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Microsoft Surface Review: a Tale of Two Tablets

Soulskill posted about 2 years ago | from the it-was-the-age-of-wisdom-it-was-the-age-of-foolishness dept.

Microsoft 183

zacharye points out an early review of the Microsoft Surface tablet. Here are some relevant snippets: "When you get over the shocking realization that, yes, Windows is now different, you begin to realize that the new home screen makes a lot of sense. ... Despite the Surface’s quad-core NVIDIA Tegra 3 chipset and 2GB of RAM, Windows RT is not always as smooth as I would like. Apps sometimes take a few extra beats to open, and in some cases opening an application on the Surface is much more like launching an app on an old Windows PC than on a modern tablet. ... The good news, though, is that Windows RT was built for multitasking. Commonly used apps can and should be left open, and switching between apps is as easy as swiping in from the left side with a finger or touching a mouse cursor to the top- or bottom-left corner of the display. Open apps come back to life instantly, and the animations that transition the user from one app to another are quick and smooth. ... While Windows 8 is the version of Microsoft’s new OS that has split personality disorder, the Windows RT-powered Surface truly is a tale of two tablets. On one hand, it is an engineering feat with a design that is novel and functional. It really is the perfect combination of a tablet and a notebook thanks to the Touch Cover and the Type Cover, and I felt right at home with the Surface the moment I turned it on. On the other hand, the software experience does not feel like home. It’s new, and for many it will be scary." Additional reviews are available elsewhere, take your pick: AnandTech, Wired, Gizmodo, Ars Technica, The Verge.

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Whispers in the Ass (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41750605)

I like to whisper sweet nothings into a deaf black man's asshole. Ah, the irony!

Re:Whispers in the Ass (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41750993)

I like to whisper sweet nothings

So does Zach Epstein, judging by this breathless puff-piece.

No information about using the device, lots of gushing praise for Microsoft’s "perfect" VaporMg, etc etc. I feel like I've been conned into reading a product endorsement, not a review.

Give me my 10 minutes back!

Gotta admit (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41750627)

While I can't stand the look of Metro, the Hardware itself is simply beautiful.

Re:Gotta admit (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41750667)

While I can't stand the look of Metro, the Hardware itself is simply beautiful.

Agreed. But MS needs to reduce the price or throw in MS Office if they want to get any market share. Because as it is, I see no compelling reason to get this over an iPad 2 ($399) or even the latest iPad that came out yesterday. Yeah, the keyboard is nice but not worth the price parity with the new iPad.

Re:Gotta admit (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41750675)

Agreed. But MS needs to reduce the price or throw in MS Office if they want to get any market share......

Windows RT comes with MS office. It is already included.

Re:Gotta admit (0)

MistrBlank (1183469) | about 2 years ago | (#41750693)

But works with nothing else....

Crippled version? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41750811)

But works with nothing else....

Ah, so MS is throwing in a crippled version just so they can say "Includes MS Office."

Re:Gotta admit (5, Insightful)

Kingkaid (2751527) | about 2 years ago | (#41751255)

Yes it does. the MS Office included on windows RT makes documents that work with all other versions of office. If you're complaining that the RT version of windows only runs certain apps... well ya. It is a different chipset. You expect differently? I do not expect my android device to run the same applications as my PC and as my gaming console.

Re:Gotta admit (0)

dimeglio (456244) | about 2 years ago | (#41751353)

And because of this, people will have no reason to get the RT vs iPad. Also, Office is not what people will use on a tablet. Maybe they will open/view and maybe comment on some Office documents (which you can do on an iPad - and not just MS Office documents), creating documents using Office will be the job of Surface Pro or your regular Windows 8 desktop/notebook.

Re:Gotta admit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41751613)

Quite the opposite. With a keyboard and touchpad, there's no reason why you cannot create documents on the RT. That's the entire point actually- it's an iPad form factor most of the time but if you need to do real work the real tools are there.

Re:Gotta admit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41752243)

That's the entire point actually- it's an iPad form factor most of the time but if you need to do real work the real tools are there.

If that were the point entirely they wouldn't have the keyboard as a $100 add-on - it'd be included in the cost at the start. So far the Surface looks like another MS product with good potential that the business minds are killing.

Captcha word: "lipstick"

Re:Gotta admit (5, Informative)

tuppe666 (904118) | about 2 years ago | (#41750847)

Windows RT comes with MS office. It is already included.

No it comes with a crippled Office experience. http://blogs.office.com/b/office-news/archive/2012/10/23/office-for-windows-rt.aspx [office.com] "Student 2013 RT provides a complete Office experience and includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote."

Re:Gotta admit (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41750951)

Also you cannot use it in a business !!!!!!

http://www.zdnet.com/businesses-cant-use-office-on-windows-rt-tablets-7000005882/

Re:Gotta admit (3, Informative)

crazyjj (2598719) | about 2 years ago | (#41751057)

Also you cannot use it in a business

They're going for the young consumer market, which has been not clamoring for a Windows tablet for years.

