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Microsoft Surface Release Date Confirmed 175

Posted by samzenpus
from the coming-to-a-store-near-you dept.
twoheadedboy writes "Microsoft is going to release its Surface tablet on the same day Windows 8 goes on general availability, Oct. 26. The news was disclosed in a filing made with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which also revealed that the company expects launch and the accompanying marketing to harm its profits. We'll soon find out whether Microsoft has what it takes to take on the seemingly indomitable iPad."
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Microsoft Surface Release Date Confirmed

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 30, 2012 @10:37AM (#40817867)

    Yeah I guess that didn't work for IBM, HP, Dell, Sony, Acer, Asus, Samsung and hundreds of other computer OEMs after Apple released their first PC back in the 70's.

    It's just been two years since the iPad release. It takes a decade for things to settle down. I think by 2016 or so all cells phones will look and perform the same. It will always come down to software and it's developers. The tablet "wars" will be hashed out by 2020 and will probably all look the same and perform the same.

    Look at history to predict the future. Back in the late 80s and most of the 90s each computer OEM had their own take on what a computer should look like till we entered the beige box era. History will repeat itself again.

  • by bondsbw (888959) on Monday July 30, 2012 @10:43AM (#40817927)

    Windows 3.1 vs the classic Mac System 7

    I seem to recall Windows 3.1 being the point where Windows started to dominate the desktop OS market.

    And why stop there, what about Windows 95, 98, NT, 2000, XP, 2003, 2008, 7 as compared with Mac OS during those same years? OS X has come a long way, but it still has a long way to go.

    (I have a MacBook and I love Mac OS X. But give me a break, at least make your arguments sound.)

  • by Teun (17872) on Monday July 30, 2012 @11:31AM (#40818445) Homepage
    I'm serious with the question if it runs Linux.
    What we've so far seen from Win8 (Metro) is on a regular PC possibly a pig but that does not yet make it good on a tablet.

    Looking at the hardware I feel it would be really sweet with the tablet version of KDE.

  • by LynnwoodRooster (966895) on Monday July 30, 2012 @11:38AM (#40818523) Journal
    The new Intel Medfield processor (X86 based) is very competitive with the ARM architectures when it comes to processing power and battery life. A tablet powered with a Medfield processor should provide plenty of battery life. And since it's X86 based, it'll run all those Windows apps.
  • by Sir_Sri (199544) on Monday July 30, 2012 @12:07PM (#40818843)

    The only enthusiastic things I hear about those tablets are about the integration with current Microsoft software and that for 99% in the work space environment.

    Which is microsoft's whole deal, where the money is, and the way into the market. With office 2013 they're pushing to make home a lot more like enterprise. If people can understand what features they get, and how to use them then suddenly it becomes a compelling product. Of course no one outside of MS HQ really understands everything you can do with office, so that barrier to entry is probably insurmountable. However, students will find a lot of enterprise features really useful, and the computer illiterate would find things like cloud storage useful for when they kill their computers and don't have to copy everything over, but they're computer illiterate and can't take advantage of those features.

    The other thing to keep in mind is that Surface is supposed to be significantly more capable as a content creation product than ipads and android tablets which are basically content consumption devices. There is a market there, unfortunately Windows 8 is sufficiently terrible that I'm not sure anyone really wants windows 8 devices.

    With all of this it's about building the critical mass to get developers on board to make compelling software you can't get elsewhere. MS seems to have a vision for a combined windows 8 family across phones desktop and tablets, but the base of that visions is windows 8 which is terrible. That doesn't mean there isn't something they could do that would make the whole thing really compelling though, I just doubt their users could manage it.

    Keep in mind Apple only sold 40 million iPads in 2011. That seems like a lot compared to say... android tablets. But windows 7 sells about 240 million copies a year. If they can present it as easier to use, easier to connect with the PC etc. people might go for it. Lots of people are completely baffled by iPads (seems odd, I know) but those people don't *have* iPads. Of course those people also aren't going to have a clue how to use windows 8 either, but there's probably 200 million customers who's needs aren't served by iPads or android and MS is figuring they could eat up a chunk of that, though admittedly, they'll cannibalize some of their own laptop sales with surface.

  • Re:We All Win (Score:4, Interesting)

    by bravecanadian (638315) on Monday July 30, 2012 @12:56PM (#40819431)

    I'm with you on this one.

    I won't be buying a Surface until I see if it fulfills some of its promise, but if it does, I will be all over it.

    I don't want to have a laptop/desktop and a tablet. I am trying to simplify the number of devices I am trying to maintain and synchronize and even if I need to use a dock of some sort for a bigger screen etc at work - I like what the Surface Pro potentially offers.

    Being able to do actual work on it when need be, take advantage of existing applications, and then switch to tablet mode when I want to sit and read an ebook/watch a video/surf the web on the couch is a great setup.

    I think it will be difficult for them to pull off but I am hoping they can do it.

