Thought about this, and no Chrome equals why I wouldn't touch one. Which suddenly makes Chromebooks look like a lot of sense.
The TV ads for Microsoft's Surface tablets look like music videos, with happy Surface users snapping and unsnapping their fondleslabs from their keyboard-covers. There's just one problem: Surface doesn't come with a cover – until now, that is. Previously, the Surface Touch Cover was available in five colors as a $120 add-on. …
They were looking for 500 members of the public to trial the RT and write reviews on it. The tablets would be free and theirs to keep so long as a comprehensive review was written.
103 people took up the offer, 70 tablets were returned.
If you still want to take part go check out the Microsoft website, offer is open until the 6 June.
I don't have an iPad, but it one fell out of a packet of corn flakes then installing Linux would make it a useful device for me.
The bundled MS Office license is the killer app for RT. Without that license, the cost of an RT tablet could get low enough that I would bother to do a web search for installing Linux on it.
Funny you should mention cornflake packets because i was going to comment that the Surface RT keyboard reminds me of a cardboard cornflake packet cut out with scissors that someone has coloured in with a felt pen. Charging significant extra money for something like that was having a laugh in my opinion - maybe they can give it away for free, maybe not.
> The bundled MS Office license is the killer app for RT
Certainly _something_ killed RT ;-)
On RT Office is not the full x86 Office, it lacks some features. It is for personal use only, any business or commercial use requires a licence to be purchased. It will also require a keyboard for effective use.
> Without that license, the cost of an RT tablet could get low enough ...
You are mistaken if you think that you could subtract the shop price of Office from the price of a Surface RT to make it 'low enough'. The actual proportion of the OEM cost for RT to cover the supplied Office would be a small number of dollars, 30 perhaps.
> for installing Linux on it.
Surface RT (and all ARM RT tablets AFAIK) have 'Secure Boot' without the option to turn it off - deliberately so that Linux _cannot_ be loaded.
"Have you loaded Linux onto your iPad?"
Genuine question - since that device is only designed for the primitive one-thing-at-a-time kind of operation seen in legacy systems from years ago, is its hardware even capable of the kind of multitasking a modern OS like Linux offers?
Genuine question deserves a genuine answer.
While the ipad might only be showing you one thing at a time, there are in fact many chunks of software running on this at the same time.
For example, the podcast app is just a front-end to a back-end that actually downloads and plays the podcasts. You can, for instance, switch to the safari wed browser while the podcast continues in the background.
The ipads are certainly capable of running Linux - you don't need much to run Linux at all.
http://www.microsoftstore.com/store/msuk/en_GB/pdp/productID.277940500?tduid=a4ee1b7de724b853f09af5496ae208c0 2 weeks and 2 days already.
http://www.hotukdeals.com/deals/microsoft-surface-rt-32gb-free-touch-type-cover-399-microsoft-store-uk-1553287 shows when the deal was spotted.
The Reg has been very poor recently at seeking out news, apart from the endless desperate attempts to find dubious support for the editors non-IT related crusades.
Still, confirms that Microsoft didn't want this pushed through normal PR channels and the attention that would bring. With so many bargain reporting sites and a growing trend of companies spamming into them it's become easy to reach the public without the normal PR grind or the press even noticing.
Even the press that don't just sit on their arses waiting for stories to be handed to them...
Thing is about Android tablets is due to developer incompetence Google won't let you use the full screen anymore.
If you are in a place where you can use Microsoft VDI it works much better on Windows RT. (RemoteFX for a start). Or published applications.
If you want to mod stuff then with a hack you can build standard Windows apps for Windows RT.
The everything full screen stuff is a disadvantage to both.
The only thing Android has is cost.
I don't think tablets are that much use but if a company was paying then I would go ipad if they are willing to spend the £3000 to get it so stuff can be done without Apples consent or Windows RT (If there is a good Windows infrastructure at the company).
Microsoft at least compared to most companies plays the long game or they would have never bothered with Xbox in the first place.
Samsungs Galaxy Tab 3 (It is x86) running Windows 8 pro might be a better option depending on how it is locked down. (Not sure Samsung really cares what happens once you have bought the thing.)
Microsoft are going to have to drop the price of this if they want to sell any.
Once the ivy bridge based atoms come out (Dunno when that is) one of those 2 cores + hyperthreading + 4GB ram - proper windows 8 is going to make this totally redundant.
An x86 processor doesn't mean that a device will run Windows. The rest of the hardware needs to be PC as well. Samsung Tablet PCs are a lot more expensive - I know, I just bought one (arrives tomorrow). Their Ativ Pro is comparable to Surface Pro and about the same price, but you can store the pen inside the tablet. For some reason the 3G model was slightly cheaper than the non-3G one, so I got the 3G, I hope I didn't make a horrible mistake. I'm pretty sure that it isn't the non-Pro model, which would be a lot less satisfactory.
