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Microsoft Ships Surface Pro 2 Tablets With Wrong, Slower Processor

Unknown Lamer posted about 9 months ago | from the get-what-you-paid-for? dept.

Microsoft 147

SmartAboutThings (1951032) writes "Microsoft launched the Surface Pro 2 tablet in October 2013 with several hardware upgrades, like the new 1.6GHz Core i5-4200U processor specifically optimized for longer battery life and increased performance. Three months later, Microsoft decided to upgrade the CPU with a 1.9GHz Core i5-4300U unit that would be capable of taking these improvements even further. Although Redmond kept quiet about the improvement, tech savvy buyers were aware of the change. Now, according to some new reports, it seems that the company is still shipping the old models to buyers, despite the fact that Microsoft promised to deliver only upgraded models featuring the new CPU."

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Suburb half to blame (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46569961)

Apparently Microsoft is just as much to blame as the suburb of Redmond.

Internety (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46570309)

I read 'Sburb'.

You should really carry no less than 5 computers on you at all times, like a sensible person.

You've Been BALLMERED! (5, Funny)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | about 9 months ago | (#46569969)

Thanks for playing! Enjoy the improved experience Windows 8.1 offers, over the competition!

And don't forget to come back in 16 months. Sanjay promises to BALLMER you harder!

Re:You've Been BALLMERED! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46570107)

The new CEO's name is Satya. Hardly concealed but obviously repressed contempt. Coded idiocy at its worst.

Re:You've Been BALLMERED! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46570215)

Ah but here on Slashdot, we reward such idiocy with a +1 Insightful!

Re:You've Been BALLMERED! (1)

mmell (832646) | about 9 months ago | (#46571323)

Five times, usually.

Re:You've Been BALLMERED! (2)

steelfood (895457) | about 9 months ago | (#46570201)

No chairs were harmed in the act.

Re:You've Been BALLMERED! (4, Funny)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about 9 months ago | (#46570625)

16 months, you say? that's about how long it will take to install this version of win 8.1:

http://blog.dk.sg/wp-content/u... [blog.dk.sg]

We have to unload the old ones may if we put 7 on (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about 9 months ago | (#46569977)

We have to unload the old ones may if we put 7 on them they will sell like hot cakes.

Re:We have to unload the old ones may if we put 7 (1)

spamchang (302052) | about 9 months ago | (#46571745)

Put an i7 in there and your battery will be a hot cake...!

Perhaps they are leftovers from old production (2)

NixieBunny (859050) | about 9 months ago | (#46570001)

Don't these things sell a bit more slowly than MS predicts?

Re:Perhaps they are leftovers from old production (5, Insightful)

tlambert (566799) | about 9 months ago | (#46570249)

Don't these things sell a bit more slowly than MS predicts?

Not when Microsoft buys them from the vendors themselves, and then warehouses them. The problem is that old stock is removed from the front, and new stock is loaded in at the back, so unless they hit their predicted sales numbers, you get the older stock.

Microsoft just promised that they would ship (eventually); the only date involved is the date they made the promise, not a dealine by which the new stuff would be shipping exclusive of the old stuff, and certainly not the unsold stuff already in the channel.

What we have here is the use of an ambiguous generational designator that has nothing to do with the clock speed, and a journalist suffering sour grapes over not getting the faster model that has exactly the same description.

Re:Perhaps they are leftovers from old production (0, Troll)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 9 months ago | (#46570399)

Microsoft just promised that they would ship (eventually); the only date involved is the date they made the promise, not a dealine by which the new stuff would be shipping exclusive of the old stuff, and certainly not the unsold stuff already in the channel.

False. RTFA, which you clearly did not do.

Re:Perhaps they are leftovers from old production (3, Interesting)

AK Marc (707885) | about 9 months ago | (#46571015)

I RTFA, and aside from sales people on the phone quoting the wrong processor, I didn't see anything that indicated a "deadline" for shipping only the new one. The story isn't about something like MS promising the newer processer and not delivering, but a call center person making an error in confirming a specification. There is a difference in intent and action, even if not much difference legally.

