back to article Microsoft Surface with Windows 8 Pro gets laptop-level price

If you were holding out for a Surface tablet with Windows 8 Pro, Microsoft has confirmed that they will be available in January. Just be sure to bring a bulging wallet. In a blog post on Thursday, Microsoft Surface general manager Panos Panay revealed that Redmond plans to offer two versions of the Surface running full Windows …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    and how much of that is usable, especially after installing office???

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 64Gb?

      about 48gb? How much after a years worth of patches?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: 64Gb?

        Unlikely 48Gb! Surface running RT only has 45Gb usable according to microsofts own website, so Pro running the "full windows experience" I would expect significantly less usable storage.

    2. Shagbag

      "the full office experience"

      Access AND Visio! Ooh great. I can see that's going to be a real deal clincher. Especially in big business where these two technologies are ubiquitous. NOT. Access in the enterprise? Maybe for Mum and Dads' corner shop, but for the big IT spenders these are a joke.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "the full office experience"

        You do realise those are just some common examples. You could run SAP or Oracle on one of these things. Not that you'd want to...

        I'm just a little unclear what the business justification for these might be? How would you convince your boss that you need a $1000 fondleslab, where a normal laptop will do just as well. If you need something to impress customers with, get an iPad or an even cheaper Android knock-off.

      2. Callam McMillan

        Re: "the full office experience"

        I wish I could agree with you, but sadly more large enterprises than you'd think rely on Access databases for mission critical business functions.

      3. JDX Gold badge

        Re: "the full office experience"

        Access is used all over the shop for small applications and internal projects, and is entirely suitable for that.

        Anyway, "a far cry from the latest iPad's 9.7-inch, 2048-by-1536 Retina display". Who cares? Nobody was complaining about 1080p resolution tablets before iPad3.

        1. Davie Dee

          Re: "the full office experience"


          I dare anyone normal to hold such as device at normal viewing distances and notice any difference at all, for that matter, take a 32in display and sit 3 meters away and I bet most folk couldn't see the difference between 720 and 1080 either

          it is a tad expensive but i suppose not that much more than an equivalent laptop, which is essentially what it is.

          I do think its in MSs interest to make some lost cost tabs, run WP8 on them if you must they do need to get some ultra low end parts if for no other reason then people cant afford it just now

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If nothing else - surface has made Ultrabooks look like a good deal!

  3. hitmouse

    Apples and Oranges

    Just because they're flat doesn't mean that an iPad and a Surface Pro are in the same device category.

    This article hasn't done much but create confusion where there was none.

    1. Zola

      Re: Apples and Oranges

      What do you expect? The Surface Pro is a tablet, so of course it's going to be compared with an iPad. The fact its twice the price, 50% heavier while having half the battery lifetime is very relevant.

      Microsoft are trading on their legacy software but news for Microsoft, it's now just as easy to developer enterprise apps for iOS as it is for Windows (and in the case of Windows 8 and Metro, given the headstart one might say iOS is actually easier). And once you have an app running on iOS, why the hell do you need 4GB of RAM and a dual-core Intel processor?

      The article is also correct in stating that Microsoft hasn't done enough to prove that users are prepared to replace desktop PCs with tablets - IMHO, these users don't exist (not in meaningful numbers anyway).

      I want a tablet to replace my mobile phone, which is frankly too small for comfortable browsing while stretched out in the lounge, where I consume data, but when I'm sat in my comfy chair at my comfy desk and need to be creative I want nothing more than a humongous display with a keyboard and mouse to drive the UI. I do NOT want a touch-based UI when I'm flaming sitting down and have better tools at my disposal to communicate with the computer.

      Maybe I need to spell this out for Microsoft, I don't want to be creative with a touch-based UI, it's a freaking nightmare. It's OK for short periods or very small amounts of data entry, but nothing more than that, and that's where the whole concept of a tablet-desktop-replacement falls down. Hard.

      1. hitmouse

        Re: Apples and Oranges

        "The Surface Pro is a tablet, so of course it's going to be compared with an iPad."

        I might have expected a more refined capability of distinguishing categories on here. What next, let's compare mainframe computers with pocket devices because they're both computers?

        " that users are prepared to replace desktop PCs with tablets -"

        Microsoft tablets are essentially touch-laptops. They're not desktop computers and they're not stripped down single-tasking items like an iPad.

        " It's OK for short periods or very small amounts of data entry, but nothing more than that, and that's where the whole concept of a tablet-desktop-replacement falls down. Hard."

