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back to article The British are coming! The British are coming! And they're buying Surface fondleslabs

In a small corner of the IT industry, Microsoft is toasting a success of sorts: its relatively unloved Surface tablet is gaining customers and has unseated Google's Nexus slabs in the popularity stakes in the UK. Shipments of all fondleslabs into retailers and distributors in Blighty swelled 20.4 per cent, year on year, to 2.15 …

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Acer

Wow... What happened to Acer? I've always thought that Acer has knocked out perfectly good (in fact, i'd go as far as to say very good) hardware at reasonable prices. Always been pleased with Acer laptops etc. Is it just that laptops are no longer the must-have, and they haven't managed to penetrate into the fondle-slab market?

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Re: Acer

Acer made the nexus 7, which is peddled by Google in these results...

Also, 3.3% market share is enough to get you into 4th place? No wonder all the other brands are struggling.

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Re: Acer

Asus made the Nexus 7, not Acer.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Acer

"and has unseated Google's Nexus slabs in the popularity stakes in the UK"

Not exactly surprising - Surface is a far better product with a more powerful, fully featured and more secure OS. Nexus is basically a toy.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Acer

Errm, that was ASUS that made the Nexus7....

I stopped reading when it mentioned shipments... We all know how keen Microsoft can get sometimes to stuff the channel well beyond tipping point.

I know about 20-30 people with Nexus slabs, not a single actual or potential surface owner, so this really stinks of flawed data somewhere...

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Re: Acer

Could change again, though… The next Nexus is probably going to be released soon, which usually means a bump in sales.

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Re: Acer

Small number statistics from people you know will tend to be skewed by people's tendency to buy something that someone else they know has. So once you've got a couple of people in your social circle with a nexus its likely there will be more.

In my case (aside from the usual iPads amongst the iPhone owners) I see a disproportionate number of assorted Kindle Fires and Nooks. I do know one Surface owner, but he's not someone all the owners of the others know - so no influence there.

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Re: Acer

That's why my Nexus is in the bag sitting next to me, and my Surface (original RT) is sitting at home being useless.

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Re: Acer

Asus, not Acer, ah yes, my mistake. brain a bit slow on account of a small boy crying instead of sleeping last night.

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Re: Shipments

> I stopped reading when it mentioned shipments.

When MS took a $900million writedown on its stock of Surface last year it was said that this was at $150 per unit. So they had 6 million units left over that weren't selling. At the time they were not selling these through distributors, now they are. It may be that this growth in _shipments_ is a mix of original and generation 2 Surface into distributors at knock-down prices in order to get headlines.

Much like the unrepeated 'WP beats Apple in 25 countries' was _shipments_, mostly to places that Apple didn't ship to, and when Apple was 'between products' with a new one due.

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There's one..

I actually saw someone with one today. I nudged the person to my left and nodded in the direction of the slab. The owner of said slab noticed, looked furtive and then covered it up with a newspaper.

Maybe he though we would rob him, maybe he was embarrassed, we will never know.

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Re: There's one..

>>"Maybe he though we would rob him, maybe he was embarrassed, we will never know."

Probably thought he was about to get lectured by fanpeople for buying a Microsoft product.

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blackberry playbook anyone?

MS are discounting the hell out of the surface RT to get rid of them because the OS is dead in the water. The surface pro is just another touch-screen wintel box.

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Re: blackberry playbook anyone?

Everyone but Google and Apple are heavily discounting tablets. Nexus devices are being discounted but without Google support they aren't 'heavily discounted', must have some effect on sales. The discounting is so deep right now it's a miracle anyone can leave a shop without a new tablet ;)

Still not convinced actual customers are buying Surface yet, needs to go much cheaper. Todays £49 Lumia 520 price is a more realistic level of discount. I think they'll bury Surface excess stock in the desert rather than go that cheap.

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Re: blackberry playbook anyone?

Not counting all the people where I work who got a Surface for free...

I know WAY more people with a Playbook then a surface (but they all bought the Playbook for $99).

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Re: blackberry playbook anyone?

