back to article Microsoft Surface laptop: Is this your MacBook Air replacement?

Student debt in the United States now stands at $1.2 trillion. In the UK outstanding student loans top £100 billion. Microsoft has made an fascinating contribution to the student debt crisis, by attempting to increase it. The machine I am typing on is a locked-down laptop aimed at "students" and "classrooms" that costs £1,549 …

  1. Mage Silver badge

    Too Expensive

    A Lenovo E460 at reasonable configuration is about 1/3rd the price. In November 2016 it offered Win10 and optionally Win 7. Linux runs just fine.

    The Surface laptop is let down by MS worst OS since ME and x3 too high price. At least with the Apple tax you get a reasonably decent OS (though not as good as it used to be).

    All those evil privacy and bandwidth stealing features by default. Almost zero customisation of GUI. So integrated to cloud that you get "complaints" in Notifications if no internet.

    I have Win 10 desktop and x86 Keyboard Tablet for test purposes. All that Iot, peer to peer, cloud, phone and telemetry garbage on by default in "Services". "Quiet Hours" can't be more than 12, cabled ethernet can't be set to metered, though WiFi can. I'm rural with a capped fixed wireless modem/router connected to my wired 1Gbps ethernet. Some areas of property have unusable WiFi.

    1. LDS Silver badge

      "A Lenovo E460"....

      Not comparable - just the screen alone is a very different game (and it also supports the Surface pen) - and of course very different target markets.

      The fact it runs Windows 10 is really the worst thing... but MS is believing stubbornly that's the way to go.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Too Expensive

      "cabled ethernet can't be set to metered, though WiFi can"

      It was working 6 weeks ago when I tried it last. I think you're just missing the super-secret networking window. With the Creator's update, they hid metering deeper in the settings.

      1. Mage Silver badge

        Re: Too Expensive

        I'd need to schlep my Win10 gear to someone in the city on cable to get the so "Crater Uptake".

        Probably.

        I can find WiFi metering, except you have to connect to a particular WiFi first. The equivalent place when ethernet cable is connected doesn't exist on any of the W10 I have.

        Can't leave the ethernet connected.

        If you select "Metered", you have to go somewhere else to give driver downloads an exemption. The settings are all over the place and different GUI styles. It's obviously a work in progress transitioning from Win 7 human GUI to Win X-files Alien GUI designed by Cardassians to torture us.

      2. joed

        Re: Too Expensive

        Metered connection is just registry fix away. All my connections are metered, no exceptions (across all on my personal Windows 10 systems).

        Blocking IPv6 and some MS related crap on the router is another avenue - I kind of expect that some of MS services fail on my home network, no regrets so far.

    3. N2 Silver badge

      Re: Too Expensive

      Agreed & I very much doubt it stand up to a three or more year university course abuse.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    But Why?

    would anyone in their right mind be shackled like this with Windows 10S?

    Answers on a pinhead please.

    Get yourself a secondhand Macbook Air and save yourself a lot of grief (and money)

    1. LDS Silver badge

      Re: But Why?

      Just another strange and quite silly marketing decision by Microsoft. As usual, engineering is good, marketing and upper levels have no clue. They need to promote 10S, and chose the wrong way.

      Or course whoever will buy this - and it won't be students but the most wealthy ones - will switch immediately to full 10, probably a Pro version, not even an Home.

      And you wonder why after spending 2K and more you have to perform this silly step.

      1. Uffish
        Headmaster

        Re: But Why?

        @ Anon

        "an Home" ? But why? You haven't an hope in an hell of convincing me that "an h....." is anything more than a haffectation.

        Silly comment, yes. But I'm reading an article about a bloody expensive laptop with a bloody awful OS, that really is silly.

    2. P. Lee Silver badge

      Re: But Why?

      >would anyone in their right mind be shackled like this with Windows 10S?

      No-one would do that - certainly not someone spending that amount of money.

      You're using wrongthink. It is for the vendor's benefit, not the users.

      It is to get people used to the idea of locked hardware, knowing full well that for this hardware, no-one will be using the locked-down system so no-one will complain.

  3. g00se
    Linux

    ... but will it

    run Linux? That's the only "jailbreak" i'd be remotely interested in.

    1. Anonymous Coward Silver badge
      Stop

      Re: ... but will it

      Why would you but a microsoft branded laptop to run linux?

      1. g00se

        Re: ... but will it

        Err ... i wouldn't. But if one came into my possession, there's no version of Windows 10 in the world (so far) that i would be happy with. It'd be like receiving a Maserati that had been fitted with wooden (and evil) cartwheels

        1. Anonymous Coward Silver badge

          Re: ... but will it

          So stick it in the bin then. Or ebay. Nobody is forcing you to use it.

          Horses for courses. Get the right tool for the job. If you want to run linux on a laptop, get a laptop that isn't made* by microsoft.

          (*I don't know which chinese company actually makes them. Perhaps 'branded' would've been a better word)

          1. Dave 126 Silver badge

            Re: ... but will it

            If you're not going to buy one but only hope to 'aquire' one, then your views mean naff all to Microsoft.

            There's some damned good laptops now being sold installed with Linux and full driver support from mainstream brands - can't you just be happy?

          2. Dave 126 Silver badge

            Re: ... but will it

            > get a laptop that isn't made* by microsoft. (*I don't know which chinese company actually makes them. Perhaps 'branded' would've been a better word)

            Maybe 'designed' or 'commissioned' might be better words still. No doubt the actual factory will have had some input ("if you change the angle of this rib it'll be 2% faster with our machines") as it's daft not to listen to your contractors, but the design - the evaluation of compromises, what to put in, what to leave out - is Microsoft's. 'Branded' suggests merely its original meaning: marking a generic object (originally a cow) with your mark.

      2. Robert Moore
        Linux

        Re: ... but will it

        Why would you but a microsoft branded laptop to run linux?

        Irony, or because it's there. Your choice.

        1. Updraft102 Silver badge

          Re: ... but will it

          It would be an interesting conversation piece for sure.

      3. Marcel
        Linux

        Re: ... but will it

        Because you like the hardware, but not the software. Also, choice in "Linux branded" laptops is rather limited.

