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64GB MS Surface Pro Only Has 23GB of Free Space

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the 36%-but-who's-counting dept.

Data Storage 588

An anonymous reader writes "From the LA Times: 'Although Microsoft's 128 GB Surface Pro tablet is advertised as having 128 gigabytes of storage, the amount of space available to users is much less than that. That's also true for the 64 GB model. The Redmond, Wash., company confirmed Tuesday that the 128 GB Surface Pro has 83 GB of free storage, while the 64 GB version comes with 23 GB of open space. The reason for the difference: space already taken up by the tablet's Windows 8 Pro operating system and various preinstalled apps.' It's generally understood that your device won't have as much available storage as advertised, but it's usually a lot closer than this. Should device-makers be required to advertise how much storage is available to users, rather than the size of the storage media?"

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588 comments

OK. Next? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42736583)

Yes, they should.

Re:OK. Next? (4, Insightful)

Tx (96709) | about a year ago | (#42736625)

I don't think they should be required to advertise how much space is actually available, however Microsoft should be looking to give people reasons to buy the Surface Pro; instead here's another reason not to. PR fail.

Re:OK. Next? (2)

kthreadd (1558445) | about a year ago | (#42736637)

Can the apps and OS be removed? If so then the total storage space is interesting. If you can't, then free space is more intreresting.

Re:OK. Next? (2)

Pieroxy (222434) | about a year ago | (#42736667)

Are you asking if Microsoft - ardent member of the TCPA alliance and pushing it to every manufacturer out there - is going to allow alternative OS on their own tablet? Knowing that their principal cash cow is Windows should give you another clue.

Re:OK. Next? (1)

kthreadd (1558445) | about a year ago | (#42736751)

I was thinking about all tablets. If they are locked down with Android, iOS or Windows doesn't matter. As long as I cannot remove or alter some of the content of the device I'm not interested in how much space that content needs, all I need to know is how much space I can control.

Re:OK. Next? (5, Interesting)

Tx (96709) | about a year ago | (#42736723)

According to the article and comments on Ars Technica which I read earlier, the recovery partition can be moved to an external disk, and another fair chunk of space is supposed to be a trial of Office, which can presumably be removed. Those two things would get you to around 40GB free, which is about what you'd expect for an install of Windows on a 64GB disk.

Re:OK. Next? (1, Funny)

crazyjj (2598719) | about a year ago | (#42736793)

Just once, I'd like to run into a cult of bunny worshipers.

The first rule of the Church of Peter is you DO NOT talk about the Church of Peter.

Re:No, not OK! (0)

Razgorov Prikazka (1699498) | about a year ago | (#42737025)

Ohhhwww... So... my grandmother only has to go out to the computer store _again_ to buy an external HD, lookup what a "recovery partition" is and what the procedure is to upload that to the external HD [she would call it the little box I guess]. Then find out which are the "chunks of space that is supposed to be a trial of Office" and how to get rid of this nonsens. Probably that is just as easy as pressing the "big blue E" for internet?

MS has a fair share of techies under it's customers, but the majority thinks that these kind operations are deemed to be too difficult for them. They might find it even 'dangerous', and wonder if they are not voiding warranty or something. MS should be more clear about this IMHO.
If this was shipping with a gnu/linux os and had "some extra's" I would expect the targeted customer group would be more than capable of getting rid of it all and install DSL so they could enjoy the rest of the 63,95GB... But n% of the MS users... meh, not so much...

Re:OK. Next? (1)

crazyjj (2598719) | about a year ago | (#42736783)

Can the apps and OS be removed?

Aside from a few off-brand tablets, have you ever known any tablet that you could do this to (without jailbreaking them)?

Re:OK. Next? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42736847)

There's a plenty of Android tablets where manufacturer provides you with all you need to unlock bootloader and install an alternative OS. For example, there's that little known Nexus 7 tablet that's being targeted by official Ubuntu distro now.

Re:OK. Next? (1)

craigminah (1885846) | about a year ago | (#42736791)

How long until someone hacks Ubuntu or another OS onto the Surface Pro? This might sell more Surface Pros if it's easily hacked.

Re:OK. Next? (1)

Joce640k (829181) | about a year ago | (#42736867)

You mean LinuxMint?

Re:OK. Next? (1)

craigminah (1885846) | about a year ago | (#42736985)

I'm not sure if Linux Mint has touchscreen compat out of the box but Mint w/ Cinnamon is my preferred Linux port.

