Print 36 comment(s) - last by SPOOOK.. on Jul 17 at 12:23 AM

Microsoft keeps expectations for its first party tablet modest amid market hype

At its Worldwide Partner Conference in Canada, a Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) executive offered official confirmation of an August Release to Manufacturing (RTM) build of Windows 8, followed by an October release.  

The details were confirmed by Windows Chief Financial Officer Tami Reller.  They fall roughly in line with past statements by Microsoft, but were more explicit, committing to precise months.

Leaked builds have shown that one of the big changes in the RTM build will be the elimination of the Aero glass UI, in favor of a Metro UI desktop theme.  The desktop Metro UI theme in leaked builds looks somewhat similar to the familiar Windows desktop, but emphasizes harder windows edges and pastel colors.

At the conference CEO Steve Ballmer also is quoted by All Things Digital's Mary Jo Foley as stating, "We may sell a few million of the 375 million PCs we expect to sell in next year with Surface."

Microsoft has high hopes for its first-party 10.6-inch Surface tablet.  However, much like Apple, Inc.'s (AAPL) 2010 iPad launch, its initial production run is constrained by its bleeding-edge hardware and manufacturing processes.  The Microsoft tablet is built with a unique scratch resistant magnesium body, an industry first.

Microsoft Surface
The Microsoft Surface

Apple's iPad sold "only" 15 million units in 2010, but went on to sell 40 million units in 2011 [1][2][3][4].  While Microsoft's objectives with the Surface are quite modest, it surely hopes to follow a similar path in its second year on the market.

Microsoft recently acquired Perceptive Pixel, a company specializing in large-scale multi-touch hardware and is looking to launch new devices with large multi-touch displays.

Sources: Digital WPC, Mary Jo Foley

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By StevoLincolnite on 7/10/2012 3:54:38 PM , Rating: 5
One thing about Windows 8 preview is that it looks slick on my tablet.

Just unfortunately the same experience doesn't translate well to my desktop with Eyefinity, it feels like they decided to throw all multi-monitor support out the window, Metro takes up one screen with the other 2 screens just essentially a solid colour, hopefully they fixed that up in the full release, but I have my doubts. :(

RE: .
By Belard on 7/10/12, Rating: 0
RE: .
By aftlizard on 7/10/2012 4:12:19 PM , Rating: 5
How do you expect anybody to take your opinions with any sort of authority if you feel like being a thirteen year old child when you write?

RE: .
By Belard on 7/10/12, Rating: 0
RE: .
By flyingpants1 on 7/12/2012 4:10:09 AM , Rating: 2

RE: .
By aftlizard on 7/10/2012 4:10:59 PM , Rating: 3
Maybe you have something set wrong? I have my second screen set to a wall paper, even with metro loaded it stays the same unless I launch metro from the second monitor.

RE: .
By Helbore on 7/10/2012 5:57:56 PM , Rating: 3
Sure, Metro doesn't scale well with multi-monitor, but the traditional desktop multi-monitor support is FAR better than Windows 7.

RE: .
By B3an on 7/11/2012 5:52:51 AM , Rating: 3
You obviously have a problem with your PC or drivers then. Metro works perfectly fine on my 3 monitors. I can have Metro on any monitor i like and still see the desktop on the other two. And theres much better multi monitor support in 8 as well so i dont know what you're talking about.

RE: .
By StevoLincolnite on 7/11/2012 1:44:19 PM , Rating: 2
The thing is, it's Eyefinity.

I shouldn't have Metro on one screen and a desktop on the other two.

It's one giant screen real-estate, I have 5760x1080 wallpapers too, suddenly cutting 1/3rd of that just looks ugly.

RE: .
By Smilin on 7/11/2012 12:52:32 PM , Rating: 2
With Eyefinity you are essentially using a single monitor. Turn Eyefinity off and let Windows handle the multimon. Win8 has awesome multimon features.

Looks Good
By mchentz on 7/10/2012 3:56:52 PM , Rating: 1
Ill be buying one.

RE: Looks Good
By Lazarus52980 on 7/10/2012 4:00:57 PM , Rating: 2
+1 I will be getting one too.

RE: Looks Good
By B3an on 7/11/2012 5:54:21 AM , Rating: 2
And me. A useful tablet, never thought i'd see the day.

RE: Looks Good
By theapparition on 7/11/2012 9:34:07 AM , Rating: 2
And price?

So far I haven't seen a price or full specs released. While I'm excited for this as well, and have no problem affording it at any price, I'm still value conscientious. If the Intel version is $2k, then I'm not going to buy it.

The RT version needs to be priced in the $400 range and the Intel in the $600 range for this to be a hit.

RE: Looks Good
By B3an on 7/11/2012 1:30:20 PM , Rating: 2
$600 for ultrabook level hardware? Dont think so. Theres noway it will be 2K. but i'd expect to pay as much as a average ultrabook which is perfectly fair for what you get and the fact that it can also replace a ultrabook/laptop anyway.

RE: Looks Good
By sigmatau on 7/11/2012 1:35:38 PM , Rating: 2
Microsoft did state that the pricing of their ARM tablets will be in line with other ARM tablets while its Intel based tablets would be priced in line with ultrabooks. Hopefully they will be a little less.

RE: Looks Good
By leviathan05 on 7/10/2012 4:09:09 PM , Rating: 3
Same here. Will probably pre-order early in case the rumors of Microsoft having trouble obtaining sufficient amounts of Magnesium for the case are true. Could be very limited supply early and I've already waited long enough for a tablet like this.

