Posts with tag Microsoft Surface
Yes, it's the Windows RT version
Have you been golding out for that LTE version of the Surface 2 that we got word of a couple of weeks back? Well, good news – your big wait is over. Microsoft has just confirmed a new Surface 2 model with support for AT&T’s LTE network, officially dubbed the “Surface 2 (AT&T 4G LTE).” So what’s different about this guy? Well, for one thing, it comes standard with 64GB of internal storage and support for the sort of LTE bands that AT&T uses – which means sorry, but no Sprint or Verizon support. T-Mobile should technically be a go, but the company isn’t saying anything about that.
It’s worth clarifying that this is a model of the Surface 2, not the Surface Pro 2, which is a very different beast. While the Surface Pro 2 ships with an Intel Core i5 processor, a pressure sensitive digital stylus, and a full version of Windows 8, the Surface 2 instead ships with an ARM processor and a version of Windows dubbed Windows RT. Because it’s running on ARM rather than your traditional Intel based chipset, most existing Windows programs will refuse to run on this – so you’ll be limited to whatever is currently available on the Windows Store, which is to say, not a lot.
The Surface 2 (AT&T 4G LTE) will be launching tomorrow, March 18th, in the Microsoft Store, MicrosoftStore.com, and Best Buys across the world for $679. Will you be picking this up? Let us know in the comments below!
That dancing commercial didn't work
I guess it’s pretty clear why Microsoft lowered the price of the Surface RT now if it wasn’t before – we had suspected that it was because of poor sales, but things appear to be much, much worse than we ever thought possible; Microsoft’s quarterly reports have indicated that the company has taken a whopping $900 million loss on the Windows RT tablet that the company has bet so much on.
The Surface RT was introduced to a huge publicity and marketing blitz by Microsoft last year, with the company even going so far as throwing an elaborate launch party in the entirety of Time Square, New York City to celebrate.
The $900 million loss was cut from the Windows department’s total revenue, which surprisingly still managed to see a slight bump in profits from this time last year. Microsoft has recently been rumored to be preparing for the launch of a 2nd Generation Microsoft Surface RT, likely with a slimmer body, higher quality screen, Windows 8.1, more powerful internals, and a host of new accessories to take advantage of that infamous Surface connector. Microsoft is also rumored to be preparing to bring a 7″ Surface tablet onto market to compete with the likes of the iPad mini, which would be a perfect fit for Windows 8.1’s improved support for lower resolution displays.
Much more reasonable
Have you been like me – always wanting a Microsoft Surface RT, but not quite willing to pay that ridiculous $500 price tag that goes along with such a purchase? Good news for both of us, friend – Microsoft has just put into effect a permanent price cut for the current Microsoft Surface RT tablet. The price has been whittled down to just $350, a full $150 off the initial asking price.
Rumors are indicating that the purpose behind the price cut is poor sales – customers haven’t seemed terribly interested in a $500 Windows RT device that can only run those new fangled new “Metro” Windows Store applications – so it was really only a matter of time before such a drastic move occurred. It’s worth noting however that Microsoft is reportedly coming out with their 2nd-generation Microsoft Surface RT devices shortly, which are said to be thinner, lighter, and much more powerful. Microsoft is also rumored to be on the verge of introducing a 7-inch Microsoft Surface tablet, designed to take advantage of Windows 8.1’s new screen size flexibility feature set.
Also known as project "Georgetown"
Yesterday we got our earliest look yet at the development process of Apple’s iPhone, and today comes yet another special look at the development of a major stepping stone project – the Microsoft Surface. The Verge’s Tom Warren got the scoop, getting a first hand tour of the project from Microsoft itself – and thankfully for us, he was allowed to take notes and pictures.
Of particular interest, Microsoft says that the decision to make the Microsoft Surface a tablet came later on in the development – a variety of other form factors were initially considered well before the team settled on a tablet, deciding that it (predictably) made the most sense in the context of Windows 8 and Windows RT. Once the decision was made in Microsoft to product its own hardware, secrecy was of the utmost importance so as to not unnecessarily (or necessarily, depending on your viewpoint) upset OEMs so early in the game.
Also of note, it’s well known that Microsoft just happens to have a thing for interesting codenames, and the Microsoft Surface and Surface Pro are no exceptions – the Surface was codenamed “Georgetown” while the Surface Pro, which came later in the development plans, was known as the “Georgetown X”.
Be sure to check out Tom Warren’s writeup at The Verge at the source link below, and check out more photos of Microsoft’s Surface prototypes after the break.
But no real product description
At a Surface Pro special event in Las Vegas last weekend Microsoft premiered their first Surface Pro ad, and their second major advertisement in the Surface product family. Featuring a group of suit and tie types dancing around in sheer excitement over the Surface Pro, this is obviously an advertisement in the same vein as the “infamous” original Surface advertisement that came with the launch of the original Microsoft Surface.
The advertisement made its television premiere at the Grammys last night, and you can find it embedded above. However I feel inclined to tell you: there is a substantial amount of awkward beat boxing in this commercial.
No news on Surface Pro
Microsoft has announced today that via The Verge that the Microsoft Surface RT, their first Microsoft Surface tablet running the ARM based Tegra 3 platform and the Windows RT operating system (not to be confused with the Intel and Windows 8 based Surface Pro of late), will be coming to another grouping of European countries on February 14th, including Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.
Microsoft has yet to reveal any further launch dates on their more recent Microsoft Surface Pro, which goes on sale tomorrow in the United States and Canada.
Source: The Verge
Surface team fields questions via Reddit
Microsoft’s Surface team hit Reddit once before, following the release of the original Microsoft Surface RT, and they’ve just done the same leading up to this Friday’s big release of the Microsoft Surface Pro – the tablet that tries to perfectly meld full blown PC computing with the portability and ease of use of a tablet.
