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Why Microsoft's Surface Pro Could Fail

Soulskill posted about a year and a half ago | from the zombie-apocalypse-could-do-it dept.

Microsoft 442

Nerval's Lobster writes "Microsoft's Surface Pro boasts one feature that could rapidly become an Achilles Heel, especially if Microsoft intends for the device to compete against Apple's iPad and a host of lightweight Google Android touch-screens. In a Nov. 29 Tweet to a customer, the official Surface Twitter feed claimed: 'We expect it [Surface Pro] to have approx. half the battery life of Surface with Windows RT.' That means Surface Pro will have roughly four hours of battery life. That's roughly half the battery life (if not less) of Apple's various iPads, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, Research In Motion's PlayBook, Hewlett-Packard's now-cancelled TouchPad, and Motorola's all-but-forgotten Xoom. In other words, pretty much every tablet currently on the market. Nor can the Surface Pro compete with other tablets on price. The 64GB version of the device will retail for $899, with the 128GB version coming in a little higher at $999."

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It doesn't compete with tablets (4, Insightful)

Guspaz (556486) | about a year and a half ago | (#42142473)

It competes with ultrabooks. Unfortunately, it doesn't compare all that favourably to ultrabooks either (about the same price, same weight, smaller screen, no keyboard included), and stealing sales from Wintel ultrabooks doesn't really help Microsoft or Intel.

Re:It doesn't compete with tablets (1, Informative)

ifiwereasculptor (1870574) | about a year and a half ago | (#42142579)

and stealing sales from Wintel ultrabooks doesn't really help Microsoft or Intel.

The Surface Pro IS Wintel.

Re:It doesn't compete with tablets (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42142781)

Right. Wintel stealing sales from Wintel doesn't help Wintel. If you could have just sold the product you're already producing there's no point sinking money into research and development of a new product - the revenue would have stayed the same but profit is lower as you need to fund the new research and development. That's oversimplified, of course, but if - that's a big if, but what OP was arguing - the only market segment interested in a Surface RT was already buying Wintel ultrabooks then the Surface RT is not a good product for Wintel.

Re:It doesn't compete with tablets (1, Flamebait)

noh8rz10 (2716597) | about a year and a half ago | (#42143469)

I'm pretty sure that I'm going to buy one. I like that it's competitive with ipad on price. The cellular ipad with 64gb is $830. they don't even sell a 128gb version, nor is there a way to expand the memory. but! hwo much memorty does the surface junk take up, vs the ipad junk? that is the key quesiont, my friends!

Re:It doesn't compete with tablets (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42142583)

Ultrabooks are way cheaper than this. I don't know on what point they are supposed to compete.

Re:It doesn't compete with tablets (3, Insightful)

omnichad (1198475) | about a year and a half ago | (#42142771)

Novelty.

Re:It doesn't compete with tablets (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42143115)

Which ultrabooks are cheaper? All of the ones I've seen are $1000+

Re:It doesn't compete with tablets (2)

Andy Prough (2730467) | about a year and a half ago | (#42143275)

Go to BestBuy. They've got a whole shelf of what they call "ultrabooks" for under about $500-$600. Although they just look like smaller laptops or bigger netbooks to me. Not even very light-weight. I think the term ultrabook was pretty quickly co-opted by the marketing folks.

Re:It doesn't compete with tablets (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42143279)

Which ultrabooks are cheaper? All of the ones I've seen are $1000+

Several [newegg.com]

Re:It doesn't compete with tablets (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42143449)

None of those have the same specs. I see some with i5 CPUs, 4GB RAM and 128GB SSD but what about the 10.6 inch 1920x1080 touchscreen display?

Re:It doesn't compete with tablets (1, Insightful)

Sir_Sri (199544) | about a year and a half ago | (#42143141)

They aren't supposed to really compete on any point.

Surface are deliberately overpriced so that the 3rd party manufacturers can make the same product or better for less money.

It's a kick in the ass to the 3rd party guys to stop making shit, not a serious effort by microsoft to own the tablet space hardware and software.

Besides that, the battery life is why they have an ARM version at all. The biggest weakness of surface (either of them) is that it has windows 8 on it, and windows 8 is terrible.

