back to article Hearts, minds and balls: Microsoft's Windows 8 Surface gamble

What makes Microsoft think people will buy its Surfaces? It would have to be either for the love of the Microsoft brand or because Redmond has got them by the balls on data and apps. These can be the only reasons, based on the partially released specs of the Intel-based Surface running Windows 8 Pro that was unveiled on …

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  1. Lockwood

    (Insert El Reg tombstone)

    "More powerful unit will cost more - El Reg's SHOCK finding"

    1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: (Insert El Reg tombstone) @Eadon

        Oh thank God - you finally showed up! When you hadn't posted something yesterday evening I thought you might have had a mishap. You know - drowned on your own rabies froth or something. Glad to see you're still on top form, complete with "EPIC FAIL" ending. You could put that in bold too, you know.

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          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: (Insert El Reg tombstone) @Eadon 16:42

            Thanks, but as for the agreeing with your logic - er, no. I'm not in the market for this kind of device, so I haven't been looking at its sales at all. The only references I see to that are on The Reg. I don't know or care whether you're right. Of course, " Balmer, king of hype, even he said sales were "Modest" - which, if he says Modest, means TRAIN WRECK." is hardly what I'd call logic. Sounds more like an interpretation of his words based on what you think of him. "To my knowledge people are already not buying surfaces" - er, so? Are you omniscient? Know everyone buying in this market? I know people who aren't buying Raspberry Pis. Don't think I'd get one myself - off the top of my head a custom microcontroller circuit or full-blown PC is more likely to suit my requirements. Do I call the Pi crap because of this? No.

            In summary, I'm just enjoying poking fun at your personality problem :)

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: (Insert El Reg tombstone)

        Looks to me Microsoft have clearly set Surface RT against iPad and Surface Pro against MB Air. Having said that seems odd to me the Pro entry level pricing does not include a keyboard since thats part of the whole hybrid concept.

        This week I was working on UI design alongside a guy who'd recently taken delivery of a Sony Vaio Duo 11, a convertible Win 8 11" 1080p touchscreen with stylus support. His notebook worked remarkably well IMO and finally convinced me the flexibility of touch and structure of this new generation of notebooks is a major step forward. I don't need a new notebook this minute and that Sony model not quite what I'd choose. Possibly same will go for the Surface Pro but one thing for sure, my next notebook will be a multitouch convertible.

        Surely the whole point of these Surface models is to open some eyes to new notebook/tablet formats and encourage OEMs to be more adventurous. But its only one size and format so whether Surface sells 5 million or 10 million in its first year is neither here nor there to Microsoft it seems. The company knows how to sell through retail channels as seen with Xbox but they chose much more limited distribution hardly a sign of a major push for first party hardware.

        So here we are late 2012. Apple doing good things with higher resolution displays, Amazon/Google low cost pocket size devices, and Microsoft the notion of convertibles and multitouch on notebook and desktop. Its all good to my mind each a valid step toward more capable personal computing.

        Its an exciting time for technology IMO. I'm fed up with the vocal critics on all sides who have little constructive to say beyond repeating their obsessions and making conjectures why xyz will FAIL most often without even trying the technology. Please stop!

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          1. The Original Steve
            FAIL

            Re: (Insert El Reg tombstone)

            Actually Eadon, whilst I'm not the OP I'll step in and say I stand by the general point I think the OP was trying to get across - although I don't know why you hold more credit for a handle that requires no ID verification Vs. "Anonymous Coward"

            Apple owns the premium side of the consumer mobile market.

            Android owns the low end of the overall market

            Both cross into mid-range, and neither are exclusive into a particular end of the market - it's just both are dominant in different ends.

            From a business / enterprise point of view, neither are great options for me. I can't manage ether platforms very well even using expensive 3rd party tools. Best I can do is spend days learning scripting tools or bespoke tools for said platform that I can't transfer to the rest of my job.

            In addition a large number of applications and tools used in our business, but also on the consumer side are not avaliable on current mobile platforms. E.g. full fat photoshop, Visio, our ERP application, various Java and .Net apps used that could be ported but at present are Windows only.

            So ironically, Windows 8 has a USP (compared to iOS, Android and even WP7.x) being that it the applications i use on my desktop PC at home (well, a media and gaming rig on the TV), as well as the tools I use daily at work can be used on the go.

            No extra management tools (Group Policy / System Centre), no 3rd party apps or hacks, can use the same games, XBox Live - just like another PC.

            I'm in the market for a new device. I shouldn't use my work laptop at home for streaming personal media, use in the bath, playing flash games etc. and the media centre rig is great for power but hardly the most usable thing in the world. I like Android - my HTC Desire was a real gem, but for me it's USP was appealing to the geek in me - sometimes I want things to just work well. Sometimes I don't want to research online how to do something, or find out I need to root the phone to perform a task. Using the same platform as I use on my desktop, and what I use at work would be ideal. iOS is too restrictive for a tablet / ultrabook device for me.

            Step in Windows 8 on decent hardware - I don't need much storage, but I do want an extension of my home network. The Infrastructure guy in me says that will fill the hole we have at work for tablets that I can deploy without more management headaches.

            Something mid-to-high end, the same applications I use already work on it, from a corporate point of view I can manage it without any extra work. Best of all it works for touch really, really well. Cost is comparable to other devices at the mid-high end too.

            Windows RT - yeah, unless the applications catch up really soon then I'd call that an EPIC FAIL. Microsoft Surface Pro.... hard for it to be a fail real. Microsoft aren't trying to carve out a market for their hardware like HP, Acer, Dell etc. It's getting an example of what can be done out there for the launch of the platform. Job done, they'll sell millions of the unit. OEM's can't make anything too shitty as people will have a benchmark. Windows 8 on a touch device is already sold - if you have a Windows infrastructure at home or at work and you're after a mid-high end touch device then why wouldn't you opt for Windows 8? Either you opt fo a Surface Pro or you find a Microsoft partner that have comparable hardware at a comparable price point - or better.

            And if you don't like any of that then just get yourself any of a number of Android devices or if Apple floats your boat you still have a range of iPad's. Maybe even take a wildcard and go for a BB device if you are feeling brave! ;)

            1. Vic

              Re: (Insert El Reg tombstone)

              I don't know why you hold more credit for a handle that requires no ID verification Vs. "Anonymous Coward"

              I'll tell you why I do.

              If someone posts with a username, we can follow that person's posting history. We can all see whether he is someone who thinks things through, or someone that always posts irrationally, or someone who always presents a position in support of or in opposition to a given company. And often, it's a mix of all this, and other stuff to boot.

