back to article John Lewis agrees to flog Microsoft's Surface RT tablets

Microsoft has brought in premium retailer John Lewis to flog its Surface RT slablet just days after shooting down its pure direct sales strategy. Redmond confirmed on Wednesday that it was enlisting a network of retailers to push its device in Europe from next year, claiming it was ramping production to meet demand. This is …

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  1. hplasm Silver badge
    Meh

    Demand has been phenominal.

    No demand is one phenomenon.

    1. Silverburn
      Coffee/keyboard

      Re: Demand has been phenominal.

      Demand for Windows 8 computers has been phenomenal

      <-- Wrong icon btw. You want this one.

    2. mrfill
      FAIL

      Re: Demand has been phenominal.

      On the JLP website, out of a total of 29 desktops, 23 run win8, 1 runs win7.

      For laptops (104 in total), 81 run win8, 8 run win7

      The 'phenomenal' demand is possibly due to there being virtually no alternatives in the world of windows (or any other).

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Demand has been phenominal.

        When Vista came out you couldn't find an XP box, so what?

        Microsoft OEMs have always installed the latest OS on machines they sell.

      2. Another Justin

        Re: Demand has been phenominal.

        Well reportedly John Lewis weekly sales figures went up by over 4% (total, not just technology sales). They claim that this is "largely driven by interest in the retailer’s Windows 8 ranges" - presumably this is the "phenomenal demand" that they are talking about (as opposed to simply a comparison of Windows 7 sales to Windows 8 sales).

        I don't know if this claim is actually true or not, but if it is then its definitely impressive.

    3. Frumious Bandersnatch Silver badge

      Re: Demand has been phenomenal.

      Do doo-da-doo-do.

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
        Paris Hilton

        Re: Demand has been phenomenal.

        What jingle is that?

        1. Arbee
          Go

          Re: Demand has been phenomenal.

          I'm pretty sure it's the Intel Inside jingle.

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VIITf_iLoE

  2. N2 Silver badge

    This can only be a good thing

    If it takes off as it should put pressure on Apple to reduce their price too, but the decision is rather late.

    1. K Silver badge

      Re: This can only be a good thing

      lol... as if!

    2. HollyHopDriveII

      Re: This can only be a good thing

      Apple will never reduce their price. Its a premium brand that knows to discount devalues its brand. And the ipad mini is still pretty expensive for what it is. If the hugely popular nexus 7 hasn't forced down their prices I can't see the microsoft one doing it!

      The problem Microsoft are facing is there is no compelling reason to buy one. Apple have itunes which like it or not ties you into their platform. Its also a very comprehensive shop of media. And that is a selling point drives you to buy an ipad. They also make damn nice hardware (ipad mini the exception imho) another selling point and its considered cool. That is 3 good reasons to buy apple.

      Android tablets (by that I mean samsung and nexus 7/10 offerings) are cheaper. Way cheaper. The user experience is now excellent and the cloud integration is second to none, and that is the 2 points where they have the lead over apple. its the USP. Their prices are also hugely competitive. (lets be honest you can get a 32gb nexus 7 for way less than an ipad mini with less 'hardware' in it). And google does have a certain amount of brand credibility and coolness.(albeit not as cool as apple) They also now have a fairly comprehensive collection of music and movies which granted isn't as good as apples but still pretty good. (not to mention you can buy from alternative vendors easily - amazon mp3 being a particularly good example). And the apps are generally on par and bought to market at the same time as ipad now. Oh, one last thing (and I can see this being a killer feature that the others will copy at some point) android now supports multi user on the tablets so I don't have to have the kids junk on my 'profile' any more. The family can truly share a single tablet.

      For Microsoft they have come to the party last. Their hardware is not exactly exciting, those cover keyboard things are nice, but given the typing experience is not bad on the apple/google devices it feels like they made it *to* be different rather than because it *needed* to be different. You can't deny it does look pretty with those tiles, but again its not a must have feature. The app store isn't isn't going to be as comprehensive and you know you are going to be last to get the apps. Also, there is always the danger the firmware wont move on like with the windows phone 7 fiasco. It also isn't very cheap. So buying one of these could be an expensive mistake. You know you can offload your ipad for nexus 7 for pretty much what you paid for it. Not sure you'll have the same luck with a windows slab. Also, and this is key, Microsoft are just not cool. If you buy one it feels too much like you are buying a piece of office equipement, like a printer. Remember, home use drives business use for new devices. It doesn't feel exciting. Flashy adverts full of young people doesn't make it exciting.

