I for one think that windows 8 on tablet will be great and i will be buying a Surface this year. But after testing windows 8 i will not be buying it for my desktop... EWWWW >_<
Steve Ballmer's back in the numbers game, this time predicting sales of Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 kit to draw in application developers. Ballmer is reported to have claimed at the event that "close" to 400 million Windows phones and tablets will be running Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8. He didn't say when, though. …
I haven't clicked on the link but I'm guessing that it is the momentary freeze of a pre-release version of the Netflix app running on the pre-release OS that was installed on the pre-release hardware in a demo that he finds so damning. I'm guessing it's that because he posts it repeatedly every week. If someone as overtly prejudiced against Microsoft as Bob is reduced to this as a damning inditement, then Win8 is looking pretty good. (And I've been using it for a couple of months on the Desktop and am finding it very reliable and quick).
@h4rm0ny - he's right though. you don't demonstrate an unfinished product that has a high risk of chucking sick back at you infront of potential buyers. shame companies don't take Apple's lead and make sure a product is ready to go in a few weeks when shown to the public.
anyway, pot kettle black. I'm sure you're chucking crap in every Apple article possible from what I remember.
400,000,000? yea right. a smiley because ballmer makes me smile when he talks crap.
@h4rm0ny - it may of been someone else, so apologies after looking through your back-catalogue of text through-out articles responses. there are a couple of hardcore anti-apple people around here that spout out rubbish with no justification.
@Peter R. 1 - find my an instance where it has happened since the i* products have been released. i don't remember any and i'm sure i would of been cruelly reminded of any very quickly (i did just find a video of the wi-fi failing on the iP4 but there's external factors in that instance).
"@h4rm0ny - it may of been someone else, so apologies after looking through your back-catalogue of text through-out articles responses. there are a couple of hardcore anti-apple people around here that spout out rubbish "
Thanks for replying with that. Pint for you. It's easy to get people confused around here, I've done it myself. There are hardcore anti-apple types. Every OS has its fanpeople. Even Microsoft seems to have acquired a cheerleader here recently (like a lonely butterfly emerging before the Spring ;).
As far as I'm concerned, any modern OS is an impressive feat of engineering and treating companies like your favourite football team is silly. We're not citizens of the state of Androidtopia or something. We're customers. Everytime one of them produces something better and improved, we benefit either immediately by buying it, or in the second order when their competitors up their game. Celebrating a failure in the market for a good product, is just a shame, imo.
@h4rm0ny - "As far as I'm concerned, any modern OS is an impressive feat of engineering and treating companies like your favourite football team is silly."
Unfortunately that's the nature of the beast... the IT crowd. I have ex-colleagues and colleagues who all have conflicting opinions from stance point of the OS they're supporting. Most in my office despise Apple. Even if you try to be equally praising and critical fairly in your points, it's still the same old responses. Okay, I maybe a heavy Apple user (pretty much across the board of their products), but I'm no Apple fanboi. I find their stuff simpler and less hassle to use when I'm not using Winboxes at work.
I'm surprised we have a M$ cheerleader. Must be someone on commission to piss-off the whole el-reg community by some sort of reserve-psycology to buy Win8. Not me for me thanks! Here's to another beer!
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The writer of the article cant count. Nokia already sold 4 Million Lumias last quarter. That's 16 million a year. So If they double sales over the next year, that means 8 million a quarter or 32 million a year.
Balmer makes it clear that the surface devices are included in the 375 million...
> Nokia already sold 4 Million Lumias last quarter. That's 16 million a year.
No it isn't. Apparently they sold 2million total for Q42011 plus Q12012 so the total was 6million. It was 7million total for all WP7, so 1million from other OEMs.
Given that WP7 has been announced as a dead end by MS and Nokia the end user sales in Q3 will be just the bargain bin remaindering of those 4 million. It is unlikely that vendors will accept any more WP7 and will await WP8 which will start again from zero market share, maybe by late Q4 or Q12013.
They might get to 8million for the whole year and then will need to start again building volume with the new products that are not even beta yet.
Nokia already SHIPPED 4 Million Lumias last quarter.
Everyone knows they are all buried in a frozen hole outside the former factory in oulu.. You would have to be a total idiot to think they SOLD than many. WHen was the last time you actually saw a real person with a Windows Phone?
"Here's some context: Samsung claims 20 million Galaxy SIIIs have been sold since its introduction three months ago. One million iPhone 4Ses were sold in the 24 hours after launch in October last year."
