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...
9/11/2013 12:45:00 PM
They should consider comparing it to the MacBook Air instead of the iPad. They should talk about it being a laptop first and a tablet second until the tablet usage is ironed out more.
They should perhaps also consider exposing some (if not all) of the RT API to the desktop environment and / or open up RT development.
If they did these two things, our company and our customers would be all over it.
Those are our perceived barriers. We want to go with Microsoft in addition to support for iOS and Android as our flagship product is .Net based and we enjoy that quite a bit for all of the expected reasons. However, we can't really embrace Surface as a substitute without usage without a keyboard being refined further. We love the touch capabilities in "RT land / Modern UI" however we can't justify paying to get into a market that is still so small and I imagine that stalling pattern is similar for other businesses.
We want open development with easy development of touch-friendly interfaces and we want to enable that with as few barriers as possible.
At present, we could only ever justify the costs to develop on RT platforms IF the market were comparable to the iOS and Android device pool.
Android market share exploded not because it was a superior OS to iOS initially (which at this point I would say it is on par with iOS 6 when you factor in all of the pros and cons of each as of iOS6 and Android 4.2) but because Android was simply an open platform. If an alternative open mobile platform that just so happened to have superior development tools were to be provided by MS, I'm confident their market share would expand quite appreciably. To be clear, I am speaking in terms of development, not source code. But, they need to not hold out much longer and make some choices here. I think perhaps the Windows Store can still exist as is, developer subscription and all. Perhaps these apps can be billed as "MS certified" and somehow that can equate as safer or cleaner somehow. But, side-loading and open development are crucial for RT / Modern UI to retain relevance.
There is a REAL need for a BETTER mobile development environment. MS CAN win. But it must, as it did with Xbox, reverse or modify its current course in the above regards before businesses (MS's real friend) can embrace their approach in the mobile sector going forward...
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