Re:Gotta admit (2)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | about 2 years ago | (#41752175)

You can use it in business, you just need the appropriate license. According to Microsoft:

As sold, Office Home & Student 2013 RT Preview and the final edition are not designed for commercial, nonprofit, or revenue-generating activities. However, organizations who purchase commercial use rights or have a commercial license to Office 2013 suites can use Office Home & Student 2013 RT for commercial, nonprofit, or revenue-generating activities..

Source: http://office.microsoft.com/en-gb/home-and-student/office-home-student-rt-preview-FX103210361.aspx [microsoft.com]

Re:Gotta admit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41751009)

Why are you answering yourself?

Is this some kind of one-two aunt Sally setup?

Re:Gotta admit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41751445)

why did you ask yourself that and why am i asking me again

As awlays, a half-lie (4, Insightful)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | about 2 years ago | (#41751189)

The Ars Technica review mention this several times, if you plan to use Office in a commercial setting, you need an extra license key.

So it comes with Office, as long as you don't use it for real.

Cripple ware.

Two Windows One Cup (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41751471)

And it isn't even Office, they say it will come with a preview. That when you get your Surface it will install a working version, and there will be an upgrade next January that will give you a full office experience, minus macros, VBA and other stuff they haven't specified yet.

It's very much a 'buy it and trust us'.

I dread to think what they'll actually end up shipping, they talk a lot about 'Bandwidth data warning' as if it's the Office 365 the online version of Office talking to the server all the time. Heaven forbid, but until they release it properly and its get reviewed who knows!

Re:As awlays, a half-lie (1)

dywolf (2673597) | about 2 years ago | (#41751557)

Screw that. If I can create documents, I can use those docs for whatever I damn well please.
Smells like yet another perfect chance to strike down EULA's and dumb licenses for good.

Re:As awlays, a half-lie (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 2 years ago | (#41752203)

It's for home use. That's the market they are going for. The have the business license for Office already tied up. This is for people who don't want to spend another 100 bucks just to use the device for what they are most likely to use the device for.

It's not crippleware. But you go ahead and makes things you don't understand palatable by making things up.

Re:Gotta admit (-1, Flamebait)

ozmanjusri (601766) | about 2 years ago | (#41750737)

the Hardware itself is simply beautiful.

Shame you'll never be able to install a decent OS on it.

Better look forward to being locked in, locked down, and nickel-and-dimed for every song, movie and app for the life of the device.

Re:Gotta admit (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41750841)

Just like on the iPad

Re:Gotta admit (4, Insightful)

tuppe666 (904118) | about 2 years ago | (#41750941)

Just like on the iPad

...but not like Android, and that is kind of the point. Apple can get away with its closed nature, because it has first mover advantage, a fanatical fanbase, locked down customers and a perceived premium product. Android its main competitor competes on price; standards and openness. Where does a late entry with a closed OS fit into the equation!!

Re:Gotta admit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41751039)

I have yet to see anyone install a decent OS on an Android.

Re:Gotta admit (0)

tuppe666 (904118) | about 2 years ago | (#41751093)

I have yet to see anyone install a decent OS on an Android.

I'm not sure what you mean.
This!
http://techie-buzz.com/mobile-news/meego-unofficial-rom.html [techie-buzz.com]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ubuntu_for_Android [wikipedia.org]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Firefox_OS [wikipedia.org]

So firefoxOS; Ubuntu and Meego, and obviously other variations of itself.

but that is not really what my post meant!

Re:Gotta admit (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41751181)

Good luck finding much help for your particular device, and expect NO hardware accelerated graphics.

Re:Gotta admit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41751225)

My point is that a "decent OS" depends on what someone wants to do with it. Nothing non-trivial that I want an OS to do is currently possible on any ARM based hardware, and probably never will be. In contrast, all the trivial things I want an OS to do are handled equally well by everything from DOS 5.3 through PalmOS and up to the current war of ARMs.

This is just as much a jab at RT as it is at Android and iOS.

Re:Gotta admit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41751113)

You can't install your own OS on most androids without a little hacking, and it's highly likely the surface will get hacked. Also due to the usb port/sd card, file explorer and traditional desktop (yes on the arm version even if it won't run x86 apps) there isn't much it can't do out of the box.

Re:Gotta admit (2)

tuppe666 (904118) | about 2 years ago | (#41751217)

there isn't much it can't do out of the box.

lets see!!! Things it can't do!
1) Play Flash on unapproved sites
2) Run Current Windows Programs
3) Run Programs not Installed from the Windows Store
4) Choose Apps from large selection
5) Run Microsoft Programs like Outlook!!
6) Run None Microsoft Apps in Desktop Mode

Oh and 7) Replace the OS

Re:Gotta admit (2)

NatasRevol (731260) | about 2 years ago | (#41751427)

You forgot.