Re:OK. Next? (2)

ssam (2723487) | about a year ago | (#42736991)

The linux mint developers have this crazy idea that everyone want to use a mouse and keyboard with their tablet. you probably want the trendy derivative called ubuntu, they have forked the user interface to so that it still works on a tradition touch screen. the trouble is there are so many of these crazy forks, unity, gnome3, plasma, not very sustainable. :-)

Re:OK. Next? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42736695)

_exactly_

They won't win any users money this way. There's no way I'd but one now they need to slim that shit down big time. What I don't understand the most is; How does no one at MS think how ridiculous this is long before the product hits the market? Not a single person thought "hey people probably wont want to spend gobs of money on this device which has LESS THAN HALF the space available that was advertised? That itself is a sign of a company that has no clue WTF it's doing.

Re:OK. Next? (4, Insightful)

Dave Whiteside (2055370) | about a year ago | (#42736657)

and then what happens after a few windows updates .. how much space will be left then

Re:OK. Next? (1)

WillAdams (45638) | about a year ago | (#42736759)

Exactly what I was coming here to wonder --- I installed Windows XP Tablet PC Edition on a 4GB SSD drive a while back, and low drive space warnings triggered by Windows updates are a continual hassle.

Re:OK. Next? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42736843)

Exactly,

And what about after all my programs, and music, and videos, and photos? How much space will be left then?

It's at least possible to put them somewhere else (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42736927)

But your MS downloaded updates will take up space in your C:/Windows area and won't like being anywhere else.

If, after 20GB of updates downloaded (say three service packs), your OS now tells you to clean up and you've removed all your files, what, exactly are you supposed to do now?

Recovery partition can be moved or deleted (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42736585)

A chunk of that space is a recovery partition. It can be moved to an external drive or flash drive, or deleted.

Re:Recovery partition can be moved or deleted (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42736605)

...if you're not worried about a Microsoft product shitting itself or needing a "cleaning" every couple of months.

Re:Recovery partition can be moved or deleted (2)

bondsbw (888959) | about a year ago | (#42736975)

I have never used the recovery partition on any computer I used. Of course, YMMV, since I always wipe a new computer and install the OS from a crapware-free copy.

Re:Recovery partition can be moved or deleted (5, Interesting)

Sockatume (732728) | about a year ago | (#42736659)

Unfortunately use of a recovery partition is central to MS' backup and recovery strategy for Windows 8. The ability to create a backup of arbitrary files or a disk image is deprecated; you can't even get Previous Versions for files outside of your libraries. Instead you're meant to have an offline cache of Previous Versions (File History) and sign in using a Microsoft account. If you have a failure you're instructed to reinstall from the recovery partition. Then you're meant to restore your apps from the Windows Store, and their settings from your Microsoft Account.

Quite what you're meant to do if you have a hard drive failure and/or (like every Windows user in existence) most of your apps are Desktop-based and therefore are neither recoverable from the store, nor able to sync their settings to the Microsoft Account, is an exercise for the reader.

In my day... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42736733)

You know, in my day, the OS came on medium separate from the computers HDD. They were called "Floppy Disks" and, for later and larger programs, "CDs" and even "DVDs".

There was no need to find your own degrade-ready writeable CD for 20p or USB HDD for £40 to make your own installation media, and the HDD installed on the machine didn't need to waste space with the disk image hiding on it.

Apparently, 10p for a CD/DVD that (being made from a proper pressing plant) didn't degrade in sunlight was a tad too expensive and you're meant to buy that yourself for extra...

Re:In my day... (1)

Joce640k (829181) | about a year ago | (#42736893)

Apparently, 10p for a CD/DVD that (being made from a proper pressing plant) didn't degrade in sunlight was a tad too expensive and you're meant to buy that yourself for extra...

Where would you insert the CD/DVD?

Yes (5, Insightful)

hedleyroos (817147) | about a year ago | (#42736589)

For the first time a summary that ends in a question can be answered by a yes.

Re:Yes (2)

sunderland56 (621843) | about a year ago | (#42736801)

For the first time a summary that ends in a question can be answered by a yes.

That doesn't mean there won't be 300 responses to this story, though.

On linux (4, Interesting)

walshy007 (906710) | about a year ago | (#42736591)

On a typical linux distro like fedora I could have every app I'm ever likely to use _and_ their developer libraries in just under 10gb, always makes me wonder why windows is so much larger and provides so much less.