Re:Perhaps they are leftovers from old production (3, Interesting)

David_Hart (1184661) | about 9 months ago | (#46571041)

Microsoft just promised that they would ship (eventually); the only date involved is the date they made the promise, not a dealine by which the new stuff would be shipping exclusive of the old stuff, and certainly not the unsold stuff already in the channel.

False. RTFA, which you clearly did not do.

Actually, the previous poster was right. Microsoft has never publicly announced that they were shipping the new processor. What happened is that the article writer called a customer rep who said that they would get the new processor. The customer reps may have been told that the new processor was coming and made assumptions. Its still on Microsoft as they obviously dropped the ball in clarifying the situation with the customer reps. But that doesn't make the previous poster wrong.

All of the articles I can find on the topic indicate the same thing. There was no official announcement by Microsoft. Someone leaked the information to the standard tech magazines and the rest has been speculation, rather than fact.

Re:Perhaps they are leftovers from old production (1)

kevingolding2001 (590321) | about 9 months ago | (#46572097)

as they obviously dropped the ball in clarifying the situation with the customer reps.

Or told them to deliberately lie knowing that there was likely no proof of what the customer rep said.

Re:Perhaps they are leftovers from old production (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46570299)

Don't these things sell a bit more slowly than MS predicts?

If you turned Seattle into a desert, water would sell slower than MS predicts.

Wrong-O! (0)

mmell (832646) | about 9 months ago | (#46571339)

You don't get to run Barad-Dur at Redmond by being dim. I'm no fan of MS products (and Win8 gives new meaning to the word 'abomination') - but they're pretty savvy when it comes to marketing. Come to think of it, isn't that how they got to be the giant they are? I know it wasn't in their source code . . .

Could this be as simple (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46570051)

as microsoft buying batch cpus which were available? so sometimes (since official spec sheets had the slower one) some batches were higher rated cpus due to availability?

I Predict (4, Funny)

Ol Olsoc (1175323) | about 9 months ago | (#46570057)

Surface tablets will end up in the same place as all those old Atari E.T. game cartridges.

Re:I Predict (2, Insightful)

EvolutionInAction (2623513) | about 9 months ago | (#46570145)

I doubt it. A lot of people probably don't have a use for a surface, but I find that a tablet/laptop hybrid was exactly what I needed. 95% of the time all I want is to be able to read documents, but that other 5% of the time I really need to use office, or would quite like to play a game. Windows 8 actually works reasonably well on it, which shouldn't be a surprise - it's pretty obvious that it was designed around the surface. The price point isn't sustainable but if they fix that, I see no reason that the Surface line can't stick around for quite a while.

Re:I Predict (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46570239)

I doubt it. A lot of people probably don't have a use for a surface, but I find that a tablet/laptop hybrid was exactly what I needed. 95% of the time all I want is to be able to read documents, but that other 5% of the time I really need to use office, or would quite like to play a game. Windows 8 actually works reasonably well on it, which shouldn't be a surprise - it's pretty obvious that it was designed around the surface. The price point isn't sustainable but if they fix that, I see no reason that the Surface line can't stick around for quite a while.

If microsoft were to continue to deliver the surface but under a different pricing model, they could very well take over most of the markets - especially if they introduced their own all in one touch desktop. i wish the market could really see the amount of effort MS engineers went with bringing the surface to market, i feel that it really should be image that all windows 8 pcs are molded from.

Re:I Predict (2)

redback (15527) | about 9 months ago | (#46570573)

For the surface to take off they need to do 2 things.

1. stop restricting which retailers can sell the device.

2. Let said retailers make a profit.

1. Is mostly done, but 2 keeps us from stocking them ($20-$50 markup in a top end surface)

Re:I Predict (1)

symbolset (646467) | about 9 months ago | (#46571113)

They are already losing billions on the product. Further discounting does not seem to be a helpful answer.