        1. JLV Silver badge

          Re: ... but will it

          Honest question.

          With advanced hardware, like the newer "Windows Precision Touchpad" driver specifications that finally get better touchpad behavior on Windows machines... how easy it is to get Linux running and have all the hardware fully operational these days?

          I know, and this is not what I am asking, that Linux will install itself seamlessly and will get 95% of the hardware fully operational - the screen, the audio, etc... What I am asking about is: can I hope that the last 5% of exotic hardware on this kind of machine will work easily on Linux? Or will it require a lot of messing around with drivers, which is really not something I enjoy doing at all.

          I.e. when I read through forums sharing tips about how to configure special hardware, I am impressed with the technical know how on display. But I am not particularly interested in going there, even though I would love a very capable 'nix based dev platform to replace my MBP. (IMHO, the latest MBPs are pricey, have crappy keyboards and the Touch Bar is a pretty useless gizmo when using non-Apple apps - it has zero tactile feedback). I am mostly on bash and text editors, so don't really care about the rest of the Apple apps.

          And it seems that Linux-specced laptops are neither abundant, nor particularly cheap either, hence my question.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: ... but will it

            I bought a refurb Dell XPS 13 i7 7500u, specced out for NZ$1700.

            Installed Fedora 25 (now 26),

            It was the single smoothest and fastest install I've ever done of any OS on hardware, and I've done hundreds.

            10 minutes for install, 10 minutes for full OS update (slow link) and EVERYTHING WORKED. Everything. And it works faster and better than Windows on the same device.

            If you want a smooth Linux experience on good hardware get an XPS 13, no fucking around.

            1. JLV Silver badge
              Pint

              Re: ... but will it

              >get an XPS 13

              Txs, exactly the kind of info I was looking to get!

      4. Number6

        Re: ... but will it

        Why would you but a microsoft branded laptop to run linux?

        To be fair to MS, I've never had an issue with the hardware. While I can't claim to have bought a lot, the mice have been durable and the stuff I've seen in shops looks good. It's just that I don't like their software that much. If they hadn't made such an effort to lock down the BIOS to prevent people installing Linux then I might even have considered buying a Surface at one point. Even now, I'm using a Linux VM on a Windows 10 machine, a set-up which reduces the contributions to the swear box to an acceptable level. Still waiting for some software vendors to produce Linux versions of their products...

        1. Kristian Walsh Silver badge

          Re: ... but will it

          If they hadn't made such an effort to lock down the BIOS to prevent people installing Linux then I might even have considered buying a Surface at one point.

          Er, "such an effort"? Really?

          The Surfaces are all pretty standard UEFI systems. Installing Linux on one is trivial; getting everything to work once it boots is not. The problem is getting Linux drivers for the custom hardware (sound, touchscreen, pen, keyboard, webcam), but that's not Microsoft's "efforts" - it's a matter of how helpful the peripheral makers are towards open-source driver maintainers, and that's a complete spectrum from "totally onboard" to "downright hostile".

          Driver availability has nothing to do with the BIOS. If you can install and boot Linux on the hardware (which you can), then the BIOS is not "locked down".

          So, if you want to continue to blame Microsoft for nVidia or Marvell's sins in respect to Linux, go ahead. But be aware that shouting at the cat is not a good way to stop the dog shitting on your carpet.

          1. Number6

            Re: ... but will it

            True, I guess it was the RT stuff that was really locked down. The taint persists in my mind though, I automatically assume that MS will lock out other stuff which means I'm not going to buy any of their branded computers.

          2. JLV Silver badge

            Re: ... but will it

            >be aware that shouting at the cat is not a good way to stop the dog shitting on your carpet.

            Worth a +1 on its own.

      5. John Robson Silver badge

        Re: ... but will it

        "Why would you but a microsoft branded laptop to run linux?"

        Because they have historically made some pretty good hardware. Albeit I'm thinking about mice and keyboards, so a completely different hardware class - but...

        If they get the hardware right then why wouldn't you buy it?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: ... but will it

      "run Linux? "

      Yes, it's in the Windows Store.

  4. David Roberts Silver badge

    Tips and corrections.

    Yes, link doesn't work on my tablet.

    Article mentions an upgrade to 512 MB.

    Shirley some mistake?

    1. malle-herbert Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: Tips and corrections.

      It's Microsoft... so "512Mb is enough for everybody"...

      1. N2 Silver badge

        Re: Tips and corrections.

        640Kb

      2. JLV Silver badge

        Re: Tips and corrections.

        well... careful with the sarcasm. MacBook Pros are sold @ 256GB by default in stores in Canada. Want 512? Special order, or online. Really impressive, for a "pro" lineup.

      3. Spearchucker Jones

        Re: Tips and corrections.

        I note the troll icon, but anyway. I have three generations of Surface, and each only has 256Mb storage. It's enough because I have a desktop with 4Tb storage. I've never had space issues even on a 3-month stint in Africa, where I synced all my photos to the Surface.

        But then your point absolutely applies to those who use a Surface as their only computer.

    2. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

      Re: Tips and corrections.

      At this point I wonder if it's bait

  5. hplasm Silver badge
    Holmes

    Betteridge's law of headlines...

    Answers this question nicely.

    1. Kristian Walsh Silver badge

      Re: Betteridge's law of headlines...

      In my case, the answer is "yes". I've a MacBook Air that needs replacement. I'll either retire the Mac, or replace it with one of these. Either way, I won't be getting a MacBook - the new generation Apple keyboards are horrible (but at least the obnoxious light-up branding is finally gone).

      The keyboard on this is phenomenally good for a lightweight laptop - I would agree that only the ThinkPad keyboards are better, but I could never warm to the ThinkPads otherwise.

  6. Arctic fox
    Windows

    Apparently the conversion to Win 10 Pro takes about two minutes.

    Which is precisely what I would do straight out of the box if I were thinking of buying one.

    1. Not also known as SC

      Re: Apparently the conversion to Win 10 Pro takes about two minutes.

      But don't you have to pay another £70 to do so?

      1. Arctic fox
        Windows

        Re: "But don't you have to pay another £70 to do so?"

