back to article Hello! Still here! Surface 2! Way better than iPad! says slightly desperate Microsoft

Microsoft has attempted to revive the fortunes of its ailing fondleslab Surface 2 with a comparative ad campaign that pits the blue tablet against the latest iPad. In a pair of YouTube polemics, Redmond tells the world exactly what the iPad doesn't have: a kickstand, hands-free gestures and a way of monitoring your kids' …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The real Microsoft would have demonstrated how flexible and less restricted it was compared to Apple.

    But it seems Microsoft wants to be Apple.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The 27% market share figure was for the period just before the new iPad Air and Mini Retina came out - will be interesting to compare last quarter 2013 figures.

    2. ThomH Silver badge

      The equivalently-priced Surface isn't more flexible or less restricted than the iPad — all apps have to come from Microsoft's storefront with Microsoft's blessing.

      Based on price, Apple's competitor to the Surface Pro is the MacBook Air, which again is pretty much exactly as flexible and unrestricted.

      1. xplatformer

        Yes, RT2 is more flexible than the iPad

        For $500 US I have a 96 GB tablet (thanks to the SD card slot) with a built in USB port that lets me attach a wired keyboard ($15), a USB wireless keyboard ($35), wired printers, wired or wireless mice...

        Listen to music...I don't have to go through iTunes.

        Watch movies...again, I don't have to go through iTunes.

        My Surface 2 that I purchased 6 weeks ago died a month after I'd purchased it and I exchanged it for an iPad mini retina with a cover (the Surface 2 was sold out). The only thing I preferred on the iPad was the availability of Shadowrun and a few other games. The mini's retina display DOESN'T look better in usage to the Surface 2 display.

    3. Bob Vistakin
      Facepalm

      Every time I see the term "Surface 2" I'm reminded of the time this guy needed, err, 2

      1. Oh Homer Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Microsoft: "what does it take, you guys?"

        Something you can't possibly deliver: an OS other than Windows.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Now now

      Will Apple now follow suit and discuss the pitfalls of Surface ownership.

      Air versus Surface

      As we all know the surface will corrode and wear, whereas Air flow

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ah yes the iPad killer that requires a kickstand and a cover come keyboard to be of any use...

    Classic Microsoft they just miss the point completely. They make a tablet and then recommend putting it on it's kick stand? I may as well buy a better spec'd laptop for the price they want for one of these things.

    1. JDX Gold badge

      I use my iPad almost exclusively with the cover acting as a (crap) stand, for watching Netflix. Many others do the same. A stand is not just for typing Word Docs :)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "I use my iPad almost exclusively with the cover acting as a (crap) stand, for watching Netflix."

        For the $500 you spent on an iPad, you could have bought a TV...

        1. veti Silver badge
          Holmes

          That's the point so many people (including Microsoft) miss about the iPad:

          It is a TV. A really little one, easily portable, with excellent battery life, and a whole bunch of added functionality thrown in. But at heart, a TV. Not a computer.

          That's why you don't need to spend half your life updating, scanning and rebooting it. You just switch it on and select what you want to watch/play/read/hear right now, and you're good to go.

          Compare that with booting a typical Windows laptop, with all its run-on-startup crapware, virus scans, auto-updates to about 23 different applications... you're doing well if you can actually get it to register a keypress within the first five minutes. An iPad is ready to go within seconds.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            You, obviously have not used a Surface 2 then. There's no "booting a typical Windows laptop, with all its run-on-startup crapware, virus scans, auto-updates to about 23 different applications... you're doing well if you can actually get it to register a keypress within the first five minutes" - Surface 2 uses an ARM processor.

            Surface is ready to go within seconds. Go watch http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wG1b0yBJHLM - iPad is a toy. Microsoft's problem here is their name... it's very tarnished, and that's enough for a lot of people to totally disregard the Surface 2 without even taking a look at it.

          2. Champ

            >Compare that with booting a typical Windows laptop, with all its run-on-startup crapware, virus scans,

            >auto-updates to about 23 different applications... you're doing well if you can actually get it to register

            >a keypress within the first five minutes. An iPad is ready to go within seconds.

            I'm guessing you haven't used a windows laptop for a while.

            My ultrabook resumes from sleep as soon as I open the lid and is ready for me to type a password. And then it 's ready to go. And it boots from cold in less than 15 seconds.

          3. Hooksie

            The article is about the Surface 2, not a laptop. And even at that, most Windows laptops boot inside 8 seconds these days. Surface 2 is about 8 seconds from cold boot and 2 from standby. And if you have automatic updates switched on you don't need to do anything but reboot it over a 3 day period whenever suits you.

            Might want to check facts before posting but from an Apple fan I suppose you can't expect anything other than blinkered devotion.

          4. xplatformer

            So is the Surface 2. In your rant you explained perfectly why I prefer the Surface RT2 to the Pro. It doesn't run legacy Windows, but it runs Netflix fine, plays music and videos stored on my 64GB sd card fine, gets mail, checks facebook, browses the web (IE 11 better than any browser on iOS), has a great tablet interface (tiles), comes with 2GB system ram for when I want a ton of apps open and I don't want to feel like the tablet is chugging along.

