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Microsoft To Start Dumping Surface RT To Schools For $199

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the use-them-to-play-oregon-trail dept.

Microsoft 251

onyxruby writes "In a move that will remind many of Apple in the '80s, Microsoft is going to start dumping Surface RT computers to educational institutions. In an effort to try to gain mindshare for their struggling Surface RT platform, Microsoft is giving away 10,000 Surface RTs to teachers through the International Society for Technology in Education. They're also preparing to offer $199 Surface RTs to K12 and higher education institutions. The strategy of flooding the educational market was quite successful for Apple. Unfortunately for Microsoft, today's computers require management and the Surface RT presents significant management challenges in terms of the inability to join the computer to a domain or available management tools."

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Huh? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44043117)

How would this remind people of Apple in the 80s? The Apple II was not a dud product being price dumped to clear inventory.

Re:Huh? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44043147)

Surface RT is not a dud, it is a great product and millions have been sold.

-Steve

Re:Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44043175)

Estimates are at less than 1 million RTs in 10 months. GREAT SUCCESS!!

Re:Huh? (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about a year ago | (#44043507)

Estimates are at less than 1 million RTs in 10 months. GREAT SUCCESS!!

It would be disingenuous to say you didn't see this coming from the very first day of launch, after the early product reviews.

There needs no ghost, my lord, come from the grave. To tell us this.

BUUUUUURRRRRNNNNN! (3, Funny)

Thud457 (234763) | about a year ago | (#44043513)

Good I was looking to replace my HP Touchpad.

Re:BUUUUUURRRRRNNNNN! (4, Funny)

Richy_T (111409) | about a year ago | (#44043611)

I have a table that wobbles.

Re:BUUUUUURRRRRNNNNN! (3, Funny)

ackthpt (218170) | about a year ago | (#44043835)

I have a table that wobbles.

Good plan. You can save that coaster for a cold one. Get one for me, too, while your at it.

Re:BUUUUUURRRRRNNNNN! (1)

Molochi (555357) | about a year ago | (#44043703)

I don't see the point. Is your HP Touchpad not holding a charge anymore?

Re:BUUUUUURRRRRNNNNN! (2)

David_Hart (1184661) | about a year ago | (#44043853)

Good I was looking to replace my HP Touchpad.

I don't see the point. Is your HP Touchpad not holding a charge anymore?

This, plus Touchpad with Android (Cyanogenmod build) actually has apps....

Re:Huh? (0)

ackthpt (218170) | about a year ago | (#44043431)

Surface RT is not a dud, it is a great product and millions have been sold.

-Steve

The Surface RT is to tablets what the Carp is to fishing.

Maybe it will skip nicely on the water...

Re:Huh? (0)

jedidiah (1196) | about a year ago | (#44043267)

While the Apple II was certainly a dud by that time, it was not being sold at a discount comparable to what Microsoft is doing with the surface.

This combination of absurd price and outdated tech was why the Apple II was such a dud if you weren't some sort of government entity spending someone else's money.

Re:Huh? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44043315)

+1 funny. The Apple II a dud? It was sales of the Apple II that made Apple the first personal computer company to reach $1 billion in annual sales in 1982.

Re:Huh? (0, Redundant)

jedidiah (1196) | about a year ago | (#44043397)

Your argument is like a McDonald's sign: Billions and Billions sold.

        Doesn't say anything about quality.

        Doesn't say anything about value.

Re:Huh? (3, Informative)

NatasRevol (731260) | about a year ago | (#44043537)

But it does say it wasn't a dud.

Re:Huh? The Microsoft Hamburger (3, Funny)

vettemph (540399) | about a year ago | (#44043837)

I can feed it to my dog. ...and when he 'reboots', my other dog will try to eat it.

Re:Huh? (1)

Karzz1 (306015) | about a year ago | (#44043389)

...it was not being sold at a discount comparable to what Microsoft is doing with the surface.

Two words. Tax writeoff. This relates to the machines being given away as well.

Re:Huh? (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about a year ago | (#44043415)

How would this remind people of Apple in the 80s? The Apple II was not a dud product being price dumped to clear inventory.

