back to article Microsoft cuts Surface Pro price by $100

Hot on the heels of last week's revelation that Surface sales are utterly terrible, Microsoft has again cut the price of its Surface tablets. This time it's the Pro version that gets the discount, with $100 (US) removed from its price as of 4 August. One small ray of sunshine is that the price cut may not be permanent. The …


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  1. Mikel

    The next one will be good

    We promise(*)

    * - Some conditions apply.

    1. LarsG


      Discounts don't necessarily mean that you are getting a good deal.

      1. N2 Silver badge

        Re: Discounts


        They're only worth something if you were considering buying it in the first place.

        MS should have got the price right from the start.

  2. Paul J Turner

    Let me know

    When it is cut TO $100 and the bootloader key is published.

    1. Captain DaFt

      Re: Let me know

      " When it is cut TO $100 and the bootloader key is published. "

      " The page bearing the new offer says it expires on August 29th."

      So... Dumped to to the bargain centers in September... should have the bootloader hacked before Christmas!

      (I know, I know, I'm just cynical that way.)

    2. Dazed and Confused Silver badge

      offer says it expires on August 29th

      After which is will be $200 off in September

      $300 off is October

      Like the RT, this is the start of a fire sale.

      1. Killraven

        Re: offer says it expires on August 29th

        That'd be a nice pattern for them to follow. I'd be ready to buy around January. I figure it's worth the cost of an iPad mini as a layabout the house toy if it can run some older Windows games.

        1. JDX Gold badge

          Re: offer says it expires on August 29th

          Given the Pro is a fully featured x86 PC in a tablet form, it's not ever going to be sold that cheaply unless a newer version replaces it.

          1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

            "fully featured x86 PC in a tablet form"

            Yes, the fully featured x86 PC in a tablet form. Something that 13 years have taught us repeatedly demand exists for only in a tiny niche, especially if you overprice the widget in question.

            You're correct that it will never be "sold that cheaply", however, that isn't due to some innate value or demand for the device. It's simply because Microsoft herp derp market comprehension.

            "It's Lamborghini, pay Lambo prices, bitch" works somewhat less well when you're fielding a 20-year-old rebuilt Lada powertrain crammed imperfectly into a Pontiac Firefly's body that happens to peel and crack when exposed to, well, air. It's doubly amusing when you realize the competition is selling a fuel-efficient Scion XB that does what people actually want, and does it cheaply even if it looks like a toaster.

            In short: fuck x86 tablets. In the face. Sideways. With a giraffe. (Bet you thought I was going to say gorilla, eh?) The only reason why anyone uses x86 on the non-workstation endpoint any more is legacy software. Legacy software that requires a precision pointing device and an actual fucking keyboard. (No, the Surface keyboard doesn't count. It's somewhere between "Blackberry keyboard" and "netbook keyboard" and all the way towards "WTF useless.")

            No matter how much flavour-aid that Microsoft pours into the local dihydrogen monoxide supply it won't change the fact that once technology reaches "good enough" people start buying on price...and we reached "good enough" a decade ago.

            It's you're going to buy a smear-attracting fondle slab why in the name of sweet merciful monkey fuck would you shell out $800+ for it to get a device where 95% of the apps are either craptastic^n or designed for a precision pointer? Hell, why would you shell out $800+ for a device whose only real purpose is content consumption in the first place? What laboratory would they have to grow your ass in to think that was a grand vision?

            If you're going to slap down more than pocket change on a computer then it had damned well better pay for itself. Which means being a productivity tool. Which means a precision pointing device and a keyboard that works better than rolling your face around into 80s voice rec software whilst making mewling noises and gasping.

            The tablet is not a replacement for a PC! It is a replacement for the television and/or the newspaper. It is a new way to consume content, it is fucking worthless at producing it. If you pay $800+ for a single-viewer television or a newspaper you are exactly the kind of chump that companies like Microsoft hope we all are.

            Which leads me to: there's no reason that x86 tablets shouldn't innately be priced at the same as ARM tablets excepting a complete misreading of the market by both Microsoft and Intel. They don't understand the purpose of the devices and they don't understand how to position themselves. If Microsoft and Intel can't start putting their x86 tablets in the $100-$300 range then x86 will simply lose out on the "personal content consumption device" market altogether.

            Considering that historically we've had a lot more content consumers than producers I'd say that's a completely ridiculous business decision on their part.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Thumb Up

              Re: "fully featured x86 PC in a tablet form"

              Wow! Dead on analysis, Trevor. And the reason that re-organizing Microsoft around devices is NOT going to fix their problem(s). If the id10ts in charge haven't a clue about what tasks each device is suited for (properly mapping functionality to suitable device) then what chance do they have of doing so in the future? Seemingly none.

              I'm have dealt with Microsoft products for the last thirty years and they've always had a problem with the "Vision Thing." As in 20/5000 vision (which I know all to well having cataracts). Once they do discover (courtesy of competitors) a niche, they are^H^H^Hwere really, really good about exploiting it. [Embrace, Extend, Extinguish, as the Microsoft haters say.] Now they aren't even getting Step 1 right. Anywhere except Hyper-V, Server 2012, and System Center. Not niches I practice in regularly. Oh vey!

            2. Louis Schreurs BEng
              Thumb Up

              Re: "fully featured x86 PC in a tablet form"

              95% of the apps are either craptastic^n



          2. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

            Re: offer says it expires on August 29th

            > Given the Pro is a fully featured x86 PC in a tablet form, it's not ever going to be sold that cheaply unless a newer version replaces it.