            I don't want Windows legacy code on my tablet, but since there isn't a touch version of Office I understand why Microsoft included the regular office with Surface RT. $15 keyboard via usb and I can type occasionally.

        2. JDX Gold badge

          >>For the $500 you spent on an iPad, you could have bought a TV...

          Yes I could, if I wanted a worse solution. I can't take a TV to watch in the bath or in bed without waking the wife.

    2. Hellcat

      The on-screen keyboards (qwerty, handwriting, split keyboard) work fine, and the cover-keyboard wraps around the back with less effort than it takes to pull it off - them magnets are surprisingly strong.

  3. wolfetone Silver badge

    "Hey kids, do you like Chimpokomon?"

    "Yeah!"

    "Well you're going to love, Microsoft Surface"

  4. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

    On the one hand, I have to respect Microsoft for coming out and saying "we do this, and the iPad doesn't do it as well." I think companies that refuse to name their competition or competitor's products aren't worth any respect at all.

    On the other hand, there's nothing about Surface that is remotely enough to get me to switch from Android.

    Worse, buying a Surface would be validating Microsoft's end-user hostile moves, inability to listen to buyers and all the bad decisions that led to the creation of this device. Morally, I just can't bring myself to do that. Microsoft's endpoint people need a lesson in humility. The day they make VDI licencing sane, I'll know they've learned it.

    1. Test Man

      Actually I think the opposite. I think a company that does name their competitors in an attempt to belittle them is a company that is acknowledging that their competitor is far in front saleswise, while a company who doesn't name their competitor is one that knows it doesn't need to because it's so far into the lead it's not worth it.

      It would have been better for Microsoft to shut up and concentrate on promoting their own products instead of just confirming to everyone that the likes of Apple and Google are far far more popular.

      And this is coming from a man who likes Microsoft's products.

      1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

        Some people take that view. I prefer to see head-to-head comparisons. Hear claims that can be challenged. If you believe in your product, then stand by it! If you believe you're better than the next guy, say why and defend that position!

        I simply don't believe in the totally arbitrary social rules of "don't mention the competition". If you have a comparison to make, make it, make it well and stand by it. Not that Microsoft did a particularly good job, but in my opinion they raised valid points worth considering.

        Commerce isn't a gentleman's game. It's a fight to the death. If you think I should give you my favour over the next guy, show me why.

        This isn't to say your view is invalid. It is just representative, I think, of a different time. I am going to do research on all products available. Marketing by saying "here are the things to care about in our product" isn't really helping me. Telling me "here's why we're better than the other guys" cuts to the threat of the matter and speeds my decision making quite a bit.

        Better yet, get your product in front of multiple independent types to do comparisons and tell me the results - good and bad - so that I can decide for myself, and do it as quickly and efficiently as possible.

        I'm just too busy for the game of parsing mealy-mouthed platitudes from multiple vendors, sorting through the noise and comparing apples to footballs. I think successful marketing to today's busy people would provide comparisons as a service.

        Truth be told, however, I'd give anything to go back to an era where things were slower and everything was less cut-throat...

        1. jai

          I prefer to see head-to-head comparisons

          but there's no way you're going to get a head-to-head comaprison in an advert that is focused on pointing out only what is wrong with the competition's product and only what is good about their own.

          head-to-head comparisons are what you get from (hopefully) unbiased reviews.

          so for advertising, it's better if each company just concentrates on extoiling the virtues of their products, that way, you can watch both and do your own head-to-head comparison.

          1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

            I disagree. I've seen some advertising that's done head-to-head comparisons and highlighted independent reviews. I've seen companies do this well...and companies fail.

            Microsoft did not do it well in these ads. They are less "vicious attack ads" than the Scroogle set, but they still are not doing the "here's our competitors, here's us, you decide" trick quite right.

            That's the thing. I've seen advertisements where A is openly shown against B and pointing done to independent reviews that can back up what was just shown. That is the sort of advertisement that truly gets my respect. They are rare as hen's teeth, but they happen.

            Microsoft looks like they're trying to get there. Sort of. For that, they get a little bit of respect. But...they can't quite seem to make it. Like everything Microsoft's advertising group does they miss the mark and just come off as awkward.

            For me, when I see a vendor putting their product up against a competitor and saying "here's where we're better" I know what they honestly think are the winning features. Even in the terrible Microsoft ads. It gives me a clearer view on where that company sees themselves differentiating than anything else they could run in that ad slot.

            I don't sanction "attack ads." But I deeply respect honest comparisons.

            Edited to add: also, do you know how hard the concept of "unbiased" reviews is? I make a living to them and you lot tear me a new arsehole regularly when I dare say something nice about a product/company you hate or dare criticise a product/company you love. No matter how unbiased the review (or the reviewer) the biases of the viewer will always colour perception.

        2. Richard Plinston Silver badge

          > Commerce isn't a gentleman's game. It's a fight to the death.

          Most competitors know that co-operation is valuable. They rely on providing better services and products to grow rather than tearing down the market and trying to kill competitors with price-wars or other destructive methods.

