back to article Microsoft sparks new war with Google with, er, $999+ lappies for kids

It's a warm day in New York City and Microsoft is holding a large press event that is expected to be the debut for its plans to take over some of Chromebooks' market share. The Redmond event is focused on education, an area where Google has been eating Microsoft for breakfast, particularly with ChromeOS-powered computers. Over …

  1. msknight Silver badge

    Minecraft subscription?

    "Windows 10 S comes with a year’s free Minecraft subscription," - It used to be pay once, yours for life. When did they do this?

    1. a well wisher

      Re: Minecraft subscription?

      Not long after MS got hold of it I'm guessing

    2. free toasties

      Re: Minecraft subscription?

      The subscription is for a Minecraft server, so you can play with your friends rather than being forced to play on someone else's server.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Minecraft subscription?

      "The Redmond event is focused on education, an area where Google has been eating Microsoft for breakfast"

      Only in The Colonies. Microsoft are wiping the floor with Slurp elsewhere....

      1. hplasm Silver badge
        Gimp

        Re: Minecraft subscription?

        "Only in The Colonies. Microsoft are known as Slurp elsewhere....

        FTFY

    4. Random Handle

      Re: Minecraft subscription?

      >It used to be pay once, yours for life. When did they do this?

      Pretty soon after they paid $2.5 Billion for it - Notch is welcome to the money, but that was an insane price and MS clearly had no idea what they were buying - dreadful spinoffs which entirely miss the point (like Story Mode) only underline it.

      It's Realms that needs the subscription (the idea predates MS - pricing is all them though). For my kids at least, third party servers are pretty much where it's at and are much cheaper - many are free.

  2. Adair

    Just remember...

    It's all about money.

    Imagine a hand dipping into 'your wallet'(TM) forever.

  3. Pat 11

    Just give it native printer support and it will clean up

    I am so sick of Google Cloud Print Sometimes.

    1. hplasm Silver badge
      Holmes

      Re: Just give it native printer support and it will clean up

      If only you could print from a Chromebook directly... oh wait- you can.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Microsoft still wanting to be Google

    They bought aQuantive to get ad-tech and become the next Google. $6.2bn written off, nothing to show for it.

    They bought Nokia, to get phone-tech and become the next Google. Eventually $11bn written off nothing to show for it.

    They built OneDrive to get a cloud storage offer and become the next Google, and after who knows how much money, Google Drive still works better on Windows than Skydrive.

    They built Bing to get search tech and become the next Google. I suspect it now washes its face, but taking a decade to break even on all cash flows, and having a circa 3% global market share...hardly worth it.

    Now we see them attempt to make a Chromebook-a-like out of Windows to become the next Google. What's the expectations?

    1. AMBxx Silver badge

      Skydrive?

      Is it 2014 again? Now it's OneDrive.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Skydrive?

        "Is it 2014 again? Now it's OneDrive."

        It is commonly referred to as "What is Microsoft's Google Drive thing called?... No, not C drive. It's like Google Drive, but, you know, doesn't work as well. (copyright, Microsoft)."

      2. Gerhard Mack

        Re: Skydrive?

        "Is it 2014 again? Now it's OneDrive."

        Still stuck in my head after their paid product placements on NCIS LA,

        "I put the file on Skydrive"

        Next episode "I put the file on Skydrive"

        Third episode in a row "I put the file on MICROSOFT Skydrive"

        After that, I gave up watching NCIS LA.

        To this day, I've never used Skydrive/Onedrive/whatever they rebrand it as next to get the numbers up when people still can't be bothered to use it.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Microsoft still wanting to be Google

      "They bought Nokia"

      No they didn't. I still have Nokia shares...

      1. a_a

        Re: Microsoft still wanting to be Google

        No they didn't. I still have Nokia shares...

        how much are they worth now?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Microsoft still wanting to be Google

          "No they didn't. I still have Nokia shares...

          how much are they worth now?"

          Probably on an upswing, shortly after they started making Android phones.

          1. FlossyThePig

            Re: Microsoft still wanting to be Google

            Probably on an upswing, shortly after they started making Android phones.