            It's the customer who sets the price. Not the vendor.

            1. LDS Silver badge

              Re: offer says it expires on August 29th

              As long as the vendor is not Apple. Than it sets the price and fanboys run to pay that money to feel good.

              1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

                Re: offer says it expires on August 29th

                No. That just means the price is right for the target group.

                1. LDS Silver badge

                  Re: offer says it expires on August 29th

                  Any price is right for that target group... never seen before people without the money trying to buy one in any way.

            2. Vic

              Re: offer says it expires on August 29th

              > It's the customer who sets the price. Not the vendor.

              It's the vendor who sets the price. It's the customer who agrees to it.

              If you can't get that agreement - you haven't got customers. Oh look...


          3. Levente Szileszky

            Re: offer says it expires on August 29th


   that you, loudmouthed, chair-throwing, clueless angry beancounter?

      2. Amish-Bill

        Re: offer says it expires on August 29th

        I doubt the discount will be as steep, but if they get near the levels of the Great HP Touchpad FireSale, I would be interested in upgrading from my TP. Until then, I'll just keep poking around the newer Android upgrade for it.

        1. DJV Silver badge

          Re: offer says it expires on August 29th

          I'm not wholly unexpecting for one to fall out of my Cornflakes packet one morning...

      3. Ron Christian

        Re: offer says it expires on August 29th

        > Like the RT, this is the start of a fire sale.

        At fire sale prices, it might be interesting. Oh, what was I thinking? It runs Windows 8. There is no price cheap enough.

    3. JDX Gold badge

      Re: Let me know

      I can't believe such a stupid comment gets so many upvotes.

  3. Anonymous Coward

    But if we bought Lenovo, wouldn't the Chinese be spying on us?

    FTFA - >"For that sum one could buy the similary-specced Lenovo Yoga Ultrabook convertible at BestBuy and still have $100 left in your pocket."

    We only want the NSA and the GCHQ spying on us through PRISM - so we'll be sticking with Microsoft kit, thank you very much.

    Beer - because your tax dollars are hard at work, trying to keep China from stealing the secrets to the golden brew.

  4. Denarius Silver badge

    will name change ?

    as M$ tablets sink out of site, will Surface tablets become the new Titanic tablet ? Or is that another submarine patent ? Coat is one with big lump in pocket.

  5. tempemeaty

    NSA Book

    "NSA Book" because they might as well name the thing accordingly.

  6. Robert E A Harvey

    What about the wheels?

    Are they throwing in the trucks to convert them to something useful?

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The willful blindness of large corporations

    Even after 20 years in the industry, I'm still surprised how blind and inward-looking large corporations can be.

    I really wonder whether anyone remotely sensible at Microsoft has sat down and just talked - no focus groups, no market consultants, no brand image people - to discuss why the Surface and Surface RT tablets are doing so badly compared to every other tablet on the market.

    I keep wondering whether there's something deeply clever going on here, a strategy that will turn things around for Microsoft. But I can't see what it is, and I wonder if I'm trying to attribute Microsoft's collective approach to intelligence rather than to the heady mix of apathy, corporate blindness, and lack of customer empathy that explains the situation far better.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The willful blindness of large corporations

      The answer is quite simple, when you are a monopoly you have no incentive to innovate or listen to your customers but now there are real alternatives people don't have to put up with MS any more.

      After a LOT more kickings MS might slowly get the message it's not 1999 but don't hold your breath as Ballmer has a thick hide and a much thicker skull

    2. silent_count

      Re: The willful blindness of large corporations

      @AC 07:44Z 05-Aug-2013

      "I really wonder whether anyone remotely sensible at Microsoft has sat down and just talked - no focus groups, no market consultants, no brand image people - to discuss why the Surface and Surface RT tablets are doing so badly compared to every other tablet on the market."

      Forget the venom directed at Balmer. I suspect its the marketing and brand image people who are not only making the decisions in MS-land, they've completely taken over. If anyone dared to participate in a discussion without the blessing of the marketing priesthood, said discussies would find a bag popped over their heads before they get stuffed into the back of a van destined for a re-education camp

      Don't forget the apple motto: Its not the quality of the product that matters, its whether the marketing department can con the punters into buying it.

      That's what MS is trying to emulate except that MS is used to being a de facto monopoly and thus the quality of their marketing dept hasn't hitherto mattered.

      1. Shagbag

        Build it... and they will come.

    3. h3

      Re: The willful blindness of large corporations

      Windows 8 will get a boost if the only way that the indie games made for the xbone can work is via Windows 8. (Cannot imagine them doing anything else). That might give RT enough apps for it to be enough.

      A proper VDI deployment with Windows RT would be ideal if I was in working in a suitable environment but I don't.. (RemoteFX on it works just great but it is marketed as a consumer device).

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The willful blindness of large corporations

        It sounds like the only way to run indie games on Xbone is to use WinRT (Metro / Modern UI / whatever).

        It is apparent that it's all part of their strategy to get the world off of desktop Windows and into the new RT OS, the one where all software goes through the Microsoft Store with the 30% fee to devs (enterprise obviously excluded, as per iOS).

        Trouble with Microsoft's plan, is that people realise they are being given the choice of a new OS (e.g. in Windows 8) and they're choosing something else (be it iOS, Android, Ubuntu, or whatever else) because they have no reason to switch to Microsoft's new OS platform.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Firesale - best to wait

    will be filling up the bargain bins for $100 soon enough. Even then it's questionable how useful it is with a locked bootloader.

