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Microsoft Takes Another Stab At Tablets, Unveils Surface 2, Surface 2 Pro

samzenpus posted about a year ago | from the let's-try-this-again dept.

Microsoft 381

Dputiger writes "Microsoft has unveiled both the Surface 2 and Surface 2 Pro, updating the former with a Tegra 4 processor and the latter with a new Haswell chip. Among the additional improvements are a more comfortable kickstand with two height settings, 1080p displays for both devices, USB 3.0 support, better battery life, and a higher resolution camera. Pricing for the 32GB Surface without a Touch or Type Cover is set at $449."

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frosty piss (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44928289)

suck it ballmer!!!

GOOD MONEY AFTER BAD (4, Funny)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | about a year ago | (#44928523)

Or is it bad money, after worse?

Either way, get ready for the "great landfill contribution of 2014" from Microsoft.

Or alternatively (5, Funny)

eclectro (227083) | about a year ago | (#44928305)

"This isn't an iPad 2" and "This isn't an iPad 2 pro".

Re:Or alternatively (-1, Troll)

GoatCheez (1226876) | about a year ago | (#44928379)

Indeed. iPads are toys comparably.

Re: Or alternatively (4, Insightful)

hsmith (818216) | about a year ago | (#44928459)

Yeah, but it is making them lots of money instead of losing lots of money.

Microsoft Make a Stab at Tablets (5, Funny)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | about a year ago | (#44929039)

But they just can't kill the beast.

Re:Or alternatively (4, Insightful)

Jeff Flanagan (2981883) | about a year ago | (#44928595)

Compared to Surface Pro, yes, but if the regular Surface is still running RT, it's more of a toy than the iPad.

Why aim for shrinking Market share. (4, Informative)

tuppe666 (904118) | about a year ago | (#44928391)

"This isn't an iPad 2" and "This isn't an iPad 2 pro".

The iPad Market share of tablets is shrinking (down to 30%), they actual sell less than last year. Android are now dominant in tablets.

Current share from IDC http://www.idc.com/getdoc.jsp?containerId=prUS24253413 [idc.com]

Re:Why aim for shrinking Market share. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44928483)

That report is very interesting. Android doubled and iOS halved (30% to 60% and 60% to 30%). Also, Microsoft is up over 5x, but from basically nothing to nothing (.3% to 1.8%). Samsung is the biggest winner, but the other Android makers are doing very well. Blackberry and Window RT are just noise.

Re: Why aim for shrinking Market share. (4, Informative)

the computer guy nex (916959) | about a year ago | (#44928489)

IDC counts shipments, not sales. The original galaxy tab was estimated by the IDC at over 2 million shipments, but later we learned it sold more like 50k. Web browsing numbers show the ipad at around 88% of marketshare, which counts actual purchased devices.

Re: Why aim for shrinking Market share. (5, Insightful)

organgtool (966989) | about a year ago | (#44928635)

Web browsing numbers show the ipad at around 88% of marketshare, which counts actual purchased devices.

No, it doesn't. It counts the number of visitors of a particular web site that have content strings that claim they are using an iPad.

Re: Why aim for shrinking Market share. (2, Insightful)

aitikin (909209) | about a year ago | (#44928673)

And I already used all my mod points...Where's that +1 Insightful when I need it...

Re: Why aim for shrinking Market share. (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44928687)

I set my android tablet to report that it was desktop chrome because I got tired of getting shitty webpages designed to be unusable on a cellphone that were completely unusable on a tablet.

Re: Why aim for shrinking Market share. (2, Insightful)

the computer guy nex (916959) | about a year ago | (#44928719)

And unless those devices were stolen, they are actual purchased devices. More accurate than IDC shipments.

Re: Why aim for shrinking Market share. (2, Insightful)

Psyborgue (699890) | about a year ago | (#44928763)

While you and me might do that, how many users know what a user agent is, much less delve into third party browser settings to change it? There can't be enough people to mess up the numbers.

Re: Why aim for shrinking Market share. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44928843)

Why is this marked insightful? Are even 1% of users spoofing their user agent string? Are 0.01%?

Re: Why aim for shrinking Market share. (5, Insightful)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about a year ago | (#44928957)

Why is this marked insightful? Are even 1% of users spoofing their user agent string? Are 0.01%?

No, but it made the poster feel better about his personal biases.

Re: Why aim for shrinking Market share. (4, Insightful)

sootman (158191) | about a year ago | (#44928913)

> No, it doesn't. It counts the number of visitors of a
> particular web site that have content strings that
> claim they are using an iPad.