8) Bind to AD for authentication
9) Use centralized GPOs for authorization

Re:Gotta admit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41751507)

I meant much it can't do that android can (it also can't fly or cook eggs for me). Also you should be able to run your own code, and it has a desktop. x86 surface pro coming soon if you really want legacy (but what did you expect from an arm device).

Re:Gotta admit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41751693)

1) Android proved that trying anything different is a disaster. Having an approved list seems like reasonable middle ground to me.
2-5) Are all the same thing.
6) True.
7) Thereby fencing themselves off from the 100 people in the world who have any interest or ability to do so.

Re:Gotta admit (2)

SumterLiving (994634) | about 2 years ago | (#41751339)

The vast majority of people I know would laugh (behind my back) if I said, "Buy Android because it follows standards and you can inspect the code.". Only in the geeky world does standards and openness mean anything. For reference...see i-Pad, i-Phone, Windows, Microsoft. Here is what matters: What device does Bob use? Is it cool? Can I get all my stuff off this old device and make it work on the new cool device?

Re:Gotta admit (1)

dimeglio (456244) | about 2 years ago | (#41751443)

At least you don't have to buy your songs from the iTunes store. There are also plenty of music and video streaming services available which are not Apple's. Apps maybe are locked-in but so what? Most people (except nerds) don't care.

Re:Gotta admit (1)

Dog-Cow (21281) | about 2 years ago | (#41751841)

I watch video and listen to music that did not come from iTunes. Admittedly, the music was copied through iTunes, but the sources was not the iTunes Store. And with streaming options, you don't even need to copy the music through iTunes.

Re:Gotta admit (1)

jhoegl (638955) | about 2 years ago | (#41750845)

Since when has hardware never been beaten?

Re:Gotta admit (4, Informative)

obarthelemy (160321) | about 2 years ago | (#41750853)

Why do you say that ? The Surface has an SD slot, a USB port, you can drag and drop content ï½to it.... Apps are indeed locked down though.

Re:Gotta admit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41750877)

That's ios dude. Granted they are trying to copy apple a bit, but it has a usb port, can act as a host device, has a traditional desktop, file explorer, and if windows media player isn't up to scratch (and it often isn't) so many other people make them.

Re:Gotta admit (1)

Chrisq (894406) | about 2 years ago | (#41751007)

While I can't stand the look of Metro, the Hardware itself is simply beautiful.

Agreed. My first thought was "if this could run Linux...."

Re:Gotta admit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41751083)

"if this could run Linux...."

So you want this too to become a nightmare of competing distros, half-ass driver support, and poor documentation--which no one outside of a handful of geeks will use?

Re:Gotta admit (1)

Chrisq (894406) | about 2 years ago | (#41751141)

"if this could run Linux...."

So you want this too to become a nightmare of competing distros, half-ass driver support, and poor documentation--which no one outside of a handful of geeks will use?

What can I tell you, I'm a sucker for punishment. I did this to a brand new Windows 7 laptop, and after a week sorting out graphics drivers, which acpi configurations will work, etc. I have a very nice stable machine that runs noticeably faster than Win 7 and antivirus. I admit it is not for everyone though.

Re:Gotta admit (1)

grcumb (781340) | about 2 years ago | (#41751193)

"if this could run Linux...."

So you want this too to become a nightmare of competing distros, half-ass driver support, and poor documentation--which no one outside of a handful of geeks will use?

You say that like it's a Bad Thing. Some of us call it choice - in both the literal and vernacular senses of the word.

(And it's 'half-assed, by the way. If you're going to insult someone, at least do it right.)

Re:Gotta admit (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41751323)

"(And it's 'half-assed, by the way. If you're going to insult someone, at least do it right.)"

(And it's 'half-assed', by the way. If you're going to insult someone, at least do it right.)

FTFY - If you're going to correct someone, at least do it right.

Re:Gotta admit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41751137)

While I can't stand the look of Metro, the Hardware itself is simply beautiful.

Agreed. My first thought was "if this could run Linux...."

OK, that's just funny. I was just thinking to myself that with Microsoft's extremely poor job of clearly differentiating pro from RT, the return rate on this thing is going to rival the return rate seen in brick and mortar stores that tried to sell machines running flavors of Linux. Basically most of them were returned because people couldn't conceive of a computer that wouldn't run the software they had at home on CD. This thing will be similar. People are already buying them thinking that they can go home and load up their games / tax software / etc. I imagine the next few months to include a whole lot of returns on them and an updated message from Microsoft and any retailers carrying any RT machines about what will and will not run on these things.

Re:Gotta admit (1)

Chrisq (894406) | about 2 years ago | (#41751175)

While I can't stand the look of Metro, the Hardware itself is simply beautiful.

Agreed. My first thought was "if this could run Linux...."