Re:It doesn't compete with tablets (1, Insightful)

TheMiddleRoad (1153113) | about a year and a half ago | (#42143299)

Have you used Windows 8 for more than 30 seconds in a store? I'm using it right now on a 6-year-old laptop. Windows 8 is just fine. It's certainly superior to IOS in every imaginable way. My only disappointment with the Surface is its low resolution. I've been rocking 1920x1200 for 6 years, and just got 2560x1440 on the desktop. I don't want to go backwards.

Re:It doesn't compete with tablets (2)

ischorr (657205) | about a year and a half ago | (#42142595)

...That's what I came here to say as well. It's competing against Ultrabooks, but it's unclear what its selling point would be for most purposes. Ostensibly a "Pro" user would want it for compatibility with legacy x86 desktop apps. But it's not clear that for MOST purposes like that a touchscreen (even with stylus) would ever be better than the hardware keyboard and pixel-accurate pointing devices that come with every ultrabook. There's not really a "pro" market for tablets at the moment, though I suppose that won't happen unless there's hardware for it.

Re:It doesn't compete with tablets (-1, Flamebait)

rubikscubejunkie (2664793) | about a year and a half ago | (#42142623)

Could fail....WILL FAIL!

Re:It doesn't compete with tablets (4, Interesting)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | about a year and a half ago | (#42142751)

Exactly. This is for people like me who bought an iPad hoping it would replace my old Dell Latitude XT tablet i used for note taking in class and as a research notebook. I am sorely disappointed with the iPad's note taking capabilities, but still carry it around with my laptop due to its convenience on planes and while traveling in general. A device like the surface pro is a perfect replacement for my iPad and laptop for the work I do. For $1000 I could buy it, or a tablet + laptop and end up paying more money and carrying two devices.

I didn't buy a surface rt because it doesn't solve my problem any better than the iPad, but the surface pro is actually offers many benefits over the iPad. Battery life is not one, but it's more powerful, has an active digitizer, and can run any windows x86 windows software, so i see it as a worth while tradeoff.

Re:It doesn't compete with tablets (0)

dmacleod808 (729707) | about a year and a half ago | (#42143087)

My 5 dollar ipad stand and bluetooth keyboard begs to differ.

Re:It doesn't compete with tablets (2)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | about a year and a half ago | (#42143365)

I'm not talking about history notes, I'm talking about math and physics.... material where you need equations, charts, diagrams, and figures. How easily can you type me an equation or a chart? I've tried it, to be sure... and even with latex style markup it's just not fast enough. An active digitizer closely approximates the accuracy of pen and paper, something those fat capacitive styluses for the iPad cannot do.

Re:It doesn't compete with tablets (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42142827)

What does it have for ports and slots? Does it have a full size SD slot like a traditional laptop? If not screw MS. I want something I can manage my photos taken with a real camera with, not some device that is gimped so they can try to force me into buying the larger storage version for a ridiculous markup.

Re:It doesn't compete with tablets (2)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | about a year and a half ago | (#42142989)

It has a micro SDXC, full size USB 3.0, headphone port, and Mini DisplayPort. The Surface RT also has micro SDXC port for storage expansion.

Re:It doesn't compete with tablets (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42143485)

It has a microSDXC slot. I use microSD in my camera with a SD card adapter so it would be no problem. Another possibility is to throw an eye-fi SD card into your camera so that you never even have to remove it.

Re:It doesn't compete with tablets (4, Insightful)

mystikkman (1487801) | about a year and a half ago | (#42142953)

Anyone else tired of the constant negative stream of non-sequitir flamebait summaries and articles on Windows 8 or even Microsoft/Apple on Slashdot and any and all positive or neutral news being totally ignored?

After driving away all the folks with half a clue, even the echochamber seems to be losing interest in constantly talking to itself on Slashdot, with only 33 comments after half an hour of posting inspite of the flamebait title and summary, just hastening the steady descent of Slashdot into irrelevance.

Last one out turn off the lights.

Re:It doesn't compete with tablets (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42143345)

Sometimes a duck is a duck.
Sometimes Microsoft shit is Microsoft shit.

Don't let the door hit you on the way out.

Re:It doesn't compete with tablets (4, Insightful)

SomePgmr (2021234) | about a year and a half ago | (#42143385)

Yeah, people are still emotionally involved in microsoft's failure. It's a hold-over from when they really mattered, and behaved horribly.

Of course that's not so relevant anymore and there's no rational reason to get so worked up over "yet another device" or "yet another windows". I think even microsoft knows that getting traction with a brand new line of tablets with a new tablet-y UI on a new windows, in an already saturated market, is a difficult and risky thing.