Yes! I'm sure TONS of people are using Android tablets or Surfaces but changing their user agents to make it look like they're using iPads. Because then it will look like iPads are more popular and then... sorry, I couldn't think of a single reason that anyone would do that. Someone who loves Apple but is forced to use a competing tablet by their employer? Seriously, I got nothing. Get a better version of a page? If anything, you change your UA to say "something on Desktop", not "something on iPad".

Even if some people are doing it, I can't imagine it's enough to throw off the numbers. "Number of people setting non-iPads to send 'iPad' in their user agent string" divided by "about 90 million" [about.com] equals a very, very small number.

Re:Why aim for shrinking Market share. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44928577)

I would imagine the q3 sales charts for apple devices will always show them as being behind because the majority of people in the know will wait for the newest iPad before they purchase.

Re:Or alternatively (4, Insightful)

Capt.DrumkenBum (1173011) | about a year ago | (#44928401)

I was thinking "Epic fail 2, and Epic fail 2 pro".
It is the price. They are still trying to sell at Apple prices, but MS is not, and has never been Apple. If they had released a tablet at around $300 they might have had a shot. There is a bit of a price gap at around $300.

Re:Or alternatively (4, Insightful)

iamhassi (659463) | about a year ago | (#44928495)

I was thinking "Epic fail 2, and Epic fail 2 pro". It is the price. They are still trying to sell at Apple prices, but MS is not, and has never been Apple. If they had released a tablet at around $300 they might have had a shot. There is a bit of a price gap at around $300.

This. Microsoft needs to compete with Android tablets, not Apple. Microsoft needs a $199 tablet to compete with $199 Android tablets. Surface RT is still overpriced at $349. You're a software company, stop trying to make profit on hardware! Sell the hardware cheap and make the money from sales through the app store! You make the Xbox, haven't you learned anything from how console sales work yet? Or are you purposely pricing yourself far above market so you can lose money? Because that's exactly what this looks like, like you're not even trying.

Re:Or alternatively (4, Insightful)

mlts (1038732) | about a year ago | (#44928591)

MS could have just released both tablets as x86 ones, and they would have been decent replacements for primary PCs, especially if the tablets have a decent GPU/chipset.

The Surface 2 is OK, but it has to fight against well-entrenched players.

However, the Surface Pro 2 looks interesting as a primary computer, especially the one with 512GB of flash and 8GB of RAM. It won't win any benchmarks, but with the dock, it could be a decent desktop replacement, especially with USB 3.0 ports. In fact, it might have a long useful life, because it could run Windows Server 2012, Linux, or an OS of choice, and be easily tossed onto the top of a closet to act as a file or web server when it becomes too slow for mainstream software.

Best pitch ever. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44928649)

Sold.

MS Tablet Strategy (5, Funny)

tgeek (941867) | about a year ago | (#44928311)

Is like a broken Coke machine . . . maybe if they keep putting one more quarter in it, they'll finally get a cool refreshing drink . . .

Its insane (1)

tuppe666 (904118) | about a year ago | (#44928429)

Is like a broken Coke machine . . . maybe if they keep putting one more quarter in it, they'll finally get a cool refreshing drink . . .

I am astonished they didn't al least take the opportunity to drop the price of the pro and create a mini pro at $200. Anything else is waiting another year to enter the tablet market. To come up with a different strategy is going to take time.

Re:Its insane (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44928707)

This was all planned before the sales figures for versions 1 came out.

Re:Its insane (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | about a year ago | (#44928755)

I am astonished they didn't al least take the opportunity to drop the price of the pro and create a mini pro at $200. Anything else is waiting another year to enter the tablet market. To come up with a different strategy is going to take time.

Probably because doing so would require going to Atom, and Bay Trail was only recently announced and probably just was available long after Microsoft had a chance to stabilize the hardware.

And Atoms not including Bay Trail and later, run like crap. Which would make Windows run like crap, and you'll probably end up in a situation where the Surface RT runs faster than the Surface Pro.

Re:Its insane (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44928859)

Agree completely. Market a basic functioning tablet that can take advantage of the X-Box catalogue of games with wireless controllers and people will buy that in droves. Give away a few quality titles with the tablet, then watch sales go through the roof. Once it takes off, make your money by selling ported over MS computer software. MS underestimates what the basic consumer wants, easy connectivity, and enjoyment of their device via gaming and movies. Get that audience over to your lower end devices first, sell a separate high end device to businesses, and stop trying to please both business and consumers with one type of device and one OS.

(posting ac due to modding)

Re:MS Tablet Strategy (4, Funny)

bitt3n (941736) | about a year ago | (#44928559)

Is like a broken Coke machine . . . maybe if they keep putting one more quarter in it, they'll finally get a cool refreshing drink . . .

To be fair, at least since the 70's you've needed to use the same process to get a Coke from a working machine. I'd say it's more like they jammed a fork in an electrical socket, and when they got shocked they decided they better try turning the fork around first.