> Still better solution would be to do hardware-assisted emulation of x86 on ARM-based device, like MS did with Z80 SoftCard.
The Z80 Softcard was not an emulation, it was a full real Z80 with its own RAM running CP/M, it just happened to use the Apple II case, keyboard and disks.
> They could design simple x86 coprocessor to share the same die with ARM cores and turn x86 coprocessor when it's not actively used.
Who is the 'they' ? I doubt that Intel would care to do this. AMD might, VIA perhaps. But I think that you are entirely optimistic because the OS would also need to run full x86 API on the x86 and RT has had much of this removed. It would probably have to run a complete Windows 8 _and_ Windows RT and the x86 would need to be as powerful (and costly) as the Surface Pro.
...and taking a huge hit at being behind and trying to be what the critics say they want them to be. Trying to emerge now as a tablet and smart phone power after Apple and Google is remarkably daft given the mistakes made. Do what you do well, and don't assume you can trump the competition like you could in the past through brute force. It just doesn't play well any more. MS isn't hip, so don't try to be! Focus on business. You've lost the other fronts so admit that and adapt and move on. There are classic signs here of old upper management failures here and maybe it's time to change the guard.
I certainly don't think they've lost yet (phones / tablets). They certainly dropped the ball, but 3rd place isn't a bad position to be in and things can change, look at Nokia's resurgence after almost bailing out (running Win phone no less).
And I disagree that focussing on business is the way forward. Look at what the competition is doing: EVERYTHING. Google most noticeably is trying for a piece of every pie (& succeeding to a large extent).
I haven't seen anything wrong with Surface, except that you are faced with an unnecessary choice.
Installed base at end of Q1 2013:
1 Android _______ 823M _ 57%
2 iOS __________ 277M _ 19%
3 Symbian ______ 165M _ 11%
4 Blackberry _____ 97M __ 8%
5 Windows Phone _ 28M __ 2%
6 bada __________ 27M __ 2 %
Oops - they missed. Windows is not the 'third ecosystem'. It is 5th. Elop set fire to the Symbian platform so Windows Phone might gain one position. Blackberry could mess up their come-back and drop out of the running. Windows might get into fourth place for a short time, but then will be overtaken by Tizen and at least one out of Sailfish, Ubuntu and Firefox.
Have you got any evidence for 'Nokia's resurgence'? I know they sold the most expensive smart phone in the world - their head office. They cannot bump their smart phone revenue the same way again.
I agree that focussing on the business market is a one way trip to legacy land. The thing is, they do not have many choices. Microsoft depend on manufacturers installing Windows on everything, but they are burning their relationships with manufacturers. Patent extortion, copying manufacturers unique selling points into surface and crowing about 100M licenses shipped (to manufacturers who cannot sell them on) are not the best ways to keep essential business partners happy. In a year or two, Windows on a new computer will be an expensive add-on feature - not bundled whether you want it or not.
I have known for years that Microsoft Linux was inevitable. I did not expect to see it so soon:
The next big milestone to look out for is Microsoft Office for Android.
You may not see anything wrong with Surface, but millions of other people do. We know this because they bought ABM.
Funny thing is I see Microsoft trying desperately to show how much superior their products are to the competition. I saw an advertisement today showing how much better Bing is than Google. The next commercial after that, I saw an Expedia commercial using a Windows phone to book a trip. Expedia is owned by Microsoft. Yesterday I saw a Surface and an iPad side-by-side with Siri saying "sorry I can't do that". And last week I saw an ad showing how "easy" Windows 8 is.
It is my opinion that those who do everything do nothing well. Microsoft is proving that to be true.
That this "free keyboard offer" expires right at the end of the second quarter? Does that sound to anyone else like Microsoft trying to pad sales numbers for the quarter by offering an expensive add-on for free to try to stimulate a few sales to make those numbers not seem so utterly terrible?
BTW, I am working with a person that actually bought a Surface RT and he actually likes it for what he needs. All I have actually seen him use it for is for watching movies and checking personal email on the rig at work. We work on drilling rigs in the Gulf of Mexico and he doesn't want to use his Co laptop computer to check personal email accounts, as well as watch naughty movies. His main reason for picking it over an iPad or Android tablet was the inclusion of Office. He knows he took a high hard one on the pricing but he figured he might need to use Office for something. But since he got it, I haven't seen him use his surface for anything besides casual surfing on the internet and watching movies. He could have saved quite a bit of money and bought an iPad or Android tabl;et.
Its a bad time of year to buy an iPad, Nexus, or Surface. Its unknown when Surface RT will move from the aging Tegra 3 or Surface pro will contain Haswell but Apple and Google refreshes aren't far away.
Price reduction sounds sensible better late than never. Why Microsoft chose to go through all the negative press by not including a keyboard at the launch price remains a mystery.
They are using ANGRY BIRDS to try and sell Win8!!!!