Re:I Predict (1)

mmell (832646) | about 9 months ago | (#46571371)

Agreed. I just wish the marketing and execudroids hadn't idiotically gone with that "one desktop fits all" paradigm. Just make sure the underlying support is identical across platforms and let desktop users continue using the interface they've been taught to use for over twenty years!. I'm okay if it looks different on a tablet than on a desktop, as long as it works identically on both platforms, I'm okay. The desktop is just an abstraction layer anyhow (or is that still not true in the MS/Win environment?) - one desktop for phones, a (slightly different) representation for tablets, and a (somewhat different) presentation layer for laptop/desktop machines, that's what I'd have liked to see. Turning that little 'Start' button into a screen all of its own? I'm running dual 23" flat panels - I really don't need that much start menu, guys!

Re:I Predict (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46570253)

Yup, the Surface hardware is actually quite good, best hybrid currently available ... sadly Windows is Windows ... but, installing Ubuntu on these is trivially easy, and all of the 'touch' stuff 'just works', no need to find weird drivers, etc. I have an original SurfacePro, and it has proven to be a very useful machine - much more useful for 'real' work than any tablet, whether Android or IOS ... you can even put Android X86 on it, but it's not clear why you'd want to ...

Re:I Predict (0)

cbhacking (979169) | about 9 months ago | (#46571359)

That only applies to the Pro line (which is selling pretty fast). The RT line, with the ARM chips (like what this whole story is about) are not doing so well.

The thing that baffles me is the amount of effort MS wasted on locking out the 8.0 jailbreak. They could have put that to *so* much more productive uses. Why do something so blatantly anti-user in a product already struggling?

Re:I Predict (1)

Mr_Wisenheimer (3534031) | about 9 months ago | (#46571479)

Actually, the story is about the pro line. The fact that they were talking about i5 processors and not ARM chips probably should have clued you into that.

I don't see the RT line lasting into another generation as it is. They should roll the code into Windows Phone and just kill off the tablet line. If someone wants to make a Windows Phone tablet, then more power to them, but Microsoft should focus on its x86 tablet line now that Intel has Atom and core processors that can compete with ARM in terms of battery life. I mean, when you can pick up a $350 mini tablet that runs the full version of Windows 8.1, any desktop app a netbook could handle, and is only a little bigger and with a bit less battery life than an iPad, who would want to spend $400-500 on Windows RT?

Re:I Predict (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46571587)

Yup, the RT line was/is silly ... it's basically a hedge-bet against Google's ChromeOS and associated 'Chromebook' hardware ... keeps MS's foot in the door in that segment (if the segment ever takes off).

Re:I Predict (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46571715)

It was also an incentive to get Intel to take the Atom line seriously.

Re:I Predict (1)

GigaplexNZ (1233886) | about 9 months ago | (#46571709)

The RT line, with the ARM chips (like what this whole story is about) are not doing so well.

The title says Pro, the summary says Pro, and the chips in question are quoted in the summary (Intel chips). Where'd you get the impression this was about ARM?

Re:I Predict (1)

Joce640k (829181) | about 9 months ago | (#46572035)

That only applies to the Pro line (which is selling pretty fast).

The camera on the "Pro" is useless (720p resolution), the camera on the "RT" is actually better (5 megapixels).

That's got to be a deal breaker for many people (it is for me).

Re:I Predict (1)

ericloewe (2129490) | about 9 months ago | (#46572071)

Why do you care about the camera on a tablet? Especially on something like the Surface Pro, which is more an Ultrabook than a tablet.

Re:I Predict (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46570247)

Yeah, considering the business predictions of every other Slashdotter? I may as well buy MS stock now.
 
Slashfags know about as much about business as I know about 13 century french opera.

Re:I Predict (1)

imatter (2749965) | about 9 months ago | (#46570673)

ah, so you fancy yourself an Opera buff!

Re:I Predict (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46572419)

Given that French opera began in the middle of the 17th century; there is nothing to know about 13[sic] century french opera; hence you already know everything about it; so Slashfags know everything about business!