Re:MS Tablet Strategy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44928823)

I'm confused. Can SOMEBODY please provide a car analogy?

Re:MS Tablet Strategy (4, Informative)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about a year ago | (#44928891)

It's like if Ford tried to increase Pinto sales by putting a bigger gas tank in it and selling it for more money.

Re:MS Tablet Strategy (3, Insightful)

sqrt(2) (786011) | about a year ago | (#44928861)

It's just sad at this point, watching them hemorrhage money in every hardware space except their video game console division, and even that seems successful DESPITE their mismanagement, not for any brilliant strategy. They need to refocus on their core competencies and give up chasing every market that's just not in their DNA. Give up phones. Give up tablets. Make a solid enterprise and corporate OS/Office Suite. Windows 7 is a great OS that deserves a proper successor without an abhorrent touch interface grafted onto it.

Their customers are screaming at them to sell them what they want but MS is refusing to make those products. The problem is there's a lot more competition these days. MS isn't the only game in town anymore and they can't afford to ignore their customers--which are the OEMs and enterprise.

Key differences (5, Insightful)

Doug Otto (2821601) | about a year ago | (#44928313)

The main thing that both Android and Apple based tablets have that Microsoft doesn't, is customers.

Re:Key differences (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44928393)

The main thing that both Android and Apple based tablets have that Microsoft doesn't, is customers.

Yeah, well, if Google decides to move to a ChromeOS and does a little "embrace, extend, extinguish" dance with Android, Microsoft's offerings are going to be the most open on the market.

But Google doesn't do evil?

Yeah, bullshit. Google's an ad agency. That makes money by selling your privacy.

Re:Key differences (0)

TemporalBeing (803363) | about a year ago | (#44928539)

The main thing that both Android and Apple based tablets have that Microsoft doesn't, is customers.

Yeah, well, if Google decides to move to a ChromeOS and does a little "embrace, extend, extinguish" dance with Android, Microsoft's offerings are going to be the most open on the market.

But Google doesn't do evil?

Yeah, bullshit. Google's an ad agency. That makes money by selling your privacy.

Google doesn't fully control Android. Sure they're the primary sponsor but Android is mostly controlled by the Open Handset Alliance.

Re:Key differences (1)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about a year ago | (#44928967)

"Yeah, well, if Google decides to move to a ChromeOS and does a little "embrace, extend, extinguish" dance with Android, Microsoft's offerings are going to be the most open on the market."

If 6 turned out to be 9 ... Oh I don't mind [youtube.com] . It's like the love baby ... it's free ... it's open. You can't stop it. Google can't stop it. Apple can't stop it. Even Microsoft could't stop it. Microsoft's offerings will never be open. Balmer is the Richard Millhouse Friggin' Nixon of the computer world.

Microsoft seems not to understand. (5, Insightful)

intermodal (534361) | about a year ago | (#44928325)

People don't want Microsoft on their tablet. They've lost this war. Ironically, they're losing for the same reason IBM lost control of the PC: They can make all the products they want, but the software that people want runs on an OS owned by someone else.

Re:Microsoft seems not to understand. (4, Insightful)

jedidiah (1196) | about a year ago | (#44928431)

No. It's the inverse of that. There are no legacy apps trapping people on the new platform. No one has any 20 year old Microsoft apps tying them to Microsoft's tablet.

It's an open field and Microsoft has to compete on it's own merits including all of the ill will they have generated over the last 30 years.

Re:Microsoft seems not to understand. (1)

Archangel Michael (180766) | about a year ago | (#44928581)

Exactly. This.

Re:Microsoft seems not to understand. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44928609)

No. It's the inverse of that. There are no legacy apps trapping people on the new platform. No one has any 20 year old Microsoft apps tying them to Microsoft's tablet.

It's an open field and Microsoft has to compete on it's own merits including all of the ill will they have generated over the last 30 years.

Even worse, people may ask for something like their desktop program that can run on an iPad or Android table. What then when a user feels that sudden realization that they've been imprisoned for nearly the last 25 years!

Re:Microsoft seems not to understand. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44928925)

What then when a user feels that sudden realization that they've been imprisoned for nearly the last 25 years!

now their prison is iOS or Android, the reality is it is no different.

Re:Microsoft seems not to understand. (1)

roc97007 (608802) | about a year ago | (#44928771)

> It's an open field and Microsoft has to compete on it's own merits

...and Microsoft has no experience in this area. It seems like they don't even understand the concept.

Re:Microsoft seems not to understand. (2, Insightful)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | about a year ago | (#44929073)

Nobody has ill will towards Microsoft but dirty, angry neckbeards.