            Aren't the new Nokia phones made by HMD? They have licensed the the brand for the next 10 years.

          2. Kernel

            Re: Microsoft still wanting to be Google

            "Probably on an upswing, shortly after they started making Android phones.'

            Maybe you should go and look at their website one day - you'll find that they make an awful lot more than licensing their name on someone else's phones.

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Microsoft still wanting to be Google

            >how much are they worth now?

            Over 5 which is a 300% profit if you bought sensibly.

    3. Orv Silver badge

      Ah, Skydrive

      When I learned that Skydrive and Skydrive Pro were completely different products based on completely different technology, and Skydrive Pro had more limitations, I had a hard time not laughing out loud.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Ah, Skydrive

        When I learned that Skydrive and Skydrive Pro were completely different products based on completely different technology, and Skydrive Pro had more limitations, I had a hard time not laughing out loud.

        What, you mean like Skype and Skype for Business are two completely different things? Or like Windows Phone and Windows and Windows RT are totally different things? Or like Active Directory and Azure Active Directory are totally different things?

        Microsoft's strategy:

        - "hey, consumer seems to like product X!"

        - "great, let's call this completely different product X as well, so we can capitalise on the good will!"

        - "what happens when a user buys the new X thinking it's the old X, but finds it can't do what the old X can do?"

        - "doesn't matter - by then we've got their cash and there's nothing they can do about it"

        1. Warm Braw Silver badge

          Re: Ah, Skydrive

          let's call this completely different product X as well

          Windows RT?

        2. Orv Silver badge
          FAIL

          Re: Ah, Skydrive

          "great, let's call this completely different product X as well, so we can capitalise on the good will!"

          Where "product X" is often "something we bought from another company, and haven't had time to ruin yet."

        3. Tim Seventh

          Re: Ah, Skydrive

          TL;DR Microsoft's Strategy:

          Hey, consumers! Would you like to buy product X or completely different product X?

    4. kain preacher Silver badge

      Re: Microsoft still wanting to be Google

      Hey they tricked yahoo into using bing.

  5. Detective Emil

    Wake me up …

    … when they get to the part about "telemetry".

    1. big_D Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Wake me up …

      10:12 - the were doing telemetry gathering using cardboard and copper wire, bunging the data into an Excel sheet.

    2. Diogenes

      Re: Wake me up …

      Telemetry is switched off for the education skus

      1. WolfFan Silver badge

        Re: Wake me up …

        Telemetry is switched off for the education skus

        No, it's not. <looks at Win 10 for Education, http://onthehub.com/download/free-software/windows-10-education-for-students/ obtained directly from Microsoft Dreamspark, now Imagine, for free. Notes attempts by it to escape the network-less VM it's confined in. Laughs manically.>

        1. Diogenes

          Re: Wake me up …

          That is bog standard Win10, with a time & purpose limited limited licence.

          It is NOT the same as Win10 for Ed which is licenced to Education Departments, Schools and School Districts

  6. Martijn Otto

    Let's not feed this crap to our children. I can understand why companies like Google and Microsoft want to catch them early, but why don't we start them off with something sensible instead like a proper OS free from all the spying and pre-installed junk.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Sure, when you come back with one that needs very little maintenance, support and training with plenty of mainstream applications, then feel free.

      Teachers are NOT techies.

      The reason Chromebooks are doing well are the fact it's simple to use, requires little training and in the event of a "issue" with the laptop, you quickly re-image it.

      1. Mage Silver badge
        Devil

        reason Chromebooks are doing well

        Is Google propaganda, google apps, etc.

        MS can't compete any more than Bing does with Google Search.

        But MS Cloud Books OR Google's infrastructure via Chrome books are both evil.

        You can "re-image" Linux Mint easily.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: reason Chromebooks are doing well

          "Is Google propaganda, google apps, etc."

          Slurpbooks are not doing so well outside the US schools market...

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: reason Chromebooks are doing well

            "Slurpbooks are not doing so well outside the US schools market..."

            People are still saying the Microsoft propaganda line of "slurp"? That was created by Ballmer's ad agencies... as everyone really likes Google and no one, aside from the many Windows' admins, like MSFT.

