back to article Slash A THIRD off Surface RT price or it's toast, Microsoft told

Microsoft needs to hack a third off Surface RT prices and widen distribution to give the fondleslab a fighting chance to compete, said equities analyst Detwiler Fenton Group (DFG). The ARM-powered device isn't winning many friends apart from the software giant's rank and file. Only last week the firm was reported to have …

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  1. TonyJ Silver badge
    FAIL

    Said it before and I'll say it again

    People don't want a tablet, they want an iPad. Unless it's a cheap tablet.

    1. dotslash

      Re: Said it before and I'll say it again

      but people generally discover they don't really want an iPad either after the newness and marketing spiel wares off.

      Personally, I think if tablets survive in the future, it will be the cheap tablets that lead the way. The keyboard and mouse works for a reason.

      1. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

        Re: Said it before and I'll say it again

        Actually, if you don't own a laptop, or you use your laptop as a desktop that can be folded away, then the tablet works well as a portable computer.

        1. wowfood

          Re: Said it before and I'll say it again

          I use my transformer pad infinity quite regularly. But that's mostly because of how useful the touchscreen is for certain apps, and I can develop straight onto the netbook... yes I conisder it a netbook.

          I've got my main PC for games, my laptop for playing with linux, and my netbook for portability.

          Now if I could just find a good remote connection software for android... Teamviewer doesn't let me use the transformers keyboard / mouse, and splashtop doesn't let me use it outside my own wireless network without paying up....

          any suggestions? :P

          1. Frumious Bandersnatch
            Windows

            Re: Said it before and I'll say it again

            any suggestions?

            Maybe pay for the full version of the software you mentioned?

            I've never used either of the apps you mention, and I don't know how much the full version(s?) costs, but surely if it's that useful to you it's worth paying for? If you can afford the transformer prime, I'm sure you can afford another $20-$40 (or whatever it costs) for software that you know you want... (but seems to be too cheap to pay for).

            OK I don't mean that last comment to sound nasty, but seriously, if you're an Android fan and you want it to succeed, you could at least support the developers of the platform by buying the app. I know it's easy to have the mindset of wanting all your software to be free, especially if you've got a background in Linux or one other other free "Unices", but from what I've seen most of the Android software is pretty reasonably priced.

            If you're still dead set against paying for something, you can always write it yourself. I think you'll find it'll cost a lot more than just paying for an app that someone's already developed, though.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Said it before and I'll say it again

              What sort of degenerate lowlife becomes a fan of a company? Normal well adjusted people shouldn't care one way or the other for anything other than the best for the price point. Being a 'FAN' suggests that you're happy to take second best because your inane loyalty trumps all else.

          2. W.O.Frobozz

            Re: Said it before and I'll say it again

            VNC server + Cloud Viewer (fancy name for a VNC client) work great on my transformer. Keyboard AND mouse supported quite nicely by Cloud Viewer.

          3. rich0d

            Re: Said it before and I'll say it again

            Jump. Perfect for all your right clicking needs.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Said it before and I'll say it again

      Nexus 10 sales say hi...

      Android now has 45% of the market (or closer I suspect to 55% if you count non-Google devices like the KIndle Fire and chinese knockoffs)..

      Just like smartphone OS is a two horse race, so now is the tablet... iOS or Android, that's all you need to develop for, and that's all consumers want.

      1. Dana W

        Re: Said it before and I'll say it again

        I bought a Nexus 7. Now I'm selling a Nexus 7. I gave it a good try. After a month of this thing, I'm stunned anyone thinks its a serious alternative.

        The inlaws are snagging me an iPad. "hey beat free" and maybe it will be actually useful.

        1. Blitterbug
          Happy

          Re: Now I'm selling a Nexus 7

          Depends on what you use it for, Dana. Mine is a for email, web browsing & watching films. Oh, I have a DooM port which runs beautifully with an XBox 360 controller. I bought a leather case for £20 that doubles as a stand so I often sit on the sofa with feet up, Nexus balanced on lap, watching random HD content streamed wirelessly from my server. The N7 WiFi coupled with DicePlayer handles most HD content nicely, regardless of format.

          During the day I take it onsite, as there's an ace app I bought that handles invoicing, billing, stock levels and cloud printing for me. Works a treat with google's contact list, which in turn syncs automatically and wirelessly with Outlook 2010 on my desktop PC. Basically as soon as it gets in range of the house WiFi, it syncs all email, contacts, appointments and Chrome bookmarks. I actually don't know how I ever managed my customers without it.