Re:On linux (2)

kthreadd (1558445) | about a year ago | (#42736621)

Maybe Windows proves more features.

Re:On linux (4, Interesting)

O('_')O_Bush (1162487) | about a year ago | (#42736663)

That would be the story of the century. One reason is that Windows likes to keep redundant copies of things. Looking for the login screen background? It is located in no less than five different places on your HDD. This is true for many files.

Re:On linux (2)

jones_supa (887896) | about a year ago | (#42736779)

C:\Windows\System32\oobe\background.bmp

What others?

Re:On linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42736789)

Away with your "facts", knave.

Re:On linux (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42736945)

C:\Windows\System32\oobe\background.bmp

What others?

Windows\sysWOW64\oobe\
Windows\winsxs\amd64_setup-uxwizard-clientimages_31b...\
Windows\winsxs\x86_setup-uxwizard-clientimages_31b...\

Technically less than 5, and found via linux so some of those may be super hidden

Re:On linux (1)

KiloByte (825081) | about a year ago | (#42736963)

In newer versions of Windows several additional copies are present in System Restore and their pseudo-versioning thingy, both of which are not available as plain files (they waste space just the same).

Re:On linux (3, Interesting)

Sockatume (732728) | about a year ago | (#42736673)

Yes, I dare say that one could install Windows XP and come in well under 10GB as well. The surprise isn't that Windows 8 is large - it's basically two disparate OSes, plus Office - the surprise is that they didn't really consider that when choosing a hard drive size for this tablet. 80GB was a piddling amount of space for a Windows machine five years ago.

Re:On linux (2)

gman003 (1693318) | about a year ago | (#42736913)

When I was in middle school, I had a laptop with a 6GB hard drive.

I dual-booted on it. Windows XP will work fine in 3GB, as long as you're careful.

(This was before SP3, though, and I may have had to skip SP2 as well. Can't remember.)

You so funny (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42736805)

If number of features is related to size, then this Win8 install should provide about 20 times as much features as XP, 10 times as much as default Ubuntu or Debian install or 3-4 times as much as Win7.

I really doubt that's the case.

Re:On linux (4, Informative)

Dr_Barnowl (709838) | about a year ago | (#42737009)

Let's see... on my current Linux install my root drive (no user documents or settings) is 9.5GB.

I have..

* A full office suite
* An email / calendar program
* A bitmap graphics program
* A vector graphics program
* A general diagram tool
* A diagram tool for making GUI mockups
* A UML modelling tool
* A mind mapping tool
* A project management tool
* A selection of different media players, each tailored for a purpose (music, video)
* A CD ripper
* A CD creator
* A DVD / video transcoding application
* A webcam app
* A photo management app
* Two different web browsers
* More than three different text editors, all with features that blow Notepad.exe out of the water
* A backup system
* Database management tools
* The tools for three different version control systems
* Development kits for C, C++, Ruby, Python, Perl, XML, Java, C# (probably missed some out)
* Two Java development environments
* File differencing tools
* A hex editor
* The thoroughly awesome GNU tool set which by itself makes you more productive with a large folder of text files than anything else
* Encryption software
* Archive tools for every common archive format and most of the uncommon ones

* Several sets of remote desktop / system management tools
* VPN software
* A Windows-compatible file server

* A sticky notes program
* A BitTorrent client

* A unified instant messenger client
* A specialized IRC client
* Skype
* A unified social network client

* A cloud folder with 5GB of complimentary storage

* A calculator
* A few desk toys
* A typing tutor

* The usual system management widgets

* A means of pretending to be Windows when the need arises

And

* A package management system that keeps ALL of it up to date (not just the operating system)
* and doesn't need a reboot every time it does it ... No, I don't think 40GB of Windows provides all of that.

(no, not all of this came out of the box, but all of it was available for free, and all of it fits in that 9.5GB ; there's some "payware" on there too but I didn't include it above)

Re:On linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42736649)

May be because Windows contains every previous version of Windows within itself. Compatibility layer after compatibility layer.
Granted they dropped 16-bit stuff since Vista, but there still a plenty.

Re:On linux (1)

kthreadd (1558445) | about a year ago | (#42736671)

May be because Windows contains every previous version of Windows within itself. Compatibility layer after compatibility layer. Granted they dropped 16-bit stuff since Vista, but there still a plenty.