  • by fwarren (579763) on Monday July 30, 2012 @01:06PM (#40819583) Homepage

    I'm even sure that this was a wake up call for Microsoft and is the reason why they try to shove down "Metro" and their "unified" vision down our throat. That in the hope that familiarity will influence the choice people make when buying a new tablet. I know a lot of people who replaced their PC with a tablet or are using the PC a lot less since they have a tablet. I think for the general population that does some surfing, e-mailing and simple games a tablet can be good enough. And that is a big threat for Microsoft when the dominant tablets don't have a Microsoft operating system on board.

    Here Here!

    Price is going to be a big factor. The Nexus 7 is $200 and does alot. How much? Enough to make some one wonder if they want to buy 3 Nexus 7's for them, their spouse, and a kid, OR do they want to buy on Surface or other Winsows 8 tablet at $600 plus? The only way that Microsoft adds "value" for an OS that is priced at $50 or $150 is on expensive hardware. If you put Win 8 on the Nexus 7 it would be a $300 tablet. You have to hide the price of Win 8 in the cost of overpriced hardware.

    That is not to say there is not value havind a keyboard as well as front and rear facing cameras. Microsoft is betting that someone will look at a Nexus 7 wth no keyboard, front facing camera, scratchable screen at $200 and pass it up for Win 8 tablet at $600. Remember, this is WinRT at $600 and there are more Andriod apps than Win 8 apps and you must trust Microsoft with your cloud info better than you trust google.

    The market to me looks like Android owns the sub $400 market, Apple owns the $500 to $900 market and those that absoletely must run a Windows desktop on a tablet might spend $900 + on a Win 8 tablet ... unless they would prefer a $900 Win 7 tablet. After all, one you hit that price point the hadware is goog enough to make Win 7 sing.

  • Re:We All Win (Score:4, Interesting)

    by FlynnMP3 (33498) on Monday July 30, 2012 @02:18PM (#40820379)

    Back when the iPad was first released, I couldn't believe anybody would want to own one, let alone find a use for it. Turned out my geek sense was horribly wrong and SJ managed to create a new market. There is a huge swath of people that only want a computing device to only do 3 or 4 things. That's what the iPad does and it does it well. Apple is famous for getting the little details right. I'd say the videos that I've seen of grandmas and grandpas using it without any instruction is a pure win.

    Microsoft is betting there is another emerging market out there. I saw the keynote where Ballmer, etc. demonstrated the Surface. If they truly have their act together and have put some serious attention on the "little details"and integrated in their office products into the a functional and smart device that is enterprise friendly, then they could very well have a winner here. The bet is since Apple is not very enterprise friendly, businesses will purchase these by the quarterly budget load once it has been verified that it can do a good job for business type folks. I wish them well. Competition is good and all that.

    Personally, I won't be using one, but then I am not their target demographic - in my opinion. I am the DIY computer geek. I'll always own my own full fledged computer with all its unfettered glory so I can do all the stuff that I do on a daily basis because I enjoy doing programmery and integration type stuff.

  • by Gideon Wells (1412675) on Monday July 30, 2012 @02:25PM (#40820429)

    Logically, nothing. Practicality, sometimes it is the small thing. When looking for my latest vehicle I was dead set on a hatchback for that extra storage if needed. I have a desktop, laptop, and tablet. Each has their place. You accept this already. I am excited over Surface (at least Surface RT) despite owning a iPad already.

    Why migrate away from the "iPad" standard?

    1) The freaking stylus. I get Jobs hated styluses because he never got over the period you were forced to use them. I get everyone wants to copy his "genius". Still, there are times when I want to write on my digital tablet like it is actually a tablet. Using my finger on an iPad feels like I'm writing out notes with a highlighter. Using a third party stylus feels like a crayon. Microsoft is recognizing some of us want to use pens. Maybe I'm wrong, but this is something that I haven't seen in Android or iOS yet.

    2) Why I say Surface RT and not just Surface. Same operating system as my computer at home. I can use the same software. Sure, it may not be wise to install Steam and/or Photoshop to this thing. At least I know I can readily chance between them with similar environments with programs I use across each.

    Why not an ultrabook?
    1) I don't own one. My laptop was my main computer before I admitted I needed something with more power for my photo/video editing jobs. I see laptops as portable home offices. Ultrabooks are too small for my taste as a laptop. To me, Ultrabooks are like the GMS Caballero. Some look cool, but in the end if I want a vehicle with a bed I'd be looking at a truck. Not a car.

    2) There are times when having an ultrabook might be useful. The Surface RT is a tablet that can become an impromptu ultrabook much easier than any ultrabook I've seen so far can become an impromptu tablet. I like that little keyboard cover. If needed, it is there. If not? Hey, just fold it out of the way. It has just enough form factor to feel like real keys instead of pecking at glass.

    tl;dr:

    So to get back to a car analogy. I see the ultrabook as trying to be a GMC Caballero. The iPad and most tablets as simply being cars or compact cars with trunks. I see the Surface RT as a hatchback car. Sometimes you need that versatility.

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