          Of course, the same goes for any decent tablet. But the N7 is a *very* decent tablet! I'm not sure what you found so bad about it; perhaps the apps you wanted to use are iOS only? Or is it the size? Tilted horizontally it's actually clearer than an iPad Mini. But you didn't say precisely what it failed at, so I can only hazard a guess...

          1. Dana W

            Re: Now I'm selling a Nexus 7

            "Mine is a for email, web browsing & watching films." That is exactly what I do with it as well

            "Disclaimer, I am getting a FREE iPad mini" I'd never buy one for that price.

            The Nexus 7 is not bad, its just not that great. I'm not saying its a bad device, I was at Microcenter today and I talked a guy INTO buying one.

            I'm annoyed at how its gotten since 4.2. A lot of games, pretty basic ones in fact just stop and become unresponsive for up to 30 seconds at a time. I've got four book reader apps, most of them are terrible, and I really don't like Chrome, yet Since 4.2 Firefox just repeatedly crashes.

            Despite winning the pixel war, the screen has weaker color, and poorer contrast. The speakers are just awful, and I have to run a volume booster to even hear it half the time. I'm not as fond if its shape as well.

            I also find it difficult to type on. I'm on the fence about selling it, I may just keep it too. If I wasn't getting an iPad mini given to me I'd stay with it. Despite having three Macs and an iPhone 4s I'm really not invested too much in apps. But in the end I really had no gripes with iOS and I'd like the battery life.

            1. Blitterbug

              Re: I'm annoyed at how its gotten since 4.2

              Yeah, 4.2 busted some stuff, including apps that I use. The authors, to their credit, have by-and-large patched the problems. To be fair this is an Android-wide issue, and the benefits of 4.2 (and 4.1 of course!) are imo worth the few problems. I hate the default Android keyboard so forked up for Swiftkey just for the cleaner look. It's *very* responsive. I really haven't seen any of the touchscreen lag reported elsewhere, though I'm not saying it doesn't exist.

              Funnily I'm thinking of getting a mini too. I like it, plus there are some iApps I like that aren't on Play. And I have to be able to offer tech support on iOS, so that's a motivator - having an iPhone isn't enough.

              TBH I'd possibly want to persevere with the N7, but then it's a large chunk of wedge if you're not 100% delighted with it. Incidentally, the downvote(s) on my prev. comment were interesting, seeing as I was careful *not* to slag any given platform / device, aside from pointing out that the N7 screen *is* better than the Mini's - simple fact, pretty universally acknowledged, no biggie.

              1. Dana W

                Re: I'm annoyed at how its gotten since 4.2

                You are onto something, Maybe I'll keep both.

            2. Blitterbug
              Happy

              Re: Now I'm selling a Nexus 7

              Fair point about the contrast btw, but the clarity (to me) overall is still better due to the higher pixel density. Speaker - not wonderful, but I'm a headphone type so not an issue for real content enjoyment.

      2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Said it before and I'll say it again

        But 80% of those are low end Android2.3 used as web browsers so the kids don't take your laptop.

        Android tablets have really taken netbook customers

        For 'real' work a tablet with a keyboard replaces a laptop and Windows8 is quite nice on a surface - bloody terrible on a desktop - but very nice on a surface

        1. kb
          Windows

          Re: Said it before and I'll say it again

          Actually as a retailer I haven't seen the tablets take much away from the netbooks either, in fact its the OEMs taking AMD's netbook chips and slapping them in 15 inch laptops that is hurting the netbook sales because they are becoming harder to find, at least here in the states.

          No what I'm seeing with the tablets is TWO uses, and two uses alone. 1.- Giving them to the kids as a low cost net consumption device that keep the kiddies off mommy or daddy's PCs, and 2.- A "look stuff up from the couch" device so mommy or daddy can find out who that actor is while the commercial is on or do a quick check of their email.

          But I haven't met a single customer that is giving up their desktop or laptop for a tablet, keyboard attachment or no. Any retailer will tell you the reason X86 sales are down is because the core wars has caused machines for the past several years to be MASSIVELY overpowered compared to the work the people have for them, hell the netbooks I'm selling are all dual cores with plenty of RAM and HDD space, and the low end desktops I've been selling for nearly 5 years are all triple cores with tons of space and the ability to do 1080p...so what do they need a new one for, when they have the equivalent of a jet fuel burning funny car just to go to the store?