Dropped and dropped, support for 16 bit applications is still there; it is a supported feature of Windows 8. You just need the 32 bit version of the OS, the 64 bit version doesn't include it.

Re:On linux (1)

ewanm89 (1052822) | about a year ago | (#42736915)

Not to mention, it's just as much a limitation of x86_64 architecture as to why it's not included. Once the CPU is put into 64bit mode, it only has enough registers for 64bit and 32bit applications.

Re:On linux (1)

SJHillman (1966756) | about a year ago | (#42736699)

This is one of the main sources of Windows bloat and crash issues. It's also one of the main reasons Windows remains so dominant in spite of trip-ups like Me and Vista. I can still play games from the mid-90's on Windows 8 and XP Mode on 7 lets me play games from earlier still. It's a shame they got rid of XP Mode, although you can import it into VirtualBox or VMware (but, ironically, not Client Hyper-V last I knew) to keep using it on Windows 8.

Re:On linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42736767)

30 GB of pure code is still unreasonable. A full featured operating system doesn't take up that much space. This installation have to contain a large amount of drivers where every one of them comes with an installer that contains a full-hd splash-screen.
But even if every damn icon in the system is stored in 256x256 they don't take up more than 100k each.

For this much space it's not enough to just have bloat. Even the bloat itself has bloat on it.
This is not simply accidental bloat, something this large has to be intentional.

Well, either that or windows 8 comes with a full porn collection included.

Re:On linux (1)

Schreckgestalt (692027) | about a year ago | (#42736669)

On Windows, you usually also get a swap file (c:\pagefile.sys) in the size 1.5*AMOUNT_OF_RAM and the hibernation/suspend2disk file (c:\hiberfil.sys) which is the same size as the amount of RAM you have.

Re:On linux (1)

Dr_Barnowl (709838) | about a year ago | (#42737027)

There's no reason to hibernate a tablet computer though - the things are designed to be in perpetual standby.

Re:On linux (1)

sunderland56 (621843) | about a year ago | (#42736891)

Android phones typically do *not* list their capacity - either total or available. Instead they just have a memory slot. The customer can put in as much or as little memory as they need, without being charged a rediculous amount (Microsoft $100 for an extra 32GB of space; a 32GB micro flash card is about $25).

On Android (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42736935)

I have a new Nexus 7 with 32GB of storage. 2.5GB were taken up by the OS. Everything else is available for anything I wish.

Re:On linux (1)

Telvin_3d (855514) | about a year ago | (#42736943)

I could have every app I'm ever likely to use _and_ their developer libraries

I don't think it's an issue of Linux vs. Windows. I think it's a case of you vs other people's use cases. For example, the Adobe suite clocks in pretty close to 10 gb all by itself. There are plenty of games that are bigger than 10 gb.

These are not unusual things to install on a computer.

Use Notepad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42736613)

You can store a *lot* of plain text files (not HTML or source code) in 23GB.

Wow. (4, Insightful)

MachineShedFred (621896) | about a year ago | (#42736619)

And to think that yesterday I was complaining that our corporate Win7 image payload (which includes an automated "reimage" virtual disk) was fat and bloated at 13GB.

Well, it still is fat and bloated. But it's a slender reed compared to this 41GB monster.

what a deal i have for you! (5, Funny)

Kirk Brady (2828589) | about a year ago | (#42736627)

here is this beautiful car for you to buy, with 5 seats...but you can only use one of the seats because the plans to re-build the car take up the other four seats...

Re:analogy (4, Insightful)

miknix (1047580) | about a year ago | (#42736769)

it is more like:

here is this car for you to buy, with 5 seats...but you can only use two of the seats because the engine takes the other three...

It is amazing what software companies can escape with, things that in other engineering fields would totally blast them companies with lawsuits.
Can you imagine a civil engineer gradually patching structural inconsistencies in a bridge as they show up? Yikes!

Re:analogy (1)

Threni (635302) | about a year ago | (#42736857)

> It is amazing what software companies can escape with, things that in
> other engineering fields would totally blast them companies with lawsuits.

http://apcmag.com/seagate_settles_class_action_cash_back_over_misleading_hard_drive_capacities.htm [apcmag.com]

> Can you imagine a civil engineer gradually patching structural
> inconsistencies in a bridge as they show up? Yikes!

