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Print 56 comment(s) - last by troysavary.. on Sep 11 at 5:23 PM

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: Haswell
By Argon18 on 9/10/2013 3:27:56 PM , Rating: -1
Wrong. Surface Pro didn't sell because nobody wants is. It's the answer to a question nobody asked. Nobody wants a full x86 PC in a tablet form factor.

ARM-based tablets running Android and iOS offer a vastly better user experience, with much longer battery life, and far larger app ecosystems.

The only "advantage" to Surface Pro is that it can run existing x86 desktop apps - but that's also it's main problem. Have you ever tried to edit an Excel spreadsheet using a touch screen interface? It's miserable. It doesn't work. x86 desktop apps are all written for a mouse + keyboard interface and they don't translate well to touch. It's the exact same reason the original Windows tablet/laptop hybrid devices from the early 2000's failed - touchscreen is an absurdly clunky interface for existing x86 desktop apps.


RE: Haswell
By kleinma on 9/10/2013 4:02:08 PM , Rating: 5
I work in excel frequently on the surface pro, and it works amazingly well. You clearly have not, and are pulling your comments right from your butt.

The stylus is insanely acurate for cell selection and highlighting. I use the type cover for data entry, not the screen.

If you don't own one, then you have nothing to say here. Thanks for informing this surface pro owner that i don't want mine though, I was totally oblivious to that fact until now.


RE: Haswell
By Argon18 on 9/10/13, Rating: -1
RE: Haswell
By kleinma on 9/10/2013 4:52:06 PM , Rating: 3
I am too busy getting work done on it, while you are playing candy crush on your iPad, but thanks for playing.


RE: Haswell
By troysavary on 9/11/2013 5:23:37 PM , Rating: 2
I know lots of people who held off on the Surface Pro only because of the rumoured Haswell version. Kind of debunks your theor that no one wants one.


RE: Haswell
By w8gaming on 9/10/2013 6:35:46 PM , Rating: 2
For more precise mouse movement in certain application, you can pair it with the free software TouchMousePointer, and it helps a lot in desktop mode. I have a W8 tablet without stylus and this helps a lot. You can find it at:

http://www.lovesummertrue.com/touchmousepointer/en...


RE: Haswell
By jessenaiman on 9/10/2013 4:06:14 PM , Rating: 2
That's a pretty ignorant generalization.

I bought a surface pro. Why? Because it is capable of running visual studio, and virtual machines. I use my surface pro as a desktop at work (it's more powerful and faster than any desktop in the office)

It's a laptop / desktop for my work. Then when I get home it is able to help my child draw, and create things from his imagination. The creative aspect of having a wacom tablet beats the alternative kid options of playing angry birds until his mind rots.

Maybe you don't want a surface pro, but I did, and I think it's a remarkable piece of hardware.


RE: Haswell
By MrBungle123 on 9/10/2013 6:27:17 PM , Rating: 2
You use Visual Studio on a 10" monitor...? You have my condolences.


RE: Haswell
By althaz on 9/10/2013 8:46:34 PM , Rating: 2
It's actually not so bad (also there's no reason to not plug it into a bigger monitor).


RE: Haswell
By Argon18 on 9/10/2013 9:10:15 PM , Rating: 1
Almost $1000 for an experience that is "not too bad"? Sounds like you got ripped off. Most people expect to be wow'd for $1000. Heck, they can be wow'd for half that price with an iPad or Android tablet. I guess that's why Surface is such a market failure.


RE: Haswell
By troysavary on 9/11/2013 8:59:40 AM , Rating: 2
Good luck running Visual Studio at all on those devices. You just don't get it. The Surface is not a toy, it is an Ultrabook in tablet form. For those that need it, it is well worth the price.


RE: Haswell
By Digimonkey on 9/10/2013 4:48:18 PM , Rating: 2
That's why you also get a keyboard/mouse cover for Pro. When you want x86 apps you use the keyboard/mouse. When you go to tablet form you use the modern-UI apps. It actually makes perfect sense.


