Microsoft Holding Surface 2.0 Event September 23
September 10, 2013 12:02 PM
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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).
, 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
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.
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RE: It's kind of a shame...
9/10/2013 5:46:34 PM
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...
9/10/2013 5:56:12 PM
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...
9/10/2013 9:05:32 PM
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...
9/11/2013 12:49:18 PM
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...
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