It'll sell like hotcakes.
Best of luck to Microsoft.
Looks good to me.
Though I want the Surface Pro, which isn't out until next February-ish.
Typical MS marketing: Design an (allegedly) great product. Fuck up the advertising so no one understands the benefits of what you're selling.
"Oh! It has a snap-on keyboard! And a set of back-up dancers!"
As I understand it, the Surface is bnot so much a tablet as a PC that's as small as a tablet and the keyboard does double duty as a case/kickstand but allows you to work on the tablet when you might normally go to your laptop or PC. But I don't get that from the dancing.
R3 is the ghost of Steve Jobs anus.
How is this different than an iPad?
Sent from my iPhone 5
this is gonna be a dud. Balmer needs to go.
Ballmer et al do not understand bold, attention-getting marketing like Apple does, so right here on the DL, I will give them an incredible marketing strategy that will very likely spill over into the free media category.
A consulting firm would charge Microsoft $500K or MORE for this idea, no doubt.
"For a limited time, turn in your old iPad or Android tablet and get a FREE Microsoft SURFACE to replace it."
The commercials that could be made based upon this central idea would be pure gold for MSFT. It would be covered in the trade press and likely the mainstream media as well if they executed it right.
MSFT going after a niche market (those who think they want a pad + a keyboard) so their sales universe is smaller, and I say good luck.
It's been a long time since they have hit a home run, and with my idea that I just gave them **for free**, maybe they'll succeed.
That keyboard looks like it would be barely any better than onscreen typing.
Agreed. It's a bad commercial for a great product.
[quote]That keyboard looks like it would be barely any better than onscreen typing.
The keyboard from what I've seen is certainly better than onscreen typing; and it's better than any keyboard.
The pricing has leaked... looks like it's $499 for a 32GB base model with no keyboard, $599 with the keyboard, and $799 with 64GB and a keyboard/cover.
The pricing seems to walk a fine line between being iPad-competitive, and not pissing off their other OEMs by under-cutting them. It's priced just about right I think.
That means the Surface Pros are probably going to start around $999.
As for how it's different from an iPad:
It's a full version of Windows (mostly)
It comes with MS Office 2013 Home & Student built in (desktop apps)
You don't need to have a "real" computer to use with it, for syncing or anything else. It IS a "real" computer. You can use it to sync your iPad if you want :-)
On the negative side: It has a paltry selection of apps at this point. Compared to the iPad, there's not much there. This will of course change, but it's years behind iPad in app selection and sophistication.
This thing will live or die based on apps. We'll see where that goes.
Pretty interesting "look inside the design and creation of Surface" article here:
All the people who worked on this stinkeroo will be gone in 24 months.
The Surface will bomb big time
Windows 8 is just a dressed up version of Win7.
But Windows RT is an inferior version of Win7
So Surface with WinRT is a loser. Get a real iPad.
If you pay more, and it's a LOT more, for a Surface with Win8 on it, it's too costly for anyone to buy.
All around loser.
R13, there's not a single thing you posted that is accurate. How interesting.
You clearly don't know what you're talking about.
The Surface RT will come with MS Office 2013 Home & Student pre-installed. It has a USB port and a microSDXC card slot, as well as an HDMI port. It has a "real" OS, as opposed to a toy OS like iOS (you don't need another computer to sync it to... in fact, you can use it to sync other devices). It plays flash content (limited, but still). It comes with XBox Music, which blows iTunes out of the water. It works with your XBox if you have one. You can easily sync settings and apps between it and any other Win8 devices. It comes with 7GB of free SkyDrive storage in the cloud as well (share office documents across devices easily, including Widows Phone 7 and 8).
So for a comparable price, you get more storage, a keyboard, and Office.
There's a lot of legitimate excitement around this.
It's true the iPad will wins, hands down, when it comes to apps. And will for the next year or so easily. But the apps are coming for Win8/RT.
But will it play Flash? Can you watch Cam4 on it?