OK, that's just funny. I was just thinking to myself that with Microsoft's extremely poor job of clearly differentiating pro from RT, the return rate on this thing is going to rival the return rate seen in brick and mortar stores that tried to sell machines running flavors of Linux. Basically most of them were returned because people couldn't conceive of a computer that wouldn't run the software they had at home on CD. This thing will be similar. People are already buying them thinking that they can go home and load up their games / tax software / etc. I imagine the next few months to include a whole lot of returns on them and an updated message from Microsoft and any retailers carrying any RT machines about what will and will not run on these things.

Yes, for Linux you need a different mind-set; you look at the free applications that can do tax, different games, etc. You , may find you need to use two applications where one commercial integrates suite would have done it all. If you are not expecting to do this then it would come as a shock. -- ~~~~

Ugly Metro (2, Interesting)

Parker Lewis (999165) | about 2 years ago | (#41750647)

Which really bogus me is why, for MS, a "functional" interface should be ugly? Purple background, no transparency/rounded_borders/shadows/effects. And other competitors, like iOS and Android 4, are very pretty, with a lot of eye candies, while not heavy.

Re:Ugly Metro (3, Interesting)

jellomizer (103300) | about 2 years ago | (#41750705)

Actually you can choose the color at setup.

And after all this crazy debate saying how there is so much eye candy you are now going that there isn't enough!

Windows 8 is actually very nice in appearance, it isn't trying to be show off but going more to a simpler effect. Being the Metro Display doesn't overlap stuff so you don't need to be 3d, with those other effects.

Re:Ugly Metro (1)

Svippy (876087) | about 2 years ago | (#41750843)

no transparency/rounded_borders/shadows/effects

These lacks are good things. The rest, not so much.

Re:Ugly Metro (1)

Parker Lewis (999165) | about 2 years ago | (#41750857)

Before someone post "but this is to be lightweight", this kind of 3d effects has less costs, if the device has a gpu, than do 2d output by cpu.

Re:Ugly Metro (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41751745)

And Slashdot exploded with derisive comments when Microsoft put Aero Glass into Windows before. Turns out it was pretty good. Probably just like this will seem after it's been around a few years.

As a Slashdot Reader... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41750673)

I must find a reason to dislike Windows 8. I will throw out any logical argument for it calling it a minor feature or I just don't need that anyways. I will incorporate my experience of old versions of Windows that are decades old, and reaffirm such problems are still common although they actually haven't occurred in many years. While touting the value of Atheism I will fight Windows 8 with a religious zeal and often with the same lack of reasoning and will make similar logical fallacies.

Some things don't change (4, Funny)

Tangential (266113) | about 2 years ago | (#41750689)

From the review at The Verge:

"On the plus side, my general takeaway is that the Surface is a highly capable and highly enjoyable device to use most of the time, and is likely in need of some bug fixing and optimization. However, that seems like it should have been done prior to the release of the product to the public. "

This seems like an unrealistic expectation once you remember that it is, after all, Microsoft.

Re:Some things don't change (4, Insightful)

Spad (470073) | about 2 years ago | (#41750753)

This seems like an unrealistic expectation once you remember that nobody bothers bug fixing and optimizing before release any more when they can just ship a patch a some point afterwards

FTFY

Re:Some things don't change (1)

GIL_Dude (850471) | about 2 years ago | (#41751187)

As sad as that is, it seems to be common. For example, how many times have we seen a new device / new version of iOS that immediately needs either a fix for busted WiFi or a fix for power issues? Apple and Microsoft both have had issues like this - in fact Windows 8 pro got a patch rollup a couple of weeks ago - before the product officially shipped! (Although to be fair it shipped to corporate customers in August). I remember my first Android phone - the original Motorola Droid. I got it the first day of availability and two weeks later it got an update from 2.0 to 2.01. It seems everyone ships something a bit busted and fixes it later (if at all) these days.

Not impressed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41750703)

They had me until they said it was incompatible with pretty much any legacy program that I already own. Stupid. Being able to use existing windows programs would have tipped the value scales. When most people already own a iPad and have invested money in their walled apps getting people to switch is a set back not just on hardware. I realize the problems involved with allowing legacy programs but still it could have been overcome if they wanted to.

Re:Not impressed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41750791)

While MS themselves won't overcome this problem with their hardware I'm sure at least 50% of the vendors will have x86 tablets and full blown win8 within 2 years.

Re:Not impressed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41750933)

Surface pro (coming latter) is x86 and will run legacy. Also even though the arm version can't run legacy apps (how were they ever going to do that any way) you still get the traditional desktop option.

Re:Not impressed (5, Informative)

obarthelemy (160321) | about 2 years ago | (#41750885)

What you want is the Surface Pro then, or any of the x86 Win8 tablets coming from Asus, Acer, HP, Dell... These are compatible with legacy Windows apps and most peripherals.

Only the ARM-based Win8RT tablets are, for obvious reasons, incompatible with legacy x86 apps.