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/1829053.stm [bbc.co.uk]

Should I ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42736635)

have to tell you the truth
or
lie

before you punch me in the face?

They should tell the truth (4, Interesting)

erroneus (253617) | about a year ago | (#42736643)

If they want to say it has "storage space" of amount X, that's how much should be available to the user.

If I were renting storage space in a building and said "this is 1200 sqft" and only made 500sqft available because I installed electrical and environmental equipment in there, I would be rightfully challenged by my customer(s).

The proper way to handle it would be to set asside space for the OS and then install the 64GB or 128GB storage device for the OS to serve up to the user just as it would be proper to set up electrical and environmental gear outside of the storage space of my storage facility.

Business in the US gets away with far too much "interpretation" when presenting information to its customers. This duality of storage space for RAM and HDD is equally outrageous. Sectors are still in base-2 oriented increments because RAM is in base-2 increments. Why break things just so that HDD makers can lie to the users?! In the end, when the lie becomes the norm, the effectiveness of the lie wears off rather quickly. (Gasoline prices are measured in dollars, and the 0.9 cents doesn't quite have so much meaning... we have all learned to just add one the the last digit in the price haven't we?)

Let's get back to the simple truths.

Re:They should tell the truth (4, Interesting)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about a year ago | (#42736677)

If I were renting storage space in a building and said "this is 1200 sqft" and only made 500sqft available because I installed electrical and environmental equipment in there, I would be rightfully challenged by my customer(s).

Clearly you've never looked at houses in London.

The sq footage will sometimes include eaves storage, always include parts of the attic extension where the ceiling is so low that the square footage is only accessible to a hobbit and also the cellar. Those are not nice, dry spacious American style cellars either, they are old coal cellars, damp and prone to flooding.

Gasoline (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42736813)

Nope. Put two gas stations next to each other with one selling gas at 3.999 and the other 4.000 and the first will sell more gas.

Customary practices (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42736859)

You need to think about what is "customary" in the industry. For example, it is customary when advertising a computer to list the overall disk size in decimal sizing, despite the OS reporting a smaller number in binary, and not to subtract OS or pre-installed apps.

One could argue the tablet is not really a computer, but as noted even MP3 players have been fudging these numbers as they use some of the storage for their own use, so while this is a new scale, its still arguable customary to list total and not usable storage.

Which isn't to say this can't be fixed, Apple for years was at a disadvantage because they chose to advertise usable screen size, where the industry custom came to advertise tube size; so an Apple 13" monitor was as big as most 14" monitors (and some 15", it was really abused). It wasn't until a lawsuit challenged this practice that industry custom changed.

Re:They should tell the truth (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42736939)

If you rented an apartment that said it came fully furnished, and they provided the square footage, would you expect them to figure out how much free square footage there is? Lets compare apples to apples here. This isn't a storage disk they're saying you're getting. It's a fully furnished disk you're getting.

How about real kilabytes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42736645)

Yes, this will come when the figure out what the real size of a kilobyte is. My 16 GB I-thingie reports it has 13.3 GB of storage.

No. BOTH. (4, Insightful)

MasterOfGoingFaster (922862) | about a year ago | (#42736647)

"Should device-makers be required to advertise how much storage is available to users, rather than the size of the storage media?"

No. They should advertise BOTH storage size and available storage space.

Re:No. BOTH. (1)

dywolf (2673597) | about a year ago | (#42736829)

What they should do, the logical thing to do, is put in two damn drives. Storage is so fricking cheap these days, it makes no sense that they don't. One obviously holds the OS, with room to spare for updates and DLL bloat. The other is the actual user drive. Advertise 128gb, give 128 gb.

Re:No. BOTH. (1)

ArsonSmith (13997) | about a year ago | (#42736937)

Yea just like how every computer and other device with storage I have purchased over the last 30+ years has done this....oh wait no it hasn't.

McDonald's doesn't (1)

halfkoreanamerican (2566687) | about a year ago | (#42736651)

Should McDonald's tell you exactly what is in their burgers when we buy them or should we have the foresight to look up nutrition facts before buying?

Re:McDonald's doesn't (4, Insightful)

coinreturn (617535) | about a year ago | (#42736707)

Should McDonald's tell you exactly what is in their burgers when we buy them or should we have the foresight to look up nutrition facts before buying?

