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Microsoft Surface Release Date Confirmed

samzenpus posted about 2 years ago | from the coming-to-a-store-near-you dept.

Microsoft 175

twoheadedboy writes "Microsoft is going to release its Surface tablet on the same day Windows 8 goes on general availability, Oct. 26. The news was disclosed in a filing made with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which also revealed that the company expects launch and the accompanying marketing to harm its profits. We'll soon find out whether Microsoft has what it takes to take on the seemingly indomitable iPad."

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However (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40817669)

Users will not be allowed to touch their devices until software updates are issued sometime next year.

surface? windows 8? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40820149)

WHO CARES?

Isn't there a "late to the game" borderline? (-1, Flamebait)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | about 2 years ago | (#40817719)

Where, not bothering to show up is better than walking in so late you look like a rude, disinterested moron?

Re:Isn't there a "late to the game" borderline? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40817867)

Yeah I guess that didn't work for IBM, HP, Dell, Sony, Acer, Asus, Samsung and hundreds of other computer OEMs after Apple released their first PC back in the 70's.

It's just been two years since the iPad release. It takes a decade for things to settle down. I think by 2016 or so all cells phones will look and perform the same. It will always come down to software and it's developers. The tablet "wars" will be hashed out by 2020 and will probably all look the same and perform the same.

Look at history to predict the future. Back in the late 80s and most of the 90s each computer OEM had their own take on what a computer should look like till we entered the beige box era. History will repeat itself again.

Re:Isn't there a "late to the game" borderline? (5, Insightful)

SilenceBE (1439827) | about 2 years ago | (#40818435)

Yeah I guess that didn't work for IBM, HP, Dell, Sony, Acer, Asus, Samsung and hundreds of other computer OEMs after Apple released their first PC back in the 70's.

The tablet world is relatively young and there is no sign whatsoever that people are bored by iOS or Android. You are comparing the situation over decades. It is iOS and in lesser extend Android that get's all the love from developers, I don't really hear a lot of enthusiasm for Windows RT. I develop apps and I don't care, let alone that my clients care. And apps is what can make and break a platform. It is also a lot easier to shell out 99$ for developer license and that for a platform that has proven itself, then something that is very questionable to say the least.

The only people I do know that are enthusiastic about Microsoft tablets offering are the typical Microsoft people. The kind that get their trousers wet when they hear things like "exchange", "sharepoint","office",... . Those guys that have such a tremendous thrilling life that girls fall on their feet when they spread their theory about how integration with exchange will make Microsoft conquer the tablet space. Or my favorite "it comes with office", because that is really a fun factor... .

The only enthusiastic things I hear about those tablets are about the integration with current Microsoft software and that for 99% in the work space environment. And while Apple does have an enterprise program (which is btw not that strict), I think it is safe to say that most of their tablets are sold to consumers.

That group of people where Microsoft isn't a strong brand or where consumers have a lot of confidence in. I once had a friend who tried to argue that because most people used windows on their pc, it is a "strong" and "popular" brand. The difference is that for PC (especially if you like gaming) you don't have a lot of choice, in tablet space it is a complete other story.

I'm even sure that this was a wake up call for Microsoft and is the reason why they try to shove down "Metro" and their "unified" vision down our throat. That in the hope that familiarity will influence the choice people make when buying a new tablet. I know a lot of people who replaced their PC with a tablet or are using the PC a lot less since they have a tablet. I think for the general population that does some surfing, e-mailing and simple games a tablet can be good enough. And that is a big threat for Microsoft when the dominant tablets don't have a Microsoft operating system on board.

For the more boring environments like most businesses they have a change, in consumer space I don't see it happening. I know it is popular to predict doom and gloom, but if you think about it Microsoft is facing the biggest threat it has in years or even decades.

Re:Isn't there a "late to the game" borderline? (5, Interesting)

Sir_Sri (199544) | about 2 years ago | (#40818843)

The only enthusiastic things I hear about those tablets are about the integration with current Microsoft software and that for 99% in the work space environment.

Which is microsoft's whole deal, where the money is, and the way into the market. With office 2013 they're pushing to make home a lot more like enterprise. If people can understand what features they get, and how to use them then suddenly it becomes a compelling product. Of course no one outside of MS HQ really understands everything you can do with office, so that barrier to entry is probably insurmountable. However, students will find a lot of enterprise features really useful, and the computer illiterate would find things like cloud storage useful for when they kill their computers and don't have to copy everything over, but they're computer illiterate and can't take advantage of those features.

The other thing to keep in mind is that Surface is supposed to be significantly more capable as a content creation product than ipads and android tablets which are basically content consumption devices. There is a market there, unfortunately Windows 8 is sufficiently terrible that I'm not sure anyone really wants windows 8 devices.

With all of this it's about building the critical mass to get developers on board to make compelling software you can't get elsewhere. MS seems to have a vision for a combined windows 8 family across phones desktop and tablets, but the base of that visions is windows 8 which is terrible. That doesn't mean there isn't something they could do that would make the whole thing really compelling though, I just doubt their users could manage it.

Keep in mind Apple only sold 40 million iPads in 2011. That seems like a lot compared to say... android tablets. But windows 7 sells about 240 million copies a year. If they can present it as easier to use, easier to connect with the PC etc. people might go for it. Lots of people are completely baffled by iPads (seems odd, I know) but those people don't *have* iPads. Of course those people also aren't going to have a clue how to use windows 8 either, but there's probably 200 million customers who's needs aren't served by iPads or android and MS is figuring they could eat up a chunk of that, though admittedly, they'll cannibalize some of their own laptop sales with surface.