Re:Not impressed (4, Insightful)

BaldingByMicrosoft (585534) | about 2 years ago | (#41751617)

"legacy" x86 apps? What?

When you're referring to the entirety of the -current- Windows software ecosystem, except for a few corner cases that have been ported, "legacy" hardly seems the proper label.

I don't understand 'scary' (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41750755)

Never mind discussing the underlying technology. Will someone please explain to me why the reviewer says that this interface will be "scary" for some?

Hey, the new phone system we have at work is a really new and confusing, but I've never heard anyone exclaim "Holy baby Jesus! This is scary!"

If you find someone with a Surface in their hand and they turn to you and say "Help me. I'm really scared." just place your hand gently on their shoulder and slowly take the Surface from their hands and then violently smash that shit on the sidewalk. Then look them straight in the eye and say "I love you. Now go read a goddam book."

Re:I don't understand 'scary' (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41750969)

While you hide from the guy whose surface they borrowed.

Re:I don't understand 'scary' (2)

crazyjj (2598719) | about 2 years ago | (#41751127)

Change makes a LOT of people anxious. I've seen simple tech changes at work give people panic attacks (no, seriously). We geeks take tech changes for granted usually, and can roll with it. But a lot of common people freak out when you so much as move a familiar icon from one part of the screen to the other.

Re:I don't understand 'scary' (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41751807)

Malarkey. Geeks are the ones who hate change the most. People on slashdot freak out over the tiniest changes in windows(Aero?). Yet we continually discount the learning curve of flipping entire companies over to Linux. And yet, the unwashed masses seem to have figured out how to use their Windows PC at work while using a Mac laptop at home and carrying an Android phone in their pocket. If people hated change so much, how the hell are they doing what they have been doing the past 3 years?

Re:I don't understand 'scary' (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41751415)

Never mind discussing the underlying technology. Will someone please explain to me why the reviewer says that this interface will be "scary" for some?

It might have to do with the initial Holloween release having a ... themed default interface.

Re:I don't understand 'scary' (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | about 2 years ago | (#41751485)

If you've never driven on the left side of the road, go to England and rent a car. Drive all over London.

It's scary, because it's different.

The Ars Technica review is a joke (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41750785)

They rant on two pages about the cover, and dedicate TWO paragraphs to the Surface software. Absolutely ridiculous.

Re:The Ars Technica review is a joke (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41750815)

I'm glad I'm not the only person to get the feeling that Ars is overrated.

They occasionally have some good in-depth articles, but usually it's just a waffle of the obvious.

Re:The Ars Technica review is a joke (3, Informative)

obarthelemy (160321) | about 2 years ago | (#41750925)

Hardware reviews (hint: read the title) generally are about the... you know.... hardware ?

Re:The Ars Technica review is a joke (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41751289)

Ars has said repeatedly -- including within the very article you reference -- that there will be a whole separate series of articles about Windows RT and Windows 8.

But rage on, proud warrior!

Re:The Ars Technica review is a joke (1)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about 2 years ago | (#41751721)

PCMags's article "Unboxing the Surface http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2411262,00.asp [pcmag.com]

PCWorlds 13 Surface RT Alternatives http://www.pcworld.com/article/2012091/13-new-windows-machines-that-arent-surface-rt.html [pcworld.com]

DailyTech's "Microsoft Surface Review RoundUp" http://www.dailytech.com/Microsoft+Surface+Review+RoundUp/article29019.htm [dailytech.com]

Troll the buying public (0)

concealment (2447304) | about 2 years ago | (#41750801)

Whenever you hear the new Microsoft Surface mentioned, say, "Oh, is that the one that's Linux-based?"

It's a better Google bomb than the Justin Bieberwoman thing.

Well, that's the trick (1)

Jawcracker Fuzz (1773468) | about 2 years ago | (#41750859)

Get Ice Cream or JB running on this POS and we have a deal.

Re:Well, that's the trick (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41751571)

That won't make it any less laggy!

Re:Troll the buying public (4, Funny)

crazyjj (2598719) | about 2 years ago | (#41751151)

Whenever you hear the new Microsoft Surface mentioned, say, "Oh, is that the one that's Linux-based?"

Well, at least when you say that with Apple's stuff, there is at least a kernel of truth to it.

How to troll Apple users (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41751411)

On the new iPhone:

"Isn't that the one they make with prison labor?"

Microsoft is betting on next wave (2)

perplexing.reader (2241844) | about 2 years ago | (#41750823)

Microsoft don't bother too much in losing this round with windows 8 in the tablets market, they know that is an uphill battle. They are betting in the windows 9. They have 90% of desktop market? If they make a huge mistake with the windows 8 on desktop, they will get 80% of desktop market? So on the next software cycle, they have a lot a people already using windows 8 GUI, because they don't have really any other choices, and will be a more easy sell the next tablet with Windows 9, because they will share the same interface with the "previous windows 8" GUI. Right now they dont have the APPs, dont have the developers, but with the windows 8, this will change, people will develop software for windows 8 interface, and will be ready to develop or port the software to new Windows 9.