We'll see what happens, but I'd guess (only guess) that the surface line will end up being like google's platform references while other companies produce their own, less expensive, more capable tablets with a breadth of options more like we're accustomed to in laptops.

Fire to Nexus to iPad to Surface... it'll be nice to see options filling in the cracks. You'll note the new, larger Nexus and new, smaller iPad. They're each trying to push out from their respective beachheads.

Re:It doesn't compete with tablets (2)

interval1066 (668936) | about a year and a half ago | (#42143003)

My next device will be an ultrabook, I have no plans to buy a tablet and if I did it would probably be a Nexus 7.

Re:It doesn't compete with tablets (1)

fermion (181285) | about a year and a half ago | (#42143165)

stealing sales from Wintel ultrabooks doesn't really help Microsoft

MS has been bringing more services in house. With Windows 8 and surface there is a definite vibe that it is ready to be a full system builder. Traditionally the hardware OEM has been a lucrative business only because of volumen and MS kickbacks, but perhaps MS thinks it can do better. There is really no indication that MS is pushing Surface to third party OEM, and some indication that it is more than willing to let them fail. So, yes, there may be great benefit to MS for Ultra books to fail. MS may think it can do better on MS Surface.

The mode is tablet use it untethered. That is why it is important to have many hours of use. Plug it in overnight, then use off and on all day. Tablets are also made to be used anywhere, which is why they do not have keyboards. As usual MS believes that the current use of Tablets is silly, and is creating a slightly modified product category. A tethered tablet with keyboard.

This will appeal to some people, like the thousand button mouse that so many like. However, for most work, a well designed single button mouse or track pad is just as usable if the software is designed for it. I can't imagine why I would want to have a tablet if most of my work required a tablet though. I bought a keyboard for my iPad, but seldom used it as I prefer the efficient laptop.

Re:It doesn't compete with tablets (5, Interesting)

joh (27088) | about a year and a half ago | (#42143473)

It competes with ultrabooks. Unfortunately, it doesn't compare all that favourably to ultrabooks either (about the same price, same weight, smaller screen, no keyboard included), and stealing sales from Wintel ultrabooks doesn't really help Microsoft or Intel.

Yeah, it's a tablet that actually is a laptop that you can't use on your lap and is delivered without a keyboard anyway. Basically it's just an expensive PC that tries hard to look like a tablet. Because tablets are hot right now. So MS thinks that selling a bad tablet that also is a bad ultrabook must sell like hot cakes, because everybody badly wants the "full PC experience" everywhere.

Some people will love that thing, most won't care at all.

I think what MS will never understand is the simple fact that most people just hate PCs.

Stupid (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42142485)

Only a stupid person would think this. It is by FAR the most powerful tablet on the market, so obviously the battery life will suffer. To run full x86 applications will drain battery - its the best that it could be at 4 hours without being financially unviable. It's the same amount of battery life that laptop/tablet hybrids that already exist have.

The iPad may have more battery life, but it can't replace a laptop. Pro Surface can, and that is it's killer feature. Battery life at 4 hours is fine (plus, since it supports USB 3.0, how long until someone makes a USB charging block that gives you a full charge that you can carry around with you? Not long is the answer)

Re:Stupid (3, Funny)

alexhs (877055) | about a year and a half ago | (#42143249)

It is by FAR the most powerful tablet on the market, so obviously the battery life will suffer.

Which means that it will run hot. Will it be possible to fry eggs on it ? Because it has the possibility to become the best kitchen [techcrunch.com] tool [youtu.be] EVER !

Re:Stupid (4, Informative)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | about a year and a half ago | (#42143277)

On the other hand, the Surface Pro has little to offer over an ultrabook - it includes a touchscreen. An ultrabook will have better battery life, and an increasing number are becoming available with touchscreens as well. All within the same price target as the Surface Pro. THis is a product looking for a market.

Oh, and ultrabooks all have keyboards - no extra charge.

*facepalm* (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42142491)

It's a full-blown Windows 8 laptop in a tablet form factor, stop comparing it to the iPad, the Galaxy Tab, the Playbook, the TouchPad, the Xoom, the Transformer Prime, etc....

Re:*facepalm* (5, Insightful)

marcosdumay (620877) | about a year and a half ago | (#42142649)

Ok, so let's compare it with full-blown laptops, that are both more powerfull and cheaper.

