back to article Microsoft Surface Pro will land in UK in WEEKS*

Microsoft struggled to fill retailers' shelves with the 128GB Surface Pro in North America but is rolling out both this and the little-loved 64GB version in Blighty later this month. In a statement last night, Redmond confirmed the Pro will start shipping to Australia, China, France Germany, Hong Kong, New Zealand and the UK …

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Gosh

I won't be the first to point out that for the same money you could get a decent laptop that is ideal for 'proper work', plus a first rate tablet, and still have £200-300 left over. I have no doubt the Surface Pro will be a really nice bit of kit, but what a lot of money.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Gosh

A decent enterprise grade laptop such as an HP Elitebook is at least £1000 these days so you would be buying something inferior.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Gosh

A decent enterprise grade laptop such as an HP Elitebook will have a better spec tho.

Just saying.

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Meh

Re: Gosh

"so you would be buying something inferior.,"

A Surface Pro?

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Re: Gosh

SSD equiped core i5 Ultrabooks (the closest equivalent to a S/P) come in betwenn 750 and 900€ (Asus, Samsung Series 5). A "decend" tablet comes in at 300+ € assuming Android (Galaxy Tab 2) if you define "decend" as "build by a brand with resonable Quality Control" and closer to 400-450 if you want stuff like HD or stylus (can't have both!)

For that you get to lug around two device, still have no pen support (or no HD on the tablet).

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Meh

Re: Gosh

Just a tad more will get you an Air, just a tad less will get you a very well specced Win 8 machine.

So tell me why you would want to buy one?

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Anonymous Coward

ANYTHING I CAN DO

REDMOND: Anything you can do I can do better

......I can do anything better than you

EL REG: No, you can't

REDMOND: Yes, I can

EL REG: No, you can't

REDMOND: Yes, I can

EL REG: No, you can't

REDMOND: Yes, I can, yes, I can

Pretty much sums up the surface

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Gosh

No, he means the cheaper laptop would be inferior. Surface pro is ultra portable and SSD.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Gosh

For £750-£900 you are talking lower build quality and no touch capability. The Surface Pro is custom moulded Magnesium and is incredibly strong. To get something similar you are talking along the lines of the HP Spectre @ £1K+

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Boffin

Re: Gosh

"So tell me why you would want to buy one?"

http://stevenf.com/posts/surface-pro

Perhaps not this first iteration, but I am interested in precision pen based drawing with appropriate software, along with external mirrored display. If the whole thing fits in an A4 form factor case and is less than half an inch thick, I'd be very interested.

I'd need handwriting recognition, including mathematical formulas (perhaps with stylised input pad for those a la palm) plus an embeddable CAD like application that can intelligently recognise common shapes. Save in editable format and export to pdf.

I gather from the review that the current first release Surface has a 'wacom like' pen, not capacitative, that blocks accidental fat finger input when held close to the screen, and that provides precision control.

If we can get to wireless display linking, then a device like that with a projector could replace interactive whiteboards (which ain't cheap) with something you can hand round in the class for students to add notes/complete questions &c.

I'd drop £1k on that even if I had to eat baked beans for a bit.

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Re: Gosh

Here's a review of the Surface Pro being used for artwork production and gaming by a web cartoonist and games industry artist, "Gabe" of Penny Arcade including some WIP videos of him drawing and editing with it.

http://www.penny-arcade.com/2013/02/25/the-ms-surface-pro

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Boffin

Re: Gosh

Thanks Robert. This from the review you linked to...

"There was no brush lag at all and the pressure sensitivity worked perfectly. The stylus itself felt exactly like drawing on my Cintiq except that the Surface screen is smooth whereas the Cintiq screen has a bit of texture to it."

Well, there is an important market if anyone is wondering...

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Thumb Down

Re: Gosh

"For £750-£900 you are talking lower build quality and no touch capability. "

I'm sorry, but touch capability might be fine on a tablet with no keyboard or mouse, but on a proper computer its just a gimmick unless you have some really niche app that makes using a large prodding finger easier than a very precise mouse.

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Re: Gosh

"The Surface Pro is custom moulded Magnesium and is incredibly strong."

Mixing flammable metal with lithium batteries. Sounds like a good idea to me.

And magnesium's less flammable relatives seem to be either poisonous, irritant, or laxative. Again, what could possibly go wrong?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Gosh

Seeing as the auto-ignition temperature of Magnesium is circa 650 degrees, that's not much of a risk....

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Re: Gosh

"Seeing as the auto-ignition temperature of Magnesium is circa 650 degrees, that's not much of a risk...."

So you don't think a lithium fire can get up to that temp?

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Re: Gosh

Except for the form factor a i5 based Windows tablet can do all that. Touch can even be snitched of completely [palm recognition works fine as well] HWR is part of the Windows system the software is there as well. Screen casting is an old hatwith WlDl

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Re: MS are trying a little harder to push the Surface than the Zune

Cross-selling the FUD hard as ever, eh Eadon? You know that imitation is the greatest form of flattery - I wonder how flattered Microsoft would be by your performance?