Re:Microsoft is betting on next wave (2)

CastrTroy (595695) | about 2 years ago | (#41750881)

I'm not so sure. The Windows phone never took off like they wanted it to. Plus the surface [microsoftstore.com] is $519 minimum. If I'm going to spend $519 on a device it's going to be a laptop. Sure the surface can have "touch cover" - not a real keyboard, for $619. The real keyboard "type cover" costs more. With this price, you can get a low end ultra book, that will still outperform the surface tablet. I think they might sell a few to people who don't realize it's not real Windows and won't run all their old Windows programs, but I don't see a lot of advantage to buying this over a real Windows laptop.

Re:Microsoft is betting on next wave (4, Insightful)

tuppe666 (904118) | about 2 years ago | (#41750907)

Microsoft don't bother too much in losing this round with windows 8 in the tablets market, they know that is an uphill battle.
They are betting in the windows 9

You must be confusing today's Microsoft from 90's. Microsoft is terrified of not being part of Mobile, and has crippled its desktop experience to push its tablet one [whatever you think of that]. Microsoft has always been able to outlast;pay off;bribe its competitors by having Gazillions in cash. You may not have noticed who its competitors are in the tablet market Apple and Google who make Gazillions themselves, and they are incredibly successful!

Like you though I have already given up on this version of Windows being a success on the tablet.

Re:Microsoft is betting on next wave (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41751609)

It will be interesting to see how Microsoft competes with Google and Apple when money isn't the deciding factor. MS is capable, they just have never been willing to apply themselves. Google and Apple have set the bar pretty high in terms of user expectation for a tablet experience and, in the past, MS has traditionally given their tables the same desktop feel.

Re:Microsoft is betting on next wave (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41751153)

Microsoft don't bother too much in losing this round with windows 8 in the tablets market, they know that is an uphill battle.
They are betting in the windows 9. They have 90% of desktop market? If they make a huge mistake with the windows 8 on desktop, they will get 80% of desktop market? So on the next software cycle, they have a lot a people already using windows 8 GUI, because they don't have really any other choices, and will be a more easy sell the next tablet with Windows 9, because they will share the same interface with the "previous windows 8" GUI. Right now they dont have the APPs, dont have the developers, but with the windows 8, this will change, people will develop software for windows 8 interface, and will be ready to develop or port the software to new Windows 9.

I think you're confusing Win8 with WinRT.

Win8's "success" is guaranteed, in that PC OEMs soon won't have any choice. And you're probably right about Win9 rectifying major problems; just as Win7 did for Vista.

WinRT's success is about as guaranteed as that of WinPhone (and WinMobil before that.) It's a separate platform on separate hardware competing in a crowded space with other, better established platforms. OEMs have choices in that market. They won't stand around waiting for MS to get it right.

Re:Microsoft is betting on next wave (1)

marcosdumay (620877) | about 2 years ago | (#41751205)

If they make a huge mistake with the windows 8 on desktop, they will get 80% of desktop market?

Microsoft can't survive with just 80% of the desktop market. If they get that low, they are done (but I don't belive they'll get there with win8).

Keyboard doesn't look that useful (1)

DrXym (126579) | about 2 years ago | (#41750883)

I imagine that if you were attempting to balance this thing on your knees, e.g. in bed, or in an airport lounge that this keyboard and stand would be a huge pain in the ass. I doubt it would work so great in lecture halls on those thin tables between seats or airline clip trays either for that matter.

Re:Keyboard doesn't look that useful (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41750943)

Seems like you are trying to use a tablet when you really want a laptop.

Re:Keyboard doesn't look that useful (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | about 2 years ago | (#41751857)

So, what exactly is the Surface then?

If only it were about the product, not marketing (5, Insightful)

ItsIllak (95786) | about 2 years ago | (#41750889)

What is such a pity about this is that it really doesn't matter how good this is, how bad the iPad is, how boring the Android is, or any combination of those 3 features and platforms. Apple will either continue to convince the world that the Emperor is fully dressed, Android will convince the world that cheap is good or MS will convince the world that, well, they shouldn't change horses mid-stream.

The three platforms all work just fine. I happen to think and hope that the Surface Pro will show the world that both bulky laptops and tablets in general are technology of the past, but for the majority of consumers the difference is moot. The real challenge here is ridding the world of java applets and flash videos and getting moved on to decent, compliant, reliable web standards... Then who cares what the medium is...?

Re:If only it were about the product, not marketin (1, Insightful)

tuppe666 (904118) | about 2 years ago | (#41750997)

What is such a pity about this is that it really doesn't matter how good this is, how bad the iPad is, how boring the Android is

There is nothing there that is true!

Re:If only it were about the product, not marketin (0)

dell623 (2021586) | about 2 years ago | (#41751381)

The surface Pro will show what?