Here's some context: The Iphone platform took 76 days to sell one million, yet this was spun as an amazing success - even though Nokia were selling 10s of millions of Symbian phones a quarter. And it was years before the Iphone platform's sales grew to anything significant.
Compare like with like - if we're talking about the growth of a new platform, let's compare it to other platforms when they were introduced. And why criticise at all? No one criticised Apple's lack of sales in all those years, instead it just got media hype about how it would be the number one platform (even though it never did).
Also for context: Samsung and Nokia typically sell around one million phones a day all year round (though Nokia's may be less these days). Not just on the first day of a new product launch that's been hyped for months.
As for the numbers - yes, Windows phones/tablets outselling non-tablets seems unlikely. Though I think it's worth noting that we're going to see a lot of laptops with touchscreens that are convertibles/hybrids, and these so far seem to be marketed as "tablets". So we might have the odd situation where tablets do outsell non-tablets, but it's more that people continue buying laptops to use as traditional PCs, and just that it'll be standard for them to double up as tablets.
I don't see that we'll be able to cleanly divide Windows 8 sales into "PCs" and "tablets" when so many many machines will be both. All this "death of the PC" nonsense is largely spin, as I'm sure we'll continue to have conventional personal computers still, with additional features of portability and touch interfaces. What we choose to call them is matter of semantics.
>I don't see that we'll be able to cleanly divide Windows 8 sales into "PCs" and "tablets"
That's the problem for developers = develop for Win8 there are 400million devices.
Ok, some of them will be corporate desktops with a keyboard and a mouse and gig ethernet, some of them will be touchscreen tablets without 3G, and some of them will be phones with location awareness but expensive internet. We don't know how many there will be of each so you just have to write an application that is useful on all of them!
> That's the problem for developers = develop for w8's 400M devices
Wrong wrong wrong
Each platform is utterly different--tablet, desktop, phone, all completely different THAT is the problem for developers; be it the three different user interfaces, the different presentation metaphors or just plain operating system features, you will need to develop three different versions.
Stop spreading these MIcrosoft-sponsored lies.
Well you could treat them the same and just develop TIFKAM apps, but no-one would buy them for the desktop. You could develop a cool app which needs gig-ethernet data speeds, but no-one would buy it for phones or tablets.
Its just PR drivel. Actually, its worse for MS. By setting up the expectation that tablet, phone and desktop are all the same, they are setting up both devs and customers for a massive disappointment. Got IE on a tablet? Great, but why does the website say I need to install something called "flash"? I transferred my 300 page document from my work pc to my tablet, but I find it quite slow scrolling down, why is that? Why can't I find my colleagues' email addresses when I'm at home on my phone?
If Apple did one thing that no-one else had done before, it was to completely change the expectations of users, by not having a physical keyboard or mouse or anything which looked like OSX on the ip*d. Managing expectations is key to a happy customer and Ballmer's doing it all wrong.
You really dont get it. You can develop 3 different versions from a single code base with very little customisation required. With Visual Studio is is simple to update the core code and automatically rebuild 3 versions with customised interfaces, etc. for each platform. i.e. you only have to do the platform specific customisation once.
And some people actually suggest that there isn't an anti-MS bias here! The post contains a simple factual assertion, easily verifiable, and it gets downvoted. Do people actually require video footage of someone pressing the compile button in VS without re-writing their application?
And this spin is laughable - in the very same paragraph, we're told how the breakdown by quarter was 1 million, 2 million, 4 million - doubling every quarter.
So even if *their sales now remain constant*, that's 4 million a quarter, or 16 million. Predicting there will be growth from that doesn't seem unreasonable, especially consider the current growth rate, plus there are other manufacturers too (Samsung stayed out of the WP market this year, but have now returned with high end S3-like offerings).
I don't care about WP. I do care about accurate reporting.
The guy is an oaf and a buffoon. At least when billg was in charge, MS had direction and a plan. This just seems clueless, the world is in a recession, no-one wants Windows 8 and will stick with 7.
The vast majority of cheap phones are Symbian based, mid range is covered almost exclusively by Android, and high end is all Android or iOS. Tablets and smartphones sell based upon their apps, and Android and iOS have such a head start I can't see MS catching up.
In our business, we wouldn't dream of being the 7th or 8th company to enter a market place, which is exactly what MS are trying to do with Surface. It will flop, just like Zune, not down to any technical detail, it's just too damn late. Anyone who really really wanted a tablet has one, and it isn't an MS one. Those people will be captive to their purchased apps.