Re:Microsoft seems not to understand. (5, Interesting)

vux984 (928602) | about a year ago | (#44928467)

People don't want Microsoft on their tablet.

The only people that care are the ipad buyers who want to buy an ipad because its an ipad, and few could even articulate why they want an ipad instead of an alternative, except that they "know" that's the one they want.

The people buying droid tablets largely don't care that its droid. Sure, some of US do, but that's beside the point.

MS can easily take a bite out of the android market by competing on price, if they want.

MS can also go after the premium market with the competitive advantage the Surface 2 Pro has -- the ability to run windows / desktop apps.

And -yes- this IS something there is a market for. One company I work with for example has all it's outbound reps using laptops to enter sales etc. The reps are clamoring to switch to a tablet for portability etc. Sure the point of sale system vendor could come around with a web interface or ios/droid client at some point, but today that doesn't exist.

So the surface pro works for them today. Microsoft can go after and capture that market, even at 'premium' prices.

They can make all the products they want, but the software that people want runs on an OS owned by someone else.

What software is there that's exclusively on ios or droid that you think "people want to run"? Reality is people don't care about that. ipad has its brand name cachet, and droid has the open community, but the average person? Doesn't REALLY care; and the business user? Could very well see a lot of advantages to windows tablets if microsoft puts out a competent product.

Re:Microsoft seems not to understand. (3, Insightful)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | about a year ago | (#44928605)

Assuming you are correct and the droid buyers largely don't care that it's a droid, then most likely cost will be a motivating factor and many droid tablets can be purchased well below the Microsoft tablet offerings. For those that do care that it is a droid, cost may be less of a factor, but then there are most likely going to be droid features that appeal to that market segment. Either way, to the ignorant and informed droid purchaser, droid still wins.

That leaves the premium market. In this market, MS has to compete directly with Apple and one would have to specifically want an MS product to not purchase the iPad.

So, in all three markets, uninformed, informed and premium, it would appear that the only reason somebody is going to choose an MS tablet, is because they really want an MS tablet and not because of the features, price, compatability or just about anything else. That would mean they should sell well with MS fanboys, but that isn't a really good marketing strategy for long term success.

Re:Microsoft seems not to understand. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44928633)

First, there are ultrabooks with larger screens that weigh *less* than a Surface Pro.

Second, there are plenty of apps that RT cannot run (the legacy platform the previous poster was referring to).
Firefox. Chrome. Cisco VPN Software. Nest thermostat control. Chevy Volt remote control software.
RT's "100,00" apps are just a bunch of garbage, search the store for "Firefox" and see what I mean.

Re:Microsoft seems not to understand. (1)

intermodal (534361) | about a year ago | (#44928637)

I think we are arguing two different things. You argue that tablets have a place in business, and I agree. However, I do not believe that Microsoft can dominate the tablet market because business tablets and personal tablets, in terms of usage, are apples and oranges. And entertainment-oranges are way more numerous than the business-apples.

Re:Microsoft seems not to understand. (2)

narcc (412956) | about a year ago | (#44928653)

It's true. Most people don't care about the OS. They're buying a tablet for internet and games.

Still, even for those of us that do care, I'd happily buy a competitively priced tablet from Microsoft if it ran whatever Windows software I wanted -- and had a real stylus.

If they can get something like the Surface Pro 2 down to around $300-$400, which is really only a matter of time, I don't see why they couldn't grab a good share. Add a few other players with their own hardware and I can see Microsoft really taking over the tablet market.

Re:Microsoft seems not to understand. (2)

X.25 (255792) | about a year ago | (#44928831)

MS can also go after the premium market with the competitive advantage the Surface 2 Pro has -- the ability to run windows / desktop apps.

And this is exactly why MIcrosoft tablets are failing.

Why do you geniuses assume that people want to run Windows/desktop apps on their tablet?

Do you realize that majority of people have exactly what they want on tablets, and don't need 'desktop apps'?

Do you want Total Commander or ACDSee or AutoCAD running on your tablet? Which, exactly, are those 'desktop' applications that people can't wait to run on their tablets?

Re:Microsoft seems not to understand. (1)

exomondo (1725132) | about a year ago | (#44928951)

I really thought the Surface Pro would have been the geeks' dream. Fullsize USB port, HDMI out, stylus, keyboard attachment, etc... and you can run Linux on it instead of Windows! It's like the N900 of tablets.

Re:Microsoft seems not to understand. (1)

roc97007 (608802) | about a year ago | (#44928959)

People don't want Microsoft on their tablet.

The only people that care are the ipad buyers who want to buy an ipad because its an ipad, and few could even articulate why they want an ipad instead of an alternative, except that they "know" that's the one they want.

The people buying droid tablets largely don't care that its droid. Sure, some of US do, but that's beside the point.

