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Many are expecting a newer, better Surface

Microsoft sent out invitations to its Surface 2.0 event today, which is expected to show off new Surface hardware.

The Surface 2.0 event will be held September 23 in the Chelsea neighborhood of New York City. 

While Microsoft hasn't been clear about what it's revealing at the event, many suspect it will be a new Surface model (or even more than one). 

According to TechCrunch, we likely won't see a Surface with a radically smaller screen than the previous generation (which sits at 10.6 inches for both the Surface Pro and Surface RT). Also, other reports have said that the next-generation Surface RT (which is rumored to be called Surface 2 with no RT in the title) will have Qualcomm's Snapdragon processor, and that the Surface 2 Pro will get over eight hours of battery life, a Haswell processor, a docking station (which is supposed to feature three USB ports, a microphone port, an audio output port for headphones or external speakers, and a 1 Gbps Ethernet port for a direct connection into a router) and 8GB RAM. The Surface 2 reportedly won't be compatible with the docking station.

Microsoft really needs to step it up with the next Surface. The previous generation didn't seem to attract many buyers for various reasons, from the fact that Windows RT was a bust (it's not a full Windows 8 experience and cannot run legacy apps) to the high prices of both tablet models. 

Surface with Windows RT was released in October 2012 while Surface with Windows 8 Pro was released in February 2013. The 32GB Surface RT launched at $499 and has been slashed to $349 (the 64GB version is now $449). The Surface Pro also saw a cut from $899 to $799 for the 64GB model. The 128GB version costs $899.

In July, it was reported that Surface sales totaled just $853 million for the fiscal year 2013. Microsoft failed to mention which portion of those sales were Surface RT sales and which were Surface Pros. 

Microsoft worked real hard to push its Surface tablets with promotions like giving away 10,000 Surface RT tablets to teachers at the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) and introducing the "Microsoft Surface for education limited time offer," which gave discounted Surface RTs to schools and colleges interested in adopting the tablets until August 31.

But the efforts failed. In July, Microsoft took a $900 million charge on the Surface due to the flop in sales. 

Microsoft is now trying to become a devices and services leader with a new restructuring plan -- called "One Microsoft" -- that will bring Windows Phone, PC and Xbox units closer together for a more seamless experience across multiple devices. Current CEO Steve Ballmer will also be replaced in the next year, possibly by Ford CEO Alan Mulally or Computer Sciences Corp.'s (CSCs) CEO Mike Lawrie. 

It remains to be seen whether or not the restructuring plan and all of its changes will help the Surface make a splash in the tablet sector. 

Source: TechCrunch

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RE: It's kind of a shame...
By retrospooty on 9/10/2013 2:33:34 PM , Rating: 1
I agree, but MS didnt plan it as a niche product. They planned to sell mass quantities... Then again, we already know it lost 900 million on round one. Ouch.

RE: It's kind of a shame...
By ArcsinZ on 9/10/2013 6:37:02 PM , Rating: 2
Completely and totally wrong. Microsoft designed it very specifically to get manufacturers to build better devices. They created a bar to which all other tablets will be compared. It was always intended as a loss leader product. Well, I'm sure they envisioned it breaking even, but they didn't want to stop HP and Dell and Asus and Samsung and Acer and the multitudes of others from making tablets. That's where MS makes it's money. The Surface was supposed to be the device people lusted after and then bought one from one of the other OEM's once they decided they couldn't afford it.

RE: It's kind of a shame...
By Cypherdude1 on 9/11/2013 12:44:17 AM , Rating: 2
It's a niche product. For some of us there isn't anything better. But most don't have my usage pattern. Haswell and 8 GB of memory makes it even more tempting. But not a lot of people won't spend $1k on a tablet. Heck, most people won't spend that much on a laptop/desktop.
There is a niche where a Surface Pro 2.0 will fit: Traveling abroad. If you want to travel via jetliner you really must have a tablet. I have a Lenovo 15.6" laptop and it's just too heavy for airline travel, totally impracticable. If you want to use real programs on a tablet while traveling abroad, you need a Windows-based tablet. A Haswell-based tablet is the best choice. Of course, Microsoft will have competitors, probably in November, such as Lenovo, Acer, perhaps HP, etc... The reason why the RT failed was because it couldn't run Windows programs. The reason why the Surface Pro 1.0 failed was because it didn't have a Haswell CPU. This will all change soon. The reason why the Surface 1.0 failed was the same reason why Vista failed: The hardware did not yet exist to fully support it.

I have been watching the business news. I think the analysts and investors got it wrong simply because they don't understand the underlying technology. I don't believe anyone should be blamed for the failure of the Surface 1.0. The Haswell CPU simply did not yet exist. All this will soon change. I believe the Haswell CPU will change everything. I believe there will soon be a major shift from Windows-based laptops to tablets. Personally, I would like to buy a 15.6" tablet when it finally arrives.

RE: It's kind of a shame...
By piroroadkill on 9/11/2013 4:13:17 AM , Rating: 2

Yeah, you don't mean that. You mean "impractical".

Also, just because you have some crappy large 15.6" laptop, doesn't mean others don't have 13" laptops which are far nicer to use than a tablet.

I have a Vaio Z series and it is light, and extremely powerful. Comfortable to use even on economy flights...

RE: It's kind of a shame...
By CZroe on 9/11/2013 12:55:47 AM , Rating: 2
It's hard to convince your partners to follow when even you can't make money with your attempt.

"A politician stumbles over himself... Then they pick it out. They edit it. He runs the clip, and then he makes a funny face, and the whole audience has a Pavlovian response." -- Joe Scarborough on John Stewart over Jim Cramer

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