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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 kleinma on 9/10/2013 3:59:27 PM , Rating: 4
How is a do everything device a niche product? How is it a niche product versus something technologically inferior in everyway like the iPad (I will throw the iPad a bone on the retina screen since the surface only (ONLY) has a 1080p screen.

So it is a niche product because???? It has a USB3 port? It has a MicroSD port? You can use touch, KB,Mouse, Touchpad, stylus for input? I am still thinking of where this do everything, be everything device fits into in the niche section of electronics...

If you want to think about it as a tablet, then go get an iPad. If you want something that is a laptop when you want that, and a tablet when you want that, and everything in between those, then the surface pro is by far the best device on the market, and priced exactly in the range of ultrabooks with LESS specs.


RE: It's kind of a shame...
By Argon18 on 9/10/13, Rating: -1
RE: It's kind of a shame...
By kleinma on 9/10/2013 4:50:42 PM , Rating: 3
If you want to spew nonsense, then can you back it up with facts.

Please show me 1 single link to ANY laptop that costs 299 that is equal to the surface pro. Any one at all, please, I will be waiting...

Shit, the iPad 128GB is 799.99, so go ahead and show me any laptop that costs 799.99 that matches the feature specs of the surface pro.


RE: It's kind of a shame...
By CaedenV on 9/10/2013 5:46:34 PM , Rating: 2
The problem is not that it is not a good value (it is a great value), it is more that the price is simply too high period. I mean, even Apple does not sell that many 128GB iPads at $800. And Apple has a strong reputation as a hardware vendor, where MS does not.

As a newcomer to the hardware market MS is going to have to start low and build high just like every other electronics vendor on the market. They do not need to build junk... but they could still build a decent $250 tablet for an entry level device on the RT side, and a decent sub $750 device on the Pro side. Even after price drops they are nowhere near those prices. Yes, they are premium devices, and you get what you pay for... the problem is that nobody wants a 1st gen device, and nobody wants to pay that much for what is essentially a disposable piece of hardware. People don't want to pay Apple's price for their hardware either, but they do it because it is popular, they don't want to look foolish for trying something else, and because there is a huge amount of apps and support built into the apple ecosystem that MS does not have.

Apple became popular by selling $150 MP3 players. They were expensive for MP3 players, but $150 is not a ridiculous price for a quality tech gadget, so it sold. Now Apple sells much more expensive gadgets in quantity because they built a user base. I hate Apple, and dislike their products, but it is no great mystery how they got to where they are. MS thought that they could waltz in and be just like apple without building the lower level hardware first, and that just does not fly these days.


RE: It's kind of a shame...
By kleinma on 9/10/2013 5:56:12 PM , Rating: 2
Sure, I agree with you there. MS knows what people spend on computers. MS was not trying to sell a surface to every single person out there. They were selling the surface to people who need what the surface does, and I have not heard of a single person who owns the surface pro, and doesn't like it. That doesn't mean it is perfect, but the faults are pretty small, especially for a first gen hardware device. Apple makes one iPad, in a few different connection and capacity flavors. MS sells the surface products along side not only google and apple products, but also a range of OEM windows devices as well. It isn't supposed to sell as many as any single one device like the iPad.


RE: It's kind of a shame...
By inighthawki on 9/10/2013 9:05:32 PM , Rating: 2
128GB ipads also still can't do much. a $900 surface pro will run every app you've ever known and loved and can use all your USB peripherals.


RE: It's kind of a shame...
By NellyFromMA on 9/11/2013 12:49:18 PM , Rating: 2
It depends on how you look at it, which largely has to do with how MS has asked you to look at it.

Comparing Surface Pro to the iPad is really hard.

Comparing it to the MacBook Air frankly seems like a better idea and maybe its hindsight, but I'm somewhat surprised this was not the approach out-of-the-gate.

You are referring to price points for devices that are not on parity with Surface Pro. I think the comparison is justified because the manufacturer asked you to.

It's just important to realize (I think) that Surface Pro at its pricepoint isn't bad when considered for what it actually is: a glorified and premium laptop that happens to behave like a tablet if you'd like. Using strictly as a tablet, however, is quite hard...


RE: It's kind of a shame...
By flyingpants1 on 9/10/2013 10:54:50 PM , Rating: 2
It's a niche product because it's a ~$1000 laptop, with a very small screen, with no real keyboard and no real way to prop it up on a non-flat, uneven surface.

The average person is not going to spend that amount of money on it. Understand?

Convertibles should be priced at $700 with Core i3 and 90GB SSD to compete with iPad. HP Split X2 looks awesome for $699.


RE: It's kind of a shame...
By w8gaming on 9/10/2013 11:34:41 PM , Rating: 2
I do think such a price point should be possible, especially since it is using i3. Microsoft should really consider making various variant of tablets at different price points if they really want to become "a device company". If they never really intend to be a device company, then they really should not have said that and scare away their partners, and continue to do what they are doing and just make showcase products with limited quantity. Do not over-produce those and end up writing off excess inventory. Microsoft really need to choose what they want to do, to be more like Apple? Or to continue to support their partners?


RE: It's kind of a shame...
By flyingpants1 on 9/11/2013 1:34:05 AM , Rating: 2
Not only is it possible, it's available right now at Best Buy for $699 including shipping, with a 128GB SSD.

$699. For the 128GB version. That's INCLUDING a REAL KEYBOARD. It's EXPANDABLE TO 8GB , for god's sake. A Haswell version of this will be incredible.

You are totally 100% correct about what you said. If Microsoft is serious about becoming a device company, a $1000 10-incher is not going to cut it. For that $1000, you could get a higher-res iPad with better tablet app support, AND a faster laptop.

They need to totally rethink what they are doing.

Or just keep making trash that nobody wants (RT, Surface Pro, Win8), and see how that goes.


RE: It's kind of a shame...
By Labotomizer on 9/11/2013 9:12:24 AM , Rating: 2
You misinterpreted my statement as a negative I believe. It's niche in that there is only a limited market that really understands the value that this brings. Many prefer a laptop for creation and a tablet for consumption. At $1000 you're getting a better device than what you could get from each for a combined price of $1000. But people don't see things that way. For people like myself the Surface is probably the best device I've purchased in years. And that goes for numerous engineers here at work that have purchased them. We leave our monster "mobile workstations" at the office now and use VPN/RDP to access the processing power required remotely. And travel with a Surface Pro. It works out great.


RE: It's kind of a shame...
By MrBungle123 on 9/11/2013 11:04:08 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
How is a do everything device a niche product? How is it a niche product versus something technologically inferior in everyway like the iPad


It's a niche product because like it or not the majority of people are not masochistic enough to want to use a 10" device in the same way they use a desktop/laptop.

Here's how this goes 90% of the time:

Salesman: "You might check out the Surface; it has a core i5, runs on Windows 8, includes Office 2013, it's as powerful as many laptops and can run all your windows software."

Customer: "Oh that's cool, how much is it?"

Salesman: "With the keyboard cover... right around a $1000"

Customer: "nah, I already have a computer... I'm just looking for something cheap that I can use for facebook and netflix."


"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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