              Posting anonymously means that someone has deliberately chosen to dissociate the current comment from his posting history. There are valid reasons to do that - I've done it myself - but nevertheless, it does not inspire confidence that a poster is unwilling to stand by his comment. Sometimes, you have to take those knocks, but often, it's hard to understand why a poster does not want his name alongside his comment. And then you start wondering why that should be...

              Vic.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: (Insert El Reg tombstone)

                Peoples' past posts are irrelevant. If you can't judge a post on its own merits that's your failure. "... thinks things through" - that generally means "agrees with me." "... always posts irrationally. ..." - I'll let you work that one out.

                "And then you start wondering why that should be ..."

                Ooh, sinister! You left out the "Dun dun dun!" though :)

                Weak.

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                  1. IJC

                    Re: (Insert El Reg tombstone)

                    Coming from Eadon this is just so rich as to be unreal. Could it be he is afraid of losing the argument?

                2. kb
                  Facepalm

                  Re: (Insert El Reg tombstone)

                  I'm sorry Mrs Coward but you are wrong, and here is why: It has been QUITE obvious for SEVERAL months that MSFT is paying a rather large marketing team to shill their behinds off on every tech forum in a hope to stop the popular opinion on Win 8 (that its a disaster, Frankenstein OS, not great for any task, etc) from forming by derailing the conversation whenever possible and filling the channel with glowing market speak about "upward synergy" and "mobile strategy" and the like. In fact several that were posting to tech sites were traced to advertising corps when they were foolish enough to make up accounts hence why nearly ALL of the glowing market speak is now posted AC.

                  Ironically MSFT doesn't seem to pay well enough to hire original writers because often you can post a line from one of these AC posts into Google and find the same post WORD FOR WORD posted at dozens of websites across the web, from OSNews to /. to El Reg...who does that? Not normal people, which is why ALL AC posts should be looked upon as untrustworthy, because if you can't spend even 3 minutes to make an account...why should we care about what you say again? Especially in the midst of a very targeted shilling campaign by a major corp?

                  1. Vic

                    Re: (Insert El Reg tombstone)

                    > if you can't spend even 3 minutes to make an account

                    AC posters have already made an account - that they choose not to disclose.

                    Vic.

            2. This post has been deleted by a moderator

              1. The Original Steve
                Meh

                Re: (Insert El Reg tombstone)

                My point is that as a systems adminstrator, I'm much more inclined to be pro-active in researching, testing and generally wanting to deploy devices that I can manage. My job is to prescribe the best technology to meet the business requirements set out - Surface, and Windows 8 in particular is a bless as it opens up a new avenue for me. I won't be given budget to make iOS and Android work due to the additional costs involved in training / support or additional software. Both for the technicans and for end-users.

                Windows 8 has a good USP from that view IMHO.

                As a consumer I was touting the advantages it has. You say people don't want compatibility with legacy Windows applications. Maybe you don't, maybe the people that already own an iPad don't - however I do. I have a Win7 desktop and an XBox360 at home. A Surface pro or an OEM product that's slightly cheaper means I can get a device around iPad money that I can use around the house knowing my Sonos, Logitech and productivity software will work fine. I want that. Maybe you don't - I do. I doubt I'm the only one. I'll like having my companies remote access software on it so I can get work emails without having to be tied to the desktop PC or lugging a full fat desktop around. I want a device between tablet and laptop, without the traditional "Ultrabook" price tag. Be nice to plug my camera into and view RAW files, but portable enough to take into the bath.

                Microsoft are spending money on marketing Surface, even though it's only a reference, because a reference that's just in the OEM's realm is useless - consumers need to make a comparision, and they can't unless they know about it. I like seeing that there is another platform that works for touch in decent hardware with a different UI and has a different USP. (Android it's openness, iOS it's simplicity, WIndows it's compatibility).

                I only brought up the fact that there is a vast number of hardware and platforms out there to meet your needs. Your constant posts attacking a product that isn't even launched yet prompted me to ensure you are aware of the options my friend. (Using the advantage of you not being an AC!) ;)

                More choice is only a good thing. I welcome any company, in particular a large one with big financial backing, to enter a market - worse case scenario is they add nothing and fall into obsecurity. Best case is innovation, lower costs and more options.

                I just don't see what people are moaning about so passionatly.

              2. IJC
                FAIL

                Re: (Insert El Reg tombstone)

                And yes there a number of RT devices from OEMs like ASUS, Acer, Lenovu and Samsung.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: (Insert El Reg tombstone)

            @Eadon. Don't take it personally, its just that yours was the first of the expected list of negative comments and attitudes I've got used to boring me when visiting the site.

            The topic happened to be Surface but I'm just as irritated by the halo of negativity on many topics. It would be easy to quote relatively low sales for the MB 'retina' models and pronounce them and the Apple strategy a fail. The fact remains smooth text and images and colour space is the future and its brilliant we can now buy higher quality notebooks thanks to Apple, albeit at a high premium as early adopters. Once people get used to good screens on notebooks and costs come down 'retina' notebooks will seem the normal thing and we'll look at older devices and wonder how we put up with them. IMO. I'm just as robust on negativity around 'retina' as touch.

            Back on topic, by the same token it seems to me the convertible/hybrid model for multitouch notebook/tablet works very well, even if it is early days for the variety of products we can buy. I've tried a number of devices so its not speculation from reading reviews etc. I'd love to hear other peoples experiences, good and bad to help inform me on the subject. I don't need to hear comments from people who have nothing useful, interesting or amusing to say on the topic. For a variety of reasons neither Surface model hits the sweet spot for me. WIld horses wouldn't persuade me to take a job working for Microsoft. It is possible to work with technology without having any vested interest in the success of one or another large corporation believe it or not.

            I don't care what becomes of Surface. I only care about the ill-informed tripe we read online about success and fail without evidence or rational discussion. Surface Pro doesn't even launch until January for goodness sake. I'd be amazed if Surface achieves even a significant fraction of the iPad and/or MacBook sales but my point was Microsoft are looking to shake markets with iPad/RT, Air/Pro as comparisons, not attempting to seriously compete in product sales.

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: (Insert El Reg tombstone) @Eadon 19:10

            -- "Air have FAILED to compete. (oh, there I go again!)."

            Yup. Predictably. You just can't help it, can you :)

            -- "Definitely it is possible that you are a marketer / PR / shill working for Microsoft."

            Oh dear. It's also possible he's an extraterrestrial.

            -- "Am I obsessed?"

            Is this a trick question?

            -- Who cares, I am either correct or I am not.

            Well, I can't argue with that one. Best argument you've used yet!

