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back to article Microsoft slaps LTE mobe broadband into Surface 2 slabs (Yeah, take that, iPad)

From Tuesday, Microsoft will sell a version of its Surface 2 capable of connecting to mobile broadband – fulfilling a request of many a user who has been tempted to pick up one of Redmond's tablet-keyboard mashups. Microsoft Surface 2 (AT&T 4G LTE) Microsoft's ARM-powered Surface 2 (AT&T 4G LTE), pictured with its wireless- …

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Anonymous Coward

HOW MUCH?!

and that's without a ~$150 cover, and ~$100 keyboard.

Yeh, right!

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Re: HOW MUCH?!

To be fair, the article notes this is the same premium that Apple charges for the same feature. Not sure how clever it is to do this. Having the same price point with LTE as the I-Pad without allows more competitive advertising. But it seems that Microsoft hasn't given up on positioning the device as an equal competitor to the I-Pad and in some ways it is (the hardware is top notch and for all the complaints the bundled software is impressive, storage - OS is still an issue). This won't matter to some people (who will find the device is exactly what they want) but is hardly the way to sell in volume.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: HOW MUCH?!

I'm not an Apple fan (never used their products), but Apple have earned their right to be premium. Microsoft don't even compete with the Chinese knock-off Androids on eBay.

The platform is dismal, to say the least. Finding someone who had one just so I could play with it was difficult enough.

(No, I'm not a Linux fan - I'm on Windows and I normally support MS)

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Correction:

"Beginning this Tuesday, Microsoft will offer a version of its Surface 2 that fulfills a request of ̶m̶̶a̶̶n̶̶y̶ a user"...

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Devil

> Correction:

>

>"Beginning this Tuesday, Microsoft will offer a version of its Surface 2 that fulfills a request of ̶m̶̶a̶̶n̶̶y̶ a user"...

"of many" and "a user"

isn't that the same ??

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Stop

If it's not unlocked, I'm not interested

I want to use my choice of crappy cell provider, not Microsoft's. AT&T is far from the least crappy out there.

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Re: If it's not unlocked, I'm not interested

That looks a lot like s slot to take a SIM of your choice…

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Re: If it's not unlocked, I'm not interested

The AT&T mention is about approval nothing more.

The modem is suitable for all networks.

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Begs the question....

...why did it take so long?

That's not a cheap troll, I'm staggered that there wasn't a mobile enabled version at launch - I just presumed it was available.

Gobsmacking.

Steven R

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Re: Begs the question....

I was thinking the same thing. The iPad had this from day one, as did Android tablets. I can understand offering a version with only wireless, as that's what I'd buy if I purchased any sort of tablet, but taking a year and a half to finally offer a tablet with cellular data and talking it up as if it is a big advance staggers me every bit as much as it staggered you.

If Microsoft is trying to sell these tablets as being more functional than the competition, shouldn't they be making it easier to use that functionality wherever you want? I guess what everyone suspected is probably true - they designed it based on talking to business IT leaders to find out what they wanted in a tablet. They were hoping to create a tablet to prevent iPads from expanding the BYOD movement they'd created, by making the Surface something the IT department could point to and say "sorry, we can't support that iPad, if you want a tablet you should buy this Surface, it runs Windows apps and we can lock it down via AD just like the PC on your desk so of course you Mr. User will want this instead!"

A tablet designed to work in a corporate environment doesn't need/want cellular data, because they have wireless available in their offices and the IT department doesn't want to deal with data plans for tablets.

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Re: Begs the question....

A 'faster horse' then............

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Re: Begs the question....

I think it should come with that, and every conceivable VPN standard baked in as well, so you can work and view docs, synced, anywhere, all the time. Other than that I agree with you; MS has such an advantage in the corporate world, and they're chasing the iPad instead.

Other thing they haven't done: build in all the printer drivers and allow direct connection to a USB printer from the tablet, for the millions of legacy printers out there, and allow normal print facilities for network printers as well. It's like they want to do badly.

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WTF?

Re: Begs the question....

> Other thing they haven't done [....] allow direct connection to a USB printer from the tablet

It does that. We had a salesdroid with one in the office last week who plugged directly into Ed's little colour InkJet and printed out his sales bumf on the spot.

We should have charged him for the ink.

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Re: Begs the question....

>and allow normal print facilities for network printers as well...

I went poking around to add my wireless printer to my Surface only to discover it had found it and added it already.

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Re: Begs the question....

As it's unlikely that the relevant OEM didn't already have the SoC you've got software (device driver) and regulatory (FCC) approval to contend with. If it was the software then it doesn't bode well for the future of the Windows-RT platform.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Begs the question....

That might be the case at your place, but here we take security seriously.

That means: No wifi - not even guest, no personal devices, you don't rely on locking the clients down.

If you need internet on your device, tether it or use your data plan.

In return, we wont enforce shitty AD policies on your device.

Anything else is just weak.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Begs the question....

"MS has such an advantage in the corporate world"

That's not out of choice!!

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Re: Begs the question....

They would need GNU/Linux to have an acceptable amount of printer drivers ... remember all those printers that they desupported with Vista, idem 7, idem 8, eventually, that adds up, man!

BTW, does Windows RT also have all those browser toolbars available or have they not yet been ported ?

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Anonymous Coward

$135 for what?

Could anyone here give an estimate of the actual cost of the LTE electronics modules that Apple, and now Microsoft, are charging $135 for?

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Re: $135 for what?

> are charging $135 for

It's called "price segmentation"

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Anonymous Coward

Re: $135 for what?

