back to article Microsofties to get Windows 8 Surface tabs

Microsoft has found an eager early audience for its Windows-8-powered Surface Ultrabook: its own employees. The software giant is reportedly giving each of its 94,000 full-time staff a Surface computer for work and home use, in a gesture of mass Windows 8 munificence announced at the company’s annual staff meeting in Seattle’s …


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  1. Mark C Casey

    Oh hum

    This isn't a move of desperation to get people developing for winphone/win rt. No siree.

  2. Anonymous Custard Silver badge

    So that they can add 94,000 to the number of units they can claim to have shipped/distributed/sold?

  3. wowfood


    not because they realize most of their staff won't bother to upgrade, and therefore won't be able to answer the customers questions about where the majority of features they're used to are hidden.

  4. Michael 28


    .. especially as you know you'll get the same pc as the guy who eats greasy food with his fingers.

    1. GitMeMyShootinIrons

      Re: Hot-desking?

      It's not the greasy food that worries, it's the dude with poor post-toilet hygiene. Aren't keyboards already supposed to be a germ trap?

      I suppose a screen is easier to clean - just keep a box of antiseptic wipes nearby...

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: Hot-desking?

        either that, or include an array of UV LEDs in the screen...

  5. Hagglefoot

    94k sales at launch then

    So will the 94k installs figure in the accounts for number fo units shifted in first month of release?

  6. Arctic fox

    What's not to like if you are a MS employee?

    You get a buckshee Win8 Pro Surface (the hardware looks very nice), you install Classic Shell so that you can choose which UI it boots to (and you get the start menu back if you want it). When you are at the desk at home, dock it, connect it to an external screen and you've got quite a decent home office pc. When you are on the move use the touch ui with your eyes closed - simple. :P

  7. Snail
    Thumb Up

    Surely this is pure common sense.

    In one hit, you'll have a large number of types of users for the Phone/Tablet, so Microsoft can create an internal website for bugs/comments/requests, and get a wide range of feedback.

    Not only that, but if the developers use the device they work on, they have more incentive to fix the bugs they find, they have more incentive to write apps they want, add the features they want, etc etc.

    Many companies do this, i know that because the company i work for offers a similar scheme (although nowhere near the Microsoft scale)

    1. hplasm

      "Microsoft can create an internal website for bugs/comments/requests"

      Just how big is Cloud 365?

  8. iGoto

    Whatever you think of Microsoft...

    ... that's quite a decent swag bag of goodies.

    I once got a bottle of cheap plonk from my employer - magical moment, will never forget it.

  9. JDX Gold badge

    Common sense

    It is crucial for MS to eat it's own dogfood, only then do you get first-hand usage feedback about what seemed a good idea but doesn't work well.

  10. Whitter

    In one door, out the other.

    There'll be room for nothing else on eBay for weeks!

  11. Hooksie
    Thumb Up

    Me want

    I really want one but I have to wait until January. Just think though, that's 94k people using Surface tablets out and about for others to see, play with and get jealous off. Good move by MS. Having just installed Win 8 today on my work laptop and putting it on my desktop tonight I have to say that I'm really impressed so far.

  12. Kristian Walsh

    Normal practice

    I remember, about a decade or so ago (okay 12 years.. time flies), being forced to swap my perfectly servicable MacOS 9 office system for one running OS X 10.0.

    All I'll say is that at least Windows 8 is actually ready for market, and has an existing set of apps. 10.0 was anything but.

    I remember we were also force-migrated onto Apple's dreadful (and still dreadful) Dealing with even my tiny volume of email was a nightmare until I ran the MacOS 9 Eudora app through ResEdit and "rectified" its user-agent string into a more politically-palatable form.

    But when my boss found out... he got me to repeat the hack on his copy :)

  13. paulc

    this device will fall flat in the UK...

    Current display equipment rules about safe ergonomic workstations will prevent these ever getting onto workers desks...

    1. dogged

      Re: this device will fall flat in the UK...

      that's why there are no laptops in the workplace, right?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: this device will fall flat in the UK...

      That's odd, the HSE have this to say about touchscreens

      "If interface devices of the future office do move away from the traditional keyboard and mouse, physical symptoms currently attributed to computer use may be alleviated"

      No mention of not using them, or any other DSE. As always, the HSE say it is the Employer's responsiblity to assess.....

    3. Nigel 11

      Re: this device will fall flat in the UK...

      It's pretty unlikely to end up standing on its edge after a fall. Wonder how many falls before it fails.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    bit late

    Microsoft should have stuck all 94,000 employees on the Windows 8 developer previews. I am sure after fielding 93,500 calls asking 'what happened to the start button', they might have been able to avert the upcoming disaster which this abomination will inevitably lead to.

    1. Keith 72

      Re: bit late

      Many of MS employees will have been running Win8 since long before developer previews. Get over the freaking start button, it really isn't a big deal.

      1. TimeMaster T

        Re: bit late

        "it really isn't a big deal."

        It is to those who use it on a frequent basis.

  15. tempemeaty

    What's with the sudden hurry? Who's clock is running out.?

    "...Microsoft is accelerating the rate at which it upgrades its employees' PCs as part of the en masse move to Windows 8..."

    So is it some kind of emergency? Something gonna happen soon we need to know about? Ballmer's acting like there's an eminent deadline to get everyone on W8 or something. Weird...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What's with the sudden hurry? Who's clock is running out.?

      Yes, there might be a deadline on getting the share price up... Most traders work on nanoseconds these days...

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    this is a masterstroke

    it will work brilliantly just like giving WP7 handsets to MSFT staffers! That worked out well!

  17. Wanda Lust


    Enough already about the start button. More whinging than a baby after losing its dummy.

    1. Arctic fox

      Re: "Enough" As far as the start button is concerned I agree.

      I have not had any problems navigating within desktop at all. In fact as a desktop os it is extremely nippy. However, I do have two issues that concern me. The most important one from my point of view is that the default does not permit you to boot directly to the UI of your choice. I have installed Classic Shell to deal with precisely that issue - not because I was that bothered about having the traditional start menu. The second issue as far as I am concerned is the lack of genuine customisation of the touch UI in terms of it's appearance. In terms of its functionality it works extremely well (even on the crappy Acer W500 I have installed it on) but it looks like something you puked up after several cans of special brew and a curry vindaloo. The first issue is readily sortable - the visual meme however will ensure that even on a new tablet (when I get one) I will only go to the start screen when I absolutely have to in order to launch an app. Despite the foaming from the gold card members of the Anti Microsoft Choral Howling Association it is a very good os under the bonnet. However MS are going to have to something about allowing the punter (who after all will be parting with fairly serious wonga for one of these devices or if he/she is buying a conventional box) to choose their default boot and have some real control over the appearance of the default home screen.

  18. Gordon 8


    I was at a MS Partner event last week.

    One thing I did like was the Demo of desktop sync. Icons, colours, content (limited) sync between different machines. Cool... Needs a Windows Live account for home users ;-(

    Also PC on a stick (part of Enterprise version) Very cool.



  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Pigs will fly...

    ...before I use one of these obscene jokes for a PC.

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