Personally, much as I'd like to see the Surface work out (more choice for customers), I think that the pricing is all wrong and we've got another white elephant.

But - as per usual - I did a bit of investigating before posting this: interestingly enough, as of last year, "Across the "big five" EU countries – the UK, Germany, Italy, Spain and France – Windows Phone now shows a 5% share" (source)

Yes, I know it's an old article, and yes, I know it's 5% is not much. But at the same point in it's life-cycle (about two years in), Android had a worldwide market share of only 3.9% (source) - unfortunately, I couldn't find the stats for Europe only in that time, so I can't make a proper comparison, but still, interesting reading.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: MS are trying a little harder to push the Surface than the Zune

I would buy one for the sole reason that it will annoy you.

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Meh

Re: MS are trying a little harder to push the Surface than the Zune

Although it goes against every fibre of my being, I do partially agree with Eadon here.

The Surface's price is ridiculously high for what it is. Is there anything the Surface Pro can do that could not be done by a similarly spec'd laptop at half the price? Its little brother, the Surface RT, is hobbled by an OS that really, really should have been Windows Phone 8.

If Nokia made a 7 or 10 inch tablet with Windows Phone 8 on and spec'd and sold at a similar price to the Galaxy Tab or iPad, Microsoft would have made a killing, or at least a fairly hefty flesh wound. As it stands now, neither Surface is particularly appealing.

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to scrub my keyboard with acid for typing that first sentence.

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JDX
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anything the Surface Pro can do that could not be done by a similarly spec'd laptop

Couldn't you say the same about ultrabooks?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: MS are trying a little harder to push the Surface than the Zune

1) Talking about yourself in the third person doesn't have good precedents.

2) Market share dropping, does not mean that users are leaving, it can also (and more likely in this situation) mean that the market is growing.

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Facepalm

Re: I would buy one for the sole reason that it will annoy you.

Then it will annoy you, and you will be £1k down...

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Re: But at the same point in it's life-cycle

But i had a Windows mobile phone well over three years ago. And it was given to me, because it had been sitting in a cupboard for years and no-one wanted it.

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Boffin

Re: MS are trying a little harder to push the Surface than the Zune

"In Q4 of 2012 MS Phone share collapsed from 3.2% to 2.5%." - citation?

Moreover, was it a loss of customers, or whole market growth outpacing growth of the WinPhone platform? If 1000 phones sell in Q1 and I sell 100 of them, I have a 10% market share that quarter. If in Q2, 4000 phones sell, and I sell another 200, despite the fact that my sales have doubled from Q1 to Q2, my market share in Q2 is only 5%, and 6% as a whole.

"Near the beginning of the year [2012], activations were screaming along at over 700,000 a day. As of the third quarter of 2012, though, that has almost doubled to 1,300,000 a daily." (source). Moreover, it's funny you should mention the figure of 25%, as this appears to be the growth in Android activations in Q3 of last year (source). Given just how much of the market share is Android, it strikes me that it's more likely that numbers of Windows Phone users continued to grow during that period - just not at sufficient rate to keep up with a rapidly expanding market.

So I'm afraid that without sources of your figures to back up your argument, it doesn't really help. Unless you can find, link and crunch the numbers - although last time I challenged you to do similar (number of Android units sold in the first two years from launch vs number of Windows Phone - not mobile - units sold in the same life-cycle period), nothing ever came back...

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Re: But at the same point in it's life-cycle

@Jess - Windows Phone hasn't been around for 3 years yet - must have been a Windows Mobile, which I'll be the first to agree was a turkey. I certainly can't recall ever seeing any out there in the wild.

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Re: MS are trying a little harder to push the Surface than the Zune

There have to be cheaper ways of annoying Eadon.

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Re: MS are trying a little harder to push the Surface than the Zune

10 and 11.6 inch Win8 tablets similar in performance to ARM based units are "a dozend a dime" from Samsung, Lenovo, Asus, Acer - Atom based with or without stylus and if you need HD the Acer A700 comes in at iPad 3 prices.

And to answer your question: Try writing/sketching/painting on your notebook. Or holding it in one hand and quickly take notes with the other.

Penable tables are a "if you need it". But IF you need it - no notebook will replace them. And among the penables the S/P is actually decently priced for what it delivers

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Linux

Re: MS are trying a little harder to push the Surface than the Zune

@RyokuMas

"Android had a worldwide market share of only 3.9%"

Except Google has only been punting Android for 4 years, and it already has 3/4 of the market, whereas Microsoft has been desperately trying to peddle its mobile platform, in one form or another, since the days of the aptly named "Wince" 16 years ago, and it's still languishing in single figures. So the possibly that Microsoft will magically succeed now, after perpetually failing for nearly two decades, seems unlikely in the extreme, especially when the only thing it has to play with is something as pig ugly and dysfunctional as Tiles®.