            "The Register is a light-hearted satirical IT site, and when I say "EPIC FAIL" I am both technically correct, and the tone is consistent with the tone of The Register."

            Dunno about technically correct, but you aren't being light -hearted or satirical. You wouldn't be such good sport if you were :)

            " It's not a corporate intranet. So your begging me sto stop is another EPIC FAIL."

            I dunno about the other guy, but I'd just like to see a bit more variation in your phrasing. Repeating "EPIC FAIL" makes it look as if you're either limited in your ability to express yourself, or hoping that if you repeat things enough, especially in capitals, it'll stick in peoples' minds. Which would be marketroid behaviour. Weak ...

    2. kb
      FAIL

      Re: (Insert El Reg tombstone)

      Way to miss the point! Ask ANY retailer and we'll tell you the same thing...$400-$550, what's that? that is the "sweet spot" where a good 90% of your sales will come from. You go over that sweet spot? And I don't care if you have the thing delivered on a golden platter by porn stars the public WILL NOT BUY so you end up with a pile of units you just can't move.

      And it is THIS, this right here, that has doomed Win 8, both RT and pro. MSFT is trying to pretend they are Apple by slapping a high sticker on their units but NOBODY looks at MSFT as an upscale brand. It would be like slapping a $100k USD price on a Mustang and expecting it to compete with the exotic sports cars, all you'd end up with is a warehouse full of Mustangs.

      Mark my words the Win 7 machines that meet this price point? Will be cleaned out by Xmas, the Win 8 machines that meet this price point? Will be less popular but people will take them if they have no choice. The Win 8 systems over that price point? Well I hope the retailers that pick up a pile of those don't mind having a ton of systems gathering dust because that is EXACTLY what will happen. And remember tech has an expiration date, when the new chips come out people won't pay premium for the old chips unless its Apple, so if they don't move 'em quick they will never move at all. yeah great job MSFT, I can see why Forbes labeled your CEO as the worst.

  2. Bob Vistakin
    Holmes

    What Intel giveth, Microsoft taketh away

    As true as it always has been.

  3. fishman

    Running Windows software

    If running windows (x86) software on a tablet was such a big thing, why didn't windows 7 tablets do better?

    If ultrabooks aren't selling nearly as well as expected, how well will ultrabook-priced tablets sell>

    1. Giles Jones Gold badge

      Re: Running Windows software

      They didn't have a touch optimised UI. Windows 8 adds the touch UI that will fully work well with Windows store apps.

      Obviously legacy apps are different matter, I guess in future computers will be split into two categories. General use and creative workstations, the simple touch screen interfaces won't cut it for Photoshop, video editing, CAD and sound engineering purposes.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Running Windows software

        I hate the term 'legacy apps'. Some applications work well in 'Metro style'. Many don't. Aside from your examples Photoshop etc. there are many activities where multiple distinct apps, data views etc. need to be used together. Its not only about workstations. School work can involve researching multiple references to create a report. You can plug a Windows 8 notebook/tablet/whatever into a full size monitor so its as valid a point for small devices as it is for desktop PCs.

        It would be good to see some fresh thinking for windowed/multi-app environments accross the board Linux, OS/X, Windows the lot. Including better ways of using touch with mouse and keyboard. Hopefully we'll start to see developments next year.

  4. Pete B

    Poor sales?

    I've been thinking seriously about buying a surface RT (I have a Lumia 920 and like it and also W8 on desktop), but I refuse to buy one unless I can actually have a ply with one before purchase. So far in the UK I have been unable to find anywhere that I can do so. I suppose I could buy one and return it under distance selling if it doesn't do what I want but that would be a PITA.

    It's all well advertising the things, but if retail stores haven't got them on sale to demo then there's no point in spending all of the money on advertising.

    1. Paul Shirley

      Re: Poor sales?

      Seems like a 100% repeat of the WP7 sales fiasco. A year on I've still not seen a WP7 phone in the flesh and couldn't find one to test . If any shops had them they were kept in the backroom well out of sight.

      So who will get the blame this time? Will it be poor sales staff - the favoured MS fanbois scapegoat last time. Will it be the lukewarm to damning comments from the few that have used one be the problem. MS kept Surface out of reviewer hands before launch for a reason...

      One thing's sure - the reality that channel buyers don't want to stock them and the general public have no desire to buy the Microsoft brand will be denied vigorously.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Poor sales?

        Go to Phones4U or EE. They have the Nokia 920 on display.

    2. AcrylicNumber

      Re: Poor sales?

      Pete - what is it that you want it to do that you think it might not do? It works just like Windows 8 on an x86 PC, just in miniature (and without being able to run Windows 7 programs). If a Windows Store app compatibility description says it will run on ARM then it will run on the Surface.

      If you're in the North Hampshire area, I have a Surface RT that you're welcome to come and try out.

      1. Pete B
        Windows

        @AcrylicNumber

        I didn't word my reasons for being hesitant to buy very well: I know on paper it does exactly what I want; the apps are there to meet my requirements. BUT what I can't tell without physically holding one are the more subtle nuances of build quality, screen response etc. I would think quite a few people will follow the: got to PCW/wherever, try everything they've got to see what you like then go home and order it online - if they haven't seen one then it won't be on the list. (iPad obviously aside since it seems a lot of people do make the decision based purely on it being an Apple product)

        TBH if Surface were stocked in the likes of PCW I'd probably buy one this weekend, assuming that quality/feel etc is OK. I'm quite a way away from Hampshire, sadly otherwise I'd take you up on your offer.

    3. kb
      FAIL

      Re: Poor sales?

      Talking to a friend in the mobile phone biz I can tell you why that is, its because the carriers HATE Skype and by buying Skype MSFT has sealed their fate when it comes to the carriers. Unless they intend to buy their own mobile networks (seriously doubtful) all those WinPhones will end up on some website for 90% off because the carriers have made it clear that MSFT is not welcome there.

      When Ballmer is finally kicked out of the big chair the writers of history will point to the 8 billion Ballmer wasted on Skype as the torpedo that killed any chance MSFT had in the mobile space, it was about the dumbest move they could have possibly made.

      1. Pete B

        @kb Re: Poor sales?

        I really don't see why the carriers should hate Skype - the contract I have my 920 on has unlimited calls/texts and is only limited on data - at that they should *love* me using Skype since they're likely to get additional revenue when I exceed my data allowance.

        If you mean the carriers that haven't woken up to the fact that text/voice isn't going to pay their bills for much longer hate it then maybe...

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    beer o'clock early today??

    The article is a bit incoherent, is that the product of a liquid lunch?

  6. TheOtherHobbes

    "What makes Microsoft think people will buy its Surfaces?"