The RT is a stinker. Dump the Pro and maybe we'll talk. <_<

I remember the Apple ][ computers showing up in school and thinking it was going to be real cool, until I found I had to get my own dubious copy of Integer Basic to boot from so I could have some fun with them :D

Re:Huh? (1)

murdocj (543661) | about a year ago | (#44043585)

Wait a second. I had an Apple ][, and it came with Integer Basic on the ROM. You had to run floating point Basic off a cassette tape (it was a while before I got a floppy disk) but Integer Basic was built in.

Ah, the Red Book... ALL of the monitor code to read. Small enough that you could actually understand what was going on. Those were the days.

perfect (1)

argoff (142580) | about a year ago | (#44043125)

pick up a bunch of Surface tablets, and put Linux or Android on them

Re:perfect (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year ago | (#44043193)

pick up a bunch of Surface tablets, and put Linux or Android on them

"Secure boot" is mandatory on Windows RT(ARM) devices. I think that x86 Win8 devices are required to support it; but OEMs can do whatever key-fill they like, and can, at their option, support turning it off or end-user added keys.

I'm not saying that they didn't make a mistake somewhere, more than a few locked bootloaders have gone down; but it isn't going to be trivial.

Re:perfect (1)

kthreadd (1558445) | about a year ago | (#44043255)

Is it actually required to not allow the Secure Boot configuration and keys to be changed, or just to have it enabled by default?

Re:perfect (4, Informative)

gweihir (88907) | about a year ago | (#44043261)

Unfortunately, Surface RT requires that secure boot must not be possible to disable. The only way to get Linux on these things is to install an additional key or an approved boot loader, and that can be very complicated.

Re:perfect (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44043339)

Maybe I don't really get this, but why install Linux if it's a tablet made to run Windows? Wouldn't you get a Linux tablet instead?

Re:perfect (4, Informative)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about a year ago | (#44043369)

Especially since Linux drivers for a Windows tablet thats apparently designed be bootloader-locked aren't going to be forthcoming.

Re:perfect (1)

jedidiah (1196) | about a year ago | (#44043485)

Why should I have to seek out a special "it's made to run Linux" piece of kit when such a notion is completely unnecessary and highly artificial. You can run any code on a general purpose computer. It doesn't matter if it was made by Atari, or Sun, or IBM.

The market is currently dominated by what are essentially DOS clones. It's just that they don't have any special locks to interfere with the end user.

Such locks are an Apple innovation.

Re:perfect (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44043559)

I'm pretty sure that Apple learned that from Microsoft. It's just that Apple does it with hardware instead of software.

Also known as the profit centers for each company. Hardly surprising.

Re:perfect (2)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about a year ago | (#44043627)

You can run any code on a general purpose computer. It doesn't matter if it was made by Atari, or Sun, or IBM.

Yes, in the worst case, you write a bytecode emulator. The performance sucks when the OS manufacturer is throwing artificial hurdles into your path.

Re:perfect (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44043731)

Here is a man and at least 2 others who have no concept of CPU architecture or the drivers that a kernel (assuming one exists for a given architecture) must use to talk to the rest of the grab-bag of hardware surrounding said CPU. The OS is running at a much lower level than your myopic abstracted one size fits all Java fantasy.

Hint: ARM != x86

Re:perfect (1, Insightful)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about a year ago | (#44043595)

To run software that Windows RT isn't going to allow you to run? For example, one whole class of programs is excluded by Windows RT disallowing in-process native compilation (say "bye" to LuaJIT and V8 in your applications). Disallowing native compilers of scripting languages on underpowered hardware sounds like a really stupid idea to me.

Re:perfect (2)

X0563511 (793323) | about a year ago | (#44043821)

How exactly is that enforcable? You let the user run code, and they get to run code. How exactly can you prevent them from doing things when they aren't calling system APIs to do it? You can't exactly distinguish between computing the derivative of some engineering problem and compiling bytecode...

Re:perfect (3, Insightful)

MrDoh! (71235) | about a year ago | (#44043285)

Sounds like something schoolkids could figure out pretty quick.