None of this sinks through to Ballmer. He'll probably start throwing chairs about 12 months from now..
Oh dear. Another clueless Ballmer hater. Why do you hate him?
How do _you_ know what kind of job he is doing?
Is he a good people person? Good at keeping their OpEx down?
You haven't got a scooby doo whether he is good or not.
Microsofts numbers have been fantastic of late. They have for the first time in a very long time got a very decent and clearly matching and consistent looking portfoilio from Xbox, Phone and PC.
You can't see MS catching up on Apps, when many AAA Apps are available and WP8 will have a similar dev platform to W8RT making ports simple. (Even the Unreal Engine will run on the phone, and ports of Games using it fairly trivial to move over)
But like any typical Ballmer hater, you just don't like the big man based on his personality.
Unlike many CEOs, he's a really interesting character. The IT world would be very boring with chair throwing Monkey boy. He seems deeply passionate about Microsoft from what I can see, so good luck to him.
I want MS to be successful, as successful companies make great products for *US* the consumer.
The surface is not being made for business success on its own, but rather showing OEMs what is possible if they apply themselves. Tablets currently are CONSUMPTION devices, the surface, RT and W8 on tablet will mean we can consume AND WORK/CREATE! I know many people who want to get one, myself included. I can throw out my iPad - which I barely use (once the initial gadget lust wore off).
Childish MS hating in comments, never stops does it. Kids, should allow em on the Internet. ;)
MS's share price is going nowhere, in spite of huge profits, because the company is stuck with two legacy products, and a load of junk. According to a recent report in the FT, Apple's price has grown at an average of 27% per year for many years.
Balmer throws chairs at his staff: he is not a “people person”.
Of course he's passionate about Microsoft, he's got a billion dollars worth of MS shares that he can't sell because so doing would kill the share price.
Balmer is a one-trick pony who can scare sales people out of their share-ownership-induced comfort zones into actually selling. It takes more than this to make a good CEO.
"Balmer throws chairs at his staff: he is not a “people person”."
Originally it was rumoured that he'd thrown a chair across the office when someone told him they were going to work for Google. Now chair throwing is apparently an established fact, a recurruring thing, and at actually targeted at people. In a few more years, he'll be using a custom built catapult to launch sofas at people's kids.
Exec summary: someone really needs to read Vanity Fair's EYE-OPENING article about MS/BALLMER'S LOST DECADE from August:
How Microsoft Lost Its Mojo: Steve Ballmer and Corporate America's Most Spectacular Decline - MIcrosoft's Lost Decade
"Oh dear. Another clueless Ballmer hater. Why do you hate him?
How do _you_ know what kind of job he is doing?
Is he a good people person? Good at keeping their OpEx down?
You haven't got a scooby doo whether he is good or not."
Oh dear, another clueless MS shill...
We ALL _SEE_ how BAD he's doing: look at their shitty, half-baked products (W8 w/ its committee-designed crap, its junk UI, WTF???), the flat MSFT, the utter lack of interest in their phone etc
Who cares about opex when you are BEING PUSHED OUT in several markets? HE IS A COLOSSAL FAILURE, period.
Beancounters, like you and your idol, this angry bald fatty, will never understand the point behind leading the market...
"Microsofts numbers have been fantastic of late. They have for the first time in a very long time got a very decent and clearly matching and consistent looking portfoilio from Xbox, Phone and PC."
You mean CONSISTENTLY GENERATING LOSSES, constantly LOSING MONEY on ALL THESE THINGS?
I mean like the Xbox division that makes HALF A BILLION LOSS in half a year?
Of course, it's normal there - first Xbox made BILLIONS IN LOSSES then 360 had 30% DEATH RATE after launch thanks to a design error (google the infamous RROD) and sales are falling flat for over a year now...
Windows Phone, the mobile OS that's the butt of every joke in the industry, the classic example of an UTTER FAILURE?
FYI these are facts that everyone - except you, apparently - knows very well... the fact that you WP as a success story is hilarious by itself. :)
"You can't see MS catching up on Apps, when many AAA Apps are available and WP8 will have a similar dev platform to W8RT making ports simple. (Even the Unreal Engine will run on the phone, and ports of Games using it fairly trivial to move over)"
RRRRRRRRRRRRRiiiiiiiiiiight, trivial... let me put this way: this comment neatly sums up your level of understanding. :D
"Unlike many CEOs, he's a really interesting character. The IT world would be very boring with chair throwing Monkey boy. He seems deeply passionate about Microsoft from what I can see, so good luck to him."
