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Microsoft Surface: $199 (?)

Discussion in 'Mobile Phones / Entertainment' started by mattCR, Aug 14, 2012.

  1. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    I thought they were advertising Kit-Kat bars, all that snicker-snacking, and lack of any computing...
     
  2. Hanson

    Hanson Producer

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    One of the hugest oversights with the Surface campaign was not explaining where you could buy them. Even just a reminder to go to Surface.com would have been better than leading you to believe you could walk into a Target and buy one. I still maintain that much of the failure of Surface and Windows Phone (in respect to sales) is because the Windows brand is poison. I would guess most people actively hate Windows and most of the rest merely tolerate it. I don't think there are many people who love the brand. If the XBox were branded with Windows, it would have died in the first generation. For many people, "Windows" correlates with viruses and crashing.
     
  3. mattCR

    mattCR Executive Producer
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    I'm not sure if you can consider WindowsPhone, which got much less promo, but moved (between HTC, Nokia and Samsung) about 7M units through (not to stores, activations) and bypassed RIM last quarter. Is it a serious challenger to Iphone/Android? Eh. But in comparison to past efforts, t ehir adoption rate has been very good.
    I would agree that they really should move away from the Windows moniker and market it as something else.
    I have to say though this highlights one of the other problems with SurfaceRT.. SurfaceRT / WP8 are not the same platform and therefore aren't app compatible. This was a bad move. While apps supposedly can be easily recompiled to move between the two, it's still a useless step.
     
  4. Hanson

    Hanson Producer

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    Where did you get that 7 million activations number? Because from what I've read, Nokia shipped 4.4 million worldwide in 4Q, but only a fraction of that was sold in the US (which makes sense since it was an AT&T carrier exclusive). The combo of HTC and Samsung was dwarfed by Nokia. And even with all that, Windows Phone, including 7.0, 7.5, and WinMo, is around 3% marketshare. And bet a ton of money that the BB Z10 will dwarf WP sales in 1Q. The big reason BB sales were dying on the vine was because they didn't release a new BB model in 2012. Surface RT was an huge trainwreck that they should have seen coming a mile away. OEMs won't touch it because the license costs $85 (because it's bundled with Office RT), and the last I checked, MS is in the business of selling software. Surface Pro is supposed to be a reference unit, but I'd rather buy some of the OEM models, like the 11.6" Acer Iconia models that are cheaper than Surface Pro, double the battery life, and larger screen. The entirety of the Surface project has been a complete and utter failure.
     
  5. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    I still don't understand the differences between Surface, Surface RT, surface Pro, windows 8, and Windows Touch Screen computers. And if they have special integration with WinPhone. I've spent a few minutes with Windows touch screen computer at Best Buy, but I didn't understand it. It doesn't use the same gestures as Apple. And the basic "get to main screen" command isn't apparent just fooling around. I'm sure it makes sense if I were to sit through a tutorial. But as a quick demo, it didn't wow me.
     
  6. Hanson

    Hanson Producer

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    Surface Pro, Windows 8, and Windows Touchscreen are all the same OS. The only difference is form factor. Laptops come in touch or non-touch. The commonality here is that they all run on Intel and compatible chips (from AMD, for instance). They run Windows 8 touch programs as well as legacy non-touch programs (ie, stuff you could load onto WinXP SP3 and above). Surface RT is the OS for ARM chips. They run the ill fated Surface RT tablets and a couple of other OEM devices. This is Windows consumption tablet OS, and it's a pile of donkey balls. It can ONLY run Windows RT apps if you can find them. Mostly badly. Windows Phone 8 is the new phone OS. It can only run Windows Phone apps. While MS wants you to believe there's some high level of integration between them, there isn't really much gained by going all Windows instead of going all Google services. The latter allows you to sync between iOS and Android and Windows, which is better in my book. If you can't run the same programs or apps on all platforms (which you can't), I see no point to it.
     
  7. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

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    I guess nobody's giving away free licenses of their apps on Surface RT when you buy them for Win 8 (kinda like UV/digital copies for BD/DVD purchases)? _Man_
     
  8. Hanson

    Hanson Producer

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    Not 100% sure, but they are separate licences AFAIK. To be fair, Apple has separate licences for phone and tablet apps too.
     
  9. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

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    Fair's got nutin' to do wit it!
    They have a major uphill battle, so they'll have to do whatever it takes me thinks. They should probably do that at least until they get the ball rolling for Surface RT me thinks. Of course, I'm assuming it doesn't take much for them to provide the RT build from the Win 8 code base...
    _Man_
     
  10. Hanson

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    They can recompile Win8 apps for RT, but the mobile app world is making them by and large for phones and tablets, not for desktop systems or hybrid tablets with zero market share. The other problem is that a recompiled Win8 app often runs like shit on the lower powered ARM processor. So you really have to write the apps for RT in many cases.
     
  11. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    So if you buy a windows computer, a windows tablet, and a windows phone, you've got three different systems , which can't share apps? With OS X and iOS, at least my phones and tablets shop the same store and run the same apps, though different from the desktop. A brother in law has a new windows 8 convertible laptop for work. He hates it, but my dad is fascinated by it, and is thinking about getting one. (Christmas was too fast and I didn't get to play with it) Personally, a touchscreen desktop computer seems like an ergo nightmare. And I've already got some ergo-sensitive issues, so I'm not attracted to the Win8 touch solution for home use. On the flip side, I've got a grandfather who has a windows touch PC, one of those all in one win7 systems, and can use it for email and web. He hated the Kindle Fire, and doesn't have the dexterity anymore for mouse and keyboard. There could be good life for a win 8 system for mobility impaired use.
     