        The current situation is that the conversion to Win 10 Pro will remain free until Dec 31, 2017. Thereafter it will cost $49. (At current rate of exchange plus VAT my guesstimate is that the price in the UK will likely be about £50*)

        * Which is chicken feed compared with what this device costs in the first place. Anyone who has got the spons for this lappie is not going to give shit about en extra 50 notes or so representing as it does about 2% of the price of the 500 Gb version.

        1. LDS Silver badge

          "Which is chicken feed compared with what this device costs"

          It's still very bad marketing. The need to pay even more, and go through the payment process after you already spent a lot looks quite silly - "hey, I've spent $999 for this phone but now I have to spend $29 to unlock the camera...." - sure, you can spend that amount, but you feel they're mocking you.

          It will be even more so for people who will be not fully aware of the trick. These marketing techniques are usually employed by shameful business, I'd stay away from them....

        2. Not also known as SC

          Re: "But don't you have to pay another £70 to do so?"

          Misread the article - I didn't realise that these were Window 10 S machines. I thought they would be running at least Windows Home for that price. Just checked on my wife's laptop. Windows 10 Home to Pro currently costs £119.99. So yes - you can upgrade, but as soon as the free upgrade period is over it could cost a lot extra to unlock what we'd consider basic functionality.

          1. Kristian Walsh Silver badge

            Re: "But don't you have to pay another £70 to do so?"

            The 10S free upgrade is to Windows 10 Pro, not Home.

  7. 0laf Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Wot?

    So £1500 - £3k for a Windows laptop which is locked down to the point of making it near useless like the old RT tablets unless I cough up another £50 for the privilege of making it do what I want.

    May I make a counter suggestion to MS?

    How about you? Get. To. Fuck.

    Take a long walk off a short pier

    Etc.

    Why not just try, a little, to not make something that is so blatantly grasping for every bent copper in our pockets. Why not just make a fucking tablet with a meter attached we can feed pound coins into? Ok it's not pretty but at least it would be fucking honest.

    1. Bronek Kozicki Silver badge

      Re: Wot?

      Now, now. Take it easy. It is Microsoft, they do not plan to sell it in volume AT THIS TIME . The price is meant to keep the sales artificially low.

      Sorry about shouting, but I cannot stress this enough. If the price was competitive, Microsoft in effect would be competing with their largest customers - OEMs. They obviously do not want to do that now.

      It is just meant as a statement to OEMs "we can live without you, so if you try live without us ... just try" and not much more beyond. Which makes perfect sense, given the maturity Linux has achieved.

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: Wot?

        MS have also shown the OEMs the way with good screen resolutions, useful aspect ratios and really nice trackpads - in short, trying to the OEMs out of their bad habits. The strategy seems to be working, and every user benefits from the increased range and quality of laptops, including the Penguins.

        1. Roland6 Silver badge

          Re: Wot?

          >useful aspect ratios?

          So MS are making a Surface with an aspect ratio of 4:3 - something I've not seen since the Thinkpad T60 (circa 2007).

          As someone who needs a mobile workstation that can go in a backpack and be used anywhere, I much prefer a 14/15-inch laptop with a 4:3 screen to the 'standard' modern 15-inch laptop with a 16:9 screen.

          1. 0laf Silver badge

            Re: Wot?

            A decent 4:3 laptop I might actually be interested in. They're far more useful for document work than the 16:9 ratio that's been forced out everywhere for the last decade.

          2. Mage Silver badge
            Happy

            Re: prefer a 14/15-inch laptop with a 4:3

            " I much prefer a 14/15-inch laptop with a 4:3 screen to the 'standard' modern 15-inch laptop with a 16:9 screen."

            Me too. But the extra cost and Win 10 Shackled edition (though Win 10 pro is a disaster) is deal breaker.

            I'd be happier with 1600 x1200 than ANY 1920 x 1080 screen.

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Wot?

            Isn't 4:3 the optimum aspect ratio for retro gaming?

            Once upon a time all monitors were 4:3 or 5:4 aspect ratio, both CRTs and LCDs. Then sometime later everyone jumped onto the widescreen bandwagon.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Wot?

        IMHO MS understood the low-end laptop market has been broadly eroded by smartphones, and without flagship products showing Windows is still useful and "trendy" outside the boring sales drone laptop, it could be difficult to keep the OS in the news and relevant.

        OEMs were delivering mostly boring products, with just a few exceptions, margins being too low to attempt some kind of "revolution". MS moved to "disrupt" the situation. MS still needs OEMs to make Surfaces, and yes, it's not a direct competition, but a clear direction for state-of-the-art Windows devices.

        If Windows 10 adds or removes from the appeal, is another matter... sure it's hard to understand why power users willingly to spend thousands should accept a crippled OS running crippled applications. Just to show off with a Surface? It doesn't have the Apple appeal anyway.

        But Nadella will never admit Win10(S) is a big mistake, we'll need to wait for the next CEO...

      3. Uffish

        Re: " just try2

        If that is the case, and it may well be, I would expect war to break out quite quickly - and I would expect a continuation of the OEMs and a long, slow decline of Microsoft, which would be a pity. The one real benefit to humanity of Microsoft is that it imposed a certain stability on the hardware.

    2. Mike Moyle Silver badge

      Re: Wot?

      @ Olaf -- I'm trying to come up with something about bent coppers getting into your pockets being why you can't afford one of these, but...

      Nah... I got nothin'.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Still in two minds about the ports..

    From a legacy perspective, Apple's move to all USB-C certainly sucked.

    From a new purchase perspective, though, it makes more sense than the old mix, because USB-C ports are universal. That means you can choose which port to use for charging, video, USB kit and connectivity, and on a regular laptop you've got 6 of them so you can connect where you want, and a broken port doesn't immediately mean a trip to the repair shop because you have 6 - plenty of redundancy.

    Best of all, it puts an end to the power supply crap we've been suffering for decades. In principle you should be able to hook it up to *PC* power supplies and peripherals and it should just work as well.

    In short, legacy ports are good for, umm, legacy, but USB-C fixes enough connectivity issues for me to start a full scale conversion (helped by the fact that I have to kit out two new offices soon :) ). That said, I still combine what I like - I may prefer a Macbook, but I like Logitech mice (never got on with Apple's). I like high-res, but I am not going to throw out a fortune for a Mac screen when I can buy two high quality widescreen PC ones for the same price.

