back to article Smaller, second-gen Surface slabs to arrive in June?

Microsoft has struggled to make headway in the tablet market so far, but sources say it may be ready to take another crack at it by releasing a new Surface model with a smaller screen as soon as next month. Inconsistently accurate Taiwanese IT industry newspaper DigiTimes reports that a variety of Asian component suppliers are …

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Anonymous Coward

The old saying goes, "if at first you don't succeed, try, try again.'' For Microsoft, it has been fail, fail and fail again. I think Microsoft does group studies and they are either on Microsoft employees or Balmer overrules them. Earth to Steve, you are not Jobs, just a sack of sweaty balls.

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Anonymous Coward

Here we go again...

Microsoft just don't seem to learn do they......

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Once they include 4g connectivity and slim down with the new haswell chipsets - the Surface will be a fantastic device.

The main selling point for the Surface Pro is that it is a desktop PC when you plug it in at home and a tablet when you take it with you. For people who don't want two or three devices but still want to use photoshop, lightroom, download torrents, etc the Surface is a great device. The RT version however, it just doesnt have enough useful applications yet, hopefully this will change with time

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Anonymous Coward

One computer to rule them all

Except that it fails as a gaming rig; you need to add a mouse to use any of the legacy windows software with its pull down menus and tiny tick boxes and radio buttons; and it is too expensive to qualify as a casual fondleslab for use with Twitter and FaceBook. That leaves corporate sales. We'll see.

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Silver badge
Windows

Not really

Looks more like a bunch more product to gather dust in the warehouse to me.

The RT version isn't going to get much developer support with Microsoft falling down on recruiting buyers for ad-driven revenues.

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innovation

The worst thing that can stifle innovation is placing artificial barriers in the way, MS would have been much better off in the first place to just produce the OS and then tell the manufacturers to go for thier lives and try whatever they want. Controlling form factors and resolution works fine when you are the only kid on the block AKA iPad, but even Apple had to bite the bullet and eventually make a mini iPad to be competetive. Trying the same stunt in todays market would have been a recipe for failure.

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Re: innovation

Yet look at what happened to Vista when MS didn't put in "artificial" barriers. Lowering the specs isn't about innovation, its a race to the bottom for OEMs to release the cheapest, nastiest hardware they can which while helping OEM quarterly results can damage the public perception of the OS.

The current resolution restrictions do not prevent the release of 7-9" devices, most of these OEMs are releasing 1080p resolution screens in the smaller 4-6" mobile phone market, they are just equating smaller screen tablets with lower RRP and thusly lower quality.

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Paris Hilton

Re: innovation

They did fixed resolution to speed development time and improve responsiveness. It's just easier for the programmers to do that. For the OEM it's a dog's breakfast, but...

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Anonymous Coward

Proverbs 26:11

The post is required, and must contain letters.

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Anonymous Coward

Really don't understand how Microsoft keep getting it all wrong.

They now seem to believe that the reason Surface, Windows Phone and Windows 8 have all flopped is because of things like formfactor and other excuses.

Nobody dare question they have all failed so badly because of the new and dumbed down Metro user interface...

Here are some clues Microsoft.

Surface: £150 gets you a Google Nexus 7 as a fantastic media consumption device, why would I pay silly money for a SurfaceRT that doesn't even run Windows apps, and offers nothing but a barren marketplace?

Windows 8: Given that Android media consumption devices are widespread, cheap and functional, I don't understand why I would want to downgrade my MEDIA CREATION PC into a consumption device by installing the Windows 8 downgrade.

Windows Phone: It's crap. No amount of marketing can polish this turd. Your app store is barren, you have no real organic development, all the apps you have had to pay to have made. The hardware is uninspiring, buggy, shit battery life and bland. No amount of faked camera footage will change our minds.

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JDX
Gold badge

Re: Really don't understand how Microsoft keep getting it all wrong.

Apart from the app-store, everything you say about WP is tripe.

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Re: Really don't understand how Microsoft keep getting it all wrong.

Surface: My wife bought one of these and so far she loves it. She says it is much snappier and faster than her old Andriod tablet. She is working from home one day a week now and with this she can easily remote into her office, grab work to go, use Microsoft Office, and still keep an eye on the baby with via a FOSCAM in his nursery.

