back to article No UK date, no biz disties: Will Microsoft cock-up the Surface Pro too?

Microsoft may be playing its cards too closely to his chest for its Windows 8 Surface Pro slate: there's no word on a UK launch date nor any effort to bring the business-to-business distribution channel onside. As revealed yesterday, the Intel-powered Pro slab - billed as an office PC replacement - will be rolled out in North …


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  1. Silverburn

    A real shame

    A potentially sound product with real USP's, ruined by its creators. Shame.

  2. Atonnis

    One of these days...

    Microsoft, like so many US companies, will learn that the whole release-it-later-everywhere-not-the-US approach just means less sales. People don't like to feel that they're buying what everyone else had (or at least what all their foreign friends have been blogging, chatting, txting, tweeting and talking about) months ago. We'll go off and buy an alternative make, if we bother at all.

    It's the biggest mistake the TV/Movie industries made as well. Release things later and people will download it...then it'll be much harder to sell it to them when you eventually come around to giving a damn as to whether the product reaches them or not.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It is the price, stupid!

    I don't get it. Even Microsoft cannot be that idiotic.

    In the post PC, android/iOS tablet era, there is no space left for an overpriced windows 8 tablet. The only hope for Microsoft is if they manage to undercut the android competition on price - otherwise the windows 8 tablet will go the way of the windows 8 phone.....not very far.

    1. TheOtherHobbes

      Re: It is the price, stupid!

      "Even Microsoft cannot be that idiotic."

      Yes. Yes it can.

      Never underestimate the amount of damage a dysfunctional corporate culture can do to collective intelligence.

    2. Shagbag
      Thumb Up

      Re: It is the price, stupid!


      With big business buying in bulk, they're not going to give their employees expensive, shiny Win8Pro tablets.

      No, they're going to give them the cheapest desktop PC shit they can - like they've always done.

    3. Anonymous Coward

      Re: It is the price, stupid!

      "I don't get it. Even Microsoft cannot be that idiotic."

      They can be, and they are, and always have been.

      Many years ago.... I can't remember, if it was Windows 95 or 98... they included a BACK UP program that was supposed to enable you to back up all your data....

      After a few "goes" at it, I committed in for a three whole days, and at the end, after finding that their compression / encryption ??? / backing up system - the program was found to be seriously defective, it too absolutley ages, and the "backed up files" were unable to be recovered, and the whole provcess was utterly fucking worthless.

      It was more akin to shredding copies of ones documents, packing them in a big bin, and then pulling the shreds out and reassembling them.

      I then jumped on the net., and found enormous amounts of other people, who also said the "Microsoft backing up software" - just did not fucking work.

      It was then that I "miraculously" was able to do astounding back ups - by just copying the files from drive A to drive B...

      This while Microsoft Surface has just been totally fucked up - and the more idiotic they become, the more idiotic they go, and the more idiotic the products they release are, and the more the fucked over customers go else where.

      Well what other ourstanding acts of stupidity are they known for?

      The Ribbon (which was really fucking dumb) with NO choce of using The Ri8bbbon, or a plain menu system....

      All the dirty sleazy rigging of the ISO committees - to make Microsoft Docx an ISO standard.

      Endless efforts to undermine competition, like Linux, and the "Free Software" community by dirty deals and scare tactics.

      And putting their software full of surveilance back doors to monitor what consumers are doing, on their systems and on the net.

      Then we have epic failures like Windows Millenium, and Vista and the endless cash cow upgrades

      The Office Suites - essentially have had very few fundamental changes to them since 2003.

      It's the same crap repackaged, the endless treadmill of Microsofts never ending upgrade cycle - and all the product produced with that software remains bound to that proprietry software.

      Or so the people who run Microsoft try to make it.

      Microsofts book of dirty tricks and nasty deals are never ending - especially against the open source community.

      Now I am not saying that "The Surface" is technically, a bad piece of hardware, but the inclusion of the boot up system, that stops people installing other operating systems, and all the DRM consumer surveilance naziware that IS the Microsoft operating system......

      Microsoft run programs in the background that report all of your activities.

      Microsoft also like to play nasty with all of the OTHER operating systems, by refusing to read and write to disks in other formats.....

      Linux in all of it's varieties, is saturating the market, on all of the mobile computing formats....

      Gross corporate inertia and stupidity - sums up the Surface system, it's software, and it's marketing.

      When the get dumped on the markets, at disposal prices, and the boot loading lock is cracked, I might buy one just to spite them, and install linux on it.

      Speaking of shit......