People are going to find it hard justifying the best part of a grand on an unproven product that will be out of date or abandoned within a year - that actually has no return of investment, and a potentially low re-sell price!

It's a shame, because I really wanted to develop for the MS tabs - but the user-base isn't going to be worth it, and with those prices it wont increase.

Microsoft are not Apple, no matter how hard they try. They can only seem to copy Apple's bad side.

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Re: $135 for what?

> People are going to find it hard justifying the best part of a grand on an unproven product that will be out of date or abandoned within a year - that actually has no return of investment, and a potentially low re-sell price!

Yeah, but they say all of that about iPads except for the resale price. There are always more fanbois to sell to.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: $135 for what?

"Yeah, but they say all of that about iPads except for the resale price. There are always more fanbois to sell to."

You're right... but Apple have earned their "premium price" status and people respect their (over)prices, throughout the past two decades.

What status/respect has MS earned in that time? (rhetorical question - we all know the answer)

For the record, I'm windows user, never bought anything Apple.. too over-priced ;)

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Anonymous Coward

Nice try Microsoft, but too little too late

I expect a hefty write-off for Surface 2 just like what happened for the first-gen Surface.

You have lots of money to burn, so just keep the bonfire warm for the rest of us.

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Re: Nice try Microsoft, but too little too late

>I expect a hefty write-off for Surface 2 just like what happened for the first-gen Surface.

That will not happen, remember it was on el'reg the other day, they are producing batches of 10 000 items ...

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Surface with lte

I can already use surface pro with LTE by using my mobile wifi.

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Re: Surface with lte

RT also works with mobile hotspot, but built in would have been easier. There are a couple of 3/4G USB dongles that are compatible but you're limited to HUAWEI products pretty much and a dobgle sticking out the USB port.

The real trouble is the current pathetic coverage offered by 4G, no doubt made worse by the ridiculous way EE were given a monopoly on the licences. The UK is probably 18-24 months behind where we could have been. In the odd place that does have coverage, 24down/12up offers better than a lot of ADSL providers!

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Re: Surface with lte

>I can already use surface pro with LTE by using my mobile wifi.

Unless providers will offer us another SIM on the same contract using the same data plan for a no-hassle system then this is by far the best way to do it for most people.

Even then, if I was so employed, I would simply stick a SIM in another phone, like my N900 and run it as a WiFi hotspot or, even simpler, use a MiFi device. These have the advantage that's multiple people can use them at the same time. You could even charge it using the Surface when needed because it has a full-size USB port!

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Re: Surface with lte

Re MiFi - correct I already do that on my Surface. Works a treat and is as quick as fixed broadband. Surface has been much maligned by El Reg as part of its general anti Microsoft campaign. I'm not interested in controlling my fridge or turning on my TV with it, so wide app support is fairly irrelevant to me. I am interested in it as a PC/laptop replacement. The RT has bundled Office which is very useful to me, and the USB port gives extra storage or a USB keyboard as well. I now have an HDMI monitor attached also when I'm at home and am loving it. The only downside so far is no support for Silverlight which is downright odd considering that Silverlight is Microsoft anyway, but it's a small matter.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Surface with lte

How is the "pathetic coverage offered by 4g" due to an apparent monopoly given to EE?

If we look at 3G rollout, the 2 networks that had the longest lead time to roll out 3G (vodafone and o2) were both warned in the last 18 months that they faced losing their 3G license for failing to roll out the minimum coverage obligation of 90% coverage - more than 10 years after they started and 5 years after the other networks reached the same milestone?

If the "monopoly" given to EE on 4g was true (which it isn't - vodafone and o2 didn't apply to re-farm their existing 3g spectrum but could have done so), it would be proven by o2 and Vodafone having the best coverage and service when Vodafone quite clearly has the worst - and by quite some margin as the recent RootMetrics survey shows:

http://www.rootmetrics.com/rsr/uk

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Anonymous Coward

Why the fuck would anyone want one of these?

The platform has no signs of taking off, the few people supporting it appear to be Microsoft idiots (from what I've seen here, I don't know anyone in person), and for that price I can buy Apple (not likely!) or a decent Laptop.

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You're right, why wouldn't anyone want exactly the same as you?

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Happy

built in LTE - OK for some.

I tried a data usb 3g modem with my laptop and built in 3G in our HTC Flyer,

but franky, as long as you can support WiFi tethering and use your data allowance from your smartphone, why have 2 contracts.

Just bumped up to 4G via xperia Z1 compact and 5GB/month on O2. not 4G in south wales yet, but goes like pooh off a teflon shovel in London - PC and Tablet, wifi tethering.

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xyz

Hepl! Hepl!

Can someone help me out here...I'm typing this on my 3.5 y.o old Win 7 laptop that cost me £350 that is wirelessly "tethered" to my Nokia 925 WinPho as is my Android tablet. I'm getting 10Megs+ download and 2.5Megs upload, on an all you can eat data mobile broadband plan, with thousands of times more minutes and texts per month than I have friends to use them on....for £28 a month. Office is on my laptop, Office is on my phone, I can develop using VS and cruise StackOverflow on the laptop whilst watching Top Gear on the phone whilst looking at Pr0n on the tablet and if anyone ever phones me I can answer them. And if I wanted, I could do all this in Tesco's car park or on a beach.

So what is the key concept issue here that I'm missing that requires me to anti up the best part of a grand for this?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Hepl! Hepl!

You're not their target customer.

(You appear to have intelligence)

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