Re:perfect (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44043241)

Nope, that is not possible, the rt has a locked bootloader (rt is for arm).

Re:perfect (0)

kthreadd (1558445) | about a year ago | (#44043277)

It probably is, but ARM is not the same as locked. The Raspberry Pi is ARM and it isn't locked.

Re:impossible (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44043317)

not possible, UEFI Bios is locked to install Windows only

Re:impossible (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44043419)

I love all these people replying that it's impossible. Every major hardware DRM scheme that has been placed into consumer devices has been cracked.

The only reason why the RT might be different is that it's so unpopular that nobody really cares to try.

Re:perfect (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44043387)

Please be informed before posting you opinions. Installing another OS on a Surface-RT is not possible. UEFI is block for Windows only. No it's not possible to disable EUFI. It's not possible to install new keys. Microsoft expressively forbids it. This is a discussion I have had many times before

"Like most mobile devices, ARM-based Certified For Windows RT devices, such as the Microsoft Surface RT device, are designed to run only Windows 8. Therefore, Secure Boot cannot be turned off, and you cannot load a different operating system. Fortunately, there is a large market of ARM devices designed to run other operating systems."

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/dn168167.aspx

Re:perfect (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#44043529)

How long will that last?

DRM always gets cracked. Heck I bet there is a jtag or something on there just waiting to be mucked with.

Re:perfect (2)

X0563511 (793323) | about a year ago | (#44043833)

I think you are confusing "not possible" for "not permitted."

I think you'll find the two are not equivalent out here in the Real World.

Because that worked so well for Apple? (0, Troll)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#44043129)

This will be as bad for it as it was for Apple. Kids will think of Surface RT as that stupid thing the teachers make them use and how inferior it is to whatever they have at home or whatever smart device they normally use.

Making kids use something is a sure fire way to get them to hate it.

Re:Because that worked so well for Apple? (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | about a year ago | (#44043189)

How did selling the Apple ][ to schools hurt Apple exactly?

Re:Because that worked so well for Apple? (0, Redundant)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#44043237)

Because kids avoided Apple computers like the plague afterwords. Sure it helped for the time they were selling them, but a couple years later those kids remembered apple as the uncool computers the teachers made you use.

Re:Because that worked so well for Apple? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44043249)

[citation needed] You know, actual evidence.

Re:Because that worked so well for Apple? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#44043265)

Michael dell suggesting they wind down the company and pay the money back to the investors does not count?

You don't remember Apple nearly dying when those kids started to become consumers in their own right?

Re:Because that worked so well for Apple? (1)

kthreadd (1558445) | about a year ago | (#44043295)

But now you're talking about the 90's and the Mac. The Apple ][ in the 80's was a completely different story.

Re:Because that worked so well for Apple? (0)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#44043341)

Read what I said again.

The kids who used those machines in the 80s, many schools still had them in the early 90s as well, grew up with a dislike of Apple computers because they were uncool due to the association with school. This meant later they did not buy them.

Re:Because that worked so well for Apple? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44043385)

A LOT of kids explicitly wanted an Apple II in the 80's. It was THE machine to get at the time before the PC boom happened. But I can understand if you had to use them in the 90's. Unless it was a IIgs, that one was actually kind of OK.

Re:Because that worked so well for Apple? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44043465)

I remember growing up with Macs in school (both 68k and PPC) and I hated them because they were so dog slow and Mac OS was so shitty until OS X (which was well after the time I was in school).

Part of the problem was that we only had low-end ones (LC series). When the school system did computer refreshes, we got Windows 95 Dells and it was so much better than the Macs we had previously. Plus all of the kids had Windows at home so they understood the computers better.

Re:Because that worked so well for Apple? (1)

jedidiah (1196) | about a year ago | (#44043519)

The funny part of this is that you don't even realize or acknowledge the fact that Macs are in fact a product of the 80s.

Re:Because that worked so well for Apple? (3, Insightful)

bmk67 (971394) | about a year ago | (#44043525)

Did they? Because I went to high school during that time period, and it's my recollection that every geek wanted an Apple.

Most of them ended up with Commodores, or worse.

