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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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  • However (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 30, 2012 @10:21AM (#40817669)

    Users will not be allowed to touch their devices until software updates are issued sometime next year.

  • by DickBreath (207180) on Monday July 30, 2012 @10:30AM (#40817781) Homepage
    Poor Apple. Considering the vast capital of innovative thinking that is Microsoft, Apple must be seriously worried about how the Surface tablet will competitively affect the iPad.

    Consider how badly Microsoft has hurt Apple in the past with products like:
    • * Windows Phone 7 vs the iPhone
    • * Zune vs the iPod
    • * Plays Fer Shore vs the iPod
    • * Windows 3.1 vs the classic Mac System 7

    If Microsoft's tablet has round corners, then we know they will be in serious legal trouble.

    • 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 mcgrew (92797) *

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

        Microsoft dominated the desktop OS market ever since the IBM PC. Before that, CP/M dominated. Apple never did dominate the desktop market. They may have dominated the home market in the late '80s, but if so it didn't last long. Most people at home were using TRS-80, Amiga, Commmodore, etc. When DOS PCs were way too expensive for normal people, Apples were even more expensive.

      • by Mitaphane (96828)

        OS X has come a long way, but it still has a long way to go.

        Long way to go for what, market share?

        It's pretty clear what Apple's strategy is: sell devices at premium prices to people who value simplicity, stability and reliability over an abundant one-size-fits-all feature set. All they have to do is make quality products and convince the consumer it's worth their premium price. They've done it with the iPhone/iPad thanks to the lower price points and carrier subsidies. The introduction of the Surface shows that MS fears that Apple has already done it for the deskto

      • by rsborg (111459)

        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

        Which it cannibalized from it's command-line OS (MS-DOS) market-share dominance. Fact remains, Microsoft basically inherited dominance of the computing market from IBM who foolishly ceeded rights to Microsoft for their OS - combined with the clones, Apple really didn't stand much of a chance, nor did they ever have much marketshare (despite their mindshare).

        Consequently, Apple's vision of post-pc reality is shaped by their previous failure to dominate the direction of computing - through supply-chain wizar

    • by vlm (69642)

      If Microsoft's tablet has round corners, then we know they will be in serious legal trouble.

      The MS tablet will be brown and it'll "squirt". Remember the Zune? Wasn't very ipod like.

      • If Microsoft's tablet has round corners, then we know they will be in serious legal trouble.

        The MS tablet will be brown and it'll "squirt". Remember the Zune? Wasn't very ipod like.

        It will also have frequent core dumps.

        • by Pieroxy (222434)

          If Microsoft's tablet has round corners, then we know they will be in serious legal trouble.

          The MS tablet will be brown and it'll "squirt". Remember the Zune? Wasn't very ipod like.

          It will also have frequent core dumps.

          Please refrain from using Unix terminology. Windows 8 will be equipped with Dr Watson Sr. That's what you should call the equivalent of a core dump now.

  • by UnknowingFool (672806) on Monday July 30, 2012 @10:30AM (#40817785)
    I would 't read too much into the loss of profit declaration. New product launches cost money and new products may not make profit for some time until after the launch to recoup costs. As a general rule, financial statements disclose risks like this all the time. The issue will be six months to a year after launch. If Surface isn't profitable by then, that would be news.
  • Uhh.. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 30, 2012 @10:31AM (#40817811)

    So why the fuck is this under apple.slashdot.org? Maybe it's time for /. to be slightly less biased and add a ms.slashdot.org?

    • by Atzanteol (99067)

      The AC makes a point. WTF?

    • by tehcyder (746570)

      So why the fuck is this under apple.slashdot.org? Maybe it's time for /. to be slightly less biased and add a ms.slashdot.org?

      You're a funny guy. Have a cigar.

  • by mrthoughtful (466814) on Monday July 30, 2012 @10:40AM (#40817895) Journal

    Let them make the mistakes. Go cheap. Go even cheaper.
    It worked quite well with Windows. It failed with the Zune.
    It will fail with this release of Surface also.
    Asking all your customers to buy a new copy of MS Office? Not a great idea.

    I loved the MS idea of a fully collaborative,contextually aware, common screen surface.
    If they could get that working outside of marketing videos, cheap enough for the consumer, it could be quite fun.

