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Hopefully it will have better sales there than in the consumer market

Microsoft's Surface tablet hasn't had the best of luck with consumers, so Microsoft is hoping the device will fare better with the enterprise. 

Panos Panay, Microsoft's corporate vice president of the Surface tablet unit, told an audience at the U.S. Public Sector CIO Summit in Redmond that the Surface will now expand beyond the consumer market and into the enterprise. 

“Granted, for your organizations … it wasn’t our primary target at launch, but please understand that when we designed these products, we designed them with you in mind,” Panay said. “We did design them to get the consumer market first, or retail. No doubt. But we’re right on the cusp of turning that corner and bringing these products into the market where we really want to be.”

Microsoft has already started allowing enterprise customers to order the Surface with Windows RT and Surface with Windows Pro through its volume ordering program.

Panay made the argument that Surface RT is designed more as a tablet while the Surface Pro is a PC that is powerful enough for the enterprise. 

“Surface RT was designed as a tablet first,” Panay said. “I want to be super-clear on what we designed Pro for. Very easy to understand. This should be the fastest PC you pick up. Period. People get confused because of the form factor. … It was designed as a PC. We often get judged as designing a heavier tablet and not enough battery life. Be very clear: What we designed was a PC.”

Surface with Windows RT made its way to the public on October 26, 2012. It features the Windows RT operating system and an ARM processor for a starting price of $499. Surface with Windows Pro was released February 9, 2013 and features the Windows 8 Pro operating system with an Intel processor. It starts at $899.

Back in December, Boston-based brokerage firm Detwiler Fenton said that Surface's main problem was distributionCustomers could only buy the Surface with Windows RT tablet at Microsoft Stores, and the issue with that is there's only 31 of them, with another 34 smaller Microsoft kiosks around the U.S. The lack of exposure at places like Best Buy and Staples was hurting the tablet after its Oct. 26 release.

This was resolved later in December, when Microsoft started allowing third-party retailers to sell the Surface -- near the end of that quarter.

Earlier this month, a Bloomberg source anonymously revealed that Microsoft had sold 1.5 million Surface tablets to date. More specifically, the company had sold a little over a million Surface with Windows RT tablets and about 400,000 Surface with Windows Pro tablets -- missing analyst expectations. 

Source: GeekWire

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Better than most people give it credit for
By dgingerich on 3/29/2013 1:01:24 PM , Rating: 1
Windows RT is better than most people will admit. It's a tablet OS running on tablet hardware with near the full capability of a PC. I own a Dell XPS 10, and I love it. I use it for all sorts of things. Of course, I go to my main machine, a desktop, for things like editing documents and gaming, but I use the tablet more often these days. It's far ahead of the iPad or Android tablets for functionality, yet uses the same, or near the same, hardware.

I haven't tried it on an enterprise level, but I believe it can be joined to a domain and issued group policy security settings. It doesn't need or even have 3rd party AV because it is not susceptible to the viruses of regular Windows.

It's not a full blown PC, but it is a very capable tablet.

RE: Better than most people give it credit for
By Argon18 on 3/29/13, Rating: -1
RE: Better than most people give it credit for
By kleinma on 3/29/2013 2:01:01 PM , Rating: 2
clearly you don't live your life in Microsoft Office like a huge chunk of corporate America does.

Do you know how many people's jobs consist of them working in Word and Excel all day long?

RE: Better than most people give it credit for
By Argon18 on 3/29/13, Rating: 0
By steedsrva87 on 3/29/2013 5:02:37 PM , Rating: 2
Sales and Medicine. I know a few doctors, who have had their lives made infinitely easier thanks to apps on their phones that list medications, and pages of information on a single medication... time, which was spent pouring over books is now spent better saved for patient care.

Any hospital could be made infinitely easier with such a device (assuming software/applications exist in concert with it), but I completely agree, if my boss gave me a Surface and told me that it was my new company computer, I know what I would go crazy

RE: Better than most people give it credit for
By dgingerich on 3/29/2013 5:22:31 PM , Rating: 5
I work in IT, but we have zero Microsoft products here. 100% UNIX and Linux shop, even the desktops.

I feel sorry for your users. I've supported MS products for 16 years, and started supporting Linux and Unix server products over the last 4. Linux and Unix are such a HEADACHE. Everything has to be done the hard way. AIX and HP-UX being the worst by a large margin.

I asked one of the Linux admins here why it's all command line and all unautomated. His claim is that "you have to know how it works in order to support it." Yeah? I know a lot about the inner workings of Windows servers and how to troubleshoot and fix a great many issues, yet I have nice guis that let me add things quickly and easily, and gives me warnings about invalid data entry and helpful hints about what I need to enter by labeling the boxes I fill in.

A person does not become a better driver just because they learn to engineer a car from the ground up, just like a person isn't a better computer user just because they learn how to program.