          So I predict tablets will continue to race to the bottom so that by this time next year we'll have dual core 7 inchers for $50 USD and then a year after that sales will drop just as they have for X86 because everybody that wants one will have one. And I predict win 8 in ALL flavors will flop, I'm not even gonna carry it because of all the hate and backlash I've seen from customers, they just don't like metro and that is that.

      3. Mark Allread
        Happy

        Re: Said it before and I'll say it again

        If you write for the Window 8 tablet, you're also writing for the Window 8 desktop. Guess which market is set to become bigger than iPad and Android combined?

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Said it before and I'll say it again

        'Nexus 10 sales say hi...'

        Those would be the Nexus sales that Google won't actually tell anybody about right? Now, I don't know, the Nexus 10 may have sold lots, or it may not. The bare fact is nobody outside Google knows either. So it's not really a great example to use in the 'Android tablets outselling iPad' argument. Because we have no way of knowing if it's actually making a big contribution to that or not.

        (Note : I'm making no judgement as to the relative quality of either device. Just that using an unavailable metric to back up an argument is, well, stupid).

    3. Piro

      Re: Said it before and I'll say it again

      You got voted down, and I don't know why. I don't like Apple's business practices much, and own no Apple products myself, but I would basically agree.

      1. Dana W

        Re: Said it before and I'll say it again

        He got voted down because all you have to do is say you like ANYTHING Apple does and the Fandroids vote you down. They are no better, than the "iSheep" and generally meaner.

        But its true. a lot people don't want a tablet, they want an iPad. It's a phenomena that comes with a very successful product. When the original VW Beetle was big in the US there were people saying "I don't want an import car I want a VW" its what happens when people identify a type of product with a brand name, and not with a classification.

        I have to constantly explain my my Nexus 7 isn't an iPad. Since to a lot of non-tech people tablet=iPad.

    4. W.O.Frobozz

      Re: Said it before and I'll say it again

      Funny, i'd say it's more like people would like to try and play with a device before blowing $599 on it. If it were at best buy and I could walk up and play with one, I might be more interested in trying it.

      If I wanted a tablet with a keyboard, I'd buy an Asus Transformer (which is cheaper and has a proven record). I wouldn't waste my time on Microsoft's unproven device even if it can run Office.

      1. streaky
        Pirate

        Re: Said it before and I'll say it again

        "If I wanted a tablet with a keyboard, I'd buy an Asus Transformer (which is cheaper and has a proven record)"

        Frankly to say they're not even in the same league is a massive understatement. Even the iPads aren't really. Totally agree with the sentiment that they need to be cheaper to penetrate though, no clue what's going on at Microsoft but it isn't happy times in the management department.

    5. Vince

      Re: Said it before and I'll say it again

      Actually quite a lot of us want a device which is a tablet and a laptop style device.

      Surface Pro is a good option (cause it runs the real stuff I do my real work on) - RT could work but price point is wrong, and then there are devices like the Lenovo Ideapad Yoga, which is where my money is going, just as soon as they let me buy it.

      I don't want an iPad, and I know plenty more who don't, but we do want something different to a laptop and better than a tablet where tablet is defined as an "ipad".

    6. TonyJ Silver badge

      Re: Said it before and I'll say it again

      Wow...that's a lot of downvoting for a simple fact: it's been proven, time and time again, that if you go head-to-head with Apple and the iPad on price you will fail. Cut the price and look what happens. And it really doesn't matter if you come up with a killer alternative.

      I agree with dotslash (and here come the downvotes again I guess) - most people buy a tablet and give up on it within a fairly short term.

      My kids love mind though - they read, play games, browse the web, watch Doctor Who etc but personally after I was bought a Kindle, it stopped being used by me for anything much.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Said it before and I'll say it again

        "after I was bought a Kindle,"

        I think that's why I've not bought a tablet yet. I keep wanting one, then I stop and wonder just what I would use it for.

        • 1. Super duper powerful Desktop PC*. Check.
        • 2. A "good enough" laptop. Check.
        • 3. Asus Netbook. Check.
        • 4. Kindle ebook reader. Check.

        Tablet? Can't justify one yet.

        *Actually using three + a server, but hey, doesn't everyone?

    7. RICHTO
      Mushroom

      Re: Said it before and I'll say it again

      They already did cut the price to some channels. They are going for £430 new on eBay instead of £560 (64GB + keyboard). Certainly that route will likely provide better customer service than the Microsoft Store - which is truely awful.

