 12:02:20 PM , Rating: 2
The Surface Pro is essentially an ultrabook. It's going to run the full Windows 8 Pro so the tablet functionality is just an added bonus. The closest comparison ultrabook I see now is the Asus Zenbook 11.6", which costs about $1,000. The Zenbook is pretty nice, pretty slick, and only 2.4lbs. But it doesn't have any tablet functionality.

I've been eying the Zenbook but the Surface Pro is giving me some pause about what my next purchase will be. In the office, I have a 24" monitor connected to my laptop and a wireless keyboard/mouse. Surface Pro could do the same thing and I'd have a tablet anytime I wanted. It's a compelling product. I'd have to see it in person and of course, wait for the price to be announced.


RE: Whoa
By Reclaimer77 on 6/18/2012 8:35:11 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Could you imagine how bad it would have been if Microsoft only released an OS for the XBox and allowed others to make their own console hardware running it? Disaster.


I couldn't imagine it being much worst than the INSANE failure rate of the XBox 360 red ring of death lol.


RE: Whoa
By TakinYourPoints on 6/18/2012 8:39:27 PM , Rating: 2
Hah, touche, I've done my best to block that out of my mind (I'm on XBox #3, which is typical for people I know, and one of my friends is on #6).

Bad stuff happens, and I expect they've more than learned their lesson given that it was such a costly mistake.


RE: Whoa
By mcnabney on 6/18/2012 8:44:17 PM , Rating: 2
The lesson I learned is to buy a PS3.


RE: Whoa
By BrgMx5 on 6/18/2012 9:51:58 PM , Rating: 4
I'm on my third Xbox, but as a consumer I believe microsoft owned up to their mistake, and implemented a very good return and repair program and an acceptable extended warranty.


RE: Whoa
By Mitch101 on 6/19/2012 10:12:28 AM , Rating: 2
And with a PS3 I would have Sony lose my personal information multiple times to hackers, Lost PS2 support, and Linux support abandoned on me, and much less video streaming options. What a bargain.


RE: Whoa
By adiposity on 6/19/2012 7:07:15 PM , Rating: 2
My PS3 still has PS2 support. I "lost" linux support, but honestly Linux on the PS3 was always pretty lame. There was no support for GFX card access, making it near useless. Who would pay 400-600 for a crappy Linux machine? I do find it lame that they removed it, but honestly, was anyone using it? I don't know anyone who did, and I know a lot of programmers and hacker types (with PS3s and Xboxes).

I'd agree about the video streaming options being better on Xbox, though. I vastly prefer it over the PS3.

Personally, I'd much rather lose Linux support (something Xbox never had) than lose the whole console and have all my settings lost!


RE: Whoa
By Flunk on 6/18/2012 9:01:40 PM , Rating: 4
I'm still on my first Xbox 360 without any issues so it's not all of them.


RE: Whoa
By TakinYourPoints on 6/18/2012 9:02:55 PM , Rating: 3
Certainly, but it was a surprisingly huge percentage for a mainstream device


RE: Whoa
By Mitch101 on 6/19/2012 10:05:53 AM , Rating: 2
And Microsoft extended the warranty and replaced them making it right with consumers and correcting the issue on later x-boxes to be more reliable. Apple would have told you your playing it wrong.

Im still on my first X-Box 360 as well.


RE: Whoa
By Reclaimer77 on 6/19/2012 1:18:02 PM , Rating: 1
They still failed, okay? Yes MS made it right, but they still failed. Stop being an apologist. The Xbox 360 had something like a 30% real-world failure rate, which is pretty much unprecedented for something of it's kind. There's just no objective way to make excuses for that. I don't like Apple either, but that comment was just silly in comparison.


RE: Whoa
By Mitch101 on 6/19/2012 3:09:50 PM , Rating: 1
Failed
Failed to the tune of 67 million x-box's sold and continue to be the number one selling console by recognizing they had an issue and corrected it in manufacturing and with their customers. I don't fault a company that takes responsibility and takes corrective actions.

Apologist
Apple sent people a .09 cent piece of rubber and Steve Jobs himself told the world your holding it wrong. 100% failure rate in design if you ask me.


RE: Whoa
By Reclaimer77 on 6/19/2012 6:21:28 PM , Rating: 2
I meant the hardware FAILED, not the Xbox 360 concept. What's your problem today? Microsoft is a big company, they don't need you as a bodyguard and Minister of Misinformation.

I like Microsoft, but we have to be honest and call it like it is. The Xbox 360 NEVER should have had so many defective units going out to the consumers. There's no excuse for those massive failure rates. None. And I would say this about ANY company.

Bringing up Apple examples is exactly being an apologist. It's a straw man. We KNOW Apple treats customers like crap. Does that excuse Microsoft selling millions of defective units? No.


RE: Whoa
By Mitch101 on 6/19/2012 8:40:22 PM , Rating: 3
Im getting sick of Microsoft can do nothing right attitude when you have a number of other companies that screw everyone over six ways to Sunday and everyone is ok with that. Microsoft makes a design mistake fesses up and makes it right and people still complain that it never should have happened? Microsoft learns from their mistakes Im looking at a bunch of others on a pedestal that are repeat offenders that people fight to the death over because no one likes to admin fault.

I recall HP/Apple covering up bumpgate aka NVIDIA's similar screw up and fighting everyone over replacing laptops and Apple releasing a bios update that puts the fan on high speed but Microsoft comes right out and says our fault send it back and well replace it and people are unhappy with how Microsoft handles it?

Microsoft stands by their products and for that I stand behind Microsoft products and the company to do the right thing.


RE: Whoa
By Reclaimer77 on 6/20/2012 9:25:46 AM , Rating: 2
You're projecting. I've never said they can do nothing right, come on, be serious here.