Re:*facepalm* (1)

wiedzmin (1269816) | about a year and a half ago | (#42142809)

And have keyboards stuck to them.

Re:*facepalm* (2)

MightyMartian (840721) | about a year and a half ago | (#42143409)

Thus making them considerably more useful for running legacy apps.

Re:*facepalm* (1)

SJHillman (1966756) | about a year and a half ago | (#42142825)

But full-blown laptops are also less portable... you do pay more money for that portability. For some people, it's worth it... much the same reason some people pay more money for a laptop over a desktop with the same specs.

Re:*facepalm* (1, Insightful)

oGMo (379) | about a year and a half ago | (#42143071)

When you're tethered to a power outlet, that's not "more portable". That's less portable.

Re:*facepalm* (1)

Just Some Guy (3352) | about a year and a half ago | (#42143413)

It weighs almost as much as an entry level MacBook Air, and is thicker on average. The MBA has much better battery life. How is the Surface Pro more portable?

Re:*facepalm* (1)

Drummergeek0 (1513771) | about a year and a half ago | (#42143061)

Yes, and larger, and heavier. You are paying for the form factor. Shall I compare you laptop to a much more powerful desktop that was cheaper?

Re:*facepalm* (1)

omnichad (1198475) | about a year and a half ago | (#42143209)

Or with the Macbook air, which is the same price and has better battery life.

Re:*facepalm* (1)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | about a year and a half ago | (#42143241)

Alas, the power/price ratio hasn't been the only selling point since the major manufacturers' race to the bottom in terms of build quality and profit margins. Now it seems people are actually willing to pay a little more for devices if they offer features they care about such as touch screen and digitizers. Problem is, for a couple years now computers have become powerful enough that even the least powerful systems on the market accommodate the average person's daily tasks (facebook, web browsing, youtube, etc.) easily. Now they're looking for features that are beyond specifications.

From yesterday's NPD NPD story [npd.com] , which focused on slowing desktop/laptop sales but failed to touch on the following:

Average selling prices of Windows computing devices have jumped significantly this year. Last year, overall ASP was $433 while this year’s ASP over the past four weeks has risen to $477. Windows 8 notebooks have seen a nearly $80 rise in selling prices versus the prior year, propelled by the aforementioned strong performance of touchscreen devices and a solid uptick in the pricing on mainstream notebooks. Windows 8 desktop ASPs were also strong with selling prices up nearly 10 percent, driven by the same factors as notebook sales.

Slashdotters say touch screens on laptops and desktops are insane, but it's clear to me the general population enjoys them - and are willing to pay for them. My girlfriend uses the touch screen on my old tablet PC to click on shortcuts and scroll pages when she has a keyboard and mouse right in front of her. My parents have an HP TouchSmart they enjoy. My old university had those TouchSmarts in libraries and public areas, students routinely used the touch screen instead of mice (but not keyboard). The surface and other x86 tablets like it offer a full blown touch interface unlike previous Windows generations, and the hardware to go along with it, and that's something those cheaper more powerful laptops don't offer that consumers might be willing to pay for.

Re:*facepalm* (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42142789)

OK, let's compare to a "full-blown" laptop then.

I get closer to 7 hours of battery from my 13" Macbook Air, maybe a little less if I'm running full-blown Windows 8 in a vm.

Re:*facepalm* (2)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | about a year and a half ago | (#42142799)

Show it to the average consumer and ask them what it is. They won't tell you its an "ultrabook" ( and they wouldn't even if they knew what that was) they'll say "tablet" and compare it to ... other tablets.

Its like porshe comming out with a new model that looks idetnical to a toyota yaris. They need an easy way for consumers to tell where the extra money and reduced fue effiencincy is going. The nameplate of porshe helps, but you could also show them different performance specs and have them test drive it a bit. Microsoft needs to do something to make it easy to explain to people why its differnt than other tablets. Oh wait, they already have an identical looking device that does behavie like a tablet in surface with windows RT. That would be like porshe developing two cars identical to the yaris, one with great performance you'd expect of porshe and antother that has performance on par with the yaris. Basically, MS is screwed. That's too dificult to explain to enough people.

Re:*facepalm* (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42143415)

It's the worst of both worlds.

If you want to use it as a tablet, it fails. Tablets with better specs and a better OS are half the price and have far better battery life. It's also too big and too heavy.