      And you cant really compare this to the iPad which is a very limited toy. The Surface RT has a whole load more functionality. For instance you can have an app onpen on the tablet, and a different app open on an external monitor. It has a proper version of Office. It has proper USB support, etc, etc. Not to mention a higher contrast, brighter screen, and high quality case materials.

    8. Chris007
      Terminator

      Re: Said it before and I'll say it again @TonyJ

      Let me fix your original post for you.

      People don't want a tablet, they *THINK* they need an iPad.

      This is now a small(ish) snowball where people talk about the tablets they have and when more and more realise that they can have the functionality of an iPad for half the price (sometimes more than 1/2) that snowball will get bigger and bigger and very rapidly.

      My guess is that Apple will have less than 30% tablet share by June 2014

  2. jai

    Waiting for the pro

    Not me, but the people I talk to who like M$ things, they've tried out Surface, kinda liked it, but are waiting for the Pro to see if it can handle all the apps they currently run on their laptops.

    I'm not totally sure that was what Microsoft were hoping for when they launched Surface. Just got to hope that poor RT sales doesn't cause them to shelve, or delay further, the Pro.

    1. Lusty

      Re: Waiting for the pro

      No need to wait, Dell have the Latitude 10 out now which is basically the same thing but with better accessories (nice docking station for a start).

    2. Zaphod.Beeblebrox
      Thumb Down

      Re: Waiting for the pro

      Pro looks to have the same problem as the RT only more so - $1,000+ USD for the 64GB with the detachable keyboard? Were it not for that price point I'd be seriously considering it but unless I can get the boss to pony up, it just ain't gonna happen.

    3. Mark Allread
      Meh

      Re: Waiting for the pro

      "Not me, but the people I talk to who like M$ things, they've tried out Surface, kinda liked it, but are waiting for the Pro to see if it can handle all the apps they currently run on their laptops.I'm not totally sure that was what Microsoft were hoping for when they launched Surface. Just got to hope that poor RT sales doesn't cause them to shelve, or delay further, the Pro."

      Strange that no-one buying an iPad is concerned that it won't run their Mac software though. Perhaps Microsoft figured that the same customers would make the same logic but seemingly not.

  3. paulc
    Go

    come on, pull the other one...

    "Channel partners have been "clamouring" to get hold of a Surface device, James Akrigg, Microsoft's head of technology for partners, told us."

    Rubbish, no one wants it...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: come on, pull the other one...

      Yes but he can hardly say "Its a pile of crap that no-one wants" ... well not if he wants to stay working for the company.

    2. Tom 35

      "Channel partners have been "clamouring" to get hold of a Surface device

      It's true, he just left out the part about "that they can sell for $299"

  4. Khaptain Silver badge
    Joke

    Market Research

    Before slashing a third of off it's price they might want to revise their Market Research documentation. They might actually find that not many people were ever really interested. ( Techies don't count as they are only a minority).

    Even cutting the price would be meaningless when the "majority" don't even understand what your product is/does and why it would be better purchase than a similiar Apple Product. You don't get brownie points for owning MS Products and the public knows this....

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No body wants it now, why would then with a 3rd off/

    Given that a 64gb rimjob playbook can be had for £199, the market for "other" tablets is limited.

    Googles got the low end sewn up with the Nexus 7. Apple and Samsung the higher end.

    The old adage if you're releasing into a crowded market, it better be twice as good, or half the price applies.

    Surface isn't either...

    1. P. Lee
      Linux

      Re: No body wants it now, why would then with a 3rd off/

      True. Most people who want a tablet have one already - they are expensive for what they are and what you end up using them for. An MS operating system is not a USP.

      Just like the PC, I suspect tablet sales are about to flatten. The low end will go for a bit longer but when increased screen resolution is a major feature you know the innovation has slowed. MS' best bet it to do what they've done for a long time: bundle. Bundle the RT license with OEM windows and get the OEMs to do x86 laptops with RT detachable screens. It's a lot slower but probably more successful in the long run than selling them stand-alone.

      For MS, this is about locking out Android rather than being a money-spinner in itself. MS doesn't want any sort of Linux host in your hands or on the desktop even if it isn't currently competing with MS products. IOS isn't a threat in itself to MS, but it does bring heterogeneous computing to the fore, which is a problem for them.

      1. E Haines

        Re: No body wants it now, why would then with a 3rd off/

        > Most people who want a tablet have one already

        Not in this reality, wherein sales of tablets are accelerating and will continue to do so for some time, according to any projections you might find.