The original Xbox 360 was cheap crap. We have to admit that. Aside from the RRoD there were other issues. The DVDrom was so cheap there were no foam pads to prevent a spinning disk from being scratched. I actually had game disks scratch themselves in the drive. Also the thing was WAY too loud, sounded like a leaf-blower.

I understand the need for maximizing profits. I'm not faulting them for that. But they obviously went way too far and cut corners everywhere possible. We cannot excuse or pretend 30%+ failure rates didn't happen. Why are you being so defensive about that?

Microsoft did handle it well. So what? They had no CHOICE but to handle it well. The negative PR and risk of class action lawsuits these days are too great to ignore, when you have literally millions of units coming back as defective, they had no choice.

It sounds like you're putting a higher value on someone who cleans up a mess well, than just releasing something solid in the first place. That reeks of fanboism.


RE: Whoa
By theapparition on 6/20/2012 9:46:57 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
I like Microsoft, but we have to be honest and call it like it is. The Xbox 360 NEVER should have had so many defective units going out to the consumers. There's no excuse for those massive failure rates. None. And I would say this about ANY company .

The please do as there are other real world examples here.

You are completely off base here. MS never shipped any defective units (bear with me here for a minute). I'm sure 99.99999% of the units out of the box powered up and worked fine.

You're making it sound like it was deceptive of MS to ship a defective product or that there was some serious quality problems. Neither is true, and you know that. It was a design issue over long term use. Unfortunately, issues like this do crop up from time to time. Even the most rigorous accelerated life testing can miss problems like this.

Which brings me back to my first point. The auto manufacturers all issue TSB and recall notices, sometimes many years into a products life. Why not the vitriol towards them shipping "defective products"? The same thing happens with baby products, other electronics, and a myriad of other products. Unforeseen bad designs happen. Recalls happen. It's what the company does to fix the problem afterwards that matters.

Now I will criticize MS for not acting sooner when the problem started to become endemic. They certainly should have moved quicker. But characterizing the situation in the light you do is certainly casting a much different take then what really happens in product design.


RE: Whoa
By Samus on 6/19/2012 1:38:44 AM , Rating: 2
I agree completely Microsoft needed to give its hardware partners the shaft. Look what has happened to the Android market: saturated hardware configurations and quality, non-standard designs (nobody follows the 'Nexus' reference design for some reason) and no software quality control (which is why 86% of Android devices are still running Gingerbread, a 2.5 year old OS.)

The hardware sector has screwed Microsoft by not making something competitive with the iPad, so Microsoft is taking it into their own hands, otherwise they know Windows 8 will be as big a flop as WinMo7 was (for the same reasons, saturated hardware quality, ridiculously unprofessional designs, and support) that is, before they basically took over Nokia.


RE: Whoa
By Belard on 6/19/2012 5:04:06 AM , Rating: 2
Who screwed Microsoft? They released an ARM based tablet OS that we don't know about 1-2 years ago? They tacked on. Tablet functions onto win7 and left it at that.

There will be few if any partners for windows tablets. Why? They have android.


RE: Whoa
By NellyFromMA on 6/19/2012 8:18:56 AM , Rating: 2
Apple didn't need them and doesn't allow them, MS did what is wise and learned from its clearly formidable competitors and is taking the best of all it's experience aand proceeding forward. Super win already.


RE: Whoa
By Samus on 6/19/2012 11:20:03 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah, because Android is so profitable. Just because the OS is free doesn't mean a company will make money selling a product. The ONLY profitable phone manufacture shipping Android is Samsung. Everyone else is in the red, and most of them have been for a long time. Look at HTC. They haven't turned a profit in almost two years and make one of the best Android smartphones available!

The problem is saturation, not competition. The Android tablet market is even worse. B&N wouldn't even make money on the Nook Color/Tablet if it weren't for ebook sales, and the same is likely true for Amazon's Kindle Fire although they've never admitted it. Acer has razer thin profit margins on Android tablets. And this is all because of saturation in quality from the low-end devices which drives customers away from the high end products, not towards them, because of the perceeved experience. Take a marketing class, this is 101. Don't saturate your target market with too many choices of varying quality in too many price ranges. Just build the highest quality device that the majority of the market is willing to pay. This strategy has made Apple the largest, most powerful tech company in the world.

A cheap car doesn't mean its unsafe, unsupported, unreliable or can't perform the functions of automotive transportation. It just means it doesn't have some features, asthetics and comfort. The same should go for technology, but it doesn't. Cheap electronics are usually notoriously unreliable, give a bad user experience, and terrible support.


RE: Whoa
By Reclaimer77 on 6/20/2012 9:32:17 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Everyone else is in the red, and most of them have been for a long time.


That's not because of Android. That's because of Microsoft and Apple assaulting other manufacturers with bans, exorbitant licensing fees, and other patent trolling.

You brought up HTC. Well HTC's stock was soaring before Microsoft's pay-to-license scheme and Apple starting a holy jihad against them. Did Android suddenly become "less profitable" right at the same time? I doubt it.


RE: Whoa
By Spuke on 6/18/2012 8:16:14 PM , Rating: 2
There have been a few WindowsRT/Windows 8 tablet announcements already. This is the slickest by far IMO (I still do like the Acer though) and probably first choice for a Win8 tablet IMO. For me, the upcoming Google Nexus 7 is what I have been waiting for IF it has HMDI.


RE: Whoa
By StevoLincolnite on 6/18/2012 8:20:26 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I wonder how other hardware companies will react, will ARM tablets go mostly to Android?


The hardware manufacturers will go where the money is, if Windows 8 ends up being highly successful... Then they will go with Windows.
The Android devices will probably be relegated to extreme budget devices as the OS is free which cuts down costs.