Re:I Predict (1)

antdude (79039) | about 9 months ago | (#46571681)

Well, that place is going to be dug up soon according to this article [sfgate.com] .

wooo 300mhz Woo (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46570091)

Woo 300Miz wooo yeaa buddy this is some super computing power now

Re:wooo 300mhz Woo (1)

PhilHibbs (4537) | about 9 months ago | (#46572209)

Are you implying that a 23% boost in CPU speed is irrelevant?

clickbait (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46570187)

The article explicitly says Microsoft store and site makes no such promise of an upgraded processor, all they is one report from a user that supposedly got told from someone in Microsoft that if they ordered they would get a newer processor (despite the website making no such promise). Why is this even a story?

Re:clickbait (5, Insightful)

msobkow (48369) | about 9 months ago | (#46570345)

Because you're supposed to froth at the mouth about Microsquishy instead of learning the facts.

Re:clickbait (0)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 9 months ago | (#46570575)

Because you're supposed to froth at the mouth about Microsquishy instead of learning the facts.

Unless you have some reason to disbelieve the report, the fact is that the buyer was promised the newer processor by an agent of Microsoft and then didn't get the newer processor. You're supposed learn the facts instead of making shit up.

Re:clickbait (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46571083)

Unless you have some reason to disbelieve the report, the fact is that the buyer was promised the newer processor by an agent of Microsoft and then didn't get the newer processor. You're supposed learn the facts instead of making shit up.

Yeah, because some customer support flunky from whoever M$ outsourced it to is going to have authoritative answers. Get real.

Re:clickbait (2, Informative)

bloodhawk (813939) | about 9 months ago | (#46571353)

unless the actual source is provided that made said promise and it was someone that you would expect to be able to make such a promise then yes the facts pretty much say the story shouldn't be believed as all the verifiable facts contradict it.

Re:clickbait (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46571189)

Tell MS Shills to posting about Microsoft stories

Re:clickbait (1)

gnasher719 (869701) | about 9 months ago | (#46572267)

The article explicitly says Microsoft store and site makes no such promise of an upgraded processor, all they is one report from a user that supposedly got told from someone in Microsoft that if they ordered they would get a newer processor (despite the website making no such promise). Why is this even a story?

Basically anyone selling anything will have in their terms and conditions that their agents are capable of making legally binding commitments, and nothing counts unless you have it in writing.

Uhm (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46570203)

So, company A decides to quietly upgrade gizmo X to ship with better-than-spec component Y. Months later, some buyers find Xes matching the original specs in the retail channel... news... not even at 11. A retail channel is a complex beast, you sell something into it, you'll never know when it comes out. Reminds me of the serial# checking you had to do on processors a few years back to determine if you had one of the good batches...

Re:Uhm (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46570577)

Except the "retail channel" here is the Microsoft Store.
The news here is that apparently Microsoft doesn't know what Microsoft tablets Microsoft ships to Microsoft...

Where can you buy it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46570231)

No one sells it around here, impossible to get one, of course they have a lot of old model in stock.

Re:Where can you buy it? (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about 9 months ago | (#46570333)

No one sells it around here, impossible to get one

Wait - you mean they've sold BOTH of them?

Re:Where can you buy it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46571377)

No one sells it around here, impossible to get one

Wait - you mean they've sold BOTH of them?

Meanwhile the 2 Linux desktops are still sitting on the shelf gathering dust.

Re:Where can you buy it? (1)

lkernan (561783) | about 9 months ago | (#46571579)

Meanwhile the 2 Linux desktops are still sitting on the shelf gathering dust.

But wasn't 1999 the year of the Linux desktop, they're too late!

Smart move, (4, Insightful)

Antony T Curtis (89990) | about 9 months ago | (#46570241)

Lets face it: They're probably sitting on a huge amount of old inventory and for every 1 semi-tech savvy customer who specifically wants the faster CPU version, there will be 1000 customers who wouldn't know the CPU from their elbow.

Re:Smart move, (1)

ericloewe (2129490) | about 9 months ago | (#46572077)

Actually, it's quite likely the Surface Pro 2 inventory is rather limited.
That's probably what triggered the whole story with the better processor, Intel probably ran out of the regular one (For some mysterious reason, the only difference is a higher maxmimum clock - the price was the same last time I checked).

Re:Smart move, (1)

badfish99 (826052) | about 9 months ago | (#46572113)

Oh yes, another Microsoft shill who is trying to tell us that they've got 1000 customers for this thing. We're not fooled.