    I will have to get a small Windows 10 laptop just to ensure I know how to use it, but it will not be a working machine as I don't trust it to have access to the core network - it'll just have an Internet link so it can keep up to date on patches.

    As for the restrictions: for that price and no options? Surely that's a joke? If that lasts a month before MS caves to demand I'd be surprised.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Still in two minds about the ports..

      "From a new purchase perspective, though, it makes more sense than the old mix, because USB-C ports are universal."

      How long before USB-D or, maybe, something else makes USB-C legacy?

      1. Bronek Kozicki Silver badge

        Re: Still in two minds about the ports..

        USB 3.2 perhaps ?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Still in two minds about the ports..

          USB 3.2 perhaps ?

          That's still the same hardware as far as I know.

          About the only thing I'm worried about is the power supply aspect. For data it's relatively OK, but the amps required for the average laptop demand fairly sturdy cabling. The fire risk alone would compel me to find a supplier whose ratings I can actually trust.

      2. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: Still in two minds about the ports..

        > How long before USB-D...

        The need for USB Type C was clear from the limitations of USB type A* and USB 3 - plug design, speed, ability to extend PCIe bus, power delivery. The specs of Type C should be enough for the next few years (and indeed, the applications I use haven't become radically more resource hungry over the last few years).

        After then, who knows what the state of wireless power and data transmission might be?

        * Yeah, yeah, I know Sony once USB type A to drive Thunderbolt peripherals - an external GPU for X series laptops. Aw, I kinda miss Weird Sony.

    2. andy 103

      Re: Still in two minds about the ports..

      It's like this - 13 years ago I had a Toshiba laptop that had a serial port, parallel port and even an infrared sensor.

      One could argue that all of those have their uses.

      However, times change. I've moved on and adapted....

      Last time I bought a TV I didn't say, oooh the lack of a SCART socket or S-Video could cause me serious limitations? Not unless I was being a pedantic, backward thinking tosser.

      1. James O'Shea Silver badge

        Re: Still in two minds about the ports..

        Andy... in 13 years my old USB devices will be dead and I won’t need old-style USB ports. Right now I have zero point zero USB C devices. Apple’s new laptops have zero point zero old-style USB ports. This means that I would have to use adators to make my existing devices, which ALL MY OTHER COMPUTERS WORK WITH, work with a new Apple laptop were I foolish enough to buy one. Apple does not ship even one adaptor with the new laptops. Either I’m supposed to abandon my old stuff, and compatibility with my existing computers, or I’m supposed to buy adaptors. A simpler solution would be to buy a laptop which has one or two old USB ports and one or two USB C ports, or which ships with adaptors, and use that.

        In a few years it won’t matter so much. I’ll have a few adaptors, and many (most?) of my old USB devices will be dead anyway. Right now it’s a big deal.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Is the high price a marketing thing.

    If they can offer schools free laptops worth £1500 it looks a lot nicer than offering free laptops worth £500. It's a locked down OS to mimic ChromeOS that's doing pretty well in the US education market, so there's another box ticked. It's all about getting windows in front of kids.

    So, kids get hooked on Windows, educational software ends up being windows only (because it's easier to develop for just one platform) and we all live happily ever after. Well we do if we have a stack of Microsoft shares.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Is the high price a marketing thing.

      If I want to ruin kids by sticking Windows in front of them I'm not going to do that on a laptop that's more expensive than a MacBook. The destructive force most kids are born with evaporates only slowly.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Meh

    Pros: Out-Apples Apple. Beautiful hardware design.

    Cons: Microsoft, Windows.

    1. GrumpenKraut Silver badge

      > Beautiful hardware design.

      Including the up/down arrows squeezed together so much they are a fucker to use. Thanks, but no, thanks. How can people NOT spot that this is s problem?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "How can people NOT spot that this is s problem?"

        Those that use the trackpad?

    2. Roland6 Silver badge

      Cons: MS Hardware - remember the recent teardown of the Surface which showed it wasn't repairable in any way. My understanding is that whilst the MacBook could do better, it is possible to repair...

      1. LDS Silver badge

        it is possible to repair...

        No, but maybe changing the battery. Surface was 0/10, MacBook 1/10, IIRC. To achieve this level of miniaturization components needs to be soldered and glued together. Only thing I'd wish it's exactly a replaceable battery, and maybe disk. If anything else breaks, and it's out of warranty, it's probably time to replace it.

    3. James Anderson

      Had windows 10 running for 6 months now

      ... and I rather like it.

      Admittedly it's not a patch on ubuntu/mate for real work.

      But for what I use it for (streaming telly from miscellaneous hotel rooms and some minimal e-mail and Skype) it works just fine.

      In particular the network settings are not only miles better than the hokey menus on win xp, they are superior to anything on Apple or Linux.

      Want to connect your old kindle , but cannot get past the hotels Pita login screen -- three mouse clicks and you have a wi-fi hotspot.

      1. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: Had windows 10 running for 6 months now

        "In particular the network settings are not only miles better than the hokey menus on win xp, they are superior to anything on Apple or Linux."

        As a mobile worker, I'm still not impressed, MS should of left network and locale settings to third-party applications - the Win10 settings are still cr*p compared to the connection/locale management utilities that were around in the days of W2K/XP.

        "Want to connect your old kindle , but cannot get past the hotels Pita login screen -- three mouse clicks and you have a wi-fi hotspot."

        It irritates me that I have to get the laptop out, because phone and MiFi vendors seem to assume you only want to use the mobile hotspot to connect over a 3/4g network, when in fact I want it to run independently of the WAN connection as then I can use it as a mobile router for my personal cloud.

        1. Updraft102 Silver badge

          Re: Had windows 10 running for 6 months now

          "the Win10 settings are still cr*p compared to the connection/locale management utilities that were around in the days of W2K/XP."

          Indeed. Yet most of those utilities have gone by the wayside now. The lone exception I have been able to find as far as wlan is the Intel Proset utility, still pretty much the same as it was 9 years ago when I first used it, and still far better than Windows itself.