RE: Whoa
By mcnabney on 6/18/12, Rating: -1
RE: Whoa
By Flunk on 6/18/2012 9:02:59 PM , Rating: 3
At the price the ARM version will sell for you're not going to be able to get anything better from anyone else. It's not a high-end tablet.


RE: Whoa
By 91TTZ on 6/19/2012 3:42:56 PM , Rating: 2
At almost $100 for the OS, you'll definitely be able to get something better for the price.


RE: Whoa
By NellyFromMA on 6/19/2012 12:48:17 PM , Rating: 1
Only if you're a tech snob who relishes in little more than beating someone else's specs alone.

Go ask the 90% of the users who ALREADY DEMONSTRATE the don't give a crap as long as it 'looks nice' to them. They don't care about specs, they care about experience. And right so, I might add. It simply isn't for the leyman to care about. And frankly, it shouldn't be for anyone to get all fan-boy about either... -_-


RE: Whoa
By EnzoFX on 6/18/2012 8:22:21 PM , Rating: 3
Except I've never though of quality when using MS hardware products lol.

Who's genuinely excited about the keyboard? I can't imagine it being very comfortable to type on, I mean just think about it. It'll probably too much like typing on a screen, I mean there probably won't be a lot of tactile feedback, to the point where it may render itself useless? Guess we'll see. The kickstand is not exciting in the least either.

Hope it delivers. Wouldn't they need to price it less than just competitively? As for me, a potential consideration if I were anywhere near the MS ecosystem, most of their other services I really try to avoid due to usually being under par.


RE: Whoa
By JasonMick (blog) on 6/18/2012 8:26:05 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
Except I've never though of quality when using MS hardware products lol.
Actually their mice are extremely reliable. After going through several crummy Logitechs that quite literally fell apart bit by bit, I tried a Microsoft mouse and have been hooked ever since. Using one right now in fact.

And the Xbox after the initial RROD debacle has been quite solid quality-wise.

I would argue they're actually a lot like Apple -- a couple glaring design flaws here and there, but overall very slick and polished hardware.


RE: Whoa
By phatboye on 6/18/2012 8:36:46 PM , Rating: 2
It's not fair that you used a Logitech device as a comparison to a MS device on quality. Logitech makes some of the crappiest products I have ever seen especially their mice. Never once have I ever had a Logitech mice last more than a year and I've owned at least 4 of them.


RE: Whoa
By StevoLincolnite on 6/18/2012 9:39:14 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah Logitech Mice, Speakers etc' are all pretty bad.
I've been through dozens of Logitech mice over the years, they never last more than a few months.

Conversely, the Microsoft mice are a slight step up, but the cheap basic Microsoft mice still aren't that much better than Logitech's.

I do own a Logitech G19 keyboard, I am *loving* it, it's got it's faults (What product doesn't?) but overall it's enjoyable and I do find the LCD screen handy.

As for mice, I recently got a Saitek Cyborg R.A.T. 9, The world's most customizable mouse apparently. And it's bloody fantastic, I have customized it to suit my needs perfectly, I just hope it lasts more than a few months with my Diablo 3 clickity frenzy going on.


RE: Whoa
By Spuke on 6/18/2012 9:55:09 PM , Rating: 3
Wow, I've got two Logitech MX518's (had them since that model was introduced) still working like a champ. Never had a problem with Logitech stuff. I usually replace them because I'm tired of them.


RE: Whoa
By theapparition on 6/19/2012 9:57:22 AM , Rating: 2
Same here.

Never had a Logitech mouse failure. Still using a MX500 with build date of 2002 on my home comp.


RE: Whoa
By Mitch101 on 6/19/2012 10:15:17 AM , Rating: 2
Now if only their Harmony remotes would last more than a year.


RE: Whoa
By corduroygt on 6/19/2012 11:42:35 AM , Rating: 2
I have been using the same Harmony remote since 2007.


RE: Whoa
By Mitch101 on 6/19/2012 12:29:46 PM , Rating: 2
Which Model because I have not had any luck with them in reliability. Ive been through close to 1 a year lets say 1.25 years a remote.

First one some buttons stopped working

Second one in an amazing drop the USB connector broke off - tell me about it drop of the century so I couldn't reprogram it and I bought newer equipment.

Third one the LCD Display stopped working. Buttons still worked but dreadful if in laws were watching the house because they dont know which button is for what macro.

Fourth one is showing signs as the buttons are wearing off and something is rattling around inside and if you dont have the dock the batteries need to be replaced every 2-3 weeks.

I really love harmony remotes but they need to make them more durable. They drop maybe 2.5 feet from the couch to the floor and the sound is of cheaply made thin plastic.


RE: Whoa
By theapparition on 6/20/2012 9:50:54 AM , Rating: 2
As a remote control aficionado, I can honestly say I never liked the Harmony line, even before the Logitech buyout.


RE: Whoa
By Reclaimer77 on 6/18/2012 9:51:33 PM , Rating: 1
BS


RE: Whoa
By Mitch101 on 6/19/2012 12:35:28 PM , Rating: 2
Not sure what they are doing with the Mice either the only time I killed one is running over the wire 1000 times with my chair. Im pretty amazed at some of the times I pulled that wire out of the wheel and it was still working.

Im all about wireless now and I have to say Logitech Wireless Mice the batteries last for months.


RE: Whoa
By EnzoFX on 6/18/2012 8:53:06 PM , Rating: 2
Then don't get the crummy ones =P. I kid. However they do all have their cheap budget lines, maybe the same is true for the MS stuff I've used... Meh. Logitech's service is outstanding though, keeps me coming back.


RE: Whoa
By Smilin on 6/19/2012 2:38:54 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Except I've never though of quality when using MS hardware products lol.