Windows 8: Which version are you talking about? RT? Yeah, that's a little bit of a downgrade. Windows 8 though is pretty much still Windows 7 with some new UI functionality and a different start bar. Don't get me wrong, I know plenty of people who hate change who are totally not in love with it, but I have seen that the minute I throw a touchscreen monitor or multitouch mouse on their desks they seem to sing a different tune. Personally, I have mixed feelings about Windows 8/RT. Works great on the right hardware but isn't a step forward if you are installing it on legacy hardware.

Windows Phone: I've had an iPhone, two Androids, and now a Nokia Lumia 920 and the Lumia is by far the best damned phone I've ever owned. The only app I miss that isn't there so far is Hulu. I was never an Instagram fan so no loss for me there. The camera footage may have been faked in that one Nokia commercial but, believe me, there was no need. I bought this thing to take pictures of my son and it continues to deliver better pictures than the Cannon Powershot I bought a few months prior to the phone. Unlike the PowerShot, the phone is always with me. I have put the video and audio up against my sister's brand new iPhone 5 and it smokes it. The phone is fast and has frozen up on me maybe once since November. It has proven to be more reliable than my old iPhone 3 or my Android handsets ever were (my Androids crashed constantly, especially using GPS). The UI on the Lumia is screaming fast, I have never had storage issues, the live tile thing is a great way to keep a quick eye on things without having to go through app after app or pick through notifications. Facebook, LinkedIn, and Skype integration are seamless and awesome although Facebook integration could stand to be more feature-rich (but that's what the app is for). I honestly just can't say enough good things about this phone. Try one, you might just find that you like it even if you do hate Microsoft.

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FAIL

@LunkwillAndFook

A truly superbly sycophantic first post astro turf there, I have to say you fooled me completely right up until "My wife".

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Silver badge
Devil

It's funny

And interesting how smartphones have been trending bigger and bigger lately, and tablets have been trending smaller and smaller. Samsung's experience with bigger and bigger phones selling better and better ,and Apple's experience with the 7.9" Mini beating the 9.7" iPad in sales seem to indicate this, at least.

Will the two eventually meet at 6.x inches and converge into a single device? Maybe Microsoft should try to beat everything there with a 6.66" Surface Phone.

You know why I used this icon.

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Holmes

If the new 7.5" Surface, reputed to sell for $400.00, runs Windows RT, it's obviously DOA, since total worldwide sales of ALL RT devices in 1Q2013 was only 200,000 from ALL vendors.

If the 7.5" Surface runs Windows 8, then it will be underpowered for that price, and most likely the true cost for a functioning unit will be $500.00 with necessary "upgrades". It's very unlikely there will be a compelling reason for very many people to want to buy a tiny Windows device at this price point.

Even worse, massive advertising won't help Microsoft sell either of these things, because their previous ridiculous Surface ads and the subsequent failure of the Surfaces being advertised are still fresh in the minds of anyone who was paying attention. It's very difficult to build an ad campaign based on a previously failed product with the same name. I mean, would Ford have tried an ad campaign for the New Edsel, or Coke tried introducing New New Coke?

BTW, the most interesting part of this will be whether Microsoft DOES in fact offer an RT version, because if they DON'T, then that signals they've given up on RT.

Nonetheless, even after all of this, I predict that Microsoft's stock price will continue to perform well for at least another year, as it will take that long for the fool "investors" to realize that Microsoft is no longer capable of competing in technology growth sectors, and has become just another big company stuck in a slowly shrinking tech sector, namely enterprise and SMB PC software.

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Silver badge

> If the 7.5" Surface runs Windows 8,

Given that most Windows x86 software is designed around using keyboard and mouse, and that shrinking the screen to approx half the area will make fat fingers even more inappropriate, then what keyboard/ touchpad options will be offered ?

The current 10inch keyboard covers would make having a 7-8inch screen x86 tablet pointless. 7-8inch keyboards would be useless. Even a folding or rolled up keyboard would be extra bulk that would counter the reason for having a 7inch tablet - it fits in the pocket.

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Holmes

You know, you've made a very good point, namely that it really doesn't make much sense to run Windows 8 on a 7.5" slab. Which would in fact leave Windows RT as the 7.5" slab OS option. However, I suppose that Microsoft believes the UI in either case would be Metro, so they might also believe that Windows 8 would confer some sort of additional advantage over the nearly dead Windows RT, even though as you point out, Windows 8 wouldn't really be usable. It's actually an interesting dilemma for Microsoft: do they fail with Windows RT on the 7.5" slab or do they fail with Windows 8 on the 7.5" slab? I'm betting on failure with Windows 8.

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Anonymous Coward

MS product launches

Finally I understand what "... live out your life in a pain amplifier" actually looks like.

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