          I found the networking UI on XP to be vastly superior to all later versions. Starting with Vista, they buried the adapter settings several layers deep instead of being right there after a right clock on the icon in the system tray as they used to be.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Numpties will buy it with win10s if it's 20p cheaper than the full win version.

    They won't know the difference until it's too late and then what was on it when they bought it, will be what's on it when they bin it.

    1. Jonathan 27 Bronze badge

      Re: Numpties will buy it with win10s if it's 20p cheaper than the full win version.

      Then they'll be paying that $50 upgrade fee won't they. What Microsoft is doing is scummy, but it's not like they have to chuck the entire thing in the bin because it can't be upgraded to Windows 10 Pro (in under 2 minutes).

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    People who enjoy

    ..OSX won't even bother paying att..

  13. Teiwaz Silver badge

    defenestrate windows

    Well, I wouldn't pay high prices for a hotel room where the cups were chained to the wall and there are bars on the windows even (and especially) if it were in the swanky part of town and had a fine art deco facade.

    What is it with Ms these days, Professional version gets renamed Pro and is barely fit for Professionals, now the Student Edition gets renamed 'S' and gets upgraded to the swanky 'VIP Luxury Ringtone' role.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I think it's pretty obvious the thinking behind Windows 10S. That'll be the free one and and the other will be subscription based.

    1. Jonathan 27 Bronze badge

      I don't think so. They can't really get away with that at this point. I think it's an attempt to get most people (basically, all the not us type people) on to Windows 10 S, to increase the popularity of the store. If that happens we'll have to use the store too and Microsoft will have succeeded in becoming the central hub of the Windows software ecosystem like they want.

      Even saying that, I don't think this will work.

      1. TVU Silver badge

        "I don't think so. They can't really get away with that at this point. I think it's an attempt to get most people (basically, all the not us type people) on to Windows 10 S, to increase the popularity of the store. If that happens we'll have to use the store too and Microsoft will have succeeded in becoming the central hub of the Windows software ecosystem like they want".

        However, I wouldn't put it past Microsoft to do something like this or to have Windows 10 S as the free default with a pay upgrade to Windows 10 Pro.

  15. johnnyblaze

    It's a pig Jim

    So, let's look at the facts.

    1. It's extremely expensive, yet doesn't really offer the average user much else over far cheaper devices, other than a 'fuzzy' kegboard cover. Fail.

    2. It's crippled with Win10S (the 'future of windows' don't you know), but this experiment is doomed to fail, yet MS continue to try to push users to their cloud, services and app store.

    3. Win10S is designed to take on Chromebooks, mainly in education, a market that this laptop is so far away from price wise, it's on a different continent. Maybe MS are expecting their partners to deliver much cheaper devices running 10S, which is likely. This will not help student debt one bit.

    4. What's likely, is that MS (like with the Surface Pro and Book), make this as a statement, money-is-no-object piece where huge sales aren't part of the goal. Yes, it's designed to compete with the MB, and to make Windows desirable again (eh hem!). Trouble is, Win10, in whatever version, is just a large, bloated pig who's walked out of Boots with their entire No.17 lipstick range. The hardware may be 'desirable', but the O/S is forgettable.

    1. LDS Silver badge

      " It's extremely expensive"

      Just like the new Samsung phone, or the next iPhone? $900 or more for a phone? I prefer to spend more money on an high-spec yet light laptop, and buy a far cheaper phone.

  16. DrXym Silver badge

    Thin end of the wedge

    Windows 10 S is an attempt to normalize a crippled version of Windows that doesn't do half the stuff people might reasonably expect of it. It'd be bad enough in a budget PC, but this is a flagship device.

    It is not acceptable.

  17. andy 103
    FAIL

    Macbook Air replacement my arse

    There are 2 of these sat on a desk about 10ft away from me. They look (at least from the side) like my Macbook Air. On closer inspection, they still look quite a lot like my Macbook Air.

    But...

    They run a shitty OS which you have to "jailbreak" to get a slightly less shitty OS. This is aimed at business users and students? Can't see many of them bothering. They just want to do their spreadsheets or look at porn in a decent browser. In contrast, my Macbook Air has software which lets me just get on with my work without any fannying around (no pun intended). Oh, and it's 2 years old as well, and still runs fine.

    What are MS going to do next, come up with some sort of iPhone killer/copy? At least come up with your own ideas, and make sure they aren't half baked and over priced.

    I know The Reg hates Apple but saying this is some kind of Macbook Air replacement or rival is just completely misguided. They're very late to the party and haven't come up with anything new or innovative. It's just new and innvoative by THEIR piss poor standards.

    Now excuse me, I'm going to polish up my 'Nicks' trainers and head over to the gym with the cool kids. The cool kids, and me.

    1. Jonathan 27 Bronze badge

      Re: Macbook Air replacement my arse

      How is that different from Mac OS? You have to "jailbreak" that too, by installing bootcamp and a copy of Windows, otherwise you're severely limited in software choice. I know I'm being a bit of a jerk here, but it's a fairly similar situation if you look at the situation as it sits today, totally ignoring the history of the personal computer.

      1. andy 103

        Re: Macbook Air replacement my arse

        "You have to "jailbreak" that too, by installing bootcamp and a copy of Windows"

        Well in my case, I haven't, and don't need to.

        I understand some people run software where there's no non-Windows equivalent. But I don't think for a moment they are the majority of users. What software are you running, out of interest, that has no such equivalent? Bearing in mind the article mentions business users and students, much of what they use has been ported to some sort of web-based application anyway, so a decent browser is all you need (which again is a reason I wouldn't want to be tied to anything which suggests Edge is the only option!).

      2. Mage Silver badge

        Re: Macbook Air replacement my arse

        Mac OS at least is usable. You'd buy a Mac Book Air to run current Mac OS.

