Tell you what lads. I've not bought one nearly every day since it came out. No, I'm wrong. It's exactly every day. Is that a big enough clue?
How about you give me $549. and I take it away? I'd be half interested in that deal.
Microsoft is once again slashing the price of its unwanted ARM-based Surface RT fondleslabs. The software giant has shaved 30 per cent off the price of a 32GB RT device now $349 and 25 per cent off the 64GB RT, now $449. A 32GB Surface with a black Touch cover has been cut by 25 per cent to $449 and a 64GB unit with same …
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I wouldn't even take it then, give me $549 plus a couple of hundred extra to make up for its complete inability to run the much of free software I depend on and I might consider it.
The product has a negative value to me because you're paying to buy into a scheme where you have to pay to gain any extra functionality, and can't develop your own solutions.
Windows RT is garbage and always will be garbage, and the license restrictions over locked bootloaders make the hardware garbage and worthless too.
Windows RT / Surface isn't alone in this, so many products these days fall into what I would consider negative value, and I wouldn't want them even if somebody was giving them away.
Quite simply, why do people buy appliances then expect expandability, hackability and full control?
When you buy a TV you don't expect to be able to replace the built in software with your own and a TV isn't far off being what a tablet computer is (they have a screen and computer inside).
It's obvious that the decline of the "full power" computer is down to the fact that many of the tasks people used to want computers for aren't necessarily popular these days.
Many people bought computers to get online, they weren't really interested in DTP, video and audio editing, programming, scanning etc.
We're now halfway through Microsofts year of hell, and it's stories like this and the other one today about them throwing in the towel when it comes to competing with Google in the cloud, that makes me want to crack open a sixpack, pull up a deckchair in the garden, relax and enjoy the show.
The copy of office bundled with each one makes the proposition actually quite marginal, the salesman assured me the only crippled aspect was VBA macros. So a near-full Office (not a 365 license but a real install) with a laptop/tablet of decent spec, I will be reviewing it again if the price cuts hit the uk.
Bear in mind however that the office install is only licensed for personal use. This might suit your needs or not, but the equivalent price for office home and student used to be £80 for 3 (or was it 5?) installs - so its worth somewhere in the region of £25.
So far as I understand it, if you want to use it for work stuff, you need another full client license.
Also bear in mind the many reports that RT devices aren't really fast enough to run it well. Every review or comment from a user inevitably mentions typing lag. Hardly surprising with the quality of hardware it's running on and the total lack of effort adapting it to low spec hardware, tweaking chrome spacing does nothing for performance.
Its still mildly astonishing they even thought throwing in a dodgy copy of Office would sell the thing. After a decade of WinCE they know the classic interface doesn't work on these devices. It seems the Office guys couldn't get the new Metro UI to work for it in time - though I doubt they even tried, it's so damn impoverished as a toolkit. The speed hit of RT over 100% native code can't have been inviting either, something it took Google several years to address with the NDK (used in a frighteningly hi proportion of apps now).
Office on Surface RT just stinks of knee jerk traditional monopoly maintenance by Microsoft, not a considered, sensible plan.
oh boy, this brings up sweet memories, of when a "the salesman assured me", twice:
1. philips nino (does it come with "Office"?, I asked). And "the salesman assured me" it did. Well, it was a good piece of kit anyway, not least because it ran on 2 x AA, and I used it as an e-book reader and notebook in some well-remote corners of the globe :)
2. mac-toy, one of those semi-blue-transluscent monitor-cum-computers. Can I run windows software on it? I asked (palmface, in retrospect). And "the salesman assured me", it would, indeed, via some oh-so-simple feature of windows on mac or such. Unfortunately (for him), by that time, I had already been attuned to the nuances of people "speaking the King's". And the ever-so-slight quiver in his voice gave him away, so instead of an i-boy, I became a pc-user.
So, ehm... whenever a "salesman assures me", I immediately snap to attention, because this is like an "Achtung! Minen!" sign popping up across a green-grass field (yes, don't mention the war or MS background themes)
Are MS aware that the instant they lower the price of something in America the entire world is aware of it thru' something called 'The Internet'. They might want to get onboard, there's load of good info on it like-
Tidal wave of hatred on Windows 8 months before it went on sale, demanding a start menu but just adding the button for the .1 upgrade
Screwing consumers over first sale rights and demanding once a day online verification when releasing a new games machine
Getting into bed with NSA then releasing Cloudy office and always on kinect.
Who, in the UK, Australia etc are going to buy a full priced RT when it's For Sale in USA?
When people post $=£ they generally aren't referring to exchange rates but the opposite, that price points between regions don't seem to take into account exchange rates.. Prior to the UK price cut the Tablet was £399 putting it in the $=£ ball park when compared to the US $349 + sales tax discounted price.