    Senility.

    1. Goat Jam

      Try "desparation"

    2. Wyrdness

      Senility

      So is Microsoft getting senile if it thinks that people will buy it's tablets?

      Or will only senile people by a Windows fondleslab?

      So is it one or the other or both? Enquiring minds would like to know.

  7. Steve Todd

    The problem that Intel has

    Is that they got into the data centre by being powerful enough (not anywhere near as powerful mind you) and cheaper than RISC/Mini systems. This reduced demand for said systems made them more expensive again (lower volume plus same fixed development costs).

    The same is starting to happen to Intel with ARM. ARM CPUs are becoming fast enough for a lot of desktop work. They are MUCH cheaper than Intel's offerings (even ATOM chips are more expensive by the time you work out the cost of all the support components).

  8. James Hughes 1

    All very bizarre

    Massive compute power needed in the CPU to handles the graphics? Which should be done by a GPU anyway? And GPU costs are bugger all for the performance needed in Surface, it doesn't add up.

    Sounds like a bit of a rip off to me.

    1. Big-nosed Pengie
      Headmaster

      Re: All very bizarre

      "Compute" is a verb.

      You're welcome.

      1. ravenviz Silver badge
        Headmaster

        Re: All very bizarre

        These days it's a noun as well.

        1. Kristian Walsh Silver badge

          Re: All very bizarre

          No it's not.

          "A compute" is malformed. Making it a noun wouldn't helped in any case, as what you needed it to be in "{compute} power" is an adjective.

          1. Chemist

            Re: All very bizarre

            ""Compute" is a verb."

            Certainly I've been using compute servers for years

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: All very bizarre

              Just because you have been using "compute" incorrectly for several years doesn't make it right!!

              It falls into the same bucket as all those people that keep saying things are "on/off premise", please go and look up the definition for "premise" its not the same as "premises"!

              1. Chemist

                Re: All very bizarre

                "Just because you have been using "compute" incorrectly for several years doesn't make it right!!"

                17million hits on Google for compute server

                Compute Server - Encyclopedia - The Free Dictionary

                encyclopedia2.thefreedictionary.com/compute+server

                (computer, parallel), compute server - A kind of parallel processor where the parallel processors have no I/O except via a bus or other connection to a front-end ...

                Linux Compute Servers | School of Natural Sciences

                www.sns.ias.edu/computing/servers

                Linux Compute Servers. The following linux servers are available for general and/or computational use. These servers are available for public use via ssh, and ...

                Compute server | Define Compute server at Dictionary.com

                dictionary.reference.com/browse/compute+server

                compute server definition. computer, parallel. A kind of parallel processor where the parallel processors have no I/O except via a bus or other connection to a ...

                If it's being used frequently by a range of people then it's right - even the OED accepts that

  9. IJC
    FAIL

    El Reg just doesn't get it.

    You can't use an iPad for real work. It simply won't run the apps that get used in the business world. Therefore comparing any Windows 8 tablet to iPad is a false comparison. Windows RT competes with iPad. That is where any comparison should stop. At best a mail and calendar client from a business point of view.

    I have a Samsung Ativ Smart PC Pro and a Nokia Lumia 920. I have Office 2013 on the tablet and mobile OneNote on both. All my mail, contacts, calendars and files are synced across all my devices. I'm wondering if I even need my desktop anymore as I can hook up the tablet to a usb docking hub and have multiple screens and a full size keyboard if I want.

    The biggest problem I've seen is actually trying to get hands on with these new devices. There just aren't any in the channel. I resorted to phoning local retailers on a daily basis to find out when they had stock because it didn't last for more than a day. That's how I managed to get both the tablet and phone. Other people I know are still searching.

    1. Goat Jam
      Holmes

      Re: El Reg just doesn't get it.

      The very same tech geeks that were loudly predicting the failure of the ipad based on its inability to run "proper" applications (read: Windows applications) are now predicting the spectacular success of the Surface Pro on the very same basis despite all evidence to the contrary that suggests that the majority of punters have no interest in running Windows desktop programs on a tablet.

      Fascinating.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: El Reg just doesn't get it.

        The iPad has only been successful because once people have bought and discovered how limited in functionality they are ... after boring all their non-ipad owning friends of course ... they have passed them down to their kids, thus enabling them to feel that they're 'happening' people that haven't just thrown their money away on a pile of DS.

        1. SuccessCase

          Re: El Reg just doesn't get it.

          Thank you for writing that post with such a carefully thought out erudite argument.

          Still at least its likely the down-vote I received represents no value whatsoever.

    2. Shane Sturrock

      Re: El Reg just doesn't get it.

      I love how "real work" TM always means the ability to run MS Office. I have done real work on computers for thirty years and rarely need to use office since I'm a scientist. Oddly enough, I have an iPad and find it plenty useful. The problem with Windows is it doesn't support the majority of software I run without having to install suboptimal solutions such as Cygwin which means I can't use it for my real work.

      Office documents are only a single category of work computers are used for and those of us who actually program and do science have always found windows to be a suboptimal and retarded environment. Windows Pot8o has done nothing to improve the situation.

      1. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

        @Shane Cygwin.

        "Real software" is more than Office. It's Adobe's Creative Suite. And games. (I use Libre Office, BTW. But the competition to Creative Suite isn't up to scratch.) That tends to make Windows the best compromise, as Apple's desktop hardware is overpriced when measured against performance. (The hulking tower under my desk may not look as sexy as my Mac Mini, but it cost less, and performs better.)

        FWIW MinGW/Msys is getting ever better. (Great work lads.) I'm not a pro scientist but most of the high level unix tools I need work fine on windows. And if software finds Windows hostile, then it'll find iOS hostile too. (iOS might share a microkernel with OSX, but it doesn't have the same BSD underpinnings that OSX does). Hopefully Android is a bit more friendly, but I don't know.

        So, yes, a "portable computer" (smartphone or tablet) is plenty usable. It just needs to be used in conjunction with a PC. And for the time being, that's a windows PC. With Steam on Linux, it's only Adobe that are holding me back.

        1. Shane Sturrock

          Re: @Shane Cygwin.

          How about deep directory trees? I use those a lot and Windows still can't handle working with paths that are deeper than 256 bytes despite NTFS supporting over 32KB path/filenames. That means many tools have real problems in deep directories because running the command line environment doesn't work and the tools will report files as missing. Try copying directories this deep with Windows Explorer and you'll lose data too. Cygwin is a shim on top of a bad OS so I choose (along with around 90% of my contemporaries in the field) to use a Mac because it isn't that much more expensive than a decent Windows laptop (in fact, many times it is cheaper) and runs UNIX tools natively. I previously ran Linux only from 1995-2003 when I switched to Mac OS X because I needed UNIX on the road.