    2. RICHTO
      Mushroom

      Re: No body wants it now, why would then with a 3rd off/

      I got my 64GB Playbook for £119 from Currys. However, it's a 7 Inch tablet with a pretty crappy OS. Does great duty for the kids to watch films, but its not quite in the same ballpark as the Surface.

      Personally i think that if Microsoft cut the price by £100 they would probably double sales. As it stands, it seems expensive for what it is. Which makes the new iPad a real rip off...

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Facepalm

      Re: No body wants it now, why would then with a 3rd off/

      No one wants a Playbook for the simple reasons:

      1) For 90% of the public who want a tablet, It's not an iPad

      2) It's got rubbish app support (and more expensive than their iOS or Android counterparts in my experience)

      3) It doesn't have one of the 'funky' names from Google that people recognise like "Ice Cream Sandwich"

      Even at the £129 price point (which that 64GB version seems to be at today in Pissy World) it's 28/30 in popularity of the non-Apple devices.

      There will be a market for Surface. If nothing else the Office users will make sure of that.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Nobody wants it now, why would they with a 3rd off? It's still too much...

    Given that a 64gb rimjob playbook can be had for £199, the market for "other" tablets is limited.

    Googles got the low end sewn up with the Nexus 7. Apple and Samsung the higher end.

    The old adage if you're releasing into a crowded market, it better be twice as good, or half the price applies.

    Surface isn't either...

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Surface is...

    the new Zune (in brown)

  8. Eponymous Cowherd
    Thumb Down

    Low end?

    "Googles got the low end sewn up with the Nexus 7. Apple and Samsung the higher end."

    Something sporting a Tegra 3 and running JB4.2 ain't "low end".

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Low end?

      Who was talking about specifications? The conversation is about price. Google has the "low end" of the tablet price range.

      1. Lunatik
        FAIL

        Re: Low end?

        Low end is <£100 Chinese jobbies, not the Nexus 7.

        The cheapo tablets are generally compromised in some way today, but they have their place and in time will become competent and valid choices. But to me the Nexus 7, helped by the Kindle Fire, has defined the sweet spot for tablet pricing.

        It's certainly shaken the market up a bit, a market which had been labouring under the misapprehension that it could release mediocre 7" devices for about 60-70% of the price of an iPad.

        Surface needs to be in this price range or it will die an embarrassing death. When I can by a 32GB Nexus 7 and a Samsung Chromebook for the price of a single entry-level Surface you know there's something wrong in Redmond.

        1. Peter Simpson 1
          Thumb Down

          Re: Low end?

          "The cheapo tablets are generally compromised in some way..."

          Usually, in my experience, that way is basic function -- as in "they don't work". But what did you expect from Chinese white box tablets for under $100?

    2. TeeCee Gold badge
      Mushroom

      Re: Low end?

      Maybe so, but a poxy 7" screen is.

      1. Piro

        Re: Low end?

        a 1280x800 IPS screen is not poxy. The size, in your opinion, and in my opinion, 7" is too small - but that does not make it poxy

      2. david bates

        Re: Low end?

        7" screen means I can put it in a pocket. 10" would be too big for me....

  9. jubtastic1

    Anyone seen one in the wild?

    I've seen two, but they were in the window of a pawn shop so I'm not sure they count.

    1. dogged

      Re: Anyone seen one in the wild?

      I don't believe you. Nobody's had time to both buy and pawn one of these, let alone two. And the MS employees who get them for free aren't allowed to pawn them or sell them on unless they want to get fired.

      I haven't seen any in the wild and I'm not surprised. When Surface tablets were announced, they were promoted as a reference design. Ballmer specifically played down how many they'd sell to "a couple of million" or basically, "not many".

      So this whole story is pretty much a non-story. Device not intended to hit mass market volume does not hit mass market volume. Dog bites man. Nothing to see here, move along.

      1. mrfill
        Happy

        Re: Anyone seen one in the wild?

        I think he meant PORN shop - for all those useful sleazy apps

        1. P. Lee
          FAIL

          Re: Anyone seen one in the wild?

          > I think he meant PORN shop - for all those useful sleazy apps

          And MS thought showing the content of minimised windows in "live tiles" was going to win them friends...

      2. Kevin 6

        Re: Anyone seen one in the wild?