Re:Isn't there a "late to the game" borderline? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40819153)

I was just referring to the late to the game comment. Everything will get watered down eventually. As for developers, Microsoft has a very large base as well. If they can turn them onto creating "apps" for Windows 8 then they can compete with the iOS and Android world. All it will take will be a sales report that says Microsoft has sold "x" number of copies of Windows 8 in "x" amount of days. If it's a large number the platform will live on just fine.

Re:Isn't there a "late to the game" borderline? (3, Interesting)

fwarren (579763) | about 2 years ago | (#40819583)

I'm even sure that this was a wake up call for Microsoft and is the reason why they try to shove down "Metro" and their "unified" vision down our throat. That in the hope that familiarity will influence the choice people make when buying a new tablet. I know a lot of people who replaced their PC with a tablet or are using the PC a lot less since they have a tablet. I think for the general population that does some surfing, e-mailing and simple games a tablet can be good enough. And that is a big threat for Microsoft when the dominant tablets don't have a Microsoft operating system on board.

Here Here!

Price is going to be a big factor. The Nexus 7 is $200 and does alot. How much? Enough to make some one wonder if they want to buy 3 Nexus 7's for them, their spouse, and a kid, OR do they want to buy on Surface or other Winsows 8 tablet at $600 plus? The only way that Microsoft adds "value" for an OS that is priced at $50 or $150 is on expensive hardware. If you put Win 8 on the Nexus 7 it would be a $300 tablet. You have to hide the price of Win 8 in the cost of overpriced hardware.

That is not to say there is not value havind a keyboard as well as front and rear facing cameras. Microsoft is betting that someone will look at a Nexus 7 wth no keyboard, front facing camera, scratchable screen at $200 and pass it up for Win 8 tablet at $600. Remember, this is WinRT at $600 and there are more Andriod apps than Win 8 apps and you must trust Microsoft with your cloud info better than you trust google.

The market to me looks like Android owns the sub $400 market, Apple owns the $500 to $900 market and those that absoletely must run a Windows desktop on a tablet might spend $900 + on a Win 8 tablet ... unless they would prefer a $900 Win 7 tablet. After all, one you hit that price point the hadware is goog enough to make Win 7 sing.

Re:Isn't there a "late to the game" borderline? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40818547)

LOL!!! Thought you made a huge typo there, but I finally got the joke.
LOL!!! Thought you made a huge typo there, but I finally got the joke.

Re:Isn't there a "late to the game" borderline? (2)

mcgrew (92797) | about 2 years ago | (#40819989)

The Apple 1 not only wasn't a PC, it wasn't even a whole computer.

Apple was established on April 1, 1976 by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne,[1] to sell the Apple I personal computer kit. They were hand-built by Wozniak[22][23] and first shown to the public at the Homebrew Computer Club.[24] The Apple I was sold as a motherboard (with CPU, RAM, and basic textual-video chips)â"less than what is today considered a complete personal computer.[25] The Apple I went on sale in July 1976 and was market-priced at $666.66 ($2,723 in 2012 dollars, adjusted for inflation.)

The Commodore PET predates the first Apple PC, the Apple II.

Commodore responded to this by searching for a chip set they could purchase outright. They quickly found MOS Technology, who were in the process of bringing their 6502 microprocessor design to market, and with whom came Chuck Peddle's KIM-1 design, a small computer kit based on the 6502. At Commodore, Peddle convinced Jack Tramiel that calculators were a dead-end. In September 1976 Peddle got a demonstration of Jobs and Wozniak's Apple II prototype, when Jobs was offering to sell it to Commodore, but Commodore considered Jobs' offer too expensive.[2] Tramiel demanded that Peddle, Bill Seiler, and John Feagans create a computer in time for the June 1977 Consumer Electronics Show, and gave them six months to do it.[3] Tramiel's son, Leonard, helped design the PETSCII graphic characters and acted as quality control. The result was the first all-in-one home computer, the PET, the first model of which was the PET 2001.

I think by 2016 or so all cells phones will look and perform the same.

I hope not; different people have different requirements for a phone. Me, I want a small enough phone to fit in a pants pocket, I want it to have a good video camera and sound, and I want it to surf the web and do text; email I'll do on the computer. I have no use for Angry Birds on a phone, or Skype since I don't have overseas friends.

Others carry purses and want a big screen and Angry Birds and Facebork and email, but don't give a damn about a camera.

Others just want a PHONE, something they can make and recieve calls on and don't want a camera, internet, text, or anything else.

When it comes to phones, unlike yesteryear one size does not fit all. If all phones are alike in 4 years, I'd consider that to be a very bad thing.

Re:Isn't there a "late to the game" borderline? (1)

camperslo (704715) | about 2 years ago | (#40820389)

Look at history to predict the future. Back in the late 80s and most of the 90s each computer OEM had their own take on what a computer should look like till we entered the beige box era. History will repeat itself again.

This is nothing like the early PC era. There are very few OSes. No one seems to be lean and considering small market share viable. Where are the small startups or other NEW players? If products were sufficiently differentiated with significant useful new added or alternative functionality, new entrants could fetch high enough prices to be viable. With most products attempting a me-too of Apple functionality or appearance, they're doomed to fetch lower prices if they can't quite reach the same bar.

If many do manage to come up with the tablet counterpart of beige-boxes, there won't be much profits in them. It'd just be the netbook situation revisited.

Competing with many players to make a low-margin commodity product is risky. If someone else innovates, you're hurting. If you're outsourcing and a disaster hits your supplier, good luck.

300 million people in 7 states of northern India were without power over a solar storm that barely registers on the radar. (M-class flares with the background near C level). Some should enjoy auroras tonight, but not as intense as earlier this month. I can't believe that no one connected the X flare and CME with the sudden melt in Greenland. At least our lights stayed on. China got some nasty flooding though.

