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back to article Microsoft Surface with Windows 8 Pro gets laptop-level price

If you were holding out for a Surface tablet with Windows 8 Pro, Microsoft has confirmed that they will be available in January. Just be sure to bring a bulging wallet. In a blog post on Thursday, Microsoft Surface general manager Panos Panay revealed that Redmond plans to offer two versions of the Surface running full Windows, …

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Anonymous Coward

64Gb?

and how much of that is usable, especially after installing office???

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Anonymous Coward

Re: 64Gb?

about 48gb? How much after a years worth of patches?

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"the full office experience"

Access AND Visio! Ooh great. I can see that's going to be a real deal clincher. Especially in big business where these two technologies are ubiquitous. NOT. Access in the enterprise? Maybe for Mum and Dads' corner shop, but for the big IT spenders these are a joke.

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Re: "the full office experience"

You do realise those are just some common examples. You could run SAP or Oracle on one of these things. Not that you'd want to...

I'm just a little unclear what the business justification for these might be? How would you convince your boss that you need a $1000 fondleslab, where a normal laptop will do just as well. If you need something to impress customers with, get an iPad or an even cheaper Android knock-off.

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Re: "the full office experience"

I wish I could agree with you, but sadly more large enterprises than you'd think rely on Access databases for mission critical business functions.

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JDX
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Re: "the full office experience"

Access is used all over the shop for small applications and internal projects, and is entirely suitable for that.

Anyway, "a far cry from the latest iPad's 9.7-inch, 2048-by-1536 Retina display". Who cares? Nobody was complaining about 1080p resolution tablets before iPad3.

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Re: "the full office experience"

absolutely,

I dare anyone normal to hold such as device at normal viewing distances and notice any difference at all, for that matter, take a 32in display and sit 3 meters away and I bet most folk couldn't see the difference between 720 and 1080 either

it is a tad expensive but i suppose not that much more than an equivalent laptop, which is essentially what it is.

I do think its in MSs interest to make some lost cost tabs, run WP8 on them if you must they do need to get some ultra low end parts if for no other reason then people cant afford it just now

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Anonymous Coward

Re: 64Gb?

Unlikely 48Gb! Surface running RT only has 45Gb usable according to microsofts own website, so Pro running the "full windows experience" I would expect significantly less usable storage.

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Anonymous Coward

If nothing else - surface has made Ultrabooks look like a good deal!

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Apples and Oranges

Just because they're flat doesn't mean that an iPad and a Surface Pro are in the same device category.

This article hasn't done much but create confusion where there was none.

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FAIL

Re: Apples and Oranges

What do you expect? The Surface Pro is a tablet, so of course it's going to be compared with an iPad. The fact its twice the price, 50% heavier while having half the battery lifetime is very relevant.

Microsoft are trading on their legacy software but news for Microsoft, it's now just as easy to developer enterprise apps for iOS as it is for Windows (and in the case of Windows 8 and Metro, given the headstart one might say iOS is actually easier). And once you have an app running on iOS, why the hell do you need 4GB of RAM and a dual-core Intel processor?

The article is also correct in stating that Microsoft hasn't done enough to prove that users are prepared to replace desktop PCs with tablets - IMHO, these users don't exist (not in meaningful numbers anyway).

I want a tablet to replace my mobile phone, which is frankly too small for comfortable browsing while stretched out in the lounge, where I consume data, but when I'm sat in my comfy chair at my comfy desk and need to be creative I want nothing more than a humongous display with a keyboard and mouse to drive the UI. I do NOT want a touch-based UI when I'm flaming sitting down and have better tools at my disposal to communicate with the computer.

Maybe I need to spell this out for Microsoft, I don't want to be creative with a touch-based UI, it's a freaking nightmare. It's OK for short periods or very small amounts of data entry, but nothing more than that, and that's where the whole concept of a tablet-desktop-replacement falls down. Hard.

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Re: Apples and Oranges

"The Surface Pro is a tablet, so of course it's going to be compared with an iPad."

I might have expected a more refined capability of distinguishing categories on here. What next, let's compare mainframe computers with pocket devices because they're both computers?

" that users are prepared to replace desktop PCs with tablets -"

Microsoft tablets are essentially touch-laptops. They're not desktop computers and they're not stripped down single-tasking items like an iPad.

" It's OK for short periods or very small amounts of data entry, but nothing more than that, and that's where the whole concept of a tablet-desktop-replacement falls down. Hard."

If you want to use a touch interface to do a lot of data entry in place of a desktop then that's as sensible as those folks who attempt to use Word tables as relational database tables.

On the other hand having a full powered laptop (which happens to have an additional touch interface) which allows me to do do MUCH more than an iPad, and work with data from USB and SD card sources without doing backward flips through iTunes - now that's something.

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Facepalm

Re: Apples and Oranges

If you have Surface Pro then you don't need an Ipad and a Macbook. You can consume on your couch and then carry it to your desk to do some work. Connect it to a big monitor, keyboard and mouse if you want to (and you don't need to carry those to the couch).

But, like Padphone, it might not appeal to people who are only in the market for one of the devices it can replace.

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Exactly.

