Acer (2353) has been one of the biggest Surface critics out there, so it’s not surprising that the company is taking a wait-and-see approach to the idea of releasing its own Windows RT tablets. Reuters reports that Acer is holding off on putting out any Windows RT devices “to give itself time to see how Microsoft’s (MSFT) own Surface tablet fares.” Acer President Jim Wong told Reuters that the company is being “much more cautious” about releasing a Windows RT tablet and is instead “watching how Surface is doing” and seeing how Windows RT is accepted by customers. Wong said the company had originally planned to release its own RT tablets in the first quarter of 2013, but that those plans had been pushed back to at least the second quarter for the time being.
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) on Thursday took to New York City to announce availability of its brand new Windows operating system in more than 140 markets around the world. Windows 8 and Windows RT usher in the new face of Windows, a tile-based interface that combines shortcuts and widgets into tiles that can deliver live information to the user. Windows RT is a “lite” version of the platform compatible only with specially made applications, while Windows 8 combines Windows RT with classic Windows that is compatible with legacy and new x86 software. Windows 8 is available starting at just $39.99 for a limited time and upgrades from Windows 7 start at just $14.99. Microsoft’s debut tablet, the Surface, will launch tomorrow starting at $499.
Windows 8 is coming! Windows 8 is coming! Judging by the reaction to Windows 8 on various technology and business blogs, it’s a miracle society ever moved past MS-DOS and adopted Microsoft’s (MSFT) Windows operating system in the first place. Bloggers seem to be scared of the new tile-based Windows user interface, and they think consumers and enterprise users aren’t ready for the big change. Moreover, there are all kinds of “secret” new gestures that users will have to know to navigate around the U.S., and tech writers apparently aren’t confident that people are up to the task. We went through the big ones in last night’s Microsoft Surface review, but in case you missed it, let’s take a look at all the scary new things you need to learn to use Windows 8 and Windows RT: More →
Some time ago, top executives at Microsoft (MSFT) realized the company needed to make some major strategic changes to adapt in a marketplace that was in the early days of a huge shift. Many would argue that the decision came later than it should have, and they could present some solid arguments. Microsoft’s entry into the tablet space and re-entry into the smartphone arena indeed came late, and the company has paid the price for its mistakes thus far. From the look of things, however, this giant has legs. More →
It turns out Steve Ballmer wasn’t lying when he said that the Surface would be priced like Apple’s (AAPL) iPad. Per TechCrunch, Microsoft (MSFT) has inadvertently revealed prices for its Surface models based on the Windows RT operating system: The 32GB Surface will sell for $499 without the Touch Cover keyboard pad and for $599 with the Touch Cover included. The 64GB Surface, meanwhile, will come with a Touch Cover and will sell for $699. As The Verge notes, Microsoft has moved quickly to pull the pricing information down from its sales website, so this listing definitely looks unintentional on Microsoft’s part. The Surface will get its grand unveiling at midnight on October 26th. More →
Microsoft (MSFT) knows how important Windows 8 is to the future of the company — especially as it reportedly prepares for a major transition — and the company is apparently ready to put its money where its mouth is. With the launch of Microsoft’s next-generation PC and tablet operating system just two weeks away, Forbes is now reporting that the Redmond, Washington-based company plans to spend between $1.5 billion and $1.8 billion to market the new platform, according to estimates. ”The marketing effort is on a scale you don’t see outside presidential elections,” Enderle Group analyst Rob Enderle told the magazine. Microsoft’s Windows 8 OS launches on October 26th alongside the new Surface tablet. More →
Microsoft (MSFT) confirmed over the summer that its next-generation desktop and tablet operating system Windows 8 will launch on October 26th, and now the company is getting ready for its big day. Microsoft on Monday sent invitations to media for a Windows 8 launch event scheduled to take place in New York City on October 25th. No further details were provided. Microsoft’s new Windows 8 and Windows RT operating systems carry Windows Phone’s tile-based user interface over to desktops, laptops and tablets when they launch next month. BGR took a look at Windows 8 back in February and called it the first step toward a terrific unified experience across all of Microsoft’s platforms.
Like its fellow OEM HP (HPQ), Lenovo (LNVGY) is refusing to join the Microsoft (MSFT) Surface crybaby brigade and is instead concentrating on building a competitive tablet. Bloomberg this week caught up with David Schmoock, chief of Lenovo’s North America operations, who said that Lenovo’s best opportunity to make a dent in the tablet market was to use Windows RT for all its tablets. The reason, he said, is pretty simple: Window RT devices can be priced between $300 and $400 while Windows 8 tablets will be priced in the $600 to $700 range. More →
Toshiba (TOSBF) has canceled its plans to release a tablet computer based on Microsoft’s (MSFT) Windows RT operating system. The company said its decision has nothing to do with Microsoft’s Surface tablet, rather a delay in getting components. Toshiba initially planned to use Texas Instruments’s (TXN) ARM-based processors for its RT devices, but it will instead concentrate on Windows 8 devices that work on Intel’s (INTC) x86-64 architecture. “Toshiba has decided not to introduce Windows RT models due to delayed components that would make a timely launch impossible,” Eric Paulsen, a company spokesman said a statement to Bloomberg. “For the time being, Toshiba will focus on bringing Windows 8 products to market. We will continue to look into the possibility of Windows RT products in the future while monitoring market conditions.” More →
Price estimates for the Windows RT version of Microsoft’s (MSFT) Surface tablet have been all over the map, ranging from $600 to a highly unlikely $1,000. But now Engadget has talked with an unnamed “inside source” who attended a session at Microsoft’s TechReady15 conference and claims to have learned that Microsoft would be selling the Windows RT version of its tablet for just $199. When reached for comment by BGR, a Microsoft spokesperson said the company does not comment on rumors or speculation.
It’s no secret that Microsoft is being much more careful than usual when it comes to which vendors it will let make tablets based on its Windows RT operating system for its initial Windows 8 launch this fall. And according to Unwired View, only four of Microsoft’s (MSFT) original equipment manufacturers have been given the green light to make Windows RT tablets so far: Asus (2357), Toshiba (6502), Samsung (005930) and Lenovo. Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) had originally been asked to make a Windows RT tablet, but the company declined the offer last month, thus opening up speculation that Dell (DELL) might take its place. More →
From the department of wild speculation, WPCentral has found a Swedish website that is taking pre-orders for Microsoft’s (MSFT) 32GB Windows RT-based Surface tablet and is charging a whopping 6990 krona, or roughly $1,000. It should be noted that the Microsoft has yet to release any definitive pricing information on its Surface tablets yet, and the company likely knows that charging $1,000 for its base-model RT tablet would be an act of depraved insanity. Pricing can also vary tremendously between markets, so here’s hoping that Microsoft has a little more sense than to destroy its own tablet business before it even launches. More →