Sorry I gotta chime in here too. MS hardware products are renown for their quality. They make very few low end mice but even those are solid. Everything else in their lineup is on the premium end. I can nail together a doghouse with a Sidewinder joystick and an xbox controller as hammers. The arc touch, HD webcams are all top end.

The RROD was really a standalone anomoly that they took ownership of.

As for the Surface keyboard there is one very key point: You can rest your fingers on the home row. You can't do that with a capacitive touch screen.


RE: Whoa
By Tony Swash on 6/19/12, Rating: -1
RE: Whoa
By rudolphna on 6/19/2012 7:58:04 AM , Rating: 2
When I decide to get a tablet, this will be the one I get. High quality windows based tablet? Sign me up! I don't much care for the idea of Windows 8 (read:metro) on the desktop or a laptop, but on a tablet such as this I think it will be a great interface.


RE: Whoa
By Tony Swash on 6/19/12, Rating: -1
RE: Whoa
By Skelum on 6/19/2012 9:59:32 AM , Rating: 4
The concept of not having to synch data between to devices is great!!! Ever since the first Palm came out I've been finding it painfull to synch this stuff up. It's just anoying. Carrying a laptop is great but it's not very convenient when I'm on the bus or walking. A tablet that would run the same applications I'm used too and that I can dock to a keyboard/monitor once I get home or to work is just amazing...

Apple could have made this possible as well but they didn't... They had plenty of time to turn their BIG iPOD touch into a PC like tablet.


RE: Whoa
By Smilin on 6/19/2012 11:00:58 AM , Rating: 4
I'll try and give you a reasoned response here. We'll see how it goes over.

Whatever happened during the demo is just 'demo stuff'. Steve had to switch iPads during his presentation as well. Demo stuff.

The release date is not terribly important. It will align with the Windows 8 launch which is this year. That's enough data to make a purchase decision with (ie, hold out or buy product X).

The battery life can be estimated fairly easily. Tegra chipset or i5. LED backlit screen. Solid state storage. 30-40 wh battery. 7-10 hours likely. Probably not much more or less than than.

Price - that's a big question but as any Apple fan knows there are other factors.

The OS - It's still win32k.sys in there and we know generally what to expect from that. Metro has been vetted by the masses and while arguments persist on the desktop its well agreed that it works awesome on a tablet.

--

What I see in it that I don't see in iPad or Android: It has a UI actually designed for a tablet. The mere addition of app switching by swiping where a human thumb naturally goes is an example. iOS feels very 'windows 3.1' to me.

It also is running a full OS and not a phone OS. You can plug USB devices into it while android and iOS don't even have the software to pull that off. It can connect to the whole Windows ecosystem. It can run "applications" and not just "apps".

Then the hardware: Subjective of course but I think it's a really good looking device. I'll skip the pink/blue covers though thank you. In addition to all the 'tablet stuff' above they also solved the keyboard problem (personally I think the Win8 touchscreen keyboard that splits to the corners for your thumbs did that too) so that you can take advantage of having a real OS.

I guess I could sum it up as: It's a *real* PC and not just a Phone. You may not agree but does that at least help you understand?


RE: Whoa
By Smilin on 6/19/2012 12:08:05 PM , Rating: 2
Edit: Looked back at video. There wasn't a demo blurp at all. He was switching to one that had netflix running just as he wanted to talk about video.


RE: Whoa
By Tony Swash on 6/19/12, Rating: -1
RE: Whoa
By JasonMick (blog) on 6/19/2012 12:56:01 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
At 13.40 in the keynote video Sinofsky demos Internet Explorer and says "I can browse smoothly" and at that moment the Surface OS freezes. He handles it well but he is clearly discomfited as he keeps pushing buttons trying to unfreeze the system. He fails and at 14.18 he has to switch awkwardly to another another tablet
Working hard for that Apple paycheck, I see. :)


RE: Whoa
By Tony Swash on 6/19/12, Rating: -1
RE: Whoa
By Reclaimer77 on 6/19/2012 1:30:06 PM , Rating: 1
You left out the Zune. The Zune was GREAT, Zune Marketplace was GREAT, but under Balmer the Zune withered and died on the vine.

So I'm going to have to share in Tony's skepticism. Microsoft is a software company. Their hardware endeavors, especially under Balmer, do not inspire me to go out and buy this tablet.


RE: Whoa
By Tony Swash on 6/19/12, Rating: -1
RE: Whoa
By Smilin on 6/19/2012 1:48:40 PM , Rating: 3
I'm not sure MS needs to ramp production on these to crank them out like iPads. The iPad is the only iOS tablet. The Surface isn't the only Win8 tablet by a longshot.

This is a halo product. They'll sell tons but there will be shortages I'm sure. Regardless there are going to be some 300-400 million windows 8 devices sold in the next year and Surface will constitute just a fraction. I don't think supply chain and all that what-what will matter much. They'll make these things at foxconn (or the similar) right alongside the xbox, ipad, and every one of the dozens of keyboards, mice, webcams, headsets, game peripherals that Microsoft already makes.

I think more importantly it plants a flag in the ground for the OEMs to reach with their own products. MS has already done a great job of fixing the biggest OEM problem: preloaded crapware. MS Signature PC loadouts are awesome. You'll see much of the same with Win8 and even those that aren't using the signature load will have minimal crapware compared to XP, Vista and even 7.

The surface is a very nice stab at the other OEM problem: make some decent hardware, jerks! The RT version in particular appears much sleeker than the iPad. Much more attention to detail it seems.

I would not at all be surprised if there is never a Surface 2 even if the first one is successful. Samsung, Asus and the like will pickup the torch.

Not sure what you mean by tearing up a 30 year business model. You mean making their own device? Elaborate?


RE: Whoa
By Smilin on 6/19/12, Rating: -1
RE: Whoa
By Smilin on 6/19/2012 2:27:59 PM , Rating: 1
Damnit people. Why the downrate?