Two different devices. One's a tablet, and the other's a laptop. With a very shitty keyboard.

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Re: Apples and Oranges

> Microsoft tablets are essentially touch-laptops. They're not desktop

One thing that Surface is not and that is laptop - you will not use one on your lap, not with the keyboard attached. The screen angle is wrong, the weight is in the wrong place, the keyboard attachment is floppy, the stand will dig in to your flesh. You may be able to balance it for a short time, but it will be awkward and any attempt at swiping the screen will result in disaster.

No, it requires a desk.

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Nice hardware, shame about the OS

I'm not keen on TIFKAM, but could be tempted by a surface pro if the secure boot thing can be disabled and an alternative OS installed. Personally I'd probably go for Win 7 (or maybe 8+Classic Shell if thats not an option), other may prefer Linux. As for Apple comparisons, that'll get a lot more interesting/amusing (depending on your opinion of Apple) if anyone can work out how to Hackintosh it and install OS/X.

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Meh

Re: Nice hardware, shame about the OS

Not sure but I thought the secure boot thing was just mandatory for the ARM versions of surface?

Even if that is true then I wouldn't put it past MS to make sure that the drivers aren't available for earlier versions of windows and I know Linux driver support has improved greatly in recent years but there may well be some lag before useable drivers for surface become available.

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Re: Nice hardware, shame about the OS

I agree. I've said it before and I'll say it again: If it's Hackintosh-able, I'm there. A drawing tablet that could run the pro-level graphics tools that I already own, for doing actual wok when I'm away from my desk...? Yes, I would even buy Microsoft hardware.

(Hunh...! Shouldn't they have named their phone/tablet/console division "Microhard"...?)

(Eh-h-h... maybe not...)

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Go

Strategists and Economists

It would be an interesting experience to sit in on a MS Strategists and Economists meeting in order to try and understand the reasoning behind the pricing structure but anyway....it seems to have some positive points

Yes, it can run full blown windows programs.

Yes, it is almost as good as Windows 7. ( W8 meh, yes I have tried it for several weeks and still dont like TIFKAM).

Yes, it is VERY expensive.

Yes, the Touch Surface is more of a gadget than a utility but the keyboard is damned usefull for anything mildly serious.

Yes, it is light and that means a few hundred less grams, even kilos for some, to lug about, always a good thing.

No, it will never have the Apple Shinyness but then again that really doesn't matter in the office.

It is a serious BYOD because it can get locked down as any other device running W7 / W8. This is a good thing...even though I don't care for BYOD. ( no need for Citrix sessions for example )

Will it be a success, I doubt it.. Competition is strong, its' not a tablet, its not an Ultrabook, its ok on portability. It probably wont appeal to the public at large but corporations will definately have a look at this seriously.

Lets wait and see what battery life it has in the real world.

Lets wait for some serious bashing about in the train, the car, the office floor and see how it stands up.... We will need to see an industrial/military version also ( toughbook style)..

An I interested in one , yes, but not at that price, if it were to drop to the 400 Euro mark, keyboard included, I would snap one up.

It will be interesting to follow this one. I hate W8 but I quite like the idea of the Surface Pro.....hhhmmmmm

Will it run W7 correctly......

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Strategists and Economists

"Yes, it can run full blown windows programs."

True, but those full blown Windows programs were designed for use with a keyboard and mouse, and it would take a huge leap of faith to assume that many of them are going to be rewritten for the Surface devices any time soon (if ever).

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Re: Strategists and Economists

I agree, they were designed for Keyboard and Mouse but if I have understood correctly the Surface Pro can use both ( when needed)....

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Re: designed for mouse...

Presumably this is why the pro version comes with a stylus - to give a similar precision of input.

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PTR

Re: Strategists and Economists

Does the keyboard not have a track pad on it?

If not, you can connect some kind of mouse, surely?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Strategists and Economists

And then, you could carry a £250 laptop instead!

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Unhappy

Re: Strategists and Economists

Which would weigh in around at 2Kg and have a 17" screen........and don't you love lugging those things around.

The principal idea behind tablets etc is not about price or cost cuttiing, it's about portability and the more it is portable the more likely it will get "ported". Price comes down with volume and initially there is no volume, so everyone has to wait until the interest sparks or otherwise they remain at the top end of the price chain.

If you can't afford one, don't buy on, just move on and buy your £250 laptop.

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Boffin

@PTR

> Does the keyboard not have a track pad on it?

Yes, it does. (At least the touch cover does, I'm not positive about the type cover).

> If not, you can connect some kind of mouse, surely?

Yes, you can - the Surface has a full-size USB connector and the OS recognizes HID devices natively, just like you'd expect.

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Meh

Sort of want

I would like a tablet that can run real applications at decent speed and which comes with a detachable keyboard. The Surface Pro checks all the boxes, and Windows 8 is growing on me, but I fear the build quality.

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Alert

Re: Sort of want

If the build quality is similar to the Surface RT, you'll have no worries there.

I'm with you on the desirablilty, but unfortunately I think they just priced it out of my range - $1,000+? Ouch!