You can watch cam4 on an iPad, R15, with the right app. Google it.
That being said, I have an iPad and generally like it, but judging by what R14 said, the Surface would be more worth the money just for the USB port and card slot alone.
R16 -- Are you sure the USB slot isn't for the keyboard if you buy one of those?
Um... bluetooth, R17.
R10 your pricing was a bit off. The 64 gig with keyboard is $699 not $799
Sorry, you are correct.
So... here's what's not available: any 3G or 4G/LTE cellular data access and GPS. So you can use it wherever there's wireless. But you won't have GPS for maps, or ability to access it "anywhere".
That said, it's a very interesting device. We'll see how it does.
Rumor has it the base model is "sold out" on pre-orders... you can still order it but they're back ordered and shipping no sooner than 3 weeks from now.
Have you ordered yours, R21?
Oh yeah, and you cant install any standard normal regular windows applications on it.
You can only install new "metro" apps from the new Windows Store. Which currently has a paltry selection.
So no desktop apps but what come on it.
[quote]It comes with XBox Music, which blows iTunes out of the water.
Thanks Mr. Ballmer! Ya think it'll be as successful as the Zune's been?
R24that is what the pro version is for. Already preordered mine.
Basically a laptop but the system board memory and hard drive in the monitor. Works like a laptop. Looks like a laptop until you undock the screen. Then it is a tablet that runs all my software. I am so excited
DLers who are buying a Surface --
Let the "new" wear off of it and then report to us at DL what you think of it.
Strengths/weaknesses, that sort of review.
First time tablet buyers: it will be especially useful to hear your comments
I think it has potential. I want to wait to see how well it initially sells and what some of the first reviews are. I would also wait til Microsoft releases the SP2 version - there always is one.
What I don't get is that there's such contrived "glee"-ful exuberance over a device from Microsoft which is yet again creatively lifting/knock-offing someone else's interface design. Granted this is Windows finally tweaked for immersive touch-based computing, but let's be honest and address it for what it is: a thick, cludgy not so smooth cornered slab of a thing with schizophrenic identity issues (is it a tablet or is it a laptop? -- maybe, it can be both -- perhaps they focus-group tested and discovered that "trans" is now über chic and hip with their targeted demo) with a snappy magnetic clippy thing running a tarted-up version of AOL's old 1996 user interface. This isn't exactly ground breaking or innovative. It's like when someone is in the shadow of someone truly spectacularly talented and accomplished always trying to steal the spotlight and garner attention for themselves because, lets's stay -- that they too can do a cartwheel, while the person they are trying to steal the limelight away from is performing gymnastics on the Olympic gold medal level of skill. Microsoft can shoot their high-dollar, high production value homage to a Glee musical "commercial" at one of the most beautiful locations in LA (the former Ambassador College campus in Pasadena) and desperately try to appeal to be cool with the young hipster wanna be crowd -- but a pig in a dress is still . . . . a pig in a dress. It's typical, they over thought and tried to "out-cool" the industrial design on the thing. It will not wear well over time -- from a purely physical standpoint -- and the interface isn't all that and a bag a chips like so many are profusely praising it to be.
It's barely detectably thicker than an iPad, and isn't at all "kludgy". If you're going to be critical, at least don't make shit up or exaggerate out of all proportion.
There's a lot of ground-breaking and innovative stuff in it as well. You're just sounding butthurt with your little diatribe.
It does a great many things that the iPad simply cannot, even in the limited WinRT version being released this month.
Barely detectably thicker? Uh, it's THICK as in like a slice of bread rectangularly thick -- very unlike the smoothed wedge bevel of Apple's design.
I'm sure the vapor deposition treated magnesium case makes some people wet, but really, it's late to the game.
If Microsoft were on their game, THEY would have pioneered this market space and dominated . . . but they didn't and now everyone is playing catch-up. Why? Because of a lack of visionary leadership and obsessive focus on making what it is you do "insanely great". That is the distilled reason why.
