back to article Microsoft, the VW family sedan of IT, wants to be tech's new Rolls-Royce

If there's one message that stands out from Microsoft's big device day launch on Tuesday it's this: stop thinking about Redmond as the cheap option, because it wants to be seen as the premium brand. For years Microsoft has sold itself as the dominant ecosystem for computing that won't cost you too much. The device day focus, …

  1. x 7

    one problem

    Windows 10

    1. PNGuinn
      FAIL

      Another problem

      Microsoft

      1. wolfetone
        Trollface

        Main problem

        Jealous Apple Fanbois

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Minor problem

          Rabid Linux fanboys that represent 1% of the worlds pc using population.

          1. dogged

            Re: Minor problem

            > Rabid Linux fanboys that represent 1% of the worlds pc using population.

            It's depressing, I personally am a linux fanboy. I totes <3 teh penguin. I run debian. I had a Sharp Zaurus. I hacked slackware (most of slackware anyway) onto the original XBox hardware. I have RasPis and enjoy folling around with them with my toddler son (who loves them). But around here, people get absolutely irrational about it to the point where I find myself continually defending Microsoft. Continually. Because the hatred that gets spewed around is unjustified and contagious and it makes you stupid.

            1. Solmyr ibn Wali Barad

              @dogged

              "Plato is dear to me, but dearer still is the truth"

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Main problem

          Jealous Apple Fanbois

          Heck no, we figured the wannabee attempt out well before this author did.

          I'm perfectly OK with MS trying to "be Apple", it is the next idea in a long list of failed attempts to come out of the rather deep "buy Windows, buy Office" ruts that are still the company's mainstay income.

          First of all, I think a bit of competitive pressure will do Apple good, second of all, it confirms that my choice of Apple wasn't as bad as the jealous Microsoft fanbois have always tried to make it out to be :)

          Yup, still laughing .. (evil grin)

  2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    The nice thing about Microsoft's Stratergy

    If you don't like it there will be another along in a minute.

    Last year it was Windows everywhere and SurfaceRT tablets

    Just after it was developers developers developers

    Before that it was the cloud

    Before that it was enterprise

    Before that it was gaming

    Now it's high end boutique hardware

    Next show it will be probably be IoT and drones.

    The thing about Apple is that you can be pretty sure it isn't about to drop support for the iPhone to concentrate on Enterprise tape libraries.

    1. Fred Flintstone Gold badge
      Coat

      Re: The nice thing about Microsoft's Stratergy

      The nice thing about Microsoft's Stratergy

      If you don't like it there will be another along in a minute.

      Ooooh, good point! Indeed, the only thing they have NOT tried yet is making buses!

      The dodgy flasher raincoat, thanks.

      1. GrumpenKraut Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: The nice thing about Microsoft's Stratergy

        > Indeed, the only thing they have NOT tried yet is making buses!

        They should try vacuum cleaners, I am sure they wouldn't suck.

        The one with the "old joke" downvotes in both pockets. ==---------------------->

      2. Quortney Fortensplibe

        Re: The nice thing about Microsoft's Stratergy

        "...Ooooh, good point! Indeed, the only thing they have NOT tried yet is making buses!..."

        Cue the classic "Vacuum cleaners" joke.

    2. dogged

      Re: The nice thing about Microsoft's Stratergy

      your timeline is fucked up. Badly.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Interesting that we have yet to find out what the screen resolution is for this thing. I don't see it here or the other articles on El Reg nor in any of the other sites write-ups.

    1. Dave H

      Details on Microsoft's own store:

      http://www.microsoftstore.com/store/msusa/en_US/pdp/Surface-Book/productID.325716000

    2. ScottK

      @Ivan 4

      3000 x 2000

      1. Benchops

        Re: @Ivan 4

        3000 x 2000?

        What the heck ratio is that??? Oh wait, it'll be 3:2

        That's actually very appealing to someone who works on their laptop as opposed to watches 1 and a half films before the battery runs out.

  4. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    Hmmm....

    For years Microsoft has sold itself as the dominant ecosystem for computing that won't cost you too much

    I think that should read "that doesn't work too well". Where does the idea come from that Microsoft "won't cost too much?"