History (was Re:Isn't there a "late to the game..) (5, Informative)

WillAdams (45638) | about 2 years ago | (#40817955)

No, Microsoft has been flogging the pen computer game for a _long_ while:

1992 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_for_Pen_Computing [wikipedia.org]

while Apple only formally got in the game later:

1993 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MessagePad [wikipedia.org]

(and then bailed when Steve Jobs came back on board)

Though both were inspired by Go Corp.'s PenPoint:

1991 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PenPoint_OS [wikipedia.org]

but one should look farther back still:

1914--1990 http://users.erols.com/rwservices/pens/penhist.html [erols.com]

Microsoft crashed the initial party (read Jerry Kaplan's _StartUp_), partied in a room which quickly emptied, tried to re-start the party many times (sort-of-successfully w/ their Tablet PC in 2002), then was surprised when Apple started a rave (the iPad) somewhere else in town.

If it's possible to install Mac OS X on the Surface, I may buy one.

William

Re:History (was Re:Isn't there a "late to the game (1)

mystikkman (1487801) | about 2 years ago | (#40818441)

If it's possible to install Mac OS X on the Surface, I may buy one.

Aside from the fact that you'd be waiting for the x86 version(which was suggested to be launching 90 days after the RT version being discussed in the FA), what good will that do because OS X does not support touch?\

Well, of course you should be able to use it as a more portable Macbook Air, but I guess that's it. Using it as a tablet might be an exercise in frustration.

Re:History (was Re:Isn't there a "late to the game (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 2 years ago | (#40818557)

well.. there's already 3rd party touch maclaptops. they repurpose apple hw to get around "not on apple hw" legal limitations and practicalities. some people find them useful.

Re:History (was Re:Isn't there a "late to the game (1)

WillAdams (45638) | about 2 years ago | (#40818973)

I'd thought the Surface had an active stylus --- w/ a stylus, Mac OS X works quite nicely and even includes some basic inking options in apps which specifically support such, and has a ``Write Anywhere'' feature w/ handwriting recognition.

Re:surface? LOL (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40820273)

does anyone even believe there is going to be people queuing up to get a surface? not like they did to get an ipad for sure!

course there are those shills who spend their time wanking to ballmer's photo, those will be seen right there, like a damn gay parade.

Is it a big ass table? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40817721)

Is it a big ass table?

Re:Is it a big ass table? (0)

Reverand Dave (1959652) | about 2 years ago | (#40818615)

This [tvfanatic.com]

Muzzies (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40817733)

Islam is evil, of that there is no doubt
whatever is good they corrupt or they throw out

surface is wack (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40817759)

who the fuck would use that shit!

Slashdot is for fags (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40817761)

I ejaculated on your Linux cds.

Re:Slashdot is for fags (-1, Offtopic)

DickBreath (207180) | about 2 years ago | (#40817795)

I beg to diff. There are no gay people on Slashdot.

Re:Slashdot is for fags (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40818009)

So... how did you win your nickname? by accident??

Re:Slashdot is for fags (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40818045)

The guys on Slashdot say they're not gay - even though they are effeminate, histrionic, dandy, mincing, androgynous, gynomastic, vain, sissy, dainty, and fussy manchild weenies.

-- Ethanol-fueled

Re:Slashdot is for fags (-1, Offtopic)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | about 2 years ago | (#40818177)

The guys on Slashdot say they're not gay - even though they are effeminate, histrionic, dandy, mincing, androgynous, gynomastic, vain, sissy, dainty, and fussy manchild weenies.

-- Ethanol-fueled

P.S. The above comment does not apply to me. I am assuredly the most masculine, stoic, somber, manly man to frequent this site.

-- Ethanol-fueled

Re:Slashdot is for fags (-1, Offtopic)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | about 2 years ago | (#40818389)

The guys on Slashdot say they're not gay - even though they are effeminate, histrionic, dandy, mincing, androgynous, gynomastic, vain, sissy, dainty, and fussy manchild weenies.

-- Ethanol-fueled

P.S. The above comment does not apply to me. I am assuredly the most masculine, stoic, somber, manly man to frequent this site.

-- Ethanol-fueled

In the land of the blind, one eye is king.

Re:Slashdot is for fags (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40819499)

I can verify that thePowerOfGrayskull is NOT gay. He is completely butch; every time I've had his dick in my mouth, he swears he has not enjoyed it, and i believe him.

Re:Slashdot is for fags (2)

mcgrew (92797) | about 2 years ago | (#40820397)

Please don't feed the trolls, they're all way too fat anyway. You just made a "-1. troll" visible by quoting him! Mods, fix this guy's wagon, please. Biters should be downmodded, just as the trolls themselves.

Apple must be trembling with fear (5, Funny)

DickBreath (207180) | about 2 years ago | (#40817781)

Poor Apple. Considering the vast capital of innovative thinking that is Microsoft, Apple must be seriously worried about how the Surface tablet will competitively affect the iPad.

Consider how badly Microsoft has hurt Apple in the past with products like:
  • * Windows Phone 7 vs the iPhone
  • * Zune vs the iPod
  • * Plays Fer Shore vs the iPod
  • * Windows 3.1 vs the classic Mac System 7

If Microsoft's tablet has round corners, then we know they will be in serious legal trouble.

Re:Apple must be trembling with fear (3, Interesting)

bondsbw (888959) | about 2 years ago | (#40817927)

Windows 3.1 vs the classic Mac System 7

I seem to recall Windows 3.1 being the point where Windows started to dominate the desktop OS market.