          Microsoft, however, does not just want to win, it wants to make everyone else fail. It doesn't do that with better products, it does it, or at least has done it in the past, with abusive contracts, predatory pricing (such as 'loyalty' discounts) and by 'partnerships' that turn out to be one-way.

        3. Porco Rosso

          reason d'etre ...

          Hey Trevor ,

          "Better yet, get your product in front of multiple independent types to do comparisons and tell me the results - good and bad - so that I can decide for myself, and do it as quickly and efficiently as possible. "

          Isn't that the point of a website like " The register " to act as a neutral technical instructed arbiter/adviser.

          and not as a pub-magazine just posting what the marketing department of this big OEM's want the end user to belief ...

          1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

            Re: reason d'etre ...

            "a pub-magazine just posting what the marketing department of this big OEM's want the end user to belief"

            Yeah, that's opposite of what we do.

            C.

          2. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

            Re: reason d'etre ...

            Did...did you just say I write what big corporate want me to write? For example, Microsoft?

            A-HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

            You're a tool. Demonstrably.

            1. Hooksie

              Re: reason d'etre ...

              Actually Trevor I think that very fair comment was directed at The Register. you didn't write the article did you? You have s fair mind and intelligence so you would be barred from writing for this site.

              1. gazthejourno (Written by Reg staff)

                Re: Re: reason d'etre ...

                Trevor's behaviour on the site led us to ban him...

                ... oh, wait a sec. Awkward.

              2. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

                @Hooksie

                So, I'm missing something here, Hooksie. Call it a misinterpretation.

                Let's pick your comment apart some, shall we?

                "Actually Trevor"

                This says Trevor. I'm going to assume it's directed at me. I don't see any other Trevors around.

                "I think that very fair comment was directed at The Register."

                No, it's really not. There's no evidence presented. Just mud flinging from someone with some bent feelers.

                "you didn't write the article did you?"

                Um, actually, I'd have to check on that...nope, this is one of Jasper Hamill's. He's a nice chap, by the way. Head glued on straight, sharp as a tack. I think you'd like him. Unless, you know, you're crazy. I think you'd have to be crazy not to like the guy.

                "You have s fair mind"

                I'm going to presume that the stray "s" is supposed to be an "a". They're close together on the keyboard, that could be a typo. I am unsure what "a fair mind" is, but I am going to choose to believe you mean that I am fair and objective. I'll take that as a compliment, I put a crazy amount of effort into this.

                "and intelligence"

                Debatable.

                "so you would be barred from writing for this site."

                Wait...what? You've completely lost me here. (And we were getting along so well!) You see, I think you're trying to say two things here. First, that The Register would not let me write for them. Secondly, that The Register would not hire someone fair, objective and intelligent to write for them.

                Okay, let's address that in two parts.

                1) I have been writing for The Register for almost 4 years. While I'm sure there are some there who are not exactly fond of me, I'm going to go with "they'll let chumps like me scratch aimlessly at the walls and push publish."

                2) The Register loves fair, objective and intelligent people. While I personally do - and have, loudly - dispute the objectivity (or fairness) of some writers as relates to certain topics, there is absolutely no form of downward editorial control from on high saying "believe this, write this, act in this fashion."

                The mere fact that I can mix it up with other writers - even editors - about things should prove the diversity of opinion encouraged. I get into it with other writers about everything. From the lobotomy-friendly climate denying that some choose to engage in to the ultra-capitalist diminution of human beings into "capital resources" to who should be the next CEO for Microsoft. (Nadella or bust!)

                That's part and parcel of being a good news organization. Differing opinions are allowed. No "party line" exists. And nobody is a shill for any company.

                I have written about companies I am involved with. When I do so, I post a disclaimer about that. Examples are here and here. Am I a shill now? How about if I told you that the about page on my personal website contains a disclaimer section that is up front about any possible sources of bias that might affect my writing? Am I still a shill?

                I think you should read up some on the concept of brand tribalism. It is entirely possible that your concept of who is (and is not) a shill is being influenced by your own personal preferences regarding brands/companies/products and so forth.

                No writer is perfectly objective. Not me, not other El Reg writers, no one. But we try, damn it. If we are biased by anything it is all of the preconceived notions and prejudices that are encompassed within "a lifetime's worth of personal experiences". We are not shills because The Register gets paid to advertise on the web pages or other such silly nonsense. As writers, we're insulated from that crap by the excellent sales team that works at The Register.

                If you want an example of this you need look no further than myself. Microsoft advertises with The Register on a regular basis. I'm sure you've seen the ads by now. I talk smack about them all the time and they deserve to have smack talked about them because they make stupid mistakes and piss off their customers, partners, employees and investors alike.

                I also - just by the by - talk smack and take the piss out of anyone and everyone else too. Because, you see, I write for The Register.

                ...and we bite the hand that feeds IT.

            2. Porco Rosso

              Re: reason d'etre ...

              Trevor I was not saying that you are a corporate sponsored writer !!!

              nor The Register .

      2. hoverboy

        Remember the "I'm a Mac / I'm a PC ads?" At least Microsoft are concentrating on the products and not a veiled ad hominem attack.