            Regardless, Microsoft grabs as much if not more data as Google in Windows 10... and, make no mistake, Microsoft would have done it all along if they could have built the software. And Microsoft still charges you for the privilege. A total double dip. Google puts ads on their products... and then gives away everything at no cost to the end user. That's the deal. Now Microsoft wants to grab ad placement data, and still wants to charge billions to buy the software.

            1. jgarbo

              Re: reason Chromebooks are doing well

              "Now Microsoft wants to grab ad placement data, and still wants to charge billions to buy the software."

              Well, as Bill tells 'Lindy over dinner, "Honey, there's one born every minute." And so far, he's been right.

        2. Jaymax

          Re: reason Chromebooks are doing well

          I run Mint full time on my desktop, I love it. I also luuuurve my Chromebook. Different tools/OSes for different things.

      2. jgarbo
        Childcatcher

        Teachers are NOT techies.

        But teachers must know their teaching materials, ie lappies the kids are using, well enough to solve minor problems in class.

    2. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Flexibility is a downside for non-CS educational environment

      Flexibility is not a desirable feature in an educational environment with the exception of CS (even that only from a particular point onwards).

      You want it to do exactly what it says on the tin and you do not want any work on it to be lost if the student sits on it, it is hit by a ball because the bag where it is was being used as a football goalpoast or is plain forgotten somewhere. From the teachers' perspective a stripped down cloud-backed device has considerable educational appeal. They will prefer it to a "proper OS" every time and it is difficult to blame them for that.

    3. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

      https://pi-top.com

      Like this?

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        "https://pi-top.com"

        Exactly why grandson apprentice got one for his last birthday.

        For use in schools, however, I think it the construction needs a bit lot of hardening and not DIY assembly.

      2. Captain DaFt

        "https://pi-top.com"

        Augh! Are they trying to fail? That Horrid shade of green is off-putting as Hell! Makes those gadgets look toxic!

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          "That Horrid shade of green is off-putting as Hell!"

          They're selling something kids will want, not you. When I bought one as a present I'd have preferred the grey but couldn't get it. It turned out that the acid green was just what the recipient wanted. I think we have to accept that they know their market.

          1. danR2

            Horrid Shade of Green

            Probably focus-groups found 'smell-my-finger' would have doubled sales, but MS marketing... balked.

          2. jgarbo

            Exactly. Kids tend to like bright, primary colors, whereas old fogies go for dull pastels. A youngster choosing gray is a warning sign...

        2. jgarbo

          Oh, so true, Captain. I won't buy anything green, even lettuce.

        3. Tim Seventh

          "shade of green is off-putting"

          To adults, yes. To kids, no. You've probably seen kid toys, and plenty use distinctive colors. This is an approach to distract and attract kids as they are still curious about the environment.

          It is also a psychological effect that kids are more likely to stare at a distinctive color when it is very different from the surrounding.

      3. ColonelDare

        Or just a bog standard Pi...

        I just VNC into my Pi3B (running 24/7) from my Chromebook when I want to use LibreOffice, Thunderbird, GIMP etc. It works so well that, more-often-than-not, I don't bother to power up my desktop machine. The Pi also prints/scans via my Wifi printer ('tho a bit slowly).

        When mobile the Pi runs off the Chromebook USB power output quite nicely - a sort of PiDongle if you like.

        1. Chemist

          Re: Or just a bog standard Pi...

          "It works so well that, more-often-than-not, I don't bother to power up my desktop machine."

          For those who doubt this I've just run remotely a test spreadsheet I use (via X) on a Pi3 in my garage. via a weakish wifi signal. The recalculation of 400000 sines took 6 seconds. Now on this i7 laptop it takes ~1 sec but it shows that running some software even on a Pi remotely can be quite usable.

          Using it with a direct ethernet connection with the laptop powering the pi is much better of course esp. for interactive use with graphics as might be expected

  7. ratfox Silver badge

    Trying to be Apple?

    One of the main reasons Google is grabbing up students away from Apple is that their offer is way cheaper. You can argue that software quality/convenience also plays a role, and Microsoft might be able to compete with Google on that; but if the price is $999 per laptop, they might just as well pack up and go home.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Trying to be Apple?