Re:Because that worked so well for Apple? (5, Insightful)

femtobyte (710429) | about a year ago | (#44043347)

Remembering the time when Apple was pushing Apple II's in schools, I sure don't recall kids "hating it" because they felt "forced to use something" --- for the majority of kids, it was their first and only opportunity to use a computer at all. Playing those Apple II games was something new and exciting, that they'd be unlikely to have access to at home (without both well-off and technologically cutting-edge parents).

In this case, however, I agree with you --- a lot of kids (pretty much all of them from a middle class socioeconomic background) will already have seen better computers (or even have one in their pocket). Dumping crappy cheap tech on schools for a tax writeoff and some publicity isn't particularly going to be awe-inspiring for the kids. But, it will stall school administrations from considering switching to less Microsoft-centric platforms for at least a few more years; and, even if the kids don't like it, they'll be blocked from learning much about alternatives when they have to do classwork in Microsoft Office instead of [insert superior alternatives here].

Re:Because that worked so well for Apple? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#44043399)

I remember kids hating them because they were outdated and we were forced to use them. This was likely because schools kept them a long time. Also because we were kids, who always hate whatever authority suggests they do.

Re:Because that worked so well for Apple? (1)

femtobyte (710429) | about a year ago | (#44043543)

Fair enough; I suspect you're right that, once Apple II's were well past their expiration date, playing 'Number Munchers' and 'Oregon Trail' wouldn't seem so cool to kids with access to a Nintendo at home (or at least at a friend's house). Of course, hating what authority tells you to do is sometimes quite an incentive to get interested in what even outdated hardware can do --- once you learn more about operating computers in the school computer lab than your teachers know, you can cause all sorts of amusing troubles for authority. Perhaps Microsoft will unintentionally drive a new generation of kids to enthusiasm for jailbreaking and hacking administrative access controls; perhaps a better outcome than teaching kids to be happily complacent towards the corporate authoritarianism embedded in their newest shiny smartphone doodads.

Re:Because that worked so well for Apple? (1)

wiredlogic (135348) | about a year ago | (#44043567)

Casio invented and owned the graphing calculator market until the early 90's before TI stepped in and started heavily promoting their own offerings to teachers. Look where Casio is against TI today.

Re:Because that worked so well for Apple? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#44043581)

This is because there is no market for graphing calculators outside of what the school requires.

This is why a Ti-83 still costs $100 even though it could be replaced by a $50 china tablet or something even cheaper.

Re:Because that worked so well for Apple? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44043771)

This will be as bad for it as it was for Apple. Kids will think of Surface RT as that stupid thing the teachers make them use and how inferior it is to whatever they have at home or whatever smart device they normally use.

Making kids use something is a sure fire way to get them to hate it.

I remember differently; most kids had never used a computer before, and they remembered "computer time" with the Apples as a welcome break from normal classroom studies.

Pure economics` (1, Funny)

kurt555gs (309278) | about a year ago | (#44043151)

Better $199.00 from a school than $0.00 from the dumpster.

Re:Pure economics` (0)

Sponge Bath (413667) | about a year ago | (#44043227)

Not for the schools if they waste time on a doomed platform the MS abandons in favor of the normal Windows Surface.

Re:Pure economics` (2, Funny)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#44043545)

So they will abandon one doomed platform for another?

Re:Pure economics` (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44043289)

And they can claim to be philanthropists - PR is also happy.

Good. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44043153)

No informed person wanted that Surface RTard anyway.

No (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44043169)

No, dumping would be $49, at $199 it's still a big fat PASS.

Re:No (2)

jtownatpunk.net (245670) | about a year ago | (#44043331)

Yep.

At $49, I might buy one. At $199, I still expect to get something for my money. I discovered this recently when I bought a Chromebook on a whim. It was back in the box and returned in a few days. I thought I wouldn't care if it was just a toy at that price but I was wrong. I spent another $105 to get a quad-core 17.3" laptop and installed Chrome on it. Gives me the Chrome experience in addition to being able to do all kinds of other stuff.

Re:No (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about a year ago | (#44043541)

Yep.