        Most people just want Win XP or Win 7, not a schizophrenic OS that can't decide if it's for a phone (lock screen, tiles) or Keyboard/Mouse WIMP GUI. Excessively flat, no cues as to what is clickable, inconsistent GUIs on OS components, settings messed everywhere, almost total lack of customisation. Privacy slurp at maximum by default. The problem is that on new computers with Windows there are only choices of bad to worse variations of Win 10. Their attempt to merge Android, Chrome books, Apple, tablets and phones as GUI to run existing windows programs is a failure. What sane person would buy Win10 ONLY to run MS Cloud and Metro/UWP/Modern/Fluid tablet apps from the MS store?

        People buy Windows because they have been using it for years or need Sage, Payroll, Adobe, etc, not because they want to join MS Cloud /Tablet experimental unfinished GUI and MS Store Apps designed for phone/tablet/touch rather than keyboard and mouse. Touch on screen is REALLY exhausting when using a real keyboard and also slow / inaccurate compared to mouse.

        1. N2 Silver badge

          Re: Macbook Air replacement my arse

          Yes it is, it costs more or less the same as a Mac... so it must be good, Microsoft says so...

          Until you work out the price for all the rental ware, pay yourself £0 per hour to control the spyware & when it breaks after, oh er, how long?

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Macbook Air replacement my arse

        How is that different from Mac OS? You have to "jailbreak" that too, by installing bootcamp and a copy of Windows, otherwise you're severely limited in software choice.

        Define "severely limited"? Most of the software I use on macos has a Windows equivalent, and in most cases the Mac equivalent offers superior usability. Compare, for instance, the mess that Microsoft made of Visio, and what OmniGraffle Pro allows you to do on a Mac in the same amount of time - it's not only quicker, it also looks a lot better (and I can take it onto an iPad and continue to work on it). In addition, there's no need for bootcamp if you install a virtualiser like Virtualbox or Parallels which allows you to have the best of both worlds.

        You are, however, forgetting something else: macos users also have access to a rather large library of open source tools with a wide range of options on how to obtain them from pre-compiled binaries for some to packagers like Homebrew or even bare vanilla compilation from source. You don't have that on Windows because it's not based on a Unix variant. I have a command line that by default supports all the Open Source programming languages, I have a dev platform that costs nothing to get going and I have an OS that speaks most properly Open Standards by default which gives me again access to a vast range of resources.

        It's only the Windows world which limits your options. Not macos, Linux or even *BSD.

        1. Kristian Walsh Silver badge

          Re: Macbook Air replacement my arse

          macos users also have access to a rather large library of open source tools with a wide range of options on how to obtain them from pre-compiled binaries for some to packagers like Homebrew or even bare vanilla compilation from source.

          All true, but the implication that this isn't on Windows is out of date. These days Windows 10 supports pretty much the entire Ubuntu userland, which is a much more useful proposition. Once you enable the feature, you can install packages using apt-get, and they're the exact same binaries as Linux uses, so there's no delay for porting and no "missing" packages. Plus, it really is a Linux-compatible userland - for proof: about an hour ago, I used gcc on my Ubuntu-on-Windows 10 desktop to compile up a simple C tool, ran it locally, then scp'd that binary over to a native Linux host, and it ran perfectly there too. Do that on macOS, and I'll be impressed.

          I was pretty much an exclusive Mac user for most of the last 20 years. Brew and Ports are nowhere near as easy or up-to-date as you describe, and there are also differences between the BSD core tools and the Linux ones that will bite you from time to time too (for instance, macOS comes with a different implementation of 'grep', with different defaults; same for 'netstat'; and 'route' shares only a name with its linux equivalent). I used the mac as a simple scratchpad to try fragments of shell-script, but it really wasn't compatible enough with a Linux for real prototyping. Windows 10's Linux subsystem still isn't as good as an actual Linux target for everything, but for a surprising number of developer use-cases, it is.

          1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

            Re: Macbook Air replacement my arse

            How's X11 support under Windows 10?

            I guess, not great? It would be nice if MS contributed with some GPLed code to a modern replacement for X11 that will also play nicely with Windows. (I wonder how Broadway is coming along..)

    2. TheVogon Silver badge

      Re: Macbook Air replacement my arse

      "They run a shitty OS which you have to "jailbreak" to get a slightly less shitty OS."

      You don't have to jailbreak anything. You can install any OS you want on this laptop.

  18. Paul Woodhouse

    will it run Mint?

  19. David Lawton

    Does this come with a years worth of endless firmware upgrades to fix constant battery issues like previous Surface products?

    I will stick to my Apple MacBook Air, Pro and Mac Mini, at least they run an OS that knows what its trying to be, a desktop class OS and they leave touch to iOS.

    Its funny, as Apple said years ago you should make the hardware and the OS, Microsoft said you should just make the OS and let the OEM's make the hardware. Wonder why they have changed tune.

    1. Jonathan 27 Bronze badge

      The work MacBook Air I had for about 4 years was constantly receiving firmware updates. They come through the app store. Very convenient, why would you not want firmware updates? Every laptop I've ever bought has needed nearly constant updates (except the Alienware m14x R2, which only had 6 ever). The Dell XPS 15 I currently own is the worst. I think the firmware gets updated at least once a month. Windows update is starting to distribute firmware now too, but it seems significantly behind the manufacturer, at least for my Dell.

  20. Mr_Pitiful

    I'm waiting for..

    The BOGOF on the 512Gb model.

    Last year Microsoft did a deal for a Surface Pro 256Gb BOGOF and our overlords purchased them for the managers. When the new one is on offer, I'll probably buy it.

    My older Surface Pro 3, is still fantastic though

    1. Japhy Ryder

      Re: I'm waiting for..

      Have they fixed the thing where Edge crashes if you're on roaming profiles yet?

  21. werdsmith Silver badge

    I'll be sticking to my Sinclair ZX81, at least it has 64x 48 pixel hi-res mode

  22. Toro22

    I have both... The MBP and The MS Surf Laptop

    The good for the MS - The removable screen

    The most annoying: External monitor support is totally crap, Interfaces are old, NO USB-c ?? Come on !

    Good that I had some adaptors from my 5y old MBP that I can reuse for this MS Laptop

    The good for the MBP: Things are soo smooth and snappy

    The bad for the MBP: I can't use it for my main work, due to MS SW

  23. Matthew 17

    The biggest problem with Mac alternatives is

    They don't run MacOS.

    But normally you can run Linux so not the end of the world, but this one probably doesn't either.