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Hmmm....

      Ever paid for mainframe development or bought off-the-shelf unix workstation software?

      1. werdsmith Silver badge

        Re: Hmmm....

        Or an Oracle RAC database......

      2. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

        Re: Hmmm....

        Not personally but I have been in the teams that had to suffer through this. In these cases, money is less of a object and the contract came with a consultant and/or a couple of developers meant to unfuck things thrown in. It's another ballpark.

      3. Stoneshop Silver badge
        WTF?

        Re: Hmmm....

        Ever paid for mainframe development or bought off-the-shelf unix workstation software?

        Bespoke Windows Server software isn't cheap either. And where mainframe/mini software teams usually know what they're doing, Windows software builders always seem to be struggling with those foreign concepts such as fail-over, fail-safe, redundancy and load-sharing, basically writing single-server software that tries to yell "I can't cope, please help me" if something goes wrong, hoping that the other system will take over and then huddling in a corner, sobbing.

        Same holds for a fair pile of commercial Linux software, BTW. Relying on a development beta filesystem to keep track of who's master in a multi-system environment (they call it a cluster. I know clusters, and this isn't one), and then requiring the entire lot to be rebooted when the filesystem loses track of something or other? Bwahaha. Snort. Giggle.

  5. Jason Hindle

    I think Microsoft's immediate goals are more modest

    Starting with "You don't need to buy Apple, if you want Windows on a piece of kit that stands out". Surface (sans RT) is already proving a reasonably good business, for Microsoft, and the Pro 3 positioned them nicely for a move into the premium/luxury market.

    That said, I still have my doubts about Windows on a tablet. The hybrid interface is actually quite good, but I'm typing this on my iPad Air 2, while lounging on the sofa (with a cheeky mid-week glass of red), for a reason. The iPad is light, functional and still has an immediacy that Windows 10 can't quite match.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I think Microsoft's immediate goals are more modest

      I'm slightly confused here. Are you drinking red wine because you have to use an iPad?

      :)

  6. The Dude

    Windows phones

    When they make a Windows phone that runs real Windows Professional (10 or otherwise), drops into a dock on the desktop with dual monitors etc. and does everything the PC does, then they might sell serious quantities.

    1. PNGuinn

      Re: Windows phones

      Why did I read that as "drops a duck on the desktop"?

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
        Paris Hilton

        Re: Windows phones

        Because of duck typing?

    2. Geoff Campbell
      Go

      Re: Windows phones

      I understand this is exactly where they are going with Continuum. Which could be a lot of fun, if they get it right.

      GJC

    3. James Micallef Silver badge

      Re: Windows phones

      "When they make a Windows phone that runs real Windows Professional ..."

      Can't be too far off from this already. Top-end phones already benchmark faster than low-end laptops. Intel's new Core models are extremely frugal with battery and don't run too hot, I'm sure MS is already looking to build a Lumia with x86 architecture that can run any windows program. We'll probably see one by 2017.

      I'm not sure if dual-monitor would require a dedicated and/or higher spec graphics chip that might run too hot for a phone, but everything else, no problem. Most casual uses - browsing, email, skype, office - already can be run off their new continuum smartphone + dock anyway.

      1. dogged

        Re: Windows phones

        following the Surface Book metaphor, they could shove the extra GPU in the dock.

  7. Brock Knudsen

    Well I would like to be a wizard but...

    Wanting and being are rarely the same thing.

    Also are not most of the major luxury brands owned by other more generic companies?

    Rather than be the luxury brand MS is more likely to buy out that brand, then slather the IP all over their same old stuff.

    1. Kristian Walsh

      Re: Well I would like to be a wizard but...

      There are a couple of exceptions, but a lot of the big-margin luxury brands are actually owned by luxury goods conglomerates.

      The big-daddy of these is LVMH (Bulgari, LouisVuitton, Hennessy, Moët et Chandon, Krug, Dom Perignon, TAG Heuer, Fendi, etc..) but that itself is effectively controlled by the owners of Christian Dior S.E, the fashion house.