Hahh, this is must be the lamest brownnosing I have ever read. :)
Yeah, Ballmer is "interesting" - provided you find a loudmouthed, technically challenged, ill-tempered, angry, bald fatty millionaire 'interesting'... you aren't 30-y old gold digger blondie, are you, dear?
Are you saying the IT world is boring because he is throwing chairs or what...? If so, I agree, he's boring; like some backyard loudmouth, he's thirsty for attention with little clue what to say so he says something obviously stupid, see article above.
"Deeply passionate" - is this the latest euphemism at MS to describe the fact that Ballmer needs to STFU and badly needs anger-management treatment?
"I want MS to be successful, as successful companies make great products for *US* the consumer."
Then you better off quickly stop praising Ballmer, the beancounter and his lieutenants (Sinofsky et al) and start praising people with vision and understanding... good ol' Billy G was annoying with his whiny monologues but the man at least had a deep understanding of technology and was willing to lead, head a vision etc.
"The surface is not being made for business success on its own, but rather showing OEMs what is possible if they apply themselves. Tablets currently are CONSUMPTION devices, the surface, RT and W8 on tablet will mean we can consume AND WORK/CREATE! I know many people who want to get one, myself included. I can throw out my iPad - which I barely use (once the initial gadget lust wore off).
Childish MS hating in comments, never stops does it. Kids, should allow em on the Internet. ;)"
Clueless nonsense abound - you sure do not sound like someone who can create anything meaningful on Windows...
...in short Ballmer or his super-buearucratic, creativity-killing, employee-alienating, anti-collaborative, uber-committee-managerial culture is like CANCER at MS, it is slowly killing it from the inside, he needs to be removed, along with all the metastasized parts - so we can have the healthy parts grow again.
Few people upgrade to the new version of Windows, they get it with new PCs. Sales may not be great in a recession, but there are still nonetheless sales in the millions.
For cheap phones, for current sales you probably mean S40 rather than Symbian (plus Samsung are rather big at the low end too).
I disagree most people buy phones entirely on applications, I'd say that's one of many many considerations (with Apple still the most supported for some reason, yet it has 16% share and falling, compared to Android's rising share now approaching 70%, so clearly this isn't a major consideration for most people). Also by that argument, Android and IPhone shouldn't have bothered, as at the start they had less software than existing platforms.
As for 7th or 8th, you'd have advised Apple not to enter the phones market? And how do you define a market? The market for Windows 8 PCs is pretty new.
It may be that everyone who wants to have a tablet already has one, but if that's true, Apple and Android tablet sales will drop off too. The failure of the Surface won't matter then to MS, because people will continue buying normal PCs, 90% of which will run Windows 8. However, it's sensible to enter into new markets, in case people do continue buying those types.
Also consider that this is not an oversized phone tablet which is all we've seen before, it (especially the Surface Pro) is a full blown Windows PC. We can debate whether people want such hybrids, but it's certainly not late to the market - we've yet to have such a thing at all (at least not in such a portable fashion - previous hybrids ended up being bulkier than normal laptops, rather than smaller).
And again you spout the Zune was a flop myth. It didn't become market leader, but that doesn't make it a flop. It's all spin - when Apple get 5% of a market, they're hailed as a runaway success; when MS get 10%, it's a "flop" just because it wasn't number one. (Also consider the massively successful X Box - despite, unlike Apple who get nothing but hype, people claiming that no one would ever want to buy an MS console.)
Verizon thought it was all about apps. The main ad campaign for the Droid (on Verizon) was all about how it too had apps - you didn't need an iPhone for apps.
People aren't locked in to platforms because of x,y,z market share statistics? Buzz, no, wrong. Apple's share is falling, but their numbers are increasing - because the market is growing. Those locked in to one system have to consider their investment in that platform before switching, this aids retention. Changing share is irrelevant, it is how long you keep the same customer.
Google/Apple shouldn't have bothered because other platforms had more software - nope, wrong again. Google and Apple both went for the integrated app store, which had not been done before. This gave their phones a massive usability advantage over other smart phones. "Sure, you can put any Win CE app on your WP5 device, just pug in this cable, fire up …..." zzzzz.