    And costs as much as a MacBook Pro which is capable of running any OS and won't be work pennies when you try and sell it to buy a new one.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I've changed my mind: this is a good thing

    No, I haven't lost my mind, I've changed it. Bear with me on this.

    One of the major BOFH challenges is to give people who have no clue about IT gear that will work, yet resists their attempts at screwing it up. Yes, you got it, board members and management.

    I see those as the exact target market for these devices. They're expensive enough to make a notable dent in the budget, thus confirming the recipient's "status" (aka "only the best" - at least that's what we tell them), yet it is restrictive enough to stop them from doing anything stupid and this time Microsoft did it "for their security" so you cannot be accused of blocking them.

    These laptops are ready made gilded cages for management level users - clever move.

    1. Tim Seventh
      Joke

      Re: I've changed my mind: this is a good thing

      You could also sell them a large Etch a Sketch to the management at an expensive price. It worked on the PHB. I'm sure they wouldn't even notice the difference.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    TL;DR: expensive doorstop.

  26. whoseyourdaddy

    I can get walk-up hardware and software support at any Apple Store.

    Never mind a macbook air won't depreciate like a burning vehicle.

    Just sayin...

    1. vistisen

      I've never needed hardware or software support for my surfaces. Neither the surface1 pro that is now running the very latest build of Windows insider edition or the surface pro4 I use as my main work machine with it's excellent surface hub. When I get to work I already working while my Mac colleagues are still starting their virtual windows machines that they need to run business software and trying to decide which port dongle they need to use first.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        When I get to work I already working while my Mac colleagues are still starting their virtual windows machines that they need to run business software and trying to decide which port dongle they need to use first.

        Must be bad software then because all the Mac virtualisers support suspend. The clever way to fix that would be using software written for Macs, also gets rid of the inevitable security risks. Oh wait, we're not allowed to mention that, of course, my bad.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I can get walk-up hardware and software support at any Apple Store.

      You forgot .. in the world. Often forgotten aspect of IT support for companies that operate a bit more global.

  27. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

    Yawn,

    Too expensive (both) and will look for a ~2-3 year old used laptop with decent specs to install Linux on. So not interested.

  28. Eduard Coli

    M$ loves MacinDosh

    M$ has been hungrily eyeing the size 10s Apple has been giving its fanbois for new Macs and did not want any Microsofties to miss out on the experience.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Microsoft tried the same thing with Windows RT

    Microsoft, stop trying to make walled garden Windows happen; it's not going to happen. We don't want a Microsoft account, so the Windows Store is irrelevant.

    I'm sure the sysadmins (even the ones from schools or governments) are smart enough find out how to configure Windows so the students wouldn't be able to mess around with it for non-educational purposes.

    If schools want a locked down system for educational usage without need of a PC's extra features, they usually get iPads.

    Otherwise students (especially those in universities) would bring their own laptops (including MacBooks). Or do their projects at the school's computer lab.

    IPads. They're not expensive if you buy 1-2 generations behind, even the refurbished ones function well.

    This was what happened in the military of a certain country which I shall not name. Its military had bought a lot of Samsung Galaxy S5 phones around 2016 to work with a new GPS-based communications systems (replacing the bulky analog signal sets). The phones were locked down and preinstalled with only the relevant apps for field operations.

    Microsoft is either trying to reinvent the wheel, or I surmise it's a sly way to impose a 'tax' to make schools upgrade from Win 10 S to a fully functional Win 10. That 'tax' really snowballs in a volume license purchase.

    Nice little cunning plan, SatNad. But you are not fooling me.

    1. Tim Seventh
      Joke

      Re: Microsoft tried the same thing with Windows RT

      "This was what happened in the military of a certain country which I shall not name. Its military had bought a lot of Samsung Galaxy Note 7 phones around 2016 to work with a new GPS-based communications systems (replacing the bulky analog signal sets and handheld grenade)."

      ftfy

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Confused

    Windows 10s is even worse than windows10,. Microsoft trying to play Chromebook, at 10x the cost and forcing their shitty edge browser..

    Seems like is absolutely no reason to own one of these (unless Microsoft have you one for a review bribe)

  31. J J Carter Silver badge
    Windows

    Nooooo!

    Not sure that reviewer is right for El Reg, making some positive comments about a MSFT product

    1. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

      Re: Nooooo!

      Not sure that reviewer is right for El Reg, making some positive comments about a MSFT product

      Oh, don't worry. We'll fix that in the comments :)

  32. Disk0
    Thumb Up

    I can't wait

    to make fun of people who bought one

  33. Christian Berger Silver badge

    It makes sense from Microsoft to try out that market

    I mean there's people buying MacBook Airs, essentially fashion statements you can get some functionality out of. There probably is enough space for 2 companies. "Me too"-products can work if it's not the 20th of them.

    Of course if you actually buy a laptop in order to work with it, there are many much better alternatives.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It makes sense from Microsoft to try out that market

      I mean there's people buying MacBook Airs, essentially fashion statements you can get some functionality out of.

      Oh really? That explains why everyone and their dog have since imitated that design then. Macbook Air is simply computing for people who need nothing more than a word processor and email, and it works. If I didn't have a combination of failing eyesight and occasional need to design things I'd have a 13" thin laptop too because it is a LOT lighter.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: It makes sense from Microsoft to try out that market

        > Macbook Air is simply computing for people who need nothing more than a word processor and email, and it works.

        Really? Mine also does photo editing, drawing, Java and web dev, scripting, daily sysadmin tasks, documentation (OmniGraffle makes Visio look like a toy), runs multiple VMs and is my daily workhorse. Six years old, all of the relevant OS upgrades, never been clean installed, still runs snappy and like brand new. Plus it fits easily into the seat pocket on the plane.

        By contrast the Windows 10 VM I fire up on it every few weeks for occasional tasks (I have to stay current as I still do Windows admin and support) runs like treacle and barely has anything installed on it. Then the Ubuntu VMs along side it run rings around it.