And why stop there, what about Windows 95, 98, NT, 2000, XP, 2003, 2008, 7 as compared with Mac OS during those same years? OS X has come a long way, but it still has a long way to go.

(I have a MacBook and I love Mac OS X. But give me a break, at least make your arguments sound.)

Re:Apple must be trembling with fear (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40818253)

you should probably read that vanityfair article

"As development took off, Microsoft engineers dumped a grab bag of functions into Longhorn. Huge teams were assigned to the effort, but despite all the work, the launch was postponed again and again. The program took as long as 10 minutes to boot up. It was unstable and frequently crashed.

Then, in June 2004, Steve Jobs announced that Apple was releasing its new operating system, called “Tiger.” And inside Microsoft, jaws dropped. Tiger did much of what was planned for Longhorn—except that it worked.

E-mails flew around Microsoft, expressing dismay about the quality of Tiger. To executives’ disbelief, it contained functional equivalents of Avalon and WinFS.

“It was fucking amazing,” wrote Lenn Pryor, part of the Longhorn team. “It is like I just got a free pass to Longhorn land today.”

Vic Gundotra, another member of the group, tried out Tiger. “Their Avalon competitor (core video, core image) was hot,” he wrote. “I have the cool widgets (dashboard) running on my MAC right now with all the effects [Jobs] showed on stage. I’ve had no crashes in 5 hours.”

The videoconferencing function? “Amazing,” Gundotra wrote. Scripting software? “Very cool.”

The Gundotra e-mail was sent to executives throughout Microsoft headquarters, including Allchin. He forwarded it to Gates and Ballmer, adding his name and one word: “Sigh ”

Longhorn was doomed."

http://www.vanityfair.com/business/2012/08/microsoft-lost-mojo-steve-ballmer

Re:Apple must be trembling with fear (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40818531)

MSDOS had over 80% of the market. WP7, Zune, and PlaysForSure were all late entries into existing markets that were either underpowered, overpriced, or unwanted for what they offered. As someone that uses all 3 major operating systems and would love to dump Microsoft for good, the Surface tablet is the one i'm holding out for. My one and only concern is pricing, if it's under $500 it's an instant-buy. I would much rather have a tablet running a desktop OS than a tablet running a phone OS.

Re:Apple must be trembling with fear (1)

mcgrew (92797) | about 2 years ago | (#40818739)

I seem to recall Windows 3.1 being the point where Windows started to dominate the desktop OS market.

Microsoft dominated the desktop OS market ever since the IBM PC. Before that, CP/M dominated. Apple never did dominate the desktop market. They may have dominated the home market in the late '80s, but if so it didn't last long. Most people at home were using TRS-80, Amiga, Commmodore, etc. When DOS PCs were way too expensive for normal people, Apples were even more expensive.

Re:Apple must be trembling with fear (1)

vlm (69642) | about 2 years ago | (#40817947)

If Microsoft's tablet has round corners, then we know they will be in serious legal trouble.

The MS tablet will be brown and it'll "squirt". Remember the Zune? Wasn't very ipod like.

Re:Apple must be trembling with fear (2)

aristotle-dude (626586) | about 2 years ago | (#40818035)

If Microsoft's tablet has round corners, then we know they will be in serious legal trouble.

The MS tablet will be brown and it'll "squirt". Remember the Zune? Wasn't very ipod like.

It will also have frequent core dumps.

Re:Apple must be trembling with fear (1)

Pieroxy (222434) | about 2 years ago | (#40818109)

If Microsoft's tablet has round corners, then we know they will be in serious legal trouble.

The MS tablet will be brown and it'll "squirt". Remember the Zune? Wasn't very ipod like.

It will also have frequent core dumps.

Please refrain from using Unix terminology. Windows 8 will be equipped with Dr Watson Sr. That's what you should call the equivalent of a core dump now.

Re:Apple must be trembling with fear (0)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | about 2 years ago | (#40817961)

You do remeber the time where apple was a couple days from insolvency, right? MS in conjunction with OEM partners did make better computers than apple for most of the 90's. Win 3.1 was the begining of the end for Mac domminance of home systems. It really wasn't that much worse.

Re:Apple must be trembling with fear (1)

somersault (912633) | about 2 years ago | (#40818013)

Wasn't that much worse? The window manager was fucking horrible compared to the Macs and Amigas that I was used to..

Re:Apple must be trembling with fear (1)

Pieroxy (222434) | about 2 years ago | (#40818131)

Wasn't that much worse? The window manager was fucking horrible compared to the Macs and Amigas that I was used to..

It still is to a large enough extent.

Re:Apple must be trembling with fear (2)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | about 2 years ago | (#40819879)

PC's were so much cheaper, that people were willing to put up with it for the price. It beat the heck out of using a special purpopse word processor or a typewriter. There was a lot of good and cheap software availible as well.

Re:Apple must be trembling with fear (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40818753)

Apple was never in that shape. They had billions in the bank. The issue was MS continuing Office support

Re:Apple must be trembling with fear (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40819121)

Apple was never in that shape. They had billions in the bank. The issue was MS continuing Office support

“We were 90 days from going bankrupt.” - Steve Jobs [thenextweb.com] .

More details. [businessinsider.com] and from a Mac fan site perspective [lowendmac.com]

So basically, yes, they were in that shape, no, they did not have billions in the bank.

Re:Apple must be trembling with fear (1)

backdoc (416006) | about 2 years ago | (#40819195)

Microsoft should release it with their own patented "non-rounded corners". Then, no one will ever be able to compete with either Microsoft or Apple, unless of course some smart aleck comes up with a "jagged corner" patent or something.