Um, no. A comparable situation would be if McDonald's advertised that that their McNuggets Lunch-a-rama had 12 nuggets, but when you buy one you only got 7. Their explanation being that the server has to eat some, too. At least McDonald's has the decency to admit that their Quarter Pounder is *pre-cooked weight. MS could do the same by saying pre-OS storage. However, if the Quarter Pounder was delivered at less than 2 oz, I think there would be an uproar.

Re:McDonald's doesn't (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42736719)

What is this nutrition you're talking about?

Re:McDonald's doesn't (1)

vlm (69642) | about a year ago | (#42736727)

Should McDonald's tell you exactly what is in their burgers when we buy them or should we have the foresight to look up nutrition facts before buying?

Someone else already beat me to the car analogy, so a better McDonalds analogy would be you purchase and pay for a double quarter pounder and they give you a single, and when you complain "WTF, its still a hamburger stop complaining"

Probably a better analogy would be making fun of the contents. Like our McDonalds ball pit in the play land only has half the vomit and pee content of neighboring mcdonalds... Umm thanks but no thanks just give me an ipad instead.

NOt quite a dupe, but pretty close (1)

Bearhouse (1034238) | about a year ago | (#42736683)

Can't find the story, but has this not already been discussed here, at length?
I'm all for constructive criticism, but gratuitous MS, Apple, Android, *X bashing is just...boring.

Having said all that, >40GB taken up by 'system' files, WTF?

Seriously.... (1)

sp4ni3l (1417195) | about a year ago | (#42736685)

40 to 41 Gb of space needed for an operating system to run a tablet. Sorry microsoft, but here is where I jump off. I am not sure what fancy operating system you build here, but 40 Gb just is a bit to excesive. There must be a way to bring this back a lot! To answer the question: YES!

Didn't we move beyond this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42736697)

Years ago I bought a Palm Treo with the new flash file system, which was "advertised" as having 32MB of storage but only had 22MB accessible to the user.

Palm users went up in arms until they realized, oh wait, if the batteries die in my Palm, I don't have to do a 15-minute sync with my PC to get it all back.

Got to wonder what the product managers at MS do. (2)

milkasing (857326) | about a year ago | (#42736713)

The product managers seem to have forgotten what it is for someone to just go in and start using a product. To really find out how much a feature is worth. There are so many things they could have done...
1. Just deleted the recovery partition to begin with..
2. Provide a cheap recovery USB stick with the recovery OS and apps on it
3. Pre-load surface with a 32 GB micro SD car
Personally I feel surface Pro would have flopped in any case (a 4 hour battery charge for something specifically meant for mobile use is nonsensical), but things like this make it seem that the folks at Microsoft are not even trying to market to the customer.

What is in there? (1)

ltrand (933535) | about a year ago | (#42736729)

I wonder if that number contains things like dedicated backup space and recovery partition. I couldn't imagine that 8RT would be larger than enterprise. There has to be more going on. Did they say if it comes with Office RT installed? With office, restore point and recovery partitions, I could see how you get to 40 gigs pretty quickly. If it is the case, then Redmond, for all their "the PC is dead" talk, still act like they are building a PC OS.

Useless story... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42736731)

Take a 64GB SSD. Install Windows and Office and fully update. You likely won't have much more than 23GB free anyways.

Not that it matters since the Surface pro has a MicroSD slot as well as a USB port so you can expand to whatever you need.

Why start now.. (1)

Striikerr (798526) | about a year ago | (#42736749)

We have seen this happen on other Windows platforms (aka Personal Computers) as well as other systems which need to store the OS and applications on the hard drive. Manufacturers don't list the free remaining space, just the total capacity of the hard drive.
There is however a difference with these new devices. The total storage is much smaller than computer systems with spinning disks. A long time ago, when total storage capacity on spinning disks was quite small in consumer PC's, the operating system was very small (DOS for example) and applications were similarly small (sent on 2 or three floppy disks). So, the impact on a 40 GB hard drive was minimal back then. Fast forward to today and we see a very bloated operating system (to maintain ridiculous backwards compatibility), bloated applications and the pre-installed crapware (sample "free" programs that are pre-installed and which you need to pay to use beyond a few weeks etc). all of this adds up and would have filled that 40 GB hard drive of the old days. when the pre-installed OS and applications etc. consume such a large percentage of the total available storage, they really should identify this on the specs for consumers. "The device contained within this packaging has a 64 GB total storage capacity however the available storage to you is actually 36% of the total leaving you with 23 GB to store documents and install other applications."
This would be a good thing to force the companies to do as it would probably give them incentive to optimize their operating system and applications and also get rid of crapware pre-installations.