Read the review on the Verge, which is one of the few that isn't completely fawning as these release day reviews tend to be. One point it brings up, which I mentioned before on slashdot is how ridiculous the 16:9 ratio is and how tall it makes the surface, which is quite impractical as a tablet in both landscape and portraits mode.

There is no jack of all trades device, not until someone magically builds weightless materials that bend and fold and transmutate. It's quite ridiculous to pretend there is. No tablet that's the right size and weight to hold can offer an experience anywhere close to even cheap laptops, even with an expensive dock. That's fine when you're buying a product knowing it's a compromise, like a Galaxy Note II, or an Asus Transformer. People who buy a Surface Pro and the more expensive proper keyboard dock for over a grand thinking it will replace a competent laptop for the same price are going to be severely disappointed. As a tablet it will be big heavy and have a ridiculous size and aspect ratio and mediocre battery life. As a laptop it will have a small overly wide screen, inferior performance, and less practicality.

When the price of one of these things becomes so high that you can get two devices for the same price, you really have to wonder what the point of spending over $1000 on a crippled device is. The price of a Surface pro+proper keyboard dock buys you a cheap and reliable Windows 7 laptop AND a $249 Chromebook AND an iPad Mini, and all three devices are good at what they do.

The price of a Surface RT with a crappy cloth keyboard gets you an iPad Mini and a Chromebook with change leftover.

Re:If only it were about the product, not marketin (2)

tuppe666 (904118) | about 2 years ago | (#41751639)

One point it brings up, which I mentioned before on slashdot is how ridiculous the 16:9 ratio is and how tall it makes the surface, which is quite impractical as a tablet in both landscape and portraits mode.

What is widely interesting about this comment, is my Phone;Tablet;TV; Monitor are all 16:9 and regardless of whether I use them in portrait or landscape [or both]. Its a better ratio than my legacy 4:3 technology they replaced...my last Phone; Tablet; TV; Monitor. In fact modern media is designed for that aspect ratio. ...oh you have an iPad...sorry.

Windows RT, why it was made (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41751051)

I can imaging the marketing meeting that led to this mess.

Tom: "Windows 8 will support touch, but only a few apps, and the battery life sucks, what do we do??"
Bob: "Well, we could make 2 tablets. We'll call them the same thing, Windows 8!"
Tom: "I don't get you Tom, how does that help???"
Bob: "Well, one we'll make thin and light and with good battery life, the other we'll make compatible with Windows, that one will need a cursor pad, and probably slots in the case to keep it cool, and it'll need to be thick."
Tom: "Oh, NOW I'm with ya! When they ask how thin it is, we'll tell them it's thin (but we won't tell them we're talking about the RT version). When they ask how long the battery lasts, well say l-o-n-g, (but we won't tell them we're talking about RT)"
Tom: "And when they ask how many apps it can run, well say 'both of them'!
Bob: "No Bob, when they ask how many apps it will run, we'll say millions (but we won't tell them we're talking about Windows and Dos apps on the Windows 8 non RT version)!"
Tom: "Brilliant!"
Bob: "We'll tell them it has a great touch interface (but won't tell them most software won't use it)"
Tom: "And we won't mention that the non touch software sucks without the track pad!"
Bob: "We are so smart! Lets price it at a premium too, and keep quiet about the screen res!"

Yeh, the marketing meeting went something like that, a pair of idiots thinking the rest of the world are the idiots.

Re:Windows RT, why it was made (2)

NatasRevol (731260) | about 2 years ago | (#41751877)

You should give them more realistic names. Like Steve and Steven.

What is that issue with multitasking? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41751213)

Why are they hyping the the newest Windows with the same thing they used to do in Windows 3.1 days?

A new day and no anti-trust suits on the horizon (4, Insightful)

dell623 (2021586) | about 2 years ago | (#41751215)

Microsoft must be delighted, the good old days where you could get sued for trying to bundle a browser with your OS (at least in Europe) are long gone. Now, you not only include a free browser, you can include a paid office suite with the price part of the price of the device with no option to opt out. You can rig the OS to make sure that your own applications have access to exclusive APIs and functionality that third party developers will not be able to access ensuring that your apps will always be the best. All apps have to be installed and downloaded from your own app store, and you take a huge cut every single time, even for in app purchases in the future. You can ban third party developers from offering apps offering the same functionality as your own apps. Your own app store is the only one people can get apps from, they can't install or use other app stores. And you can get away with all this because Apple does it already and gets away with it just fine, and they have a monopoly and not you.

The wonderful new era of computing.

Re:A new day and no anti-trust suits on the horizo (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | about 2 years ago | (#41751919)

Hah, and in the very next Slashdot article, MSFT getting fined up to $7B by Europe!

http://slashdot.org/story/12/10/24/135243/ec-sends-statement-of-objections-to-microsoft-for-violating-anti-trust-agreement [slashdot.org]

Re:A new day and no anti-trust suits on the horizo (1)

dell623 (2021586) | about 2 years ago | (#41752107)

This is fallout from the previous settlement, Windows RT is not going to come with a browser choice screen in Europe and all non IE browsers will be crippled.

