Microsoft’s (MSFT) new Windows RT operating system is no stranger to criticism and while BGR’s review of the new Surface tablet was favorable, the device was not well received in other early reviews. Executives at Microsoft’s partner companies have been outspoken about the Surface as well, and HP’s (HPQ) PC boss Todd Bradley joined in during a recent interview with CITE World. More →
Is your shiny new Microsoft (MSFT) Surface RT tablet running a little slow? Microsoft on Wednesday released the first update to the Surface RT tablet that patches Windows RT, improves app launching speed and plugs several security exploits. The Verge reports that its Surface RT tablet received a total of seven updates to Windows RT and noticed apps opened about two seconds faster after installation, but also noted that an audio bug that’s affected some customers hasn’t been resolved in the updates. BGR reviewed the Surface RT tablet and deemed it a beautiful piece of kit that sets the bar high for OEMs to follow suit with their own Windows RT tablets.
Motorola and Microsoft (MSFT) are the two latest technology companies currently embedded in a high-stakes patent litigation battle. The trial, which is taking place in a federal courtroom in Seattle, concerns licensing fees for patents considered essential to implementing wireless industry standards. The hearing will determine how much the wholly-owned Google (GOOG) subsidiary can reasonably charge Microsoft for use of its patents in the company’s Xbox gaming system, Windows software and other products. Motorola on Tuesday asked the court to consider new and future Microsoft products, such as the Surface tablet and a possible Microsoft-branded smartphone, that implement its patented technology regarding 802.11 Wi-Fi connectivity and H.264 video technologies, according to Geek Wire. More →
Microsoft (MSFT) chief executive Steve Ballmer said just after the company’s debut tablet launched that sales weren’t very “interesting,” and it looks like sales of the Windows RT-powered tablet are still a bit slow. Speaking with French newspaper Le Parisien, Ballmer is quoted as having said Surface sales “are starting modestly.” Ballmer wouldn’t elaborate with any figures, but he did say that the Surface is currently in short supply. The CEO went on to state that supply shortages are “a good sign,” and that Microsoft “will fix this problem quickly.” BGR reviewed the Microsoft Surface last month and we said the tablet’s hardware is fantastic but it is limited by some software issues and a lack of available apps.
As solid as the build quality for Microsoft’s (MSFT) Surface tablet is, the same can’t be said for its magnetic Touch Cover keyboard. Users are reporting on various outlets and forums that the $119 keyboard cover accessory is literally bursting at its seams, exposing the wiring where it attaches to the Surface tablet, according to The Guardian. It’s too early to say Microsoft has a serious Touch Cover problem on its hands, but as The Guardian points out, the issue has popped up in many instances in the United States and the United Kingdom, which leaves it to believe the problem is not an isolated case. For what it’s worth, users have also reported success in getting immediate replacements at Microsoft Stores, which speaks to the company’s ambitions of emulating Apple (AAPL) and its hundreds of retail stores. A few photos of the bursting Touch Covers follow below. More →
Microsoft (MSFT) recently confirmed to BGR and reporters from a number of other publications that its next Surface tablet will launch in January or early February. “The Windows 8 version will be about three months behind the RT model,” said Windows boss Steven Sinofsky during a press gathering. The company has not yet confirmed pricing for its second slate, however, saying only that it will be priced to compete with similar Windows 8 notebooks. According to a recent report, Microsoft’s Windows 8-power Surface could fetch more than $1,000 when it launches in early 2013 — but the logic behind the report is fundamentally flawed. More →
Microsoft (MSFT) and Apple (AAPL) have a rivalry that dates back several decades and the technology giants are constantly chasing each other in different areas of their businesses. In the latest major shift, Microsoft is toying with the adoption of a business model that bears more than just a slight resemblance to Apple’s. The Redmond, Washington-based company has historically relied on vendor partners to build computers and smartphones that carry its software, but the new Microsoft Surface tablet removes vendors from the equation and gives Microsoft control over the user experience from beginning to end. And according to a recent analysis, Microsoft’s shift into the Windows hardware business is off to a great start. More →
Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer: Nothing ‘interesting to report’ on Surface sales, Apple is a ‘low-volume player’ in mobile
Microsoft (MSFT) has a lot riding on the success of Windows 8. And public’s reception of the Surface, the company’s first piece of Windows hardware, could dictate Microsoft’s future as it shifts to a position more closely resembling that of rival Apple (AAPL) — one where it can more closely control every aspect of the hardware and software it produces. According to a recent Wall Street Journal interview with Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, however, Microsoft’s Windows 8 and Surface launches weren’t anything spectacular. More →
As users settle in with their Microsoft (MSFT) Surface tablets, the folks at iFixit have already taken their screwdrivers and spudgers out to crack the device open. iFixit says it managed to disassemble the Surface in about 20 minutes and praised the tablet’s modular component layout and easy to remove battery. The only cons to the tablet appear to be that the glass and LCD are bonded, which makes replacements expensive, the rear panel is hard to remove due to it being held in place by 17 Torx screws, a heat gun is required to split the glass and LCD, and the keyboard connector is hard to remove without taking the display apart first. All in all, the Surface received a 4/10 repair rating (10 being the easiest), double that of Apple’s third-generation iPad.
Microsoft (MSFT) CEO Steve Ballmer undoubtedly knows that Apple (AAPL) has sold more than 100 million iPad tablets at this point, but according to the outspoken executive, that’s not the tablet people really want. While speaking with CNBC, Ballmer said no company has built a tablet he believes customers want. Of course with the introduction of the Surface, all that changes. More →
“It's time to bring the name back.”
It’s time to bring the name back. Boy Genius Report officially changed its name to BGR back in 2010, but I am going to be doing a periodic column here called The Boy Genius Report that will be my space to rant about supersized phablets, my love for Apple (AAPL), overpriced accessories, and honestly… whatever I want. While our reviews on BGR are always the individual author’s personal opinion — that’s why we don’t do ratings or scores, it’s just too subjective — I wanted a place to recap my thoughts on the week’s news, or something interesting I found that I wanted to share. And above all, who can resist a column called The Boy Genius Report? And now, here’s the first installment. More →
Welcome to the new Microsoft (MSFT). The world’s largest software company is now officially a Windows hardware vendor, having launched its debut tablet at midnight Friday morning. Crowds seeking out at Microsoft pop-up stores were surprisingly large in some cases — AllThingsD’s Ina Fried posted some great photos from the Times Square store on her Twitter account — and orders for the tablet that seems to be OEMs’ worst nightmare placed on Microsoft’s website still won’t ship for at least three weeks. While the company did say supplies would be limited at launch, we know from conversations during our visit to Redmond that Microsoft has high hopes for the Surface and it looks like things are off to a good start. Are you thinking about buying one? Did you just purchase a Surface and you’re wondering where to start? Not interested in the Surface but want to know more about Windows 8? Here are some resources that might help: More →
Microsoft (MSFT) knows quite a bit about being the world’s most dominant tech company. But over the past few years, Microsoft has taken a backseat as Apple (AAPL) and Google (GOOG) have taken firm hold of the mobile computing market. And now that the company is finally getting into the tablet game by launching the Surface, it’s apparently coming to terms with its newfound status as an underdog. In an interview with Business Insider, an unnamed Microsoft executive said that sometimes it can be “good to be second” because you can see all the mistakes your competitors have made and try to avoid them. The executive related this to Microsoft’s decision to make the Surface more like a laptop than most tablets, as the company wants to make the Surface a one-stop device that has the all the virtues of both a tablet and PC. More →