I agree with the firesale sentiment for RT. But "pro" tablets are, as you say, full Windows devices and that is NOT A BAD THING. Some people's needs extend beyond hammering out 2 line responses to emails or watching videos. e.g. I develop software for a living and it would be rather nice to be take a tablet (and keyboard) and fire up Eclipse for that purpose. Another person might need to review a long document and print it to some random printer.

That's where a Windows based tablet would be useful although Microsoft's tablets are expensive examples. There are cheaper devices, even of similar spec.

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Re: blackberry playbook anyone?

Is that a touch-enabled version of Eclipse? And if so, do you find it more productive than the traditional Windows mouse and keyboard interface? Or do you mix the two?

(Though I suspect that way lies madness)

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Re: blackberry playbook anyone?

"Is that a touch-enabled version of Eclipse?"

Some Windows tablets come with a keyboard dock (as do some Android tablets). The remainder can connect via USB or bluetooth to keyboard / mice.

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Sony

Go buy a Tablet Z2. Many excellent and unique features. IR. Waterproofing.

£99 only when bought with a Phone Z2.

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Re: Sony

Unfortunately, Sony's slab comes with free theft of my personal data courtesy of Google.

I'd be able to understand if Google were actually paying *us* a slice of the pie every time they sold our data on, but they're not. They're taking something I've created without recompense. (Android itself is just a loss-leader for them. Compared to everything else they do, the cost of maintaining and updating Android is a rounding error in their annual budget.)

Google's a parasitical business model of the worst kind. For all the invective aimed at the likes of Apple and Microsoft, at least the product they're selling isn't *me*.

Privacy is a precious thing: once you've lost it, it's damned hard to get it back.

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Devil

MS adopts UK Marketing strategy, ups figures-

"I say you buy one- you get one free!!"

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Anonymous Coward

The figures look really bad

"Microsoft flogged 71,540 units in the quarter.... Some 58 per cent of these units were of the ARM-powered RT version"

So they sold 30,047 Surface 1 and 2 tablets in 3 months, compared to Apples 742,000 and Samsungs 653,000.

"Google struggled to gain traction, with sales dropping nearly 80 per cent to a little over 42,000 units"

So the old Nexus actually sold better than the Surface RT, and the Surface Pro, when the numbers for both aren't bundled together.

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Re: The figures look really bad

Your point being? There is more than one Nexus slab too - those figures probably include both the 7 and the 10.

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Re: The figures look really bad

It's probably a comment on the wonderful use of statistics. The RT and Pro are very different pieces of kit with an over-arching label of Surface and as such there is less justification to roll them in together than models differentiated predominantly by size. Of course...down at the basement level of market share you will use anything you can to make yourself look more significant.

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Terminator

Microsoft's "3.3 per cent market share"

Is it even worth mentioning Microsoft at all in such an article?

Just let it die already, and good riddance.

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Paris Hilton

Really...?

"In a small corner of the IT industry, Microsoft is toasting a success of sorts: its relatively unloved Surface tablet is gaining customers and has unseated Google's Nexus slabs in the popularity stakes in the UK."

At risk of sounding like one of the knee-jerk "because it's Microsoft" brigade, and unlike the Windows Phones that said brigade seem to be incapable of seeing, I have only ever seen two Surfaces in the wild. And one of those belonged to a mate who was given it by his workplace for appraisal purposes.

But I do see Android tabs every morning on the tube into work... so where the hack has this data come from?

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Yeah where are they?

It's funny with all this stuff - even with Xboxes, I know far more people with whatever non-XBox play stations than people with XBoxes (but, yes they do exist).

I know one person who owned a Zune (when still working at Microsoft 8^)

A know three people with a Windows Mobile: 2 got it from the employer, and as they are using it for email and calls only, they have not even noticed it sucks - one really bought it for himself. Well, the first time he called me we had to switch to the fixed phones (true. really really true. I laughed my ass of for the rest of the day... "Was that your Windows mobile? What was going on?"- " Err I don't know, but now, after a reboot, it works normal again")

I haven't seen anyone with a Surface yet. I know someone who knows someone who has a Surface, and he says it looks cool.

So where are all these people buying MS devices like mad? Just afraid to show the devices in public because they are so uncool?

/Zane

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Re: Yeah where are they?