      Feel free to flame me, I'll openly admit I'm an android fan but I just can't help but feel unless microsoft do something amazing (like the kinnect for xbox) they are always going to struggle and it will continue to be a two horse race.

      1. Scarborough Dave
        Thumb Up

        Re: This can only be a good thing

        Oh, one last thing (and I can see this being a killer feature that the others will copy at some point) android now supports multi user on the tablets so I don't have to have the kids junk on my 'profile' any more. The family can truly share a single tablet.

        That is why I have switched at home and also pretty useful in the business environment too.

        1. M Gale

          Re: This can only be a good thing

          Only problem with Android's way of doing this is it seems to partition your space between users. A 16GB tablet becomes a 2x8GB tablet, and no way of installing apps once for all users.

          1. Scarborough Dave

            Re: This can only be a good thing

            Yes, I agree the sealing of users apps is a pain, shame really as most Apps will be common through a family or even company of users and just the username access to the App needs to change for say email, Facebook, cloud etc....

            This is the only thing which ruins the multiuser approach for a single device.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: This can only be a good thing

            > Only problem with Android's way of doing this is it seems to partition your space between users. A 16GB tablet becomes a 2x8GB tablet, and no way of installing apps once for all users.

            That's not what Google say. http://developer.android.com/about/versions/jelly-bean.html

            "Users can install and uninstall apps at any time in their own environments. To save storage space, Google Play downloads an APK only if it's not already installed by another user on the device. If the app is already installed, Google Play records the new user's installation in the usual way but doesn't download another copy of the app. Multiple users can run the same copy of an APK because the system creates a new instance for each user, including a user-specific data directory."

        2. Hooksie

          Re: This can only be a good thing

          You know, you made a lot of interesting arguments that I may disagree with but respect. But you should know that your 'killer feature' that others will 'copy' is a staple of the very Surface you were deriding. Surface is a premium device too and unless you've used one I don't think you can appreciate that.

      2. jonathanb Silver badge

        Re: This can only be a good thing

        If I was Microsoft, I would focus on the mobile worker rather than compete with Apple and Android. For example a field engineer that has a laptop to manage his appointment book, access reference material, order parts and record the work he did at each of the jobs. The travelling salesman who needs access to the CRM database and to record orders and sales leads. The breakdown recovery person who plugs his laptop into the car to access engine management data. The surveyor who needs to record measurements and store photos relating to a site visit.

        This is where Microsoft is strong at the moment, and the App Store model of Windows 8 doesn't really work for these sorts of customers.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: This can only be a good thing

      Apple can't reduce the price on their iPad because it will then compete with the iPad mini, they can't reduce the price of the iPad mini, because that will compete with the iPod touch. I really don't understand what they were thinking in releasing an iPad mini, it's pretty much hobbled any response they can make, based on price, to other rival tablets.

      1. Synonymous Howard

        Re: This can only be a good thing

        They can't currently reduce the price (without cutting their very high margin) of the iPad Mini because their displays are currently too expensive due to the use of a new layering technique which currently has a low yield (hence a high price).

        They will drop the price a bit on the iPad Mini when the iPad Mini 2 comes out.

        I tried Andriod with a Nexus 7 .. had a go for 6 months but gave up have just sold the 7 .. I've tried the iPad Mini in a store and it feels great, fits my pockets fine (as did the 7) and I find the iOS applications have the edge on Android ones (even Google maps now operates better on iOS than Android 8-) .. so its getting my money (and I'm notoriously tight).

      2. DougS Silver badge

        Re: This can only be a good thing

        Apple can't reduce the price on their iPad because it will then compete with the iPad mini, they can't reduce the price of the iPad mini, because that will compete with the iPod touch.

        WRONG.

        Even if they do pretty much the same things and can run many of the same apps, the iPod touch and iPad mini are not substitutes for each other in any way. Even if the iPad sold for less for than the iPod touch it wouldn't take away the iPod touch market. Are you going to strap a tablet to your arm when you go for a jog because it plays music? Likewise, if you want to buy a tablet, you will not be considering a 4" device.

        Apple had various reasons for pricing the Mini as they did, but the pricing of the iPod touch was not one of them.