Tony was right, I was wrong. I'm allowed to admit it.


RE: Whoa
By TakinYourPoints on 6/19/12, Rating: 0
Microsoft Surface
By Mitch101 on 6/18/2012 7:37:48 PM , Rating: 2
9.3mm thick which is .1mm thinner than iPad
676 grams vs 662 of iPad darn close.
Built in Kickstand - That makes logical sense.
The smart cover has a multitouch built in keyboard and trackpad - thats really cool and smart
HDMI built in
Full Verion and RT version - Full is Intel
10.6” vs Apples 9.7"
Pen Input

This is shaping up to be a really neat product.




RE: Microsoft Surface
By amanojaku on 6/18/2012 7:58:13 PM , Rating: 2
From MS.

http://www.microsoft.com/surface/en/us/default.asp...
http://www.microsoft.com/global/surface/en/us/rend...

Windows RT
676 g
9.3 mm
10.6” ClearType HD Display
31.5 W-h
microSD, USB 2.0, Micro HD Video, 2x2 MIMO antennae
Office Home & Student 2013 RT, Touch Cover, Type Cover
VaporMg Case & Stand
32 GB, 64 GB

Windows 8 Pro
903 g
13.5 mm
10.6” ClearType Full HD Display
42 W-h
microSDXC, USB 3.0, Mini DisplayPort Video, 2x2 MIMO antennae
Touch Cover, Type Cover, Pen with Palm Block
VaporMg Case & Stand
64 GB, 128 GB


RE: Microsoft Surface
By TakinYourPoints on 6/18/2012 8:08:44 PM , Rating: 2
Can't wait to see what the actual display resolution and battery life specs are.


RE: Microsoft Surface
By amanojaku on 6/18/2012 8:14:44 PM , Rating: 2
No battery, RAM or video info yet.
quote:
There's two Surfaces - one with Nvidia (assuming Tegra 3) with Windows RT, along with one with Intel Core i5 (IVB) processors and Windows 8 Pro. The Intel one is less than 2 pounds, and under 14mm thick. 2x2:2 WiFi antennas and digital inking at 600dpi, which should please Brian.

They're calling the screen "ClearType", with the Nvidia one having a ClearType HD and the Intel one having a ClearType Full HD, meaning 1366x768 and 1920x1080 respectively.
http://www.anandtech.com/show/6015/microsofts-majo...


RE: Microsoft Surface
By TakinYourPoints on 6/18/2012 8:22:08 PM , Rating: 2
Video will be integrated, guaranteed. There is no room in that chassis for discreet graphics. Microsoft needs to be completely on top of adopting Haswell next year, its IGP is a huge improvement over Ivy Bridge, which itself is a good improvement over Sandy Bridge.


RE: Microsoft Surface
By mcnabney on 6/18/12, Rating: -1
RE: Microsoft Surface
By TakinYourPoints on 6/18/2012 8:55:56 PM , Rating: 3
Yeah, the Intel version is what really interests me. The tablet version could stand to use a display and SoC bump. It using Tegra 3 is a bit of speculation given that it won't be out until early next year and could very well be using something much better. Here's hoping that the display gets upgraded though.


RE: Microsoft Surface
By amanojaku on 6/18/2012 9:37:31 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
iPad will have 3x as many pixels in the display
True, but I won't sniff at HD in the palm of my hands.
quote:
The iPad GPU completely outclasses Tegra3.
At native resolution, the new iPad barely beats the Tegra 3, and not even all the time, and loses to the iPad 2, so that's nothing to be proud of, especially since nVidia has four new Tegra 3's coming out.
quote:
It will be called 'Windows' and not run anything for Windows - this is going to be a problem.
The iPad does't run MacOS software, either. On the other hand, there will be two Windows versions, one of which runs the full OS, which runs real software, no problem.
quote:
I didn't see Surface to be equipped with an IPS screen.
If we're lucky, it will be Super PLS.
quote:
The last complicated Microsoft hardware doesn't exactly have a reliable history (RRoD)
True, but Apple has it's share of hardware failure, too, so...
quote:
The people that want a premium tablet already have an iPad.
It's been pointed out in numerous articles that a large percentage of iPad owners received them as gifts. Most of the owners would never have bought one for themselves, and they admit to it being nothing more than a toy. Premium, my foot.


RE: Microsoft Surface
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 6/18/2012 9:39:45 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
It's been pointed out in numerous articles that a large percentage of iPad owners received them as gifts. Most of the owners would never have bought one for themselves, and they admit to it being nothing more than a toy. Premium, my foot.


Please direct me to these friends/family that give $500+ "gifts"


RE: Microsoft Surface
By BillyBatson on 6/19/2012 3:31:41 AM , Rating: 1
This is actually true for my family and friends as well, everyone I know who has an iPad has received it for a gift including myself lol... Because in the end it is just a toy that's way too expensive to justify purchasing myself, but we all feel that when you buy someone a tablet you have to buy an iPad... we don't want to buy someone another brand of tablet and have them say thank you eye to eye but really be thinking "I wish I had an iPad". This is especially true for the early teens I know and for midlife crises aged family members. We also all have iPhones and the idea is that you need an iPad to go with it lol. Ridiculous but hey they're gifts ;)


RE: Microsoft Surface
By Tony Swash on 6/19/12, Rating: -1
RE: Microsoft Surface
By tayb on 6/19/2012 2:17:21 PM , Rating: 2
This is just over the top pure garbage. Most people receive iPads as gifts and don't even really want them? Is that what you guys are doing to justify the huge gulf between iPad sales and everyone else?


RE: Microsoft Surface
By Skywalker123 on 6/19/2012 4:24:46 AM , Rating: 2
A Charlotte HVAC company is giving them away if you buy a heat pump.