  12. mattCR

    mattCR Executive Producer
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    The only advantage is that the codebase is all basically .NET, so you should be able to recompile, but yes, you've got it Dave. Look, the idea behind a Windows Tablet goes back a VERY long ways.. long before there was Ipad, there was WindowsXP Tablet Edition. And while they were consumer popular items, they were very business popular items. Walk into most medical facilities, and either the HP or Toshiba pen-based tablet will be hanging around. Why? Because for entering medical data and getting a signature from a patient they are fantastic. Their ability to share a common code base with your system wide software is big. This is where MS really kind of pooched RT. RT has a potentially awesome environment IF MS had put far more effort into making RT PXE compliant. This will sound stupid to a lot of people, but a thin-client tablet at the right price could be a real winner. But MS didn't figure that out, and in fact, Remote Desktop resources are not quite there on the RT, and that's a real let down. Hanson, the figure of just over 7M is from quarter as introduced (Nokia's 4.4) and ATT & Verizon's reported figures through Holiday/January.. it's a rough estimate that gets bandied about. If Nokia's projections this quarter are right, it'll be low. Out of all of the devices MS has shipped, WP8 is really the smart one.. it's the one that best does exactly what it's supposed to do and really makes a case. One of the things that really makes a case for where branding could have helped them though is that their upcoming "expansion pack" (not a service pack, literally as new features will be added) is called "Blue". For a long time there was an idea to shift Microsoft's product name on the phone to just Microsoft Metro. This upcoming would be Microsoft Speedrail or Microsoft Blue. Frankly, I think they would have done themselves a major service if they had done that because of how different that product is from the rest. JMHO. I will admit, I have had an iPhone for.. a while, and before that, I had advocated blackberry for YEARS. For the last 3 years, I had carried an iPhone (work) and my personal blackberry for clients. The 920 is the first phone that made me drop the iPhone.. and the blackberry. My wife carries the NoteII now and loves it. Different things to like about both of them. As far as Surface Pro/RT/etc. having played with a lot of the options, I'm going to tell you the best implimentation of Windows8 I've seen isn't any of those, it's the Acer Iconia Tab W700. It's the perfect mix of cost vs. performance, and it's ability to really flip between the two is pretty smooth. As a performance device, it gives you all the tools you really want, and it's fantastic for presentation work. You look at a situation where someone like Acer comes out with that at $790, and you've got MS offering the Surface and it just doesn't seem to work in the same boat. I get the SurfacePro. I think there is a market for it also. It's a great way to get full Windows Applications onto a slate for easy movement, and I could see it really working out with physical inventory, etc. But MS has some of the small items not quite right.
     
  13. Hanson

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    I'm still a little iffy on the 7.7 mil figure since Nokia shipped 4.4 mil Lumia models (including all 7.0 and 8.0) worldwide. With HTC and Samsung selling next to nothing, I don't see how 7.7 mil was reached. Verizon didn't even have a Windows Phone for sale last quarter. In fact, Windows Phone sales as a percentage of market dropped off in 4Q from the previous quarter: gigaom.com/2013/02/07/comscore-windows-phone-lost-us-market-share-in-holiday-quarter/ The WP activation figure in the US, considering only AT&T even sold them, has got to be well under 1 million. Maybe 7.7 is lifetime to date?
     
  14. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    Microsoft had the first tablets, and they made all the wrong choices from a general user perspective, and also from a corporate perspective (price / performance / battery life), except where uniquely needed. The one I saw in the wild was a NASA scientist who got to choose his own PC. And the next laptop after that for him wasn't a touchscreen. (Also on that failed evolutionary path was the third-party company that would convert a Mac laptop to a touchscreen device.) I don't know what life there is in Win8 TS. My line of work doesn't use laptops. At home, I don't see how a 24" touchscreen monitor works and is comfortable. But I'm open to this development if it is an improved experience.  On the phone and tablet side, I think I'd switch to Android before Windows, since there's seemingly no userbase for Win8 yet.
     
  15. mattCR

    mattCR Executive Producer
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    Your last comment is the one that would trouble MS most. The entire point of committing to keep the Windows name was to state that they had backwards compatibility through all software released on Windows.
    As far as a touch screen 24", there is, to me, still the same traditional use.. Point of Sale and Education. But as a home monitor? I've seen people with little kids who do it and like it, but it always catches me as staring at something smudged up all the time.
     
  16. Hanson

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  17. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    My dad wants a touch screen device that does Windows Remote Desktop and VPN. he doesn't need Office; all his pro work is Remote / VPN. he likes the iPad but it won't do RDP. he likes videos, web, email, books on his Android phone. He was curious about Surface Pro. I said it would do what he wants, but with a 3-4 hr battery life, it doesn't seem like a great choice. What should he get? Android and Windows devices are options.
     
  18. Hanson

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    Surface RT, AFAIK, does not do VPN. Surface Pro is simply Windows 8 so it should be able to, but a thick >2lb tablet with a 4 hour battery life sounds like the last thing to consider. $900 is also steep for what your father is looking for.
    Meanwhile, there are over a dozen apps for Android that handle RDP and VPN is baked into the OS:
    http://www.howtogeek.com/135036/how-to-connect-to-a-vpn-on-android/
    Note that I use my Transformer Prime for RDP 50% of the time (although I don't need the VPN feature). It's almost more of an RDP client than a consumption tablet. And we have users at work who take advantage of RDP on their Galaxy S3 phones all the time.
     
  19. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    Can't help you on that one Dave. The lead artist for Penny Arcade was pretty impressed using Surface Pro as a quasi-Cintiq using just MS Paint. That's encouraging for that segment tho.
    I actually kinda feel bad to keep bashing on these things. Like X-Files I "Want to believe" The thing is, the reality of them just doesn't match the hype yet for me. It will get there tho, it's going to take a few generations.
     
  20. mattCR

    mattCR Executive Producer
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