So basically no news then? (4, Insightful)

UnknowingFool (672806) | about 2 years ago | (#40817785)

I would 't read too much into the loss of profit declaration. New product launches cost money and new products may not make profit for some time until after the launch to recoup costs. As a general rule, financial statements disclose risks like this all the time. The issue will be six months to a year after launch. If Surface isn't profitable by then, that would be news.

Uhh.. (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40817811)

So why the fuck is this under apple.slashdot.org? Maybe it's time for /. to be slightly less biased and add a ms.slashdot.org?

Re:Uhh.. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40819947)

Fanboy Jimmies have been rustled...

Rule 1: Copy your competitor (2)

mrthoughtful (466814) | about 2 years ago | (#40817895)

Let them make the mistakes. Go cheap. Go even cheaper.
It worked quite well with Windows. It failed with the Zune.
It will fail with this release of Surface also.
Asking all your customers to buy a new copy of MS Office? Not a great idea.

I loved the MS idea of a fully collaborative,contextually aware, common screen surface.
If they could get that working outside of marketing videos, cheap enough for the consumer, it could be quite fun.

Re:Rule 1: Copy your competitor (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40820131)

Asking all your customers to buy a new copy of MS Office? Not a great idea.

Please elaborate.

Re:Rule 1: Copy your competitor (1)

avandesande (143899) | about 2 years ago | (#40820217)

I know lots of corporate people that have been banging their head against the wall trying to integrate iPADS and plan on gobbling Surface tablets up as soon as they are released.

Not gonna happen. (4, Funny)

sootman (158191) | about 2 years ago | (#40817897)

> We'll soon find out whether Microsoft has what it
> takes to take on the seemingly indomitable iPad.

Spoiler: No.

Re:Not gonna happen. (1)

Un pobre guey (593801) | about 2 years ago | (#40818903)

By "soon" they must mean within the next millisecond? Retrospectively over the past 20 years? Are they actually suggesting that we need to wait a few months and examine empirical data, otherwise there is some sort of doubt regarding the outcome? Microsoft investors believe it is worth spending hundreds of millions of dollars over a year or two of going through the motions in order to be certain that the answer is a clear-cut "no?" Why don't they just give me the money? I can fuck things up just as well as they can.

I think.

Which one? Surface or Surface RT? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40817911)

Which one? the x86 one with the short battery life, or the Arm one with the lack of apps?

Seriously Microsoft's is trying a 'divide and conquer' strategy ON ITSELF! Instead of focusing on delivering one good product in a competitive market, it's delivery two so so ones.

When this fails, can we finally see the back of Ballmer??

Re:Which one? Surface or Surface RT? (1)

quetwo (1203948) | about 2 years ago | (#40818137)

It's not Divide and Conquer, it's "Doubling Down." Lets place two bets on the same table with two different strategies. There is no way you CAN lose! ugh.

Re:Which one? Surface or Surface RT? (4, Interesting)

LynnwoodRooster (966895) | about 2 years ago | (#40818523)

The new Intel Medfield processor (X86 based) is very competitive with the ARM architectures when it comes to processing power and battery life. A tablet powered with a Medfield processor should provide plenty of battery life. And since it's X86 based, it'll run all those Windows apps.

Re:Which one? Surface or Surface RT? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40818599)

All of the apps that will be in the app store will run on ARM. The x86 version will be able to run regular programs built for x86 in addition to the app store apps. There will be no x86 apps in the app store. I guess you're referring to regular windows software built for x86 as "apps," but it's misleading in this context. The app store apps have a very specific set of guidelines and a specific API that works on ARM.

Do you expect MS to implement x86 virtualization for the ARM platform, or something? That's a little silly at this point. Considering how they would perform.

Both of them? (1)

phonewebcam (446772) | about 2 years ago | (#40817965)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0-pMZd1fupw

Re:Both of them? (2)

stressclq (881842) | about 2 years ago | (#40819169)

C'mon obviously he was "holding it wrong"..

Except that MS isn't competing with the ipad (5, Insightful)

milkasing (857326) | about 2 years ago | (#40818059)

.. it is trying to create a new niche. One that has more in common with the ultra book market than iPads. Something that plays nice with business / enterprise setup. Surface could become a hit without making a dent in iPad sales.

Re:Except that MS isn't competing with the ipad (4, Insightful)

am 2k (217885) | about 2 years ago | (#40818173)

The niche between the iPad niche and the ultrabook niche? Must have been a genius who came up with this.

Re:Except that MS isn't competing with the ipad (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40819221)

The niche between the iPad niche and the ultrabook niche? Must have been a genius who came up with this.

YMMV, I'm travelling frequently both with an iPad (for entertainment use, not at least in-flight) and an ultraportabel PC (for work). If somebody creates a niche that covers both in one device so I can leave one at home this genius sure has the vote of my wallet.

Re:Except that MS isn't competing with the ipad (1)

Col. Klink (retired) (11632) | about 2 years ago | (#40818303)

.. it is trying to create a new niche.

Microsoft is happy with niche markets now? Back in 2009, Balmer said I'm glad we're doing a great job with the other 96 and a half percent." [cnet.com] We was perfectly fine with Apple having their little three and a half percent.

Of course, this isn't the first niche MS has tried to carve out. The Zune wasn't competing with iPods, it was a whole new niche of social media players. Just like that amazing niche market of social phones served by the KIN line.

Re:Except that MS isn't competing with the ipad (2)

JDG1980 (2438906) | about 2 years ago | (#40818357)

.. it is trying to create a new niche. One that has more in common with the ultra book market than iPads. Something that plays nice with business / enterprise setup.