Not news (3, Insightful)

PPH (736903) | about 9 months ago | (#46570243)

Customer buys Microsoft product. Gets less that they were led to expect. Customer buys another Microsoft product, gets screwed again.

Sounds like their core business plan. Nothing to see here, move along.

Re:Not news (2, Informative)

HerculesMO (693085) | about 9 months ago | (#46570469)

While it's always entertaining to read the same tired MS bashing, I got my wife the Surface Pro 2 for her work, and she loves it. It's an amazing machine, well built, great display, and has a wacom digitizer for her to take notes with. For $1000? Name me another product as versatile and portable. There isn't one. For all the MS hate, Windows 8 boots in 10 seconds from cold and it runs all the apps she needs or could need.

The alternative was an iPad, but realistically to me it didn't make any sense because a lot of apps she needed were Windows centric or needed plugins, etc.

For the right market it's a great product, and I think I got exactly what I paid for... an ultraportable that doubles as a tablet, and laptop in one.

Re:Not news (1)

MouseTheLuckyDog (2752443) | about 9 months ago | (#46570883)

While it's always entertaining to read the same tired MS bashing, I got my wife the Surface Pro 2 for her work, and she loves it. It's an amazing machine, well built, great display, and has a wacom digitizer for her to take notes with. For $1000? Name me another product as versatile and portable.

Galaxy Note 10.1/ Almost half the price too.

Re:Not news (1)

HerculesMO (693085) | about 9 months ago | (#46571001)

Also no Windows apps... for a certain market, it will do well. Like my wife.

Re: Not news (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46572145)

Your wife has a market?

Re:Not news (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46572207)

I don't even know your wife...

Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46571029)

I didn't know you could install Steam on your Galaxy Note 10.1 and play all of your Windows compatible games. And, you can install Visual Studio, Blender, and all sorts of other programs on there too. That's pretty impressive.

Re:Not news (1)

David_Hart (1184661) | about 9 months ago | (#46571077)

While it's always entertaining to read the same tired MS bashing, I got my wife the Surface Pro 2 for her work, and she loves it. It's an amazing machine, well built, great display, and has a wacom digitizer for her to take notes with. For $1000? Name me another product as versatile and portable.

Galaxy Note 10.1/ Almost half the price too.

Um, he did say he got it for her for WORK... That means MS Office, email, etc. While I love my android tablet for personal stuff, its not capable of handling my work activities. Surface Pro 2 Supports Visio... For that alone I might pick one up....

Re:Not news (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 9 months ago | (#46571351)

A galaxy 10.1 doesnt come with a nice wacom.

Re:Not news (1)

ericloewe (2129490) | about 9 months ago | (#46572079)

The Note does, but the lack Wacom digitizer is the least of any average Android tablet's problems.

Re:Not news (2)

symbolset (646467) | about 9 months ago | (#46571159)

You forgot to say how you make $2300/wk working from home with this one weird trick

Re:Not news (1)

exomondo (1725132) | about 9 months ago | (#46571423)

The implication being that he is lying because it is impossible for a microsoft product to meet any person's needs? Personally I find the Surface pro to be really good, the weight and battery life (i have the 1st gen) let it down a bit but the screen and stylus make up for that, I dual boot Windows and Linux (both Ubuntu and Gentoo work well) so that combined with my iPad covers pretty much everything I need. It won't replace my iPad - some things are more suited to iOS and some to Windows - but it's certainly been a damn good investment. I'm not sure what your specific issue is with it.

Fool me once, shame on you (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | about 9 months ago | (#46572391)

Fool me twice...maybe it's not a problem with Microsoft, eh?

Situation normal (but annoying) (1)

dbIII (701233) | about 9 months ago | (#46570277)

See also wireless network stuff a few years back when the model number was kept the same while chipsets were changed. If people lost their driver disk it was a bit of a crapshoot to find the right driver for them. More than one vendor did that.