If you want to use it as a laptop, it fails. No real keyboard, bad specs, low battery life, and still too expensive.

Microsoft is trying to make a market for it, but it won't work. Nobody wants what they're pushing, and especially not at this price. Microsoft is making the exact same mistakes they've always made with this tech - trying to force standard Windows onto everything.

Too Expensive (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42142501)

You can get a real laptop that does more, has more flexibility, more processing power/ram/storage/battery life/choice of operating system, for less.

Re:Too Expensive (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42142571)

You can get a real laptop that does more, has more flexibility, more processing power/ram/storage/battery life/choice of operating system, for less.

In other words, "no sane price point. Less battery life than an iPad. Lame."

(Welcome back, CmdrTaco!)

Re:Too Expensive (0)

gabereiser (1662967) | about a year and a half ago | (#42142611)

In other words, "If you want something with laptop like power, just get a damned laptop!"

Re:Too Expensive (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42142875)

In other words "Stop innovating, nothing new has ever taken off". Imbeciles.

Re:Too Expensive (1)

lister king of smeg (2481612) | about a year and a half ago | (#42143379)

its not innovative its crap. its supposed to be between a tablet and a netbook but it lacks any of the advantages of either and contains all of the problems of both.
It has a lower battery life than either a netbook or tablet
it costs more then a tablet or laptop
it is less powerful then a notebook,
it does not come with a keyboard you have to pay extra for that yet is supposed to repalce the netbooks?
it has less mobile software then any other platform,
it runs office but who wants to run office on a touch screen oh and it eat a significant portion of the on board storage. i know people say "oh well you can just use a micro sd card if you need more space." but if this this is supposed to replace you netbook ask your self would you ever settle for using an sd as a primary storage device on a netbook?

Re:Too Expensive (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | about a year and a half ago | (#42143475)

Where exactly is the innovation here?

Re:Too Expensive (1)

autocannon (2494106) | about a year and a half ago | (#42142747)

Does more? No.
More Flexibility? No.

More hardware options? Yes.

The question is, do you want tablet form factor or laptop?

Consider, to do any real work on a laptop (ie not watching video or reading the interwebz), you need a separate keyboard and mouse and probably a bigger monitor. May as well have the dock then; so how portable is that laptop for getting anything done? The Surface has the click on attach whatever keyboard and touch screen. I really think the Surface has a chance to show a way ahead where laptops become an outdated option. I know that's a stretch for some to think of right now, but at the concept of what the Surface is trying to do seems valid IMO.

Flash memory prices (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42142513)

Can someone please explain to why flash memory in phones and tablets is so damn expensive? They charge in $100 increments to double storage space. It's ridiculous. At first I thought it was just scumbag Apple gouging its iTards on pricing but now MS is doing it as well. You would think they would charge less for storage to gain some kind of competitive advantage.

Re:Flash memory prices (1)

skipkent (1510) | about a year and a half ago | (#42142637)

Apple pays about 42 bucks per 64gb chip. I'm sure MS isn't getting as good of a deal, yet at least... I'm assuming the markup isn't some insane amount for what most people would think is a premium feature.

Microsoft can't make hardware. (-1, Troll)

macdaddy357 (582412) | about a year and a half ago | (#42142539)

The red ring of death, the Zune, and now the Surface. Microsoft can't make hardware. Considering Windows Vista, Windows 8 and the ribbon in Office, they aren't very good at software either.

Re:Microsoft can't make hardware. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42142687)

So... who can make hardware?

Apple? Like the newton. Like the pippin. Like the iphone 4 too?

It's very easy to point out flaws, but like it or not microsoft has advanced computing like no other company in the world.

They just need to put down ballmer.

Re:Microsoft can't make hardware. (1)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | about a year and a half ago | (#42142871)

consensus is they can make one hell of a keyboard though! :D

Re:Microsoft can't make hardware. (1)

Guspaz (556486) | about a year and a half ago | (#42143069)

Well, yes. I love my Microsoft ComfortCurve 2000, which coincidentally is (or was, anyhow) the cheapest one they make.

Their mice are decent too. I prefer Logitech, but I've never had any major complaints about Microsoft's mice.

Re:Microsoft can't make hardware. (1)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | about a year and a half ago | (#42143315)

consensus is they can make one hell of a keyboard though! :D

Yeah, too bad they forgot to include one with the Pro.

