back to article Microsoft wields turkey knife, slices Surface to $199 for Black Friday

The day after Thanksgiving has come to be known as Black Friday, a day on which all manner of brands drop their pants prices in order to get US punters to open their wallets. The practice is now spreading worldwide and there's some tasty offerings around the world. The most notable discount is probably Microsoft's $US199 offer …

COMMENTS

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FAIL

Still $100 too much

And an unlocked boot loader too little.

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Re: Still $100 too much

locked bootloader wouldnt matter anyway as its RT isnt it? Not like you can do much to it.

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Trollface

Re: Still $100 too much

Probably a lot more once you get an ARM Linux variant on it.

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Stop

Re: Still $100 too much

"Probably a lot more once you get an ARM Linux variant on it."

Yeah, except name one that has even sort of semi decent touch screen support. Once you do that, please also throw in some applications that you can run on it, with using touch.

Thought so.

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Re: Still $100 too much

>> "Probably a lot more once you get an ARM Linux variant on it."

> Yeah, except name one that has even sort of semi decent touch screen support.

Android. Maemo, Meego, Jolla, Tizen, ...

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Re: Still $100 too much

"Android. Maemo, Meego, Jolla, Tizen, ..."

#1 is the only really useable OS there - and that's still a cut down - not a fully functional OS like RT. And it doesn't have a proper version of Office available except via the browser / Office 365. And is malware ridden. So thanks, but no thanks.

Whilst RT is inferior to normal Windows, its still far more functional than Maldroid or IOS...

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FAIL

Re: Still $100 too much

"Whilst RT is inferior to normal Windows, its still far more functional than Maldroid or IOS..."

Yes... ok. Your argument is completely watertight.

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Re: Still $100 too much

>> "Android. Maemo, Meego, Jolla, Tizen, ..."

> #1 is the only really useable OS there

I very much doubt that you have even seen the others, let alone tried them. Given that the N9 outsold WP when and where it was allowed to be available it would seem that the users found it perfectly usable.

I suspect that you were one of the posters that complained that people were criticising WP when they hadn't tried it, it seems pot, ... kettle,.. something.

> that's still a cut down - not a fully functional OS like RT

Sorry, but RT _is_ cut-down. It is less than Windows 8 so it is not 'fully functional'.

On Android I can do development "with a full Java / C / C++ / HTML / Android development kit, that runs on your Android device." Can RT do that ? I thought not.

> And it doesn't have a proper version of Office available

It may well be that you think 'Office' is the answer to all questions, but many are not obsessed by 'form over function' that requires 73 different fonts and 120 ways of styling a paragraph. QuickOffice, or one of the many others, is enough for the majority on mobile devices.

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Linux

for a giggle...

try searching for linux on the M$ website.... a very retarded piece of software that only comes back with "did you mean LINE?".

P.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: for a giggle...

So they don't return their competitors product in a search result?

Downvote for the use of retarded. And M$. Grow up.

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Re: for a giggle...

What a load of nonsense!

http://search.microsoft.com/en-gb/results.aspx?form=MSHOME&setlang=en-gb&q=linux

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Anonymous Coward

Re: for a giggle...

@Bob - We've been through this countless times before, that you persist does you a serious disservice. Here is a cut and paste of the reply I gave you last time:

"@Bob - We've been through this before countless times:

What happened was a google engineer, found a way to game the Bing toolbar (which watches your visited URLs and returns them to MS) so that when he visited a page which was present only on a malformed google search. The bing toolbar picked up the url from the browser and sent it back to MS, the systems at MS basically said "we've not seen this URL before, let's include it in bing."

You repeat this claim again and again, you are corrected again and again but still do it. This is an entirely dishonest way to behave.

http://searchengineland.com/bing-why-googles-wrong-in-its-accusations-63279"

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Anonymous Coward

Re: for a giggle...

You know, every time Bob does that, we should just report him for abuse. He keeps on telling the same lie, after all.

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Meh

Re: for a giggle...

if I could post a screenshot... , and this was in the USA.

Believe it or not I was not searching for a competitor, I was seeing if any of their associated material mentioned linux, as I cannot believe I am the only person to think "will it run linux".