  3. MrXavia
    Thumb Up

    I don't really get how John Lewis stocking the Surface news? they stock all the good products and offer the best customer service, so of course they were going to stock it at some point..

    While I won't be buying one, this IS good news, variety and competition is good for the market and the consumer. Plus john lewis stores are great for trying out products and getting them at the lowest price!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      > I don't really get how John Lewis stocking the Surface news?

      It's news because it was Microsoft's decision to withhold it from shops, and they've finally woken up to the fact that people won't buy it unseen over the web.

      Apple has Apple stores, and it also has their products in a whole range of retailers. If there are any Microsoft stores, I've never seen one (and I wouldn't be inclined to go hunting them out either)

  4. CatoTheCat
    Windows

    astroturf.

    "Demand for Windows 8 computers has been phenomenal with touchscreen models leading the way."

    Damn fine kool-aid you have there.

    1. Rebajas
      Unhappy

      Re: astroturf.

      "Demand for Windows 8 computers has been phenomenal..."

      I don't doubt that demand for Windows PCs has been phenomenal, it pretty much always is this time of year - but I reckon the disappointment when they start using them will be just as high.

      (Quickly realised why the 'upgrade' from Windows 7 was only £49)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: astroturf.

      Are you seriously likening people selecting an OS that you don't like with the suicide/murder of a thousand people. Really? I know it's become a figure of speech, but it really grates and no-one seems to remember where it came from.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jonestown

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: astroturf. - Kool-Aid

        Kool-Aid had nothing to do with Jonestown - the drink used was Flavor-Aid.

        Sure, the reference is there when mentioning "Drinking the Kool-Aid" but you are factually incorrect to claim it is one and the same.

        Not to mention you need to get yer head outta your arse and lighten up.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: astroturf. - Kool-Aid

          I nearly mentioned that it was Flavor-Aid, but I didn't think anyone would bother to split such a hair.

          Anyway, figure of speech used by many or not, a thousand people died, I will not lighten up on this subject, it's basic respect for the dead.

      2. Nuke
        Thumb Down

        @AC - Re: astroturf.

        [Re Kool-Aid] Wrote :- "Are you seriously likening people selecting an OS that you don't like with the suicide/murder of a thousand people"

        Sorry to bring down your high horse, but "drinking Kool-Aid" has now become a fixture as a metaphor in the language. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drinking_the_Kool-Aid.

        ".... no-one seems to remember where it came from."

        Really? I am in the UK and have been well-aware where it came from for some time now, because the psychological tendency of people to follow others for no real reason, even to their detriment, is very common, and the Jonestown incident is a prominent example of it. People fanatically supporting a particular football team is another, less serious, example, just as are people spending cash on the latest version Windows or iPhone for no better reason than to be with-it.

        Having said that, in the UK a more common metaphor for the tendency is a comparison with lemmings following each other over a cliff,

        1. Paul 195

          Re: @AC - astroturf.

          surely the phrase "drinking the Kool Aid" comes from the "Electric Kool Aid Acid Test", the book by Tom Wolfe which documented the practice of Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters of creating happenings where the Kool Aid would be spiked with LSD. Once you had unwittingly taken acid by imbibing the Kool Aid you became part of the happening. Nothing to do with the Jonestown massacre.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: @AC - astroturf.

            No, the phrase refers to brainwashing making people drink something that they know will kill them, blindly following what their leaders tell them to do. It comes from the Jonestown massacre. It doesn't make sense if it's unwittingly drinking something, as the point of the phrase is that it's saying that the person who is being accused of "drinking the kool aid" is doing so because they've been told to and they are unquestioning.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No Thanks to a Surface Re-Tard

    Utter waste of money for an overprice brick and besides the keyboard junction falls apart. Go ahead MS fanboys and set fire to your money so you can keep Ballmer in hideous golfing outfits and a good supply of chairs.

  6. Steve Crook
    WTF?

    Consider me baffled

    Demand has been phenomenal? They're really been getting that many people in asking for these things? Have Microsoft got some subliminal message in their otherwise awful advert? I can imagine something like "The Manchurian Candidate" with confused customers turning up at John Lewis and saying "I want surface" to the assistants, then snapping out of it, and wandering off to look at the white goods...

    There's no other rational explanation.