RE: Looks Good
By Pirks on 7/10/2012 4:48:27 PM , Rating: 2
I'm too getting Surface RT the moment they start to take preorders. Most likely the 16 GB version as I plan to stick a 64 GB SD card in it and call it a day.

RE: Looks Good
By Reclaimer77 on 7/11/2012 9:20:57 AM , Rating: 2
You know I love how you troll everyone about the RIM Playbook being the best tablet, and how their phones are the best...then you go buy a Windows Phone, say you'll "give" your BB Torch to your daughter, and now you want a Surface tablet.

Hypocrite much? If RIM is so great, why don't you actually USE their products?

RE: Looks Good
By Smilin on 7/11/2012 12:56:55 PM , Rating: 1
Yeah what he said!!!

If you looooove RIM so much why don't you marry it?

RE: Looks Good
By Ramstark on 7/13/2012 11:41:07 AM , Rating: 2
I'm beginning to wonder Reclaimer, do you search for Pirks, Mitch or Tony on DT as a hunting sport? Because it's getting really suspicious to me...
Anyway, one's opinion about something shouldn't be changeable by just trolling, you need to give valid points to change someone's mind you know?

re-issuing the wheel
By Nortel on 7/10/12, Rating: 0
RE: re-issuing the wheel
By Techywarrior on 7/10/2012 4:34:09 PM , Rating: 2
They specialize in very large multi touch displays. Like the Wall PC Microsoft showed off a year or two ago, the displays from the last US presidential election coverage on CNN etc, and probably the large wall display in Balmer's office.

This isn't the same thing as HP's touchsmart displays.

Think standing and interacting with your wall more then sitting at a desk reaching over it to play with your monitor...

RE: re-issuing the wheel
By Manch on 7/10/2012 5:08:00 PM , Rating: 2
We acquired a 55 inch table top one and a couple other wall mounted 55s. The unlimited touch is pretty awesome. Its a great collaboration tool. They even have 21inch monitors available after 3m invested in them and helped to bring those out. We laid these into the desks.

Another cool thing you can do is sling an object from one screen to the other. If multiple people were working on their own piece of a project, once they were done they could sling it to the table top where a group was working and they could grab it and merge it or inlay it into the project we were working on.

RE: re-issuing the wheel
By Mitch101 on 7/10/2012 5:22:22 PM , Rating: 2
They could have purchased it for the patent portfolio as well.

RE: re-issuing the wheel
By michael2k on 7/10/2012 5:09:49 PM , Rating: 2
Microsoft also has Kinect to deal with "gorilla arm".

Look left, look right, point, etc.

RE: re-issuing the wheel
By Mitch101 on 7/10/2012 5:23:44 PM , Rating: 3
Asus is coming with laptops with kinect built into them.

RE: re-issuing the wheel
By rudy on 7/10/2012 5:29:47 PM , Rating: 2
Nobody bought it? I think they still make a new model every year and that section of touch display all in ones has grown in most best buys to bigger than the desktop section.

RE: re-issuing the wheel
By NellyFromMA on 7/11/2012 8:42:15 AM , Rating: 2
They didn't but the tech so you can sit their with your arm stretched out... that would think this makes no sense... MS, especially as of late, has proven time and time again how resilient it is. It is such a good company that it can survive an abyssmal failure such as Vista (even if its more a percepted failure than a technical one) and come right back and offer the best selling OS software.

So, the lack of MS faith has always been mystifying to me as they have never actually 'failed' at anything REALLY. They have had bad releases and have conquered them with their best work.

When MS buys a company, 8/10 times it is fruitful and incorporated in intuitive and new ways. So, I have a feeling they didn't buy this company to do something dumb like offer the same exact thing that failed 4 or 5 years ago....

By slatr on 7/10/2012 6:20:57 PM , Rating: 2
I can't find any information stating whether the tablet will be wacom pen enabled or not. It is my understanding that there is a pen.

Any news on this?

RE: Wacom?
By Digobick on 7/11/2012 7:26:31 AM , Rating: 2
The Intel version is pen enabled:

Not sure if it's Wacom or not.

Still iffy on Win 8.
By stm1185 on 7/10/2012 8:13:30 PM , Rating: 2
I have been using the release preview on an old HP (A64 5k+,2gb ram, 6600gt) I use for media streaming, and its done wonders for that system. It boots about 5x faster, it's much more responsive, and the animations are fluid. It functions great on a TV and I love using it over XP for that purpose.

But then I just can't see myself wanting that Metro interface on my main PC, the one I use for production and gaming. I want my free floating Windows, not a box on a wall.

RE: Still iffy on Win 8.
By Kurz on 7/11/2012 9:11:54 AM , Rating: 2
Yea a lot of people are iffy on it... I just wish they kept the code base for regular windows.

Surface keyboard for phone
By rudy on 7/10/2012 5:28:43 PM , Rating: 2
PLEASE give me this.

Source error
By Varun on 7/11/2012 2:28:29 PM , Rating: 2
Mary Jo Foley works for ZDNet, not All Things Digital.

wait till this lemon flops
By SPOOOK on 7/17/2012 12:23:54 AM , Rating: 2
win 8 will be the big big big falure of the year im staying away untill win 9 comes out, like i never bought visa balmer
is heading to a big fall

"Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment -- same piece of hardware -- paying $500 more to get a logo on it? I think that's a more challenging proposition for the average person than it used to be." -- Steve Ballmer

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