      The laptops actually intended for schools were not made by Microsoft and started at about $190 - the $1000 Surface Laptop is clearly a play for the university students currently buying Apple stuff (and who want a traditional laptop form factor). Claiming that Microsoft are expecting schools to buy dozens of $1000 laptops for children is disingenuous.

      1. jillesvangurp

        Re: Trying to be Apple?

        Arguably, it would have to be a pretty stupid student that doesn't realize they can get more bang for buck just buying something a third of the price from a generic OEM three years ago. The minimum config of 4GB (i.e. about 25$ if you buy it on ebay) on a device that costs 1000$ is sort of borderline criminal considering mid range smart phones a third the price ship with more. That amount of memory has been sort of unacceptably low for half a decade already, even on dirt cheap laptops.

        Also, at those prices there is no excuse for crippling windows for what is obviously a play to lock users into the app store (and really nothing else). This would have been a credible product had it shipped at a quarter of the price. Google has been owning that segment of the market for a few years now and it looks like MS is still not in a place to compete at that price range. For reference, Dell is selling Chromebooks starting at around 239$. Obviously you get what you pay for but the point is that at that price range a feature limited but well working OS is excusable.

        I'm guessing we can forget about booting Ubuntu on these things as well.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Trying to be Apple?

      To be honest, I wish Apple would start being Apple again.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Trying to be Apple?

      "One of the main reasons Google is grabbing up students away from Apple is that their offer is way cheaper. You can argue that software quality/convenience also plays a role"

      Chromebooks being cheaper, I would say "cost effective" as Chrome OS actually runs well on the low cost hw (a $250 Windows 10 PC is cheap), is part of it, but the major piece is that you just don't need to manage anything. Updates are painless, almost invisible, security is just part of the product instead of a bunch of separate software, boot times are nothing, you can "manage" a huge fleet of CBs with a few clicks... or none at all if you don't feel like setting parameters, you don't need to worry about data as there is no data on the machines... any kid can pick up any CB and a different CB the next day, doesn't matter. It's just a really well designed product. Kind of makes you wonder this is specific to CB and not just the way computers work... or why everybody doesn't have a Chromebook unless they have some specific use case which requires a thick client app. It would be really efficient for a business with 20,000 machines scattered all over the world to just manage the lot from a single pane of glass and not worry about stuff breaking with every update.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ahh, that explains it all.

    We've all been buying the wrong version of windows. We should have been buying Windows S, the secure version, not the bug and malware ridden POS we get in ordinary versions from 95 through 10 & server 2016.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Ahh, that explains it all.

      Haha, I was thinking that too. "S is for security"... is Windows 10 Pro for "Pro-bably not secure"?

      Although the "S is for security" made more sense than "S is for the soul of Windows". Although the soul of Windows being a late to market copy of someone else's product makes sense.

  9. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
    Unhappy

    how will schools afford the internet connection?

    When the president signed off removing ceilings (for the poorest schools in the USA) on what they can be charged for internet connections? These things need high speed internet.

    no internet and you might as well play frisbee's with them.

    The same goes for schools with chromebooks btw.

    1. Captain DaFt

      Re: how will schools afford the internet connection?

      "The same goes for schools with chromebooks btw."

      Really? I didn't know chromebooks got gigabytes of updates weekly too!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: how will schools afford the internet connection?

        Word. Chromebooks are already are working at the majority of K-12 schools.

        I deal with this sort of thing every day. People declaring things will never work that are already working because of some problem that would have maybe been valid in 1996. I was just talking to an IT manager who said that G Suite (Google Apps for Work) wouldn't work because it would be prohibitively expensive to install a direct line to "Google's data center" (apparently there is just one). Makes sense, because Google search, Gmail, YouTube, etc only works at my desk now because of that dark fiber line we dug between Google's singular data center and the office.

  10. Zippy's Sausage Factory
    Facepalm

    Well, that's the end for Desktop Windows

    Windows 10 S only supports the app store, so that means everyone writing desktop Windows suddenly will lose market share. Let me guess - Windows 10 S machines will be cheaper than full fat Windows 10 machines? And then what happens to the developers?