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      Re: Firesale - best to wait

      Even then it's questionable how useful it is with a locked bootloader.

      It's fine for anyone who wants a full-fat Windows machine. There are only a few of us who would just want the hardware and the freedom to install our unix of choice.

      1. Tom 7 Silver badge

        Re: Firesale - best to wait

        It's fine for anyone who wants a full-fat Windows 8 machine. Well thats as many as want to install the unix of choice - well less actually.

        1. JDX Gold badge

          Re: Firesale - best to wait

          Windows8 on a touch device is 100X better than any Linux distro on a touch device...

          1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

            Re: Firesale - best to wait

            > Windows8 on a touch device is 100X better than any Linux distro on a touch device...

            Market says no.

    2. Mike Moyle Silver badge

      Re: Firesale - best to wait

      "'s questionable how useful it is with a locked bootloader."

      According to what I've been reading on the Hackintosh boards, it's only the RT (ARM-based) that has the locked bootloader, The Pro (Intel-based) isn't locked down.

      People are starting to report success in getting OS X running on a Surface Pro, although others still have questions.

  9. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    Definitely not like Apple

    This might be part of a cunning strategy to differentiate themselves from Apple.

    When Apple has had unsuccessful product launches in the past it has just unceremoniously and silently buried them: the last Apple cube. They never discount and that's even without OEMs who might be pissed off by the competition.

    By contrast, over the last couple of months Microsoft has managed to tarnish the Surface brand by keeping the RTs in the headlines. Yes, many of us think that they are still overpriced, but that's also because we think they're crippled. The impact on the "Surface" brand is worth a lot more than the write-off of the inventory not least because it can't be handled tax efficiently.

    During this time OEMs who were either burned by the RT fiasco or, wisely, decided to sit it out have been launching interesting an competitive Windows 8 devices* at prices with reasonable margins. The market is still confused by Surface RT and Surface Pro and Microsoft comes along and after sticking the fire sale label on RT proceeds to do the same with Pro. This is immediately going to put downward pressure on prices and margins of other devices. Way to go, Microsoft!

    * As I have to lug a Windows notebook around between docking stations I am truly interested in anything lighter.

    1. Uwe Dippel

      How, Now?

      I really don't get your drill, sorry. First you write about a cunning strategy w.r.t. Apple, and then you express how Microsoft tarnishes the whole brand.

      No, the market is not confused any longer about the RT. The market has decided, that they are not interested in a full-blown W8 on a tablet.

      I do agree with your last sentence, though. I for one do not mind paying for a light, full-fledged tablet on which I can install my *nix of choice. A light and full-powered one. Microsoft has shat themselves on the foot by restricting the box to Winblows. Christ Jesus, if they subsidized the hardware for whatever reason, I could understand that they don't feel *nix-junkies like myself slapping a nice *ntu on it. But since they charge the full amount, what the heck is their motivation to prevent me from buying one and do with it whatever possible!!?

      1. andro

        Re: How, Now?

        I dunno, there is a lot of x86 windows software out there. Intel have demonstrated x86 processors sucking less juice than arm. But windows 8 and surface dont have a reputation to justify the cost. They need to have a loss leader, sell them under priced and get them in to the market as quickly as possible. Once people have them they'll demand software suited to the platform (desktop apps will be there, but surface pro apps designed for touch with the right gui will help, and start to sell). Microsoft are not making anyone want these products. I dont know what adds the rest of the world are seeing, but the only one ive seen is a bunch of corporates sitting around a table where everyone has a surface pro, and then they all dance around. It looks stupid! a) nobody in business has a pro and there is no reason to get one. b) nobody in business dances in synchronisation at meetings c) its not different and cool, its apple 3 years ago and while apple have lost a lot of cool lately they still have a lot more than microsoft!

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    PC World...

    .... are still drinking the MS Kool Aid as they are currently running adverts flogging the Surface RT which are positively sycophantic

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: PC World...

      To be fair, they're not going to run adverts that say "Buy the Surface RT, it's shit and MS are shit."

      You don't really sell that many products that way, do you?

      1. hplasm Silver badge

        Re: PC World...

        "You don't really sell that many products that way, do you?"

        They can't do much worse... Honesty in Advertising!

      2. Michael Habel Silver badge

        Re: PC World...

        No you don't, but you don't sell many devices using a buttload of Hipsters prancing 'round like a bunch of ninnies jacking up their Keyboard Covers to their Fondleslabs either...

        1. Euripides Pants Silver badge

          Re: buttload of Hipsters

          Is that better than a hipload of Buttsters?

          OK, I'm leaving now...

    2. Fihart

      Re: PC World...

      But then PC World ads regularly promote Norton and McAfee, confirming that they either know little about computers or really couldn't care what they sell as long as there's a buck in it.

    3. Killraven

      Re: PC World...

      ".... are still drinking the MS Kool Aid as they are currently running adverts flogging the Surface RT which are positively sycophantic"

      Do you seriously believe that they completely believe all of the advertising they take money for?

    4. Tom 35 Silver badge

      Re: PC World...

      I expect it's something like...

      Run ads, put a surface on display, get a big discount on the MS stuff you actually want to stock.

    5. tirk

      Re: PC World...

      ...where they can add beans for extra security!

  11. Glostermeteor

    Still too expensive

    Until Surface tablets come down to the same price as laptops I doubt they will shift in huge volumes. Why would I pay £800 for a device that has only 128GB of storage space when I could get a top of the line ultrabook with touchscreen for about the same price with much more storage space and much more RAM? I own an Asus Transformer TF300, and I only bought it because it was the same price (£380 WITH keyboard) as an equivalent laptop. It has now replaced my old laptop.