Re:Microsoft can't make hardware. (1)

wiedzmin (1269816) | about a year and a half ago | (#42142893)

When was the last time you have heard of the red ring of death, and what is wrong with Zune hardware?

Re:Microsoft can't make hardware. (1)

lister king of smeg (2481612) | about a year and a half ago | (#42143499)

the zunes hardware problem was not technical in nature it was purely aesthetic, in that it is commonly cited as looking like a turd.
the other problem it had is one of the same ones that is now plaguing Mickysoft they are/were very late to market are/were over priced and look like "me too!" products

Re:Microsoft can't make hardware. (1)

SJHillman (1966756) | about a year and a half ago | (#42142947)

What about XP? Windows 7? The entire server family of Windows? MS Office in general other than one UI aspect that some people like and others don't like? They make some pretty good software. Sure, they've had some blunders like Bob, Clippy, Me and Vista... but even those provided some insight and innovations that MS could use later on. I expect Windows 8 to be another insight-provider, but it's too early to call.

In spite of RRoD issues, the Xbox and 360 have still been wildly popular... I'd call it a success by most relevant metrics. They tried the Zune... it didn't work as planned, although marketing played a major part in its failure above and beyond any technical failures.

Re:Microsoft can't make hardware. (1)

Gerinych (1393861) | about a year and a half ago | (#42143113)

But I liked Clippy...

Re:Microsoft can't make hardware. (1)

nyctopterus (717502) | about a year and a half ago | (#42143273)

Where is this "Windows XP was good" coming from recently? It wasn't, its security was terrible, it's playschool interface embarrassing, and its usability poor. People got used to it, and its worst blunders (security) were somewhat patched up, but it wasn't ever good. The reason Vista bombed was because it had to reverse a heap of XP shit, and that was always going to hurt.

Always about Microsoft (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42142549)

Why don't we have an article on why Linux failed on the desktop?

Re:Always about Microsoft (1)

DickBreath (207180) | about a year and a half ago | (#42142991)

> Why don't we have an article on why Linux failed on the desktop?

Okay, here's your article about why Linux failed on the desktop. Explanation is simple. Microsoft has had a powerful entrenched monopoly on the desktop. The phenomena of software lock-in is very real. IBM learned this in the 60's. Competing desktop OSes never stood a chance. Does that answer your question about Linux on the desktop? It doesn't matter how good any competitor is against an entrenched monopolist.

In areas where Microsoft does not have an entrenched monopoly, it does not know how to compete. Competition is not even in their DNA. They have never had to compete. I don't think they even know how to compete on a level playing field. They cannot participate in a competitive market on their own merits. They simply must resort to dirty tricks. It's like predicting the sun rising in the East. It's like when long distance monopoly was broken and AT&T did not know how to compete on long distance. Sprint and MCI ate their lunch.

Furthermore, Microsoft has no vision. None. Zero. Every product from Microsoft has been copied from someone else, or acquired from someone else. To the extent some of these products are excellent, that is simply the result of pouring buckets of monopoly money into them.

As for Linux, in every area except the desktop, Linux rules the world and is gaining ground by the day.

Even more generally, open source, in general, is destined to always win. Even against well financed commercial alternatives. Proprietary products may be superior in the short term. But open source is here for the long term (forever). It's improvement can sometimes seem slow, but it just keeps inexorably improving until it is good enough, and then eventually best.

It's not competing with tablets (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42142559)

The jury is still out, of course, but I'm going to take a hard look at the Surface Pro because it's an ultra portable, fully powered laptop. I have a Nexus 7 and they are in no way comparable. The Nexus is for light websurfing and gaming on the couch, the Surface could be for professional use as my main work computer.

never mind. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42142561)

Just load Linux on it. Bet it gets better battery life without all the bloat.

Re:never mind. (1)

DickBreath (207180) | about a year and a half ago | (#42143051)

For the price of this tablet, $899 or $999, I can buy several other tables with Linux preloaded. (eg, Android)

But oh so much more power... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42142563)

Decent CPU, memory and hi-res display. Four-to-five hours is good commuting/coffee shop time, so while its a not a perma-road-warrior machine, its not horrible.

http://www.cmswire.com/cms/customer-experience/microsoft-takes-the-wraps-off-surface-pro-tablets-018506.php

Re:But oh so much more power... (4, Informative)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about a year and a half ago | (#42142933)

Decent CPU, memory and hi-res display. Four-to-five hours is good commuting/coffee shop time, so while its a not a perma-road-warrior machine, its not horrible.

http://www.cmswire.com/cms/customer-experience/microsoft-takes-the-wraps-off-surface-pro-tablets-018506.php

And we saw how well this model worked for them the last time around...