      3. Charles Manning

        This has always been the MS way...

        Well at least during the Ballmer era anyway.

        Instead of putting the immense resources available into trying to make better products that the competitors, MS, well Ballmer anyway, spends more time trying to body-slam the competition than outplay them.

        He laughed at iphone. Instead he should have pulled his arrogant head out of his donkey and tried to build something better.

        He has had a complete obsession with taking the fight to Google. Instead he should be ignoring Google and trying to make better services & products.

        The bully-boy mentality has always suited the kid with muscle but no talent.

      4. xplatformer

        You're right.

        But Apple did the same thing with their desktop/laptop computer line. You know, Mac vs. PC.

    2. Pet Peeve

      @Trevor Pott

      "I think companies that refuse to name their competition or competitor's products aren't worth any respect at all."

      That, by long-standing advertising convention, is exactly backwards. You only mention the competition when you're in a secondary position, i.e. you're trying to eat some of their lunch because you can't find your own lunch in the market.

      Market leaders, either actual or self-perceived, do not do competitors service by naming them, ever.

      1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

        Re: @Trevor Pott

        All social mores evolve. This is one I happen to believe serves no purpose in the modern world.

        The internet arrived and the world changed. Now people research their purchases before making them. You are either ready to deal with that reality or you aren't. Dealing with it means being able to stand up to both direct and indirect comparison.

        You'll win on some aspects and lose on others. It's in acknowledging that and saying "no one size fits all, but we think we have the best balance of price/features/support/etc for our target market" that you earn my respect.

        I recognize that my views may not be mainstream on this, but they are carefully reasoned and unlikely to change if the only rationale presented is repeated assertion of extant convention.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "On the other hand, there's nothing about Surface that is remotely enough to get me to switch from Android."

      Tho i generally enjoy your articles Trevor, and most would agree they have respect for your opinion, I can not agree with this!

      Android for business is just a mess. The best advice taht anyone can give is Don't Bother! Droid tabs are as bad as iToy for anything other than playing shitty games or trying to show off some crap app or another.

      1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

        Surface, for business, is worthless too.

        For business use I need something with a real keyboard that will give me at least 12 hours of RDP over WiFi and/or word processor usage. I see little-to-no business benefit from fondleslabs, certainly I see none over the Galaxy Note 2 I carry around with me everywhere.

        If I were hot and bothered about being able to paw at some glass like a primitive for work purposes, I would use an iPad. It has rather more applications and a decent office package, at least as far as "use by glass-pawing primitives" goes.

        Fondleslabs are inherently content consumption devices. At which point one is pretty much as good as the next, with the app ecosystem making the real world difference. Surface is a fondleslab with a terrible ecosystem and it's a damned shitty attempt to replace a netbook/ultrabook.

        I think, for business use, I'll stick with my Lenovo x230 and the 18 hours of RDP I get out of it with both batteries in. For everything else, there's my Note 2.

        1. dan1980

          Slabs v laptops

          @Trevor_Pott - "Fondleslabs are inherently content consumption devices."

          Pretty much exactly this. As a single device, I far prefer even my aging and slightly grumpy netbook. Yes, sometimes it's a bit unwieldy on the train, and it takes too long to boot and connect to 3G, but it's a damned sight easier to use when troubleshooting code or writing a report or even bashing out a long-winded post on El Reg. It's also good for a a quick (i.e. 3hr) Civ2 session.

          Tablets and laptops are just different devices - as I constantly try to remind my clients when they complain that X/Y/Z doesn't work on their new shiny toy.

          For my money, the battleground MS is fighting on just isn't relevant for me.

      2. Tom 35 Silver badge

        I have both + a netbook.

        A Surface (original) and a Nexus 7.

        I use the Surface to watch Netflix or to check my work email. I have used the office apps a few times but my Netbook blows it away. The surface with crappy keyboard is too top heavy and floppy to use well in a lap, you need a desk, then you only get one angle, and the keyboard is still crap.

        As a tablet it's too big and heavy and there are next to nothing in the app store. On the go the Nexus 7 kicks it's ass.

        So the surface ends up as a crappy laptop substitute, and OK Netflix screen, and a crappy tablet.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I've started to see a couple of Surfaces in use by actual end-users. They always seem to be used as netbook-replacements, i.e. screen propped up and keyboard attached.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "I've started to see a couple of Surfaces in use by actual end-users. They always seem to be used as netbook-replacements, i.e. screen propped up and keyboard attached."

      Something the iToy can dream of!

      1. Richard Plinston Silver badge

        > Something the iToy can dream of!

        You appear to be, yet again, completely uninformed.

        https://www.google.co.nz/search?q=ipad+keyboard&client=firefox-a&hs=Jp6&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=jESWUq_JNpGtkgX584HYDg&ved=0CGsQsAQ&biw=1469&bih=860

        You may be unaware of the concept, but it is called consumer choice.

    2. xplatformer

      Yup...and it can be a tablet too.

