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back to article Second-gen Surface and Surface Pro rumored to be minor upgrades

More details have begun to trickle out regarding Microsoft's second-generation Surface fondleslabs, which are expected to ship in the fall. On Wednesday, Neowin reported that new versions of both the Intel-based Surface Pro and the ARM-based Surface running Windows RT were in the works. Windows-watcher Paul Thurrot later …

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Windows

But NO, Redmond hasn't given up on Windows RT

Shame cos everyone else & dog has.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: But NO, Redmond hasn't given up on Windows RT

Are they still going on with this flawed product?

Who would have thought it?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: But NO, Redmond hasn't given up on Windows RT

The key difference this time is they removed the RT branding and made it look like the other failed surface...

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which are expected to ship in the fall.

I misread that as "which are expected to ship in the fail."

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Re: which are expected to ship in the fall.

The Rev. Spooner sent a memo to Ballmer

"Unaccepted like shit in a pail."

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So they've dropped the 'RT'

I expect by this time time next year... They'll have scratched the 'Surface' too. >SPLAT!<

(Why does someone always bring tomatoes?)

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"""the new ARM version would simply be called Surface, dropping the previous generation's "RT" moniker."""

That will certainly change the buyer confusion over which model does what. They have just learned to avoid the 'RT' models and now they won't see any.

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Guess that means they'll avoid anything labelled "Surface". Bullet, meet foot!

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Price it right or it won't sell

Hopefully, Microsoft finally learned the pricing lesson. If they don't price it right, it will not sell. That's a simply fact that's already been proven.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Price it right or it won't sell

Yep. Price meant it didn't even get considered in our house nor at work- if they sort that out at least it will fail on its technical merits (or maybe even succeed? would only losing half a billion this time count as success?)

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Anonymous Coward

Two position kickstand and 8gb ram would be nice, but no real reason to upgrade the Surface Pro.

Surface RT continues to be unappealing in isolation, but I think there is a long game being played with RT, I'm not sure what yet. Suspect it may end up in cars/appliances and other embedded consumer facing products soon.

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> I think there is a long game being played with RT, I'm not sure what yet.

Yes, there is. It is to wave 'loyalty discounts!' at OEMs to prevent them making ARM based stuff* with a non-Microsoft OS.

It worked well at HP and WebOS, but only for a short time. HP have now realised they can make Android tablets and lose less money than if they made RT tablets.

* This includes ARM based servers when MS work out how to do those, but then having hundreds of ARM SoCs in a server (as they do) will price Windows RT Server Edition out of the market.

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Long game

I think you mean Stereotypy.

Surface for washing machines makes no sense. Plenty of people do not read word documents on their toaster. I cannot find a good reason for 8GB of RAM in my freezer. Writing a message to stick on the fridge is now called texting. If you need to read something while the bread is toasting, Facebook (or the Register) is on your phone.

Microsoft cars make about as much sense as Windows Phone. The carriers did not want to become Microsoft's slaves like PC manufacturers. The car manufacturers also know where Microsoft lock-in leads. If cars are going to have in-flight entertainment and navigation then they will use Linux, like the airlines.

My personal bet for the reason behind Surface 2 is purchasing commitments. I think Microsoft got good component prices by making commitments to order huge quantities. Even the excessive quantity of Surfaces manufactured might not have done more than put a dent in those commitments. Microsoft can either buy their way out, or release a product. A bit of negotiation could get them a CPU upgrade. Doubling the RAM per device burns through that commitment more quickly. Underclocking the new CPU (or racing to idle) gives them more battery life without upgrading the battery order. Surface 2 is about delaying have to admit to another billion dollar write off.

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There are long lines expected at the Windows stores...

with people returning their slap..

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Oh dear

Where I live they are currently advertising Surface RT at below cost.

If the next model is only slightly improved, how do they expect to make any profit?

Oh, I get it. They dropped the "RT". Maybe people will think they're a different product.

Brilliant plan, Baldrick Ballmer!

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Sil

Deception?

I hope the RT dropping isn't true because it would willfully mislead consumers & could only result in a class-action lawsuit.

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Trollface

Re: Deception?

Surly they [sic] MicroSoft have an EULA that covers that....

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New products but the same problems

Ignoring the obvious one (running Windows 8 or 8.1) they're going with nVidia and Tegra again. Tegra 3 was a success in marketing because it sure didn't perform as well as they claimed in use and I won't believe anything they say about Tegra 4. When your quad-core CPU is beaten by dual-core CPUs you lose on so many levels.

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Headmaster

"which should help with one the first generation Pro's major shortcomings: battery life"

My eyes!

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As expected when MS lowered prices on the S/P1. The Haswell based S/P 2 is out for Christmas and a nice box it is. Explains the latest decisions by Acer (R7 gets a NTrig stylus), Sony (Fit's with up to 16GB) and others. Assuming the price is similar to S/P1 should also be a nice price cyling for the Baytrail Atoms

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Price

My main problem with the surface pro is the price. It's just a bit too expensive. When I compare it with a nice samsung ultrabook or something, I can just get a much more capable computer that's sufficiently portable for my use for the same price.

If they were to find a way to cut the price by another 25% or so then it might be worth it to me. They do look quite nice

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Re: Price

Compare it with an Ultrabook + external Wacom tablet because that's what it is! And I doubt the SumSum Ultrabook is more capabel. Bigger screen yes but otherwise?