The real question is (1)

pev (2186) | about a year ago | (#42736777)

"Can you free up space?"

PCs have forever been shipped with loads of extra crap you don't care about. I'm sure many of you would have had your own procedures for undoing this? Deleting intro videos, AOL trials, stupid 'value add' software no-one wants, pre-imaged recovery images that can be archived to DVD, demo audio files, office trials etc... This has always been the Microsoft way.

However, it's never been hard to delete them off the hard drive (although there should have been a first boot wizard that gives you a list of extra software and a checkbox as to whether you wish to allow it to stay in your install). As the surface pro should be full windows we should anticipate you only need to do your normal "add/remove features" to get rid of much of the crap. However it's still a dumb approach....

Re:The real question is (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42737017)

well in the article they explain that half of the 40GB is a backup partition, you can dump it on a usb drive or SD card, but it's nowhere mentionned by OP :) obvious troll is obvious

Old news (1)

devforhire (2658537) | about a year ago | (#42736799)

This is old news as anyone who foolishly bought a 48GB-60GB SSD because they didn't want to pony up for a 120GB+ one found out with Windows 7.

And thus we know how big Windows RT is. (0)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about a year ago | (#42736873)

64 - 32 = 41GB.

Assuming half of that is a restore image, it's still 20GB.

How? It's an embededed OS! It only needs to support the hardware of exactly one platform, plus common USB devices. No backwards compatibility, no legacy support, and the only bundled application is an office suite without a decent email client. Twenty gigabytes for that?! I know Microsoft has a reputation for sloppy, bloated code, but... this is why. With the limited features of Windows RT, a better development team should be able to fit it all in a few hundred meg. A couple of gig at most.

You still have an SD card slot... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42736883)

I know everyone likes to go up in arms about anything and everything MS related, but some of the reactions regarding this have been rather extreme. Firstly, if you are so inclined, you can remove the recovery partition by creating your own bootable recovery media, and that can get you another 12-16GB. What everyone is also forgetting, is that you have an SD card slot unlike most other tablets (iPad/Nexus) and you can easily slot in an extra 64GB of storage space cheaply via an SD card.

While SD cards are slow and you're not going to want to install apps on it, they would still work just fine for all your media storage. You could store your entire Skydrive/Dropbox/Box on the SD card, use it for music and movies, etc, and that would leave you with the 23 (or ~38-39GB if you remove your recovery partition) for installing apps over and above whatever comes pre-installed. It really isn't that big of a deal. My HTPC has a 64GB SSD, and I still have around 15GB of free space after installing all the apps I'd use for normal productivity along with Win 7 Pro. The 64GB + SD card combo will work just fine for most average folks. If you really need the extra space, just pony up the money for the 128GB version.

I just don't get it sometimes. Apple doesn't give you an SD card slot, and everyone here rages about that. Everyone's beloved Google also decides to rid their Nexus devices of SD card slots and people grudgingly accept this. Then MS introduces an x86 tablet with an SD card slot, but everyone decides to rage about the OS actually taking up space on the device storage (shock and horror!) while completely ignoring the existence of an SD card slot and perhaps maybe, just maybe even commending MS for having an SD slot in their product.

Laptops have the same problem (1)

Ameryll (2390886) | about a year ago | (#42736907)

I would give this a resounding yes and that should be applicable to all electronics - especially laptops. I have a Samsung Series 9, which I generally love, but the hard drive space is abysmal. It advertises a 128 GB hard drive but the C partition only has 89GB of space to its name with 20 GB going to the recovery partition. Its been a while since I purchased it, but I believe it only had ~40 GB of the 128GB hard drive free when I first opened the box due to the space needed for Windows 7 and said recovery partition. After installing the software I wanted and uploading my mp3s, my hard drive is down to 11GB free.

flash ROM OS? (1)

chemdream78 (2695323) | about a year ago | (#42736933)

I wish the OS and backup partitions on tablets and phones were on a completely different drive. I mean for the most part, the OS could actually be on a flash ROM.