    To me, this feels like a disaster waiting to happen. In fact, I can't help thinking this is the sort of thing entire books will be written about in a few years: "(Un)Securing The Future: How Microsoft Blew A Multi-Billion Dollar Business"

    1. DougS Silver badge

      Re: Well, that's the end for Desktop Windows

      Don't worry, no one is going to buy this anymore than they were buying Windows RT devices. Desktop Windows will be fine.

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. LDS Silver badge

      Re: Well, that's the end for Desktop Windows

      You can repackage Win32 apps for the Store, on 10. That means tighter control on what you can install without extensive sysadmin knowledge to block rogue apps like Chrome that intall where they shouldn't even for unprivileged users.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Well, that's the end for Desktop Windows

        "You can repackage Win32 apps for the Store, on 10. That means 30% of your revenue in Microsooft's pocket." FTFY

        1. bombastic bob Silver badge
          FAIL

          Windows 10 S can only use apps from the Windows Store

          this implies several things:

          a) you MUST agree with Micro-shaft's EULA and use a Micro-shaft cloudy logon

          b) you MUST only run CRapps from "the Store" which contain adware and spyware (particularly the 'free' ones).

          c) it's being MARKETED! TO! CHILDREN!

          d) CHILDREN are being privacy-violated, target-marketed, etc.

          In other words, it's a complete cluster-BLANK of FAIL, designed ONLY to accomodate and condition the next generation into *ACCEPTING* this kind of ABOMINATION.

          Micro-shaft - come up with something GOOD for once, ok? Quit shoving this CRAP out the door and up/into our collective rectums!

          1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: Windows 10 S can only use apps from the Windows Store

            "it's being MARKETED! TO! CHILDREN!"

            I didn't realise Yahoo! was involved.

          2. LDS Silver badge

            Re: Windows 10 S can only use apps from the Windows Store

            So, where's the difference from using a Chromebook? And Google is actually under investigation for selling children data.

        2. This post has been deleted by its author

        3. LDS Silver badge

          Re: Well, that's the end for Desktop Windows

          Just like Apple or Android/Chrome. So where's the difference? It wasn't MS to start that, just following. And everybody blabbed about how much secure stores make installing applications...

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Well, that's the end for Desktop Windows

      " Let me guess - Windows 10 S machines will be cheaper than full fat Windows 10 machines? "

      Probably not for enterprises... which is the only group that still buys a ton of Windows machines. I'm sure their prices will not go down.

      Also, any time Microsoft changes anything in Windows, it fails. Windows Vista, 8, Phone, Mobile, RT, Auto, etc... anything that doesn't look like XP. Windows users are people that are not particularly into technology. They just want to same thing they have always had, nothing new to learn. Change anything and they alienate their install base. If people like new stuff, they would use Apple or Google. So I don't think this gets off the ground.... schools are definitely not going to buy $999 laptops when they can buy $180 Chromebooks or $400 Windows Normal PCs. No OEMs are going to want to push this thing. Why would they? Microsoft competes with them. Google does not.

  11. DougS Silver badge

    Microsoft is trying Windows RT all over again

    It failed miserably when they were trying to counter iPad, why should they expect it will be different this time when they are trying to counter Chromebooks?

    People buy Windows devices to run real Windows apps. If they don't need to run real Windows apps, then they have a lot to choose from, including iPad, Android tablets, and Chromebook. This is just another choice competing with those, except with a smaller selection of software. Can anyone provide a single reason why someone would choose Microsoft here?

    This has FAIL written all over it, and I predict Windows S will disappear without a trace before Windows 7's support life ends in early 2020.

    1. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

      Re: Microsoft is trying Windows RT all over again

      The problem for Slurp is incompetent branding. Calling the OS used on very different devices 'Windows' is criminally stupid. For most it means a full desktop OS that runs desktop applications. Calling anything else Windows risks destroying the brand or at best killing the product before it even has a chance. If they called it something else like Google does with ChromeOS and Android then there is no confusion in the buyers' minds. It does not matter that ChromeOS might run some Android apps to anyone with a couple of functioning brain cells they are different products that one expects to have different capabilities.

