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Print 36 comment(s) - last by Fritzr.. on Feb 21 at 8:39 PM


  (Source: Bloomberg)
Microsoft CEO defends cross platform approach, jump into tablet market

"Surface is a real business. In an environment in which there’s 350 million PCs sold, I don’t think Surface is going to dominate volume, but it’s a real business," commented Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) CEO Steve Ballmer in a recent interview with TechRadar.

The embattled CEO has suffered recent shareholder unrest as Microsoft has struggled in the smartphone and tablet markets.  But Mr. Ballmer is convinced that Microsoft's new unified approach -- which will culminate in the late summer 2013 launch of Windows/Windows Phone "Blue" -- is a solid route to market domination.

He explains, "Increasingly, people access the same content and services from multiple devices or use more than one device at a time. [Having] the same look and feel shortens the learning curve and creates a more seamless user experience."

Microsoft is rumored to be working on a Surface Phone, a device designed to encourage third party OEMs to step up their game.  When it comes to the Surface tablet, Mr. Ballmer says it showed OEMs what could be done with a Windows 8 tablet.  He comments, "I’m super-glad we did Surface. I think it is important—and not just for Microsoft but for the entire Windows ecosystem—to see integrated hardware and software."

Surface RT ($499) has been criticized for its poor resolution (1366x768), while Surface Pro ($899 USD 64 GB; $999 USD 128 GB) has been criticized for offering too little free space to the user. Still, both tablets are very popular for their slick looks and solid hardware; the Surface Pro is currently sold out.

The CEO claims that Microsoft understands very well what consumers wants, but sometimes is just a bit lacking in execution.
He remarks, "So is there a lack of understanding, or in some cases do I wish our execution had been better? I would say the latter. In cases where we’ve embraced end-user needs and really sort of dived in, like the things that we’ve done with Kinect and the Xbox, I think we’ve done a heck of a job."

While no official announcements have been made Microsoft has come under fire for reportedly locking out used games from its next generation gaming console, the Xbox 720.  The console, which is expected to launch later this year, is also criticized as being harder to develop for and less popular than Sony Corp.'s (TYO:6758) upcoming PlayStation 4, according to industry sources who've worked with early dev kits.

Source: TechRadar



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Storage claims still unfair...
By txDrum on 2/20/2013 1:05:17 PM , Rating: 5
Nice article, but it's still silly to complain about the storage of the Surface pro. It's much more similar to other win8 ultrabooks, and in the case of the macbook air, actually offers more storage (at least when the recovery partition, of which mac does not have, is removed, which is super simple to do).




RE: Storage claims still unfair...
By Nortel on 2/20/13, Rating: 0
RE: Storage claims still unfair...
By NellyFromMA on 2/20/2013 1:37:02 PM , Rating: 2
Honestly, if you are gonna pay that money, maybe use your expertise to evaluate the space isn't enoguh and go with the higher model.

It's like part of your assessment is from a professional perspective and part is from a novice.

Assess your needs and purchase accordingly. Pony up extra for the convenience of Surface form factor or purchase a competitor model.

Also, for files, theres expandable storage. An awful option to install programs on, but for what you're talking about its exactly the point.


By Shadowself on 2/20/2013 2:21:18 PM , Rating: 2
Your comment makes no sense to me. The prior poster was saying that 89 GB left after the OS install is not enough. To my knowledge the largest Surface Pro you can buy today is 128 GB which leaves the aforementioned 89 GB. Thus your statement "maybe use your expertise to evaluate the space isn't enoguh and go with the higher model" makes no sense to me as he's already talking about the higher model.


RE: Storage claims still unfair...
By Voldenuit on 2/20/2013 2:33:26 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Honestly, if you are gonna pay that money, maybe use your expertise to evaluate the space isn't enoguh and go with the higher model.


What higher model? Nortel is referring to the 128 GB Surface Pro, which is the highest capacity model. And which still only has 4 GB of non-upgradable and non-configurable RAM, which is nowhere near enough for power users, and seems like a lousy upgrade from the 64 GB model when 128 GB SSDs are only $20-30 more expensive than 64 GB models in retail.

quote:
Also, for files, theres expandable storage. An awful option to install programs on, but for what you're talking about its exactly the point.

It's also an awful option for media files on Windows 8, as Win8 doesn't let you add removable media to your libraries, and it doesn't allow ModernUI apps to access files that are not in your libraries. There are workarounds (such as making softlinks to removable drives inside existing directories) but they're a kludge, and not something users should have to go through the trouble of doing/figuring out.

Surface/Surface Pro may be showing OEMs what Microsoft can do, but it's definitely not showing them what they should do.


RE: Storage claims still unfair...
By Luticus on 2/20/2013 3:37:47 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
it doesn't allow ModernUI apps to access files that are not in your libraries.


I totally agree here! This was a total pain for me and put a dead stop to a very cool media player I was developing for Windows 8 UI (Metro). There's no point developing a media player that can't reload your playlist when the app is opened if the files in said playlist aren't in your libraries.