In fact, the desktop will not go away. It is the arena in which all productive work is done, as opposed to the consumption of someone else's output, which can mostly be done with only a browser.
It may well be true that Microsoft needs the desktop, but the desktop does not need Microsoft. OSX and Linux offer perfectly viable alternatives - including support for lots of legacy apps. I am not in the slightest troubled by the prospect of MS's demise on the desktop.
Some Microsoft employees have decided that competing with Google on price is commercial suicide.
I can understand Microsoft focussing on customers for whom money is no object. The problem is that Surface RT is the wrong product for that market. The version of Office does not support the features required by locked in customers, and is not licensed for commercial use. None of the legacy software runs on it either.
If you turn it around, and look for the market that could be interested in the hardware, then the potential customers are Linux hackers, Android users and the Linux on Azure users. Only the last of those is not price sensitive, and I would be surprised to hear there are more than a dozen of them.
Microsoft have to choose between Surface RT becoming a cheap Linux box without Office or landfill RT.
"The problem is that Surface RT is the wrong product for that market"
Hence why it is not targeted at that market - Surface RT is for consumers. That is what the surface Pro is for. And as soon as they bring out one with the new generation Intel processors i'm buying one...
Microsoft have to choose between Surface RT becoming a cheap Linux box without Office or landfill RT.
Well the first is not going to happen. MS was never going to let you install another OS on this thing. Just why they thought selling a locked-down ARM tablet with no software ecosystem to speak of (having "Office" hardly counts, given the licensing terms and the fact that's it's restricted in other ways) was going to work is a mystery to me. Just who was it supposed to appeal to? Perhaps they made all those silly ads first and the various departments heads got carried away with how cool it seemed (to them) that they just had to go and build the damned thing.
There could have been a third option, and that would have been to announce a new cross-platform layer in Windows 8 and guarantee that all apps developed within the framework would work seamlessly across both ARM and x86 systems (and call it "Windows 8 Anywhere" or even use "Windows One" as an umbrella term to indicate the stuff will run on any of the MS/W8 platforms, including the new XBox) . Technically, the three main options for doing it would be (a) machine code translation like qemu (which the ARM/RT platform isn't up to doing well enough), (b) fat binaries that compile to both target platforms (like Apple did when it migrated between hardware platforms, twice), and (c) compile everything into a platform-agnostic bytecode that can be JIT-compiled into native code on the target platform at near-native speeds (eg, like Dalvik on Android). A consequence of this would have been no backwards compatibility on the RT platform, but if MS was really serious about it, they could totally have pushed everyone to adopt this "Windows One" (or whatever you want to call it) approach as part and parcel of taking the Windows 8 pill.
Unfortunately, as we can see from history (eg, .NET, Silverlight), even (or should that be "especially?") a behemoth like MS finds it very hard to do portability/interoperability. And anyway, even though it often pays lip service to these goals, in reality that's not what it wants. Rather, it wants to lock you in to its own proprietary solutions while spreading FUD about patents and whatnot to actively prevent interoperable implementations (which is why, for example, Mono on Linux is seen as such a bad idea for so many people). Besides the technical challenges, for this to be a success would require a large amount of bravery on the parts of the team tasked with developing Windows 8 all the way up to Ballmer. I simply think that there's no way they'd have to stomach to bet the farm so heavily on this sort of "Windows One" concept and risk making Windows 8 even more hated than it already is. The evidence for that is there: just look at the split personality that the Windows 8 desktop has as the prime example.
So I think I'll have to agree that landfill is probably the most likely final destination for most of these machines. In a few years time, my guess is that the App store will go away as the machine is quietly end-of-lifed so RT won't even be much use as a museum piece.
I bought a Lenovo Yoga 11 when they dropped the price by half, but would have taken a Surface if it was priced to sell. I don't play games, so can't really comment on the quality/quantity of apps, but HTML5 web-apps work just fine.. and it is nice to have MS office on a tablet that runs for two days without a recharge.
The only thing stopping a proper price-cut, is the threat of "price dumping" from Apple lawyers, but that will come once it is firmly established that the market-price for WinRT is just a few dollars. There will be no walking away from Windows on ARM..
The Register doesn't understand Windows 8 or RT. For example: "Problem is, it cannot run existing Windows apps".
What does it sound like when you criticise other devices because they don't do things they're not supposed to do? The Ipad: "Problem is, it cannot run existing Macintosh apps". What about Android tablets? "Problem is, it cannot run existing Windows, Linux or Macintosh apps". To those who understand, that's what the criticism of RT is like.