Apple 7th to market with the iphone? Nope, Apple first to market with a usable smart phone - they invented the sector. Other smart phones existed before, but they didn't engage the average user - Apple made a computer on your phone easier to use than a regular phone, whilst other smart phones were crap. Google were second to market, and some of their vendors - HTC in particular at the start, Samsung more so now - picked up good market share from other smart phone - WP in particular.
People will continue to buy normal PCs? Buzz, no, even Gartner predict that people are not going to be buying many PCs over the next year. Besides which, most licenses go to business.
You're right, Zune was not a flop, it just didn't sell anywhere except the US, where it sold for one holiday season, took a 3% share of MP3 players and then tanked, prompting retailers to stop stocking the device.
Xbox is the one piece of consumer electronics that MS has popularly succeeded at, but as a whole, MS's Entertainment & Devices division - Xbox, Zune, WP - consistently loses money.
But no, keep going, its good.
> when Apple get 5% of a market, they're hailed as a runaway success; when MS get 10%, it's a "flop" just because it wasn't number one.
Apple were hailed as a success because it made large profits from that 5% or so.
MS WP7 is a flop because in spite of paying Nokia $1billion plus spending large amounts on advertising leading to a huge loss it has not even reached 5% and the current products are being remaindered into the bargain bin at a further loss .
> Also consider the massively successful X Box
They may have sold lots of machines but the division is still running at a loss most quarters and is several billion down in total.
That approach doesn't apply when you are a big player like Microsoft, Apple, IBM, Sony, etc.
The video game market had seen how many companies launch platforms already when Sony decided to get in? And after Sony, Microsoft jumped in as well to become one of the major players. They had a rough start but could afford to learn from their mistakes.
A company mainly known for large construction projects in Asia decided quite abruptly to go into the automobile business. Hyundai has done alright in that field despite numerous existing players.
How many companies had offered smartphones before Apple launched the iPhone?
Do you have any idea how many companies were selling desktop micro-computers when IBM decided it might be a business for them?
When you're already a big player in general, you don't shy away for new product lines.
You forgot to mention another (IMO) very important issue though; it seems to me as if Ballmer doesn't even realize what attracts some of his customers to use the products the company produces. Would that be a small aspect of their total services then I could understand it, but this is (IMO) a major key asset which he ignores time and time again....
I'm talking about the timespan in which Microsoft manages to support their products. Whether you like or dislike Windows I'm sure we can agree on one thing: keeping an OS alive for approx. 13 years (XP) and supplying a predicted lifespan of 7 years for Windows 7 (released 2009, support lasts till 2018) is an impressive feat. In fact, I'm sure that this is something why some people would favour Microsoft software products over others.
Now take the Windows Phone... How hard could it be to imagine that the release of WP7 would attract such kind of customers, especially given the strict hardware demands MS laid out ?
Yet it seems that was too much for Ballmer. Released in 2010 and nearly EOL'd in 2012, that's only 2 years. Given the fact that developers need to cough up $100,-/year to be even allowed to access their own phone for personal development one has to wonder here... How likely is it that when WP8 is out people would still develop software for WP7.5? So IMO this is effectively killing the WP7 market.
I think Ballmer doesn't even realize that this is heavily affecting his market. I'm a WP7.5 user and I'm still pretty happy with my phone. But I know many others who aren't anymore... I follow several WP related forums and other media, and I can say this move has stirred some very bad blood.
"Yet it seems that was too much for Ballmer. Released in 2010 and nearly EOL'd in 2012, that's only 2 years. "
It's not EOL'd. Nokia are bringing out a new Windows 7.8 phone before the end of the year and new apps will continue to be released for it and it is still officially supported and you will see updates for it continue. Plus, a large number of people are simply not going to care - it's a nice smartphone that still does everything they wanted when they bought it. Win8 has different hardware requirements. You would have been the first to complain if Win7 phones had been released with massively over-powered hardware at vastly higher cost for the sake of being ready for a new OS two years in the future. (Actually Bob Vivstakin would be first, but you take my point).
"Given the fact that developers need to cough up $100,-/year to be even allowed to access their own phone for personal development one has to wonder here... How likely is it that when WP8 is out people would still develop software for WP7.5? So IMO this is effectively killing the WP7 market."
$100 is a trivial business cost quite frankly. I charge more than that per hour for development work. No-one other the most casual, doing it for fun programmer, is going to skip out on releasing software for the sake of $100.
If you are ceo of a public company, you can't joke with numbers, predictions. That is what I know with my minimal financial knowledge.