      Microsoft's problem if they tried to just buy a brand is that there is no recognisable company that exclusively makes "high end" Windows laptops* - there are certainly high-end products (the top of Dell and HP's ranges are very comfortably in Apple's ballpark), but their makers also make everything else, so public perception of "a HP laptop" isn't the same high as of "an Apple laptop", even if the particular two laptops in question are of similar quality.

      * Alienware is a very specific definition of "high-end", and wouldn't work for the market Microsoft obviously wants, and belongs to Dell anyway.

  8. thames

    May they get their wish

    "Microsoft, the VW family sedan of IT, wants to be tech's new Rolls-Royce"

    You mean they want to go bankrupt, be bailed out by the government, and then have the original product line flogged off to another company? Yes, that sounds like an appropriate fate for Microsoft.

    But Microsoft as VW, let me see, what has VW been in the news for lately? Ah, yes, caught cheating their customers and selling products whose performance didn't match up with what was claimed for them. OK, yes, I can certainly see the analogy there.

    As an aside, I saw a new model Rolls Royce in front of my grocery store a while ago. I was not impressed. It was definitely not up to the standard of the older ones.

    1. hplasm Silver badge
      Meh

      Re: May they get their wish

      "Microsoft, the VW family sedan of IT"

      Except VW do make good cars.

      Microsoft, the gold-flashed Trabant of IT.

      FTFY

      1. werdsmith Silver badge

        Re: May they get their wish

        VW do make good cars, but not as good as they are hyped. And relative to the competition, long since surpassed by many rivals in all but brand cachet and marketing.

        1. hplasm Silver badge
          Devil

          Re: May they get their wish

          "... not as good as they are hyped. And relative to the competition, long since surpassed by many rivals in all but brand cachet and marketing."

          So just like MS- I stand corrected.

      2. Smilin' Stan
        WTF?

        Re: May they get their wish

        MS wants to be the new Rolls-Royce? VW tried it (anyone buy, or even remember, the Phaeton?) - MS won't do any better.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: May they get their wish

      Microsoft has traditionally been more the British Leyland of the IT industry - selling the same basic model as a Morris, Austin, Riley, Van Den Plas, etc. - but all of them with an accompanying puddle of oil.

      Apparently when the Mini came out, Ford did a tear-down and came to the conclusion that BL were making a loss on each car sold. Also rather like some of that software vendor's hardware products.

      A further parallel is that some of the bits of BL came out with really good cars, which were tainted by the reputation of the overall organisation or spoiled by poor quality control.

    3. Stoneshop Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: May they get their wish

      "Microsoft, the VW family sedan of IT, wants to be tech's new Rolls-Royce"

      They're already like the other part or Rolls-Royce, the bit making jet engines: sucking and blowing at the same time. They even had a database engine ominously called Jet, which very appropriately caused anything odd getting in to it get utterly shredded, or have the engine itself disintegrate most spectacularly.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: May they get their wish

      You mean they want to go bankrupt, be bailed out by the government, and then have the original product line flogged off to another company? Yes, that sounds like an appropriate fate for Microsoft.

      Dunno, maybe it has more to do with using software to cheat on compliance tests. These days, you just don't know :)

  9. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

    Huh?

    Gamers love high end kit but how many build their systems vs buy the system. Somehow this feels like MicroSlurp does not understand gamers, white box market, and DIYers. They tend to be spec conscious and want to select their kit. Also, many know that building a computer from scratch is actually fairly easy, basically a nice weekend afternoon project.

    1. Solmyr ibn Wali Barad

      Re: Huh?

      "building a computer from scratch is actually fairly easy, basically a nice weekend afternoon project."

      That's an interesting definition of 'from scratch'. In times of yore, it meant starting with a pen and paper, followed by bag'o'chips and a soldering iron.

      My own first attempt took about two years. Once I got it debugged and working (can't really expect 50+ chips to have no duds among them), I kind of lost interest in actually using the thing. So there. There's always the next one to tinker with.

      1. DropBear Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: Huh?

        "That's an interesting definition of 'from scratch. In times of yore..."

        To you young whippersnappers I say bah humbug! In my time you had to dope germanium yourself atom by atom using nothing but a screwdriver and a hammer and gramps was building wired-or logic gates with nothing but crystal detectors cobbled together from a sharpened graphite pencil lead and rusty Gillette blades*! Now get off my lawn!