The problem with that argument is that the Surface tablet runs WinRT, which can't join Windows domains. (The more expensive Surface Pro is an x86 tablet that can, but if they're aiming for business use, why even bother with the cheaper offering that doesn't do what is needed?)

Re:Except that MS isn't competing with the ipad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40818819)

Simple - home/casual users. Like the Ipad.

Re:Except that MS isn't competing with the ipad (1)

JDG1980 (2438906) | about 2 years ago | (#40818877)

Simple - home/casual users. Like the Ipad.

But that raises the obvious question: why would home/casual users want to choose the Surface over the iPad? It won't be much cheaper (if any), it won't have nearly as many apps available, and it won't be considered as cool or stylish. The iPad is already the de facto standard tablet, and Microsoft faces a steep uphill climb if they want to dislodge it. Between the iPad on the high end and the various cheap Android tablets (Kindle Fire, Nexus 7) on the low end, where is there room for Surface in the consumer market?

Re:Except that MS isn't competing with the ipad (3, Insightful)

Kotoku (1531373) | about 2 years ago | (#40819461)

Its funny to see you categorize the nexus 7 as low end, since every performance related spec exceeds that of the ipad. Marketing machine of Apple catches another?

Re:Except that MS isn't competing with the ipad (1)

FranTaylor (164577) | about 2 years ago | (#40820095)

"low-end" refers to price.

Mustangs have big powerful engines but they are "low-end" vehicles when it comes to comfort and safety.

Re:Except that MS isn't competing with the ipad (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | about 2 years ago | (#40818433)

Well except for the fact that most of Win 8 is geared towards consumers. Other than a slightly more touch friendly Office, MS is reliant on the BYOD concept for their adoption. I don't see a lot of enterprise features in Win 8 that businesses will be wanting.

Sure they are... (4, Insightful)

Shivetya (243324) | about 2 years ago | (#40818443)

they just won't admit it because everyone wants a slice of that pie but most cannot even get to the table.

MS's other issue is that if rumors hold true a new smaller iPad hits stores in September. I still think MS blew it by announcing a product they could ship at the time they announced it.

Rule #1 now is, do not announce what is not shipping now. Apple already exploits the magic in that phrase, NOW SHIPPING

No, I disagree (respectfully) (2)

King_TJ (85913) | about 2 years ago | (#40819007)

The parent poster is putting forth a sound theory, but I'm going to have to disagree with it.

Ultimately, the problem is, I don't think most people see the tablet form-factor as ideal. It's great in certain scenarios, which happen to be the ones traditional desktop or portable computers fail at. (I'm talking about such things as trying to use one while lying in bed, or while standing up and walking around. I'm also talking about comfortably reading for extended periods of time while seated in any random chair or couch.)

Since the iPad is the established "standard" in this area, with a massive ecosystem of software apps built up for it, there's little reason to switch from it. But that also means there's probably little reason to duplicate the hardware with ANOTHER tablet form-factor device. The Ultrabooks on the market still fulfill the tasks we've been doing for years with slightly larger notebook computers. They've got actual keyboards built in and their screens fold up at various angles for easy reading while you sit the entire thing on a flat surface. They've got battery life equivalent to the iPads and other such tablets, too, so that's been addressed. They'll even run the SAME operating system Microsoft is pushing for the new Surface tablets. So where's the real motivation to migrate to the Surface?

Re:No, I disagree (respectfully) (4, Interesting)

Gideon Wells (1412675) | about 2 years ago | (#40820429)

Logically, nothing. Practicality, sometimes it is the small thing. When looking for my latest vehicle I was dead set on a hatchback for that extra storage if needed. I have a desktop, laptop, and tablet. Each has their place. You accept this already. I am excited over Surface (at least Surface RT) despite owning a iPad already.

Why migrate away from the "iPad" standard?

1) The freaking stylus. I get Jobs hated styluses because he never got over the period you were forced to use them. I get everyone wants to copy his "genius". Still, there are times when I want to write on my digital tablet like it is actually a tablet. Using my finger on an iPad feels like I'm writing out notes with a highlighter. Using a third party stylus feels like a crayon. Microsoft is recognizing some of us want to use pens. Maybe I'm wrong, but this is something that I haven't seen in Android or iOS yet.

2) Why I say Surface RT and not just Surface. Same operating system as my computer at home. I can use the same software. Sure, it may not be wise to install Steam and/or Photoshop to this thing. At least I know I can readily chance between them with similar environments with programs I use across each.

Why not an ultrabook?
1) I don't own one. My laptop was my main computer before I admitted I needed something with more power for my photo/video editing jobs. I see laptops as portable home offices. Ultrabooks are too small for my taste as a laptop. To me, Ultrabooks are like the GMS Caballero. Some look cool, but in the end if I want a vehicle with a bed I'd be looking at a truck. Not a car.

2) There are times when having an ultrabook might be useful. The Surface RT is a tablet that can become an impromptu ultrabook much easier than any ultrabook I've seen so far can become an impromptu tablet. I like that little keyboard cover. If needed, it is there. If not? Hey, just fold it out of the way. It has just enough form factor to feel like real keys instead of pecking at glass.

tl;dr:

So to get back to a car analogy. I see the ultrabook as trying to be a GMC Caballero. The iPad and most tablets as simply being cars or compact cars with trunks. I see the Surface RT as a hatchback car. Sometimes you need that versatility.

Marketing campaign started too early? (2)

SnowHog (1944314) | about 2 years ago | (#40818099)

Even if it was released tomorrow it would feel anticlimactic. I feel like I've been hearing about this thing for months.