So now over a hundred years later we have how many countless models of cars? Economy brands, mid-market brands, luxury brands -- the whole lot of them. Guess what, they all get you from point A to B. It's all about the manner in which you wish to travel between those two points.
Features will evolve and improve. The fact that one company did it and made it work and changed the entire space of computing for the masses is what this is about.
Yes, I see! Microsoft can do a cartwheel. Very good for you Microsoft.
Should someone attempt to challenge on the visionary leadership point, this is what Jobs envisioned in 1987. Yes, that's right, three years *after* the Mac debuted. This is the future Apple saw and brought to reality. Whereas Microsoft was only focused on selling OS units, acquiring Powerpoint, creating a mouse nicknamed the "Dove Soap Bar" and unveiling Excel and shipping Windows 2.0 at the end of the year.
I think on all accounts we see which company has real value. One one level business is about selling lots of widgets. However on another, the real measure of success is creating markets that didn't exist before and filling that niche in a way and quicker than copy can manage to do. This is what Apple has done.
Perhaps it is time for Balmer to step aside. Leadership IS NOT about simply managing shit. It's about setting a course for the future that people can aspire to and engaging the best and brightest talent you can get your hands on to realize that future.
Here is the future Apple and Steve Jobs envisioned in 1987.
. . . in a way quicker than copy cats can manage to do.
To expand upon a point regarding leadership at the two companies.
When what you aspire to is simply more wealth and acquisition of things, prestige, and status your perspective and potential impact is limited.
When you aspire to change the world and to do things in such a way that it is "insanely great" while not caring or being so much focused on attaining wealth, then you will end up with and in an entirely different reality.
When Apple was "managed" by traditionally trained suits brought in after Jobs was ousted we all witnessed what happened. When the force of Jobs returned with his vision and focus, he turned around the company and changed the way we all interact with computers.
Were it truly left to the likes of Xerox engineers and Microsoft business executives, we'd all be grousing our navel lint and plucking around on spiffed up versions of MiniTel terminals.
I seriously doubt anyone from Microsoft would have ever single-handedly changed the music industry, film production, telecommunications, or mobile computing like Steve Jobs did.
It's called VISION. Microsoft never had it and never will. They have proven that they are followers.
Good luck to Microsoft with the unveiling of their me-too tablety-like computational device thing.
Don't use "butthurt": It's puerile and well, hurts my butt.
Interested in buying the Microsoft Surface. However, they're supposed to introduce Microsoft Office for IPad. That sounds fine, too.
[quote]Barely detectably thicker? Uh, it's THICK as in like a slice of bread rectangularly thick -- very unlike the smoothed wedge bevel of Apple's design.
Okay, enough with your bullshit. I went to the specs for both machines, and here's what I found:
Surface RT thickness: 0.37 inches
iPad 3 thickness: 0.37 inches
Sorry fanboy at R31, you're full of shit.
And as for weight, it's Surface RT = 1.50lbs, and iPad3 = 1.46lbs, or a 0.04lb difference. I wonder if you'd be able to really detect that easily... around half an ounce.
Detailed comparison at the link:
R37, Office for iOS and Android is coming, but probably not until late next year at the earliest. And who knows if they will be "full" versions.
The "Office RT 2013" included on the Surface RT is mostly the full-featured office. The things it lacks are a few apps (like Outlook and Access), as well as the ability to load ad-ins, plugins, and stuff like that. But in day-to-day use, all the "regular" features are there.
R35 - get off your high horse. Microsoft had a version of a tablet back in 2002. And at least Microsoft is adding more usability features, like a USB port and card slot, not to mention and HDMI port, which doesn't require you to purchase some Apple exclusive cable.
I think the dad could remember how to get back to the tile screen as long as he was shown how to.
I think he'd remember, just like he learned how to operate previous MS OSes.
R43, that's stupid.
Sit someone who has never used a computer down in front of Mac OS X, and they'd be JUST as befuddled.