The current anti trust bogeyman seems to be Google which is ridiculous. How hard is it to switch your search engine vs switching your OS and all your data services? How hard is it for a player who makes a new search engine to convince people to try it out, compared to getting someone to try a different OS or office suite?

Google advertise their own services on Google search. That may be an issue, but I fail to see how it is more of an issue than others forcing you to buy and pay for unrelated services and software as a bundle deal like Windows RT + Microsoft Office. Windows RT doesn't tell you 'Hey Microsoft also has an office suite that you could try out, here's where you can get it'. You are forced to buy it.

Re:A new day and no anti-trust suits on the horizo (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41751985)

The wonderful new era of computing.

In one important way, it really is. Back in the 1990s when Microsoft was such a problem, it was very hard to get away from them. You could be a not-self-defeating moron, working to try to keep bad things from happening to you, and still end up "needing" Windows.

But you just listed a bunch of damn good reasons for why no user should ever buy one of these, and the best part about it all, is that no user ever needs to. Just walk away. And when you walk away, all the problems vanish, for real.

Try that in 1998.

A true MS product (4, Insightful)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | about 2 years ago | (#41751327)

It has a magnetic charger connection. It has a powerful magnet... BUT when it pulls the connector out of your fingers, it doesn't align properly and doesn't work. it has to be fiddled with. Like a worn out old fashioned round charger. It is ALMOST but NOT quite the apple charger experience. Almost but not quite.

It comes with MS Office... except if you like to actually use it, then you need to buy a seperate license. The ONE thing MS can use as a sales argument is that their stuff comes with full MS support and then they don't deliver unless you pay through the nose on an already expensive device. MS has in the past given Office for free to entire governments to keep customers, yet on their own device, they charge you for a non-cripple ware version.

The touchpad on the the covers is there, possibly because you sometimes don't want to touch the screen but it is hopelessly primitive version, barely more then a trackpad.

Resolution is what top end devices came with, last yet. Full HD is what new devices come with now. And people know it.

Windows RT is compatible with nothing, not even most MS software. Don't think of running Windows Games on your Windows tablet. Another potential massive selling point, not realized.

You have to remember that the previous MS phones, Zunes and Kins weren't that bad either, they just were one step behind the competition and failed to make use of being part of MS to sell people who already use Windows. The simple fact is that Apple sold countless devices despite not being Windows. And MS didn't sell any because they ultimately also weren't Windows.

Only MS would launch a tablet with such a heavy focus on text input with a cripple ware office suite while trying to court the serious tablet user. Just give it away for free already. Geez. Live a little.

The point (2)

onyxruby (118189) | about 2 years ago | (#41751681)

People fail to understand the point of the Surface products, wondering why Microsoft is doing things the way they are. There are two Surface computers with a similar form factor and name, however they are aimed at different markets and are meant to do very different things for Microsoft.

The RT model is the cheaper consumer based model and it is meant to establish Microsoft as a tablet player in consumers minds.

Microsoft is hedging their bets with ARM. A lot of people don't realize that Microsoft has historically almost always supported at least two different processor architectures. Right now they are wholly dependent on Intel, and Intel is no longer reliable as they once were to do things the Microsoft way. By establishing the RT model first and selling millions of them they hope to create a market for windows apps for the ARM architecture (which does much better for power consumption).

The cheaper (but not as cheap as expected) RT model is meant as a baseline that other vendors can beat to sell their own windows based tablets at a cheaper price. Microsoft viewed that other vendors weren't stepping up to the plate and exploiting the potential of Windows based tablets. Tablet based hardware with a Microsoft OS has been around for about a decade longer than the Ipad and most people are oblivious.

Microsoft wants a Windows tablet 'ecosystem' since mobile is seen as the way of the future. This is why the tablet interface is the default interface and you can't bypass it. Microsoft wants to force everyone to start thinking of Windows as being viable for mobile computing. They are sacrificing an entire enterprise upgrade just to make this point.

The more expensive x86 model is aimed at production work for the Enterprise. This model can run legacy software and join domains, both of which are required for selling tablets to the enterprise. For all intents and purposes this is the 'Professional' model.

MS misses the point of tablets, again (2)

hsmith (818216) | about 2 years ago | (#41751729)

MS tried for a decade to get people to buy their "Tablets" - and failed.

What they can't understand, which Apple and Google have, is that tablets are for (interactive) content consumption not content creation. There is a big difference. People don't want to sit and write word documents on these things. Now, you may use your tablet to tweak a word doc, but then, still, it is used to consume data.

This is true even in enterprise and why tablets are picking up there. Not everyone is creating content. Those on the go are consuming, not creating. If they are creating, it isn't building big powerpoints, it is inputting specific data related to their task.
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