    1. Simon Barker

      Re: Still too expensive

      If your priorities are price and storage why are you considering a Surface pro? It's a tablet with the performance of a mid range laptop and if either of those aren't your priorities then what does the price matter as it's probably wrong for your needs.

      1. Anonymous Coward 101

        Re: Still too expensive

        "If your priorities are price and storage why are you considering a Surface pro?"

        But, in all seriousness, what would one's priorities need to be for the Surface Pro to be the perfect solution?

        1. LDS Silver badge

          Re: Still too expensive

          When you need a full Windows powerful device wich works well without a keyboard attached.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: what would one's priorities need to be

          I'm in the market for a fancy overpriced doorstop, although I have concerns it might be a little on the light side. Can you advise me? How well will this prevent my doors from slamming shut when I open all the windows in the house?

      2. Paul Shirley

        Re: If your priorities are price and storage why are you considering a Surface pro?

        That seems to be exactly the question potential buyers are asking themselves.... and not buying Surface.

    2. LDS Silver badge

      Re: Still too expensive

      The Asus Transformer TF300 is much inferior to the Surface, nice, but it has a lower resoluition screen, no digitizer, no USB 3.0, and can't run Windows. If you just need something that can run on Android, fine, but if you need applications that needs a real OS and more advanced features despite its price the Surface Pro is an interesting option. If MS releases soon an Haswell version which would increase battery life it could be a winner (and they should also add a GPS and cellular connectivity at that price).

      1. Glostermeteor

        Re: Still too expensive

        I appreciate it's not as powerful and the screen resolution is not as good, but that being said, it has REPLACED my Windows laptop, and I have not missed Windows at all for the 9 months or so I have owned it. I only realized how little I needed a PC until after I had got rid of it. And I am an IT professional, there are only 2 things I cannot do with my Asus, running large DBs like SQL Server, and running a few old Windows games that I used to like playing. Everything else the Asus works absolutely fine for whether its watching movies, writing and editing MS Office docs, sending emails via Exchange, remote access to other servers (like RDP and logmein), Android caters for 95% of what I used to do on a PC, and I suspect it won't be long before Android caters for the remaining 5%.

        The original point was slightly different to the above however, why would I pay £800 for an inferior product like Surface (compared to a top of the line laptop)? When I could get a kick ass laptop for less money with a touch screen, and with many more times the storage? If I had to do any of the 5% of tasks that my Asus can't do, the Surface couldn't do anyway for lack of storage space. Which is why I think until the price of Surface devices come down to equal laptops why would I buy one?

        1. Simon Barker

          Re: Still too expensive

          Personally I cannot see why you'd want to use an Android device as a full blown computer replacement in the same sense I prefer using a workstation over a tablet and a tablet over a smartphone (that is to say I could do many tasks on the smartphone it's just not efficient or pleasant when the alternative is available). I've always been sold on the idea of having something (like a phone I suppose) that you can just plug into a full sized monitor, keyboard and mouse but we're not quite there yet (even something like Surface pro isn't there yet).

          To your other point my answer hasn't changed, the Surface pro simply isn't the right device for you because you get 95% of what you need done on an ARM chip and there's no way that i5/i7 is going to be the same price as they're quite different beasts. Looking at it from the other side, how much extra would you be willing to pay to take care of that other 5%? If the answer is very little or none at all then I don't think Surface is ever going to tempt you unless they can get price parity with medium-high priced Android tablets and a low power Haswell design (which I'm guessing ain't gonna happen).

          1. Hellcat
            Thumb Up

            Re: Still too expensive

            "I've always been sold on the idea of having something (like a phone I suppose) that you can just plug into a full sized monitor, keyboard and mouse but we're not quite there yet (even something like Surface pro isn't there yet)."

            I have a MHL to HDMI adapter, and then HDMI to DVI since my monitor has no HDMI input. Add in a bluetooth keyboard and mouse and the citrix receiver and you have a BYOD solution.

          2. Glostermeteor

            Re: Still too expensive

            Simon, I agree, I wouldn't pay extra for the additional 5%.

            I think the problem is, people do not want to have 2 devices anymore, they want one. The reason why the Asus Transformer has been so successful with me is because of the keyboard the tablet slots in to. The keyboard part has the USB port and full-sized SD card slot, so I can get the laptop experience by just slotting in the tablet to the keyboard, it's great for typing on and I have all the apps I need for that 95% experience. Android has moved beyond just being a smartphone experience, its now far closer to a full computer experience than it ever was.

            The Transformer is in a lot of ways its very similar to the Surface (i.e. tablet slotting in to keyboard), but the difference is Surface is way over-priced for what it is (especially since you have to pay extra for the keyboard), whereas the Android equivalents are not. I would not pay £800 for a 95% experience (I would stick with a laptop), but I would pay £400 (which I could also get a laptop for), that's the difference, it's price, and for the vast majority of people they don't even need the 95% experience, they probably only need a 60% experience, i.e. being able to watch movies, check emails and browse the web. That's why Surface is having to slash prices to sell their devices because people are going do I pick up this device here for £800 or this one over here for £400.

        2. LDS Silver badge

          Re: Still too expensive

          As long as you don't need Windows software is fine. But there are people who need it, and don't know what to do with Android software only. For example I can run on a Surface Canon camera software, and Photoshop thanks to the digitizer, its hi-res screen and I can also run software for astronomical CCD cameras, and so on. Try to do it on an Android device....