        If you want to use a touch interface to do a lot of data entry in place of a desktop then that's as sensible as those folks who attempt to use Word tables as relational database tables.

        On the other hand having a full powered laptop (which happens to have an additional touch interface) which allows me to do do MUCH more than an iPad, and work with data from USB and SD card sources without doing backward flips through iTunes - now that's something.

        1. Craigness

          Re: Apples and Oranges

          If you have Surface Pro then you don't need an Ipad and a Macbook. You can consume on your couch and then carry it to your desk to do some work. Connect it to a big monitor, keyboard and mouse if you want to (and you don't need to carry those to the couch).

          But, like Padphone, it might not appeal to people who are only in the market for one of the devices it can replace.

        2. Richard Plinston

          Re: Apples and Oranges

          > Microsoft tablets are essentially touch-laptops. They're not desktop

          One thing that Surface is not and that is laptop - you will not use one on your lap, not with the keyboard attached. The screen angle is wrong, the weight is in the wrong place, the keyboard attachment is floppy, the stand will dig in to your flesh. You may be able to balance it for a short time, but it will be awkward and any attempt at swiping the screen will result in disaster.

          No, it requires a desk.

    2. The Indomitable Gall


      Two different devices. One's a tablet, and the other's a laptop. With a very shitty keyboard.

  4. stucs201

    Nice hardware, shame about the OS

    I'm not keen on TIFKAM, but could be tempted by a surface pro if the secure boot thing can be disabled and an alternative OS installed. Personally I'd probably go for Win 7 (or maybe 8+Classic Shell if thats not an option), other may prefer Linux. As for Apple comparisons, that'll get a lot more interesting/amusing (depending on your opinion of Apple) if anyone can work out how to Hackintosh it and install OS/X.

    1. Andy ORourke

      Re: Nice hardware, shame about the OS

      Not sure but I thought the secure boot thing was just mandatory for the ARM versions of surface?

      Even if that is true then I wouldn't put it past MS to make sure that the drivers aren't available for earlier versions of windows and I know Linux driver support has improved greatly in recent years but there may well be some lag before useable drivers for surface become available.

    2. Mike Moyle

      Re: Nice hardware, shame about the OS

      I agree. I've said it before and I'll say it again: If it's Hackintosh-able, I'm there. A drawing tablet that could run the pro-level graphics tools that I already own, for doing actual wok when I'm away from my desk...? Yes, I would even buy Microsoft hardware.

      (Hunh...! Shouldn't they have named their phone/tablet/console division "Microhard"...?)

      (Eh-h-h... maybe not...)

  5. Khaptain Silver badge

    Strategists and Economists

    It would be an interesting experience to sit in on a MS Strategists and Economists meeting in order to try and understand the reasoning behind the pricing structure but seems to have some positive points

    Yes, it can run full blown windows programs.

    Yes, it is almost as good as Windows 7. ( W8 meh, yes I have tried it for several weeks and still dont like TIFKAM).

    Yes, it is VERY expensive.

    Yes, the Touch Surface is more of a gadget than a utility but the keyboard is damned usefull for anything mildly serious.

    Yes, it is light and that means a few hundred less grams, even kilos for some, to lug about, always a good thing.

    No, it will never have the Apple Shinyness but then again that really doesn't matter in the office.

    It is a serious BYOD because it can get locked down as any other device running W7 / W8. This is a good thing...even though I don't care for BYOD. ( no need for Citrix sessions for example )

    Will it be a success, I doubt it.. Competition is strong, its' not a tablet, its not an Ultrabook, its ok on portability. It probably wont appeal to the public at large but corporations will definately have a look at this seriously.

    Lets wait and see what battery life it has in the real world.

    Lets wait for some serious bashing about in the train, the car, the office floor and see how it stands up.... We will need to see an industrial/military version also ( toughbook style)..

    An I interested in one , yes, but not at that price, if it were to drop to the 400 Euro mark, keyboard included, I would snap one up.

    It will be interesting to follow this one. I hate W8 but I quite like the idea of the Surface Pro.....hhhmmmmm

    Will it run W7 correctly......

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Strategists and Economists

      "Yes, it can run full blown windows programs."

      True, but those full blown Windows programs were designed for use with a keyboard and mouse, and it would take a huge leap of faith to assume that many of them are going to be rewritten for the Surface devices any time soon (if ever).

