back to article Microsoft hints at smaller Surface

Microsoft has invited media to a “small gathering” at which it will discuss its Surface fondleslabs. The event will take place on May 20th and the use of the diminutive is sparking speculation Redmond will give the world a smaller Surface. The speculation relies on past comments from Microsoft to the effect that it feels …

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Look at the up-side

Smaller. Therefore:

A) Less embarrassing.

For both MS and the ten people that buy it.

B) Better for the environment due to less landfill required to handle the product.

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Re: Look at the up-side

They can rename it 'The Surface Cuboid'

It will probably be as wide as it is fat.

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Trollface

Product name suggestions

For grins:

- Surf

- Sink

- Surfactant

- Surface X 2014 R2 V1.0 Limited Personal Edition Metallic Grey

- Surface Pad

Seriously:

- Surface Mini (if that's it I will laugh)

- Surface 3

- Surface Light

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Thumb Up

Re: Product name suggestions

"Surface X 2014 R2 V1.0 Limited Personal Edition Metallic Grey"

Something in that direction, I'll guess.

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Re: Product name suggestions

"MS STS" : Surfaced Then Sank

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Re: Product name suggestions

Face (Palm edition)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Product name suggestions

Smurface. New blue tablets.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Product name suggestions

Perhaps a clever sidestep of the landfill fate of the previous efforts with a bit of innovative preemptive recycling and they could have "Road Surface".

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Product name suggestions

iSurface

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Product name suggestions

Call it what you want, it will still be a peice of junk and 4 years late to the market.

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Form factor

The problem for Microsoft with the small form factor tablets is that as the size decreases, the more they become primarily a media consumption device. This somewhat negates the main advantage of a W8 tablet - being able to run the productivity software.

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Re: Form factor

Albeit one you can connect to a monitor, keyboard and mouse (or even use as the primary touch device, in lieu of a mouse, when connected to a monitor and keyboard). The possibilities are interesting. Windows itself isn't quite there yet :-).

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Its the interface

I keep on trying and I just can't learn to like it. ( being polite here )

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Def
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Re: Its the interface

Exactly what don't you like about it? Serious question.

I picked up a new ultrabook last week with Windows 8 on it. A quick upgrade to Windows 8.1 (because I will admit 8 was decidedly rough around the edges), a few hours setting up the system and my applications, and I'm up and running. I'm too busy working to care about the slightly changed UI.

Mostly though I like the UI of Windows 8.1 (all my other machines are running Windows 7). There are one or two niggles, but that's no different to any other user interface. (Trying to find something on the All Apps page is annoying, for example, and I don't like the way the on-screen keyboard insists on popping up for modern UI apps all the time when I have a physical keyboard.) All the regular Windows keyboard shortcuts still work (that I've needed so far) - I've even accidentally discovered a few new ones while adjusting to the laptop keyboard.

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Re: Its the interface

My work have both a Surface Pro and a Lenovo Helix and the experience is pretty good, Windows 8 is at it's best on a touch device (no surprise there).

I agree with both of your niggles, the All Apps views is an appalling UI IMHO and I avoid it whenever I can, the improved search on Windows 8 facilitates that nicely. Keyboard is a pain, I wouldn't have thought it would be that hard to add a setting to suppress the on-screen keyboard when a physical keyboard is present, seems like a no-brainer to me as it is surely the most suitable option for most people.

It's a shame the Surface is so highly priced because it is a fantastic piece of hardware, but the high price means it gets excluded pretty early on when put up against cheaper equivalents with a more traditional laptop form-factor.

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Re: Exactly what don't you like about it? Serious question.

I think what everyone else hates are the things you refer to as niggles.

The thing I absolutely detested about it, was the jumping to full screen design. I didn't like that behavior in the 90s. It is like using a DOS program under GEM. (Which was a step forward, when it was current).

All the swipey stuff is annoying too, (on anything with separate screen).

I gave the demo a try (with a view to buying it, was it £30?) but it was so bad, I didn't bother.

Had I known that there are simple procedures to remove all the garbage, I probably would have gone for it.