So I entered "linux" and the only match it could come up with was "line".

Actually , I did this twice. The *first* time took me back to the landing page...

what does it do, set off an alarm so they can change the response....?

I stand by my comment, retarded.

P.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: for a giggle...

"Downvote for the use of retarded. And M$. Grow up."

Oh, and you're such a great example of adulthood.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: for a giggle...

"try searching for linux on the M$ website.... a very retarded piece of software"

The answer sounds spot on to me...

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FAIL

Yup, the UK price is a total rip-off

...but then even if it matched the dollar exchange rate, it would still be an over-priced locked-in piece of crap.

I wouldn't take one if Mickey$oft paid *me*.

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Re: Yup, the UK price is a total rip-off

"I wouldn't take one if Mickey$oft paid *me*."

First of all, using terms like Mickey$oft is just puerile and stupid. It wasn't even remotely amusing 10 years ago, and is even less so now that Microsoft isn't anywhere near as dominant as it was. (In the interests of fairness, I'd say the same if someone used the term crApple!).

Secondly, that statement isn't true is it? If Microsoft came up to you and said "here, take this Surface and $100", if you had any sense you'd take it because even if you don't want the Surface you can sell it or give it away and still be $100 up.

I have a Surface 2, amongst many other gadgets (this was written on an rMBP), and it is a really nice bit of kit. It is let down by the dearth of apps on the Windows Store, but most of what I bought it for is browser based and works better (for my purposes) with IE for the Surface than it would Safari on an iPad. That isn't to denigrate the iPad - just that it doesn't suit my requirements.

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Re: Yup, the UK price is a total rip-off

If you dont like it then dont buy it son. Ranting on a comment thread about something that is perfectly useable to some people is just daft.

The $199 is only on the 32gb model and sans taxes (still unbalanced vs the UK £279 but the UK shows VAT since VAT is the same across the UK unlike US taxes). Sure a deal if you want one. The 64gb one isnt discounted but is in the UK.

And what does Mickey$oft mean anyway? Sure I get the M$ moniker that is thrown about but what is the Mickey bit for?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Yup, the UK price is a total rip-off

It means he's a twat.

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Re: Yup, the UK price is a total rip-off

Well said, I got a Surface RT for my kid so he can do proper word docs etc. in free periods at school. TBH, it actually helped that it didn't have 600000 games available for it and can't play DOTA2.

Having played with it, I can't see the grief people give it, the launch screen has icons, much like other tablets. They happen to do more than just launch programs and are resizable much like widgets.

One neat thing I liked was that one could pinch the screen and make the tiles tiny; which allows probably hundreds but certainly dozens of tiles to be quickly accessed - the clever bit making it usable is that one can group tiles and add a title; this title stays readable so that one can quickly tap the group (and then tap the tile needed). Of course, one can search all apps etc. but this mechanism is very slick and saves even scrolling the screen when there are a lot of programs.

I also found that the speed was very acceptable (again, not interested in games); IE ran Netflix and iPlayer without the need for an app (although Netflix was available and slick as hell).

All this hate is inexplicable and moreover, completely unwarranted. I could just as easily bemoan the lack of a 'proper' fully-integrated office suite not being available on an iPad. I could discuss whether the various keyboard options on an iPad or Android tablet were even close to be as good as the one on the RT, but what would be the point, they mostly haven't been designed in.

I could mention that I can plug in a real wired mouse, use a BT mouse and/or keyboard because the RT unit has a USB port. The keyboard I got attaches magnetically and is also a cover. An iPad would have to have a BT keyboard or dock into the mechanical port, neither is as elegant although the Surface can use a BT keyboard if you did prefer it (for distance for instance).

I also know that I can plug in an HDMI with a simple (cheap) mechanical adapter and have a proper second screen at higher resolution (just like a regular laptop). Possible on an iPad (how much if so?).

That same USB can take a memory stick for super fast transfer of files - often not needed because all the machines on the network are immediately available in a normal windows explorer (just like on my laptop).