      1. Khaptain Silver badge

        Re: Strategists and Economists

        I agree, they were designed for Keyboard and Mouse but if I have understood correctly the Surface Pro can use both ( when needed)....

        1. stucs201

          Re: designed for mouse...

          Presumably this is why the pro version comes with a stylus - to give a similar precision of input.

      2. PTR

        Re: Strategists and Economists

        Does the keyboard not have a track pad on it?

        If not, you can connect some kind of mouse, surely?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Strategists and Economists

          And then, you could carry a £250 laptop instead!

          1. Khaptain Silver badge

            Re: Strategists and Economists

            Which would weigh in around at 2Kg and have a 17" screen........and don't you love lugging those things around.

            The principal idea behind tablets etc is not about price or cost cuttiing, it's about portability and the more it is portable the more likely it will get "ported". Price comes down with volume and initially there is no volume, so everyone has to wait until the interest sparks or otherwise they remain at the top end of the price chain.

            If you can't afford one, don't buy on, just move on and buy your £250 laptop.

        2. Zaphod.Beeblebrox


          > Does the keyboard not have a track pad on it?

          Yes, it does. (At least the touch cover does, I'm not positive about the type cover).

          > If not, you can connect some kind of mouse, surely?

          Yes, you can - the Surface has a full-size USB connector and the OS recognizes HID devices natively, just like you'd expect.

  6. Tom Maddox Silver badge

    Sort of want

    I would like a tablet that can run real applications at decent speed and which comes with a detachable keyboard. The Surface Pro checks all the boxes, and Windows 8 is growing on me, but I fear the build quality.

    1. Zaphod.Beeblebrox

      Re: Sort of want

      If the build quality is similar to the Surface RT, you'll have no worries there.

      I'm with you on the desirablilty, but unfortunately I think they just priced it out of my range - $1,000+? Ouch!

  7. TechW

    Very interested

    If they could get the price down to $999 or less with keyboard for the 128GB model I would be very interested in the Pro tablet. Certainly sounds powerful enough to run any Windows applications I would use on it. If I could attach a USB to Gigabit Ethernet and USB to serial I could us it for testing and console configurations. A 2 pound tablet to carry around would be great compared to a 5+ pound notebook for much of what I do as long as it runs existing Windows programs.

    1. 404

      Re: Very interested

      Yep yep - I was going for that with an Acer Iconia A500 tablet - it made all the right noises, had the hardware, lacked software execution and a few other bits- went back to an HP Elitebook 8440p that does run Win8Pro nicely. Has the heft and sharp corners to make someone notice. Manly thing lol.

      That's a lot of money for not having a keyboard, these Surface thingys..

  8. Arachnoid

    Hmm,,,, cant imagine using MS Office full time on a touch screen with no mouse and limited on-board storage.This said it would probably make a good tool for out of office use which would integrate with less hassle on most systems.

    1. JDX Gold badge

      The thing I don't get is why it doesn't come with a keyboard-cover as standard when it's clearly aimed at business use.

      1. Death Road

        This is because of the backlash about people wanting a different color than black with the bundled RT. I believe they might make it bundle-able for only a hundred bucks but with any color you want.

  9. Herby

    Let's see now...

    I can go to Costco (I just checked) and buy a nice laptop with a large screen (11.6 inches) a nice amount of memory (4 gig) and a pretty good sized drive (500 gig) for only $399. It will do everything I want to and even has niceties (places to plug in things). Why would I buy some snappy overpriced Surface goodie that has a smaller screen, less memory and even less secondary storage for more money?

    I'm not a fool.

    Of course, I would immediately put Linux on it, but that is a minor detail.

    1. localzuk

      Re: Let's see now...

      100% guarentee that that $400 laptop won't have an i5 in it, or a touch screen, won't weigh 2lbs, and won't have the form factor desired by many...

      Stop comparing it with something completely different.

    2. Anonymous Custard Silver badge

      Re: Let's see now...

      @ Herby - upvote from me, as you've basically described the machine I have for my personal use whilst on business trips (in tandem with my work laptop).

      Processor powerful enough for what I need, HDMI (& VGA) output, 3x USB ports and an (upgraded) battery which gives an 8 hour runtime. Dual-boot Win7 and LUbuntu - ticks all the boxes I need it to.

    3. JDX Gold badge

      Re: Let's see now...

      Typical Linux user - cheap and sees nothing wrong with having to travel with a bulky backpack at all times. Howard from Fresh Meat (Google it or whatever Google rip-off tool you people use these days).