    1. JDX Gold badge

      Re: Consider me baffled

      He said demand for W8, not for surface. It's pretty likely they are selling a load of laptops for Xmas, and they happen to have W8 installed on them.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Consider me baffled

        @JDX - John Lewis are currently stocking both W7 and W8 machines in (as far as I can tell) equal measure.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Consider me baffled

      John Lewis are not the sort of company to lie about things. They stock premium quality products and not just any old crap.

      My father bought a Kindle HD the other day and remarked at how bad the "out of box" experience is. Can't get it on his Wifi network (he's no expert in such things), there's no manual with it so he has no idea on how to get it going, there's not even a charger in the box.

      I'm pretty sure Microsoft can improve on the sorry situation above.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. JC_

        Re: Consider me baffled

        My father bought a Kindle HD the other day and remarked at how bad the "out of box" experience is.

        My girlfriend got an iPad from work, which we gave to my mum for xmas, and I couldn't believe how bad the out-of-box experience was when setting it up for her:

        1. A single cryptic page of 'instructions'...

        2. Work out how to turn it on and find out it needs to be connected to a PC...

        3. Connect it to a PC and find out that the PC needs iTunes...

        4. Go to internet cafe, install iTunes on a PC, return home and find out it needs an internet connection...

        5. Drag mum, laptop and iPad down to the internet cafe, and then find out it needs a credit card number for some bloody reason...

        Honestly, I thought it was awful, yet millions of people buy them and are very happy, so what do we know?

        1. Moeluk

          Re: Consider me baffled

          What the...why would you get your mum an iPad if she didn't have the Internet?

          This can only be trolling!

          1. JC_

            Re: Consider me baffled

            What the...why would you get your mum an iPad if she didn't have the Internet?

            This can only be trolling!

            Looks up, sees a ceiling instead of a bridge, nope - I'm not trolling! :)

            It's turning from a rant to a boring story, but we didn't set out to get her an iPad. My partner got given one at work as a bonus but she didn't want it; we tried to get rid of it on ebay, but gave up due to the faffing about with verifying bank accounts, which was required to sell expensive electronics with only a short transaction history. As it was xmas, giving it to my mum seemed like the best option.

            In any case, that doesn't matter, I stand by my argument that the iPad experience sucks. The IKEA-style , the endless requirements that aren't written down, the unnecessary steps... What anyone wants with a shiny new device is to plug it in, turn it on, and do something! Not piss about endlessly!

            1. Moeluk

              Re: Consider me baffled

              You clearly woke up on the wrong side of the bed then... (and george michaels bed by the sound of it..)

              What is so difficult about

              1) Holding on to the button at the top of the ipad?

              2) Running through an extremely simple hold your hand setup process, that does everything from picking the right language, to making sure all your data is backed up to iCloud?

              3) Using the iPad

              Your genuinely making a mountain out of a molehill, and you have to do exactly the same thing for ANY tablet more or less....

              but you carry on with your rage....it won't shave precious hours off your life at all...

              1. JC_

                @Moeluk

                You clearly woke up on the wrong side of the bed then... (and george michaels bed by the sound of it..)

                What a strange thing to say. As I wrote above, the iPad was my girlfriend's (now fiance's). But even if I was gay, why would that be a problem for you?

                What is so difficult about

                1) Holding on to the button at the top of the ipad?

                2) Running through an extremely simple hold your hand setup process, that does everything from picking the right language, to making sure all your data is backed up to iCloud?

                3) Using the iPad

                Bollocks. This was an original iPad (all of 2 years ago) and you could get no further than the power-up screen without a PC, iTunes and an internet connection. That is shitty.

                The irony here is that you wrote a list of instructions; Apple didn't, they used a few runic symbols, because presumably Jobs didn't want to spoil the purity of the experience with actual printed words.

                but you carry on with your rage....it won't shave precious hours off your life at all...

                Like I said, I thought it was poorly done, but millions of people have bought them and been happy, so what do I know? No rage here, but you do seem to be trolling and not doing it very well, either.

                1. Moeluk

                  Re: @Moeluk

                  no i'm just pointing out your belming for the sake of belming...

                  it's basically the technological equivalent of shaking your head and saying 'tuh, making a cup of tea is SUCH A NIGHTMARE, you have to fill the kettle up...then turn it on....and then POUR THE WATER...what were they thinking?

                  1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
                    Paris Hilton

                    A sign posted on the bridge reads, "Stop! Pay troll!"

