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back to article Best Buy: Bring us your cowering, unwanted Microsoft Surface masses

US retail giant Best Buy is taking back unwanted Microsoft Surface tablets under a trade-in programme. The company that helped launch Surface RT one year ago has added Surfaces to a list of other consumer computing devices you can now trade in. Best Buy is offering between $79 and $350 to buy back your unwanted first-edition …

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Anonymous Coward

Is there a generic Android build for Surface tabs yet? That would be the only reason I would get one.

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I was given a Rt one by work to get my work email and use for lync calls. And it was shockingly bad. (Tiny x's to click to end a call, unresponsive and inaccurate touch screen)If I had been told it was a prototype I'd probably not slag it off, but given the cost its was just awful.

If it had been a personal purchase I'd have been very upset I'd wasted my money. I can only imagine this will be a popular offer.

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Anonymous Coward

"In contrast to Windows 8 (where the feature had to be enabled by default, but remain user-configurable), Microsoft requires all Windows RT devices to have the UEFI secure boot feature permanently enabled." --> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_RT#Restrictions_and_compatibility_limitations

I'm not aware of this having been cracked, i.e. RTs have been bricked right from the start.

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"Microsoft requires all Windows RT devices to have the UEFI secure boot feature permanently enabled."

This explains it all a bit better.

http://www.howtogeek.com/149254/if-i-buy-a-computer-with-windows-8-and-secure-boot-can-i-still-install-linux/

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Anonymous Coward

Umm, it's Microsoft. The first year of production IS their prototype.

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Linux

All depends how easy the Microsoft label is to scratch off

Otherwise, everyone who sees you with one will think you're the same butty short of a picnic as the losers with one that's unmodified.

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I was given a Rt one by work to get my work email and use for lync calls. And it was shockingly bad. (Tiny x's to click to end a call, unresponsive and inaccurate touch screen)If I had been told it was a prototype I'd probably not slag it off, but given the cost its was just awful.

If it had been a personal purchase I'd have been very upset I'd wasted my money. I can only imagine this will be a popular offer.

RT doesn't have an inaccurate touch screen, sounds like you have a faulty unit.

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For clarification, though I've only personally used the Surface Pro, the tablet's touchscreen is actually quite accurate. It's just that desktop operating systems are designed for a much smaller, and much more precise click, and they did a very bad job scaling things to account for that. Even if you tap with precision all day on your smartphone, you'd be amazed how poorly thumbing something in your palm transitions to poking something a few feet away from you. They goofed up hard by slamming undesirable tablet features onto the desktop OS and undesirable desktop features on the tablet OS. It was supposed to be a cross between a tablet and a laptop, but it's too bulky in weight and design to be used comfortably as a tablet, and too awkward to use as a laptop anywhere but on a desk, and even then typing awful with that overpriced keyboard.

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Anonymous Coward

"RT doesn't have an inaccurate touch screen, sounds like you have a faulty unit."

Technically that is not true; RT is a version of Windows and does not have hardware. Surface was hardware running RT.

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RT doesn't have an inaccurate touch screen, sounds like you have a faulty unit.

I've heard this defence many times with many different types of equipment, hardware and software.

Defending a pile of crap by saying that particular unit is faulty, doesn't change the fact that it's still a pile of crap, albeit a faulty pile of crap.

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Re: howtogeek secure boot article

Microsoft’s own Windows Hardware Certification Requirements state that for non-ARM systems, you must be able to both disable Secure Boot and change the keys

A while ago, it was big news that manufacturers did not provide the means to disable secure boot or change the keys. I do not see it in the news so often. I do not know if that is because manufacturers have given purchasers control of non-ARM Windows8 computers or because lack of action has persisted so long that it is no longer news.

To me, this means that the first step in buying a new computer is to check that I can install the operating system of my choice. It also means that if a friend wants to try Linux on their computer, they may have to buy a new one because that particular model does not completely follow Microsoft’s published Windows Hardware Certification Requirements.

Although I wish that it would be possible to change the OS on ARM devices, it is fair to say that Microsoft is following the industry standard with regard to tablets here.