At $49, I might buy one. At $199, I still expect to get something for my money. I discovered this recently when I bought a Chromebook on a whim. It was back in the box and returned in a few days. I thought I wouldn't care if it was just a toy at that price but I was wrong. I spent another $105 to get a quad-core 17.3" laptop and installed Chrome on it. Gives me the Chrome experience in addition to being able to do all kinds of other stuff.

Yeah, but this isn't offered to you, it's to schools. Schools will buy them, because they'll think they are getting a big fat deal. Then IT people in schools will point out what a pain they are to do anything with, but with enough tar or mortar could be used to patch holes in the roof.

$199 = Overpriced (0)

Kimomaru (2579489) | about a year ago | (#44043201)

Yeah, just . . . that. Overpriced.

Dumping` (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44043229)

Is the key word... Worthless pieces of crap.

Despicable (-1, Troll)

gweihir (88907) | about a year ago | (#44043245)

Dumping 3rd rate technology in schools, in the hopes that children cannot tell the level of substandard they are presented with.

Recieved wisdom. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44043391)

Dumping 3rd rate technology in schools, in the hopes that children cannot tell the level of substandard they are presented with.

Whether they are "substandard" or not, depends on what the children do with them. I.e. whether they work within the (assumed) confines of the technology, or are inspired to set and achieve their own limits.

There was a time when geeks were defined by taking whatever was at hand and adapting/extending it to whatever their imaginations came up with. Now ./ is overrun with crabby fanbois who define geek as "good at XBox even though M$ is teh suxxor", apparently. Oh well.

Re:Recieved wisdom. (1)

JDG1980 (2438906) | about a year ago | (#44043533)

Whether they are "substandard" or not, depends on what the children do with them. I.e. whether they work within the (assumed) confines of the technology, or are inspired to set and achieve their own limits.

RT tablets are specifically designed so you can't "set and achieve [your] own limits". You can only run software officially provided by Microsoft or through the Microsoft Store, and even then, only MS can create apps that use the desktop. And you can't wipe the OS and install something else, either, since Secure Boot policy for RT tablets specifically prohibits any manufacturer from offering this option.

take a dump (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44043275)

Don't allow Microsoft to take a dump over the children and turn them into their obedient license buyers, only-install-software-permitted-by-Microsoft serfs. They cannot even install linux on it as it's UEFI Bios only allows Windows be installed. $200 is what a ARM laptop costs, anyway, they are not doing anybody a favor.

Re:take a dump (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44043319)

Why would you install Linux on a Windows tablet?

Re:take a dump (3, Insightful)

jedidiah (1196) | about a year ago | (#44043563)

Without x86 legacy applications, there just isn't that much reason to bother with Windows.

On the other hand, pretty much anything available for Linux is available as source and can be rebuilt for alternative platforms. If not by the author than by some interested 3rd party.

Windows on ARM is a shadow of it's x86 variant.

Dammit (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44043291)

Microsoft, nobody wants your crap. Go fix your crap instead of trying to tell everyone how great it is.

You fucked up. Now go back to work and fix it. Instead of fucking around.

Thin client? (1)

ArhcAngel (247594) | about a year ago | (#44043301)

If Microsoft was smart about it they'd give Maddog [slashdot.org] a call and see if he would like some thin clients for his new high rise servers.

Re:Thin client? (0)

rogueippacket (1977626) | about a year ago | (#44043527)

+1 Funny.

Biased article submitter much? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44043349)

None of the links posted say anything about "dumping", just discounts. I don't like Microsoft as much as the next neckbeard wearing unix sysadmin, however I don't see how this qualifies as dumping at all. Even the anti-MS troll stories are getting pathetic on /. these days.

Oh God please no! Think of the children! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44043351)

May God have mercy on their souls.

Should have called RT something else... (5, Insightful)

ducomputergeek (595742) | about a year ago | (#44043353)

What they did was confuse the hell out of people. At first Microsoft was touting a tablet that could run Windows Apps called the surface. What they meant was the Surface pro. Instead the device that got released first was the RT and it still had the name "windows". Most people looking at them, and I know of one business that bought a couple, did so thinking they could run existing windows programs. They got 'em home and learned they couldn't.