      Badge of honour: Vista revisited

      When new versions of Windows are released, Microsoft usually gives minimum hardware specs for the operating system to PC makers as part of its logo programmes: machines that meet the requirements get an official Redmond badge to reassure buyers. It should be stressed that these specifications are always pitched as the minimum needed to get the OS running.

      One recent example is the notorious "Windows Vista Premium Ready" and "Windows Vista Premium Capable" badges. That programme landed Microsoft with a lawsuit as litigants claimed Microsoft misled them on what “capable” meant. It emerged Microsoft had played fast and loose with its own rules to help Intel, classifying PCs as capable when they weren’t.


      The people who run Microsoft have been pulling the same scam for years before Vista.

      I remember buying a premium "Microsoft Certified" laptop that had XP on it - and it took like 5 minutes to start up Word 2000...

      It struggled with EVERYTHING, and the cashe (writing to and from the disk as a form of RAM) was always being thrashed flat out.....

      Hammering the hard drive to death with the foot on the accelerator.

      When I changed to Linux, that basically stopped.

      I have just fucking hated Microsoft for dropping me in the shit, with their products and sleazy marketing practices, time, after time, after time.....

      Xubuntu 12.10 - and to hell with Microsoft.

      1. Silverburn
        Thumb Up

        Re: It is the price, stupid!

        Not sure i fully agree with all your points, but bugger me- take a +1 for the *longest post in world*.

  4. Select * From Handle
    Thumb Down

    I am going to University in sept this year.

    I really wanted one of these to take to lectures, as it would be great for a portable compact dev machine!

    rather annoyed at Microsoft if they don't release it in the UK before then.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I am going to University in sept this year.

      Not off to study economics then.

    2. Shagbag

      Re: I am going to University in sept this year.

      "it would be great for a portable compact dev machine"

      lol. It's a piece of shit.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I am going to University in sept this year.

        Whatever subject, hopefully the university won't turn out cretins whose idea of critical comment is 'a piece of shit'. OP, at least take solace in the fact that you are already smarter and better educated than many discover on this board!

      2. Chris Parsons

        Re: I am going to University in sept this year.

        Based on what experience? I'm guessing nothing as convincing as actually using it?

    3. qwarty

      Re: I am going to University in sept this year.

      @select I'd wait see what happens between now and next academic year, esp. with Haswell coming along in the summer.

  5. hitmouse

    A Surface Pro is a touch enabled laptop. It is a PC.

    1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge

      It's essentially a touchscreen ultrabook with an optional keyboard.

      With a price to match, and currently generating about as much interest and sales as other ultrabooks...

      1. The BigYin

        I can get a Core i7, 16GB, 128GB SSD ultrabook with Win8 for less that £700. Why do I want his Surface Pro bollocks?

        That's MS's problem right there.

        1. Steve Foster

          @The BigYin

          You can? Which model would that be, does it have a decent screen resolution (for its size) and from where is it available?

          1. Pookietoo

            Re: Which model would that be

            This is close, only £649.97 delivered on Amazon

            Acer Aspire S3-391 13.3-inch Ultrabook - Intel Core i7 3517U 1.9GHz, 4GB RAM, 128GB SSD

            Only 1366x768 though. :-(

          2. The BigYin

            Re: @The BigYin


            I swear blind that one of the Ultranote's was coming in at £680 when I looked earlier on.

            Maybe I took the pre-vat price or something by mistake. Can get them configured for about £720.

            1. Steve Foster

              Re: @The BigYin

              Interesting site. Getting to your hardware spec for their 14" Ultranote, the best I could do was £760 inclusive. Dropping the Windows OS looks to be the only way to get below £700 for that hardware (pretty close to your £680 then).

              However, the resolution is just 1366x768, which IMHO, is pretty poor for a 14" screen (especially considering that Surface Pro will be 1920x1080 at 10.6" [near "retina" PPI]!). 1920x1080 would just about be acceptable at that size.

              1. The BigYin

                Re: @The BigYin

                I know - I'm not sure what is up with lappy screens these days. I don't really care about "retina display". Just not-shit would be nice.

                Other options are available.

                I didn't clock the Surface's resolution. Thanks for pointing it out.

        2. Dave 126 Silver badge

          >I can get a Core i7, 16GB, 128GB SSD ultrabook with Win8 for less that £700. Why do I want his Surface Pro bollocks?

          With 1920 x 1080 resolution? Where where where?!

          (I'm not saying that justifies the extra cash, but just saying)

          There is another manufacturer's laptop-cum-tablet that tickles my fancy, but I've already mentioned it enough, and The Reg has already reviewed its WinRT baby brother)

          1. The BigYin

            "With 1920 x 1080 resolution? Where where where?!"