          And about space, Surface can easily use SD cards and external disks if needed.

          Sure a laptop may cost less, but it's also less comfortable to hold with one hand only. Sure, it's expensive and probably not a device for everyone, but it is a very intereting hibryd beween a tablet and an ultrabook.

          Than MS haters could keep on downvoting, in hope that a Surface with Haswell chippery and a few tweaks will not wipe out most competition....

        3. John Robson Silver badge

          Re: Still too expensive


          My nexus (with BT keyboard and USB mouse when needed) does basically everything I want. My parents have a transformer, and it does extremely well.

          My wife, an author, wrote her last book (collaborating with another author) entirely on her iPad - because it's nice, light, portable, usable and with a decent editor for £9.

          They are productivity devices, when you have appropriate peripherals (much like a PC needs peripherals). That they are also convenient to use without peripherals is just a bonus....

          PS - for old games try DOSbox

      2. Fihart

        Re: Still too expensive

        Face it, the Surface brand will forever be seen as "that Turkey of an attempt at an iPad rival".

        Consumers clearly either want an iPad regardless of cost or an Android because they're decent value. Surface isn't an iPad and, even if reduced in price, isn't a contender against the established Android infrastructure.

        The apps situation tells you all you need to know about this market.

        1. JDX Gold badge

          Re: Still too expensive

          Surface ... isn't a contender against the established Android infrastructure.

          The apps situation tells you all you need to know about this market.

          Um, the Windows infrastructure is decades older and more mature than the Android one. There are an order of magnitude (if not two) more applications available for Windows 8 than for Android and iPad combined.

          Actually - can you run VMWare on Surface Pro since it features a full W8 OS? Then you can also put Linux on it...

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Still too expensive

            Um, the Windows infrastructure is decades older and more mature than the Android one.

            Desktop Windows, yes. But they are depreciating that and replacing it with the new RT / Metro / Modern UI / etc. OS -- which has nothing compared to iOS or Android or desktop Windows, which was the other poster's valid point.

            Why would anyone want to use Microsoft's new OS? If they are forcing people to change OS -- which they are -- people have other choices, and are taking them.

            1. mmeier

              Re: Still too expensive

              Why would one use "Win8":

              Because the "alternatives" do not offer the capabilities (Linux, Android) of Win8 on a tablet pc (No, not even the Note-Series comes close, been there, tested it, sold the unit) or are not as good in certain areas (Win7)

              There is no true (full featuresd) equivalent to Journal, OneNote, NaturalSpeaking, ArtRage, Foxit... on Linux, Android or iOS. No replacement for Exchange/Outlook and Sharepoint. Nor the rest of the infrastructure and ease of integration for mobile devices.

              And there is no other OS that works as well on tablet pc and desktop (Even Win7 is only "almost as good") and the "one device" concept makes life easier when working in a corporate environment where I do both mobile, customer site and in-office work. Add in the capabilities of Sharepoint and soon local Azure clouds and Win8 becomes a system of choice.

              And since I hate to use different OS for privat and job - Window for all uses. And W7 (still on most company boxes) and W8 are close enough there.

            2. LDS Silver badge

              Re: Still too expensive

              But the article is about the Pro, which is not the RT. The value of the Surface Pro is exactly it is a full Windows machinie and not an RT one only. They are not forcing people to change OS, or they would never have released the Pro. Just they know to run Windows they need a much more powerful machine than to run a less complex OS designed from scratch to run on less hardware. Probably their mistake is not have followed the iOS/Android way, take a phone OS and adapt if for tablets. They instead tried to simplify a desktop OS to run it on standard tablet hardware. Maybe it was smarter to take Windows Phone and upgrade it to a tablet OS. But a full Windows tablet that can use any Windows peripheral and software can have its space for tasks heavier than a tablet can afford. Sooner or later, even tablet OS will have to evolve to cope with more complex tasks, as the hardware improves. People won't accept too limited devices.

              1. mmeier

                Re: Still too expensive

                Actually Win8 runs fine on a dual core Atom like the TPT2 or Ativ500. The limits of those systems currently are 2GB and slow "pseudo SSD", both solved with Baytrail. A 4GB Atom with a full sized SSD (64-128GB) makes a fine tablet pc. Even the aging CTrail outperforms ARM in a fair test and has 8+ hours of endurance

                The S/P is basically a low grade core-i device in many ways, a follow up to the "entry level" ASUS EP121 both in capabilities and price. More powerful core-i units (either tablets or convertibles) exist but cost more. OTOH a Fujitsu T73x/T90x or Lenovo X2xx can replace a desktop for everything but First person shooters. It serves two purposes: Setting a base price and base performance level.

                Current gen (Haswell) core-i units get 7+ hours of use, more in a typical tablet pc mode (Less video, more note taking) at slightly over 1kg. From experience a weight that, contrary to some claims, can be handled well one handed.

        2. LDS Silver badge

          Re: Still too expensive

          The Surface Pro was never aimed at iPad or Android tablets because of course isn't either - the RT should have covered that market and did it very badly.

          The Pro is an attempt to cover a different market, something between ARM tablets and their smartphone-derived OSes, and Ultrabook and their standard-productivty OSes. It this market really exists is yet to understand, the Pro hardware is still not so compelling in some aspects especially since Intel released Haswell chips, and its lack of 3G (or 4G) connectivity and GPS.

          But at leat MS din't try to release just an iPad clone and explored a different device. If a Pro2 will increase battery life and add at least 3G and possibly GPS I'll buy one ASAP.