      Aside from the games, and the availability of an iBank app, the Surface 2 is an excellent replacement for my iPad mini.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I prefer the latest scroogled ad. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-y2mqoDjQXI

    1. Credas Silver badge

      Why? Don't you prefer ads that are witty, or funny, or don't leave you feeling sorry for the sad tone-deaf bastards who were falling off their over-stuffed boardroom chairs laughing so hard at their own lame knocking copy?

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Actually I think the opposite. I think a company that does name their competitors in an attempt to belittle them is a company that is acknowledging that their competitor is far in front saleswise,

    I agree. Instead of just ripping Apple / Google in their adverts give me a compelling reason to buy a surface give me a compelling reason to switch to live.c sorry outlook.com. Don't just say 'Google reads your email!!' and hide the fact that they hand over your data to the NSA without a fight...

    It's pathetic behaviour of a company that's struggling for ideas. I like the concept of the surface and briefly had a Asus Transformer, but the hardware was poor and I took it back and I was tempted by the original surface, but the weight and the amount of space Windows took up on the basic model put me off straight away. Yes I know it has USB ports, but that makes it less mobile in my book.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Actually I think the opposite. I think a company that does name their competitors in an attempt to belittle them is a company that is acknowledging that their competitor is far in front saleswise, - or a company not afraid to stand up and say here's an alternative to established ideas! Interested, LEARN MORE!

      I agree. Instead of just ripping Apple / Google in their adverts give me a compelling reason to buy a surface give me a compelling reason to switch to live.c sorry outlook.com. - Google reads your email to sell you like a street walker!

      Don't just say 'Google reads your email!!' and hide the fact that they hand over your data to the NSA without a fight... - Unproven web bollox, not learned that yet? Your iToy not work?

      It's pathetic behaviour of a company that's struggling for ideas. - you're cheap to a marketeer.

      I like the concept of the surface and briefly had a Asus Transformer, but the hardware was poor and I took it back and I was tempted by the original surface, but the weight and the amount of space Windows took up on the basic model put me off straight away. - Meh! Rev1, what do you want.

      Yes I know it has USB ports, but that makes it less mobile in my book. - iCloud for you then? W T F?

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Who are they marketing it too? 1960s house wives?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Who are they marketing it too? 1960s house wives?"

      If so, you would not have purchased that iToy.

      1. Steve Todd

        It's no use hiding behind an AC mask

        If you're going to make your posts quite so obvious, Mr Obviously!

  9. Paul Shirley

    better than last years efforts

    At least they remembered to show them doing something, last year you could easily get the impression Surface was just a colourful prop for dance routines and the keyboard a great way to make clicking sounds, tap dancing style.

    Probably the right choice attacking iPad as well, there are too many physically similar Android convertibles around. Playing the 'it runs Windows' card again isn't an option, didn't work first time and if anything people care less now.

    Can't see long term success in stealing iPad defectors though, with Android undercutting everyone in every sector and defectors inevitably not being fanbois (or they wouldn't move), painting Surface as a better iPad won't justify the pricing.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Two ways to deal with a failed product

    One is to acknowledge you failed, learned from it and move on.

    Then there is the keep whipping the dead horse method. Fail to realize you failed, keep spending money trying to convince the world that the horse is not dead and blame everyone but yourself for the failure.

    Microsoft, the horse is dead, move on.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just wave something in front of the screen

    Surface, for those who hands are otherwise occupied and expecting some splatter.

    --

    When I stop taking the piss for a moment I almost want this to work as I've stayed clear of Apple and Android while OK, is by design, adds driven to survive.

    MS saying they are not going to use your data is just a joke, unless there is another revenue stream they can keep running they will have to "leverage" something for the Evil Grannies *.

    I genuinly dislike the current market where ecosystems are in so much flux, assuming I still want to use any software locally what platform should I trust to still be present in a year or two's time?

    * Evil Grannies

    These are the shareholders, the faceless people who's pension relies on the company doing well in the short term, as they don't seem to have an overwhelming moral code or force and are mainly pension funds therefore they must be Evil Grannies, anybody saying "it's the fund managers doing the bidding" is just covering for them (obviously).

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Elephant in the room?

    "But for the moment it doesn't need to. Redmond's fondleslab only boasts a 1.65 per cent market share compared to Apple's 27.4 per cent. ®" ... And Google's 70% marketshare...

  13. bed

    Microsoft to kill win RT?

    You may wsih to look at this...

    http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2013/nov/26/microsoft-kill-windows-rt-larson-green

    1. Tom 35 Silver badge

      Re: Microsoft to kill win RT?

      They can't kill it off yet, they have to give the Nokia tablet a chance to fail first.

      Will they outright kill it, or do more of a Zune and treat it like plant that no one remembered to water?

  14. Pat 4

    GAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!

    What the FRACK is that crappy, 80's cheap MIDI musac??!??!??!

    FFS! This is a multi BILLION dollar world-wide corporation and their add sounds like a repeat of "How it's made" on Discovery channel! Like a cheap Casio keyboard on demo mode...

    If it wasn't Microsoft I'd think it was a joke...