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Mushroom

Re: MS are trying a little harder to push the Surface than the Zune

Nice thoughts, but unfortunately not true. Actually Microsoft tripled their UK market share last year, up to 5.9%, and have had similar success in most global markets:

http://www.trustedreviews.com/news/windows-phone-market-share-almost-triples-in-year

The growth curve is also currently exponential (i.e. accelerating) so whilst you might not like Windows Phone, apparently a growing section of the public does - and the majority of new customers have ditched Android for Windows Phone.

Microsoft do have a very strong security record in mobile, so I would also expect them to take big chunks of the 'Blackberry' corporate market too. They have already had some major wins with Foxtons, Avanade, etc.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: MS are trying a little harder to push the Surface than the Zune

"and the majority of new customers have ditched Android for Windows Phone."

Ahahah !

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Re: MS are trying a little harder to push the Surface than the Zune

I had a WinPho7. It was shit. Then WinPho8 came out and, guess what, I had to buy a new phone if I wanted to experience it. So I didn't buy another phone. And I sold the Nokia Lumia. Once bitten.

The Blackberry Z10 looks good. But my eyes can't get past the Nexus 4. £280. Simply magnificent value.

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Re: But at the same point in it's life-cycle

Yes it was a windows mobile 6 (I think) device however my point is that Windows phone is not 2 years old. It dates back years. WP7 is a new shell around WP6's core.

If you wish to think of WP7 as a new platform wrt WM6, then it is completely illogical to not do the same for WP7 wrt WP8, making it 5 months old, not 2 years.

Android doesn't really bear any comparison. The situation with BlackBerry is far more similar. (What Apple have done several times on the desktop computer market.)

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Re: MS are trying a little harder to push the Surface than the Zune

> The growth curve is also currently exponential

That's what you said when you climed that they would sell 30million last year, how well did that work out ?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: MS are trying a little harder to push the Surface than the Zune

Microsoft do have a very strong security record in mobile, so I would also expect them to take big chunks of the 'Blackberry' corporate market too

What you have there is something that can only have come from a particularly wild and possibly drug induced dream of an MS executive. The words "secure" and "Microsoft" can only exist in the same sentence if it also includes "not" or even "absolutely not", at least not with a lot of extra effort. Further, the only way MS is taking market share from Blackberry is via statistics where its users buy another product and so reduce their market share in an otherwise expanding market.

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Mushroom

Re: MS are trying a little harder to push the Surface than the Zune

I claimed no such thing.

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Mushroom

Re: MS are trying a little harder to push the Surface than the Zune

The records speaks for itself - 1 minor security issue across all versions of Windows Mobile, and 1 minor SMS issue with Windows Phone, versus circa 400 vulnerabilities for IOS and a similar number for Android.

Microsoft are already directly taking market share from Blackberry - just Google what they are doing with Foxtons and Avanade.....

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Anonymous Coward

Re: MS are trying a little harder to push the Surface than the Zune

And I quote The Vogon "and the majority of new customers have ditched Android for Windows Phone."

Yeah, right

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Childcatcher

Re: MS are trying a little harder to push the Surface than the Zune

@Eadon

The figures are bad, I will grant you that. I never said otherwise. But this article does not say anything about actual units sold (apart from Ballmer's claim of a fourfold increase, which I do not believe for a second - in fact I would wager the only person who would would be someone like yourself, but batting for Microsoft rather than against).

However, as I have said time and again - it's too early to write off the Windows Phone. At a similar point in it's lifecycle (2-21/2 years), Android had only around 5% market share, and that was with a blatent gap in the market. I'm not pro-Microsoft, just like I'm not pro-Linux, Apple, Google or whatever. However, I am anti-monopoly and anti-prejudice. If you have such a burning desire for Microsoft to fail regardless of what knock-on effect it might have on the market, that is entirely your choice. Just don't come crying to me if/when the Google and Android monopoly proves as bad or worse than what we currently have.

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Stop

Re: MS are trying a little harder to push the Surface than the Zune

I'm not a Microsoft hater, I tend to spend much of my work day peddling their wares. However I don't think you can use their "win" at Avanade - 80% owned by Microsoft - as an example of their increased competitiveness.

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Anonymous Coward

Screw the cost - its peanuts compared to decent enterprise grade laptop. Surface Pro is the most powerful, the most secure and the most enterprise ready tablet that there is. I will be buying them for all the directors, managers and other senior staff globally in my company.

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Anonymous Coward

Oh really

So how many staff are in located your bedsit and how many globally ?

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Whoever you're buying your laptops from has been ripping you off if you think you need to pay a lot more than a grand for a decent one. In the last year I've replaced all our directors' laptops, got two for the price of a Surface Pro and they're very happy with them.

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I'm sure they'll show their gratitude with either outsourcing your job or just giving you your P45.

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Anonymous Coward

but not for people who do any work on them

I second your sentiment. Must burn through that cash we choke on....

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