            Nowhere. And even 1920x1080 sucks donkey scrotum. 1920x1200 is what we want. At least, it's what I want.

  6. Youngdog

    Looked good...

    .. until I saw the spec - if this is going to be an Enterprise PC replacement then 4GB isn't going to cut it. Reading the article and with (admittedly, not my own) money to spend I drifted off into a fantasy land of a managed wireless LAN where people were using a GPO controlled enterprise suite while happily downloading fart apps but if they have to page (even to an SSD) I'm not interested.

    1. lurker

      Re: Looked good...

      Curious to know what you're doing that requires more than 4GB. That's plenty for regular office tasks.

      1. Kevin Johnston

        Re: Looked good...

        Around here we run 4GB in desktops and 8GB in laptops, realistically the Surface Pro should be looking to cover both so it is already behind the base spec we have.

      2. Buzzword

        Re: Looked good...

        4GB might be enough today, but if your shiny new laptop is expected to last 4 years, will 4GB still be enough by then?

        1. Fuzz

          Re: Looked good...

          Exactly 4GB is OK for most stuff now but you can't upgrade it and also 4GB of RAM is cheap and this is a premium product.

          At least offer a model that has 8GB of RAM and then consumers will choose.

      3. Shagbag

        Re: Curious to know

        HD pr0n.

      4. hitmouse

        Re: Looked good...

        I could use more than 4GB for photo and video processing, while I need to do while travelling. The iPad world just doesn't cut it in terms of file handling and storage

  7. mastodon't

    Perfect executive toy/laptop replacement, ppt (not a crap port to Keynote) should work straight out of the box, will it wirelessly connect to a projector?

  8. LDS Silver badge

    And they're doing over more confusion releasing Surface RT in other countries in February

    While they will be releasing the Pro in US, they will also be releasing the RT in other European countries - this will add a lot of confusion if people read about the Pro specs (Full HD screen, 10 pint multitouch, digitizer, full windows application support) and then find the RT only in shops. If they believe Pro reviews will boos RT sales in the other countries they're wrong, it just risks to fool some customers in buying the wrong one. I may understood they need time for localizations - but Windows 8 is already localized - so what?

  9. Wardy01

    You're missing the obvious

    Windows 8 was never intended to be a corporate / business product.

    It is aimed at the consumer market mainly to compete with products released by Apple and Google.

    Admittedly it could do a great job in a business environment ... my guess is that a business product for this is in the works.

    You also have to acknowledge that Microsoft is having to rebuild a 30 year old company in to something new at the same time ... Microsoft has a lot to live up to ... dominating markets has always been easy in the past but with the state of play at is it Microsoft now has to start proving it can compete when some other company releases the next big thing.

    Apple pushed to people on to tablets ... the world ate it up ... so Microsoft follow to show they can do that too.

    I just wish they would sort out their supply channels ... pretty crap that in the UK you still can't really get a surface RT several months after the official release.


    1. jason 7 Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: You're missing the obvious

      "Windows 8 was never intended to be a corporate / business product."

      Well done. I'm amazed so few have realised this.

      MS knows the way its operating systems get taken on by the corps and enterprise. The schedule was set with most corps switching to NT4in 1999 for Y2K, XP by the mid 2000's and 7 for the past couple of years.

      MS knows full well 8 isn't going to be a enterprise/corp OS so it's taken the move to bring out a more domestic consumer orientated one. They can do this as the corps will be still rolling out 7 for the next couple of years.

      MS is now back on its new OS every 2-3 years schedule so it knows that corporate take up wont probably come around in any great numbers till Windows 10. In the meantime it's trying some new stuff on domestic consumers than the corporate ones. The next Windows could well be a further enhanced version of 8. 10 could well be quite different and more business style. A lot can happen in 7 years or so.

      Any IT Manager/consultant that hasn't figured this out should really try and be a little more perceptive, or find a new job.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      "Windows 8 was never intended to be a corporate / business product."

      I think you should contact Microsoft about this then because when I look at the Windows 8 product page it not only tells me that Windows 8 is "great for Work and Play", it also tells me that its a whole new era for PC's. And as an example they show a picture of what I assume to be a cashier who now holds a tablet instead of using a PC for her administration.

      Another reason why I think Microsoft may not agree is because they even used the Windows 8 environment, including the whole metro kaboodle, and then embedded it into their new server 2012 line.

      SO although I agree with your message, I also wouldn't let Win8 run amok in my business either, I think Microsoft really did intend for it to be used in that market as well.

    3. Joerg

      Re: You're missing the obvious

      Microsoft put the awful childish unusable Metro/ModernUI on WindowsServer2012 too!