  15. stu 4

    Microsoft and advertising

    It defies belief that their ads are so consistently bad though doesn't it ?

    forgot the product, forget apple vs Microsoft... just as an exercise in advertising - they are just consistently utterly abysmal... these scroogle shite they are running just now is different but just as bad 'hey - stop using gmail... they spy on you.. come back to hotmail.. we know it is utter shite, but we don't spy on you (we just allow all the 100s of spams a day right into your mailbox un-targetted).....

    Who remembers:

    - the black man with the white arm

    - the abysmal 'have a windows 7 party' general idea and campaign

    - the shoe shop thing with Gates

    - that terrible laptop hunters ad

    - but top for me so far has been the advert/tutorial for 'how to organise a party (perhaps with a side tutorial on how to breath and arse/elbow detection techniques)... that one is so good I'm posting it below:

    http://gizmodo.com/5366105/this-incredible-windows-7-launch-party-video-is-either-the-best-or-worst-microsoft-ad-this-year

    1. monkeyfish

      Re: Microsoft and advertising

      Some of the winpho ones, while not great, are on the line of acceptable. Certainly less vomit inducing than the current crop of ipad/iphone "designed in california" ads. But yes, MS are generally terrible, remember the win7 "designed by me" ads? Presumably win8 was designed by someone else.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Microsoft and advertising

      If you thought the Win7 launch party marketing gimmick was bad, look up these gems from Microsoft:

      1) Scroogled

      2) Googlighting Stranger

      3) Gmail Man

      4) The Smartphone Beta Test (Nokia Lumia 900)

      5) The Browser You Loved To Hate (IE)

      6) (Countless 'Windows phones are better than the silly iPhones and Droids' ads)

      7) #DroidRage

      8) Zune Squirt

      9) Microsoft KIN ads

      10) Bing It On

      Special mention:

      A mock funeral parade for Apple when Windows Phone 7 went RTM, circa 2010.

      1. asdf Silver badge

        Re: Microsoft and advertising

        Yep Microsoft never got big because of marketing. They got big because IBM was even more anti consumer.

      2. stu 4

        Re: Microsoft and advertising

        that reminds me of the other thing they are shit at - product placement.

        The majority of films and TV use apple gear when computers are required - I imagine because they look cool.

        Since apple don't pay for product placement EVER though most will have the apple logos covered up. Some even have them running linux. e.g. supernatural (logos covered, linux). Some don't bother though and have the apple showing. e.g. 30 rock.

        However, MS DOES do pay for product placement - it's the only way they can get em on the screen. Usually in partnership with Dell. e.g. elementary with it's crappy surfaces, or smallville and it's Dells everywhere.

        You don't see it so much now, but a few years ago when they were flogging Bing to death there was a spate of tv and films that had people using Bing for searches, and even worse dialog like 'let me just bing that'. e.g. spiderman.

        absolutely desperate.

    3. Fihart

      Re: Microsoft and advertising @stu 4

      - the abysmal 'have a windows 7 party' general idea and campaign

      God, how could we forget ?

      The crapmost patronising marketing idea I have ever encountered.

  16. asdf Silver badge
    Trollface

    woot

    Lets all take a moment to congratulate Microsoft for finally achieving a market share that doesn't round down to zero. Two percent you better watch your back buddy.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I bought an Asus T100 a few days ago; its hard for me to understand why anyone would buy an RT device when there are products like the T100 available.

    If you really need a full HD screen (T100 is not) on a small screen, there are lots of other options.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Another round of Surface writeoff coming your way soon

    Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting different results.

    Surface 3 tablets anyone? How much money do you have to burn before you get it, Microsoft?

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The Surface has barely scratched the surface of the tablet market.

  20. asdf Silver badge

    hmm

    Bets the first thing any new CEO does is come in say yeah Windows RT and the Surface you are a short bus money loser and you are gone.

    1. hoverboy

      Re: hmm

      The biggest problem that MS have is that although all their products share a common-ish theme (The tiles) the codebases are not compatible so they lose a lot of developer support. Their strategy is reportedly to converge on a single code base for all devices. If they can pull this off then it will be worth the while of developers to write more apps for them.

      Of the four main consumer product lines, XBox has its niche, full blown X86 Windows will be around for lifetimes yet and the phones are pretty sweet (and starting to take off now, at least outside the US) RT, however is really a bit pointless, especially considering, as others here have pointed out, the affordability of decent Atom-based tablets.

      The tiles work well on a phone screen, I have one and I wouldn't go back to an iPhone now. The first part of the convergence will be to merge RT and Phone OSs, with features applied dependent upon screen size. The 'RT' brand will then quietly fade away...

    2. sam bo
      Joke

      Re: hmm

      "Bets the first thing any new CEO does is come in say yeah Windows RT and the Surface you are a short bus money loser and you are gone."

      If Elop gets the job, maybe he can use his "burning platform" line again - except this time he suggests they dump Windows and give Android a run.

      hey, it worked for him last time, who knows ?

  21. A Butler

    Own and use a Surface RT excellent laptop replacement

    Most commentators here have net given the Surface RT tablet a chance, I have.

    It is the most flexible device of the lot out their as a laptop replacement and a tablet. No other device comes close. Of course its not as good as an iPad as a pure tablet for playing with on the couch at the end of the day. However disconnect the magnetic keyboard and it almost as good.