Re:Marketing campaign started too early? (2)

wjousts (1529427) | about 2 years ago | (#40818287)

Well, we start hearing about the iPhone n+1 almost immediately after the release of the iPhone n, and it doesn't seem to have harmed Apple any.

Re:Marketing campaign started too early? (3, Insightful)

UnknowingFool (672806) | about 2 years ago | (#40819157)

The difference is Apple doesn't put out those rumors. They are usually by third parties. MS put out this one themselves. It had been a tactic for MS to pre-announce products like this to keep customers from going to a competitor. That would almost kill competing products. But times have changed. The response now is that most companies no longer will wait just for the MS version.

Re:Marketing campaign started too early? (1)

Cinnamon Whirl (979637) | about 2 years ago | (#40819451)

Tim Cook said Apple's lower than forecast profits (last week) were blamed on people waiting for the iPhone 5.
http://apple.slashdot.org/story/12/07/25/0436256/apple-blames-earnings-miss-on-iphone-5-anticipation [slashdot.org]

Re:Marketing campaign started too early? (1)

FranTaylor (164577) | about 2 years ago | (#40820137)

And he revealed how many details exactly about this new phone?

Prices (2)

wjousts (1529427) | about 2 years ago | (#40818273)

Any word on pricing?

Re:Prices (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40818371)

Prices? Seriously? Turn in your geek card now! Nobody with a clue (tech clue, I guess) is going to buy a tablet that is locked down and sold with being locked down as a "feature" unless they absolutely have to. No real geek wants to be MS's bitch.

Re:Prices (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40818479)

Prices? Seriously? Turn in your geek card now! Nobody with a clue (tech clue, I guess) is going to buy a tablet that is locked down and sold with being locked down as a "feature" unless they absolutely have to.

So you didn't buy an iPad then?

Re:Prices (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40819131)

Nope. I own a B&N Nook and a HP tablet, both running hacked up Android. This level of tech is not only for "neck-beards". My mom uses a hacked HP. If she can figure it out then anyone can!

Re:Prices (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40818503)

Yeah geeks prefer to be Apple's bitch!

Re:Prices (0)

wjousts (1529427) | about 2 years ago | (#40819353)

I didn't say I was gonna buy it fucktard? Strawman much? I'm interested in seeing what price point they are going for versus the iPad. It'll indicate whether or not they are really trying to take on Apple directly.

I don't care either way, I don't have a need for a tablet, or a smart phone for that matter.

$1150 - $2150 USD (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40818313)

Surface seems nice until you hear it'll be between $1,150 (simplest 32GB) and $2,475 (128GB) USD.
No thanks. :(

http://www.webhallen.com/se-sv/sok/?Change=1&Text=microsoft+surface&SectionId
http://frontpage.fok.nl/nieuws/554604/1/1/100/microsoft-surface-kost-tussen-de-800-en-1800-euro.html

Why did they want to call it "surface"? (2)

mark-t (151149) | about 2 years ago | (#40818413)

... when they already had a (much lesser known, admittedly) product named "Surface"?

I understand they've renamed their table computer, but I don't think I've ever seen any explaination on what motivated them to want to change the name of that and call their new tablet "Surface" instead.

Re:Why did they want to call it "surface"? (1)

fwarren (579763) | about 2 years ago | (#40820077)

I understand they've renamed their table computer, but I don't think I've ever seen any explaination on what motivated them to want to change the name of that and call their new tablet "Surface" instead.

They are hoping it wont be in the red, the want to break even, get their head above the "surface" of the water to not drown?

But does it run Linux? (4, Interesting)

Teun (17872) | about 2 years ago | (#40818445)

I'm serious with the question if it runs Linux.
What we've so far seen from Win8 (Metro) is on a regular PC possibly a pig but that does not yet make it good on a tablet.

Looking at the hardware I feel it would be really sweet with the tablet version of KDE.

Re:But does it run Linux? (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 2 years ago | (#40818575)

surface pro will(most probably, 99.999% chance). surface rt will not.

Re:But does it run Linux? (1)

DrXym (126579) | about 2 years ago | (#40818929)

Any tablet can run Linux assuming you can circumvent whatever bootloader protections are there to stop you changing the image.

Re:But does it run Linux? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40819905)

One of the problems with the Raspberry Pi is compiling Linux distros that work well on an ARM processor. That's why Debian Squeeze and a special verison of Fedora are the main boot environments for that device. Ubuntu is testing an ARM-based distro, but the last I heard, it doesn't boot on a Pi. It might boot on a Surface RT, with beefier hardware under the hood, but until the product is released, we can't really play with it. As for Secure Boot, Red Hat and Ubuntu have made different, but still highly controversial, moves to circumvent that problem on x86 systems (e.g., the Surface Pro), and that can of worms is still spilling fish bait all over the place.

i quit caring (1)

nimbius (983462) | about 2 years ago | (#40818647)

after the android honeycomb. none of these devices has made me more productive or enriched my life by any measurable degree. each just seems to be another pitchfork with which to mine my personal information and induce me to consume more crap i dont need.

Can't wait! (1)

elabs (2539572) | about 2 years ago | (#40818789)

The Surface will be my next hardware purchase. I wish we could preorder them now.

apple.slashdot.org (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40818801)

why is this filed under 'apple'?

One potential benefit of Suface (1)

DrXym (126579) | about 2 years ago | (#40818999)

Though I'm a fan of Android, the support for physical keyboards and pointing devices is pretty bloody awful. I have an Asus Transformer and I run into a shocking number of issues with focus, with text selection, with clipboard behaviour, with tab order (or not) and with the mouse.