          There are tools I use my iPad for but the use is different to a laptop so I have both and neither is compromised by trying to be the other.

      2. IJC
        FAIL

        Re: El Reg just doesn't get it.

        The exception proves the rule.

    3. SuccessCase

      Re: El Reg just doesn't get it.

      "You can't use an iPad for real work."

      Here's the thing. The definition of using a computing device for real work has changed (or rather the appreciation if what it entails has). The reality has always been desktop machines and even laptops have always been used primarily by office workers. The office computing paradigm has been imposed as the blueprint for all working, as though a corporate IT infrastructure defines an environment where "true working" takes place and everything else is only "play working." The reg readership has a heavy sys admin bias, so the readership is smack bang in the middle of the traditional definition of the work environment. But there have always been a huge user base outside the office environment. Additionally, cloud computing is negating the need, economy and Wisdom of retaining corporate IT infrastructure for many business types. The corporate IT model is working for a smaller and smaller constituency which is becoming ever less the focus of computer sales. Additionally, the need for the corporate LAN is eroding. Today in security terms, there is simply no need for an "inside the network" model when the principles of best security practice have evolved to recognise every service should treat every user as though they are potentially from outside the network. A whole raft of corporate device management needs are now outmoded and needed only for legacy reasons. In other words the trend in corporate device management needs is towards building services with a security model such that you don't need to trust only trusted devices will access them (the trusted device has always been a dangerous chimera in any case) but that you can trust trusted users are accessing them (most usually with tablets that are in any case less troubled by Trojans and other security compromising malware). Tablet computers and the app model with app store distribution is actually far *more* efficient in this new world than the traditional IT model. So device manageability as defined by corporate IT systems, where corporate ITs job is to manage the "inside" of the network, is increasingly unimportant. The App Store model becomes a federated surrogate IT service distribution and authentication service and is far far easier for the majority of business users (who are non corporate). 8 years ago I installed an MS small business server for my girlfriends business, where she has 3 employees. It was a margin call even then. No way would I do the same now. Now it's Dropbox for file sharing, Google mail for email, and I've written an app for DB access because it is actually easier and more efficient for her to enter data on the move and in the spot using an iPhone or iPad than open a laptop or wait until she is back at the office. That, as a pattern, has become a far more relevant model for more business users than the corporate IT model and is why the shift to mobile (including tablets) is such a significant trend. Is she somehow not doing "real" work because she uses an iPad and prints to a printer visible to anyone who can join her wireless network with no regard for domain membership?

  10. Big_Ted
    FAIL

    Surface Pro at those prices............

    Factor in VAT and forget it. thats around £1200

    I could buy an i5 touchscreen laptop and a Nexus 10 for a lot less than the surface will go for.

    Any Office work can be done on the Laptop and an app used to view files on the tablet.

    Add Google drive for syncing files and there is no use for the surface

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Surface Pro at those prices............

      Er. Uk prices have not been announced. No need for more FUD.

      1. Bob Vistakin
        Linux

        Re: Surface Pro at those prices............

        Yes. No FUD against microsoft please. Play fair, like they always do.

  11. LDS Silver badge

    BestBuy may not be the shop where Intel surface customer will buy..,

    The phone/tablet touch frenzy made people forget fingers are not the best pointing devices. Good to touch large buttons or swipe, but some precision work is beyond their capabilities. If you want to run on a tablet some software that requires more precision than what a five-year old could achive, you'll need a pen - better if it is a true digitizer. Moreover because Intel surface can run software not designed for touch input alone, it is really useful. Sure, to swipe across some sites, read email and play angry birds you don't need it. For more complex jobs I guess we'll find it handy. But people running that kind of software probably don't buy at BestBuy.

  12. Gil Grissum
    FAIL

    Not getting either RT or Surface Pro

    Neither of these Windows 8 Tablets will be replacing my iPad 2. I'd buy an iPad mini before I'd buy one of these. I can use Google Docs for document editing just fine, as well as other options. That takes care of the main selling point of Windows 8 Tablets. Also, I get 10 hours of battery life on my iPad 2 and would get the same on an iPad mini. So, never mind the Windows 8 Tablets.

    1. IJC
      FAIL

      Re: Not getting either RT or Surface Pro

      Google Docs is not Office. It doesn't come close to the feature set or have the same ability to render anything but the most basic documents. For most corporates the Office/SharePoint duo is king whether you like it or not. With Win 8 Pro you get full domain integration and everything that goes with it. In that environment an IPad provides no benefit over the latest generation of phones.

      1. Mikel
        Meh

        Re: Not getting either RT or Surface Pro

        The primary advantage of each new version of Microsoft Office is that it isn't compatible with anything. Not even older versions of Office. So people get it, make documents others can't read, and then demand that they buy it too. It helps us early adopters feel better about ourselves to know we can make others follow us in this way.

        1. IJC
          Mushroom

          Re: Not getting either RT or Surface Pro

          Rubbish. Office 2007, 2010 and 2013 all use the same file formats (e.g. .docx, xlsx) and can process documents from previous versions (e.g. doc, xls) including being able to save. Another one of those myths the anti-microsoft brigade like to perpetuate.

      2. John Halewood
        WTF?

        Re: Not getting either RT or Surface Pro

        erm....no-one ever heard of RDP? Use that to connect to the corporate data center (if a business)/your home PC and you've got pretty much anything you need for "real work" on any tablet. Not only that but people like me are happy as your quite possibly malware-infested precious only needs access to a single port on a specific IP address and I can ignore the rest. Also when you leave it in the pub after a heavy lunchtime session you don't need to worry about any lost data apart from the last photo you took accidentally when falling over trying to show someone how good your latest shiny thing was.

        1. IJC
          FAIL

          Re: Not getting either RT or Surface Pro

          If you all want to do is RDP then look at iPad or Win RT. Fine for a short time. Personally I want the power of a real computer with the ease of use and portability of a tablet and need to be able to do real work whilst disconnected.

          If you go the pub at lunchtime for any type of session let alone a heavy one then in my not so humble opinion you are not a professional and I would fire you forthwith whether you lost a device or not. Straw Man.

          1. Richard 12 Silver badge

            Re: Not getting either RT or Surface Pro

            You clearly haven't worked with many consultants or salescritters!

            The pub session is where most of the important "seriously, what did you really want?" discussions take place.

            Beats dry, incomplete PDF documentation hands down for both completeness and speed.