    Attach the keyboard, add in an external USB NIC and VGA lead to the bag and for most people it will do all the tasks of a portable laptop perfectly for 1/2 the price. Couple that with the improved 8.1 update (Outlook, offline Skydrive file access), a MICRO sd card slot (usual 64GB recommended) and you are sorted. You can load up the device with all those old MP3's (from the now defunct laptop) and movies from torrent sites unlike the iTunes walled garden.

    Add in that like the iPad is will not get viruses however unlike the iPad all flash sites are supported you have a far better all-rounder device

    So in this recessionary times its the ideal device for anyone wanting to buy one productive value device. Of course most of the contributors here have no issue buying a iPad air for the train, an android device for the home have a laptop for those big meetings with possible a media server for their media content. Unfortunately not everyone is made of money like the IT boomers here....

    And don't get me started on all the xmas €100 bargain junk Android tablets, I expect most to be broke and in landfill by the end of January.

    1. Tom 35 Silver badge

      Re: Own and use a Surface RT excellent laptop replacement

      " it will do all the tasks of a portable laptop perfectly for 1/2 the price."

      I think you have that backwards. For the price of a Surface, the keyboard, the SD card... you could buy a Very Nice laptop. If you want a small underpowered thing with a crappy keyboard you can get one for a lot less.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Own and use a Surface RT excellent laptop replacement

      "You can load up the device with all those old MP3's (from the now defunct laptop) and movies from torrent sites unlike the iTunes walled garden."

      Hello? VLC? Available for free in the App Store.

      1. A Butler

        Re: Own and use a Surface RT excellent laptop replacement

        Then you have the issue of a measly 16GB storage on the base iPad or spend a lavish amount for the apple robbery options of 32GB or 64GB..... even Wozinak bemoaned Apples's attitude to storage.

        I think the Surface is a better option storage wise.

        1. Richard Plinston Silver badge

          Re: Own and use a Surface RT excellent laptop replacement

          > I think the Surface is a better option storage wise.

          """For the 32GB version of the new [Surface RT] tablet, users have access to only 16GB of storage, with the remaining half taken up by Windows recovery tools, Windows RT, Microsoft Office, and built-in apps."""

          http://www.theverge.com/2012/11/5/3603652/microsoft-surface-windows-rt-disk-space

          1. John773

            Re: Own and use a Surface RT excellent laptop replacement

            The Verge has it wrong even with respect to the original RT. Since I enjoyed using my Surface 2, I bought a RT for my parents. It comes with 16GB open WITH everything including MS Office installed. You can recover an additional 3GB by creating a USB recovery thumb drive. You can also add an additional 64GB via micro SD card.

            With my Surface 2, it came with about 18GB free with MS Office installed. Another 3GB were freed when I created a USB recovery thumb drive. I then inserted a 64GB micro SD card. No matter how you try to spin it the storage options are actually better on a Surface.

            Again, people take this way to seriously. At the very least, be honest about your arguments.

            1. Richard Plinston Silver badge

              Re: Own and use a Surface RT excellent laptop replacement

              > """For the 32GB version of the new [Surface RT] tablet, users have access to only 16GB of storage, with the remaining half taken up by Windows recovery tools, Windows RT, Microsoft Office, and built-in apps."""

              > The Verge has it wrong even with respect to the original RT. Since I enjoyed using my Surface 2, I bought a RT for my parents. It comes with 16GB open WITH everything including MS Office installed.

              So, you are actually saying that the Verge is right: on a Surface RT 32Gb (they were reviewing the original RT), as delivered, there is 16Gb available. Which you confirm.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Own and use a Surface RT excellent laptop replacement

        Oh yeah, VLC is just super-slick on iPad. All you need are accounts at Slashdot and StackOverflow to work out how to get it to work at all, then enjoy buggy, faltering playback and crashes. On the Surface you plug in the USB stick, drag whatever video file to the Movies folder and it appears in the player. Job done.

        Don't get me wrong, I'm a huge fan of VLC and use it constantly on my Linux box but you cannot compare the iPad's locked-down system with WinRT's flexibility.

    3. John773

      Re: Own and use a Surface RT excellent laptop replacement

      My Surface 2 is serving as a laptop replacement for my business trips as well. I am mobile professional and not in IT. The amount of hate for an inanimate tablet is pretty hilarious. People need to stop taking these too seriously.

  22. Redsyrup

    What iSheep fail to realize...

    Windows 8.1 will be adopted by Enterprise over the year or two and it's the exact same OS as what's on the Fondleslabs but also running on Desktops and Laptops. This spells doom for iPads in the work place. It's just a matter of time.

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: What iSheep fail to realize...

      Windows 8.1 will be adopted by Enterprise over the year or two and it's the exact same OS as what's on the Fondleslabs but also running on Desktops and Laptops

      er, no it isn't. The Surface 2 runs Windows RT which is neither Windows 8.1 nor Windows Phone so apps for either system don't just run on it.

    2. Snapper
      FAIL

      Re: What iSheep fail to realize...

      "This spells doom for iPads in the work place. It's just a matter of time."