All true.

MS can easily take a bite out of the android market by competing on price, if they want.

Um, maybe. I guess anyone will buy anything if it's cheap enough, but Win8 is a hard sell.

MS can also go after the premium market with the competitive advantage the Surface 2 Pro has -- the ability to run windows / desktop apps.

And there you lost me.

And -yes- this IS something there is a market for. One company I work with for example has all it's outbound reps using laptops to enter sales etc. The reps are clamoring to switch to a tablet for portability etc. Sure the point of sale system vendor could come around with a web interface or ios/droid client at some point, but today that doesn't exist.

There are those who would disagree [salesforce.com] . If your sales software is a thick client bound to Windows, you're about a decade behind the times, chum. Modern sales interfaces are html based, and friendly (or, at least, no more unfriendly) towards tablets as they are laptops.

So the surface pro works for them today. Microsoft can go after and capture that market, even at 'premium' prices.

They can make all the products they want, but the software that people want runs on an OS owned by someone else.

What software is there that's exclusively on ios or droid that you think "people want to run"? Reality is people don't care about that. ipad has its brand name cachet, and droid has the open community, but the average person? Doesn't REALLY care; and the business user? Could very well see a lot of advantages to windows tablets if microsoft puts out a competent product.

Um, again, as many have said, if Microsoft had come out with this several years ago, they might have made a dent in the market. But these days? The scenario only applies to legacy systems. It's a new product intending to fill a shrinking niche. Not where a successful company wants to be.

"droid"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44928977)

Was it too difficult for you to write the extra two letters at the beginning, EVERY time?

You seem to have managed to write the rest of your post okay...

Idiot.

Re:Microsoft seems not to understand. (1)

jonbryce (703250) | about a year ago | (#44929005)

You can run desktop applications on an iPad or Droid slab by using Remote Desktop, VNC or similar, except that in the time it takes to try and control an application designed to be used with a keyboard and mouse on a touch screen, you could drive back to the office and just do it on your desktop computer.

People may think they want to run desktop applications on a tablet, but believe me, they don't.

Re:Microsoft seems not to understand. (2)

fwarren (579763) | about a year ago | (#44929029)

The market has pretty soundly kicked the Surface Pro to the curb at the current price point.

I don't see anything that makes the Surface Pro 2 a more compelling device. All the "icing on the cake" that is added with new hardware features goes on top of the same "cake" that vast majority of MS customers have already rejected.

They have on "must have" features to make people leave Apple or Google hardware.
They have no "must have" software on the tablet side to make people leave Apple or Google software.
They can't compete on price. If you need windows desktop compatibility. Laptops are much cheaper.

I am predicting a big "fail" for the Surface Pro 2.

Re:Microsoft seems not to understand. (4, Informative)

CohibaVancouver (864662) | about a year ago | (#44928555)

People don't want Microsoft on their tablet.

...anyone who works in an office environment does.

I have a Surface Pro (NOT RT. Repeat after me NOT RT) tablet at work - and it works like a charm. It's a Core i5 running Metro + Win 8 pro. Runs full MS Office and has access to all network resources. At my desk it has its desktop extended to another monitor (try doing that with an iPad) with attached keyboard & mouse. Away from my desk it's got a detachable proper clicky keyboard and a nifty stylus.

If I'm "tableting" with it and I just want to check something or watch something on the train I tap a metro tile's app and pull it up

If I need to do 'real' work I go to the Windows desktop.

All my colleagues carry two devices (iPad + Note/ultrabook PC) - I carry one. Every time I pull it out at a meeting or at the airport people say "oooh... what's *that*?" The RT noise is distracting people from what is otherwise a very cool machine.

You couldn't pay me to lug a laptop around anymore.

Re:Microsoft seems not to understand. (2)

bradvoy (686502) | about a year ago | (#44928681)

Same here. I've used an iPad and an Android tablet in the past, but my Surface Pro is far more useful because it runs Office and all my other Windows apps and yet is as portable as other tablets. There are only 2 problems with it: 1. The battery life is much shorter than an iPad or Android tablet. The Surface Pro 2 should be much better in that regard. 2. It costs too much. I got mine for free, but otherwise I wouldn't have bought it. Microsoft is NOT solving that problem with the Surface Pro 2; they're going with the same pricing as the original. It needs to be at least $200 less.

Re:Microsoft seems not to understand. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44928905)

why do people continually parrot this line? it's this eternal frustration that slashdotters have with microsoft's continued existence. if your assertion is correct then let just let it play out and ultimately microsoft will die.

They can make all the products they want, but the software that people want runs on an OS owned by someone else.

this is the same reason desktop linux, webos, maemo, meego, ubuntu phone, etc, all failed: lack of applications.

