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Microsoft Announces New Surface Details
bill




msg:4508704
 1:21 am on Oct 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

Microsoft Announces New Surface Details [microsoft.com]

Surface delivers the power of amazing software and the feel of premium hardware in one exciting experience. Originally unveiled in June, Surface with Windows RT will initially be available in three SKUs: a 32GB version priced at US$499, a 32GB version bundled with a black Touch Cover priced at US$599, and a 64GB version bundled with a black Touch Cover priced at US$699.

 

graeme_p




msg:4508724
 2:38 am on Oct 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

The Surface will have an optional keyboard.

There are fairly popular ipad and ANdroid tablet cases that contain keyboards.

It appears that lots of people want to turn their tablets into underpowered, over-priced, vendor locked-in netbooks.

incrediBILL




msg:4508725
 2:43 am on Oct 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

Looks like they're pricing it to compete with iPad and not the Nexus, Nook Tablet or Kindle Fire - bad idea IMO for the late entry into the field with a controversial new OS that everyone is complaining about.

They needed to make it entry level at about $200 less to get everyone hooked and upgrading to Window 8 on their desktops and phones and THEN jack up the prices. The Win 8 and MS Office upgrades is where the money is, not some overpriced tablet, but I could be wrong and we'll just have to wait and see.

Hopefully another vendor will step in and hit the $200-$300 price point real soon.

It appears that lots of people want to turn their tablets into underpowered, over-priced, vendor locked-in netbooks.


Hardly underpowered as my Nexus 7 runs circles around my HP-mini netbook and it cost less.

bill




msg:4508759
 5:47 am on Oct 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

There were some earlier, wishful thinking, rumors that indicated a lower entry price for the RT models. That certainly would have made them more attractive to me. Hopefully another vendor can step up with a lower price Windows RT model that doesn't skimp too much on quality.

ByronM




msg:4508886
 2:10 pm on Oct 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

How can you guys think they would engineer the Surface to compete with crapy 200.00 devices?

Surface has 2 Gigs Ram, Quad core, 1366x768 10.8" screen, USB 2.0 ports, 32 gigs storage, MicroSD, MicroHDMI out and a slick magnesium body with cool kickstand and an amazingly well engineered keyboard/dust cover that you can wash if you spill anything on it.

If you were hoping Microsoft would subsidize your dream purchase, get over yourself :) Microsoft and their investors realize there is a lot of opportunity in a beautifully designed device that is functional and affordable.

This thing simply blows the iPad out of the water. The USB 2.0 ports support just about any device with generic USB drivers - from Printers to 3g/4g cars to cameras, to phones, scanners, merchant readers, credit card machines, cash registers - everything that already has windows support since the days of Vista and unified USB support and MS included those base drivers in the OS. You also have the slick keyboard, the MicroHDMI (which does require a dongle sadly..)and MicroSD slot and the MicroSD slot is the newer variant supporting device capacity up to 2 tb (even though they don't yet exist) oh, and it include Office 2013 Home and Student.

Just like the ipad in a year, there will be a surface two and you will see surface 1 hit the 399 and lower price points, that is inevitible.. but for now, this price / design / functionality really is second to none and its a true hybrid that is very capable at all its functions.

Can use it as a "netbook" using the built in keyboard that is pressure sensitive to your touch and geometry of use (it can sense angle, tell if its on your lap or flat on a table to adjust its sensitivity), You can use it as straight up tablet for watching Netflix, Youtube, Movies, Xbox music/videos/movies.. It has flash support built into internet explorer ten - somewhat of limited capacity but works for web videos and content. And if you want to sit down at a desk and hack away, use the HDMI adaptor, plugin your USB hub and use your mouse/keyboard (or go bluetooth if you so desier) and run office on your 24" desktop screen.

While i would LOVE for this thing to be ultra cheap, it isn't a system designed for the lowest common denominator - its designed for people who want a device built like a tank, that is functional for the uses they're building for and can serve all those uses extremely well.

The Free streaming music support launches on the 26th (xbox music), the SmartGlass is launching on the 26th with Xbox support and it looks like AMC is using SmartGlass immediately for content for "Walking Dead" tv series - and MS has the guts to publish this technology in iOS and Android devices as well - so its pretty cool what they're doing and how they're doing it if you actually bother to pay attention.

done ranting now.

tigger




msg:4508906
 3:43 pm on Oct 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

after that ByronM I'm off to buy one lol

do you know will things like outlook / office run or will it just be some version of Surface only software that will run on it? also as you seem to be the all knowing ;o) will I be able to wireless link into other PCs in my home

ByronM




msg:4508929
 4:25 pm on Oct 17, 2012 (gmt 0)


do you know will things like outlook / office run or will it just be some version of Surface only software that will run on it? also as you seem to be the all knowing ;o) will I be able to wireless link into other PCs in my home


Surface comes with Office Home & Student (Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote), Outlook isn't there by default but the built in Mail and Calendar can all use active sync to sync up with exchange and for this device, that makes a lot of sense... i'm not sure i'd want my 8gb PST sitting on there :) (all though these devices can be encrypted)

I haven't checked if there will be an outlook 2013 client for RT though.. good question there. Saw MS posted some commercial license upgrade details and they do allow the Office 2013 pro on multiple devices but not sure if that includes RT.. (would work fine on Surface Pro).