Here are just a few of the more interesting answers given by the Surface team:
Q: For the Surface Pro….is the boot loader unlocked? Can I do what I want with my (potential) property? Or am I locked in to Windows 8?
A:Like other Windows 8 machines, you can access BIOS settings and turn off secure boot, enabling you to load other OSes.
Q: Why no docking station?? You’re so close to full desktop replacement here!
A: Hey, this is Andrew Hill, I lead the Mechanical team. The docking connection is a great question; I have been using my pre-production unit as my main machine for a while now. When I am at my desk I plug in a Mini Displayport and a USB cable and go to work. Others among us take advantage of docking station solutions that are available to drive displays over USB3.
Checkout more questions and answers by the Surface team after the break.
When you think of tablet computers, what are the first – we’ll be generous – three products that come to mind? I’d be willing to bet that, for most people, those would be the Apple iPad, Amazon Kindle Fire, and probably either the Google Nexus 7 or the B&N Nook. I’d also be willing to bet that 99% of all people wouldn’t have even thought to say the Microsoft Surface, and judging by recent figures by analytical firm IDC, Microsoft’s tablet isn’t even in the same league as the big guys with just 900,000 units shipped this quarter.
Compare that the 22.9 million iPads that Apple sold, and this number becomes even more terrifying for fans of Microsoft and the Surface. These are still the early days of both tablet computers as well as Microsoft’s bid to become a big player in the market, so things can and will certainly change in the tablet landscape as time goes on. Still, if you were wondering why Microsoft nary even mentioned the Surface in their most recent earnings report the other day – this is probably why.
Windows 8 is definitely a behemoth
People were rightly in a tizzy when news broke that the 32GB Microsoft Surface RT would only have around 16GB of actual usable storage, and it looks like the situation has only gotten worse with Microsoft’s Surface Pro as the company has just confirmed to The Verge that the 64GB Surface Pro, which runs for $899, will only have 23GB of actual usable storage for users to play with.
That’s a stark contrast to the likes of Apple’s iPad and most Android tablets, which run relatively light mobile operating systems that give most of the built in storage to the user. To means that those who are planning on getting a Surface Pro to do traditional tablet-like things on – such as store your music library, HD movies, etc. should look either at the 128GB Surface Pro, which gives you 83GB of free space, or at competitor’s tablets.
Of course, the reason behind the giant chunk of missing space is Windows 8, which is a full desktop operating system capable of doing anything you do on your desktop or notebook PC. A more powerful and traditional operating system of course takes up more space, which in turn leaves less for the user.
Source: The Verge
Powerful tablet computing comes Stateside
If you’ve been holding out on a tablet computer for Microsoft’s PC-in-a-tablet, the powerful Surface Pro, we have some good news for you – according to sources at The Verge reportedly confirmed by Microsoft, Microsoft’s Surface Pro will be launching on February 9th in the US and Canada, barely missing its self imposed January deadline by over a week.
The Surface Pro is of course a powerful Intel Core i5 PC shoved inside a modified version of Microsoft’s now infamous Surface tablet enclosure, and is totally compatible with the Surface’s growing array of accessories, including their snap-on keyboard covers. The Surface Pro has a distinct advantage to the original Surface as it runs Microsoft’s Windows 8 operating system instead of Windows RT, which allows it to run the full selection of over two decades worth of Windows applications.
The Surface Pro will be launching for $899 and comes with 64GB of storage, an Intel Core i5 processor, a high DPI display, and an included touch cover.
Source: The Verge
Jailbreak your Surface with a single click
As we reported just the other day, Microsoft’s Surface tablet – running Windows RT, a locked down version of Windows 8 for ARM devices – and all other Windows RT devices have been jailbroken, allowing users to execute unauthorized code just like any other Windows device (as long as it’s compiled for the device’s ARM processor, of course). The process was insanely complicated and far beyond the realm of knowledge for most consumers, which is why it’s all the more exciting that a jailbreak tool has just been released that allows users to take advantage of the just discovered exploit with just a single click of a .bat file.
Microsoft has already announced that they may closing the exploit in future versions of Windows RT, so definitely make sure you take advantage of this while you can. Until now, hit up the just released Windows RT jailbreak tool at the source link below.
Source: netham45 (XDA-Developers)
They're still gonna patch it, though.
A spokesperson for Microsoft has issued a comment regarding the recent successful attempts at a Windows RT “jailbreak”, which opened up their new Windows RT platform (as found on the Microsoft Surface) to execute unsigned code a la Windows 8. By design, Windows RT only allows applications installed via Microsoft’s Windows Store to run on Windows RT.
In the statement, Microsoft claimed that the jailbreak poses no security threat to users, and that they “applaud the ingenuity of the folks who worked this out and the hard work they did to document it”. Of course, Microsoft can’t just let this be the end of it – now begins the game of cat and mouse between hackers and Microsoft, as the company will “not guarantee these approaches will be there in future releases” – ie., they’re going to patch it.
You can read the full statement here:
The scenario outlined is not a security vulnerability and does not pose a threat to Windows RT users. The mechanism described is not something the average user could, or reasonably would, leverage, as it requires local access to a system, local administration rights and a debugger in order to work. In addition, the Windows Store is the only supported method for customers to install applications for Windows RT. There are mechanisms in place to scan for security threats and help ensure apps from the Store are legitimate and can be acquired and used with confidence.
We applaud the ingenuity of the folks who worked this out and the hard work they did to document it. We’ll not guarantee these approaches will be there in future releases.