Re:Situation normal (but annoying) (1)

mmell (832646) | about 9 months ago | (#46571393)

Still happens - I've got a Gateway ZX-6980, needed to do a full restore. Bought the five-disk restore set and when I'm done - the bluetooth doesn't work. Looks like they supplied four or five different drivers, none of them was the right one.

Multiple downloads, driver updates, etc. later, still no bluetooth. Hey, I got 95% of my hardware back, that's what, 2-sigma (almost)? Not bad for Gateway (and before anybody says it - the reason I'm reinstalling Winders 8 is for my wife's use - CentOS6 was just fine by me, took a bit of fiddling to get the touchscreen working but beyond that...).

Re:Situation normal (but annoying) (1)

ericloewe (2129490) | about 9 months ago | (#46572087)

Not really comparable. The difference here is absolutely irrelevant, except during very heavy use (same silicon, higher maximum clocks).

Not a big problem (5, Funny)

sootman (158191) | about 9 months ago | (#46570351)

Both Surface customers have been notified and the situation is under control.

Re:Not a big problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46570427)

Hahaha, yeah that's funny.

Re:Not a big problem (1)

Neo-Rio-101 (700494) | about 9 months ago | (#46570567)

Are you kidding? This is the Surface running joke!

Re:Not a big problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46571823)

Are you kidding? This is the Surface running joke!

yeah, it is a refreshing change for some after hearing the same saying about all of the two desktop Linux users for two decades.

Re:Not a big problem (1)

ericloewe (2129490) | about 9 months ago | (#46572091)

Seriously, these were never really funny. They're also completely irrelevant: the Surface Pros have been selling very well (unlike their crippled ARM siblings).

When will Microsoft Retire RT? (4, Insightful)

Mr_Wisenheimer (3534031) | about 9 months ago | (#46570417)

The Surface Pro is a great computer, basically a high end ultrabook in tablet form. Thanks to advances by Intel, this makes Windows 8.1 tablets available in almost every price range, and with the same battery life as an iPad, often at a cheaper price point if they are using the new Atom netbook processors rather than the high end ultrabook core processors like the Surface does.

Given these developments, Windows RT tablets seem about as useful as Microsoft Bob. On the high end, they cannot compete with their own Windows x64 tablets. On the low end, they are too pricey and with too small of an app store to compete with Android. Also, the fact that the two tablet series carry similar names just drags down the market potential of the x64 Surface line and confuses consumers.

It's time for Microsoft to take Surface RT, roll it into Windows Phone, and get out of the ARM tablet business. Let Apple and Android fight over the toy tablet market. Pulling stunts like shipping older CPU's in new products without telling anyone is just going to hurt Microsoft's business in the long run. A $350 tablet that can run Windows desktop apps is a potential money maker. A $400 Surface RT tablet that can run Office, browse the web, and do little else offers nothing over Android or iOS.

Re:When will Microsoft Retire RT? (1)

hackus (159037) | about 9 months ago | (#46570915)

Given the security issues currently with iPhone/Android, there is no way I would want, nor would I suggest putting a Windows OS on a tablet or phone.

Re:When will Microsoft Retire RT? (1)

symbolset (646467) | about 9 months ago | (#46571141)

The alternative is an OS with a browser that can't even safely display an image, with an office suite that can't even safely parse a text file. Android seems armor plated in comparison.

Re:When will Microsoft Retire RT? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46571535)

seriously you think people are actually going to think your opinion has any merit if you demonstrate that level of idiocy? that's the sort of thing knowledgeable people bag out the technologically inept for...oh right but it's microsoft so we can pretend we're all morons! microsoft is insecure, macs dont get malware and linux is the most safe thing out there but nobody uses it!

Re:When will Microsoft Retire RT? (2)

Mr_Wisenheimer (3534031) | about 9 months ago | (#46571509)

Windows OS has been on tablets since Microsoft introduced XP Tablet Edition back in 2002. It's not exactly a new phenomena. Windows RT (which is a half a decade too late getting to the market), which runs on low end ARM tablets is the new phenomena. From everything I have seen, it is at least as secure as iOS or stock Android.