        I really like some of the Microsoft hardware coming out now, but the supplied OS ruins it.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: It makes sense from Microsoft to try out that market

          The fun part about the OmniGraffle Pro version is that you can read in MS Visio files, clean it all up and then spit out a result that looks twice as good as what Visio produces - yet not expend any effort on it because that's just the way it works. Excellent software.

          As for VMs, yes I had two Windows ones - one for testing suspected malware so I could wind the clock back afterwards, and one for some software we had not yet replaced with a macos version. The annoying bit about the Windows VMs was that it was mandatory to run it every week overnight so it could go end fetch lots of updates, otherwise you would face that when you just started it up to do some work.

  34. Martin Pittaway

    why buy 2nd best

    It never ceases to amaze me that the IT industry let Apple do all the research and development, and then copy them, to the detriment of Apple's income. GIU was developed by Apple and the John Sculley gave gates permission to create Windows. And then look what happened. Apple developed the iPhone smart phone. And now look where Samsung are. Apple announced a Smart Watch..... Need I go on. What really pee's me off is that Microsoft advertise their goods as faithful replacements to Apple product. Would somebody tell me what planet they are on? My Mac is throttled by anti virus, spy and malware product before I get started.

    Why on earth anyone uses Windows is beyond me!

    1. Mage Silver badge

      Re: GIU was developed by Apple

      You mean GUI.

      No, a myth. They implemented their version of the Xerox GUI that was on a REAL product.

      MS was a bit slower, so Excel 1.x and Word 1.x was on Apple, and first Windows versions were 2.0.

      Apple and MS not the only GUIs in town then either.

      Later MS actually bailed out Apple.

      Apple lost the GUI court case (except maybe later MS had to change the wastebasket/recycle bin?).

      Apple spend more on lawyers and patent applications. Less than 1% of profits on R&D at one stage. They recently had to pay Nokia 1.6 Billion (a company that had rubbish management but did do R&D) and agree to stock Nokia owned Health Gadgets.

      If the USPTO was any good, Apple would have hardly any patents. The iTunes made iPod and later iPhone a success. The giant cap data plans when iPhone came out, when almost all other phones on per second / minute/ Megabyte billing revolutionised smart phone use. The iPhone CPU was Samsung and GUI from Fingerworks. Capacitive screens from 1980s, but not used due to 1) Emphasis on handwriting and annotation and 2) stupid copying of desktop GUI by MS. By 2003, Nokia had lost the plot due to management politics.

      The iOS was a cut down OSX, which was derived from NextStep (and there from BSD), to replace the creaking Mac OS9 in about 2001 (?),

      Apple's biggest successes are not patentable, but due to clever marketing on iPod and iPhone.

      1. LDS Silver badge

        Re: GIU was developed by Apple

        Actually, Word For Windows 1.x does exist:

        http://www.computerhistory.org/atchm/microsoft-word-for-windows-1-1a-source-code/

        And was written by people coming from Xerox...

        What you said is valid for Excel, AFAIK.

        1. Mage Silver badge

          Re: Actually, Word For Windows 1.x does exist

          But possibly wasn't really sold as Windows wasn't good enough?

          I have a load of licences + manuals of Word 2.0a, and it's pretty good. I copied one set of floppies to a CD. I remember the other wordprocessors on Win 3.0 were poor compared with Word.

          Prior to Word 2.0 for Windows, I'd only seen the MS DOS version of Word and the Word 1.0 on Mac.

          I didn't know they actually hired Xerox people to write it (OTOH, MS DOS, Visio and MS SQL bought in and original MS Basic was a clone/port of Dartmouth BASIC, a cut down ForTran).

          1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

            Re: Actually, Word For Windows 1.x does exist

            "possibly wasn't really sold as Windows wasn't good enough" about Windows 1.x must be the understatement of the year, so far!

  35. Howard Hanek Bronze badge
    Childcatcher

    An Expensive Anorexic Device Suffering From Bulimia

    ...eats cash.....spits out any user's choice.

  36. patrick-o-matic

    USB C = 1 cable to rule them all

    I believed the anti-MBP brigade, and was worried about replacing a failed machine with the latest model - in fact, it is great.

    The touch screen keystrip is fantastically useful for all those keyboard short cuts you can never remember (shift-command-thingy to step-into or whatever).

    The keyboard is a bit clacky - I assume that's to compensate for the fact the key travel is reduce, but it's actually clacky in quite a nice way. Took 15 mins to get used to it.

    USB-C is just awesome, I can't wait for it to become common place. ONE WIRE to connect up to my desktop monitor, SD card reader, charger and ethernet. Huge improvement. All the old USB kit still works with cheap and easy-to-buy adapters, no biggie (more than can be said for the thunderbolt adapters, thanks Apple). I can even charge the lapper in the car with a five quid cigar lighter cable, binning the chunky and inefficient inverter.

    My only complaint - the second power adapter I bought (for desktop use) didn't include the cable to connect the power supply to the computer. Come on Apple, yer having a laugh - 80 quid for a power brick and no sodding cable?!

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If it has more than one port

    It already wins.

  38. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

    An additional £600 for 256GB more SSD? Are you effing kidding me?

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Windows RT taught Microsoft nothing about what people want

    The hardware is not compelling, the prices are ridiculous, and the Windows 10S operating system is crippled to the point of being effectively useless.

    We're told Windows 10S comes locked down for security reasons, but the security was broken in under three hours. The real reason for Windows 10S being crippled is to artificially boost Microsoft's failure of an app store by locking users into using it exclusively then breaking software compatibility with all existing software. Sheer genius, except every sale made is probably a Windows user lost forever as they run screaming into the arms of another OS out of sheer frustration.

    Meanwhile, poor old Microsoft still can't work out they are so unpopular. Poor old SackNads, I wonder how many billion dollars worth of these he will be forced to write off?

  40. Howard Hanek Bronze badge
    Headmaster

    Mystery Solved

    I've noticed a decline in the numbers of obviously insane homeless people. I suspect Microsoft found the perfect use for their talents recruiting them for the Surface product development team.

  41. Martin Pittaway

    Anti-virus, spyware, malware er isn't this Windows?

    Why would this Windows product be compared to a Mac? Mac's are far more secure so you get ALL the processing power running the apps. Not something in the background because up front is all the protection software dominating the Operating System.

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