Surface does have built in Wifi and it can join homegroups and workgroups as a client - so you can consume shared content on your home network. It just can't join active directory and if you do use HomeGroup functionality I don't think it can export shares from the device itself. Now that i think of it, Surface / Windows 8 may be the first multi-user tablet out.

You can manage the Surface RT devices with an upcoming update to System Center 2012 or Windows Intune (cloud) services.. (if that is a concern..)

i personally can't wait to see how DLNA client access works and tie a surface into my media center / plex setup (or patiently wait for MKV support in a media player app.. or upgrade to pro device heh)

incrediBILL




msg:4508971
 5:11 pm on Oct 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

Surface has 2 Gigs Ram, Quad core, 1366x768 10.8" screen, USB 2.0 ports, 32 gigs storage, MicroSD, MicroHDMI out and a slick magnesium body with cool kickstand and an amazingly well engineered keyboard/dust cover that you can wash if you spill anything on it.


Including USB and HDMI ports isn't all that special or expensive, I makes it bigger, bulkier, harder to hold, and it weighs in at 1.5lbs

It's also lacking NFC capabilities according to the specs which is just silly when you have everything else.

Sounds like a lovely device but I'm not sure they're going to reach the level of market penetration they want because they are very late to this party.

explorador




msg:4508972
 5:11 pm on Oct 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

Seems well built, not to compete with the US$200 devices but let's remember HP tablet with WebOS... started too high and ended as a bargain....

ByronM




msg:4509037
 7:10 pm on Oct 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

Including USB and HDMI ports isn't all that special or expensive, I makes it bigger, bulkier, harder to hold, and it weighs in at 1.5lbs


USB port just gives you connectivity to all the existing USB devices around. I'm not sure how you could write it off so easily. It doesn't make it bigger/bulkier by any means. The Surface is only .06 lbs heavier than iPad 3.


It's also lacking NFC capabilities according to the specs which is just silly when you have everything else.


Who needs NFC on a tablet? You have bluetooth support. MS also stated they couldn't do NFC because they chose the Magnesium body with its durability over trying to force a different backing on the surface that would allow for proper nfc radio handling. It's pretty much the same reason iPhone 5 doesn't have NFC, the body conflicts with the radio.


Sounds like a lovely device but I'm not sure they're going to reach the level of market penetration they want because they are very late to this party.


The party has just begun..

ByronM




msg:4509038
 7:11 pm on Oct 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

Seems well built, not to compete with the US$200 devices but let's remember HP tablet with WebOS... started too high and ended as a bargain....


WebOS wasn't very polished, it lacked any meaningful apps beyond social media apps, its build felt plastic and cheap and its performance was lackluster at best. Also, HP wasn't very committed and pulled out so fast it wasn't even funny. I find it hard to make this parallel at all..

bill




msg:4509185
 4:02 am on Oct 18, 2012 (gmt 0)

I don't doubt that this is a quality device, and that build quality is reflected in the price, but MS had a very good chance here to sell this at a lower price-point and attract a huge portion of the market. They could have sold it at a loss, ala the XBox, and reaped the rewards later. At this price there will be a limit to how many people will buy. At this level I just might wait until some other technophile gets one before I even consider one.

When this was first announced along with rumors of a lower price a lot of tech enthusiasts were ready to add this to their shopping carts. Now I'm not sure that's the case. I think they missed a big opportunity here to compete with Apple.

graeme_p




msg:4509189
 4:13 am on Oct 18, 2012 (gmt 0)

Not only are USB and HDMI ports cheap to add, they are common in low end Android tablets. The Nexus 7 also has a quad core processor, and NFC, and an only slightly lower resolution.

It does have a good combination of features, but the hardware specification is not high end as far as I can see (build quality may be).

my Nexus 7 runs circles around my HP-mini netbook


Are they running the same OS and software? If not, put Android on the netbook and then compare.

I think the Tegra T3 should be roughly equal to a dual core atom - I cannot find any comparative benchmarks.

From my point of view the an Atom based netbook has one huge advantage, I can install an OS of my choice on it, whereas all the ARM based hardware is locked in. AS long as that is true, then a tablet will stay, for me, an ebook reader plus video player, plus light use web browser.

ByronM




msg:4509305
 12:32 pm on Oct 18, 2012 (gmt 0)

When this was first announced along with rumors of a lower price a lot of tech enthusiasts were ready to add this to their shopping carts. Now I'm not sure that's the case. I think they missed a big opportunity here to compete with Apple.


Apple doesn't compete on price, they compete on Quality. That is EXACTLY why MS spent 3 years engineering a device of such quality.

You want them to compete against cheap Androids, not Apple and to be fair, this device beats every android device out there i have seen - even the Samsung devices that cost just as much, if not MORE.