This guy keeps joking, some investors keeps buying the numbers he make up and nobody including dead serious financial guys and lawyers don't dare to sue him.
So, is this guy somehow blackmailing them?
Seriously, even Zuckerberg didn't say "we will hit 2 billion users, bitch" like stuff after they went public.
BillG, please come back, we forgive you.
how many get re-imaged and run
windows 7 - especially corporate builds
Linux - for those who bit their teeth and pay the MS Tax
XP - for the diehards.
OS-X - well, there are a few Hackintosh fanbois out there aren't there
They might sell that many but how many run it after a week? That is the key question.
Pretty much every big XP shop is preparing to shift to Windows 7 as the plug is pulled on XP support in 2014. I got a lot of work in 2009 and 2010 because of the deadline on Windows 2000. I expect a similar round of new hardware deployments and reimaging of machines in service for less than half their warranty period as the XP deadline looms.
Of the organizations I regularly do work for, I know of at least a half dozen who have already got all of their apps fully verified under Windows 7 and could start shifting over at short notice. These account for nearly two million seats combined. For these companies the cost is entirely in the conversion labor. Their licensing level lets them run anything from Microsoft they choose.
If that experience is typical, then XP should disappear almost entirely from the corporate desktop before the deadline in 2014.
In the SMB segment, it is far more convenient to switch sooner than later. They're much less likely to have custom apps and the free XP Mode handles nearly everything that doesn't have an update to run properly as a native install.
As for people buying a new Win7 box and installing Linux, please. Do we really have to entertain that fantasy any more? When the slice on the pie chart is so small as to require its label to be external, or the item is simply lumped under 'other,' you should realize it isn't a significant market force.
So dont shoot me for my completely rediculous and stupid idea, but would it be possible for MS to build some sort of program that would allow the easy transition of apps generated for iOS and android to WP.
Iknow flash made a similar program to convert flash appsto run on iOS but could MS do similar?
verdict is still out, haven't tried Win8 yet, but would like to see their tablet and the final cost. I think they are gonna have a hell of a time at ti though, too many devices out there that could possibly be better. hell, Amazon is suppose to announce their new tablets and "phone" today. (Reg, where is your report on this? You throw Apple rumors around all the time)
There are many different devices; NT based Windows 8, phone based windows phone, and tablet based Windows RT. Microsoft seems to think that calling them all Windows 8 means they're all the same.
They're not the same thing and never will be.
Lies, damn lies and Microsoft PR bullshit.
You haven't read much about Windows Phone 8, have you? The overlap for developers with Windows 8 and Windows RT is far higher than with Windows Phone 7.x. It is not at all unreasonable for a developer to look upon them as all facets of a single ecosystem for selling products.
I guess anyone who actually wants a Lumia with Win 8 will be in quite a good position to get a really good deal.
They just need to say they like the look of the things, but are really worried about Microsoft's record of dropping systems like a hot potato and lack of upgrades to the new system and lack of software compatibility between systems.
Windows Mobile 6. Kin, Windows phone 7.
Fool me once....
Top of the range Lumia for the price of a bottom end one perhaps?
I'm sure given the situation, you'd just have to hold out and they'd fold.
Sounds fair, I've "preordered" 6 WoA tablets and one x86 from a Microsoft guy I know. At $200 a pop for WoA, I'm keeping a few on hand to give as birthday gifts to people I like.
What bothers me is that 395 million surface tablets sounds low. Or does he figure that 16 million people will ask Nokia for their money back for making such an UGLY ASS PHONE?
> At $200 a pop for WoA, I'm keeping a few on hand to give as birthday gifts to people I like.
The price of $200 or so for Surface RT seems to be with a 2 year 'Live' contract for $30 or $40 a month. Were you going to pay that for them, or will they become 'people who no longer like you' ?
It sounds like 'the gift that keeps on taking'.
..if I can nuke Windows 8 and stuck Linux on there, assuming it's not full of horrid proprietary lockdown. The industrial design looks fantastic, and it's going to be a lot slicker and lighter than any Ultrabook.
Actually, with Doze still on it, if I could add an external drive and my Rane audio interface, it would be a great portable machine for Serato, too- a lot less shoulder snapping than my old MBP. However, I am not really liking what I have seen of WIn 8 from playing with betas.
You should be able to put Linux on the pro version as you want. The RT, being ARM-based, is almost certainly going to have a locked bios that will prevent installing a different operating system. Possibly if someone produces a signed Linux bootloader, I'm not sure.