If I don't have a memory stick, the extra 16GB SD card permanently inserted, gives this ability and tons of extra storage for 8 quid. I couldn't locate the slot for SD or find a USB on an iPad. There was a USB micro but it didn't seem to have OTG support.

That it has two serviceable cameras is nice but not critical for my use - unless I take it on shorts trips for Skype (of course it has Skype, I think it might even work in the browser), and one camera would still be enough. I can't see myself holding it up to take pictures, it looks so bad when morons do it with iPads and they have seriously shitty cameras anyway.

It is very well made, the power connector is reversible and magnetic, very useful for that accidental tug on the power cord. The Magnesium-alloy case reeks of quality and is seemingly tough and durable. The little tilt thingy at the back is not flimsy at all and allows use like a laptop. I happened to recently see someone in a store using an iPad docked in a mechanical keyboard getup; he then used 'Numbers' on the screen - none of it looked remotely elegant, the screen format was much less useful than a Surface for spreadsheet use. The fact that it also cost a ton more, even if Numbers was free, was even more damning. The added fact that the RT allows programs to run side-by-side so you can send occasional Skype messages and still read that web page, edit a document or use proper Excel is a very good use of the screen format and makes it better than a single-app device easily.

All-in-all, it seems that this bashing is shill-like and unfounded; constantly stating "I wonder if I can get Linux on it?" is pathetic - there are hundreds of Android tablets that could probably run a proper Linux, buy one of them instead - otherwise you are giving MS money and profits; they might end up being spent curing Malaria, we wouldn't want that would we?

And comparing it to Surface 2 is stupid, I just looked at the prices, it is twice as expensive and therefore comparison is as valid as Ford Focus versus a Mercedes (something).

It cost me less than an iPad equivalent (just looked at Amazon for iPad lo-res version, WiFi only which can still run over £350). I got the Surface RT with a touch keyboard for £323, this includes a copy of the aforementioned Office too.

So, the RT does most of what I want for less and an iPad can't do almost anything I need, from storage to second screen to decent document editing.

Seems to me, that people who buy them are the idiots, but I wouldn't come on here dissing them for their crappy choices because I am just not like that. The same goes for the MS haters who seem to think the money they have paid for whatever MS stuff they bought once upon a time was taken from them forcefully.

BTW, US prices don't include the sales tax, which exists in many states and can add 10% to the price. This is now applied for on-line purchases based on the state you buy it from also so it is hard to dodge. Importing into the UK (by any means including bringing it on a plane yourself) would attract VAT. Just because you wouldn't pay it doesn't mean you are not breaking the law and committing fraud.

The price quoted for the UK obviously includes VAT; there is still some discrepancy but there are also the facts of EU import duties to consider. None of these products are made in the USA or the EU but the US has markedly lower duties for this kind of thing.

And, finally, there are the impacts of sheer volume, channels, cost of stores, staff, fuel costs (huge difference) etc, Maybe there is still an inflation but I bet it is not that much after everything is considered.

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Re: Yup, the UK price is a total rip-off

Hold on - you got a Surface RT with Touch Cover for £323?

Where?

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Re: Yup, the UK price is a total rip-off

I hope they give you double points for that one. A bit overlong but you sell it really well. It's a wonder the things didn't just fly off the shelves at the full price on launch day.

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Byz

Investment opportunity

If you buy one and the heat problem doesn't emerge then you might be able to sell it for more in 50 years time due to rarity (since so few are selling).

There again maybe not :)

Spend the money on Beer it'll be more fun!

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JDX
Gold badge

Surface or Surface 2?

As title

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Re: Surface or Surface 2?

It's the Surface RT, sans 2, I believe.

Still, though, for $199 you're getting a lot. Forget the app store for a moment.. In terms of core, out-of-the-box functions, it's actually pretty hard to beat Windows RT. I'm not talking about bundled apps like Office, but stuff like driver support, a desktop-class Flash-enabled browser (and one that is now, surprisingly, standards compliant), multi-user accounts and the two-up multitasking view.

I'd buy one. But then, I'll be picking up a Surface 2 soon, so I've already decided I can live with having fewer available apps in exchange for a more capable device.

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£122 + VAT?

Under £150? I'd buy one!