ByronM




msg:4509306
 12:34 pm on Oct 18, 2012 (gmt 0)

From my point of view the an Atom based netbook has one huge advantage, I can install an OS of my choice on it, whereas all the ARM based hardware is locked in. AS long as that is true, then a tablet will stay, for me, an ebook reader plus video player, plus light use web browser.


Windows 8 will be general availability on the 26th and there will be ~2 dozen atom/i3/i5 x86 based tablets available that will run the same apps that the surface will run plus your back catalog of X86 apps.

However, we can't forget that the surface does come with Office, the keyboard gives it some more functionality for content creation so in essence it is a bit more than a straight up consumption device.

personally, i still love my kindle keyboard for reading, unless its pdfs :)

incrediBILL




msg:4509478
 5:47 pm on Oct 18, 2012 (gmt 0)

USB port just gives you connectivity to all the existing USB devices around. I'm not sure how you could write it off so easily. It doesn't make it bigger/bulkier by any means. The Surface is only .06 lbs heavier than iPad 3.


Who said I was dismissing it?

Please don't twist words if you want to have an intelligent discussion.

I said 2 USB are bulky. My tablet obviously has a USB port but it's mini USB, which perhaps is what Surface uses but the spec doesn't say that.

Besides, what the heck do you need a USB port for anymore other than as a power connection to charge the tablet? Printers are wireless and even if it isn't, you can get software that allows you to print from the tablet via the desktop. Keyboards and mice run off blue tooth, etc. so unless you're running a computer museum and have ancient TVs, pretty much everything can be accomplished via wifi and bluetooth without all the extra bulk and expense of all those needless ports. I pretty much need just the one USB port and I'm good.

Who needs NFC on a tablet?


Apparently I do and my tablet has it. However, a 7" tablet is more like an oversized smartphone and I carry it around alot like a smartphone. Doubt I'd carry some 10" behemoth around all the time and perhaps for that reason NFC isn't needed on such a bulky beast but I'd include it if I were writing the specs.

When MS fully catches up with modern tablet technology then I'll consider their offering ;)

bill




msg:4509635
 2:36 am on Oct 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

Apple doesn't compete on price, they compete on Quality. That is EXACTLY why MS spent 3 years engineering a device of such quality.

That's all fine, but I think you may be missing my point. The issue is the way that they are entering the market with this device. It could have been much more exciting at a lower price point. Look at the crazy sales of Android tablets at lower prices. Instead of spending billions marketing the Surface, MS could have come in at a lower price, excited all the tech enthusiasts like us, and then carved out a real piece of the market.

The current market is literally saturated with Apple iPads. If MS goes after Apple in this manner at the exact same price-point they're playing against the iPad's strengths. There's much less differentiation. People who already have an iPad aren't going to pick up a Surface at this price. At a lower price they might. That would build momentum.

incrediBILL




msg:4509979
 8:28 pm on Oct 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

People who already have an iPad aren't going to pick up a Surface at this price.


I think MS is going after the big corporate accounts that are MS all the way EXCEPT the possible iPad now in the office. If MS can't keep control of the OS used by those big corporate accounts it's a lost cause for them.

It might already be too late as I know corporate execs in MS dominated offices already using iPads as part of their daily routine and they have discarded the Windows laptop/netbook.

bill




msg:4510581
 2:26 am on Oct 22, 2012 (gmt 0)

We're talking about the Windows RT tablets now. They can't join a domain or run desktop apps, so I'd probably disagree that the pricing for this model took the corporate accounts into consideration. This is the consumer model. We have to wait until next year for the full Windows 8 Surface to emerge.

MrSavage




msg:4510602
 3:39 am on Oct 22, 2012 (gmt 0)

Keep your Windows 8 copy shrink wrapped. It's going to be worth a LOT of money in a few years.

graeme_p




msg:4510626
 4:54 am on Oct 22, 2012 (gmt 0)

Look at the crazy sales of Android tablets at lower prices.


Yes, they are something you buy quite casually and without needing much money. I bought one primarily as an ebook reader - although it is now also my main device for watching video.

We're talking about the Windows RT tablets now. They can't join a domain or run desktop apps


Which, if I understand Windows RT right, means the choice of software will be very restricted. If I cannot even install a different web browser it is out of the question for me.

Tropical Island




msg:4510783
 12:50 pm on Oct 22, 2012 (gmt 0)

I just bought a Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7" to use primarily as an ebook reader & checking email & Twitter from the comfort of my bed. It was $199 from Amazon + $21 for 32 GB of flash memory & $44 for a cover with built in blue tooth keyboard.

It will be interesting to see how much I get away from using my Nokia N8 other than as a phone or on the road if there is no Wi-Fi.

The thing is the cost. This Samsung provides everything you could need including off-line GPS at a low price point. They will be up gradable to Jelly Bean in the coming months (weeks?) according to on-line reports.

I considered a Nexus 7 or a Kindle however as I live outside the USA I can't buy from Google direct because of licensing problems with Google Play & the same with Amazon.

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