    • I know lots of corporate people that have been banging their head against the wall trying to integrate iPADS and plan on gobbling Surface tablets up as soon as they are released.

  • by sootman (158191) on Monday July 30, 2012 @10:41AM (#40817897) Homepage Journal

    > We'll soon find out whether Microsoft has what it
    > takes to take on the seemingly indomitable iPad.

    Spoiler: No.

    • By "soon" they must mean within the next millisecond? Retrospectively over the past 20 years? Are they actually suggesting that we need to wait a few months and examine empirical data, otherwise there is some sort of doubt regarding the outcome? Microsoft investors believe it is worth spending hundreds of millions of dollars over a year or two of going through the motions in order to be certain that the answer is a clear-cut "no?" Why don't they just give me the money? I can fuck things up just as well as t

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0-pMZd1fupw

  • by milkasing (857326) on Monday July 30, 2012 @10:54AM (#40818059)
    .. it is trying to create a new niche. One that has more in common with the ultra book market than iPads. Something that plays nice with business / enterprise setup. Surface could become a hit without making a dent in iPad sales.
    • by am 2k (217885) on Monday July 30, 2012 @11:04AM (#40818173) Homepage

      The niche between the iPad niche and the ultrabook niche? Must have been a genius who came up with this.

    • .. it is trying to create a new niche.

      Microsoft is happy with niche markets now? Back in 2009, Balmer said I'm glad we're doing a great job with the other 96 and a half percent." [cnet.com] We was perfectly fine with Apple having their little three and a half percent.

      Of course, this isn't the first niche MS has tried to carve out. The Zune wasn't competing with iPods, it was a whole new niche of social media players. Just like that amazing niche market of social phones served by the KIN line.

    • by JDG1980 (2438906)

      .. it is trying to create a new niche. One that has more in common with the ultra book market than iPads. Something that plays nice with business / enterprise setup.

      The problem with that argument is that the Surface tablet runs WinRT, which can't join Windows domains. (The more expensive Surface Pro is an x86 tablet that can, but if they're aiming for business use, why even bother with the cheaper offering that doesn't do what is needed?)

    • Well except for the fact that most of Win 8 is geared towards consumers. Other than a slightly more touch friendly Office, MS is reliant on the BYOD concept for their adoption. I don't see a lot of enterprise features in Win 8 that businesses will be wanting.
    • Sure they are... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Shivetya (243324) on Monday July 30, 2012 @11:31AM (#40818443) Homepage Journal

      they just won't admit it because everyone wants a slice of that pie but most cannot even get to the table.

      MS's other issue is that if rumors hold true a new smaller iPad hits stores in September. I still think MS blew it by announcing a product they could ship at the time they announced it.

      Rule #1 now is, do not announce what is not shipping now. Apple already exploits the magic in that phrase, NOW SHIPPING

    • The parent poster is putting forth a sound theory, but I'm going to have to disagree with it.

      Ultimately, the problem is, I don't think most people see the tablet form-factor as ideal. It's great in certain scenarios, which happen to be the ones traditional desktop or portable computers fail at. (I'm talking about such things as trying to use one while lying in bed, or while standing up and walking around. I'm also talking about comfortably reading for extended periods of time while seated in any random cha

      • 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.

        • by CCarrot (1562079)

          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.

          They're out there [slashdot.org], at least for Android. And they're sooo much better than crayons :)

        • by Tapewolf (1639955)

          Why I say Surface RT and not just Surface. Same operating system as my computer at home. I can use the same software.

          I think you may be confused, because you can't do what you're claiming. Unless things have changed, RT is the brain-damaged one that can only run Metro apps, 'pro' is probably the one you're thinking of.

        • by rsborg (111459)

          So to get back to a car analogy. I see the ultrabook as trying to be a GMC Caballero.

          If that's the case, then how come all the laptop vendors are pushing to make their laptops look and feel like a Macbook Air? I have a feeling your analogy doesn't hold.

          You can make a 11" MB Air (or equivalent ultrabook or even souped up netbook) be as responsive as a much larger laptop. In fact, given it only comes with a (very fast) SSD, it's a given that it will outperform almost any non-SSD laptop when it comes to anything processing even mildly relying on storage speed (even compared with the MB Pro).