Compare to Ativ700t, Duo11 or Helix - the price is quite good within it's class. S/P is definitly an "entry level" core i tablet not a "one for all" system like a T-902 or the Duo13. It fits into a nice gap between "not enough" (Atom) and "too costly" (Duo13, T-Series, Helix). 4GB memory, 64-128GB SSD + SD Card(2), WIDI support and Windows + Wacom make a fine device for note taking, presentations, brainstorming sessions in the team (no need to photograph the whiteboard, erase it etc(1)) and all types of computation "on the go" that an Atom (or let alone an ARM) can not do or where a good Atom (TPT2, Dell L10, TF810) is almost as costly as an S/P and the extra endurance is not needed.

It has deficits like the lack of 3G (debatable, tethering works, 3G is nice but PAL), only 10.6'' (OTOH I find even 12,1'' a tad small sometimes so I am biased) and in the current units "short legs" (also 4+ h are good enough for work and home use).

The CPU used is an ULV model but so are those in most mobile systems including most Ultrabooks

User replaceable batteries would be nice (but what unit has those these days(3)).

4GB is low end if you want to do serious software development (OTOH if I do that on a mobile unit I want an M-series CPU anyway (and end up with the "dying X230 or a T73x/T90x at 1500+ € / 2+kg)

(1) Beamer+WIDI or "Teleconference screen+WIDI" have replaced the ole whiteboard in meetings here. Tablet PC (T731) gets handed around the desk, data is stored in OneNote->Sharepoint

(2) A "complete" Win8/Pro with MS Office and some other tools uses about 30GB. So for business and most privat stuff even the 64GB version should do (drop the recovery partition to DVD). SD-cards work as well and you can install programs on them if you absolutely need

(3) Dell Lat10 has, IIRC the only one outside the superheavy class (Helix, Duo11/13, Ativs, WF810 - no replaceable/upgradable parts)

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Hopefully they will learn the lessons of the 1st generation and bring the prices down to a sensible level. Why would I pay £700 GBP for a Surface when I can get a kick ass touchscreen laptop for 30% less? You are already starting to see similar devices from HP and Asus with much more attractive price points.

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Surface or Surface/Pro? If pro: The "touchscreen laptop" is NOT playing in the same league since it lacks quite a few capabilities like a proper inductive digitizer. Same for the touch only tablets like the W700.

As for HP and ASUS: What units similar to an S/P do they offer at better prices? Even counting the "last of the EP/B121" from Asus they play in the same range for core-i based units. Everything cheaper then the S/P is either "touch only" or "Atom"

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I'm not sure what all the criticism of the Surface RT is about to be honest. I get the impression that people think it should be a full blown Windows 8 experience, but it's meant to be an easy to use tablet device. Just like iOS isn't a full blown OS like OSX, Windows RT isn't a full blown OS like Windows Pro. You can't install any application you want on a surface RT, but nor can you on iOS or Android. You're restricted to the App Store. If you want to install any application, then you choose Windows Pro, OSX or Linux. If anything Microsoft have upped all the others by offering a full blown operating system on a tablet. Yes it costs more, but you get more.

It's like me being mad that I can't access Entourage on the iOS platform when I can on OSX. They're different operating systems.

The worst thing Microsoft did with RT was not go the whole way and get rid of the option to go to the desktop and just make it the new metro GUI only.

Surface Pro is great but overkill for those that just want to check email, browse the web, look at some apps. The Surface does this equally as well as the iPad and Android devices.

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Gimp

It's a shame because, for me - one of the three people who actually bought an RT - the device is pretty much everything I wanted in a tablet (a form that has its own limitations whatever the brand/OS). I find it to be of far more use than the iPad or Android equivalents - mainly becuase of Office and the microSD/USB slots (and in this regard, I suppose I am one of the few that find the desktop to be very useful when e.g. saving and transferring files).

I also find the flak directed at the RT brand very odd. No, I don't really know what "RT" stands for either, but then, does one really need to? It's sufficient as a differentiator between models and, IMHO, the difference between the Pro and RT models was obvious to anyone looking even vaguely at the Surface slabs - particularly given the coverage in the media about the apprent "confusion".

I just don't buy the "public were confused about the OS" argument - it's almost wilful ignorance of iOS and slating MS for something for which its competitors are lauded (or, at least, given a free pass) - and the RT model has a lot to offer if people gave it a chance.

The problem, I felt, was more in the way it was/is marketed - the dancing robot schoolgirls etc. were all very flash, but nothing actually sold the device on the basis of what it could do (and do better than the competition). The more recent advertisements comparing the Surface with the iPad were - while a little too late and (let's face it) smacking of sour grapes - a step in the right direction and showed a lot of the Surface's capaibilities. Again, however, they bizarrely made no mention of Office - surely a key selling point?

My two pence: the Surface 2 needs a bit more speed, higher res (I don't consider this important, but obviously a lot of punters do), a much lower price and a lot more public focus on what it is and what it can do, rather than trying to sell style over substance.

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Actually, while I think of it, USB charging would also be helpful - I did not enjoy carrying around the charger or indeed having to fork out 30-odd squid for another wall-wart for the office.

Day-to-day, it's fine, and the long battery life helps a lot. However, when travelling (i.e. when I most use the thing), I would be willing to sacrifice charging speed in order to be able to use a simple USB cable.

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