        Actually yes they have, and plus as someone who's family member owned a pawn shop you would be surprised at what comes in, and how much is stolen property ;)

        The days when I used to fix comps, and game systems at the shop I would see people bring in brand new boxed devices that sold for hundreds, and take $40(so you had a good idea they were nicked), but as long as for 1 month the serial number wasn't reported as stolen it could be sold. Seeing they went on sale in October if the law is the same as here its quite possible they could be in pawn shops. Also that is the pawn shops that do things legally, I seen quite a few that will buy something and throw it right up for sale not doing the mandatory 30 day hold.

      3. Ivan Headache

        Re: Anyone seen one in the wild?

        There's an unopened box in the window of my local CEX

      4. Dana W

        Re: Anyone seen one in the wild?

        They have had time to shoplift and pawn two of them. A lot of that stuff is scarcely out of the store before its in the pawn shop window.

      5. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Anyone seen one in the wild?

        Then check Craigslist then, there are many available on there. Why wouldn't a pawn have any for sale.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Anyone seen one in the wild?

      A gold partner supplier came wandering by the other day excitedly showing one off. The general reaction from the nearby IT techs was "Meh"

  10. ContentsMayVary

    >Something sporting a Tegra 3 and running JB4.2 ain't "low end".

    But when it only costs £159, it HAS got the low-end sown up, when the other "low end" tablets are a similar price but with much lower specs.

  11. Robert Grant Silver badge

    I'd give it a go for 250 squids

    Especially with a built-in cover and keyboard.

    1. qwarty

      Re: I'd give it a go for 250 squids

      I'd pay the 399 if it came with cover/keyboard AND 64Gb AND the Tegra 3 was replaced with a state of the art ARM SoC. I tried using one and its a neat device but for me a bit underpowered for what it tries to do - shades of the iPad 3 experience now corrected by the 4th generation.

      As it stands, looks more like a reference device and something for developers and evaluators, not a mass market product. Limited distribution and priced high to avoid discouraging OEMs from making RT product. Nexus 7 sales were low to begin with as well, no reason to damn Android.

      1. TeeCee Gold badge
        Facepalm

        Re: I'd give it a go for 250 squids

        ...AND the Tegra 3 was replaced with a state of the art ARM SoC.

        Er, you do know what a Tegra 3 is, don't you? Probably the most state of the art state of the art ARM SoC around at the moment.

        1. qwarty

          Re: I'd give it a go for 250 squids

          One of the new cortex a15 socs or an a6x equivalent. Tegra 4 Wayne looks promising but lets see if it makes CES. Bump the display to 1080p and for me Its an iPad beater. Your mileage may be different. as commented already this doesn't appear to be a Microsoft objective with surface rt.

        2. Piro

          Re: I'd give it a go for 250 squids

          Not even close really, dual core Krait can box with it easily, and quad core Krait does something nasty on it from a great height.

  12. NoneSuch
    Pint

    Call me when...

    ...there is a Cyanogen ROM for the Surface. I'll consider it only if I can toss Jellybean on there.

    Now time for the pub.

    1. Zaphod.Beeblebrox
      Unhappy

      Re: Call me when...

      Not going to happen until someone figures out a way around Secure Boot, which is required to be permanently enabled on Windows RT devices. Not saying it won't happen, but I'm not holding my breath.

  13. CmdrX3
    Facepalm

    Holy bat crap

    Nobody saw that coming!!

  14. CAPS LOCK
    FAIL

    Another in the line Kin, Zune etc.

    More epic fail from Microsoft. When will they learn?

    1. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

      Re: Another in the line Kin, Zune etc.

      When will they learn?

      When the money finally runs out. Which, given how much they earned over the years, will not be for a while yet, even after buying new chairs for Ballmer's office.

      1. Piro

        Re: Another in the line Kin, Zune etc.

        Exactly, when the money runs out. They have so much, that they can keep going on with their foolish rubbish. It's like watching the slowest train wreck in history.

        1. P. Lee

          Re: Another in the line Kin, Zune etc.

          There's no shame in trying and failing, though we do expect that more from things that are new rather than copycat products.

          Its just a little sad when companies feel that they have to hype their products beyond reality and everyone can see what is happening.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Another in the line Kin, Zune etc.

      They will learn when its too late. They haven't listened to the consumer for ages and keep trudging along business as usual. Eventually it is going to cost them and cost them dearly it will.

  15. That Steve Guy

    Anybody know what Surface does?

    All I saw on the adverts is keyboards being plugged in and out and icons being spun.

    1. hplasm
      Devil

      Re: Anybody know what Surface does?

      Clicks.