          • by tehcyder (746570)

            I still don't get the idea of a pen-based or touch-based laptop.

            It's simple: capacitative touchscreens are the work of the devil. They are slow and unwieldly and inaccurate and frustrating and annoying.

            A device for looking at pictures or playing videos isn't a computer. Personally, I find those electronic photoframes easier to navigate than a fucking iPad.

        • by tehcyder (746570)
          I'm with you all the way on the stylus. I'd much rather have a stylus than a bastard capacitative touch screen which gets smudgy as fuck and has the precision of a brick in a sock.
  • Even if it was released tomorrow it would feel anticlimactic. I feel like I've been hearing about this thing for months.
    • by wjousts (1529427)
      Well, we start hearing about the iPhone n+1 almost immediately after the release of the iPhone n, and it doesn't seem to have harmed Apple any.
      • by UnknowingFool (672806) on Monday July 30, 2012 @12:33PM (#40819157)
        The difference is Apple doesn't put out those rumors. They are usually by third parties. MS put out this one themselves. It had been a tactic for MS to pre-announce products like this to keep customers from going to a competitor. That would almost kill competing products. But times have changed. The response now is that most companies no longer will wait just for the MS version.
  • by wjousts (1529427) on Monday July 30, 2012 @11:13AM (#40818273)
    Any word on pricing?
  • ... when they already had a (much lesser known, admittedly) product named "Surface"?

    I understand they've renamed their table computer, but I don't think I've ever seen any explaination on what motivated them to want to change the name of that and call their new tablet "Surface" instead.

    • by fwarren (579763)

      I understand they've renamed their table computer, but I don't think I've ever seen any explaination on what motivated them to want to change the name of that and call their new tablet "Surface" instead.

      They are hoping it wont be in the red, the want to break even, get their head above the "surface" of the water to not drown?

    • by CCarrot (1562079)

      ... when they already had a (much lesser known, admittedly) product named "Surface"?

      I understand they've renamed their table computer, but I don't think I've ever seen any explaination on what motivated them to want to change the name of that and call their new tablet "Surface" instead.

      That was my thought exactly! When I first heard that they would be coming out with the Surface, I was all "ooh, table-sized touch interfaces are finally on the way! Hello new coffee/gaming table!"

      The return to reality was quite a letdown...seriously, board games and RPGs could be so much fun on one of those things :(

    • by steveha (103154)

      I thought that was pretty obvious.

      Microsoft has just stepped hard on their OEMs' feet. Many of the companies with which Microsoft does business are not happy that Microsoft is now going to be competing with them in this product space, and Microsoft will have a huge advantage because MS makes the OEMs pay a lot for the software. So the whole Surface project was wrapped in secrecy for as long as possible.

      If MS had filed for a new trademark on "MS KeyTablet" or something, that would have tipped their hand ea

  • 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 gl4ss (559668)

      surface pro will(most probably, 99.999% chance). surface rt will not.

    • by DrXym (126579)
      Any tablet can run Linux assuming you can circumvent whatever bootloader protections are there to stop you changing the image.
  • after the android honeycomb. none of these devices has made me more productive or enriched my life by any measurable degree. each just seems to be another pitchfork with which to mine my personal information and induce me to consume more crap i dont need.
  • Though I'm a fan of Android, the support for physical keyboards and pointing devices is pretty bloody awful. I have an Asus Transformer and I run into a shocking number of issues with focus, with text selection, with clipboard behaviour, with tab order (or not) and with the mouse.

    A trivial issue with the problems with the mouse - fire up a web browser and cursor over a link. Does the link change shape? Of course not. Does the transformer offer any tools to change the sensitivity of the trackpad to prevent

  • by Tom (822)

    We don't have to wait. We already know that they don't. This time, however, we don't even have to fight over that, as MS Surface isn't even competing with the iPad. It's targeting a different segment of the same market, but very few people who buy iPads would even consider the MS tablet.

    You know, the same way that a Mercedes E and a VW Beetle don't really compete with each other even though both are cars.

  • We All Win (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Scot Seese (137975) on Monday July 30, 2012 @12:32PM (#40819155)

    I'm cheering for Microsoft.