RE: Microsoft Surface
By TakinYourPoints on 6/19/12, Rating: 0
RE: Microsoft Surface
By Sea Shadow on 6/19/2012 4:07:54 AM , Rating: 5
Your holding it wrong?


RE: Microsoft Surface
By TakinYourPoints on 6/19/2012 3:13:03 PM , Rating: 2
Meh. I and over a hundred million other people haven't had reception issues. Far cry from hardware flat out not working at all.


RE: Microsoft Surface
By Ringold on 6/18/2012 9:42:30 PM , Rating: 2
I think you're comparing it to the 'new' iPad, whereas if the rumors are right it's probably going to be priced much more in line with the iPad2, which has a comparable screen at least.


RE: Microsoft Surface
By BrgMx5 on 6/18/2012 10:06:14 PM , Rating: 2
Well I believe the one with the core i5 is D.O.A. as a consumer device. It looks bulky and a "full windows experience" will be more of a hindrance than advantage, as I believe the success of the iPad is due to simplicity of the OS plus apps combo (full fledged win programs is just asking for trouble).

The other one's success will be greatly dependent on perceived quality of the chassis (iPad is really sturdy), and screen, as well as price.

The other thing that makes me fear for the success of these things is the delay to market. If they should have learned something by now is that it should go to market almost immediately after presentation. The only people who are going to wait are he ones that will buy the i5 one, as there is no direct competition.


RE: Microsoft Surface
By hankw on 6/18/2012 11:40:56 PM , Rating: 2
Actually I can see a lot of people wanting the Pro so that can have a tablet and then plug it into a larger monitor with keyboard/mouse to use it as a somewhat powerful desktop. Sort of like a slightly more portable laptop.


RE: Microsoft Surface
By sviola on 6/19/2012 2:38:01 PM , Rating: 1
It looks bulky? It's 14.5mm thick, which is 0.57 inch.


RE: Microsoft Surface
By Smilin on 6/20/2012 6:56:55 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Well I believe the one with the core i5 is D.O.A. as a consumer device. It looks bulky and a "full windows experience" will be more of a hindrance than advantage, as I believe the success of the iPad is due to simplicity of the OS plus apps combo (full fledged win programs is just asking for trouble).


There is more to a "full windows experience" than having applications instead of apps. I have some data on this thumb drive that I want to access. Microsoft Surface? Done. iPad? Yeah good luck. A phone doesn't even have a USB I/O stack let alone the hardware.

quote:
The other thing that makes me fear for the success of
these things is the delay to market. If they should have learned something by now is that it should go to market almost immediately after presentation. The only people who are going to wait are he ones that will buy the i5 one, as there is no direct competition.


Disagree. It would be a bad idea for Apple to announce without a product ready. It's not for Microsoft.

Apple owns the tablet market. If they announce early with no product in hand it will just stifle sales of the current product.

Microsoft has no tablet presence. This won't make anyone hold off on buying Microsoft but it will very likely make many hold of on purchasing an Apple product.

Microsoft: 0
Apple: -1

Microsoft wins.


RE: Microsoft Surface
By BrgMx5 on 6/18/2012 10:11:41 PM , Rating: 2
I was just looking at a picture of Ballmer with the tablet in his hands and the screen format just looks weird (might be the picture).


RE: Microsoft Surface
By fteoath64 on 6/19/2012 3:30:55 AM , Rating: 2
So if they price it (RT model) at $300 then it will fly. I can see this as a very viable student PC replacement which is more portable and with long life battery (hopefully 6 hours at least...).

However, I can see that the sad truth would be, it will come at $399 or even $499. That is dangerous territory as many choices abound for the consumer. Also, would like to see a 7inch or 8 inch RT tablet to cover for the smaller form-factor. Weight of this ought to be less than 400 grams.

The Pro version will possibly put a 20% premium on a similar Ultrabook but limit of 128GB SSD is going to tick off many people.


RE: Microsoft Surface
By Belard on 6/19/12, Rating: 0
not a bad effort
By Nortel on 6/18/2012 8:06:35 PM , Rating: 2
Software and hands on appeal is what is going to determine if this tablet is half decent. From the posted specs however, it does look quite promising except for the resolution which there is no word of... which is interesting...




RE: not a bad effort
By BugblatterIII on 6/18/2012 8:07:30 PM , Rating: 2
RE: not a bad effort
By tayb on 6/18/2012 8:17:01 PM , Rating: 2
Those aren't actually confirmed, just best guesses. Microsoft isn't telling at the moment. Here is the spec sheet:

http://www.microsoft.com/global/surface/en/us/rend...


RE: not a bad effort
By fic2 on 6/18/2012 8:21:36 PM , Rating: 2
1366x768 (ARM) and 1920x1080 (Intel).


RE: not a bad effort
By mcnabney on 6/18/12, Rating: -1
RE: not a bad effort
By leviathan05 on 6/19/2012 10:16:10 AM , Rating: 2
Yes, I'm sure 1900 x 1200 would look great on this 16:9 10.6" tablet.

Good one.


RE: not a bad effort
By geddarkstorm on 6/19/2012 12:34:03 PM , Rating: 2
Well, people have to find -something- to complain about, right :D?


cool
By p05esto on 6/18/2012 10:01:52 PM , Rating: 2
Now this is cool... an actual keyboard is the best part, I can't stand touch keyboards. I think they need to take it a step further and make the keyboard more laptop style that folds up (or back) to act as the screen protector (like ultra book).

I like the larger size, keyboard, inputs, pure CPU, etc. We'll see!




RE: cool
By kkwst2 on 6/19/2012 12:48:43 AM , Rating: 2
If you want that, get a Thinkpad X tablet or something similar. For that you need the guts in the keyboard. These are too top-heavy to work well like that. You have to decide whether you want a slate-like tablet or a laptop-style tablet.