                    > Looks up, sees a ceiling instead of a bridge, nope - I'm not trolling! :)

                    I think the troll should be ON the bridge, blocking it. Not underneath.

          2. Nuke
            WTF?

            @Moeluk - Re: Consider me baffled

            I too know sod-all about the iPad other than seeing the name, knowing that it has a lot of fans, and having a suspicion that they are something to do with music (in which I have no interest).

            If I were given an iPad as an unwanted gift, I would probably give it to my mum without opening it.

        2. Synonymous Howard

          Re: Consider me baffled

          You don't have to use a PC to setup an ipad you just need a wireless connection to the internet and follow the on-screen instructions ...

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SAJGANt-QDo

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tjpF2xwMeqs

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Consider me baffled

          I bought an Androd Phone. To be exact, it is an HTC Sensation. There was no manual in the box nor a charger. WTF do all those icons at the top of the screen mean?

          The purpose of this little story is to show that most bits of kit are sorely deficient when it comes to use instructions. I don't mean just IT stuff but things like Washing Machines, Cleaners and even something as mundane as a Food mixer.

          Now going back to your experience. I think that in your case, Apple did learn from user experiences such as yours and then made the setup PC/Mac free.

          I have a Kindle Fire HD. I've never had any issues getting it onto a WiFi network. On the otherhand, why does one Windows 7 Laptop see the device and another one refuse point blank to see it? That is a mystery that will live for a long time. I'm not alone in having this happen but do I get into a rant and shout from the rooftops 'This device is a POS?' no I don't.

          1. david bates

            Re: Consider me baffled

            Perhaps you should....

            If people did manufacturers might improve things. In this day and age there is no excuse for wireless networking to be problematic.

            Mind you, only 2 years ago Acer sold me a Linux powered Revo with NO wireless driver at all! It had the hardware, and Ubuntu had no issues whatsoever, but Acer couldn't be bothered. £80 less than the Windows version, but still unforgivable.

  7. DrXym Silver badge

    Demand might be phenomenal

    The Surface is an overpriced, underpowered tablet running an unpopular OS. If they want Windows RT to become popular, something has to change and the most obvious thing to do is cut the price. I don't know how Microsoft did it but they managed to out-greed Apple with their pricing.

    1. JDX Gold badge

      Re: Demand might be phenomenal

      How exactly is it unpopular? Every review of windows 8 on a phone/tablet I've seen has been positive.

      1. Richard Plinston Silver badge

        Re: Demand might be phenomenal

        > How exactly is it unpopular? Every review of windows 8 on a phone/tablet I've seen has been positive.

        Windows 8 may get some rave reviews, but it also gets negative reviews. Many users find Metro confusing and do not like it, so it is 'unpopular'.

        What you may not know is that the Surface they are talking about is Surface RT. This is _not_ Windows 8 it is Windows RT, an ARM port of some of Windows. In particular it does not run Windows applications. _Nothing_ that runs on Windows 7 will run on Windows RT. There is not even the desktop of Windows 7 (except a cutdown version that only MS apps can access). All apps for RT can only be downloaded from MS.

        You seem to have been confused about what the article was about. I suspect that the chief buyer may also have been confused and thought Surface RT was running Windows 8. Imagine the customer's confusion when they see what looks identical to all the Windows 8 laptops and desktops but when they get it home they can't install _anything_ that they are used to on their XP/7 desktop.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Demand might be phenomenal

      Underpowered how? the Windows 8 OS runs better than Windows 7, y'know optimisation. Which is something pretty incredible from Microsoft who people used to accuse of deliberately slowing down the OS to get people to upgrade their computers.

      Just because it isn't some bloated Android monstrosity doesn't mean it won't run well.

      Try using things instead of merely reviewing the spec sheet like some sort of train spotter.

      1. Richard Plinston Silver badge

        Re: Demand might be phenomenal

        > Underpowered how? the Windows 8 OS runs better than Windows 7,

        Another one confused by what Surface RT is. It doesn't run Windows 8. It runs Windows RT on an ARM processor.

      2. Simon Barker

        Re: Demand might be phenomenal

        Try using a Surface, it's far from a smooth experience. Given the advantages I've learned to live with it but it's clearly its weakest area and I can see why the average punter might be annoyed when stuff stutters.

