Microsoft (MSFT) is in the early stages of a major shift as the world’s largest software company begins to compete with its vendor partners by releasing its own Windows hardware. While some believe the strategy is sound since Microsoft’s partners are too reliant on Windows to put up much of a fight, one former Microsoft executive thinks the company is “basically malfunctioning” by encroaching on its partners’ businesses. Instead, he thinks Microsoft should be dominating the social networking space. More →
BGR reviewed Microsoft’s Surface Pro last week and while it’s hardly a perfect PC for the tablet age, we said those who do purchase the second Surface will not be disappointed. Microsoft (MSFT) subsequently launched the Surface Pro this past Saturday and according to several reports, the 128GB version sold out quickly in several stores and online. More →
Microsoft (MSFT) is refusing to give up on its dance fetish for Surface ads. In the first ad for its Surface Pro tablet, Microsoft shows how the Surface Pro can transform a mundane office into an ’80s-style block party complete with breakdancing and a human beatbox. Microsoft’s decision to demonstrate how easy it is to pop and lock with the Surface Pro seems somewhat puzzling since the tablet is being targeted at corporate users who probably don’t want a device that will help them catch up with fads that went out of style 25 years ago. Additionally, the first Surface RT ad’s elaborate choreography hasn’t exactly helped the tablet sell millions of units, so it’s strange to see Microsoft again employ this strategy with a more business-oriented version of the Surface. The full video of the ad is posted below. More →
One of the reported downsides to the 128GB Microsoft (MSFT) Surface Pro is that only around 70% of its advertised storage can actually be used for user data — in BGR’s review of the Surface Pro, for instance, we found that the 128GB version of the device had only around 85.3GB of actual free space. But new analysis from ZDNet’s Ed Bott shows that this is only slightly less storage than the 128GB MacBook Air, which has roughly 92.2GB of usable storage. And what’s more, Bott found a way to easily free up more storage on the Surface Pro that wasn’t available on the MacBook Air: By “using the built-in Recovery Media Creator” to “copy the contents of that large Windows 8 Recovery partition to a USB flash drive,” Bott freed up around 8GB of extra data. The bottom line, says Bott, is that “if you’re going to complain about operating systems using too much of the available storage, you’d better make sure your letter to Redmond is cc’ed to Cupertino.”
While the Surface Pro’s battery life is only marginally worse than that of its nearest competitor, Microsoft (MSFT) has taken a lot of heat over its new tablet’s battery performance. In BGR’s Surface Pro review, we said that the battery lasted between 4 and 4.5 hours per charge with moderate usage. Microsoft defended the tablet during a question and answer session on Reddit this week, claiming that providing better battery performance would have resulted in a device that was too thick and heavy. But upon digging deeper into that Q&A session, AllThingsD’s John Paczkowski found that Microsoft may have a plan to address battery longevity. More →
BGR reviewed the Microsoft Surface Pro earlier this week, and we were impressed overall. The design is terrific, the performance is vastly improved compared to the first Surface, and the display is gorgeous. Battery life is one of the device’s weaker points, however. We found that the Surface lasted between 4 and 4.5 hours on a single charge with moderate usage, but some other sites reported battery life in the mid to high three-hour range. Microsoft’s (MSFT) head of the Surface team Panos Panay took to Reddit on Wednesday to field questions about the Surface Pro from members, and he addressed the device’s battery performance during his “Ask Me Anything” session on the site. More →
I first laid eyes on Microsoft’s (MSFT) Surface tablet just about four months ago. It was a rainy Monday morning in Redmond, Washington and we were barely into the first 20 minutes of a full day of meetings when I knew the Surface was a huge, huge deal. Microsoft — the world’s largest software company, responsible for the operating system that powers roughly 92% of all personal computers on the planet — was now a hardware vendor. More →
There is a serious problem with both the Windows 8 Pro and Windows RT versions of Microsoft’s (MSFT) Surface tablets: the company’s new operating systems are much more bloated than comparable platforms. The 32GB Surface with Windows RT only offers 20GB of usable space and unfortunately, the higher-end Surface Pro is even worse. As confirmed by The Verge, the 128GB and 64GB models of Microsoft’s upcoming tablet only offer 83GB and 23GB of free space, respectively. This could be a big problem for Microsoft and will undoubtedly be taken into consideration when people are looking to purchase the Surface or Surface Pro.
Microsoft (MSFT) previously announced that the Windows 8-powered version of its Surface tablet would launch in January starting at $899. The company was unable to meet its deadline, however, and on Tuesday announced that the device will now launch on February 9th in the U.S. and Canada. The base model of the Surface Pro is equipped with a 10.6-inch high-definition display, an Intel Core i5 processor, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of internal storage and a microSDXC slot for up to 64GB of additional memory. Microsoft will also be offering a 128GB model for $999. While both models come with a Surface stylus, the magnetic Touch Cover and Type Cover are not included and will be available for $120 and $130, respectively. The company also said it will soon double the number of markets where the Surface with Windows RT is available when it launches in 13 new European countries.
Microsoft’s (MSFT) Surface has, by all indications, been a dud in the consumer market so far. And while it’s unlikely that Microsoft’s $899 Surface Pro will do any better in the consumer market, one analyst thinks that it could be a modest success in the business market. Per AllThingsD, Davenport & Co. analyst Drake Johnstone says that the Surface Pro could appeal to companies looking to buy ultra-portable computers for their workers that are capable of functioning as fully loaded personal computers. In fact, Johnstone is so bullish on the Surface Pro in the workplace that he thinks Microsoft could sell “a few million” of the tablet-PC hybrids. More →
Microsoft (MSFT) announced pricing for its upcoming Surface Pro tablet last week and tech bloggers’ heads immediately exploded. The Surface Pro — Microsoft’s first own-brand Windows 8 offering — will start at $899 for a unit with 64GB of internal storage. That price includes a stylus, an accessory that will be appreciated by some potential users but certainly not all, but it does not include a Touch Cover or a Type Cover keyboard. Microsoft’s unique keyboard cover accessories are one of a few key differentiating factors that help set Surface tablets apart, so many viewed this omission as yet another strike against the Surface Pro. More →