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back to article Surface Pro for enterprise: We name the dates and the lucky partners

The clock is ticking for Microsoft to get its house in order before Surface Pro launches in the UK business distribution channel in the middle of next month, say our people on the inside. As revealed by El Chan this week, five resellers are talking to Microsoft execs in Redmond about stocking the slab: Misco, Insight, Kelway, …

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Silver badge

For a device that was described as unrepairable after a teardown (iFixit rated it 1 out of 10), which seems to be glue with some components embedded in it, I'd guess they won't be doing repairs or spare parts!

At least the SSD is actually removable if you need to recover data from a dead Surface, something you'll need specialised kit to do with embedded flash.

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Anonymous Coward

I suspect there is a choice (should you want to keep prices out of the silly region enjoyed by Toughbooks) of fixability and breakability or not-fixable and pretty hard to break.

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Unhappy

"At least the SSD is actually removable if you need to recover data from a dead Surface, something you'll need specialised kit to do with embedded flash."

Like a fallen Borg having its memory chip harvested for analysis by the collective.

Not sure why that image popped into my head.....

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Anonymous Coward

You Won't Get Fired For Buying IBM

But you will get a P45 for buying the surface pro.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: You Won't Get Fired For Buying IBM

Only if you don't have the budget for a proper tablet. This thing is the dogs danglies....easily one of the best tablet / OS combinations on the market.

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Why is this being limited to only 5 resellers!? I understand a small number of distributors but as a Microsoft Systems Integrator we have multiple customers chomping to buy these. Basically, if you are not a LAR Microsoft don't give a damm about you. They are shooting themselves in the feet.

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Anyone can bid for the contract...

... as long as they own a decent sized tract of land in the Nevada desert. And a JCB.

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Pain in the rear to build

Currently sat beside a Surface Pro having spent almost 2 days now trying to get some form of corporate image on it with MDT. Absolute pain in the ass as it has no ethernet port and only 1 usb. Forget trying to build it from a standalone USB, requires FAT32 so no >4gb WIMs. Having to boot from a boot wim loaded with usb ethernet converter drivers going through a USB hub. The hidden partitions add further complications.

Apparently the latest fireware supports PXE boot.. but of course you'll need the official ethernet adaptor for that.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Pain in the rear to build

It comes with Windows on it. Just apply the corporate software / policies.

If you really need to install a large image, just plug in a USB DVD drive...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Pain in the rear to build

"The hidden partitions add further complications."

Don't try and fix what isn't broken. If you decide to wipe the disk, rather than just set policies / apply software then deservedly expect a whole world of pain....

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Re: Pain in the rear to build

No good when corporate polices require bitlocker ;)

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Mushroom

Re: Pain in the rear to build

"No good when corporate polices require bitlocker ;)"

Yes it is - Bitlocker can be installed via an AD GPO policy:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3oel10XgiY4

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj679890.aspx

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Now that the distributers have inventory...

Do they pay Microsoft on the inventory, or units sold?

In other words, who pays the inventory costs? If the units don't sell, it could be a major concern! Given how well they sell in the USA, there might be quite a bit of carrying costs.

Is there a parking lot that needs paving?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Now that the distributers have inventory...

"Is there a parking lot that needs paving?"

They are probably strong enough for that. Certainly they make good skates: http://gizmodo.com/5952426/microsofts-surface-makes-for-a-decent-skateboard

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xyz

Having just spent today using one...

...I didn't like it. The screen was good, but it's a bit weighty, like holding a netbook in your hand and the sharpish edges peed me off after about 10 mins of holdng it. I can't see many women using it due to that. (no offence to women, but it is a brute) The keyboard with keys that move (TKWKTM) whose name escapes me, was good but by the time you'd added that to the overall form factor, it was so thick I thought there might be a DVD drive in there someplace. I did like how they'd split the onscreen keyboard for thumb use though.

My overall impression was that it's an expensive squished laptop made by 'Mericans and therefore has had too many burgers. My generic no name Android tab at home is lighter, does the same frou-frou stuff, the battery lasts longer and I can nip down to PC world every 12 months for a new cheap laptop to do work with, so why bother.

I really wanted to like it, but I didn't. I also used a Nokia 920 for the day and found its screen to be a bit unresponsive and that you really had to stab at it to do anything.

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Childcatcher

Re: Having just spent today using one...

You can pop down to PC World for a cheap laptop but for how long?

How long will you be able to downgrade to Win 7?

How long before MS decide to enforce boot drm on PC's and will Win 7 boot on it? (they need the money don't they?)

How long will PC-World be in business? After all hardly anyone is buying PC's these days and AFAIK, the margin in Tablets is even thinner than PC's.

etc

etc

etc

Then there is the spectre of Mr Balmer running everything as more rats desert the sinking MS ship.

Oh dear, I seem to be sounding like <he who can't be named>. I'd better shut up then

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Devil

Re: Having just spent today using one...

There will always be cheap laptops- not necessarily MS ones.

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Re: Having just spent today using one...

>"How long will you be able to downgrade to Win 7?"

Why would you downgrade to Win 7? Win 8 is a better, faster, more robust, less error-prone system with better backward compatibility with older software. Just toss Classic Shell on there for your start button, get rid of all the Metro app defaults, and you are good to go. If you have any smarts about you, that will take you less than 10 minutes.

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Bronze badge

Re: Just toss Classic Shell on

I agree that Win 8 plus classic shell is an acceptable combination. However I have big reservations about actually spending money on a system that requires freeware to prevent it being a POS.

1. why not go the whole hog and put mint on and not pay MS?

2. Will they deliberately break it with a future update? After the big V sign with the start button on 8.1, I couldn't discount the possibility.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Having just spent today using one...

"I also used a Nokia 920 for the day and found its screen to be a bit unresponsive and that you really had to stab at it to do anything."

Unlike other mobiles, you can adjust the sensitivity of the touch screen on the Nokia, under 'Settings', 'display+touch'.....

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Mushroom

Re: Having just spent today using one...

"How long before MS decide to enforce boot drm on PC's"

Boot DRM is not controlled only by Microsoft. Its the BIOS companies / manufacturers the defined that standard. And I hope that it is enforced in the future. It potentially eliminates persistent malware.

"and will Win 7 boot on it? (they need the money don't they?)"

You mean after Microsoft's recent record results and increasing market share?

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Silver badge

Re: Having just spent today using one...

"Boot DRM is not controlled only by Microsoft"

Perhaps, but "partner marketing incentives" and "volume discounts" certainly are.

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Anonymous Coward

Through the looking glass again

Another MS launch, another complete suspension of credulity. From the tone of the article or the 'clamour' from the distributors, you'd think these were going to sell like hot cakes, when the predictable reality is that they're going to sell like other MS hardware that isn't the Xbox or Kinect. Is the MS legal department so fearsome that no one dare speak truth t power and anticipate the bloody donkey history tells us it will certainly be?

Windows RG anyone?

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Joke

Re: Through the looking glass again

" Is the MS legal department so fearsome that no one dare speak truth "

Post with your user name and email and you'll find out.

(signed) The Microsoft Legal Department.

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Head's or Tail's?

If this does go through just 5 large Reseller's you can bet the margin is wafer thin for them, anyone who buys from them and even thinner for those two chunky distributors. Volume may yield a fraction but will the volume be there? Fair bit of gambling going on....

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Silver badge

The "lucky partners" are the ones who won't be building or selling them and hence will not be left with thousands of unsold products clogging up the channel, yes?

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