RE: Storage claims still unfair...
By inighthawki on 2/20/2013 3:41:42 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
and it doesn't allow ModernUI apps to access files that are not in your libraries


Uhm... this has never been the case. Metro apps (Video, music, and a couple apps I've downloaded before) certainly let me access any file on disk or via removable media. I've played videos off of both a usb stick and my SD card before.

Also I'm pretty sure I've added themto my libraries (Or maybe I just moved the default location of the primary folders to the SD card...)


RE: Storage claims still unfair...
By Luticus on 2/20/2013 4:10:29 PM , Rating: 2
You can access files from anywhere via a metro app as long as it uses “ filepicker” utility (ie: user intervention). You cannot build a metro app that will automatically access these areas of your disk without user intervention. This is for security purposes and is generally a good thing, however this makes it incredibly hard to build a playlist the persists after the app is closed and repopulates when the app is reopened as the files are inaccessible during automatic repopulation.


RE: Storage claims still unfair...
By Fritzr on 2/21/2013 8:39:12 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
It's also an awful option for media files on Windows 8, as Win8 doesn't let you add removable media to your libraries, and it doesn't allow ModernUI apps to access files that are not in your libraries. There are workarounds (such as making softlinks to removable drives inside existing directories) but they're a kludge, and not something users should have to go through the trouble of doing/figuring out.

Microsoft disagrees with you. According to Microsoft, any folder viewable in the File Manager can be added to a Library. Yes that means that removable media that has been removed cannot be added, but that is because it is missing...
http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-8/add-f...
quote:
To add a folder to a library

If the folder is on an external hard drive, make sure the drive is connected to your PC and that you can open it.

If you're viewing the New Library page in File Explorer, tap or click Include a folder, select the folder, and then tap or click Include folder. You're done. If you don't have the New Library page open, continue following these steps.

Open File Explorer by swiping in from the right edge of the screen, tapping Search (or if you're using a mouse, pointing to the upper-right corner of the screen, moving the mouse pointer down, and then clicking Search), entering File Explorer in the search box, tapping or clicking Apps, and then tapping or clicking File Explorer.

Expand the location to find the folder you want to add, and then select it. (For example, if you want to add a folder from a network, expand the network location and select the folder.)

Tap or click the Home tab, tap or click Easy access, choose Include in library, and then select the library to which you want to add the folder.

Note: "Hard Drive" in this article includes USB attached storage & memory cards ... essentially anything that is viewed by the File Manager as a file folder.


RE: Storage claims still unfair...
By NellyFromMA on 2/20/2013 1:35:02 PM , Rating: 2
Dont' get me wrong, between Google Apple and MS, I know MS is best suited to deliver businesses needs in the short and long term and isn't likely to cede that territory in the next decade.

That said, don't you think the 64GB Surface Pro IS a little under-provisioned storage wise? I base this on the fact that I don't think any programs would appreciate being installed on the expandable storage drive and so 20GB or so really isn't much for the target audience.

If the above is true, I think saying the claim is unfair isn't exactly, well, fair.

Are you saying comparable ultrabook offer similar capacities at similar pricing? Idk myself because I'm not much of a ultrabook kind of guy but if so I think the claim applies to those models as well.

It wouldn't be so bad if actually upgrading the SSD wasn't a chore in warranty removal and possible device death. I'm definitely a huge Surface and even MS supporter but I do so in fairness.


RE: Storage claims still unfair...
By Nekrik on 2/20/2013 1:49:03 PM , Rating: 4
Just to add some details for this thread:

http://www.zdnet.com/surface-pro-versus-macbook-ai...

The 11" Mac Book Air is $1099 with a non-detachable keyboard, and ultimately less storage (since calculated at base 10) if you offload the restore image from the Surface.


RE: Storage claims still unfair...
By Tony Swash on 2/20/13, Rating: -1
RE: Storage claims still unfair...
By jnemesh on 2/20/13, Rating: -1
By themaster08 on 2/20/2013 5:55:29 PM , Rating: 2
Apple will keep Microsoft in business since iCloud runs on Windows Azure.


RE: Storage claims still unfair...
By Shadowself on 2/20/2013 2:13:59 PM , Rating: 2
With OS X Mountain Lion the Macs do have a recovery option on the drive sitting there taking up space. Remove both and compare again.


RE: Storage claims still unfair...
By Nekrik on 2/20/2013 2:25:07 PM , Rating: 2
That is for the online restoration, an entire system image is not stored on the system. To use this option you have to have 13GBs of free disk space, so actually 13GBs should be subtracted from the usable total, otherwise you have no otion to restore. Also, No web access, SOL.

http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4718


RE: Storage claims still unfair...
By tayb on 2/21/2013 3:16:21 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not sure it's actually a very good idea to remove the recovery partition. The "reset" is a pretty prominent feature of Windows 8 and with the new licensing being shoved down our throat it may not be very simple to re-install the OS. You don't get recovery media any more, after all, though I'm not certain if it is still possible to produce your own...


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