Basically this is pretty much the same tablet paradigm they offered a decade ago.

Forget battery life - price is way too high (5, Interesting)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | about a year and a half ago | (#42142567)

Forget battery life - price is way too high.

I'd love to have a 7-8 inch Surface...if the price was around $250-280 and it included Microsoft Office. Instead, I'm moving my wife and kids Nexus 7s ($200/pop) and hooking them up to Google Docs. I've even abandoned my iPad/iPod infrastructure at this point - tablets are way too fragile (and easily stolen) to be paying $400+ for each one.

Re:Forget battery life - price is way too high (3, Insightful)

ischorr (657205) | about a year and a half ago | (#42142629)

Then this is clearly the wrong device for your needs, and it's not intended to be. The Surface RT would be a device aimed closer at you, though it'd be too expensive as well per your criteria.

Re:Forget battery life - price is way too high (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42143461)

Then this is clearly the wrong device for your needs, and it's not intended to be.

Yes, we *know* it's not intended to be the wrong device for this guy. But it is...

Re:Forget battery life - price is way too high (2)

Cinder6 (894572) | about a year and a half ago | (#42142701)

Much as I agree it would be a cool thing at that price, $250 isn't much more than a full version of Office. Remember that Microsoft makes its money from software sales. I just don't see this happening, but it would be interesting to be wrong on this count.

Re:Forget battery life - price is way too high (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42143325)

How many tablet versions of ms office have MS sold? I doubt that tablet versions of office would cut into profits of desktop versions and therefore they do not have to be priced like desktop equivalent.

Re:Forget battery life - price is way too high (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42142883)

Yeah, I'd buy about 1000 of them if they cost thirteen cents each.

Re:Forget battery life - price is way too high (4, Funny)

raftpeople (844215) | about a year and a half ago | (#42143269)

"I'd love to have a 7-8 inch Surface" - Most people would but you just need to be happy with what God gave you

Not surprised (1)

_0x783czar (2516522) | about a year and a half ago | (#42142591)

I'm not exactly shocked by this, with more power comes more power consumption. Although I can see how this can be a downside when one is evaluating the usefulness of the device for their purposes. I'm not a fan of Microsoft Products, but I can see why it would be tough to overcome this (at least in the first iteration).

good the faster they retool 8 / merto the better (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42142633)

good the faster they retool 8 / merto the better

title is incorrect (0, Troll)

hypergreatthing (254983) | about a year and a half ago | (#42142647)

should read, why the surface pro will fail.
1000$ is way too high. Hit the 500$ and then it will compete with high end tablets. Until then there is nothing new with it. They made touch tablets back in the early 2000s that ran x86 chips that never got off the ground either. Too expensive, poor battery life and bulky. Too bad intel is not competitive with lightweight arm chips. The longer microsoft and intel won't compete the more and more people will start using them as their main computers.

Re:title is incorrect (0)

wiedzmin (1269816) | about a year and a half ago | (#42143029)

Oh for crying out loud, it does not compete with tablets, they're not even in the same ballpark. It runs a full-blown desktop OS, and has a hardware keyboard, which makes it an ultrabook competitor, if anything. A convertible ultrabook competitor. What are you going to compare next, PSP and Xbox 360, cars and scooters, cats and dogs?

Re:title is incorrect (2)

hypergreatthing (254983) | about a year and a half ago | (#42143285)

Even microsoft calls it the surface pro tablet. It has the word tablet in it's name, yet it doesn't compare to other tablets?
What exactly is a full-blown desktop OS? Android has a lot in common with linux. Hardware keyboard? I guess you've never heard of the asus transformer. What exactly is an ultrabook? It's just a small laptop, it's a marketing gimmick that apparently intel has sold you on.
What benefit does a surface RT has over android tablets? What benefit does the pro version have over the RT version? as far as i know the only pro is that it runs native x86 applications. That's the only benefit. At double the cost of android tablets? no thank you.

