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Windows 8 Pro and Microsoft's pre-installed apps take a big bite out of available storage

This isn't the first time that we've heard about space constraints in Microsoft's Surface tablets, and this likely won't be the last. Back in early November, we briefly touched on the fact that Surface RT has its available storage space seriously encroached by the operating system and pre-installed software. The 32GB version only has 16GB available to the user, while the 64GB version has 45GB available to the user.
 
For comparison, the 32GB and 64GB iPad/iPad mini have roughly 28.6GB and 57.2GB available respectively to the user.
 
We are now hearing reports that the upcoming Surface Pro takes an even bigger hit due to Windows 8 Pro and pre-installed apps from Microsoft. According to Hexus and Softpedia, the 128GB Surface Pro will only have 83GB of space available to the user. So the user is losing 45GB of storage space due to formatting/OS/pre-installed apps.
 
That's a big chunk of space robbed from the user on the 128GB version, but users who are thinking about the 64GB Surface Pro might want to think twice if it too is going to get hit with a 45GB punch to the gut. However, it should be noted that both the Surface RT and Surface Pro do features expandable storage via an SDXC slot; and the Surface Pro also features a USB 3.0 port.
For a refresher, the Surface Pro will be available in the U.S. and Canada starting on February 9 at $899 and $999 for the 64GB and 128GB models respectively.


Updated 1/29/2013 @ 2:16pm EST
The Verge reports that the 64GB Surface Pro will only have 23GB of available free space fresh out of the box. Microsoft also states that you will be able to get some of that free space back by "creating a backup bootable USB and deleting the recovery partition."

Sources: Hexus, Softpedia, Microsoft



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RE: wow
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 1/29/2013 10:13:00 AM , Rating: 5
I wouldn't expect it to have 128GB free, but I also wouldn't expect a third of the storage space to be taken up by the OS and what's supposed to be Microsoft's "bloatfree" attitude towards pre-installed apps.


RE: wow
By kyuuketsuki on 1/29/2013 11:24:48 AM , Rating: 2
Much of that can be freed up by turning off hibernation and system restore, modifying the way the pagefile is handled, and using an external USB device for the recovery partition (if possible). Granted, these are things MS should do in the first place, but still, a lot of that storage space can be recovered.


RE: wow
By Netscorer on 1/29/2013 12:55:15 PM , Rating: 3
Please show me any regular PC user who can do even one of the optimizations you named, forget about all of them. I've seen Lenovo Yoga forums and even with detailed instructions, there were countless users who ended up with bricked devices because they deleted the wrong partition when merging all that dead wasted storage or improperly formatting USB flash for restore and trying to boot up from it.


RE: wow
By ritualm on 1/29/2013 4:29:40 PM , Rating: 2
You're overestimating the ability of the average PC user to correctly set up these deep systemwide changes.


RE: wow
By retrospooty on 1/29/2013 12:18:27 PM , Rating: 2
I agree that is high. Is it alot of 3rd party bloatware, or is it just poor management of pagefile and hibernation files?


RE: wow
By Mint on 1/29/2013 2:44:04 PM , Rating: 2
I really don't think 45GB it's that much different from any win7 notebook, but I could be wrong.

It'll be interesting to see the breakdown if this rumor is true.


RE: wow
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 1/29/2013 2:49:38 PM , Rating: 2
It's not a rumor, it's straight from the horse's mouth:

http://www.theverge.com/2013/1/29/3929110/surface-...


RE: wow
By Mint on 1/29/2013 3:08:45 PM , Rating: 2
Sure, but it's still not that unreasonable compared to typical laptops, and I'm still curious about the breakdown.

It's got a backup partition (which you can remove), a hibernation file and pagefile (side effects of being a full PC with 4GB RAM), and Office trial preinstalled.

That probably accounts for most of the unexpected used space.


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