Re:Microsoft seems not to understand. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44929037)

> People don't want Microsoft

Speak for yourself. The Surface Pro is the most capable tablet on the market.

Lighting $100 bills would be faster (5, Funny)

JoeyRox (2711699) | about a year ago | (#44928365)

If they're looking to rid themselves of excess cash.

Not for BlackBerry it wouldn't! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44928827)

You try burning $1,000,000,000 one $100 bill at a time.

Too expensive (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about a year ago | (#44928367)

£200 for one with a good keyboard would be reasonable, but against the Nexus 7 + the Bluetooth keyboard I already have... Nah.

a strategy that works for Apple but not Microsoft (1)

themushroom (197365) | about a year ago | (#44928453)

I read the list of prices for accessories (more power, keyboards, etc.) and thought, "only Apple can get away with charging an arm, leg, and testicle for pieces parts". A bare Surface costs $450, two to four times what anyone else's tablet costs, but when you buy the doodads to make it impressive then you've doubled the cost. And while we might not flinch at a $900 notebook computer, $900 for a tablet is a stretch.

But we'll see how many Win 8.1 tablet fanboys will shell out like they were Macintosh and iThingie fanboys of the last thirty years.

Bundled keyboard will remain compatible (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#44928945)

but against the Nexus 7 + the Bluetooth keyboard I already have

What Bluetooth keyboard do you use with your Nexus 7? Android 4.3 broke compatibility with my ZAGGkeys Flex; apparently it's detected as a "non-alphanumeric keyboard" (that is, a gamepad), and fixing it would require wiping the thing to gain root to rename a keyboard layout. At least if a keyboard is bundled with a tablet, you can be pretty sure that the tablet's manufacturer is going to put in effort not to break the keyboard.

They kinda fucked up No LTE (3, Insightful)

bogie (31020) | about a year ago | (#44928397)

Microsoft, in late 2013 just came out with 2 tablets that don't offer LTE? Oh right next year they say. Smart business move.

The people with the money to burn on these devices and a wireless plan to go along with them just want to pay once and then have connectivity everywhere without thinking. Definitely a short-sighted move IMHO.

And this will fix sales because... (1)

wile_e8 (958263) | about a year ago | (#44928411)

I did not read anything in the improvement list that solves why people didn't want the old versions. Just improved specs, but a faster tablet no one wants is still a tablet no one wants. What is going to prevent this from being another billion dollar loss? Building fewer upfront so they don't have to throw as many away?

still wrong (3, Insightful)

Tom (822) | about a year ago | (#44928415)

They're still missing the point, so my bet is that it'll collect just as much dust as the old one.

What MS is selling is basically an ultrabook with a touchscreen, not a tablet. They're still not getting that a tablet is an entirely different device with different needs and usage cases.

MS has never been user-aware, always developer-focussed. I'm so happy it's finally biting them in the ass.

I'd be a lot more happy about the ass biting... (1)

Radical Moderate (563286) | about a year ago | (#44928499)

if their tablet OS wasn't sitting on millions of desktops that I and thousands of others have to support. *ouch*

Re:still wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44928531)

(posting ac because I modded you up)

Why doesn't MS bring an inducement to their floundering phone/tablet business by just giving the original XBox gaming catalogue away for free? Right now there is no reason for'consumers to switch over to MS products. When you're barely in the game like they are, you'd best make a bold move now, or kiss away all your possible futures in the phone/tablet game.

Re:still wrong (1)

Zibodiz (2160038) | about a year ago | (#44928841)

Have you ever used a Surface? I don't own one (I'm lucky to have a used $200 Fujitsu convertible), but they are seriously competitive hardware. The OS feels very tablet-like (how can anyone complain otherwise while still complaining about Windows 8 being 'designed for a tablet and not appropriate for a desktop"), and unlike an iPad, I don't have to relearn everything just to use it -- I already understand the interface because I have Win8 on my laptop. Contrary to what the ads say, iPads are a pain to use & learn. The Surface touchscreen works very nicely (I've yet to use an Android tablet that works as smoothly), and the Pro's addition of a pressure-sensitive stylus opens it up to the art community in a way that is largely under-addressed (in my opinion, they should be advertising this feature a LOT more). The ability to run desktop applications on the pro is unprecedented among tablets, yet it's not overbearing; the thing is first and foremost a tablet, and the average user won't even use the desktop app functionality (which is why they regular Surface doesn't have it). I don't own one, and honestly my OS of choice is Ubuntu (even though it is very clumsy with touchscreens, hopefully Ubuntu Touch will be better, and will operate on x86 machines), but given the choice between an iPad, an Android tablet, and a Surface Pro, I'd take the Surface, no question. The real problems with them are the lack of acceptance from the general public and the resulting poor app selection. The tablet experience itself is actually very good -- and compared with an iPad in a keyboard case, the Surface feels much more classy to the touch. Hopefully in a couple years I'll be able to afford a Surface on eBay... but of course that means people need to be out there buying them now and upgrading like they do with Apple products lol. The real rub is that MS is trying to switch roles here. The Android tablets are the XP of the tablet world, with the interface everyone knows and the affordability and ubiquity. MS is instead making high-end devices that feel expensive and are expensive. The usual MS crowd hates them on principle because it's not low-quality off-brand junk. The high-end market are all in love with their hipsterish Apple devices and hate MS on principle that they're 'the man'. MS has to cut out their own groove, and it's not easy. It's a bad situation for MS, but one that isn't easily avoided.