RE: cool
By Sea Shadow on 6/19/2012 4:12:02 AM , Rating: 2
This is true. I have a Lenovo Thinkpad x220t and while I love the keyboard, it definitely takes up some depth in the system. Given how much I type, it was a worthwhile trade off.

So evaluate your needs, and choose wisely.


RE: cool
By TEAMSWITCHER on 6/19/12, Rating: 0
RE: cool
By Skelum on 6/19/2012 10:07:35 AM , Rating: 2
You are right it won't work well on your lap... That's why it's a tablet and not a "LAP"TOP... No table around use it as a tablet. You have a surface, unfold a thin, lightweight KB that you have been carrying all along for protecting purposes(without a big laptop bag). You are at home, hook your HDMI monitor and your USB hub and you have a desktop with a second monitor(the tablet with the kickstand)


RE: cool
By geddarkstorm on 6/19/2012 12:32:22 PM , Rating: 2
I think this is the first time I've been truly excited to see more of a Microsoft product, since Windows 7. This thing looks like the tablet we've all been waiting for.


By BugblatterIII on 6/18/2012 8:03:49 PM , Rating: 2
This gives some huge advantages over the iPad. I may even ditch my Transformer Prime for one of these, especially if someone works out how to get around the locked bootloader and dual-boot Android.

Just as long as they don't try to tie it into Windows Phone by having features that only work if you have both.




RE: This is as big as the original iPad announcement
By mcnabney on 6/18/12, Rating: -1
By anactoraaron on 6/18/2012 9:30:12 PM , Rating: 3
wait... what? Are you saying that an ivy bridge i5 is somehow inferior to the new iPad? And how do you know that the screen will not be IPS? Do they make a 128GB iPad? App library?? Try EVERY application that's windows compatible... real programs like Photoshop and Office. This will cover more like 4 or 5 million people. You can keep your iPad and 500 fart apps. This is a device that will actually get things done.


By chmilz on 6/19/2012 5:59:20 PM , Rating: 2
If some studios patch in some touch capability for hot PC games, the Pro (and future iterations) will sell in the kajillions.

Civilization + touch mod/patch = better than any and all games for tablets to date combined


By BugblatterIII on 6/18/2012 9:40:46 PM , Rating: 2
Kinda depends which tablet you're looking at. The RT version presumably only has Tegra 3 and so won't have killer performance, although even so it should be a very attractive tablet.

The IVB one is a whole different ballgame, and in fact is likely to be a game-changer. Full x86 tablets with full Windows have been niche devices so far; this should bring them into the mainstream. Once that happens it'll be "Thanks Apple for opening up the market; we can take it from here. Wait, you patented not having to have a keyboard? FFS!"


Looks good on the "surface"...
By phatboye on 6/18/2012 8:30:02 PM , Rating: 2
Looks good on the "surface" but I'm going to wait till I see reviews before I get too excited. Knowing MS there is going to be a catch somewhere. My biggest fear is that they are going to pull a move right from Apple's play book and require all software to come from the MS marketplace. I hope I am wrong but no way am I stepping into MS's walled garden, it's the main reason why I avoid Apple products. Also What kind of battery life can we expect out of the two versions seeing how thin and light weight they are they probably don't have a large battery. Also how much will each cost.




RE: Looks good on the "surface"...
By TakinYourPoints on 6/18/2012 8:36:16 PM , Rating: 2
Windows RT only runs the Metro environment, so you'll only be able to use software that goes through Microsoft.

This isn't a bad thing IMHO, such systems are far more secure and stable than those where software isn't vetted. It doesn't reduce choice either; right now the richest mobile ecosystem for applications and developers is iOS by miles, so this shouldn't be a roadblock for Microsoft given the number of Windows developers and excellent developer tools available. If you don't like it then there is obviously Android.

I'm guessing price will be comparable to good tablets and ultrabooks, so $500-$600 for the tablets and around $1200 for the Intel model. We'll see.


RE: Looks good on the "surface"...
By phatboye on 6/18/2012 10:07:22 PM , Rating: 2
OK if the x86 one does not require MS marketplace then I may look into that one but don't be fooled by MS marketing, anytime you are locked into on such software store you are limited in what applications you can install.

As far as security is concerned I'd rather take that into my own hands. I don't want MS dictating to me what is secure enough to install on my system. Also I have work related software that will probably never make it's way into MS marketplace so if it's locked to some software store then it's a no go for me.


RE: Looks good on the "surface"...
By Smilin on 6/19/2012 11:08:34 AM , Rating: 2
So far I've found that the x86 Windows 8 runs everything that my Windows 7 machine runs. Diablo III updater/launcher has a non-fatal crash at startup that it recovers from but that's the worst I've seen.


VERY cool
By TakinYourPoints on 6/18/2012 8:01:14 PM , Rating: 2
This is super cool. Microsoft seriously stepped it up over their hardware partners. Those other companies can't be thrilled about this, but its their own damn fault for letting MS operating systems down for so long with such bad hardware. Some people think that allowing for choice in hardware companies is a good thing, but it isn't when all they do is cut corners in quality. It is why I will only build my own gaming PCs.

I guess their hardware partners will mainly be doing Android tablets while MS follows Apple's lead into designing their own superior hardware. I'm ok with this!

The keyboard cover, the physical design, I really like it. My only beef is the 16:9 display I still think it is a bad aspect ratio for anything under 27" 1440p monitors, but nothing is perfect. At the very least, those who are averse to iPads will finally have a legit alternative that is far better than Android tablets out there.

I reckon I'll be getting the Intel version to mess around with, why not?