Not really surprising (1)

DrXym (126579) | about a year ago | (#42736949)

Windows 8 is a full blown desktop operating system. It is going to carve a large chunk of space out for its system files, swap, hibernate etc. and I would hope and expect anyone buying a tablet running it is going to have a clue about that. However it is pretty stupid of MS to contemplate releasing a 64GB version of the tablet when it just invites stories like this to be written.

The Days of Full Disk Compressors are Back! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42736957)

Anybody remember Stacker of the good old Windows 3.x days?
It appears that the days of full disk compressors are back, and there is already a new Stacker-esque product out there.
I have been using MagicRAR Drive Press on my SSDs for a few years: www.magicrar.com/drive-press.html.
The tool does work as advertised, it saved me tens of gigabytes more space than the File Explorer/NTFS compression interface.
Drive Press won't work for the regular Surface because Drive Press is not an ARM application. I've already tried it and failed.
But on the Surface Pro you may use it to reclaim a lot of wasted disk space. Most of which File Explorer fails to compress for some reason.
Microsoft should OEM this tool. The Surface Pro could really benefit from it.
Or they should fix their File Explorer/NTFS compression bug!

And what's next? (1)

geekmux (1040042) | about a year ago | (#42736959)

Should hard drive manufacturers now be forced to publish the amount of available free space left after installing [list of popular OSes who paid for the advertising rights] on a new hard drive you wish to buy, just so you're aware of how much space you're going to have left to transfer your [illegal movie/music collection]?

Should GPU vendors be forced to publish expected performance metrics for [list of popular OSes who paid for the advertising rights] on the box of a new video card?

At some point designers are going to realize that the more we idiot-proof the world, the better chance of general intelligence becoming extinct. I can only imagine how far deductive reasoning skills will slip when everything is autonomous in our lives.

On a side note, I find it rather pathetic that a factory tablet image consumes more space in 2013 than damn near every single one of it's predecessor OSes combined. Talk about bloatware. No wonder we're debating the forced publication of residual memory with the stench of liability wafting through the air.

Storage space needs to be budgeted in large corps (1)

sco08y (615665) | about a year ago | (#42736965)

I was going to write something about how end users need to be aware of how much space things take and then the coffee kicked in.

How the fuck do you release a 41 GB mobile OS?

Simple: MS has any number of project teams, and they all need to write code to deliver features, but they don't account for disk space.

At some point, the hardware guys need to say, "okay, we can provide X GB of space for X dollars, more storage space is going to require more chassis space, thermal effects, $, etc."

Then that gets parceled out to the UX team, who get the vast bulk of the space, and to the installer team that parcels it out to software devs.

So making your software fit becomes a project deliverable, just like anything else. And then you can make trades, if UX complains, "hey, this loads slowly," you can say, "sure, that's because we compressed those files, if you'd like it to load faster, maybe we could 'buy' some space from Bob's team, or you can let us have some from the UX pool if you feel it's important enough."

Project donations... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42736971)

Let's send some Surface Pros to the ReactOS group, and see if they can do better with the same hardware.

Yup (1)

TheSkepticalOptimist (898384) | about a year ago | (#42736989)

Microsoft is losing it big time. This was supposed to be a new generation of products that gets people excited about Microsoft in the tablet market, instead its just one stupid thing after another. I was waiting for Surface Pro as potentially a workstation replacement for my job, but considering its nothing more then a tablet with a butchered version of Windows desktop running in the background and slightly beefier CPU then most tablets (but far leaner then any desktop), it's very disappointing. And the price for this POS is ridiculous, Microsoft isn't Apple, they can't pull off prestige products that cost more then they are worth.

Microsoft did nothing to make this product actually usable by professionals, your buying a significantly crippled Ultrabook.

Truth in Advertising (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42737003)

MY SUB IS NOT 12 INCHES LONG!!

For reference ... (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about a year ago | (#42737021)

For reference, my 64GB iPad 1 had something like 58GB free when new and empty.

iOS is a lighter weight OS meant for phones and tablets, I suspect MS has shoe-horned their full desktop OS into a tablet.

That's fairly heavy weight if it's taking up half the device, and makes one wonder how bloated their phones are unless that's an entirely different OS.

This is at least a 30 year old practice... (1)

SomeoneGotMyNick (200685) | about a year ago | (#42737029)

Commodore did the same thing with the Commodore 64

64K RAM SYSTEM 38911 BASIC BYTES FREE

...and the VIC-20's 5K RAM (3583 BYTES FREE)

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