Surfaces aren't for consuming video on the train/tube/bus, they are basically replacement laptops for convenience or for folks that have a desktop still perhaps and want portability but still a proper computer.

Since the keyboard cover is slim and usable and since it displays a web page for an email without switching away from the email and since it has a 'real' windows mode it is much more useful than other tablets.

Having proper office for free and a USB for a mouse and/or real keyboard and, very importantly, multiple logins for different people, including children, with family safety, all straight out-of-the-box and no fiddling around I am surprised more people don't realise the benefits.

Pricewise, the RT Surface 1 was a bargain and my boss at the office spent time looking at it, compared the weight favourably to his iPad, since he had to have a case of course. He very much wished his iPad had Office but the expense prevented it. He also thought the two-app display for metro was much, much better than constantly flicking between apps, especially emails with links.

And, while doing so, another guy at the office said "I have got one of those too". He liked his as well.

So, that's where they are, considerably fewer than the others, as the figures suggest, they are not cheap after all. But, they exist, they are enjoyed and they are favoured over iPads I think.

I think people will buy anything they think is the proper thing to buy, Samsung rely on this in their massive ad campaigns. Some of us, however, look at what we actually need and buy the device best suited.

I never owned a tablet and don't really, really need one, because I have a laptop. I just now, even more rarely have to unplug the laptop to take it somewhere.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Yeah where are they?

Surfaces aren't for consuming video on the train/tube/bus, they are basically replacement laptops for convenience or for folks that have a desktop still perhaps and want portability but still a proper computer.

Pricewise, the RT Surface 1 was a bargain and my boss at the office spent time looking at it, compared the weight favourably to his iPad, since he had to have a case of course. He very much wished his iPad had Office but the expense prevented it. He also thought the two-app display for metro was much, much better than constantly flicking between apps, especially emails with links.

Did you not point out to your boss that he shouldn't compare Surface to the iPad, because the Surface is basically a replacement laptop for connivence like a Macbook Air, which runs office and can have more than one app on the screen?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Yeah where are they?

I don't really see, why you think that a Surface should not be compared to an iPad?

They have approximately the same form factor and if you compare a Surface Pro to an iPad cost in same way-too-much range.

It is true that the Surface Pro (in all 3 incarnations) is a laptop in tablet format and as such will win KO victory in a comparison with an iPad when comparing using it for actual work. So your point being?

The Surface RT (only tried version 2) is great as a tablet, works great for watching video (using a phone for internet connection) and other casual stuff that an iPad also is good at. Easy to carry and has a full Office included for free (no more "almost" being able to read the attachments to emails). Still a bit funny having both a Desktop and the Start-menu, but when I use Win8 on my Laptop I almost never touch the Start-menu, but on the Surface RT I only use the Start-menu, except for very specialized file handling where the File Explorer still is better.

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Win8 tablets work better in business. They're just smaller flatter touchscreen laptops. No additional wizzy things needed. But not MS Surface, too dear, we've been getting Dells Win8 tabs and they're well liked.

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There's a discount at the moment if you buy using a Windows XP machine, this could account for the spike in the UK.

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The Nexus tablet interface was too complicated in comparison to the iPad. Google need to make it better to understand.

And er Microsoft's is not even worth mentioning. Plastic sort of toy feel and unstable, just like Microsoft Word 2013 :-(

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By these standards I could be a Bronze medallist Olympic sprinter...

An Olympic sprinter can do the 100m in sub ten seconds. I could probably make it in 30 seconds (even stopping for a few gasps of bottled oxygen at half way) and come third so long as nobody else with any level of fitness entered.

Relative to MS coming third in the tablet race, I'd be doing comparatively well.

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Joke

Stories like these

remind me of one of my favourite jokes:

The are two types of statistician in the world - those that extrapolate from incomplete data...

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Re: Stories like these

I like mine better... a statistician is someone with his head in an oven and his feet encased in a block of ice....on balance, he feels neither hot nor cold.

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Mushroom

Load of tosh...

All this 'shifting' numbers into distributor and retailers is bollocks - give people real tangible numbers in terms of those sold to users then we can all make sensible rational judgements or indeed sensible observations.

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