        Regarding performance of Windows 8, the last set of benchmarks I'd seen (bit tech) showed it to be very slightly worse across the board than 7, obviously it boots much faster but otherwise no. I suspect the assumption it performs better is down to Windows 8 providing a better overall user experience for day to day stuff.

        1. n4blue
          Facepalm

          Re: Demand might be phenomenal

          "I suspect the assumption it performs better is down to Windows 8 providing a better overall user experience for day to day stuff"

          How dare they!

  8. CAPS LOCK Silver badge

    A lot of people are going to be disappointed when they find out Windows RT isn't Windows.

    1. JDX Gold badge

      About the same % who are disappointed iOS isn't OSX I'd expect. The general public doesn't want to install notepad++ on their tablet :)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I bet you're wrong

        If the word Windows attached to this item doesn't sell it, what will?

        People know Windows. The only choice you had for a long time was Windows or Mac.

        Windows equals computer to a lot of ordinary folk out there who couldn't even tell you it is an operating system.

        I'm not saying it's a good thing. But I'm sure it is a thing.

      2. DrXym Silver badge

        The comparison to iOS is very weak. The iPhone was the successor to the iPod. There was never any confusion in anyone's minds that it might be OS X. Indeed for some time and still now to some extent, you needed a computer to sync tunes or movies so nobody saw it as a replacement. And the iPad was introduced as a big iPhone.

        On the other hand Microsoft are pushing out Windows 8 and Windows RT at exactly the same time, with exactly the same front end. And RT even has a desktop mode even if it's just a hack for MS Office. There will be devices where it will not be obvious at all whether they're Windows 8 or Windows RT - even Microsoft plans two versions of the Surface and there will be devices like Asus Transformer which look like a netbook but might be constrained to RT. There is also 15 years of expectation of backwards compatibility which are suddenly broken.

        So the opportunity for confusion is there and I believe many people will be sorely disappointed and annoyed when they discover Windows RT is gimped and isn't really Windows at all.

        1. JDX Gold badge

          I haven't seen people think a Surface is a PC without a keyboard. They think it's a tablet. Windows Phone hasn't led to people thinking their phone is a phone-sized PC.

      3. Richard Plinston Silver badge

        > About the same % who are disappointed iOS isn't OSX

        There is a difference in the way they are branded:

        Mac /= iPad

        OSX /= iOS

        Surface == Surface

        Windows == Windows

        You may argue that Surface RT uses Windows _RT_, but then all Windows have some code: XP, NT, 95, Home, Ultimate, Starter and they _all_ run every program (or almost).

        This 'Windows' run none, just a bunch of jumped up phone apps.

        > The general public doesn't want to install notepad++ on their tablet :)

        What surveys have you done that have determined that they don't want to install <insert Windows program name here> ?

        For example what proportion don't want to install PhotoShop/TurboCAD/etc and use the tablet like a laptop (as it is designed to be) ?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      It is Windows. It's nothing like the Windows XP most are used to, so what, it's a tablet and you expect a difference.

      1. M Gale

        "I haven't seen people think a Surface is a PC without a keyboard. They think it's a tablet. Windows Phone hasn't led to people thinking their phone is a phone-sized PC."

        "It is Windows. It's nothing like the Windows XP most are used to, so what, it's a tablet and you expect a difference."

        Now, what's that advertising jingle again?

        Oh yes.. it's everything at once.

        Except it isn't.

  9. Alan Denman

    Profit level is phenomenal.

    Sell one Surface and I bet they get the profit level of 5 iPads.

    Phenomenally overpriced I suspect real prices materialise next year.

    1. JDX Gold badge
      Meh

      Re: Profit level is phenomenal.

      When it's selling for a similar price and is roughly speaking the same spec, produced on a much smaller scale, why would they make more per unit than Apple do on iPad? Apple have tremendous volume deals with suppliers and manufacturers.

    2. Richard Plinston Silver badge

      Re: Profit level is phenomenal.

      > Sell one Surface and I bet they get the profit level of 5 iPads.

      I very much doubt that. Apple have a very efficient supply chain and have the economies of scale built up over several years. Surface is small scale (so far), has an expensive casing, and has, allegedly, been changing its production rate. Also it was priced to be sold over the internet on in MS stores. Now they have to split to profit with retail shops.

      > Phenomenally overpriced I suspect real prices materialise next year.

