back to article We might be skimming the Surface, but it looks like Microsoft's readying a wallet-friendly device

Microsoft fans hoping to sate their desire for a Surface device without selling a non-vital organ to fund it may have taken a step closer to realising their dreams this week. German hardware site WinFuture spotted a filing made by Microsoft with the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that pointed towards new hardware. …

  1. hplasm Silver badge
    Windows

    Smaller battery!

    $10 less!

    80% customer inimpressd!

    1. Kristian Walsh Silver badge

      Re: Smaller battery!

      In fairness, it's not a cost saving; it's a space saving that allows cost savings elsewhere. Most of a modern laptop's volume is battery these days, so smaller battery = smaller device. That allows them to use a smaller, cheaper screen (usually the highest-cost component), keyboard, casework and everything else.

      If the system uses ARM, they'll get back a little of the lost battery life too, but ARM isn't a miracle cure - it'll still be only five or six hours if they're going for a small form factor.

  2. Zippy's Sausage Factory
    Joke

    Ooh, I've always wanted a device of that form factor I can wipe and put Linux on.

    I'll wait for one to appear on either CeX or eBay though, I don't want one that much...

    1. Neon Teepee
      Linux

      Surfacebuntu - Called it

  3. DrXym Silver badge

    Proper Windows 10

    If it runs a gimped version of Windows that only runs apps from their store then they may as well have not bothered.

  4. King Jack
    Trollface

    Nothing new

    How long before the usual happens and they abandon it?

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Nothing new

      18 months, as usual.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Nothing new

      How long before the usual happens and they abandon it?

      Bonus question: will they abandon it before it gets to the shops or will we get the usual claim of having sold gazillions to what will probably be about 3 people who are bad at history*?

      * Might be the same people who are still hanging on to a Zune

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Going Back to the Future then Microsoft?

    Other reports seem to indicate that this is a 32bit only machine. As many Linux Distros and Apple are/or giving up on 32bit devices are MS hoping for success through obscurity then?

    As to why Intel are still making 32bit only CPU's is another question entirely. Perhaps they deployed all those engineers who became available when Apple told them that their Modems won't be used beyond 2019 iDevices to make a cheapo 32bit CPU again? Who knows eh?

    1. Michael B.

      Re: Going Back to the Future then Microsoft?

      The Intel datasheet linked has this chip as being Intel 64 so it isn't a 32bit only device.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. karlkarl Bronze badge

      Re: Going Back to the Future then Microsoft?

      No, Microsoft just happen to have made the correct choice with regards to keeping 32-bit support around.

      There are still more 32-bit Intel devices that run Linux than ARM devices. So for a Linux distro to drop 32-bit hardware support and yet still work towards ARM support is.... well a bit systemd ;)

      But yeah, this device will be locked down, be overly hyped and then head straight to the landfill. Undoing all the recycling efforts that us peasants have put in for the last 5 years.

      If it isn't locked down, and the price is under £75 (The price of a second hand Thinkpad), then this hardware will be a big hit!

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    But why?

    I can already buy an underpowered Windows machine for less than 200.

    Even better, I can just buy a 3-year old ex-corporate from eBay for less. One with more than 1 usb.

  7. Dan 55 Silver badge
    Meh

    A Microsoft spokesperson told El Reg: "We have nothing to share on this."

    As much as MS tries to copy Apple, it's not Apple.

    1. macjules Silver badge

      Re: A Microsoft spokesperson told El Reg: "We have nothing to share on this."

      ... it's not Apple.

      Some of us thank God for it.

  8. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    4:3 is the correct ratio for a display

    if any monitor manufacturers are listening.

    And 1.85∶1 is the correct ratio for TVs to watch proper movies on

    1. MiguelC Silver badge

      Re: 4:3 is the correct ratio for a display

      That's the problem for tablets (or Surfaces), as 4:3 is best for reading but 16:9 is best for watching movies.

      As a compromise 3:2 is not bad at all

  9. arctic_haze Silver badge

    Is this part of the Cargo Cult?

    We await you, o mighty Surface Phone!

  10. adnim Silver badge
    Joke

    I don't think it will fit in my wallet.

    And wallet friendly to me means increasing the number of plastic legal tender tokens it contains.

    On a serious note, I have a phone it does all I need almost, it is rooted it is mine. But...If it just ran Linux and had a real keyboard that slid from behind.

    I need to ssh to a secure environment in an emergency. I use my laptop because I trust the install. Even though my phone is rooted and runs Cyanogen, my Android-fu is such that I don't trust it.

  11. djstardust Silver badge

    GPD Pocket

    £400

    USB 3.1

    USB C

    Micro HDMI

    128gb SSD

    Intel Atom

    8gb RAM

    7" touchscreen

    Windows 10 home

    It's around £400 and I've been using my one for months running VirtualDJ with HD video out and it works a treat. It's also available in Linux for the geeks out there.

    Don't even waste your time MS as you're late to the party, your one will be infinitely more expensive then abandoned after a matter of months.

    1. macjules Silver badge

      Re: GPD Pocket

      Nope.

      It's a Microsoft SurfaceX.

      It is made out of glass. It has a notch at the top. It has USB-C and runs Windows 10 Pro Mobile version.

      Unlike the rather similar-sounding device from a popular Microsoft rival this one only costs $500 and less than $100 to replace the glass every time you stick it in your back pocket.

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