        ...shall we continue this tomfoolery or is it sufficiently apparent already how ridiculous nitpicking what "from scratch" means is?

        *equally ridiculously, that actually works as a diode...

        1. Naselus

          Re: Huh?

          "n my time you had to dope germanium yourself atom by atom using nothing but a screwdriver and a hammer and gramps was building wired-or logic gates with nothing but crystal detectors cobbled together from a sharpened graphite pencil lead and rusty Gillette blades*!"

          Luxury!

          When I were a nipper, we had to clump hydrogen together BY HAND until the density reached such pressures that thermonuclear fusion process began, then wait WITHOUT OXYGEN until enough heavy elements had been formed to begin the planetary formation process, usually with two or three supernovae interrupting the whole thing and scattering it all over the show, until we were able to begin hand-mining the individual atoms on the still-cooling surface of a newly-born planetoid. We used to DREAM of getting pre-formed individual Germanium atoms...

          etc etc.

        2. Solmyr ibn Wali Barad

          Re: Huh?

          "...shall we continue this tomfoolery or is it sufficiently apparent already how ridiculous nitpicking what "from scratch" means is?"

          Yes, by all means, go on.There are lots of unanswered questions. Where did your gramps get a graphite pencil from? Mine used to tell stories about the excitement of seeing one.

          Ridicule should't be an issue here. Surely we're long past that.

    2. LDS Silver badge

      Re: Huh?

      Nobody builds his or her own laptop... and there are gamers using laptops also. Then there are gamers who build their own desktop systems, and others that just buy an Alienware system or the like (which can usually be customized enough to fit your needs).

      But this class of laptops goes beyond gamers and executive wanting to show off. There are classes of power users who can spend and will welcome these models. One thing El Reg didn't notice, is what Microsoft told about the screen color gamut and calibration. Nor gamers nor executives care about that, but image professionals do.

      I know photographers who became very interested in the Surface line, and some switched from Apple to Windows to use them. That's one of the reason Apple had to counter with the iPad Pro - which unluckily can't still run OSX applications, nor it can use plain USB connections.

      I believe MS has to show what the top line devices can be, because other companies are often too busy fightining in the low-end market to deliver nice top line devices.

      1. werdsmith Silver badge

        Re: Huh?

        Laptop building is not unknown in the Raspberry Pi world, and I'm sure it must go on beyond that.

        1. Mike 16 Silver badge

          Re: Huh?

          Not just RasPi

          http://www.benheck.com/new-atari-800-laptop/

  10. DougS Silver badge

    This strategy avoids pissing off their OEM partners

    Since all the big ones have for all practical purposes abandoned the high end, or at least sell so little there that Microsoft eating their lunch won't piss them off too much, that's a lot safer than trying to introduce something that competes with the meat of their market.

    But it basically comes down to Microsoft having no idea what to do for the past 15 years, so everything they do is a reaction to what someone else is doing successfully:

    "Oh look, Sony is making a lot of money selling games consoles, we should do that"

    "Those guys at Google are making a killing with search, we need search"

    "That iPhone we laughed at is a big hit, we need to do our own touchscreen phone"

    "Google makes a lot of money gathering the data of their users and selling them out, and they don't seem to mind, so we should have Windows start doing this"

    "Apple seems to only target the high end and they can buy and sell us now, maybe we should concentrate there"

    1. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

      Re: This strategy avoids pissing off their OEM partners

      A better question: does MicroSlurp have a real strategy? Your examples show a company that does not have a real strategy. A possible, I believe, very viable strategy is to concentrate on enterprise, business, and government sales. Treat consumer products as niche products that show the flag without bankrupting the company. Treat any consumer sales as found money not as a more objective. Business computing is not sexy but should be a relatively steady money maker for a long time. The consumer market is more fickle and volatile.

      1. werdsmith Silver badge

        Re: This strategy avoids pissing off their OEM partners

        A hardware strategy you mean.

        It's fairly strategic on the business IT side, having been very strong in most areas that can be covered by Software Assurance.