But I'm certainly not paying the price they want for it now. When I need a PC compatible at home, I'm sticking to Mint, and I have a chuck out Vista machine for the occasions windows is needed. (It doesn't seem so bad after Windows 8 ).

The loss of the start menu doesn't bother that much, although the panel they replaced it with is awful. (though the hybrid thing I have seen pictures of looks ok). It is just like going back to windows 3.11 (however it may not be so nice for those not familiar with the command line and shortcuts).

Had they allowed the metro apps to run as desktop widgets or programs in normal windows, made the start menu an option instead of the panel, and chosen different defaults for tablet to laptops and workstations, then the story would have been very different, I think. (It may have helped if they had made the same metro app work across all the systems, rather than needing 5 different versions.)

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It will be interesting to see what cpu they use. Main reason I would hold off on the current generation of 8 inch windows tablets is 2gb ram/32 bit windows.

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As long as it's proper Windows

If they push out another shitty RT device then it will die on the spot. There *is* a market for tablets which are full blown Windows devices under the hood - people can use them like a tablet when they're on a plane or whatever but plug them into a dock and get a full blown desktop.

I don't know how effective a sub 10" screen would be for using a desktop but providing the resolution is high then maybe they could push out an 8.4" or something and still have a useful form factor.

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Re: As long as it's proper Windows

> If they push out another shitty RT device then it will die on the spot

I disagree. Right next to me I have an Asus Vivotab Note 8 which I use extensively with OneNote MX (the RT version) to take notes in meetings and to scribble systems diagrams that I can save and share with the rest of the team instantly.

The only thing I ever use the desktop for is file management and (specifically) selecting media at home on my personal server to run over the network.

Provide a decent file manager and Office RT and I'd probably never use the desktop again on that tablet. It's a colossal pain in the arse on an 8" screen anyway, even with the stylus.

The extra battery life RT offers would also be handy.

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Re: As long as it's proper Windows

"I disagree. Right next to me I have an Asus Vivotab Note 8 which I use extensively with OneNote MX (the RT version) to take notes in meetings and to scribble systems diagrams that I can save and share with the rest of the team instantly."

That's great and you could do exactly the same with any number of Android tablets or iOS. I see a OneNote app right there on the Android store, and of course there are various similar apps and office suites. Many more apps than Windows RT has.

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Re: As long as it's proper Windows

> That's great and you could do exactly the same with any number of Android tablets or iOS.

Not with AD security and saving to the internal Sharepoint server, I couldn't.

Well, I probably could but to do so would be orders of magnitude more complex that it is with the Asus.

Whoop de doo, I could use Android for it is the saviour and healer of all ills hooray! Or I could do it the sensible way because, y'know, not a fucking idiot.

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Re: As long as it's proper Windows

Using Windows RT is not the "sensible way" given that its a lame duck platform. If it were proper Windows and capable of running other enterprise software then I might agree. And if OneNote on other platforms is lacking I suggest you look who wrote it. Even so I suspect Android will enjoy a longer life and support than RT.

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Re: As long as it's proper Windows

> an 8.4" or something and still have a useful form factor.

The 10" keyboard/covers would mean no useful reduction.

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Re: As long as it's proper Windows

"The 10" keyboard/covers would mean no useful reduction."

I have a 7" netbook (an Asus 701 Eee PC if you care to look it up) but the bezel means it's effectively 8.5" or so. The keyboard is cramped but its usable in that form factor. And so could a windows tablet. But it requires it actually be Windows rather than some half-assed not-Windows version. If it's RT then it's a waste of time.

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Re: As long as it's proper Windows

> Using Windows RT is not the "sensible way" given that its a lame duck platform.

I'd be prepared to accept your argument if it had been reasonably demonstrated that Windows RT is any more of a lame duck platform than, to take a random example, MacOSX.

One can certainly be sure that RT-compatible programs are far more widespread than OSX programs since anything compiled for WinRT will run on it and also on full-fat Win8. Okay, it doesn't have 91% of all desktop market share - yet - but higher than OSX does.

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Anonymous Coward

Sure , lets go down-market and lose more $$$

Why would Microsoft go after less well-heeled customers?

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Re: Sure , lets go down-market and lose more $$$

to sell, I guess

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