    2. Terry 6 Silver badge

      Re: Microsoft is trying Windows RT all over again

      "....to run real Windows programmes

      FTFY

      "Apps" are those silly little programmlets that Google encourage people to use in place of proper software, on their over-priced info-slurping adservers.. And to be fair, are probably all they need.

      The concern I have about these 10 S machines is that they'll tie users into Microsoft's pet programmes - in cut-down app versions or silly priced subscription versions, instead of them escaping to LibreOffice or equivalent.

      And for the undergrads that could mean keeping them for life, once they get to that stage.

      And yes, for a teacher, a Chromebook - no hassle, no frights - is going to be the best option. Faced with a room full of stroppy kids, no means of escape and several weeks hard work on a dodgy laptop is a nightmare that no one wants to face.

  12. JCDenton

    Everything thing they talk about looks like they are trying to make schools dependent on their complicated and expensive ecosystem. The reason Chromebooks are such a success with schools is their expense and simplicity.

    Problems with a Chromebook are easily solved. Screw it up big time? Replace or reimage. $999 for a base model? Why??? American K-12 schools don't need much, just office apps. Google Docs is a platform that already exists, and is already popular. If MS wants to beat Google at the education game, they need to show how it is better than Google, not say why it is better.

    1. Notas Badoff Silver badge

      "schools don't need much, just office apps."

      And so I was dumbfounded when they say "only store apps" and "office available in store 'soon'". WTF?

      Show me an auto and then say tires available 'soon'? This baby's going nowhere!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "And so I was dumbfounded when they say "only store apps" and "office available in store 'soon'". WTF?"

        It also seems like Microsoft is undercutting their Office and Windows cash cow. Forever they have said that you need fat client apps on Windows, like Office (which was always odd as all enterprise software like Oracle, SAP, Salesforce runs in a browser). Never made any sense, but enough ultra IT conservative companies bought the line and kept paying out millions per year to MSFT for Windows and Office. Now they are having a huge event and Nadella is on stage telling people, essentially, "Google was obviously right... a lightweight OS and apps are better." The whole thing is Microsoft following the Google model. Why not just get the real deal, for less, from Google?

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "mixed realty"

    I think they mean "augmented reality", and no they didn't invent it.

  14. johnnyblaze

    Sorry MS, too little, too late. It may be Windows S, but it will be subject to all the usual Windows 10 problems: bad patching/update design, shitty app store, unreliable, easily broken, virus magnet - it's a long list. Schools don't want this, and they certainly don't want 'premium' Surface versions that will get destroyed by those little monsters, er, darlings. VR/AR headsets? Do me a favour. They wouldn't survive one lesson. Surface Pens would be lost or stolen as soon as they're taken out the box.

    Schools need to keep it simple, and I mean really simple - and cheap - and reliable. Most of what they do is web based these days, and they don't need Windows for that. I really can't see schools lining up for this. Many are done with Windows - it's too much trouble.

  15. Stoke the atom furnaces

    I am very impressed with my daughters Asus chromebook. Very responsive, solidly built and the quad core ARM CPU gives it oodles of battery life.

    I would love to see someone putting a Raspberry Pi into a laptop of the same quality and at the same price point.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      "I would love to see someone putting a Raspberry Pi into a laptop of the same quality and at the same price point."

      Actually the Pi is a more like a pig's ear when it comes to fitting into a box like that. It's designed as a bench top gadget* where it doesn't matter where the external connections are placed You need to get a USB connection out for the keyboard but because all the USBs are at one end it then becomes a compromise arranging for external USB kit to be plugged it. It would be even worse if you also wanted an internal disk drive.

      OTOH something of similar spec but designed for incorporation in a laptop would be fine.

      *At which it's brilliant, of course.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Windows 10 Shite Edition?

    Well they have changed their tune...

    Chromebook: Everything you need? - Microsoft (2013)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_wAgB5J1gSQ

    "Ben the PC Guy hits the streets of Venice, CA asking people which they would rather have -- a Chromebook or a Windows laptop."

    "Don't get Scroogled!"

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    0930 Right on time, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella comes on stage. He's talking about his great grandparents' upbringing in India and having to choose which child went to school rather than working. "Talent is everywhere but opportunity is not."