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Very interested

If they could get the price down to $999 or less with keyboard for the 128GB model I would be very interested in the Pro tablet. Certainly sounds powerful enough to run any Windows applications I would use on it. If I could attach a USB to Gigabit Ethernet and USB to serial I could us it for testing and console configurations. A 2 pound tablet to carry around would be great compared to a 5+ pound notebook for much of what I do as long as it runs existing Windows programs.

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Re: Very interested

Yep yep - I was going for that with an Acer Iconia A500 tablet - it made all the right noises, had the hardware, lacked software execution and a few other bits- went back to an HP Elitebook 8440p that does run Win8Pro nicely. Has the heft and sharp corners to make someone notice. Manly thing lol.

That's a lot of money for not having a keyboard, these Surface thingys..

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Hmm,,,, cant imagine using MS Office full time on a touch screen with no mouse and limited on-board storage.This said it would probably make a good tool for out of office use which would integrate with less hassle on most systems.

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JDX
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The thing I don't get is why it doesn't come with a keyboard-cover as standard when it's clearly aimed at business use.

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Happy

This is because of the backlash about people wanting a different color than black with the bundled RT. I believe they might make it bundle-able for only a hundred bucks but with any color you want.

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WTF?

Let's see now...

I can go to Costco (I just checked) and buy a nice laptop with a large screen (11.6 inches) a nice amount of memory (4 gig) and a pretty good sized drive (500 gig) for only $399. It will do everything I want to and even has niceties (places to plug in things). Why would I buy some snappy overpriced Surface goodie that has a smaller screen, less memory and even less secondary storage for more money?

I'm not a fool.

Of course, I would immediately put Linux on it, but that is a minor detail.

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Re: Let's see now...

100% guarentee that that $400 laptop won't have an i5 in it, or a touch screen, won't weigh 2lbs, and won't have the form factor desired by many...

Stop comparing it with something completely different.

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Re: Let's see now...

@ Herby - upvote from me, as you've basically described the machine I have for my personal use whilst on business trips (in tandem with my work laptop).

Processor powerful enough for what I need, HDMI (& VGA) output, 3x USB ports and an (upgraded) battery which gives an 8 hour runtime. Dual-boot Win7 and LUbuntu - ticks all the boxes I need it to.

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JDX
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Re: Let's see now...

Typical Linux user - cheap and sees nothing wrong with having to travel with a bulky backpack at all times. Howard from Fresh Meat (Google it or whatever Google rip-off tool you people use these days).

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Thumb Up

Re: Let's see now...

JDX, you may scoff but at least Howard's laptop didn't get stolen!

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PTR
Facepalm

"The new Surface models' high price tags mean they'll be hard-pressed to win over fans of the top-selling tablet to date, Apple's iPad."

But its not supposed to compete with an iPad, that's what the RT version is for. The Pro appears to me, at least, to be all things to all men. Its a tablet when you want it to be, then its also a fully-fledged Ultrabook when you want to do some real work.

For £650-700, that's a pretty good deal - not much if any more than current Ultrabooks. You can also plug it into a proper monitor, when you're at home, so it could replace your desktop too.

I'm very interested!

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JDX
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It's basically an ultra-ultrabook so by that logic the fact it costs a lot is unsurprising, that's a lot to pack into a tiny device. So I agree with your argument, but can't see it being ideal for most people. But then this is proof-of-concept stuff.

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Tears

I'm almost in tears at all the mistakes Microsoft are making. Far more expensive than an iPad - that's just unacceptable. As a developer with both feet planted firmly in the Microsoft camp, I can't afford to see them lose the platform wars! I'll be praying hard for them to turn it around soon; but I might just go learn some Objective-C as a backup option.

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PTR

Re: Tears

The RT version is the comparable product to the iPad, not the Pro.

The Pro doesn't have a mobile phone CPU in it!

If anything, we should be impressed that MS have built a fully-powered laptop into a 10" full HD touchscreen and runs "proper" windows.

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Re: Tears

Oh, it's getting a little dusty in here for me too. Probably a different reason tho.

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Anonymous Coward

Tears - me too

Although mine are tears of laughter - it's great to see Microsoft floundering!

I wonder when the Surface Pro fire sale will start? Not that I'll be interested in picking one up, no matter how cheap.

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Facepalm

Re: Tears

The paraphrase - The most expensive suicide note...

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Joke

Re: Tears

I must admit whenever I hear the phrase "Surface tablet" it brings to mind "Cyanide pill".

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Re: Tears - me too

> I wonder when the Surface Pro fire sale will start?

Intel 'fry an egg' cpu: check

LiON 'exploder' battery: check

Magnesium 'incendiary' case: check

A new way to have a fire sale: check

What could possibly go wrong.

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Anonymous Coward

ha ha ha ha ha ha

so over priced. MS still doesn't get it. Avoid MS dev tools, and learn Objective C.

MS is the IBM of today and Apple/Google is the MS of today.

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FAIL

Too bad Apple currently maintains Objective C. So as you prophesize, when Apple someday fails, you'll be out of a language, slick!

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Objective C

Funny to see that mentioned. I was sent on an Objective C training course about 25 years ago when it was expected to be the "next big thing". Looks like it still is.

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