A trivial issue with the problems with the mouse - fire up a web browser and cursor over a link. Does the link change shape? Of course not. Does the transformer offer any tools to change the sensitivity of the trackpad to prevent inadvertent brushing from changing focus? Of course not. Is there any consistency at all from one app to the next in this stuff? Nope.

While I would see no reason to use a Windows RT / Windows 8 on a tablet for the time being I think it will have vastly superior mouse and keyboard support due to its heritage.

no (1)

Tom (822) | about 2 years ago | (#40819129)

We don't have to wait. We already know that they don't. This time, however, we don't even have to fight over that, as MS Surface isn't even competing with the iPad. It's targeting a different segment of the same market, but very few people who buy iPads would even consider the MS tablet.

You know, the same way that a Mercedes E and a VW Beetle don't really compete with each other even though both are cars.

We All Win (5, Insightful)

Scot Seese (137975) | about 2 years ago | (#40819155)

I'm cheering for Microsoft.

Competition is good.

I purchased an iPad 1, used it for less than two months and sold it to a friend for half what I paid for it. I wanted it to be so much more than it was - more than they still are. Steve gave his amazing presentation, I swooned - I drank the kool-aid. I was Captain Picard, carrying my StarFleet tablet around. Then I bought one.

They are just 10" iPod Touches.

I wanted to be able to prop it up and type papers on it. I purchased the sleek 3rd party bluetooth keyboard/case combo. They keys were a compromise, tiny, poor travel, poor to type on. So I bought the Apple wireless keyboard. Apple's Pages software was friendly, and easy to use, but failed utterly to have any true usefulness in a world where Microsoft Word so utterly dominates academia or corporate America. Printing was a nightmare. Moving documents to my PC required iTunes syncing. .. iTunes..?? The music store software? What kind of "computer" was this!? My dream of a sleek, cool Sci-Fi space man computer was dashed as I realize the iPad is little more than a toy for reading Facebook on the toilet and clumbsily tapping in replies to emails from your sofa at a blistering 15 words per minute.

A sleek tablet with integrated, nearly full-size keyboard/cover and full, actual Microsoft Office built in?? A solid, well-engineered stand that folds out of the tablet to support it without needing to buy a pile of 3rd party cases, folios, etc. ? Be still my heart.

Touch is awesome. Touch is great for web surfing and watching cat videos on YouTube. Touch, paired with NO keyboard or keyboard and a very lightweight word processing app was absolutely useless. The keyboard is an order of magnitude more efficient for actually doing WORK.

The Surface tablet brings us so much closer to the dream of the all-in-one small, lightweight portable computer. I have hated Micro$oft as much as any other linux-using, Android using Slashdot reader. But I am cheering for them on this one. I hope the Surface takes it to Apple, and takes it to them hard.

Competition is good.

Re:We All Win (3, Interesting)

bravecanadian (638315) | about 2 years ago | (#40819431)

I'm with you on this one.

I won't be buying a Surface until I see if it fulfills some of its promise, but if it does, I will be all over it.

I don't want to have a laptop/desktop and a tablet. I am trying to simplify the number of devices I am trying to maintain and synchronize and even if I need to use a dock of some sort for a bigger screen etc at work - I like what the Surface Pro potentially offers.

Being able to do actual work on it when need be, take advantage of existing applications, and then switch to tablet mode when I want to sit and read an ebook/watch a video/surf the web on the couch is a great setup.

I think it will be difficult for them to pull off but I am hoping they can do it.

Re:We All Win (2)

swillden (191260) | about 2 years ago | (#40820139)

With the exception of MS Office, I think the Asus Transformer series has exactly what you're looking for.

Re:We All Win (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40820219)

Competition is only good for the consumer when the competing companies play fairly on the fields of innovation and value. Microsoft doesn't have a good track record for doing that.

In fact, quite the opposite. And, if not for non-MS companies making the PC hardware at dirt-cheap margins, they would have lost there too.

Re:We All Win (3, Interesting)

FlynnMP3 (33498) | about 2 years ago | (#40820379)

Back when the iPad was first released, I couldn't believe anybody would want to own one, let alone find a use for it. Turned out my geek sense was horribly wrong and SJ managed to create a new market. There is a huge swath of people that only want a computing device to only do 3 or 4 things. That's what the iPad does and it does it well. Apple is famous for getting the little details right. I'd say the videos that I've seen of grandmas and grandpas using it without any instruction is a pure win.

Microsoft is betting there is another emerging market out there. I saw the keynote where Ballmer, etc. demonstrated the Surface. If they truly have their act together and have put some serious attention on the "little details"and integrated in their office products into the a functional and smart device that is enterprise friendly, then they could very well have a winner here. The bet is since Apple is not very enterprise friendly, businesses will purchase these by the quarterly budget load once it has been verified that it can do a good job for business type folks. I wish them well. Competition is good and all that.

Personally, I won't be using one, but then I am not their target demographic - in my opinion. I am the DIY computer geek. I'll always own my own full fledged computer with all its unfettered glory so I can do all the stuff that I do on a daily basis because I enjoy doing programmery and integration type stuff.

Win 8 + Leap= home PC awesomess (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40819423)

With the minimal investment for the new Leap Motion, a decent PC attached to the TV in the living room becomes a gesture controlled center that works with your Win8 phone and Xbox nearly seamlessly. Or so my imagination shows me. Consider the E3 Microsoft demos and check out the Leap. The timing is perfect, and I would love to see the potential for performance be completely realized

MS release dates (0)

uvajed_ekil (914487) | about 2 years ago | (#40819633)

Microsoft is going to release its Surface tablet on the same day Windows 8 goes on general availability, Oct. 26

So of course this means that the Surface *might* be available before Christmas, and should receive enough software patches by Next April to make it fully functional.

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