RE: Haswell
By Argon18 on 9/10/13, Rating: 0
RE: Haswell
By w8gaming on 9/10/2013 11:23:38 PM , Rating: 2
Frankly a better tablet experiences depending on what you used it for. For instance, I can run Galactic Civilizations 2 on a W8 tablet, but no this cannot be done on iOS and Android. I have seen jerky video and sound sync problem with certain video files on iOS and Android and yet the same plays silky smooth on W8. Is Surface Pro expensive now that it is more like $899 for 128Gb? Well, it has 90Gb+ available space, that is a lot more than what a $499 iOS and Android tablet can offer. It also comes with a stylus that iOS device doesn't have. I can run a VM running Linux on it. The remote desktop software works much better than those found on iOS and Android, and many many more. But of course, if you have no need for a lot of these, then this is really not the right device for you. But to think everyone else who has enjoyed Surface Pro is wasting money, shows a lack of understanding of what other features that others find missing from iOS and Android tablets. As for the $299 laptop? Good luck finding one with 128Gb SSD, or a stylus, or 1920x1080 ips panel, or... you get the picture.

Having said all that, will I buy Surface Pro now? No. Because Surface Pro 2 is just around the corner with way better battery life and new type cover with additional battery.


RE: Haswell
By Digimonkey on 9/11/2013 9:57:03 AM , Rating: 2
You're completely full of it. Show me a $299 laptop that has a Core i5 processor, SSD, and a 1080p screen. It also has to be a convertible, because that's what I want. I don't want to carry two relatively bulky computer devices with me when I travel.

So show me a laptop anywhere near $299 that can fit these requirements and I'll concede.


RE: Haswell
By Akrovah on 9/10/2013 5:41:39 PM , Rating: 2
It's the question I was asking.

Since the debut of the iPad and all the Android tablets that followed I always said, "Yeah, that's neat, but when can I get one with a full OS to run the stuff I actually want to run?"

And lo and behold, Microsoft released the Surface Pro. I can't actually afford one, but if I was going to spend money on a tablet, that'd be my tablet of choice, and I'll go play Civilization 5 and Sins of a Solar Empire during my lunch break (both of which now have touch enabled interfaces) while the iPads stick to Angry Birds.


RE: Haswell
By CaedenV on 9/10/2013 6:16:18 PM , Rating: 2
It is not that people do not WANT a full x86 tablet... but they dont WANT an ARM device either. They just want a device.

I think a lot of people are scared when it comes to the tablet form factor. It is expensive when people have to pay for a desktop/all-in-one, a laptop, a tablet, and a smartphone. When the wallet comes out then most people will typically only choose 2 of the 4 to actually purchase. Some get all 4, and a few will buy 3 of the form factors, but the vast majority only buys and wants 2 of them.

Like it or not, smartphones are quickly becoming a necessity, and when free with contract they are now an appealing buy, so almost by default that is one of the 2 form factors that people will buy. For the 2nd device there are just too many form factors to choose from. You can build a decent game rig for $500 these days, which is a real steal and will knock the socks off of a next gen console. There are a whole host of dirt cheap tablets and laptops to choose from. In the higher price range there are a bunch of convertibles, x86 tablets, and more traditional laptops. There are simply too many form factors to choose from, and people get confused, and in their confusion they buy something cheap to get them by, and then their are burned because they did not get what they thought they were getting, and so they either give up on the form factor, or else they overcompensate and go with what is popular (which just so happens to be Apple at the moment).

Either you have never used a surface pro, or else you have never used an Android device because the Win8 tablets have a much better UX in every price point be they on ARM or x86. An ARM based Android product has a lot more options for popular apps, mods, and much simpler hacking for the dev crowd, but to say that the UX is better is just silly talk. iOS devices on the other hand is really quite good and deserving of the following they have gained, I just have qualms about supporting Apple as a business, and I find their prices to be insulting.

The nice thing about the Surface Pro is that you have a nice compact tablet while you are on the go, but when you want to get work done then you can hook it up to a big screen and use a real keyboard and mouse while running full x86 desktop apps with ease. Touch is there, but you are not forced into it. Keyboard and mouse support is there, but you are not forced into it. It really is a good product. It is just a product at too high a price point for most people to consider purchasing, sold by a company that has an inconsistent history with hardware quality control, support, and sales.


"What would I do? I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders." -- Michael Dell, after being asked what to do with Apple Computer in 1997














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