          2. NotSmartEnough
            Pint

            Re: Not getting either RT or Surface Pro

            Run that past me again?

            You go to the pub at lunchtime, therefore you're not a professional? Is that what you're saying?

            Good luck with the tribunals when you start sacking people for having a midday pint (but something tells me you're not actually in a position to make that kind of call anyway).

      3. asdf Silver badge
        WTF?

        Re: Not getting either RT or Surface Pro

        Who looks at documents except perhaps pdf on a tablet? As for corporates Microsoft is losing that battle as well from the big wigs wanting to bring their iToys to work. Corporates have no desire to buy tablets at all really. Tablets for the most part are meant for the couch and the toilet anyway.

      4. Shane Sturrock

        Re: Not getting either RT or Surface Pro

        Our entire company switched to Google Docs because it gives us the ability to share and collaborate on docs much more effectively. MS Office rarely gets used by us any more because all our material is rapidly finding a place on Google Docs since it is so easy for us to share and edit without the formatting getting messed up by moving between platforms as we have windows, Mac and Linux users. Open/LibraOffice aren't a solution, and MS Office doesn't share docs reliably enough with itself on Windows. let alone Mac OS X without even factoring n the users who run OO.org. Google Docs avoids all of this and means we don't have to email docs around either. The ability to see other users editing the same document is really great too. Despite the minor limitations of Google Docs, the advantages are very compelling and really, a lot of the fancy formatting features of MS Office are overkill.

  13. Wensleydale Cheese Silver badge
    FAIL

    The competitor isn't the iPad but the MacBook Air

    Comparing the Windows 8 Pro US prices, if you add $100 for the keyboard you are at exactly the same prices as the 11 inch MacBook Air.

    1. IJC
      Thumb Up

      Re: The competitor isn't the iPad but the MacBook Air

      Exactly. These hybrid Win 8 devices compete against the ultras, not the tablets. It's only the ignorant el reg and wired fanboi journos who don't seem to get this.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: It's only the ignorant el reg and wired fanboi journos

        who aren't going to fall for your shill bullshit?

        1. Goat Jam
          Pint

          Enemy At The Gate

          IJC

          26 posts • joined Wednesday 26th September 2012 18:57 GMT

          All 26 posts are fighting the good fight against the enemies of Redmond, both percieved and real.

          Shill or delusional fanboy? You be the judge.

          Or then again, does it really matter?

          <- Beer, for IJC. Chill dude, Microsoft is a massive corporation. Do you really need to expend so much of yourself trying to defend their non-existent honour? Do they really deserve it, considering their undeniable history of enemy (and friend) crushing and general evilness?

    2. danbi

      Re: The competitor isn't the iPad but the MacBook Air

      If this stuff is to compete with the MacBook Air, where is the Thunderbolt port?

      Thunderbolt is the sole interface an portable device needs these days (x4 PCI-Express off the CPU + DisplayPort). It's just one (small) additional chip. Ok, USB could be included, as the Intel chipset already has it included - as cheap and ubiquitous interface to many peripherals.

  14. asdf Silver badge
    WTF?

    el reg fail

    >Also, Intel is fairly well understood from a technical perspective, which makes it all the more mysterious that the price is going up while the battery life is coming down.

    Battery life coming down when comparing ARM to Intel (x86) has pretty much been the story of the IT industry for two decades.

    1. asdf Silver badge

      Re: el reg fail

      Price going up when going from ARM to Intel is also a long term trend.

  15. Simon Barker
    Thumb Down

    The author doesn't seem to understand what the Surface Pro is, it's not meant to compete with the iPad directly, it's an ultra book class device with the same kind of performance and battery life you expect from those devices. Complaining it costs more than iPad is like complaining a Macbook air costs more, yes of course but that's not the bloody point.

    Put another way, show me where you can find a device as powerful, as small and well made as this for less money.

    1. Paul Shirley

      And what you're missing is that Ultrabooks aren't selling and Intel themselves believe one reason is buyers want *bigger* screens than the 12"-13" that was common last year.

      In reality if you want PC performance in a small package, that's expensive to deliver. If you want the full PC experience you simply can't do it in this small a package. Surface Pro is expensive because it's hit by the same physical constraints Intel were in creating Ultrabooks. To incur those costs and head away from the actual form factor business buyers demand is misguided at best.

      If MS are really targeting the Ubook market they've misjudged the product badly. In fact they just can't make it any cheaper and can't afford to make it look obviously different to Surface RT or the whole Win8 on phone,tablet,notebook & desktop sales pitch falls apart.

      ...but they really are targeting iPad in business, they absolutely need the below useful sizing that demands and they already have the Windows monopoly on real Ultrabooks anyway.

      http://www.engadget.com/2012/01/09/intel-75-plus-ultrabooks-coming-in-2012-50-percent-of-them-wil/

  16. mattper
    Meh

    mac mini + ipad 2

    for this kind of money (£800) the combination of a new mac mini + ipad2 all of the sudden looks attractive...

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It was due to AMD releasing the 586 that Intel upped its game. Resulting in faster and cheaper chips being released. The x86 instruction set has been known for decades yet Intel has managed to stay ahead. This is something I dont know how they managed to do. I understand Software and Electronics but Semiconductor Material manufacture is probably beyond my understanding.

    The Arm CPUs are designed for a different purpose compared to Intel Atoms. The Arm CPUs are underpowered compared to Atoms thats why they can achieve better battery performance. The Arm CPU only has to run the Dalvik Java like virtual machine which is much more efficient. The ARM machines need to use GPU features to decode video because they are underpowered in comparison to Atoms. The Atoms CPUs are capable of running Linux distributions something the ARM CPU would struggle with.

    1. Richard Plinston Silver badge

      > The Atoms CPUs are capable of running Linux distributions something the ARM CPU would struggle with.

      Android _is_ a Linux distro, just with a different GUI, but then so are Gnome, KDE, LXDE, etc different GUIs.

      There are several ARM Linux Distros such as:

      Arch Linux

      Canonical (Ubuntu on ARM)

      Debian

      Fedora

      Linaro

      OpenSUSE

      Thundersoft

      Tizen

      These run on ARM netbooks and tablets, Raspberry Pi, and on several embedded systems without struggling.

    2. Chemist

      "The ARM machines need to use GPU features to decode video"

      If a GPU is available it should be used to decode video. Running 1080p/50 video on a rather elderly Linux dual-core AMD takes all the processor - with a GPU and vdpau it takes ~10% and it becomes possible to watch edits whilst transcoding several other videos AND still have a responsive system.