Re:still wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44928949)

Their attempts to unify the OS across platforms may be the wrong idea but they're banking on the similarities between the experiences to draw in the "I don't want to learn anything new crowd". The trouble there lies in the fact that Windows 8 IS ENTIRELY NEW at a glance, and so their goals are kinda moot. It also leads to people whom have written off Windows 8 on their PC carrying over that thought to the tablet in a "I don't want 8 on my computer why would I want it on my tablet?" type of scenario.

That said, I would buy a x86-based Windows tablet for the ability to install Linux, or if keeping Windows then for the programs and such that come with Windows. The trouble is the price tag. Come to think of it, if Canonical came out with an Ubuntu tablet I'd buy the crap out of that. I would likely not keep Windows on any tablet because of the privacy and DRM crap MS spews out these days. It's bad enough that an information based business like Google has access to my... everything, but letting MS see it all too, well that's too much.

Re:still wrong (1)

im_thatoneguy (819432) | about a year ago | (#44929045)

How is the RT version any less of a tablet than an iPad? If anything it has all of the capabilities of an ipad+ more features. The only thing I can see that it's lacking is app selection and over the last year that's a gap that's been pretty well closed.

When are they replacing Bullwinkle? (2)

tlambert (566799) | about a year ago | (#44928439)

Bullwinkle: Hey Rocky, watch me pull a rabbit out of my hat.
Rocky: Again?
Bullwinkle: Presto!
Lion: ROAR!!!
Bullwinkle: Oops, wrong hat.

Interesting but Sorry (1)

mynameiskhan (2689067) | about a year ago | (#44928445)

Sorry, MSFT, I just placed orders for 33 AAPL iPad4 on VZW LTE for my office.

Re:Interesting but Sorry (2)

Valdrax (32670) | about a year ago | (#44928573)

Sorry, MSFT, I just placed orders for 33 AAPL iPad4 on VZW LTE for my office.

ORLY? IDK why you'd do that. BYOD is the future of IT IYKWIM.

BYOD is the future, but we live in the present (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#44928989)

BYOD is the future of IT

You may be right about it being the future. The present, on the other hand, is 33 employees who happen not to already own a tablet supporting cellular data.

How cheap would the old one have to be? (1)

Andy_R (114137) | about a year ago | (#44928491)

No sign of a price cut on the old one here in the UK yet (and there's no hope in hell I would buy version 2 at list), but this got me thinking... how cheap would the old models have to be before I would pick one up?

The Pro, I'd probably take a look at if it was in iPad price range, but the RT... if it was in the £100 area? I'm still not sure. One thing's for sure, the keyboards are laughably overpriced. Here in the UK, at today's exchange rates, you'll have to fork out a cool $176.51 for the real keys one, and $104.30 for the squishy one.

Re:How cheap would the old one have to be? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44928873)

Well, since thay had app 6 million RT's in deep storage in june 30th, and probably haven't moved all that many since....

Either the original RT is gonna be the sub $100 X-mas surprise, or they will just dump them in some landfill

Still running Windows 8? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44928511)

Still running Windows 8.x? DO NOT WANT!!! EVER!!!

Paddy Tanniger (1)

s.petry (762400) | about a year ago | (#44928519)

Every time MS releases a new Phone or Tablet all I can think of is the execs at Apple and Google saying "Big whoop wanna fight about it?"

missing the point (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44928599)

It seems most people here are more focused in bashing MS than understanding the product. In all fairness you can bash all you want Rt 2, i still dont understand this product , but the surface pro serves me perfect has the best portable legacy product

Why all the hate? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44928641)

GUYS... a stand with 2 settings!!!!!!!!

If history is any guide (2)

wavedeform (561378) | about a year ago | (#44928651)

If history is any guide, most people will wait for version 3.1, when it may become just good enough.

Re:If history is any guide (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44928777)

If history is any guide, most people will wait for version 3.1, when it may become just good enough.

ha, never seen this joke on /. before - well played!