      1. Craigness
        Thumb Up

        Re: Let's see now...

        JDX, you may scoff but at least Howard's laptop didn't get stolen!

  10. PTR

    "The new Surface models' high price tags mean they'll be hard-pressed to win over fans of the top-selling tablet to date, Apple's iPad."

    But its not supposed to compete with an iPad, that's what the RT version is for. The Pro appears to me, at least, to be all things to all men. Its a tablet when you want it to be, then its also a fully-fledged Ultrabook when you want to do some real work.

    For £650-700, that's a pretty good deal - not much if any more than current Ultrabooks. You can also plug it into a proper monitor, when you're at home, so it could replace your desktop too.

    I'm very interested!

    1. JDX Gold badge

      It's basically an ultra-ultrabook so by that logic the fact it costs a lot is unsurprising, that's a lot to pack into a tiny device. So I agree with your argument, but can't see it being ideal for most people. But then this is proof-of-concept stuff.

  11. Buzzword


    I'm almost in tears at all the mistakes Microsoft are making. Far more expensive than an iPad - that's just unacceptable. As a developer with both feet planted firmly in the Microsoft camp, I can't afford to see them lose the platform wars! I'll be praying hard for them to turn it around soon; but I might just go learn some Objective-C as a backup option.

    1. PTR

      Re: Tears

      The RT version is the comparable product to the iPad, not the Pro.

      The Pro doesn't have a mobile phone CPU in it!

      If anything, we should be impressed that MS have built a fully-powered laptop into a 10" full HD touchscreen and runs "proper" windows.

    2. Mikel

      Re: Tears

      Oh, it's getting a little dusty in here for me too. Probably a different reason tho.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Tears - me too

      Although mine are tears of laughter - it's great to see Microsoft floundering!

      I wonder when the Surface Pro fire sale will start? Not that I'll be interested in picking one up, no matter how cheap.

      1. Richard Plinston

        Re: Tears - me too

        > I wonder when the Surface Pro fire sale will start?

        Intel 'fry an egg' cpu: check

        LiON 'exploder' battery: check

        Magnesium 'incendiary' case: check

        A new way to have a fire sale: check

        What could possibly go wrong.

    4. Havelock

      Re: Tears

      The paraphrase - The most expensive suicide note...

      1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge

        Re: Tears

        I must admit whenever I hear the phrase "Surface tablet" it brings to mind "Cyanide pill".

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    ha ha ha ha ha ha

    so over priced. MS still doesn't get it. Avoid MS dev tools, and learn Objective C.

    MS is the IBM of today and Apple/Google is the MS of today.

    1. Comments are attributed to your handle

      Too bad Apple currently maintains Objective C. So as you prophesize, when Apple someday fails, you'll be out of a language, slick!

      1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

        Objective C

        Funny to see that mentioned. I was sent on an Objective C training course about 25 years ago when it was expected to be the "next big thing". Looks like it still is.

  13. Elfoad Regfoad

    Wowww, what a brain dead mistake

    Apple and Google are selling stuff because its good UI. Big fail by MS.

  14. Goat Jam

    Let's ignore the ludicrous price for now and consider the device itself.

    If it has an achilles heel, it will be the fact that it is reliant on the x86 archictecture. Even the very lowest power sucking examples of x86 still use much, much more than ARM alternatives.

    The bottom line is, if it has a fan in it, it will be a fail.

    Nobody wants a tablet that runs hot and needs a whirring, buzzing fan to try and keep it from melting.

    You may as well get an ultrabook that has a keyboard and can be put on a desk and avoid toasting your hands and arms while using it.

    Not to mention needing a bigger, heavier, more expensive battery to keep it comparable with the competition.

    1. PTR

      At a guess, I think the idea is to run the Metro apps in Tablet mode, which won't really tax the i5 at all.

      It would use "full power" when in full Win8 mode.


    2. Darkimmortal

      Issues: heat yes, fan no. Even my monitor has a fan in it (s23a750d)

    3. JDX Gold badge

      We've already had half-decent phones using x86 (haven't we?)

  15. Enrico Vanni

    The world and its dog has realised that Office isn't a prerequisite for a computer to be useful anymore. General Purpose Packages - so 1990s!

  16. Tom 35

    not just a consumer toy.

    At that price it's an executive toy.

  17. Nate Amsden

    good price

    I for one was pretty shocked at the price, I was totally expecting the entry level unit to be around $1099 and higher up from there.