Yes, there is a learning curve. So what? It's new and different. Everything that is new and different has a learning curve.
The only truly "intuitive" interface is the nipple.
Stop trying to make Microsoft happen. IT WILL NEVER HAPPEN.
"Sit someone who has never used a computer down in front of Mac OS X, and they'd be JUST as befuddled."
There is a Youtube video of the Dad doing that, too.
The son said that his Dad was a PC person, and that the Dad used Windows XP exclusively.
The son's point was that Windows 8 was not going to be intuitive or a smooth transition for the great unwashed crowd of XP users (the way even Windows 7 is).
You are not Terri Garr, and this is not "Mr. Mom."
That's not a surprise to anyone.
Everyone who touches Windows 8 is going to need some training on it, and some time to get used to it.
But having gone through that painful learning curve, I can say it's worth it.
Here's a review...
I think many people will want to hold off for the Surface Pro in Jan/Feb. But as long as you understand what you're getting and it's limitations, it's still an over-all good review:
The new user experience
The actual interface — the tiled environment — is a joy to use. It's really, really cool. I found myself legitimately delighted by some of its functionality, particularly its multitasking and side-by-side apps concept.
If you don't know how it works, it's really simple. Upon booting up and signing into the Surface (which was a relatively painless process), you're presented with a list of colorful tiles representing apps either by square icons, or rectangular "live" spaces. Those spaces are also shortcuts to apps, but they display information like recent messages or tweets to you, weather conditions, calendar events, and so on. Widgets, basically. The list of tiles can be scrolled left to right, and you can make as many groupings of tiles as you want. You can pinch to zoom out and see an overview of tiles, though I hardly every used this functionality. These tiles encompass the new Windows Start menu.
The tiles are your main mode of travel, but there are sets of hidden menus and actions which can be activated through gestures. Swiping from the right edge of the tablet to the left brings up a "charms" bar, which gives you options to search, share, access devices (like printers), change settings, or get back to your homescreen. Many of the options in this menu are context aware, meaning that settings for all apps, sharing options, and search will always be accessible from this same spot. It works very well once you get the hang of it.
If you swipe down from the top or up from the bottom of the Surface display, you get a context menu for in-app options or functions (this is context aware based on what part of the app you're in). If you swipe down all the way from the top to the bottom, you quit the app (like throwing it away). Flicking your finger quickly on the left edge of the screen (towards the right) will flip through apps you have open (this is multitasking), while swiping slowly and then pulling back will bring up a list of all the apps you have currently open. Finally, you can pull an open app into either side of the app you're currently in and run that application side-by-side with another, kind of like a smartphone display next to a larger tablet display. This is especially useful for things like Twitter, mail, or music apps.
All these gestures may sound complex, but in ten minutes it feels completely natural. They're good ideas, and they feel fresh, useful, and intuitive. Windows RT certainly isn't as basic or immediately understandable as iOS, but it is extremely clever and charming in its own right. I truly enjoyed using it.
(R44) The point is exactly what the Dad at the very end poses as a question to his son. "Now who puts this out?" "Microsoft," responds the son. "Are they trying to drive me Mac?" counters the Dad.
YET AGAIN -- Microsoft exhibits what they are famously known for -- driving people to the very edge of insanity because they ***FAIL*** to account for the value of intuitiveness in the OS.
This is NOT an isolated example. Their total lack of hubris when it comes to acknowledging that design isn't just some sort of "cool thing" that can be slapped on at the very end is what is at the core of the issue. It's so much more than just window dressing (oh, the irony) that encompasses this issue of "design" when it comes to the OS.
It's about understanding your user and their expectations -- about actually thinking about how to make the experience of interacting with a computer better -- not about your bottom line and how much your per unit profits will be for what it is you crank out. Design it so that it MAKES MOTHERFUCKING SENSE. This is what Microsoft and their developers (and some Mac developers as well over the years) consistently and fabulously fuck up. Thankfully Apple now at least tries to vet the apps going up on the Apple Store. There are countless pros and cons to that issue, but on the whole, Apple GETS IT when it comes to the VALUE of making what is on their platform appear to be intuitive.