Problem is Microsoft made such a song and dance about cross-platform compatibility of the different flavours of Win8 across desktops, laptops/notebooks/ultrabooks, tablets and phones etc, but forgot to (or in any case didn't) explicitly, specifically and loudly exclude Win8RT from that.
Apple have always distinctly kept OSX and iOS separate, ditto Google for Android and Linux. This may be changing in the future as things converge and devices get more powerful (and possibly someone figures out the good way to univerally get user input on smaller devices), but for the moment the only platform that has the indistinct separation is Windows.
Had MS called Win8RT something more distinct (and made it a more stand-alone item) then things may be less muddled and Joe and Jane Public could make a more clear choice.
Nope, MS took care to not be specific so readers would jump to conclusions. If anything it's hurt them badly, when the false conclusions many reached were proven false those same people jumped to the false conclusion it was a problem across the whole Win8 line!
They just tried the same scam with XBone but botched it more badly, not enough people imagined the wonders a tightly DRMed digital distribution model might bring. Interestingly MS still haven't officially commented on what those wonders might have really been, just left it to the rumour mill and had unconfirmable employee comments seed that mill.
Shirley you can't be serious! It looks like you guys actually want your journalists not to understand their subject.
If people thought Surface RT could run windows legacy software then not running that software would not be a problem when it comes to generating sales - there would be returns instead. It's an Ipad competitor (on price, format and position within stores (next to the other tablets) as well as functionality), so not running non-tablet apps is not a problem. I know it's fashionable to hate Microsoft, but when you let the hatred take you outside the bounds of reality it just makes you look ignorant.
In what possible world does this make sense: "This tablet can't run legacy apps so I'll buy an Ipad instead."
> iPad can't run Macintosh apps
But Apple have never *implied* that they could. Microsoft have been obfuscating the hell out of this attempting to get us to infer that an RT slablet is just like Windows -- even the name is "Windows" RT.
How on earth is a bog-standard person supposed to know the difference between a "Windows 8" PC, a "Windows RT" tablet and a "Windows Pro" tablet?
It restores my faith in the market that Microsoft's strategy has so obviously failed.
Regardless of anything Microsoft has or hasn't done, should a tech journalist think that not being able to run legacy apps is a problem when the device is not designed to run legacy apps? If they thought that advertising it as something which could run legacy apps was the problem (it wasn't advertised that way), they should have written that. To be fair to the editorial team, the standard of reporting of Windows across the whole internet is generally pretty low, so they might not be able to get anyone better. But journalists shouldn't be confused by the tablet OS looking like the desktop OS (just because Apple does it differently, doesn't make MS wrong), and they shouldn't extend the confusion to their readership by calling it a problem when the tablet fails to work as a desktop.
I hope it's not "Joe and Jane Public" writing these articles.
Don't be ridiculous, it's not a positive or negative of a device that you visit badly written websites.
Poor choice of words - substitute Safari for WebKit.
Rightly or wrongly, many large and popular web sites offer specific content and functionality aimed at WebKit users. Of course it's not right, but it's the reality of the mobile landscape right now where Apple and Google dominate and both of them employ WebKit.
As such, Mobile IE on WinRT is a major disadvantage. I won't lose any sleep over it though, all I will say is that karma is a bitch.
You're ignoring the lessons of recent history, many large websites did or still do focus on IE support does that mean that we should have said webkit support in Android or iOS tablets/phones made them bad products?
Support has drifted away from IE because ultimately we were poorly served by websites being tailored to specific clients (not to mention Microsoft's colossal mistake in thinking it had won) and we've ended up with better browsers across the board thanks to it.
I get that you have no love for Microsoft but you really shouldn't go backwards just because you dislike them or would you honestly be making the same argument if IE was still the most popular browser for those websites you were referring to?
...they need to address the eye-watering cost of the Pro as well. I went to have a look at one with a view to a later-in-the-year purchase, £799 is just too rich for my blood - especially with the, to my thick-thumbed-hand, touch keyboard. Drop it by at least £200 and chuck in the physically better keyboard FoC, then you might start getting more interest. Sad about the RT not being better than it is. Best kill it off now and nudge Nokia into doing a WP8 Phablet instead methinks....
One for the kids, one for the (alleged) grown-ups in the house ;-)
Both sport 1280x800 resolution, dual core processor with quad core graphics, so quite decent spec for (ultimately) fairly light use. OK, they have a "mere" 16GB storage (and micro-SD slot for expansion), but they run LOADS of useful apps, and I do not need MS-Office. Why should I go for WIN-RT (RT for runt of the pack?), if I can get two android tablets for less money?