Hey, Wanna Windows 8 Boombox? (0)

BoRegardless (721219) | about a year and a half ago | (#42142677)

It's got everything. You can do everything with it. A proverbial Swiss Army Knife. It's got it all. It's gonna be cool...unless you turn it on.

Re:Hey, Wanna Windows 8 Boombox? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42143197)

It's not just a tablet - it's a jigsaw. It's a power drill. It's a wood-turning lathe. It's an asphalt spreader. It's 67 tools in one!

Space (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42142683)

It will be very hard to convince people to use a Surface Pro as their all-in-one device when you are left with a little more than 32 Gb of space on a 899$ device.

Re:Space (2)

ReptileQc (679542) | about a year and a half ago | (#42142877)

I just realized while reading TFA that at these prices, it won't even come with the keyboard included. So add another ~100$ for the touch or type cover!

So then... (1)

BillCable (1464383) | about a year and a half ago | (#42142685)

... it'll join the Surface and Windows Phone? Perhaps they should stick to video game consoles...

Achilles heel? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42142719)

It runs windows 8!

Too expensive! (5, Funny)

kencurry (471519) | about a year and a half ago | (#42142753)

It's just too expensive; only clueless, rich snobs with more money than brains can afford it!

Sincerely,
Apple User

Re:Too expensive! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42143031)

I agree with the "clueless" part, but the rich snobs (but not likely clueless) will go Apple

Re:Too expensive! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42143265)

WOOSH!

BRILLIANT !!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42142859)

Cowardice in Microsoft fo not having the GUTS to OPENLY ADMIT that the so called RT Professional Windows 8 is a DUD thanks to the bold guy who was just "consensually" fired for royally screwing up the Windows 8.... Boy is this going to go down history (and hysteria) as the greatest flop of all times...

Can they do anything right? (3, Interesting)

Luveno (575425) | about a year and a half ago | (#42142965)

Reflecting back, it is sort of amazing how far Microsoft has fallen. From being nearly synonymous with everything computer related to now being the last one you think of when it comes to the technology that is nearest to us (our cell phones and tablets), it is stunning. And everything they make now looks like a desperate me-too move. Even more broadly, just a few years ago I was working in all Microsoft platforms from server and web development to desktop and office automation. Now, with the exception of Exchange, I don't even see Microsoft products. Amazing.

this is no surprise (2)

sribe (304414) | about a year and a half ago | (#42143011)

- It's a shitty tablet: expensive, thick, heavy, short battery life, no mobile broadband.

- If you really need one in order to run your software, then you really need a laptop (or at least an ultrabook). In my opinion, it's not a shitty laptop, but neither is it a good one, especially for that price.

So, who needs this? Almost no one. In fact, maybe no one at all.

Why can't it run Rt software? (1)

TheSunborn (68004) | about a year and a half ago | (#42143067)

Why can't it run software for Windows 8 RT?

  I thought RT used .net and thus the software would be supported on both arm and x86.

The biggest problem I see with the surface pro, is that it is a tablet with no tablet software, because it can't run RT software. So it is a niche marked, even within the niche windows tablet marked.

Is 4 hours too little? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42143117)

I'm never away from a charger for more than a few hours, so this seems like a good alternative to my Andriod tablets since it'll allow me to run Windows apps and my own .Net software. It's obviously not for the Microsoft haters, but for those of us who make a living in the Microsoft ecosystem, it can be very useful.

air (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42143139)

add a couple hundred and you can get a macbook air, so much better, no antivirus programs needed to be running at all times etc. al.

air (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42143163)

at $999, the macbook air is superior to the surface, comes with a real keyboard, and double the battery life and 1/4 the thickness of surface!

extra battery (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42143257)

Surface Pro will have extra battery in the keyboard to boost the battery life.

Stupid Comparison (1)

Bugler412 (2610815) | about a year and a half ago | (#42143309)

Surface RT is the competitor for iPad/Nexus/Kindle/etc. Surface Pro's competition is UltraBooks, MacBook Air, etc.

Can it run Linux? (1)

thomasw_lrd (1203850) | about a year and a half ago | (#42143373)

Can I put Linux on it?

priced a little lower, it won't fail. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42143497)

simply because it's the only tablet-that-can-also-sorta-function-as-a-laptop that can join domains and run a full version of office, including outlook.

where microsoft really failed, tho, is by not having a metro outlook app ready at launch and by not allowing windows rt to join/be managed by domains.

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