      Before the release of the pricing many MS fans were saying that it would be good to get cheap tablets. This seemed to be entirely based on a logic flaw that: 'Dell PC less than Apple Mac' therefore 'MS tablet less than iPad'.

      Windows tablets (Intel) have always been much more expensive than iPads or equivalent, and Surface Pro (or similar) will always be Ultrabook level pricing.

      Surface RT may well wind up in bargain bins at end of life HP WebOS pricing because they are not what users want in a Windows machine. But that would be at a huge loss. The current pricing _IS_ the 'real price'.

    3. Simon Barker

      Re: Profit level is phenomenal.

      I suspect the price is more about ensuring it's compared directly to the iPad as a premium product than its actual production price and if that's the case dropping the price next year will send out a very negative message. To be fair though, construction wise it appears to be better than its competition so I very much doubt their profit margin is anywhere near Apple's.

  10. The BigYin
    Thumb Down

    Make your bloody mind up!

    Production halved, El Reg, Nov 29th

    And now you claim they are ramping production to meet demand from the slavering Winbois. Which is it?

    Or is this PR twaddle: they cut production, wait a fortnight and then 'ramp' production back to normal so they can crow about this mythical insatiable demand. Which, of course, it utter twaddle.

    1. Blane Bramble

      Re: Make your bloody mind up!

      Maybe "ramping production" is a downwards ramp, not an upwards one...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Make your bloody mind up!

      Just like MASSIVE PRICE REDUCTIONS, which take place 28 days after retailers quietly increased the prices.

  11. Atonnis
    Stop

    Hmm....

    I'm assuming that this article is referring to the Windows ReTarded version of Surface...

    ....in which case it can shove off. I'll save an extra few hundred and get me a decent core-i7 with proper Windows on it. None of that locked-in shite.

    1. JDX Gold badge

      Re: Hmm....

      You'll save "a few hundred" on a device costing £400? You're going to get an i7 PC for <£200?

      Well done for totally missing the point btw.

      1. Ambivalous Crowboard
        FAIL

        Re: Well done for totally missing the point btw.

        No, you bellend. As in "save UP an extra few hundred".

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Hmm....

        The correct grammar interpretation is that he is saving UP (as in piggy bank), to buy a new device..

  12. dotdavid
    Thumb Up

    Phenomenal

    phe·nom·e·non

    /fəˈnäməˌnän/

    Noun

    1.A fact or situation that is observed to exist or happen, esp. one whose cause is in question.

    2.A remarkable person or thing.

    Phenomenal? I agree - I think it is quite remarkable they've sold any copies of Windows 8 at all.

    Doesn't mean to say they've sold many copies...

  13. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. Richard Plinston Silver badge

      Re: If MS drops the price

      > turning its own partners into competitors - turning friends into foe.

      No, MS and OEMs have always been foe, it is just that the OEMs had no alternative to tugging their forelocks and paying up for the privilege.

  14. deadlockvictim Silver badge

    recommendation

    Like Dell, HP and other suppliers of Microsoft stuff, John Lewis "recommends" Microsoft.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: recommendation

      That'll explain the two tables full of Mac laptops, ipads and desktops and the big Apple adverts in the Reading store then?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: recommendation

      "xxx recommends Windows Vista"

      Doesn't that just mean that Microsoft are paying for the advert rather than PC World or whoever?

      It's the end user who ultimately pays for the advert anyway.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Shill

    In a statement, Matt Leeser, head of buying for communication technology at John Lewis, claimed: "Demand for Windows 8 computers has been phenomenal with touchscreen models leading the way."

    ------------------------------------------------------

    he's either a Microsoft Shill or he shouldn't be in charge of buying for Communication technology at John Lewis.

    Here is a clue pal - Windows RT Surface is NOT Windows 8. He has fallen into that trap and consumers will be led into that locked basement too

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Shill

      Or maybe someone who is in charge of IT buying at a company the size of John Lewis is able to distinguish between the WP8, RT8 and Windows 8, but just says Windows 8 as a shorthand?

      As a further point - John Lewis are actually selling touchscreen Windows 8 laptops at the moment. Not tablets, Laptops. So he's even correct in what he's saying.

      Also: Can commentators here please stop calling everyone who disagrees with them a shill, it's incredibly childish and also against the house rules.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Shill

        Or maybe someone who is in charge of IT buying at a company the size of John Lewis is able to distinguish between the WP8, RT8 and Windows 8, but just says Windows 8 as a shorthand?