    3. mmeier

      Re: Still too expensive

      Why pay more:

      + I want a induktive pen (preferable WACOM) and either a tablet or a convertible. I use the maschine one handed quite often

      + Does that Ultrabook use SSD or spinning metal? In the latter case - no buy in a mobile unit

      Granted, I won't buy a S/P because:

      + 10'' is to small for me, I want 12-13

      + Haswell is a must for core-i / Baytrail for Atom

      + I prefer user replaceable/upgradeable parts

      + UMTS/LTE is a must so I can get rid of the smartphone

      So I will likely end up with a T90x with Haswell if I go "all out" or a Baytrail with 4GB if not by the end of this year.

      OTOH I bet we will see a Haswell-equiped S/P2 by Q4. Simply because VEB Plaste & Elaste and Sony have the Haswell units out.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Well, yes, but...

    Isn't a cheap piece of junk still a piece of junk?

  13. Uwe Dippel

    Is this now the W8-one; or still the ARM?

    RedMond's failures seem difficult to follow in a timely manner. Or do we still talk the Windows-on-ARM debacle?

    1. Richard Plinston Silver badge

      Re: Is this now the W8-one; or still the ARM?

      > Or do we still talk the Windows-on-ARM debacle?

      Windows on ARM succeeded in its primary task though it has failed as a product (RT).

      Its primary task was to stop OEMs selling ARM devices with other OSes on them by creating a threat to the 'loyalty' discount on _all_ products. It worked for HP and WebOS.

      However, now that RT failed HP has moved to Android for its tablets.

      1. Solmyr ibn Wali Barad

        Re: Is this now the W8-one; or still the ARM?

        And Lenovo just happened to drop their Android tablet, replacing it with Win8-based one.

      2. LDS Silver badge

        Re: Is this now the W8-one; or still the ARM?

        The company who bought Palm just to shut it down? Or the one who hired Apotherker and bought Autonomy? Hardly a company you bet would do a smart move....

  14. Gil Grissum


    This haven't learned the Tablet pricing lesson, Microsoft? No one is going to buy the Surface Prof for $899, particularly without the much needed keyboard attachment. How can these idiots not have learned the lesson from their 2002 Tablet PC's? Overpriced = customers won't buy. There are a gazillion products out there offering more value for less money, even if they don't run full Windows programs. Way to fail, Microsoft. Way to fail...

  15. Number6

    perhaps – just maybe – it's only American consumers who need an extra prod to acquire a Surface Pro

    Perhaps they've realised that it's only the American consumers that might be conned into buying one.

    I'd consider it if it I could dump Windows and run Linux/Android on it, but they've made extra efforts to prevent that.

  16. h3

    If Microsoft added some speed optimisation proxy to Windows RT and kid's found out they could bypass the porn filters using it then that might work.

    (Same as using bolt or ucweb or opera mini is totally unfiltered on mobiles regardless of settings).

    As long as they let businesses disable it I think they would do anything to make it succeed.

  17. User McUser

    People seem to like them once they buy them

    I know several people (who know absolutely nothing about computers) that bought a Surface Pro. They really seem to like them a lot as I have only heard positive comments.

    It's only the IT folk I know (me included) that belittle and malign the devices.

    1. Uwe Dippel

      Re: People seem to like them once they buy them

      If this was true, only a small majority would belittle the little thingies. Why, then, the need to cut the price?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: People seem to like them once they buy them

        Or take nearly a billion dollar write down on unsold Surface devices inventory in their last accounts.

        After spending $400bn of the $900bn marketing budget for Surface & Windows 8 over same period too.

  18. Herby Silver badge

    Rocky Road!

    This surface thingy. As the prices go lower, it assumes the facade of cheapo Wal-Mart trash, which is probably where it will end up.

    If they get low enough, we could buy some and use them for "shooting clays". Pull!

  19. Will Godfrey Silver badge

    Don't Want

    Hey, Microsoft! What part of that do you not understand?

  20. Levente Szileszky

    AGAIN: shockingly tone-def, utterly clueless, breathtakingly arrogant...

    ...$100 off from a ONE THOUSAND dollar-priced tablet that nobody wants because it sports almost no apps, gained practically no traction at all, and this just after actually losing $2 BEEELLION (marketing cost + write-down) on their now widely-mocked tablets ...?

    It's beyond incompetent or clueless or stupid - it seems either Ballmer and his ilks have some VERY serious basic comprehension issue when it comes to reality and facts or they are the most arrogant, most tone-def @hole idiots in business for more than a decade.

  21. GT66

    I already did my charity work when I bought the deeply discounted and completely dead ended HP tablet. You'll have to find another sucker Stevie.

  22. vmcreator

    MS just don't get it!

    I know many people that would rather buy an iPad than a Surface, just because it is Microsoft trying to barge into others market. If Microsoft would just be satisfied with dominating the Office/Applications/Windows space and stop trying to rule the world by trying to take out Apple, VMware and Google in which stills makes them billions of dollars, then people would not detest them.

    It is in everybody's interest to have many companies competing as this increases quality and technological advances.

    Ballmer & Co are just greedy dictators who need to grow up to be honest.

    1. LDS Silver badge

      Re: MS just don't get it!

      Why shouldn't MS enter other markets? Everybody does! Didn't Apple or Samsung entered the smartphone market where there were other players already? Didn't Google wiped out Yahoo, Altavista, and others to dominate those markets? Freedom is also entering new markets with new products, as long as enti-competive behaviours are employed. Then customers will choose what they like most. You may hate MS as much as you like, but you can't deny them freedom...