      Holy shit! How many times have I heard variations of that opinion!

  23. Stoke the atom furnaces

    The problem with "Surface" is that it seems to have the same interface as Windows 8. I hate Windows 8 on my home PC, and wish it could go back to Windows 7.

    When my iPad needs replacing I will probably buy another iPad.

  24. Sebastian A
    Unhappy

    I remember when...

    I miss the days when advertising focused on telling consumers about the product. Now it's all about being deliberately misleading or rubbishing the competition.

  25. SVV Silver badge

    They should have called their new OS iWindows

    That would have at least been funny

    1. TheOtherHobbes

      Re: They should have called their new OS iWindows

      You got that upside down: !Windows.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    As consumers just scratch their heads...

    Microsoft's main selling point for the Surface is apparently that it can be propped up and has a "real" keyboard.

    Meanwhile, probably 75% of the iPads I see in the wild are propped up and/or have real keyboards thanks to 1st or 3rd party accessories.

    I can only imagine the state of confusion most people will experience when they see this stuff being pushed as a unique selling proposition.

    1. Richard Plinston Silver badge

      Re: As consumers just scratch their heads...

      > Meanwhile, probably 75% of the iPads I see in the wild are propped up and/or have real keyboards thanks to 1st or 3rd party accessories.

      What _is_ unique to Surface is that, due to the floppy way the keyboard connects, and it must be connected*, and the way the stand operates, it is only usable in landscape, and is almost completely unusable on the lap.

      In comparison there are several keyboard/covers/stands that allow landscape or portrait and/or remote keyboards and/or comfortable and stable laptop use. With the combination cover/keyboard/stand the tablet can be propped up on an airline tray while the keyboard is used on the lap - much preferred.

      * I understand there will be an additional cost item that will allow a bluetooth keyboard to be used on Surface 2/pro 2. But it is still stuck in 16:9 landscape by the stand.

  27. Raymaker

    Tried Surface Pro went back to Ipad

    I tried a Surface Pro for one month and I really wanted to like it, but it's no iPad, even for business. I know I can edit office documents on it, but I cannot present as the screen keeps going blank after 5 minutes despite working with Microsoft directly to fix this, it is obviously a feature to save battery that cannot be altered. The screen resolution cannot be matched to your attached display, if you do alter it to have a reasonable resolution, none of the fix resolution Metro apps work they just say "cannot open wrong resolution". I tried to use Display-link to connect my devices and screen and the USB does not have enough performance to drive the mouse in realtime. The pen does not fit in the device so goes missing very quickly and you have to choose mount it in the charging slot of recharge you Surface Pro, not much choice because the battery is so poor you will need to charge it all the time. The windows 8 interface is really confused switching between each format, and if you open a web page in Metro and it does not run you have to open it in old windows 7 style internet explorer

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Tried Surface Pro went back to Ipad

      Have you tried not being an idiot? I use my own Surface Pro in exactly the way you describe and have had none of the issues, except for the issue of resolution matching with an external display. Even so, it didn't stop me opening any apps or getting my job done, it just wasn't quite as slick as I might have hoped. FUD pure and simple.

  28. Parousia

    Happy customer.

    I own a surface pro 2 256gb model. I quite frankly couldn't be happier with the device.

    I'm a photographer and it can be stashed in with my equipment wherever I go without a moments thought, and is more than capable of editing and managing a heavy work load on the go, (the battery does brilliantly).

    Its a brilliant way to show clients images, its also great for tethering, and editing with a pen ads a dimension to the experience I rather enjoy.

    Granted this isn't everyone's use case but its certainly a lot better than people give it credit for.

    In regards to the RT model it certainly doesn't have the app selection and is far from perfect but there's some great multi tasking features that neither iOS or android have that are incredibly useful. Aswell as a rather refreshing change from a standard icon based ui. Personally if I was in that market I would look at something with an atom chip in it however.

    These products get better and offer features (in hardware and software) that the competition doesn't, which only serves to bring choice to the consumer... not a bad thing.

  29. mattper
    Happy

    nice...

    Damn, I can't wait to get one when it's free...

  30. Charlie Clark Silver badge
    Flame

    Parody of itself

    Those ads are incredibly patronising. I was just waiting for an "endorsed by the NSA" strapline at the end of the second one and a comedy central badge. But when neither came I realised these are real. So Microsoft is now selling hardware as kitchen aids? Well, I guess maybe no one else has tried it and doesn't realise what an enormous market it is (there may well be a market for tablets in the kitchen but is more likely to be along the lines of ones that really help you with making the food, controlling the stove, microwave, interacting with the scales (already I-Pad apps)).

    Whatever will they think of next? Surface as the ideal accessory for accident-chasing lawyers?

  31. Mikel

    Mouthpiece

    Vice President of corporate communications Frank Shaw will be along presently to remind us that people LIKE a little abandonware mystery with their PC purchase, especially when it's going under the tree. And hey, we are going to make a killing in April on those XP refugees because they have nowhere else to go.

  32. Sebastian A

    Smells like shill in here...

    From both sides. Anyone else picking up that distinctive odour of money and bullshit?

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