At least Apple makes it clear that while underneath the hood, both MacOS and iOS share many of the same parts, they are entirely different OS's designed for different purposes. Microsoft failed to do that with the Surface.

The next problem is that the Surface Pro is $1000. At that price what is the incentive to buy it? You can buy a convertible ultra book for just a few dollars more.

Re:Should have called RT something else... (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44043467)

...if they called them "Sad Meals" no one would buy them.

Re:Should have called RT something else... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44043495)

MS don't need a realtime or embedded OS, they make 230% (upt to Feb 2013) more from Android's royalty extended filename FAT licensing that all MS's embedded OS sales to date.

Put Ubuntu touch on it (1)

CyberSlammer (1459173) | about a year ago | (#44043393)

Then get back to me.

Surface won't pick up even if free (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44043417)

Who cares about what MS communicates in their PR anymore. Kids already have iOS or Android powered computers in their pockets. That's where all their apps and pals are too.

but but but.... (0)

roc97007 (608802) | about a year ago | (#44043425)

You can buy *new* netbooks that actually run Windows applications for around that much. For the average person, having an RT is about the same as having a Linux netbook -- the only apps you're likely to run are the ones that come with it, and realistically, you're only going to use it for web browsing.

This is not worth $200.

Does Microsoft think we'll pay extra just for the logo? They're the wrong company for that.

Never understood the purpose of Windows RT (4, Interesting)

default luser (529332) | about a year ago | (#44043441)

It comes with Office, so it's a business computer that can also play the tablet game, right?

Except that there's no Outlook. Try getting business done without that.

And you can't join a domain. That goes hand-in-hand with the above.

And most critical to anyone who just wants to get work done: it's not x86-compatible, and you're limited to Windows Store apps.

Who the hell came up with this horrible hodgepodge of an OS? And who expected anyone to pay a premium price for it? They'll be lucky if they can get these things to move even for $200!

Re:Never understood the purpose of Windows RT (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44043555)

> Who the hell came up with this horrible hodgepodge of an OS? And who expected anyone to pay a premium price for it?

Not sure, but I think it was Microsoft.

> Except that there's no Outlook. Try getting business done without that.

Also, the thought of doing Excel on a tablet just makes me shudder. Apple did a pretty good job with Numbers for the iPad, but it was tailored for a touch interface. Excel is just Excel, no special accommodations made for fingers.

Dumb.

Re:Never understood the purpose of Windows RT (3, Informative)

Lluc (703772) | about a year ago | (#44043635)

Except that there's no Outlook. Try getting business done without that.

Actually, the latest version of Office RT (2013) does include Outlook.

TBOTE: The Beginning of the End (1)

BoRegardless (721219) | about a year ago | (#44043447)

Haven't we seen this movie ending before?

Re:TBOTE: The Beginning of the End (1)

decipher_saint (72686) | about a year ago | (#44043557)

We use a recording of Windows RT to lure the tablets into Lake Michigan?

Seems feasible.

Funny thing (2)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about a year ago | (#44043453)

I was recently running a poll, and I found out that at least 20% of our department faculty own a Surface tablet of one sort or another - and that was before this move was announced. 20% of our faculty, and that's assuming none of the non-responders own a Surface.

I was seriously shocked. Android and iOS tablets are apparently less popular than Surface among our EE faculty. We've got some pretty close ties to Microsoft, but that is still surprising.

Re:Funny thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44043535)

The suprising thing is 20%. If you have close ties with Microsoft, it should have been 75%-90% of your faculty. So what gives?

Surface, or Surface Pro? (2)

Chirs (87576) | about a year ago | (#44043609)

If they're running Win8 then I can kind of understand it. WinRT not so much...

Does this mean that the reference price... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44043457)

of Microsoft Surface in everyone's minds in now $199?

It probably does.

I've actually used an RT (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44043477)

I'm probably one of the few on here who have used an RT. Picked one up for $99 + keyboard at TechEd, and used it all week at the conference to take notes/surf/do work. Honestly, for your basic user who wants surfing/word docs, it's perfectly fine.