Don't really want or need a tablet - if I did, I could use the missus' iPad - but also can't resist a deal ;)

But when they demand almost double what they do in the states - suddenly start to hate 'em

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Re: £122 + VAT?

Even if it was £200 in the old £=$ exchange rate it would be a good deal. Still have to remember that half of the 32GB disk space is OS, but even then most 10" droids of that price are 16GB or less to start with.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: £122 + VAT?

"half of the 32GB disk space is OS"

You can easily remove the recovery partition and recover a good chunk of that...

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Apple store

Is back up, same as described in the article, buy something get a voucher towards something else.

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N2

Why bother

When I can buy rubble for landfill for about 16 Euros a ton

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Why bother

"When I can buy rubble for landfill for about 16 Euros a ton"

Surely that's what "Landfill" Android devices are for...

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Still not a bargain

It's funny how even at its reduced price it still looks pretty lame value compared to other tablets.

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Re: Still not a bargain

How, exactly?

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Anonymous Coward

meh

Fire sale like the final HD DVD days

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Re: meh

Hardly a fire sale, for that it would be sub £100, this is more an unlit match sale....

Now if they were asking this for the Surface 2 (RT) then I might bite, but not for the first one...

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Trollface

Re: meh

Amazon are having a fire sale. Kindle File HD only £99!

ThankyouverymuchImhereallweek.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: meh

The reason for what Microsoft did is simple. They already took the loss on the hardware in a previous quarter. Now they are selling what they took a loss on and they will make it appear on the books how much they made on Surface RT for Q4 2013.

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Re: meh

"The reason for what Microsoft did is simple. They already took the loss on the hardware in a previous quarter. Now they are selling what they took a loss on and they will make it appear on the books how much they made on Surface RT for Q4 2013."

Not simple but what you describe is happening.

Its very common for any company that has stock to change its valuation for a myriad of reasons, and one of which is to do what you say. Drop the value of stock so they can write the loss off against profits in a different division. The sell the stock at cost (I reckon you can't sell it a loss under GAAP rules - or you become an Enron) and take the funds in a underperforming quarter.

Quite often its possible to increase your total retained earnings over a year by doing this.

Also a common question for the CFO and his cohort, What is the value of your stock?

What, you mean if we sell in a week? Or sell over a year? Market value? Cost value? Cost with inflation? Replacement value?

One project in the past I was working at a company that handled brass. I questioned why they had so much on the shop floor between the machine groups - they made more on stocking brass than on the finished part. How do you reconcile that?

The whole question of the value of stock is an ethereal subject

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Re: meh

I seem to recall it being mentioned no less than six times in their annual report that they write down inventory annually. Almost like a hint. We will not see the write down for this until August.

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I'd certainly get a surface....

But only if I could put android on it.

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Re: I'd certainly get a surface....

Then get a Surface Pro. If you;re so awesome, it must be within your amazing skills to compile an Android distro that will run on a Corei5.

What do you mean by this anyway? That you'd buy the hardware but not the software?

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Re: I'd certainly get a surface....

Let me get this straight...

You'd spend $200 to put Android on a Surface for what reason? To spit in Microsoft's face? "Ha ha! Look at me I put a real OS on your tablet!" ?

Microsoft doesn't care, they alreay have your money, they got more than they thought they'd get from you.

If you want Android, there's a tonne of devices out there.

If you want IOS, Apple has you covered.

I don't understand the whole "if it had Linux/Android on it I'd buy it" comments. Microsoft is flogging their OS on their devices, why would they make devices to run competing OS' on?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I'd certainly get a surface....

"But only if I could put android on it."

Just run Bluestacks on a Surface Pro. Then you get the improved security / performance / functionality of Windows but can still use the Android apps in a sandbox...

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Gold badge

US centric, much?

The Aussie writer says "the day after thanksgiving", meaning the day after American thanksgiving, despite the fact that the real thanksgiving is celebrated over a month earlier.

Nice to see the USA has so utterly taken over the culture and thoughts of even Australians that they cannot separate one nation's (false and at the wrong time) observance of a holiday from the entire rest of the world.

Awesome.

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