      And even VisualStudio2012 is all Metro/ModernUI nonsense style.

      So what was your point?

      At Microsoft they really are on crack. They must be getting seriously heavy drugs. Indeed.

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: You're missing the obvious

        My unsubstantiated gut feeling was that MS reckoned not everyone would bother with Win8 anyway, so they got a little experimental with Win8 and intend to use the user's feedback in the development of Win9.

        The 'under the bonnet' features of Win8 aren't enough to make everyone move on from Win7- but maybe hardware will have changed /advanced enough by the time Win 9 is due for it to be worthwhile. By that time, enough real users will have formed their own views about touch-screens and touch-less input.

        So I agree with Wardy, more or less.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: You're missing the obvious - where to get 'em

      > I just wish they would sort out their supply channels ... pretty crap that in the UK you still can't really get a surface RT several months after the official release.

      Go into any John Lewis - they have loads. I think you will also be able to pick them up as returned items soon (20% off normal selling price) - the first Surface RT I got to see had been returned by someone ahead of me in the JL tech support queue.

  10. Craig 12

    I always wanted a Zune, but they never released it outside the US (maybe Canada?), which I believe was part of its downfall.

    I hope they don't do the same thing with the Pro, as I really wanted a tinker.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re I always wanted a Zune

      hey guys! there's someone here who wanted a Zune. Yeah, WANTED a Zune. How bout that?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Re I always wanted a Zune

        Well, it had to happen; maybe he was the guy who was in charge of.. umm.. actually can't think of anything.

        Anyway, it's a dangerous thing to wish for, being the Zune owner, as Penny Arcade showed us:

        (Actually, I think this one's SFW, though it doesn't look much like work, so click with caution)

        1. Dave 126 Silver badge

          Re: Re I always wanted a Zune

          When the Zune came out, there weren't many HDD-based players to choose from... the iPod Classic, Cowon maybe, Archos were still being shabby about their codec support, iRiver had discontinued their H3xx series... I've only ever met one person who has owned one, though.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Re I always wanted a Zune

            Oh god, I bought one of those iRiver HD players from RIcher Sounds. I couldn't believe how noisy it was, could hear the hiss even when walking along a busy road.

            In the end, I asked a colleague to put it on the test bench and look at the SNR, to see if I was just being precious. I really wasn't- it was hissier than a cheap FM radio.

            I went steaming back to Richer Sounds with my bit of paper with scrawled test results, ready to talk about "fit for the purpose" as pertains to the Sale Of Goods Act. The shop assistant listened to my description of the fault and looked sad. He apologised, and asked if I preferred a refund or a replacement.

            A shame, as I wanted to use the damn thing, too.

  11. This post has been deleted by its author

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Desktop replacement, perhaps for consumers

    So, $900, then to use it in a cooperate/business environment, I am going to need an external monitor and stand, keyboard and mouse, how is this a business desktop replacement??

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    The more time that passes, and the more details that emerge, the less that I am interested in this.

    It isn't really a tablet as we currently understand them. It's going to have a lousy battery life, and fans (zomg), which makes it much more akin to the failed tablet PCs of old, even if the interface might be a little more touch-centric.

    It's not really a good desktop replacement, the spec is more low-end ultrabook than anything- an i5, intel 4000 gfx and bugger-all RAM, and that's before you take the lousy secondary storage (64GB anyone?) into account. 64GB might be ok for iOS or Android, but not a full fat Windows 8 machine running Office, and all that other nasty cruft.

    I don't know, maybe it's just me. I used to be tempted by this, but now I don't see a use case for it. It reminds me of the various tablet/slate things that Bill Gates used to push, only with slightly prettier industrial design. Less whelmed than I was.

  14. mark l 2 Silver badge

    Since Microsoft have yet to give a price and release date for the Surface pro they will probably just do the usual trick of taking of the $ sign off $899 and replacing it with a £ sign which means it will have limited amount of sales given the current economic climate.

    1. Paul Shirley

      Remember: it's another $130 for the keyboard and Office is not bundled so potential expense there (or the excuse to go LibreOffice;). To do real work you probably want a better keyboard anyway but still looking at a $1000+ US price ->£800, throw in another $100/£80 for a the 128Gb version.

      Not cheap even if they don't screw you on the exchange rate. No-one will be buying this for normal tablet duties, severely limiting its market.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Since Microsoft have yet to give a price and release date for the Surface pro they will probably just do the usual trick of taking of the $ sign off $899 and replacing it with a £ sign"

      ..another similarity with those unlocked "tablet PCs" that didn't sell, a high price.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Erm, s/unlocked/unloved/

        Sorry :)

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