Also - I have an iPad that I love, but I couldn't dream of doing the work I was doing on the surface. The desktop mode is very nice, plus it just seems more workable when I can VPN in just like my PC at home. When comparing iPad to Surface for doing actual work, it's not event close, the Surface wins by a landslide.

Re:I've actually used an RT (3, Insightful)

Lluc (703772) | about a year ago | (#44043661)

Yeah I'm amazed by the amount of Surface RT hate in this thread. I wonder how much of it is typed on an iPad :)

I think that a $200 tablet for web browsing, email, and remote desktop would be pretty useful despite the limited app store. Maybe it's time to send my Touchpad to ebay and try one of these out...

require management? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44043499)

What exactly is the need for management on a tablet that can only run approved apps, which is hard for students to mess up? If anything, today's mobile devices with their walled garden appstores and cloud backup should require less maintenance.

Expensive at half the price (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44043531)

Microsoft reverses the old adage. The tablet initiative is one leg of Microsoft's tripod of company sinking disasters. The other legs are Windows 8 and the NSA spy box, the Xbox One.

Obviously, if the idea behind the tablet was worth a damn, MS would sell them off cheap in the general marketplace, and build up a user-support base. It cannot use the excuse that this would conflict with the second generation of MS tablets due later this year, because the Android market happily sees very cheap tablets selling side-by-side with much more expensive brands. The Tegra 3 in the Surface RT is an unremarkable SoC in today's ARM tablet market (slower than all the high end Chinese parts found in tablets selling today well under $150).

The $199 price point should be the price point of the second generation Surface Pro tablets build using AMD's Temash part, but Microsoft is going to be asking three times this price, ensuring the second generation sink even faster than the first.

Remember, that although a complete build (with all dlls) of Windows 8 is installed on each ARM tablet, Microsoft officially cripples access to the OS, so that all third-party apps are forced to use the useless, broken Metro interface. The tablet can be hacked to gain full Windows functionality, and MS dev kits can be used to create standard Windows apps compiled for ARM, but the user base is so tiny, no-one bothers.

The market has Android (going from strength to strength) and iOS for sheep who want their hardware/software locked down by the manufacturer. The market doesn't even need a third mobile OS. It would be like a third microprocessor architecture competing with ARM and x86- an un-needed and useless complication that simply confuses the situation, works to increase development costs, and provides no advantage to the end user.

Microsoft had one shot. To release a full Windows OS (even if it had a mobile shell front end) on a reasonably priced ARM tablet, to directly compete with those from companies like Amazon and Google. The hardware is supposed to be a loss leader that builds up a user base for online services, like a software store. Instead, Microsoft chose to take a massive (we are talking billions here) pay-off from Intel to support Intel's hopeless 'ultrabook' initiative, and to sabotage the market for low cost ARM based Windows devices.

Microsoft no longer cares about its users to ANY degree. It only cares about the size of the cheque from Intel, or the prestige and power gained from working with the NSA, and putting a spy device into the homes of millions of ordinary Americans. Render to Microsoft what is Microsoft's. Disgust, distrust, despite.

Make it run Dalvik (1)

wiredlogic (135348) | about a year ago | (#44043583)

MS should create an emulation layer that allows RT to natively run Android apps. That will solve the chicken and egg issue of limited app availability and make their platform a more compelling offering.

Re:Make it run Dalvik (2)

Capt.DrumkenBum (1173011) | about a year ago | (#44043643)

Yeah, because that worked so well for OS/2.

android is out of the MS app store and has 3rd par (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about a year ago | (#44043737)

android is out of the MS app store and has 3rd party apps so that is out.

Dumping? (1)

SeaFox (739806) | about a year ago | (#44043605)

Isn't attempting to flood a market with a device being charged at sub-standard pricing to subvert a competitor, like, illegal?
I thought this was covered by anti-dumping laws.

"dumping to"?? (1)

yasny_jp (948381) | about a year ago | (#44043783)

Maybe I'm getting old, but when did "dumping ... to ..." become a valid phrase?

TFA says "offering schools/colleges $199 Surface RT Tablets"... how does one turn "offering" into "dumping"?

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