These days M$ products rank up there with the :-
Sinclar C5 (famously sold only a few thousand)
Ford Granada Ghia Diesel (quietly only sold 2 in the launch year)
RMS Titanic (Sank without an trace, and possibly the closest match for "Surface" in either guise)
Shame they did this now, too late IMO.
The big selling point of the Surface series is that detachable keyboard and it should have come with one of the type or touch covers as standard. Because it didn't, I felt a bit miffed that they wanted an extra £100 or so for it, so instead, despite being much more, I've bought a Lenovo Ideapad Yoga, which I love.
WinRT is more than adequate on the Ideapad for the purposes I have that device so I'm happy. Microsoft missed the boat really.
> You have to wonder what the point of the ARM version was really?
Windows On ARM was to stop OEMs making ARM tablets that did not run a Windows OS. It worked on HP making them pull WebOS rather than losing their 'Loyalty Discount' on _all_ Microsoft products.
Next MS will have an ARM Server OS to try stop the OEMs doing these with Linux.
Microsoft should include a Touch Cover with every RT and Surface Pro, by default, and only sell the hard keyboard cover. That is, if they want to sell these things in large quantities. The prices should be dropped to levels that customers are willing to pay for. Who's going to spend more for a Surface than an iPad? Apparently not very many.
We know for sure that tablet users use cad software, spend countless hours drawing, composing music and coding PHP applications, and even writing books. Well we all know that is only 0.1% of the tablet users, the remaining 99.9% of tablet users tend to use them for useless stuff like reading, reading web pages or using the tablet as a remote for checking the torrents on the computer upstairs.
A surface tablet even with a keyboard and Windows 8 is maybe more useful than a regular iOS or Android tablet, but is about it, if you put a keyboard on it it can work more as a laptop at the expense of being less tablet.
The problem then is that you are unlikely to find applications that can seamlessly go from tablet to laptop mode and vice-versa and remain utile. No matter what MS does working with word and excel in tablet mode is of very little use for anything other than reading documents, if you want to do any serious editing you are going to get hold of the keyboard... and that horrible surface keyboard requires a table, can not be used on your lap like a laptop... Turning the whole experience into a pain in the back as you can not use it while vegetating on the sofa, that is where you use the tablet. If I have to sit on the sofa with the tablet on the table, I will rather go upstairs and sit comfortably with a nice chair and full keyboard and mouse.
Or here comes the interesting bit... I would use the laptop that I already have, that has a keyboard, Windows, the applications I require and that I can use on my lap without the screen falling on the floor. If this laptop dies I do not have to spend ~£800 but ~£400 for a replacement, and it comes with vast amounts of ram, processor and storage than the MS tablet.
This leads me to the conclusion that I do not need a MS tablet with full blown windows for such a huge amount of money. For what I would use a tablet for, an Apple or an Android table would do the same if not a better job, and because I do not need that expensive productive software on the tablet really I do not care about it being Windows.
I can see cases for using the MS tablet, as being so portable can be of some use to a certain type of user who need to open MS documents or other files from complex Windows applications, but not as many as to represent a nice chunk of the market.
In my opinion MS is targeting the wrong user, with the wrong price, and with the wrong OS.
An interesting question is what happens if another Office compatible suite appears on iOS and Android, and becomes popular. My point is that what MS was trying to prevent is precisely this without realizing that tablet users do not do anything productive with the tablets (at least not 99.9% of the time)
Shaking Head.... I had thought that Microsoft was going to do something SMART to create the RT Market (What the hell is an RT? I still don't know!). Like Android, the software for the tablet should work on their phones... MS screwed the pouch on that one. But in everything they have done in 2012 and in 2013 has been STUPID. Only Office365 is doing well... but for how long?
Here is WHAT MS should have done with the SurfaceRT without going HP and selling it for $100....
They should have sold it at COST or even a few bucks below. $199USD intro price. Yes, the profit will be nothing, but losing $10 per unit (give or take) = $10m loss per 1million unit sales. That is NOTHING compared to the millions spent on TV ADs and other marketing trying to get people to buy one at $500+.
The LOSS is to create excitement... to get people to buy and use the thing, to get developers eager to actually make software for it (besides the PITA differences between WP8 and RT8). If they had sold 10m units over the past 6 months at a loss of 100million is NOTHING compared to the 1.8BILLION USD spent in marketing Windows8/RT/WP. Then after selling a few apps would at least make up for the loss... and eventually create a market share that would have a FUTURE.
So instead... Microsoft is greedy and stupid... they DID NOT LEARN from RIM and HP and others who brought new tablets to the market at iPad prices! The Touchpad, the Playbooks were $500 toys with buggy software and no apps. Hmmmm... and the Surface/RT is no different.
Microsoft is going to feel more pain in the next 6 months... and more so after Win8.1 comes out and people STILL stays the hell away from "Windows" *cough* TIFKAM 8.1. Who wants to bet?
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