It's problem is simply that it got to the market too late to beat Apple and Android to the punch and only about a year before Intel introduced low-powered Atom and Core processors that could compete with ARM processors in battery life. When an Atom mini-tablet starts at $350 and can run tens of thousands of existing desktop applications (even if most of them are not optimized for a tablet) and when the Android app store is huge while Windows RT is tiny, it just is hard to justify why anyone would want a second-generation RT tablet.

Re:When will Microsoft Retire RT? (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46571017)

I have a Surface pro 2. I can tell you it's a terrible computer. It tries to do two things and fails at both. As a tablet it's too heavy and bulky -- it has a fan! When's the last time your tablet starting blowing heat at you when playing a movie?

So then you try to use it as a computer. Well, you can't on your lap really because of the floppy keyboard. Plus the trackpad is a joke so you have to plug in a mouse. You fire up the Desktop -- and usability goes into the toilet because either sh*t is minuscule on the 10" screen, or it's altogether fuzzy because the software hasn't been adapted to high DPI. The whole software system feels bonky, rough, un-thought-through.

Oh and of course if you make the mistake of hitting the windows key you get a circus screen of flashing tiles all blaring at you with news and "friends" and stocks and weather and ads -- just because you wanted to start a program.

Ultrabooks, thank goodness, have at least 11" screens but usually at least 13".

Re:When will Microsoft Retire RT? (1)

Mr_Wisenheimer (3534031) | about 9 months ago | (#46571539)

The weight of the Surface Pro 2 is similar to that of the original iPad (about a third heavier), something that I don't remember too many people complaining about being heavy. I guess after getting used to using tablets that were five pounds, the Surface Pro 2 feels light as a feather to me, but I suppose some smaller people, especially women, might have trouble with the weight.

Also, remember that the Surface Pro 2 is a top of the line ultrabook in tablet form. There are much smaller, lighter Windows tablets that use the new quad core ARM processors.

I would like to see them include a 12.5" model in 4:3 format in the future, but remember, like Google's Android and unlike Apple's iOS, you can find Windows tablets in all shapes, sizes, and price points from a variety of manufacturers.

Re:When will Microsoft Retire RT? (1)

ericloewe (2129490) | about 9 months ago | (#46572123)

You're obviously missing the point of it then. It's magnificent as a notebook (as in sheets of paper, not laptop) replacement that can double as a usable Ultrabook or tablet.

High DPI is going to be an issue until most software is updated to support it, that's true. Doesn't bother me that much though, Office 2013 does fine, as do the browsers.

As for the mouse/trackpad issue: the thing has a touchscreen. Fingers work roughly 40 percent of the time and the Wacom stylus works another 40 percent of the time. That leaves ~10% of tasks that do need a relative pointing device, so I'm not too bothered by trackpads (but I do carry a bluetooth mouse for when I can use it, since it is a more natural experience than the alternatives).

Disclaimer: I don't have a Surface Pro, but there is one in my household and I use a very similar device every day (Samsung Ativ Smart PC Pro - slightly larger with a more traditional keyboard base instead of the Surfaces' kickstand+keyboard combination. Otherwise they're identical when it comes to hardware).

Re:When will Microsoft Retire RT? (1)

aztracker1 (702135) | about 9 months ago | (#46571033)

Windows RT is about much more than just supporting ARM... it's about getting rid of a legacy codebase. By releasing RT on a separate architecture, they can reasonably eliminate the compatibility without much pushback. If they released an x86/64 version of RT, there would be people up in arms. As it stands, it's a gateway drug. You can write .Net/JS based desktop apps and not have to worry about legacy overhead/bugs and one-offs. RT itself is a good idea, but the route they took is a bit backwards imho.

Beta sucks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46571251)

Except for one small problem: there aren't any non-legacy apps for it.

Re:When will Microsoft Retire RT? (2)

ericloewe (2129490) | about 9 months ago | (#46572139)

What are you talking about?

All versions support all APIs. That means Windows RT supports Win32 (in fact, the WinRT API is just a fancy Win32 wrapper) and x86/x64 support WinRT.
WinRT apps are only distributed through the store, while Win32 applictions are distributed like they've always been. The only exception is that Windows RT refuses to run unsigned Win32 applications, effectively limiting it to Microsoft's bundled stuff, like Office and IE.