    I suppose if you add the keyboard in it comes to ~$1024, which is closer to 1099.

    Unlike most other folks I guess I view the Surface pro as a Ultrabook rather than a tablet. It runs a PC operating system, has an Intel processor, for the most part will be used with a keyboard.

    Compare the specs/price of the Surface to that new Dell tablet/ultrabook that they have been pimping recently(that also is not yet shipping). The "XP12 Ultrabook" - Dell's price starts at $1199 with 4GB ram and 128G SSD.

    The Surface is also a full 1.3 pounds lighter than the dell

    Don't get me wrong I don't expect it to stem the onslaught of iPads, but I'd be sort of surprised if the Surface didn't do quite well against comparable devices from the likes of Dell/HP/etc.

    I haven't noticed claims of battery life yet (nor do I see note of any on Dell's site for their thing)

    I do think it's terrible that MS takes up so much of the space for their recovery partition and stuff, they should give the users the option to nuke that as part of the setup and reclaim that space. If they want to recover they can do so by say putting the recovery data on a SD card or hooking their tablet to their computer and running recovery software there (WebOS uses this method). It's not a big deal when you eat up a few gigs on a several hundred gig disk, but when it's as small as it is - they really should of thought that out better. Hopefully they fix it in the next iteration.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: good price

      I can understand that viewpoint. The only problem is Ultrabooks aren't exactly setting the town alight with their sales figures either are they?

      I'm not sure seeing the Surface Pro as a little Ultrabook is any more flattering than seeing it as an overpriced tablet.

    2. Richard Plinston

      Re: good price

      > If they want to recover they can do so by say ...

      I am not sure that would fit in at all with their 'secure boot' lockdown. It is probable that the USB only supports MTP so does not have access to the complete drive and it probably can't boot off the USB.

      'Secure Boot' is not just to prevent Linux booting, it is also to prevent Windows XP and 7 as these are a bigger threat to the revenue growth that MS wants.

  18. localzuk
    Thumb Up

    Very intrigued by it

    We have been slowly slipping towards people wanting tablets in the classroom for teaching from (not one per pupil), and iPads have been been played around with but simply don't have the flexibility or capability needed really. So, at the moment, we have laptops issued to staff, and then some staff have iPads as well. Our head has a laptop, iPad and a desktop.

    One of these Surface Pro devices would be powerful enough to replace all 3 for him. All he needs to do is dock it when he's in the office or classroom, we can encrypt it using BitLocker so Ofsted are happy when he goes out inspecting, and he still has the tablet form factor when he's wandering around.

    The price isn't outrageous either, considering the spec. i5 + 4GB RAM + 1080p screen. Seems like its priced just right to me.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Very intrigued by it

      The private school my kids go to has a one iPad (or Android) per child policy, and I know several others with the same (the parents are expected to buy them).

      A couple of my local state schools have announced they are going to have a one iPad per pupil policy from next September, one has mentioned multiple payments for parents and the other "free" (not sure how that is going to work out).

  19. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    Not that bad

    Many office workers have notebooks that spend most of the time in docking stations and they cost quite a bit more than this. They're seldom in use when not in their docking station except to check for e-mail or look something up on the interwebs or take notes at a meeting.

    Something like this would probably be welcomed by a lot of people though I think the price will have to come down - even if the hardware is comparable to notebooks, tablets have got significantly lower price points.

    I have to have one for a customer and I do resent carry > 2 kg around between docking stations. Have to see what the hardware is really like when it's available and, assuming I can get permission to use it on the network, then I might get one.

    1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge

      Re: Not that bad

      A lot of that price though is probably the support contract (at least that's what our IT people keep telling us) and I don't see any word of that kind of thing here. I would be interested to know what an "industrial package price" (including machine, cover/keyboard and next-day on-site engineer support in case of issues) is for these things, and how it compares to a similarly spec'd laptop.

      Plus whether there would be any kind of plan for desktop docks etc, for those who may want a decent sized screen when sat at a desk (touchscreen or not depending on preference and requirement).

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Battery life will make it or break it

    If they can get decent battery life out of it (like 10-12 hours) I think they have a fighting chance. However, at those prices they are ogling the enterprise, and even if I had a very good reason to recommend these for my engineers and construction managers I would never get IT to support 8, so it would be a no-no. MAYBE if they could get 7 to work on it without a hassle I could get them to condone it, but otherwise it''ll be smallish laptops.