RE: VERY cool
By Pirks on 6/18/12, Rating: -1
RE: VERY cool
By Tony Swash on 6/19/12, Rating: -1
RE: VERY cool
By Smilin on 6/19/2012 2:46:20 PM , Rating: 2
I'll give you a handful of straws if you just ask. No sense in grasping at them.

I personally loved jobs talking about surfing the web on the iPad with a big ole 'flash required' block right in the middle of the pages (after he got wifi working on the 2nd one of course)


RE: VERY cool
By themaster08 on 6/19/2012 3:49:50 PM , Rating: 3
Windows 8 will not be released until October. It is still in beta. You're an idiot.


A problem with Microsoft Tablet launches...
By Schadenfroh on 6/18/2012 8:42:51 PM , Rating: 2
Unlike Samsung launches, there seems to be a lack of hot Korean models holding this device... there is a reason they are the #1 smartphone maker!

(That they embraced Android)




By Doctorweir on 6/18/2012 9:39:05 PM , Rating: 2
Lol...Steve definitely cannot stand a chance against these models... ;-)

And actually Samsung already makes the i5 device since last year. The Series 7 Slate PC. 900 grams, even 11.6" IPS screen, i5 processor...only less resolution 1366x768. Runs Win8 beautifully. I have it and love it. For the battery life I think they are good. This baby has real 4hrs and with Ivy Bridge and the smaller screen, they should be able to extract 7 or so...
http://www.samsung.com/us/business/tablet-pcs


Pen Input
By VooDooAddict on 6/19/2012 1:12:01 PM , Rating: 3
For me, it's all about the pen input.

If I can use this to take meeting notes digitally and reliably... then it will get quite a bit of use from me.

Had one of the early TabletPCs and loved it. The battery just sucked and it was heavy and bulky.

This looks to fix that problem.




Steve Ballmer
By fic2 on 6/18/2012 8:24:21 PM , Rating: 2
So, my hope that the big announcement was Steve Ballmer stepping down is shot....




By aftlizard on 6/19/2012 1:05:03 AM , Rating: 2
I have a feeling the Pro version is targeted at businesses, depending on specs I hope the RT falls in the 300-400 range.




Nokia? Is that you?
By CZroe on 6/19/2012 4:38:46 AM , Rating: 2
This has to be a fruit of their Nokia alliance. No mention of Nokia though?




By Denigrate on 6/19/2012 9:18:51 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Cooling is accomplished through some slick perimeter venting. A second Surface is based on forthcoming ARM chips.


Why are so many talking about Tegra3? It's clear from the article that it's a forthcoming ARM chip which means it's not on the market. Maybe Tegra4?




By Wolfpup on 6/19/2012 10:54:57 AM , Rating: 2
This is only about as thick as the iPad 1...but gives you a full, real OS that can actually run all my programs. Hell, I can run real iTunes on it and sync my iPod with it!




By Integral9 on 6/19/2012 3:05:00 PM , Rating: 2
pfff.... Coming from the same company that rushed the 360 out the door, rushed XP out the door and usually doesn't get it right until at least the first service pack... I'll believe it when I see it.




By 91TTZ on 6/19/2012 3:38:06 PM , Rating: 2
This looks nice. I think that Windows 8 is a good fit for tablets.

But as nice as it looks I see a problem. Microsoft is positioning itself in no man's land. Already they want to have 2 very similar offerings- an ARM version and an Intel version. If the ARM version is too feature rich or appealing it will eat into their much more expensive Intel offering's sales. If it's not rich enough it won't be able to compete against the current heavyweight of the market, Apple.

This creates a dilemma for Microsoft, a software company. They want people to buy their tablet OS but it needs to be cheap enough and appealing enough to draw customers away from Android and iOS. This puts it in no-man's land because Android is free and iOS is the OS from Apple, a hardware company whose business model is complete vertical integration. Microsoft obviously isn't going to give away its OS for free like Android, and they don't want to sell hardware that competes with its partners. They probably wanted to control the first impression people get, so the original model is using hardware that they control, with their name on it. Once it gains acceptance they'll stop making the hardware and rely on their partners.

I just don't see how they expect this to sell, regardless of how appealing it is. They're stuck between a rock and a hard place. Competitors on the low end get to use an OS for free so the competing units are sold for a slight profit over hardware costs, and the competitor on the high end is the undisputed heavyweight, makes its own OS, makes its own hardware and keeps all the profits. They're positioning themselves as an unneeded middleman.




hmmmm
By Ammohunt on 6/22/2012 5:57:49 PM , Rating: 2
should run Linux as well cool!




looks like garbage
By tharik on 6/19/2012 3:29:12 PM , Rating: 1
besides looking like garbage, it probably will be

at least that way Microsoft can use their Microsoft ROT operating system




pricing
By lenardo on 6/18/12, Rating: -1
RE: pricing
By BillyBatson on 6/19/2012 3:37:25 AM , Rating: 2
You are insane lol the i5 cannot possibly under any circumstance be priced at under $899 and will most likely be $1100-1300.. And that might be without the keyboard.
No telling on the arm model but you can expect $400-500 just the tablet...

And at those prices it won't be a fail, 900-1000 I would seriously consider the i5 model as long as it has respectable battery life.
If the arm model can match the "ipad3" numbers I would gladly pay the same price for the added OS functionality


RE: pricing
By tayb on 6/19/2012 2:24:31 PM , Rating: 2
Most sites are actually estimating $899. Microsoft doesn't have to pay itself to license the OS and I think at this point they are probably more interested in getting traction in the market than making a huge profit. I doubt their margins will be extremely high on this product as they'll look to recoup the costs elsewhere a la Xbox 360.


RE: pricing
By leviathan05 on 6/19/2012 10:23:35 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
i am sorry


Yes, yes you are.


“We do believe we have a moral responsibility to keep porn off the iPhone.” -- Steve Jobs














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