Regarding the intuitiveness of the OS: this is something Jobs understood and improved upon from the development and research he *PAID* for from XEROX. Yes, you did read that right, Jobs paid for what he got from XEROX, he didn't convivingly or underhandedly cheat to acquire the core of what became the OS of the early Apple Macintosh, unlike Billy-boy and his papa who walked away scot-free for what they did in copying someone's work and stiffing them. XEROX benefited very nicely from that arrangement, and today, if they still hold all the stock they got for the transaction, then XEROX should be very happy indeed for having agreed to do business with Steve. (100,000 shares of Apple stock at pre-IPO pricing of $10 a share -- basically $1million -- in just simple math, would be worth over $60.4 million today)
Until such time as DESIGN (intelligent UI and research) is actually valued enough to be put at the very forefront of the development process, then Microsoft will always be a "me too" sort of company. Lying, cheating, just scooting on by, albeit spending a shit load of money in the process of trying, is the only thing Microsoft will ever be truly known for in the end. Karma will forever dog that company for the "how and what" they did to become what they are. Cloning someone else's OS and then offering it up as your own is just asking for trouble down the road. It's a long road to hoe, but Karma will win out in the end. At least Apple provided an opportunity to those they worked with to get rich with them if they encountered success versus what Gates orchestrated.
Bill Gates can give away his fortune, but the fact that he cheated to start out and win that contract with IBM will never erase the stain or the guilt, no matter what legal maneuvers his father undertook to cover his tracks.
I think as a piece of hardware this looks very interesting but I think I'll wait for the second version. It never really pays to be an early adopter.
No one has mentioned that the main guy in the commercial was one of Madonna's backup dancers??
His name is Daniel "Cloud" Campos and he is super hot.
The hardware is pretty exceptional actually. The "unboxing experience" is every bit as good as Apple. Everything about screams "premium".
That said, the software and ecosystem screams "version 1.0"
Using the desktop on the touch-screen is pretty frustrating. The targets are all very small and even with my smaller-than-average fingers I had a fair amount of trouble clicking on things in Windows Explorer, for example.
Using the Metro environment is nice though. Once you learn it, of course. Thankfully I've had some experience on a non-touch laptop running Win8. And it's much nicer to use on this touch tablet.
I'm completely addicted to the Win8 game "Wordament"... it's free. And very well done.
The "touch cover" is also extremely well designed, but it does take some getting used to.
One flaw is that there doesn't seem to be any raised bump to let you know you're on home row, so I find myself drifting occasionally.
Also, the trackpad two-finger-scrolling works "backward", sorta like the way OS X Lion changed it with it's "natural" scrolling. That's taking some getting used to. And the trackpad is really small.
But it works surprisingly well. And it seems weirdly smart... if you click in a text box, and the smart-cover is attached and laying out, the on-screen keyboard doesn't come up. But if you've flipped the touch-cover out of the way (still attached), the on-screen keyboard comes up just fine.
I'm really impressed with the battery life so far. I used WinRT on the Surface for nearly six hours straight... browsing the web, copying files, pushing music to my XBox, checking email, playing games... and after all that time, the battery was only down to 45%. That's pretty impressive, imho.
Actually, the more I use it, the more I wonder why I'd want to wait for a Surface Pro. It's small enough that I can't really see using it for major desktop stuff.
This is sort of the opposite opinion I thought I'd have.
The surface pro comes with a stylus... which would make that paint app pretty cool.
While the iPad has certain ecosystem advantages over the recently-released Surface with Windows RT, Microsoft’s entry does of course edge out the Apple device in some key areas as well. And another major advantage of the Surface over iPad is that it comes with the simplest of hardware niceties: A USB port.
Folks, ponder the wonders of USB.
