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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: 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.

"If you look at the last five years, if you look at what major innovations have occurred in computing technology, every single one of them came from AMD. Not a single innovation came from Intel." -- AMD CEO Hector Ruiz in 2007

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