    Competition is good.

    I purchased an iPad 1, used it for less than two months and sold it to a friend for half what I paid for it. I wanted it to be so much more than it was - more than they still are. Steve gave his amazing presentation, I swooned - I drank the kool-aid. I was Captain Picard, carrying my StarFleet tablet around. Then I bought one.

    They are just 10" iPod Touches.

    I wanted to be able to prop it up and type papers on it. I purchased the sleek 3rd party bluetooth keyboard/case combo. They keys were a compromise, tiny, poor travel, poor to type on. So I bought the Apple wireless keyboard. Apple's Pages software was friendly, and easy to use, but failed utterly to have any true usefulness in a world where Microsoft Word so utterly dominates academia or corporate America. Printing was a nightmare. Moving documents to my PC required iTunes syncing. .. iTunes..?? The music store software? What kind of "computer" was this!? My dream of a sleek, cool Sci-Fi space man computer was dashed as I realize the iPad is little more than a toy for reading Facebook on the toilet and clumbsily tapping in replies to emails from your sofa at a blistering 15 words per minute.

    A sleek tablet with integrated, nearly full-size keyboard/cover and full, actual Microsoft Office built in?? A solid, well-engineered stand that folds out of the tablet to support it without needing to buy a pile of 3rd party cases, folios, etc. ? Be still my heart.

    Touch is awesome. Touch is great for web surfing and watching cat videos on YouTube. Touch, paired with NO keyboard or keyboard and a very lightweight word processing app was absolutely useless. The keyboard is an order of magnitude more efficient for actually doing WORK.

    The Surface tablet brings us so much closer to the dream of the all-in-one small, lightweight portable computer. I have hated Micro$oft as much as any other linux-using, Android using Slashdot reader. But I am cheering for them on this one. I hope the Surface takes it to Apple, and takes it to them hard.

    Competition is good.

    • 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 swillden (191260)
      With the exception of MS Office, I think the Asus Transformer series has exactly what you're looking for.
      • That's a pretty big exception. Have you ever tried to use the available office suites for Android? No comparison whatsoever with MS Office.

        An Android tablet just wouldn't be my first choice for work. Transferring files to a computer and back? There are GUI file browsers that do that, but they're all pretty clunky (and though I haven't tried it, I assume even clunkier with keyboard/mouse). Printing isn't straight-forward. Coding? Hah. And keyboard/mouse support within apps is all over the map. I can get work

        • by swillden (191260)

          That's a pretty big exception

          I suppose. Not having used MS Office since about 2002, it doesn't affect me much :-)

          Currently, I do all of my office suite work with Google Docs, and it works very well (of course, I work for Google, so I don't have to exchange MS Office files with others).

          Transferring files to a computer and back?

          Google Drive. All your files in all your devices, all the time. Works really well (other than I'm anxiously awaiting a Linux client). Or you could use Dropbox or similar -- which has a Linux client, actually.

          Printing isn't straight-forward.

          Google Cloud Print makes it very straight

          • Currently, I do all of my office suite work with Google Docs, and it works very well (of course, I work for Google, so I don't have to exchange MS Office files with others).

            I use LibreOffice and I don't normally have to exchange MS Office files with others either. That doesn't mean I think Google Docs on Android is an Office replacement. It's not equivalent feature-wise, and last time I used the Android app it was even more limited, slow, and clunky than the web app. I do use Google Docs for some collaborative documents, I don't think it's useless, but it's not MS Office.

            Google Drive. All your files in all your devices, all the time. Works really well (other than I'm anxiously awaiting a Linux client). Or you could use Dropbox or similar -- which has a Linux client, actually.

            That's nice, but I wasn't really talking about cloud solutions. Sometimes, you know, I don't want to use th

    • 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 caywen (942955)

      I've been using W8RP on an Acer W500. This unit is thick, slow, with an outdated touch panel that leads to various quirks doing gestures.

      And yet, I've found even this substandard tablet is transformed into something quite usable with Win8. Once I became accustomed to Win8's general flow, I've been a happy camper. The swipe-ins became second nature, and browsing has been mostly a joy. And plugging it into my 24" monitor via HDMI? Works great, and things like Blender, Gimp, and Handbrake all work. Strangely e

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