This innocuous little port, inadequate as it is in its own way—it’s USB 2.0, not USB 3.0, thanks to limitations in the ARM chipset used by Surface with Windows RT—is in many ways the single biggest hardware innovation in Microsoft’s tablet. In fact, it’s a bigger deal, I think, than the keyboard covers that everyone is so excited about.
Why is that, you ask?
Because this USB port, combined with Windows RT’s built-in support for almost any useful hardware doo-dad imaginable, opens up a world of possibilities to Surface users, possibilities that are simply not available on the iPad.
(And let’s not forget that there are plenty of keyboards and keyboard covers available for the iPad, too.)
Key example: External hard drives and memory keys. I have a 1 TB USB hard drive, stocked with movies and TV shows, and my entire music collection, and when I’m on the road I have immediate access to that content on the Surface. Just plug in the drive and go, it works just like Windows. (Because it is Windows.) On the iPad, I’d have to plug that drive into a real PC, plug in the iPad, and then laboriously sync the content between the two. There’s nothing like a middle man to get in the way of a good experience.
You can add a USB hub to this port and expand the number of peripherals, leading me to believe that the number one problem with USB on Surface isn’t that it’s USB 2.0 but rather that there isn’t one more USB port built-in. Or, better yet, an available dock. But a USB hub solves the problem, for now, another thing you can’t do on iPad.
With Apple’s device, you need to purchase expensive, proprietary adapters to attach memory cards or cameras, or to access external displays. On Surface, you can plug a camera right into the USB port—can in fact charge it that way—and you can use normal micro HDMI cables for video out. Simpler. Better.
Of course, it’s not just USB-based storage. You can connect printers, speakers, keyboards, and mice. (Though Bluetooth is of course a better option.) An Xbox 360 (wired) controller. A Windows Phone 8 handset even. It sounds a bit exaggerated, but in some ways it is this USB port, combined with RT’s class drivers, that makes Surface more than just a companion device, and more of a real PC.
Certainly more so than the iPad.
"Oh my God. I'm back. I'm home. All the time, it was... We finally really did it ... You Maniacs! You blew it up! Ah, damn you! God damn you all to hell!"
We are switching to the new platform for The DataLounge this weekend. All of our mobile users have been using it for over a week and all first time users have been using it for about a month - which adds up to well over one million users. So we're ready to end this phase of the testing and move everybody to the new site. (more)
And yes, we've changed the look and some of how it operates.
Yes, we know you just *hate* it in well in advance.
Yes, we know we suck.
Yes, we are the biggest suckers that ever sucked.
But it was time for a change and with the huge shift to mobile it was long overdue. We've taken this opportunity not only to update the look but also make major changes under the hood (or "bonnet" if you're either British or pretentious or both). And we have to prepare for 2016 - a presidential election year where we can normally expect to see a 60% jump in traffic (yes, we've seen 5 presidential elections so far…Christ we're old).
The site has a bunch - nay, plethora - of new features which will make the site more usable: better search, the ability to ignore posters and threads, see link previews, to pick up a thread where you left off, spam and malware filtering and more.
If you want you can go explore and see for yourself, Click here.
And while running the tests we've noticed two interesting reactions to the new system - people are spending more time on the site and more people that come stay around longer and look at more stuff. Both good things. Yay!
Possibly we've not slain all the dragons and there will be issues that come up during the switchover. There's a help button in the lower right hand corner of the page which you can use to send us bug reports.
Please include as much information about the hardware (PC, Mac, Tablet, Phone etc), operating system (Windows, Mac OS, Android, iOS etc) and browser (Chrome, Safari, Opera, Internet Explorer etc) that you are using as possible to help us replicate and fix the problem.
Please note that complaints about colors, fonts, icons and the like are not "bugs" - they are design choices that we've made and we expect one or two cases of world-class bitching. But they won't actually cause headaches, scurvy, heart attacks, Restless Leg Syndrome, Morgellon's Disease or the vapors (but have your smelling salts at hand just in case).
Talking to DataLounge servers. Please wait a moment...