      2. James Micallef Silver badge

        Re: This strategy avoids pissing off their OEM partners

        "A possible, I believe, very viable strategy is to concentrate on enterprise, business, and government sales"

        MS are already doing pretty well from their concentrating in this space. MS Server, Sharepoint, MS-SQL + BI stack, Active Directory and remote management/provisioning of PCs/laptops etc have improved in leaps and bounds in the past 5-10 years. None of that is going to go away in the next few decades.

        What WILL go away is the individual PCs/laptops, because once you can get a device as powerful and practical as a PC into a gadget the size of a phone then it becomes a no-brainer to replace laptop+phone with phone+dock for 90% of their business customers. And the execs who will be making those type of decisions in 5-10 years' time need to start to be wowed now, hence the premium line of Surface Pros and Books.

        Note that Apple have also been converging OSX and iOS, and I believe it's only a matter of time until 'desktop' OS will be the same kernel as 'mobile' OS with a few extra bells and whistles. After all, even from a developer point of view it's surely easier to write 1 basic application with 2 switchable interfaces depending on screen size available, rather than 2 completely different applications for 2 different OSes that must nevertheless share as much as possible the user experience and functionality.

        1. dogged

          Re: This strategy avoids pissing off their OEM partners

          > After all, even from a developer point of view it's surely easier to write 1 basic application with 2 switchable interfaces depending on screen size available

          Yeah, in three years time when Apple copy that one, everyone here will say it's genius.

          1. DougS Silver badge

            @dogged

            Apple had in house ports of OS X to ARM and was even running some desktop stuff on phones several years ago (according to a friend who used to work there)

            So if they do introduce this later, don't assume because they weren't first to market, that they were copying someone else. Apple started developing the iPad before the iPhone - beginning in 2002 - but released it later because they didn't want to release it until it was "ready" (and available technology was good enough so that it wasn't a crappy experience)

        2. DougS Silver badge

          @James Micallef

          iOS has been the same kernel as OS X with a few "bells and whistles" removed from day one.

      3. Naselus

        Re: This strategy avoids pissing off their OEM partners

        "Your examples show a company that does not have a real strategy."

        This. Just this.

        MS don't really have one, and haven't more or less since Gates left. Gates concentrated solely on strategy, and while he built a company everyone loved to hate as a result, he was insanely successful. Since Ballmer took over, and just as much under SatNad, MS spent more time desperately trying to get people to LIKE them than outlining a serious business strategy. Sure, they still make a lot of money from their pre-2001 business strategies, but these haven't been developed much since. When asked about what the strategy is, SatNad just lists products ('Office 265, Windows, and Azure'); this isn't focusing on a sector or thinking ahead. This is just three things that you hope are going to sell well, without outlining HOW YOU'RE GOING TO SELL IT.

        I still remember when any MS event would be all suits showing up, presenting you this product that you were quite simply going to have to use (it wasn't even questioned, they knew it and we knew it too, even if we hated it), and then informed you how much more per year every person in the room was now going to be paying them. Now, it's all excited balding men in T-shirts giving out USB drives and talking excitedly about, well, crap.

        Bill Gates was never 'pumped' about anything... He just worked a lot, made a lot of money, and was kind of a dick to everyone who worked for him. MS should remember that their core segment is not consumers. It's enterprise. Serious men in suits who have been professional purchasers for 30 years and who will be making their decisions based on compatibility, price, licensing deals etc... they're not the guys who go in for Apple-style cult meetings.

        Basically, MS need to go back to doing what they do well - being about as likable as Oracle, and caring just as little about that as Oracle do. Ruthless corporate strategy and to hell with their brand image. It's too late to try and salvage their position in the public imagination now, MS will ALWAYS be considered an Evil Suit, regardless of how much they try to appear as a huggable teddy bear now.

  11. ecarlseen

    Their (lack of) privacy stance will strangle this in the crib.

    People who buy high-end devices expect to be treated with a bit more respect than Microsoft shows to people who use Windows 10 (and 7 and 8, now with extra spyware). Apple gets this (plus design and ease of use), and simply annihilates everyone in this segment. Google is happy playing the mass-market mid- to low-end consumers that will gladly give away their personal info to save a few dollars - plenty of money to be made there, and Google has turned it into an art form while getting their "partners" to fight over the tiny hardware margins. Microsoft seems to want to be the worst of all worlds - meh design, high price, and no privacy. Decent tech specs, but Dell and Sony have had well-spec'd Windows machines for years that they couldn't move terribly well. Alienware has some cool products, but their sales numbers aren't even a rounding error in the overall market. I genuinely wish somebody would step up and give Apple a push as their software has been getting sloppy, but it doesn't seem to be happening.