    1. andymcp

      Re: Battery life will make it or break it

      Battery life - alleged to be 4-5 hours, according to a tweet from the Surface team. Which pretty much kills the thing dead in the water, for me....

  21. Andy 70


    you know what? i'm thinking about getting one of these (and know a few others who are also), and may get one IF(!) they don't just change the dollar sign for a pound sign and keep the numbers the same. like usual.

  22. Callam McMillan


    If you look at the potential use case for such a device it's actually a tempting proposition. For the enterprise it can run the Cisco VPN client and act as a domain member meaning you get the full level of connectivity and security that you would expect from a laptop. A battery life of 6-7 hours would be fine for how long such a device is likely to be used away from a desk, and because it's powerful, when you get to your desk, you would be able to plug a full sized keyboard, mouse and monitor into it and keep using it as your main computer.

    For the individual used to iPads and the like, it's perhaps not so useful. That said for £700ish for the 128GB model with a keyboard, I'd be awfully tempted.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Is it desirable?

    Does it look the same as the cheapest ARM Win RT model to the untrained (or mildly trained) eye? If so, they're going to have a hard time persuading people to buy it. Let's face it, we all like to show off our expensive bling once we've convinced ourselves that we deserve it - for whatever reasons make sense to us.

    If people are going to think you've got a cheap and nasty Surface when in fact you've blown a chunky wad on it, it's not going to be very rewarding.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "One can't help but note, however, that these displays are still a far cry from the latest iPad's 9.7-inch, 2048-by-1536 Retina display".

    Oh come on... 1080p on a 10.6" screen is more than ridiculous anyway. Lets tan the battery and gpu with even more pixels for ZERO benefit! Methinks the reviewer may be a fanboi...

  25. Robert Grant

    Think of it as...

    ...a 10.6", portable, touchscreen, light iMac. With a decent version of Office.

    One thing: the cover should NOT be extra. If it were built in, and came with a mouse as well, then it'd suddenly be an awesome competitor to ultrabooks as well.

    1. B4PJS

      Re: Think of it as...

      It does come with a mouse (well trackpad). Bloody useful for navigating those annoying websites that use onMouseOver events that are fucking impossible to use on a touch only device. And even then some mouseover sites are damn near impossible to use WITH a mouse (Bugzilla I'm looking at you)

  26. TaabuTheCat

    MS is missing where business desktops are headed

    A lot of us are virtualizing our desktop environments, and it just doesn't matter how powerful the endpoint is. We have users with iPads and Android tablets who routinely do work remotely running the View client (against a Windows 7 desktop in the datacenter). Citrix users have been doing this forever. Obviously connectivity is the key, but it's getting to the point where not having connectivity is the exception.

    I was on a Southwest flight a month ago that had WiFi, gave them my five bucks for the privilege, and spent the next three hours using a View session on my laptop to actually do work. It wasn't the smoothest experience, but the fact that it worked at all was impressive and just signals where we're headed.

    You don't need powerful endpoints in the business world (which is I assume where the Surface is trying to fit). All you need is a decent display, keyboard and mouse, plus some low bandwidth connectivity, and you're all set. And you don't need $1,000 or Windows 8 to get there.

    1. Callam McMillan

      Re: MS is missing where business desktops are headed

      While general enterprise desktop computing might be heading this way, ask the kind of people who use high powered workstations to do CAD or design work in a remote desktop session and they will very quickly tell you to bugger off.

      I can also see this being useful in smaller companies that don't have large back-office systems. My dad's company would be a perfect case. The sales manager would find something like this perfect when out on jobs since he can still use Outlook and the VPN to the office, but doesn't have to lug around a laptop, case, charger etc etc.

  27. Chris Donald

    Too low spec, too high a price

    I'd forgive a higher price, but for the low specs.

    Maybe Android can't run visual studio-which I need but it does have a 2500*1600 screen. Ms want me to accept far lower resolution, low storage (for a windows device!) where most is used by Windows with its winSXS folder bloat, a measly amount of ram and average processor speed?

    I'd hoped to find a device suitable for visual studio. Not for heavy development either, just simple f# console stuff, light vb and c#, and casual tinkerings with ILasm-I'm learning these and a tablet I can do it on would be a god send.

    But the specs on offer for the majority of my savings are deeply unexciting. Ok, I'm not the masses, just a developer playing with stuff. Have to confess though, win8 itself isn't exciting but for the very shallowest of reasons. I hate the new look :).

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