    3. Goat Jam
      Paris Hilton

      @km123

      Dude, when you have absolutely no idea what you are talking about it is generally best to avoid advertising that fact by posting idiotic things on Internet forums.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      > The ARM machines need to use GPU features to decode video because they are underpowered in comparison to Atoms.

      I think you'll find nearly every chipset in existence does it with dedicated hardware if they can, because it is much lower power (and less choppy if you try and do other things in parallel). Hell, even my desktop PC with a quad core i7 uses hardware acceleration in the nVidia card to decode video.

      Numpty.

  18. The Alpha Klutz
    FAIL

    A Core i5 to help with graphics? That's a bit of a fail when surely the AMD APUs can easily outperform an i5 on graphics. Maybe their x86 cores are a bit weak compared to Intel's, but why would you need an i5 in a tablet? Are they going to give you 16GB of RAM to run virtual machines as well?

    And then you've got the main problem; two Microsoft computers running two different instruction sets, with this fact completely glossed over so you get to decide on the basis of which flavour of Microsoft you want. In other words: Microsoft software is so shit that no one can port it, YOU have to buy two computers instead.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Market?

    If I want to do serious work with software that was designed for use with a keyboard and mouse, I'll use a desktop machine. It's just easier and more comfortable that way.

    Sure, there's a niche market for people who have to do that on the move, but even then I think that for most people a laptop would offer a better solution.

    On the other hand, if I just want to surf the web, check emails, etc. then any tablet or smart phone with a large enough screen will do the job, regardless of how much it costs or who makes it.

  20. Marketing Hack Silver badge
    Windows

    It takes talent to do it, but....

    I think Microsoft has just invented a dinner-plate sized Zune!

  21. This post has been deleted by its author

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Richard Plinston - You clearly knew what I meant, but just went off on a rant to look a bit cleaver.

    The ARM CPU would not be able to handle the larger distributions running KDE or GNOME. Sure the ARM CPUs can be clocked higher but this would also decrease battery life.

    Furthermore most people would not consider Android as Linux distro although some might technically.

    The major distributions OpenSUSE, Ubuntu and Fedora are each able to run applications written for the other because they all can install the GTK or QT tool-kits.

    You clearly knew the point I was trying to make that the Atom CPU has more power and is even able to run WinXP.

    1. Vic

      > You clearly knew what I meant

      Everyone knew what you meant.

      Unfortunately, what you meant is total bobbins. You have no understanding of the subjects you're speaking about. Richard pointed that out to you; you seem to have missed that.

      > The ARM CPU would not be able to handle the larger distributions running KDE or GNOME

      Yes it would. I have done so, and so have many others. You can see an example at the Raspbian site. There are many others.

      > most people would not consider Android as Linux distro

      Ah. "Most people", heh? Got any stats to back that up?

      > each able to run applications written for the other because they all can install the GTK or QT tool-kits.

      Yeah, you've really not understood this open-SOURCE thing, have you?

      I run Linux on x86 (and similar, like Vortex), PPC, SPARC and ARM architectures. The reason it works is not because of GTK+, it's because of GCC...

      Vic.

    2. Ramazan
      Trollface

      Re: Atom CPU has more power and is even able to run WinXP

      Atom CPU uses 10 times more power and is even able to run WinXP -- fixed dat for ya

  23. slightly-pedantic

    The good new is...

    The new Intel Z2760 Atom CPU is actually a decent compromise- I'm regularly getting 10hrs battery life on my Ativ 500 tablet running Win8 Pro and use it as my main machine (I'm travelling a lot!). Basic office/web browsing is nice and fast and so the bigger laptop stays at home mainly for games! The machine cost me about £550 (albeit in Korea) so, for what I need, it's better than an ultrabook at about half the price. However, I hear this class of machine is hard to get hold of (screens+CPU?) so I think they're too late to make much impact this year- seems to me that ARM's competitive effect has caused Intel to up its game a bit!

    1. kb
      Thumb Down

      Re: The good new is...

      $550 pounds...that is like $880 USD right? Give or take a few? Yeah Dell tried that but the thing is...nobody wants the Atom here in the states, its just not a good chip. Its too weak for most X86 programs while getting worse battery life than ARM, its really the worst of both worlds. Its really a shame that the former CEO of AMD shot the company in the face by firing most of the engineers because most of us retailers had NO problem moving the Bobcat netbooks, those were going for $350-$400 USD and did 1080p over HDMI and still got over 5 hours on a battery, they were pretty impressive.

      At the end of the day the reason MSFT will fail is they are a Walmart brand trying to force their way into Apple's world and it just isn't gonna work. if they wanted to do this they really should have spun off their mobile division, call it "Nu Mobile" or something so they could build up the brand without having the history of MSFT being a Walmart brand hanging around their neck. But MSFT can't just hit the reset button on history and the simple fact is the race to the bottom has cemented in the public's mind that MSFT is the band of low cost devices than run Windows software, that's it.

      Why do you think Intel is now pushing 15 inch, when last year it was all about 12 inch ultrabooks? because nobody bought 'em, the warehouses are full of unsold ultrabooks, just as next year they'll be pushing 17 inch because the warehouses will be full of 14-15 inch ultrabooks nobody bought. Just as Intel has priced too many of their chips right out of the market so too has MSFT priced the RT and Pro right out of the market, you aren't gonna get the masses to pay a thousand USD for a Walmart brand like MSFT, not when they can get a MacBook Air for the same price, just not gonna happen.

  24. Glostermeteor

    Microsoft obviously did zero market research before launching these products, why would anyone pay a crazy price like for a device that only has 64gb of storage, when you could get a TOP OF THE LINE ultra book which is as slim as a surface tablet, with oodles of ram, faster processor, and over 500gb of storage, people are not going to pay that much simple as that. I am typing this on an Asus Transformer TF300 which has replaced my laptop, but I only bought it because it cost under 400gbp WITH keyboard. Think the market is now a 2 horse race between Apple and Android unless Microsoft start slashing prices.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    FAIL

    It just confirms that Microsoft, true to its name, is a software company which does not do well when it attempts to do hardware.

  26. ContentsMayVary

    >>Microsoft, true to its name, is a software company which does not do well when it attempts to do hardware.

    In fairness, XBox and the Kinect did ok. In fact, isn't the Kinect the fastest selling consumer electronics device ever?

    1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

      1. Robert Grant
        FAIL

        Re: XBox myth

        MS did poor business with XBox - 11 billion invested, and pretty much no profit to offset that 11 billion. (In fact, it's currently making a loss again).

        This sort of talk fascinates me. So they sold stuff to me at a loss? They earmarked a lot of money to replace problematic machines, no questions asked? How is that bad for me? Would you rather buy from Apple, who are clearly selling to you at a massive profit, because of their ridiculous amounts of money?