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      Re: Their (lack of) privacy stance will strangle this in the crib.

      Sopt on sir.

      The stance that Apple has taken on privacy (loathe or love them) has set the bar pretty high.

      If MS wants to be taken seriously in this segment then all this data slurping (all in the name of product improvement... yeah right) has to stop OR Sataya has to stand up and make a statement along the lines of what Tim Cook has done many times w.r.t. Apple's Privacy policy.

      Until then?

      He might as well stand on the poop deck of SS Microsoft and piss into the wind.

      Is the new Surface Book sexy? Only time will tell if it stands up to the sort of abuse that all MacBooks get on a regular basis.

      Then there is the resale value. I just sold a 2009 13in MacBook for £300. No need to say anything else.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Their (lack of) privacy stance will strangle this in the crib.

        >The stance that Apple has taken on privacy (loathe or love them) has set the bar pretty high.<

        Get real. Did you not notice the 'Frequent Locations' log in iOS, the 'fappening', Xcode Ghost telemetry etc?

      2. werdsmith Silver badge

        Re: Their (lack of) privacy stance will strangle this in the crib.

        "Then there is the resale value. I just sold a 2009 13in MacBook for £300. No need to say anything else."

        Yes, tell me where you found the idiot. I've got some stuff marked to go to the dump that I wouldn't mind a few quid for.

    2. DropBear Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: Their (lack of) privacy stance will strangle this in the crib.

      " I genuinely wish somebody would step up and give Apple a push as their software has been getting sloppy, but it doesn't seem to be happening."

      Hey, if you have the VC cash mountain required to start up the real-world Sandbenders, I'm game...

    3. Naselus

      Re: Their (lack of) privacy stance will strangle this in the crib.

      It won't.

      It *should do*. But no, it won't. 90% of consumers won't care. It's easy to forget in the tech echo chamber, but really, Google is infinitely worse and yet still absolutely dominates in markets that are not simply limited to 'people who can't afford an iPhone'.

      If you were right, then DuckDuckGo would be the most popular search engine on the planet. As opposed to Google and Bing having about 80% of the entire world search market between them (and I'm still fairly sure the percentage Bing has spend about half their searches looking for Google).

      People don't care as much as we wish they did, and if the Surface is seen as a cool piece of kit (which it increasingly is) they wouldn't give a damn if it sends Microsoft nude pictures of their grandparents in an envelope made of bank statements.

  12. Esme

    Huh?

    MS as the affordable option? When they've spent most of the last decade and a half making PC ownership more expensive than it need be by forcing everyone to pay for its shitty OS whether they wanted it or not? MS has been operating more like a protection racket, and putting its prices at what the market can just about stand, not at a level that makes it affordable. Sheesh....

  13. smartypants

    Microsoft: Exciting me for the first time ever

    I think a lot of people - me included - are genuinely surprised at how, despite the chaos of the last few years, Microsoft seems to be dusting itself off and doing some good things.

    I'm not a microsoft fan-boi - far from it (I wrote on here recently about my disastrous windows 10 update failure), but the following seem like inspired ideas from the future:

    1) Continuum. We all have computers in our pockets now. Why did everyone else leave the field open for such an idea for so long? Well done Microsoft in realising that for most people they won't need a computer in the future other than that in their pocket...

    2) A single responsive, touch-friendly OS for all devices. So simple, so right. All that effort people put into justifying two incompatible ecosystems from a single company (Microsoft included with RT) - all hot air of course. But why did it take so long? Well done Microsoft for sweeping away this particular emperor's new clothes.

    3) Surface. Who would have thought that Apple would be playing catch-up (in a bad way) with a product which lost Microsoft a billion dollars in the first year?