        ----------------------------

        Using windows 8 as 'shorthand' is a dangerous game. If the man at the top of John Lewis starts doing it then that will filter down to people on the shop floor and it will cause confusion amongst consumers

        At the end of the day Windows RT and windows 8 are VERY different beasts aimed at two different markets but Microsoft have blurred the line which will ultimately cause the products or at least windows RT to tank.

        The devil is in the detail and fan or not this isn't the sort of major howler apple would make and Microsoft are so desperately trying to copy them

        This guy is trying to justify stocking windows RT because of then demand for Windows 8 Intel laptops. Putting RT surface and windows 8 in the same group is just going to backfire

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Similarly priced??

    Except a £479 "32GB" Surface has only 16GB available for media and app storage, whilst a 32GB iPad has almost the entire 32GB free.

    Admittedly you can plug in a £10 memory card to make up the difference (which you can't do on an iPad), but it still leaves a sour taste in the mouth.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    worm's eye view may be different...

    two weeks ago I was looking for a Win7 machine and called the local John Lewis to find out what they had in stock. The salesperson said that Windows 7 machines were all sold out - people have been buying it while it was still available.

    By contrast Argos & Tesco still have decent stocks of Windows 7 laptops (this machine was to be for an overseas visitor, and these retailers do VAT refunds).

    So my wife took her to Argos to get a little Asus machine that looked to be a good deal... however on the way they stopped at John Lewis and she ended up with a Galaxy Tab (after seriously considering the Asus transformer).

    It may be a n=1 story, but it was interesting to observe the purchasing habits of two non-techies. As for me, the ladies got the Tab all set up without input from me... saved me an evening of laptop debloating.

  18. Keep Refrigerated
    Thumb Down

    demand is not the right word.

    It's like Firestone declaring there's been phenomenal demand for their tyres from Ford buyers, if Ford only fit Firestone as standard.

    I would like to see the OS split from the hardware, buyers given a real choice of what they want pre-installed, or just a bare-bones system. Then we can start using grown-up words like "demand".

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Demand has been phenominal.

    you could always try reading up on it

    http://www.johnlewispartnership.co.uk/financials/weekly-figures/john-lewis.html

    they publish everything

  20. mrfill

    An observation

    When a product has sold well, the sales figures seem to be available very quickly e.g. the iPhone 5 sold 4 million in the first week.

    When the product is shaky, we are told that 'demand has been phenomenal' or 'sales have exceeded expectations' and no actual figures are available.

    To get some idea of popularity, see how many people you see in a week, actually using a Surface even if only for bragging.

  21. El Andy

    When a major retailer (and something of a premium one at that) describes sales as phenomenal, they mean it. They have absolutely no reason to claim otherwise and they certainly wouldn't be looking to expand their available range if the existing product was sat on shelves gathering dust.

    The naysayers and metro haters might not like it, but Windows 8 is clearly appealing to a large portion of the computer buying public who actually want something simpler and easier to use. And they're voting with their wallets.

    1. Richard Plinston Silver badge

      > describes sales as phenomenal

      One problem with your rant: he didn't describe _sales_ as phenomenal, his word was 'demand'.

      """Matt Leeser, ... claimed: "Demand for Windows 8 computers has been phenomenal with touchscreen models leading the way.""""

      This may mean they demand to see them, it does not mean they buy them.

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
        Devil

        This is getting into Blackadder territory.

    2. M Gale

      I think you'll find most people are buying "a computer", and it happens to come with TIFKAM.

      The difference is, I reckon most people get hold of it, think it's utter shit, but can't be arsed to kick up a stink about it and just accept whatever crud Microsoft fling their way. You know, like Windows ME?

      I haven't met a single person out of Internet commentards that actually likes Microsoft Window. Even a professor who is trying hard to like it (it's faster and smoother and, and, and... and you might as well get used to it!) readily admits that TIFKAM, the whole damned point of the new OS, is bilge.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Err...

        My partner likes it, sure she says it's a bit of a learning curve, but generally likes it.

        Isn't anecdotal evidence great?

        1. M Gale

          Re: Err...

          The difference is, you can find more "anecdotal" evidence of the apathetic-to-negative general reaction toward TIFKAM, by asking pretty much anybody who has ended up having to deal with it. Go on, I dare you.

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