      1. Richard 12 Silver badge

        Re: Anybody know what Surface does?

        You can pretend to be a robot if you buy enough of them.

        I suspect you could build a robot like that Stephen Fry one at Golden Joysticks for less money though.

  16. BadwolfBracken

    Well, he's...he's, ah...probably pining for the fjords

    Surface - the New Playbook / Zune / Kin / Streak / insert name of dead kit here

    Perhaps if they stopped imitating and started innovating they would have more luck

  17. Stephen Channell
    Facepalm

    Time for plan A (Loss Leader)

    I’m pretty sure plan-A was for the MS Surface to seed the market with some cheap ($199) kit to get the ball rolling to kick-start app development and OEM build-out. Plan-B is Plan-A knobbled by the hardware vendors to protect their margins.

    there is no market for ANOTHER premium tablet.. it’s commit or walk time! Commit means price cuts; Walk means sacrificing the flank & strategic oblivion.

    … so Mr Ballmer, listen to the {Chairman; Marketing; Analysts; Partners; Customers}, and give us a price cut in time for Christmas!

    1. JDX Gold badge

      Re: Time for plan A (Loss Leader)

      >>there is no market for ANOTHER premium tablet

      Of course there is... IF there's room for anything except iPad that is.

  18. Azzy

    It's the distribution.

    The surface RT needs proper distribution (that means IN STORES - maybe Steve Ballmer can afford to buy a high-end tablet without getting to try it out, but most people can't, and it's not like there are microsoft stores everywhere). It needs this much more desperately than it needs a price cut. And it needs a price cut pretty badly.

    Seriously, if I was seeing one every time I went into Micro Center or Best Buy, it'd start to tempt me. But as it is, I don't even know where a Microsoft Store is.

    A tablet computer that feels good (like the surface) and looks good (like the surface) and has a novel keyboard (which looks like it'd suck, but is pretty good) - you need to get that into the hands of shoppers so they can see it and try it.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    400 bucks? No, not even 300

    for something that's neither a toy nor a tool. And to make it into a useful tool, I'd need to be able to install the progs I need, which I can't do. So, MS: FO!

    Actually, I wouldn't want to work on a 10 inch screen anyway, a pair of new eyes still costs considerably more ;)

  20. Darryl
    1. Philippe
      FAIL

      1.3 millions sales?

      Wow, that sounds like a runaway success..

      1. Darryl

        Re: 1.3 millions sales?

        Well, it's definitely not in the iPad numbers, but I was just pointing out that, at the end of the day, these are all just predictions by analysts.

    2. asdf
      Trollface

      # games

      Yeah it just depends on if you count the ones they give away or deeply discount I guess. 1.3 million would be great. That would mean Microsoft was able to sale as many in the quarter as Apple sells in two to three days. WIN!!!

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's all in the pricing

    Make it cheaper and it will sell. Unfortunately MS can't do that, or they will piss of their partners, and their partners can't do that because a non-Pro Windows OEM license costs $99.99, and the Pro version is $139.99.

    1. P. Lee

      Re: It's all in the pricing

      Indeed. Make it too cheap and it will cannibalise other windows/office revenue streams.

  22. JackM
    Facepalm

    Keep it at the current price and include the keyboard cover free. It cost $30 to make the keyboard, and costs approximately $130. Buyers will think they're getting a hell of a deal, and Microsoft only loses $30 as opposed to cutting the price by a third.

  23. Levente Szileszky
    FAIL

    Another classic Ballmerian idiocy: Surefart and its pricing...

    ...asking $600 for a Windows 8 R(e)T(arded) version tablet that DOES NOT RUN ANY DESKTOP APPLICATION?

    Pricing the Windows 8 Pro tablet, the one that might be actually useful, HIGHER THAN (those already-overpriced-thus-miserably-failing) ULTRABOOKS?

    Seriously, whatever this clueless, angry, bald, chair-throwing beancounter is smoking it must be some very strong, hallucinative drug.

    Ballmer is HOPELESS, an utterly clueless idiot. It's going to cost MSFT a LOT OF MONEY and clout.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just got a Nexus 7 for under the tree. Got it because i wanted a small, cheap tablet to primarily read books on and whatever else I can do with one . Having Android was a plus.

    I'm not knocking the Ipad or Surface, I just didn't know if I would like a tablet so I didn't want to spend mucho bucks on one. I also didn't want to be locked into having to do all my primary purchase from one location and no jailbreaking or hacking. My order of consideration was:

    Ipad-To expensive and too locked in to Apple. Very good interface and construction though.