I detest Linux and Unix. They're antiquated crap being held up by people who only want to secure their own jobs by keeping the people who know how to use it and support it to a bare minimum. They prevent or remove gui controls specifically to keep people from having and easy way to do things. (RedHat version 6 is a prime example. They took out several gui control panels that were highly useful in version 5. DNS, for instance, had a gui that allowed someone to add a record in seconds, and it would automatically add the reverse lookup record. Now we're back to editing text files, deep in /var/named/chroot/var/named/zone, is a very specific format, with a horrid text editor that is about as intuitive as a De Dion-Bouton, as well as adding the reverse lookup record separately. What took <15 seconds in RHEL5 now takes several minutes in RHEL6, and is a hundred times as annoying for someone who has fingers that won't type right, like me.) I just wish it would all go away, but stupid people keep bringing them back.

RE: Better than most people give it credit for
By Reclaimer77 on 3/29/2013 5:33:45 PM , Rating: 2
Yup. I've said it for years. The only thing stopping Linux from being ready for prime time is a disjointed minority of elitists who are stuck in the 1990's, desperately clinging to this weird power trip about being better than you because they can do everything you can, but through the "magic" of command lines! Wooo hoooo.

The older I get, the less I can tolerate pains in the ass like Linux/Unix.

Great post man.

RE: Better than most people give it credit for
By Tony Swash on 3/29/2013 7:01:56 PM , Rating: 1
The older I get, the less I can tolerate pains in the ass like Linux/Unix.

You should try MacOSX, all the power of industrial strength UNIX wrapped in the best UI money can buy :)

By Reclaimer77 on 3/30/2013 9:54:08 AM , Rating: 2
I said the older I get the lazier I get. I didn't say I'm getting dumber :)

RE: Better than most people give it credit for
By nrhpd527 on 3/30/2013 8:56:39 AM , Rating: 2
To further this thread, let me explain my dilemma. I am a technology liaison for a campus with 230+ teachers, administrators, counselors, and other staff. We have numerous iPad carts with 30 iPAds each. While I am by no means an IT expert, I am better with technology than 99% of the teachers I know, including many of the business teachers who teach webmastering, etc.

Overall, the iPads are useful. However, these things are major pain in the butt for the following reasons:

1) No real way to update iOS all at once. Yes, you can download the update on the master Macbook and try to install it that way, but it fails more times than it's successful. Thus, you basically have to pull each iPad out and go through the update process one at a time...we're talking about 2 hours, IF everything goes smoothly, to do a 30 iPad cart.

2) No way to set up the apps in folders a specific way on one iPad and have that cloned to the other iPads like a Windows PC can be "imaged."

3) No "user" accounts. Thus, if one student uses an app and leaves data there while working on a project, the next kid on it can use that data to cheat, or can overwrite, delete, or damage the first student's work if it's one of the apps that does not require signing in, like Pages or Keynote.

Thus, I think that if they can get the prices down a bit on the Surface Pro, with at least half of it's 64GB of storage useable AND the chance to use real user accounts and other Windows features in addition to a REAL MS Office experience as opposed to the MS Office clones like CloudOn on the iPad, it at least has a place in education. If I could set one up, clone that image to 39 other tablets with ease, and use the advanced computer management properties of Windows to control updates / etc., then life would be far better for us.

However, the problems as I see it is there is no education / volume licensing program for apps right now, so we as a large district would never make the switch. Right now, the iPad's cost of about $640 for a 32GB version with the warranty our district buys is high enough that we could easily argue for the Surface Pro if we could get one w/ about the same useable storage (28+GB) for apps and data for $699-799 WITH the keyboard, full Office app, and a decent app store volume licensing agreement.

By fiveohfour on 3/31/2013 5:24:49 PM , Rating: 2
have update days, at start of class plan for non iPad using tasks and start off by having each kid grab an iPad and check for update and apply.

RE: Better than most people give it credit for
By 91TTZ on 3/29/2013 2:50:46 PM , Rating: 2
But the people who use MS Office all day are most likely going to be using a desktop or a laptop, not a tablet. Why would you buy tablets for employees when they're doing tasks optimized for mouse/keyboard?

By dgingerich on 3/29/2013 5:39:08 PM , Rating: 2
Voice recognition has come a long, long way in recent years. Win8 has voice recognition built in, but I haven't tried it yet. I haven't even seen if they have it in WinRT. In my opinion, that is the perfect user interface, and it doesn't cause carpal tunnel problems.

I use my main machine for editing documents and responding to email. (My "main" machine depends on where I am. At work, I have a laptop, which stays at my desk all the time, and at home I have a big gaming desktop.)

I use my WinRT tablet for many things that I just can't do comfortably with my main machine: read ebooks, watch Hulu or Netflix in bed or on the couch, or read news while eating breakfast, or at work I administer servers through remote desktop for Windows or SSH for Unix or Linux, look up documents for config information, record inventory information of systems coming in or going out, or look up web sites for info on how to fix or set up some things in Linux or Unix. I find I use the tablet more often than my main machines.

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