      1. Richard Plinston Silver badge

        Re: MS just don't get it!

        > Didn't Google wiped out Yahoo, Altavista, and others


        Yahoo is still operating and it is Microsoft that is killing it by being a 'partner'. AltaVista was bought by Yahoo and was killed off by them.

        1. LDS Silver badge

          Re: MS just don't get it!

          Yahoo is in life-support mode and without MS cash would have been out of operation already. As a search engine, it doesn't exist anymore.

      2. vmcreator

        Re: MS just don't get it!

        Indeed they are all guilty, but Microsoft more than the rest. Freedom and greed should not be in the same paragraph.

        Spread the wealth.

        1. LDS Silver badge

          Re: MS just don't get it!

          Because Apple or Google are not greed? Every company is greed, and that's why Law exists. Then companies which are best at greed are also best at lobbying and can persuade politics to bend the Law in their direction... but what company was saved by Mr. Obama to avoid a ban on its patent-infringing products?

  23. John Munyard

    When you think for a moment what laptop you could buy instead for $899 the whole premise of Microsoft's offering just becomes absurd.

    1. LDS Silver badge

      People still fail to understand what a Surface is... will your laptop have a digitizer? Or could be used easily without a keyboard? Surface is an interesting device, MS just have to upgrade its hardware a little and extend battery life - but it's true it's not a device for everybody.

      1. mmeier

        That is most likely what is happening with the S/P. The Haswell CPU is out and offers a lot more endurance and GPU power than the older core-i units. So a non-Haswell unit either needs to be a specialist (Fujitsu T-series) or it is quickly becoming obsolete. Expect a S/P2 with Haswell by Q4.

      2. lurker

        @LDS "but it's true it's not a device for everybody"

        To judge by the truly staggering losses being made, it's a device for barely anybody.

        I can appreciate that hardware-wise it actually is a nice bit of kit, but I would never go near it personally because of the boot lockout, even if they were to drop the price to sane levels.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Quite fancy one actually.

    Definitely not the target market here, but if they bump the specs with more RAM, storage and Haswell I'd buy one straight away. Reason? It's a 12 inch Wacom tablet with good display that has a free computer built in.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Fails at everything

    It's a tablet and a laptop in one, but fails at both.

    As a tablet (iPad/Android competitor) it's a little too large and heavy, the battery life is mediocre, it has cooling vents that I would be worried about obstructing, and the Windows 8 Metro software ecosystem is a disaster compared to iOS and Android and even Windows Phone.

    As a laptop, the screen is much to small, you can't even use it on your lap with that worthless kickstand, and the keyboard(s) are nowhere near as good as any regular laptop keyboard.

    It's no wonder nobody wants this thing.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Attn. Mr Ballmer

    Microsoft cuts Surface Pro price TO $100

    Maybe this works. MAYBE.

    Kind Regards,


  27. mmeier

    The Yoga is only "similar" in the same way a Trabant and a VW Golf are similar. It has NO inductive digitizer so it is "just another touchy-toy"

    As for the "non existing market": Lenovo, Fujitsu and HP seem to have a different opinion and churn out full featured Win8/x86 tablets and convertibles like they have done for a decade.

    Same for some of our customers who USE them for that decade and "tested touchy toys, laughed/cried, dropped touchy toy" and bought Windows-tablet pc with Wacom/NTrig pens.

    "Needing a keyboard": Only if I use it for software development or lengthy text entry. Everything else like note taking - Win8 HWR is beautiful and fast (even on an Atom). Tablet pc can do a lot more than just surfing the web.

    But as we all know the Reg and Mr. Potts have no anti-MS bias

    1. Solmyr ibn Wali Barad

      "But as we all know the Reg and Mr. Potts have no anti-MS bias"

      That was low. Reg golden standard is cynicism, and Trevor seems to be royally disappointed. Neither is a sign of bias.

      50 lashes with a MS Bob manual, and a downvote.

    2. Trevor_Pott Gold badge


      I don't have an anti-MS bias. I have a "right tool for the job" bias. That includes everything from hardware to software to TCO to the attitude and long-term fitness of the company to be a vendor I bet my company on.

      If Microsoft want to start putting out 13" convertibles that use Metro for touch and Windows 7's UI for productivity, I'll give it some serious consideration. Assuming it has the 18 hour battery life that I can get from my x230 with both the batteries in. Or at least the 12 hour battery life I get from my netbook. Battery life and proper inputs for productivity work matter to me, you see. My clients too, apparently.

      My netbook recently died. I did a thorough review of every tablet, convertible, ultrabook, notebook and netbook I could get my hands on (which was most of what's on the market.) I ended up getting the Lenovo X230 with the extended battery and the external, attachable battery as the best compromise. With Windows 7.

      I tried Windows 8 in many different variations, including a good sit down with both Surfaces. They simply didn't do the job.

      Look, unlike the many and varied fanboys of the world I simply don't have time to be biased. I have a business to run, a significant chunk of which involves running other peoples' businesses too. I have my own personal affairs to attend to. A wife I actually want to spend time with. Hobbies and life goals that have absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with computers.

      I care that the widget does the job. I care that it does it for a price I can afford. I care that the widget's vendor is someone I can trust. I don't have time to fuck around with the widget, play with settings tweak some obscure, nerdy little preference or sit on hold for 18 hours waiting for support. When there are so many vendors out there that provide stuff that just fucking works, why the hell should I mollycoddle Microsoft when they fail to produce devices or software that are fit for purpose?