Not as good battery life as iPad (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 9 months ago | (#46571055)

The Surface Pro 2 has a battery life of around 7.5 hours [theverge.com] in mixed use.

The iPad has a battery life of around 11 hours [macrumors.com] for "internet use"

The Surface has very good battery life for a laptop, but it's still not nearly where the iPad is - which you'd expect with it having a desktop processor and OS.

Re:Not as good battery life as iPad (1)

Mr_Wisenheimer (3534031) | about 9 months ago | (#46571449)

Their factory spec battery life for watching video is the same. As for real use, I suspect the iPad probably is better, but I would want to see a side-by-side comparison using multiple and identical test standards to confirm it, not tests from two different websites. There are too many variables that can affect battery life.

Re:the iPad is a toy. (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | about 9 months ago | (#46572423)

Have you ever tried to create *content* and effectively distribute it on an (unjailbroken) iPad? It is an exercise in futility and frustration. I have both (okay, not a surface, but Sony Win8.1 tablet), and I only use the iPad for surfing, watching the occasional TV show in bed, and as a big GPS in the car. OTOH, I use the Sony to edit CAD drawings, type up reports and send them to clients, mark up architectural prints (pixel accurate pen FTW*), compose music, transcode and distribute audio files...pretty much everything I can do sitting at my desk. The iPad is a toy - granted, a toy that has some utility - but it's just a toy.

*I've tried about 4 different pens on the iPad, from $10 eraser points to $100 bluetooth jobs. None of it comes close to "writing". Even with the "same" program (Bluebeam, which has an iOS and W8 version) it's just painfully slow and inaccurate on the iPad.

Note to Microsoft: (1)

jeremyzone (1493355) | about 9 months ago | (#46570519)

Next time you try a silent refresh, go ahead and ship all the old models out first before sending off the new one...

Re:Note to Microsoft: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46570681)

Went out again for second time this year to shop for a new notebook and PC. Noticed a large bright Microsoft display area full of PC's to try but after awhile, and after trying hard to find something, anything to like about win 8, I left because there's nothing of interest. It's truly just flashy brain numbing garbage! I saw many people stopping to try the PC's for a short time that mumbled curses at the PC's then walked away. Too bad the Microsoft idiot thought Win8 would be better than 7. Hope they scrap their Win8 mistake and base the next version closer to win7.

Terrible news.. (3, Funny)

OhANameWhatName (2688401) | about 9 months ago | (#46570745)

Microsoft Ships Surface Pro 2 Tablets With Wrong, Slower Processor

Tablets? They sold 2 of them?

Re:Terrible news.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46570827)

Whoooosh!
He was kidding. One of them was returned.

Re:Terrible news.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46571743)

I own one of them :)

Look, it's actually seriously cool. I'm not sure how the typical consumer would view it, but myself, as somewhat of a power user, found in the surface the perfect combination of portabilitty & power. Sure, wish they were a tiny bit lighter still and with a tiny bit more battery, but it's already great as-is: the display, the keyboard, the cover, the processing power. Heck, I can work on one doing the real stuff (VStudio + a shell w/ vi logged into a server ;) really comfortably, with all the windows apps on the side... When I get bored, switch to metro and hit the kindle app. When I need to move around, just take it w/ me and use the touch.

Really cool product. My other option was a macbook air but the flexibility of this thing beats it by a lot!

Its not the CPU (1)

rossdee (243626) | about 9 months ago | (#46570853)

The thing that is most wrong with Surface Pro 2 is the operating system
'

that "wind8apps" site is a spam site run by one tr (1)

DroidJason1 (3589319) | about 9 months ago | (#46570985)

that "wind8apps" site is a spam site run by one troll... no credibility at all. Simply reworded the report from pcpro.uk

This is so MicroSoft! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46571213)

I love it!

Oh come on (1)

fisted (2295862) | about 9 months ago | (#46572333)

Fast processor, slow processor -- I for one couldn't care less; I'm confident that the experts at Microsoft do the right thing for me. After all, I'm the customer.
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