I think it is fair to say their are plenty of ARM tablets without boot loader restrictions. There is no such thing as "the industry standard".

Secure boot prevents malware from infecting your system at a low, undetectable level during boot.

Secure boot prevents unsigned malware from infecting your system during boot. I am sure it allows NSA malware to boot, and whatever malware was created by the nation where you bought the computer. UEFI is sufficiently complicated that it is likely to contain security flaws anyway. I would have more confidence in OpenBIOS on the grounds that it is far simpler and it is possible to audit the code.

Campaigning against UEFI/Secure Boot as a technology is short-sighted, misinformed, and unlikely to be effective anyways. It’s more important to ensure that manufacturers actually follow Microsoft’s requirements for letting users disable Secure Boot or change the keys if they so desire.

The good news is you can buy devices without UEFI, Secure Boot or Windows 8. I think that is much more sensible than buying an OS you do not want, begging for a means to install your own keys and hoping that UEFI is not back doored and full of flaws. I would like to think that campaigning against UEFI/Secure Boot as a technology was effective, and contributed to the reduced sales of Window PCs. If there is such a contribution, it is probably hard to measure because of all the other reasons people are buying alternatives to Windows PCs.

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What are they going to do with them? If a retailer is offering buy-back on an item, It's usually because they can sell them on to other folk, but I can't see this being a viable option.

Maybe they think sufficient people will use the money they get from the buy-back to put towards a new purchase?

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They'll pump them over to the East Europe, South America and Asia markets. There are plenty of areas where a cheapo not-great tablet/laptop will sell. Better to try and convert the unhappy customers to more-pleased customers and get some inventory to shove out to other markets rather than try to pump brand new and too-expensive kit to the areas less known for their extravagant spending.

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Bronze badge

They may have a hard time competing with the other $39-69 cheapo not-great tablets from China.

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Anonymous Coward

Alonnis - I think you're right

e.g. Brazil is brand-obsessed and something with the Microsoft brand will sell better than a better product from an unknown or uncool brand.

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Re: Alonnis - I think you're right

"uncool brand" is kind of how most folk see MS, as their work computer it has that "dancing dad" aspect.

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Anonymous Coward

Buy back

It's not gonna cost them much, is it - no one bought any. They could offer a grand each.

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$350 for a good condition Surface Pro

I'd buy Surface Pro in a heartbeat that price. Neat device, just too expensive and flawed to pay its premium list price unless you really need a good small screen PC/tablet. $350 is a different story.

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DJV
Joke

"unwanted first-edition Surface RT"

That will be all of them, then.

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Re: "unwanted first-edition Surface RT"

Well there's not a lot of them either.

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Bronze badge

second stab at table glory

Yes, the Microsoft Surface does in fact make an excellent table.

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Mushroom

too easy

Get some petrol, throw a bunch of these trade ins in the garbage, soak them, light it and you take care of one dumpster fire with another.

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Headmaster

Re: too easy

Nah, do an "Atari ET Cartridge" on them, take 'em out to a huge hole in the Mohave and bury the bloody lot!

In 250 years time, when Serge and Brin have become anointed Saints of the Church of Google that all humans will be born into by default, they will marvel at who this Microsoft and Bill Gates were to invent such rubbish and expect people to pay for it.

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Empirical evidence

Well I don't know much about them, but this summer I happened to be in a shopping mall in North America with some time to kill (actually a lot of time to kill, as my wife and daughters like a bit of shopping).

In this mall I noticed that Microsoft had set up a stall where the public could come and try out their various Surface products. There were 5 Microsoft staff in colourful T shirts manning the stall and on my various passes I clocked how many people were taking interest. The results were roughly:

Pass 1: Two teenage girls talking to one MS staffer, one guy talking to another staffer.

Pass 2: One kid absorbed in a game.

Pass 3: Two more women talking to an MS staffer, but as I passed closer it seemed they were just asking directions.

Not really scientific I know, but at no time were there more interested people than MS staff.

I also walked past the Apple store a couple of times and it looked like bedlam. It even had its own security guy on the door.

So based on this admittedly tiny survey I would say yes, these devices are about as welcome as a fart in a spacesuit at the moment.

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