I actually bought a Surface RT 32 GB through the educational discount, considering CDN $323 to be a reasonable price for a bundle with the Type cover. It's not a general-purpose computer, and does not pretend to be - I'd put it somewhere between my Kobo e-reader and a good netbook. I am still learning what it will and won't do. I like the display, the way it handles pdfs, and the few apps I've added (good for the Economist and CBC), and I will certainly use Word when traveling. I've streamed some HD video which looked good and did not stutter. Battery life is decent (6-8 hours) and the small charger is convenient; the whole kit is compact and lightweight. The Windows 8 interface is a matter of taste, as annoying on a Surface as it is on a desktop, but it does work although not intuitively.
Don't dismiss the Surface RT - it has its place. I quite like it.
So did I, most critics here are just the usual blend of Linux morphed into Android fanbios with an profound hatred of anything Windows or Microsoft related.
With 8.1 on the way you are getting outlook 2013 and full offline folders on Skydrive, these are killer apps that will move the device well up in usage, note it already has a full size USB port, day long battery life, Micro SD expandable memory (up to 64GB), can attach directly to a projector via VGA, as well as HD video out, true multitasking (check some youtube reviews). Try doing any of that on an Ipad and some of those awful Android tablets. The touch type keyboard is just brilliant coupled with the kickstand.
I just see it as the most flexible exceptional quality tablet out their currently. The iPad is the more polished tablet for dicking around on the couch after a days work (I like the iPad) however for productive work the Surface RT wins hands down.
32GB model $349
64GB model $449
They want $100 for 32GB of flash. What sort of planet are they on? Do they think they're Apple or something? 32GB has got to be worth $20, maybe $25, hell even if you had to buy the whole 64GB you're not in that ball park. A 120GB Samsung 840 SSD only clocks that much and they ain't going to be using anything that fast, there would be no point.
MS still doesn't get it do they, they ain't got a clue. How much more will they cut off the price next quarter? Wonder what their supply chain orders are looking like, or is this just an over optimistic fire sale.
One does not simply recompile an application to a new target platform. One has to wait for the company/person that wrote the application and hope they will do it.
Linux has a rich ecosystem on apps on every platform it runs on because most applications can be compiled easily, with little or no modification.
> One does not simply recompile an application to a new target platform.
Oh its worse than that. Without Linus Torvalds throwing non PC rants at developers you find people writing code that isn't portable. WindowsRT won't just be a case of taking the source and recompiling it. The developers will need to rewrite the stuff. Back when MS convinced the world that NT was going to be more than just an x86 thing, manufactures went off and redesigned their processors to make the NT port easier rather than just being able to easily recompile stuff.
Long time lurker, first time poster.
Have to say I don't quite get all the hate for the Surface RT.
I bought mine after some considered research into what I wanted a tablet for - a lot of it probabaly comes down to mangement of expectations but, put simply, no other tablet ticked as many of the boxes as the Surface within the same price point. I think the issue is that people (a) were (probably justifiably) wary of a MS tablet and (b) just didn't look into what the tablet could do (not helped by MS itself, I will readily concede).
Essentially, I wanted something primarily for media consumption when travelling but (a) do not like media format restrictions, (b) hate iTunes with a passion and (c) was reluctant to buy what is essentially a toy at the price Apple et al. were offering - I wanted to be able to be productive with it if required.
- it plays everything I have thrown at it, including FLAC, MKV and RAW.
- it has an HD screen (no, it won't hit the "retina" or Nexus 10 PPI, but it's a 10" tablet, not a 60" flatscreen so this does not bother me at all). 720p and 1080p movies and high-res. photos all look great on it - from the video perspective the aspect ratio is better (in my opnion).
- it has a USB port and expandable micro-SD memory. I can swap out and manage my media and, more importantly, can back up all my RAW photos on the go (suprisingly useful on a long holiday anywhere slightly removed from civilisation). Both of these are MASSIVE benefits.
- Office transforms the tablet and raises it head-and-shoulders above the competition. I have not yet tried the Outlook beta, but having Word, Excel and PPT on the go has proved amazingly useful for those odd occasions where I need to work when on hols. The whole licence issue has been massively exaggerated imho.
- there are sufficient apps for what I want (which, is admittedly, not a lot). I have yet been unable to find a good app for something I want to do.
- battery life is really quite impressive.
No, it doesn't run legacy apps, but, for a significant user base (essentially, those looking for a tablet rather than a computer), that's probably not important. It's also obvious from basic pre-purchase research (admittedly more so now that in its infancy).
There are, of course, some things I would improve if I had a say in it, such as processing power and speed. I suspect the Surface 2, if ever produced, will be a significant step-up.
For a casual user, though, I'd say the discounted bundle is a steal.
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