    0930 Right on time, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella comes on stage. He's talking about his great grandparents' upbringing in India and having to choose which child went to outsourcing rather than school. "Talent is poor but opportunity is not."

    FTFY

  18. gypsythief
    Joke

    "Great tshirt"

    "Girls can do anything!"

    Except write their name in the snow...

    1. WolfFan Silver badge

      Re: "Great tshirt"

      "Girls can do anything!"

      Except write their name in the snow...

      You've been going out with the wrong girls.

  19. This post has been deleted by its author

  20. Jason Hindle Bronze badge

    4Gb of RAM in a $999 laptop?

    WTF?

    1. WolfFan Silver badge

      Re: 4Gb of RAM in a $999 laptop?

      It's Microsoft. They're trying to out-Apple Apple. Apple has a $1000 laptop (two, actually), they gotta have a $1000 laptop. And their profit margin has to be even better than Apple's. So Apple's $1000 laptop has 256 GB storage and 8 GB RAM? Cool. Microsoft's $1000 laptop has to have 128 GB of storage and 4 GB of RAM. Apple's other $1000 laptop has 128 GB storage, 8 GB of RAM and a real CPU instead of the imitation CPU the MacBook has? Cool. Microsoft's $1000 laptop has 128 GB storage (can't make it smaller) and 4 GB RAM and a better real CPU.

      I know people who have phones with more storage and RAM than those things. (See further Samsung, Galaxy S8, not for sale in the US)

      Microsoft (and Apple) can bite me.

  21. A Non e-mouse Silver badge
    WTF?

    Applause & Cheers

    Am I the first to notice the instructions to the audience in that last picture?

    Are these things so stage managed that they have to tell the audience when to be enthusiastic?

    1. A Non e-mouse Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Applause & Cheers

      (To be fair, I've been to gigs where the band provided their own pre-recorded audience applause...)

  22. Uncle Slacky Silver badge
    Linux

    The important question is...

    ...does it run Linux?

  23. danR2

    Apple's Nuclear Option: ~ 100 gigabuck reserves

    Tim Cook can simply hand out 10 million free laptops or tablets.

    MS and Chrome vaporized.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Apple's Nuclear Option: ~ 100 gigabuck reserves

      "Tim Cook can simply hand out 10 million free laptops or tablets."

      or just lower the prices on their existing laptops, but they are not going to do either.

  24. Robot

    The real issue ...

    I think the real issue is what Windows S may mean for the future of Windows, say, five years down the road. Will Microsoft eventually lock Windows to the app store programs? Today I read a few brief comments that Mac OS X is moving in that direction, with some new features that force people to the app store. But since I have never owned a MacBook (even though my wife and I have bought four iPads between us), can someone enlighten me about what it means for OS X? This may give us some clues about the Windows of the future. Thanks. Ben

  25. Chunes

    M'sft Still Doesn't Know Where Apostrophes Go

    As a Mac-based Office 365 user I'm used to Word screwing up on the spellcheck/grammar thing. I've got a large folder on my desk that catalogs, among other things, Word's uselessness at figuring out apostrophes, or should I say apostrophe's. Please God don't let Gates and Ballmer and the new guy try to teach anything to children.

  26. boidsonly

    M$ is trying to shove their walled garden down our throats one way or another. I hope this fails.....big.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      It won't work. Kids are not going to put up with this stuff. It's not like they are corporate employees.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The only person I know who uses Windows is simple. So cool branding.

  28. PaulR79
    Facepalm

    Windows 10 S RT

    Let's just call it what it is in all but name. If it's locked to using the Windows Store that is a stupid restriction but could possibly be argued that it's to ensure security. That would be a lot more believable if the thing didn't cost the same as a good gaming laptop with the specs of an average £300 laptop.

    It's crazy just how badly a company can mess things up so consistently and still be in business. Any other company would have died after one or two of Microsoft's multibillion dollar failures.

  29. the-it-slayer

    Probably a good hackintosh prospect?

    Cheap way to get portable MacOS without doshing out tonnes of cash on hardware? Like that idea.

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