    3) Surface Laptop: It's as though they had a long list of the things which people use as arguments to not buy a windows laptop and fixed them all (*though we'll see when the reviews come out). If it's as they promise, I will have to save up all my pennies as I finally have a replacement for my venerable vaio.

    Their phone division is still limping, but the guy in charge of the Surface line clearly also thinks so and I wouldn't be suprised to see big changes there for the better in the next 18 months.

    Microsoft is still evil of course. All big companies are! (etc.)

  14. Big-nosed Pengie

    Rolls Royce?

    Trabant would be more accurate.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Windows

    Reality check?

    Yep, MSFT must be gutted that Windows 10 is already running on more computers than Apple has shipped since the beginning of time.

    1. hplasm Silver badge
      Gimp

      Re: Reality check?

      Windows doesn't run, it sort of staggers about drunkenly. And then falls over.

      1. werdsmith Silver badge

        Re: Reality check?

        That sort of comment got boring in 2011.

        Do you post rounded corner comments on Apple discussions too?

        1. hplasm Silver badge
          Meh

          Re: Reality check?

          Waiting for Windows is always boring. Never gets old, just boring.

          Apple is as Apple does; but they do seem to do, rather than fart about.

  16. Known Hero
    Facepalm

    Wow

    The Hate is real !!!!

    Lets all just calm down and see how this pans out, rather than all getting so antsy.

    Or we could throw you all in a big room with some weapins and see what happens ;)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Wow

      When Microsoft introduce idiotic features like Clutter and don't give you a simple on/off admin switch for it for all users (powershell to the rescue) then they deserve a good kicking between the legs now and again.

      Ever seen a spam filter that 100% accurate ?

      No neither have I, let's just hope it isn't the Bumstead contract that lands in the clutter folder by mistake.

      1. Known Hero

        Re: Wow

        Not going to disagree, I did NOT like the Ribbon or full screen start menu.

        But then at one point I had to go back to XP (some point after using 8 for a while) and do something (really cant remember what) and I have to say I found it very unharmonious to navigate, I accept that "I" don't like the new system and find it jarring and many many others don't like it either, but on the other side of the coin I do believe that a little more thought went into the design process than meh that looks OK, They would of spent a lot of time streamlining the menu's that will at some point feel natural in the future and reverting back to older versions will shock us out of reverie.

        But F*ck it I dont like change, but I have to accept it, and hopefully I/we will benefit from it.

  17. Andy Jones

    Wrong description

    Microsoft, the VW Sedan of IT? I consider them to be more like a Trebant!

  18. Andy00ff00

    Who are you, Apple?

    > Surface Pro is selling very well

    Please.

    THE Surface Pro is selling very well.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Rolls Royce say their cars don't break down but instead "Fail to proceed"

    Quite apt for Microsoft.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So they want to spy on you like Google and charge you Apple prices for the privilege.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Shabby 'chic'

    I dunno.

    I guess a while back I just got exhausted giving too much of a crap about what's cool / premium / luxury.

    I chucked a cheapy SSD in a 'pants' old Core2 Duo laptop covered in Commodore and Masters Of The Universe stickers, whacked a Linux distro on and...lo and behold, it actually shifts.

    Perfect for my needs to the point I can no longer justify spending heaps, nor can I actually even be arsed.

    And the hipster faces in coffee shops are something to behold. It's like pulling up to the lights in a Robin Reliant, and smoking their Subaru as they turn green. Oh alright, that's a bit silly, but you my drift (see what I did there?)

    Behold they who don't give a monkey's...no wait, laugh and mock! (although this might be lack of regulation beard...or use of beard wax from a nasty big corporation instead of the artisan made-in-shed with otter blubber affair)

  22. Tromos

    Microsoft have turned into Goople!

    See title

    1. hplasm Silver badge
      Angel

      Re: Microsoft have turned into Goople!

      Goople! Do no Weebl!

  23. Brian Allan 1

    The big selling point is being able to run Windows software! None of my Apple platforms will do that w/o using a virtual PC. I'm sold on the Surface... And Win 10 looks like it will be a great platform after a few more updates, i.e.: in a year or so.

  24. doodleMonkey

    Microsoft the VW of IT? That's very wishful thinking; more like the Kia, Hyundai, British Leyland or Talbot of IT.

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