        Seriously crazy, boys. Anyone who defends their product purchases by how much money the seller is making from them is just insane, and cannot be reasoned with.

        P.s. general statement: saying someone's argument is bad because they're posting as AC is also ad hom.

        1. Richard Plinston Silver badge

          Re: XBox myth

          > So they sold stuff to me at a loss? ... How is that bad for me?

          In general it would be bad if that were a normal business because they would soon be bankrupt and you would get no support and less games - as has happened with many products, even such things as Kin.

          It happens that MS can afford the losses, totaling over $4billion, because they make so much money on other products. Those profits are mainly a cost on other businesses. Businesses that use Windows have to pay for this and this increases their total costs so they have to price their products to cater for that. You are paying for the XBox subsidy in small amounts when you pay for everything else.

  27. Grumpy Fellow
    Pint

    The Surface RT is pretty slick in person

    My wife ordered a barebones 32GB RT last weekend and it arrived just 5 days later here on the East coast (of the US). It really seems to be a decent unit. Nicely packaged and has lots of expansion ports (compared to her iPad 2 certainly). Windows 8 seems to suit it (as opposed to how 8 seemed on non-touch equipment). You don't need to buy a stand for the RT because the back folds out into a stand. I would say you can skip the expensive keyboard too as a standard Bluetooth keyboard works fine with it. You can tell it is Windows because when you first get connected to the Internet it takes a break to install updates. Having seen the RT close up, I think the product might actually do OK in the market. I'm not praising the RT because I'm a Microsoft fan (I'm a dyed in the wool Linux fan), but because the folks that engineered it and built it deserve a tip of the hat for a competent job.

  28. Sil

    The price is right

    While the future from the Surface Pro is far from certain, and while its adequation to people's wishes is open to question, there are very much less grounds to question its price.

    Compared to the Surface RT you get an i5 processor, double the RAM, double the amount of pixels and very probavbly a bigger battery - even if the battery may seem insufficient.

    Just compare the hardware of all the other products you enumerate such as Galaxy Tab or iPad and you will see that from a production cost point of view, the price makes sense.

    Again not saying that the product or the pricing is right for the consumer.

    1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

      1. RyokuMas Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: The price is right

        "Also they do not require anti-virus programs" - I suggest you type "android antivirus" into your beloved google's search engine and watch the pages roll. Thanks to it's open access policy, Android is fast becoming what Windows was about five to ten years ago.

        And no, this is not me defending Microsoft (which I don't - if they mess up, they mess up, but at least I'll give them a chance before decrying them), or even putting the boot into fanatics (which I unashamedly will do) - this is simply about the size of the target. Anyone who thinks they don't need AV software just because their particular OS has a small market share or "because it's not Microsoft" is gravely mistaken. It's just that up to about five years ago, Microsoft and Windows was the biggest target. Now Android has achieved the same status on the mobile platform. Combined with its openness, lack of centralisation for regular security updates and lack of experience in dealing with malware threats, Android cannot help being the most tempting target for mobile viruses.

        1. DiBosco
          Stop

          Re: The price is right

          A quick search of Google for Android virus does give a lot of hits and very, very few actual examples of viruses that have struck. What I see are anti-virus companies trying whip up a frenzy to scare people into believing it's necessary to have anti-virus software, which is a completely different thing. As well as Microsoft, I bet anti-virus people are hoping Microsoft stops losing share hand over fist to Apple and Linux.

          The openness of software such as Linux and [most of] Android is one of its huge strengths in terms of avoiding viruses; you just can't hide these vulnerabilities and so they have to get fixed - rapidly. On top of this, Unix is just inherently a much more secure operating system than Windows.

          It's quite simply not true to say that Linux [especially] and OS X aren't hit because of viruses because of a small market share. There are tens of millions of computers out there running both, and the list of viruses that has actually struck are hovering around the zero mark. OS X had that scare recently because of Java - or something like that - that Apple wanted to control, again showing how being a control freak isn't always best. With that many computers out there you can bet your arse moron virus creators would LOVE to crack Unix-based machines. Especially seeing it would give them a lot more kudos due to Unix being so much harder to infiltrate.

          Also, Linux servers power that vast majority of the web, that's hardly a small amount of computers. Or do servers not get viruses?

          1. kb
            Stop

            Re: The price is right

            Oh please not this lie again. One FOSS advocate makes a total out the behind statement and it becomes gospel. Let me explain why the "all eyes" myth is just that. For "all eyes' to work you would 1.- Have to have enough people qualified to spot obfuscated malware code be willing to go through literally millions of lines in hundreds of thousands of programs, and 2.- Those people would have to have nothing better to do than sit around all day doing that, as we are talking a couple thousand programs A DAY being released...see how the math don't work?

            And the reason your search didn't turn up anything is you used the wrong term, we don't call it viruses anymore, we call it malware. Look up "Android malware" and you'll get about 3.9 MILLION hits, including malware that has stolen CC numbers, run botnets, and all other kinds of nasties. Just as Apple now has malware (Look up Mac Defender/ Guardian) soo to has Linux through Android. of course linux has been getting malware for a few years now, it just hasn't been as widely reported because it only affected a subset of an already niche population, see the "KDELook bug" or the "Linux infected Quake 3" that actually sat on the main repos for over a year and a half thus putting a stake through the "all eyes" myth as it sat there for a year and a half with the source and nobody, not a single person, caught it.

            So while i think Win 8 is a disaster lets not spread FUD or "magical thinking" when it comes to the competition, okay? ALL Operating Systems get bugs, ALL software has flaws that can be exploited, this is why you have airgaps in hardened systems and epoxy in the ports, i don't care which OS it runs, because if somebody can make money from infecting a system they will.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Intel commodity part - really?

    Does the author really think that Intel is a commodity part? Perhaps 20 years ago, but since then they've done everything then can to legally (and otherwise) banish competition in the x86 space. Sounds like the actions of a monopoly market, not a commodity market.

    Name other commodity markets where a company is making 50% plus margins on sales. Nah, I didn't think you could think of any. To count as a commodity you need multiple suppliers. Say after me: C O M P E T I T I ON. Right, you got that.

    In Surface RT land you have perhaps 4 or 5 really keen suppliers of high-end ARM devices who want to ship volume, vs Intel who is rabidly defending over priced x86 parts and terrified the world is going to notice that perhaps then don't need to spend $80 on a CPU + chipset when a $25 part from someone else would do the job.

  30. Robert Grant
    Coat

    Surface networking capability

    Will they use EDGE?

This topic is closed for new posts.

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