    Surface-Way to expensive for a tablet with Windows 8. Too many complaints about using it. Just too cautious to spend that much money on relearning Windows again.

    Kindle HD- Good price, exactly what I was looking for, but locked into Amazon?

    Nook- Same thing, just not sure about it.

    Galaxy- Honestly, this blew my mind. Everything they make they seem to name "Galaxy". Not sure which one to buy, and the one I liked was too expensive.

    Nexus-right price, right OS, nice interface. size ok......so well see.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Taylor 1

      Christmas presents are for people you care about. Oh, I see...

      1. P. Lee
        Coat

        Re: @Taylor 1

        Yeah, spare a thought for Ballmer this Christmas!

  25. Aitor 1 Silver badge

    400$?

    For that price I can get a 32GB transformer prime, with keyboard and touchpad..it is faster & nicer.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Let us sell it!

    We could of sold loads of the bloody things for the number of times we've been asked if we can get them...and the Pro version which ok isn't out. And the number of customers who actually think companies selling directly is stupid. Joe punter wants to have it in front of them, they want to play with it before buying. They don't just go see website and throw a credit card at it unless it has an Apple sticker on it. MS, give it to the channel and let us sell it!

  27. David Strum
    Mushroom

    Johan needs to go

    Wow – didn’t know all this was the happening. I hope the Surface goes under and sink – I hope the worst for MS – so that Blamer gets a wake up call to incompetency. The guy is just bad news for MS – and this wont be the last time that Jonah will cause problems. The MS tanker will sink if he stays on board: I hope he stays on.

  28. al 3
    Pint

    Price point is king...

    I understand that 64Gb playbooks are selling like hotcakes (a curry's manager's words), a fact, albeit locally, also confirmed by 6 non techy friends who have bought them, and are very happy.

    £129 for a 64Gb tablet, Microsoft, this is what you are competing with , don't try to compete with the fruity folk

    People who want iPads will buy iPads, for whatever reason,

    I have one for work and it's pretty good, but not sure I'd shell out my own money for one, I also have had a playbook for over a year, courtesy of RIM, the build quality is undeniably excellent, it's feels great, the multi tasking interface is great, it's duties are now mostly a browser, vlc, xbmc remote and email. I can't really fault it, the battery life is stunningly good.

    People buy consumer goods with two things, hearts and wallets, I'd be surprised if Ballmer was in many people's hearts........

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Price point is king...

      "I understand that 64Gb playbooks are selling like hotcakes (a curry's manager's words)..."

      And I'm pretty sure Currys have sold 0 hot cakes in the last year.

  29. StampedChipmunk
    FAIL

    Where are they?

    I'm thinking of getting a tablet, I'm quite interested in the Surface pro, but where the fudge can I get my hands on one? Try it. Poke it a bit. Pull the stupid port covers off and have a fiddle. Find out my hands don't fit on the thing. HMV have a range of tablets to play with. Every phone store on every high street in the country has iPads coming out their wazoo, so why the fornication should I pay MS over-the-odds for a device I don't even know if I like yet. I can't even visualise how big the thing is.

    MS should have simply released it to all general retailers with an RRP. If it's a well built as people say, they will be picking up sales from people (like me) who don't want an iPad. If it doesn't sell, the retailers will knock the price down and it'll pick up.

    A tablet is an expensive luxury. I don't need a fancy eReader or portable video device, or touch toy. I need something that will run full fat programs, can interface with all the other computer gear in the house and at work and in an always on, highly mobile form factor . The Surface appears to be able to do all of this but, right now, no sale

  30. kb
    FAIL

    They could cut it in half and it wouldn't help

    Because MSFT refuses to accept reality which is thus: NOBODY buys Windows because they LIKE the brand, they buy it because they have a ton of Windows X86 software to run! What you have is a "WINO" Windows In Name Only, and nobody wants a Windows that don't run Windows programs. I mean why would they? Android units are MUCH cheaper, Apple has the better branding, and both have MUCH more apps.

    As a retailer who is telling his customers to avoid Win 8 like an STD I'm just gonna kick back and enjoy the fail, because rather than listening to their customers and giving them what they want Ballmer would rather try to make MSFT into an ersatz Apple and nobody wants an ersatz. So I say kick back and enjoy , I'd say you can get them on Woot! in 6 months for $99 but knowing Ballmer's ego he'll probably have them buried in NM next to the ET carts rather than admit he failed.

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