Priced Perfectly (1)

organgtool (966989) | about a year ago | (#44928659)

At these prices, these tablets are guaranteed to sell as well as the first generation!

Aw, sweet! (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about a year ago | (#44928675)

Finally! I've been looking for a nearly $500 wedge to prop the short leg of my dinner table up with!

Oh Hell Yeah! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44928699)

Oh, hell, yeah! He's on fire!

New definition for android (1)

gestalt_n_pepper (991155) | about a year ago | (#44928725)

Android: the system you use while waiting for Windows to boot.

Windows does have suspend (2)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#44929015)

I own a Nexus 7 tablet running Android 4.3, and my aunt owns a Gateway PC running Windows 8 with Classic Shell. In my experience, it takes about the same time to cold boot Windows or Android, and the same time to come out of suspend whether on Windows or Android. Are you comparing resume on Android to a cold boot on Windows?

they have an ipad trade in (1)

goffster (1104287) | about a year ago | (#44928743)

Give them your old ipad, get $200 credit toward in-store purchase.
I am not sure, however, what people would want more:
my old ipad 1 or $200 at microsoft store.
At least, it *would* make a better Christmas stocking stuffer than
some socks and a toothbrush.

Re:they have an ipad trade in (1)

Capt.DrumkenBum (1173011) | about a year ago | (#44929025)

If I recall correctly, the iPad 1 is not included in their list of systemds they are willing to take.

I'm surprised they didn't rename it (1)

NotSoHeavyD3 (1400425) | about a year ago | (#44928753)

to something else. I mean it worked when they released Vista 2.0, oh I'm sorry Windows 7.

I wonder what's going to happen to desktop (1)

mark_reh (2015546) | about a year ago | (#44928791)

computing. Right now, the vast majority of offerings come with Win 8 which no one seems to want. It will either drive desktop sales to Apple or if Goog isn't dumb, they'll solve the problem by providing desktops with Android or Chrome OS. Of course, linux is always lurking, but most people will stay away from linux because it is too different from what they are used to. It's too bad- linux has had MS beat on reliability for years, but people don't seem to care about reliability.

MS is just another also-ran in tablets like they are in phones and were in music players. Now they are becoming irrelevant in the desktop market, too.

I predict an accelerating increase in "update" frequency to my Win 7 installation to make sure it becomes unusable as quickly as possible (as was done with XP when Win 7 came out).

mod 0p (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44928805)

Yes, but . . . (1)

hduff (570443) | about a year ago | (#44928883)

Can it run Android?

In other news... (1)

Dega704 (1454673) | about a year ago | (#44928893)

White Star Line has announced the Titanic Deck Chair 2. Details at 11.

1 out of 2 ain't bad (1)

bravecanadian (638315) | about a year ago | (#44928981)

They closed the big thing holding people back on Pro -- the gap on battery life -- I will be getting a Surface Pro 2 to replace my everyday machine.

And a dock when they come out. Perfect.

MS still overpriced RT. They need to lose money and get it out there for the RT to have any hope of generating the critical mass of developers needed.

Microsoft and BestBuy are Thieves (1)

bryanbrunton (262081) | about a year ago | (#44929007)

Here is the most remarkable fact about Surface RT (Windows on Arm) in combination with the new Windows Store at BestBuy:

A significant amount of the floorspace of America's last remaining generic brick and mortar electronics vendor, is now devoted to a product that does not sell.

The Surface RT is product does not have a naturally won position in the market place. The product exists simply because Microsoft has the money, a long standing relationship with BestBuy, and the desperation to place the excess inventory in front of customers who do not want to buy it.

Microsoft and BestBuy are flogging a product (Windows on Arm) which is doomed. Everyone in the industry knows it is. I can only feel sorry for the unsuspecting customers who purchase Windows on Arm.

Microsoft and BestBuy are stealing money from people in a last gasp attempt at flogging a dead platform.

Missing: (1)

Weaselmancer (533834) | about a year ago | (#44929055)

Surface 2 and Surface 2 pro? That means we're still missing the Surface 2 Enterprise, Surface 2 Ultimate, and the Surface 2 Home.

Because it's Microsoft. And no product is worthwhile unless it has at least a half a dozen or so pointless variations.

Whats the market (2)

SnarfQuest (469614) | about a year ago | (#44929057)

What is the market for these?
For $100 more, you can get a real laptop, with a large disk and a keyboard.
For half the price, you can get a Android tablet.
Only people stuck with Windows, and in need of a really portable version, might want one of these. How big is that market, really?
It's like selling checken feet for $3.00/lb. Sure, someone might want them, but most people would prefer chicken breasts at $2.00/lb, or steak at $4.00/lb.

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