      They are a multi-billion dollar empire. I give them money, they give me what I want. If they don't, I go elsewhere. Why the hell should I expect anything less than brilliant execution from a company with their resources? Why should I keep giving them more chances?

      When they happen to make a technology or device that I find fit for purpose, I say so. When it's shit, I say so too. If your personal sense of self-worth is so wrapped up in a company's brand that you view that as biased then get bent. There are far more important things in life than some childish attachment to a brand name.

      1. mmeier

        Re: @mmeier

        Sure Mr. Potts, no bias there. You demand a 1800+ € capability (Full power core-i, commercial grade system) for a 800€ price tag and call that no bias.

        Thanks for the validation of my doubts about your "unbiased" views.

        1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

          Re: @mmeier

          Let me get this straight: in your mind, if I don't feel it is my duty to pad your profit margin that counts as "bias"?

          The fuck, what?

          Competitor A can provide me widget I want at price I desire. Competitor B cannot. I am "biased" if I choose competitor A exactly? Fill in the blanks here, sonny. You've gone a might squiggly on me.

          1. mmeier

            Re: @mmeier

            If you demand what is essintially a T902 on a Surface/Pro price - that IS either bias or stupidity. Because NO one will deliver that! If an S/P is not good enough - add a 1000€ to the price and buy something else.

            Because NO one delivers a full powered convertible at 800€!

            1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

              Re: @mmeier

              You assert but you don't explain. How is it bias? Explain the logical steps that lead you to call that "bias" and what you believe reality is.

              I see consumers and businesses all around me every single day demanding more for less. They will pay less today for the same functionality as they would yesterday; it is a constant price pressure. I see other companies offering devices that suit my needs at the prices I want and then I buy those devices. That's the way commerce works.

              You say it is bias because...what? Because I don't choose to pay more for less? I am somehow biased because I don't think that the Microsoft brand name is worth a few thousand bucks extra? Or am I biased because I value different things in my devices than you do, that I am willing to make different compromised on functionality versus price than you are, and that the compromises and choices I make are reflected in the choices of the overwhelming majority of people?

              Explain this "bias." You assert and you assert and you assert, but you back nothing up with facts. I demand that a mostly usable system be provided with great battery life and a UI that is truly fantastic with a mouse and keyboard. I can take or leave touch as a feature, but if you have to include it then it needs to be in a convertible device where the interface is fucking excellent when a keyboard and mouse are used.

              I never once said I needed the CPU to made out of sex and gold. In fact, I think you'll find I said "a netbook is a great thing" in an article not to long ago. I'm fine with my i3, fact it's probably way more than I need in terms of horsepower.

              I prefer to have the ability to upgrade my RAM. I like running VMs. They don't take CPU, but they do take RAM. That shouldn't be a burden, RAM is cheap, unless you are gouging your customers. I think you need an SSD, but companies like Sandisk offer you the ability to turn a small mSATA flash drive into a write cache for a spinning hard drive, so there aare lots of options to get speed without high price.

              You assert that I want the moon on a stick for 24.99. I assert that I want a usable portable computer with great battery life. You assert it's impossible to buy such a device. I bought one a few months ago. You assert that "nobody delivers a full-powered convertible at 800€", whereas I see them all over the place.

              "Full powered" means a processor at least as fast as that in my Galaxy Note 2 with as much RAM as the CPU can handle, enough NAND to make the system not suck and all-day battery life. You can get that from a fucking ASUS transformer nowadays. Intel sure as shit makes a few different chips that should be able to go nose to nose with a bloody Android device.

              If Microsoft were building what people actually wanted instead of some retrofuture device that only really appeals to folks inside the echo chamber we wouldn't be having this conversation. It's entirely possible to build something with mass market appeal for the prices that people are willing to pay.

              So cut the shit and get your nose out of MIcrosoft's ass. They fucked up and didn't deliver. End of.

              Let's hope they can do better next time.

              1. mmeier

                Re: @mmeier

                In german we say "getroffene Hunde bellen" (Kicked dogs bark). Your latest mail sounds like a whole dog pond.

                NO Android device and few non-Androids offers user upgradable/replaceable parts. If you want those AND a Wacom/NTrig => Basically a Fujitsu T-Series or a Lenovo X2x0. The Dell Lat10 has a user replaceable battery but that's it.

                If I want long battery life and better performance than a dinky lil Note 10.1 / Note 2 => Atom based units from SumSum, Lenovo or Dell. All a LOT more stable and mature than the Note (an I tested that for 3+ month as a replacement for a Win7 tablet pc). And as a current user of a N2 - The software STILL sucks compared to Win8. Sadly no WP8 mobiles with pen out so I am stuck with the N2 for a smartie currently

                The S/P and it's siblings (Ativ 700) are for those who need more speed, more memory and a faster SSD (unlike Androids and the Atoms there is a real SSD in there) and OTOH don't want (or need) the battery capacity (and price/weight) and user-upgradability of a T-Series. Works fine for me with an older sibling since 3-4h in the typical tablet pc mode are good enough for most jobs. Haswell changes that but when the S/P came out - Haswell was not available.

                If you need the power of a core-i and long runtimes you can go the Sony Vaio (11+sheet or 13) or Lenovo Helix for ULVs and below 2kg route but neither has upgradable/serviceable parts.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If we could drop the focus on capturing the American market, maybe The Register would actually be worth reading sometimes....

  29. tempemeaty

    Alternative title

    "Cuts only Surface deep"

This topic is closed for new posts.

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