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Microsoft announces Surface pricing

Microsoft announces Surface pricing

Microsoft's Surface tablets, which pack an ARM processor and the as-yet unproven Windows RT, will cost £498 when coupled with the Touch Cover keyboard accessory.

Microsoft has announced UK pricing for its first Surface device, the Windows RT-based ARM-powered entry-level model: £399.

At first glance, and taking into account the 10.6in display and capacious 32GB storage capacity, that seems like a pretty reasonable launch price. Sadly, Microsoft is trying to pull a fast one on consumers: while its launch announcements were full of talk of the clever Touch Cover - which combines a screen-protecting cover with a physical keyboard - that won't be included in the package.

Instead, buyers of the near-enough £400 tablet are being asked to spend £99 on the Touch Cover, which uses a pressure-sensitive membrane keyboard much like Sir Clive Sinclair chose for his £99 ZX80 and £79 ZX81 microcomputers at the start of the 80s. For those who can't imagine typing on a surface which fails to offer any kind of feedback - presumably people who haven't used a tablet's on-screen keyboard - there's also the Type Cover, a thicker unit which provides a small amount of movement to the keys, for £109.

So, assuming that you want the full Surface experience, you're looking at a minimum of £498 - a price which puts it above the cost of the £479 32GB iPad. While it's true that the iPad doesn't include a keyboard - meaning the Surface wins out - a keyboard case for the iPad can be had for under £12, bringing the comparative total to £491 for the iPad and £498 for the Surface.

With Apple easily leading the high-end tablet market, and Google's Android mopping up those on a tighter budget or looking for a more esoteric design, Microsoft's Surface is likely to struggle at launch. The inclusion of a cut-down version of Microsoft Office could help drive sales of the device in the enterprise, but with rumours spreading that an iOS version of Office is in the works that may not last long.

For others, Surface could be a hard sell. With Windows RT running on an ARM processor, the system isn't compatible with existing Windows applications and will have to work hard to build up the same kind of wide-ranging ecosystem of third-party developers as Android or iOS. Worse still, the Surface Pro tablets are due early next year and will bring a full-fat version of Windows 8 and backwards compatibility with existing x86 applications in a move which, depending on price, may kill off the ARM-based Surface models before they even have a chance to get started.

UK orders for the Surface with Windows RT are due to open on the 26th of October, alongside the launch of Windows 8.

59 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
Snips 17th October 2012, 12:53 Quote
http://www.pcworld.co.uk/gbuk/toshiba-satellite-u920t-108-12-5-touchscreen-convertible-ultrabook-17056574-pdt.html#longDesc

That's £899.99 for the full fat version but not sure it'll be the stand out leader.

I'll happily pick up a Surface RT to replace this iPad which should get to me on launch day.
Anfield 17th October 2012, 12:54 Quote
Personally I think the Microsoft RT / Arm tablets will fail, the "proper" coming later that run full windows instead of RT could be much more successful.
Snips 17th October 2012, 12:58 Quote
Surface RT = iPad replacement, Surface Pro = laptop/ultrabook replacement?
Hg 17th October 2012, 12:59 Quote
I think the lack of 'apps'/programs will be its downfall on the RT version.
The full fat version i would like to see do well to help reduce Apples lead on the sector, but im not sure if it will allow you to run standard windows programs off the net or will it force you to download programs through windows store and thus closing off the market.
Tyrmot 17th October 2012, 13:08 Quote
This seems somewhat overpriced to me - though I'm more interested in the x86 version, so will wait to see how that is priced. One would have thought they would want to undercut apple at this point - not try to play the ipad at its own game.
RichCreedy 17th October 2012, 13:12 Quote
the full fat windows 8, will allow you to install any normal x86/x64 program that currently runs on windows 7, wether its through steam, direct download or whatever, new ui apps will have to come through the windows store
Jehla 17th October 2012, 13:31 Quote
I'm not sure a £12 wireless keyboard is a fair comparison to the ms cover considering there will most likely be 3rd party keyboards availble.

On a different note, what x86 program's are people planning to running? Personally most things I can't get on rt wouldn't run on the hardware anyway.
Icy EyeG 17th October 2012, 14:21 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jehla
On a different note, what x86 program's are people planning to running? Personally most things I can't get on rt wouldn't run on the hardware anyway.

They would, if you had a compiler for it. I use many of the programs listed on portableapps.com. Most of them are light enough, and if you had a windows compiler for ARM (or if you could have a MinGW for ARM), most programs could be ported, IMAO.
GoodBytes 17th October 2012, 16:18 Quote
Ok, now we are starting to have 3 Surface conversation:
Everything about Microsoft Surface - Pre-order, price and design decision
Microsoft Surface thoughts?

Surface RT 32GB without cover - sold out today. You have to wait 3 weeks for delivery.
http://surface.microsoftstore.com/store/msstore/Content/pbpage.Surface?ESICaching=off&WT.mc_id=FY13WinHH
GoodBytes 17th October 2012, 16:24 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyrmot
This seems somewhat overpriced to me - though I'm more interested in the x86 version, so will wait to see how that is priced. One would have thought they would want to undercut apple at this point - not try to play the ipad at its own game.

It's not overpriced. You have twice the RAM and storage capacity as the iPad, you have Office, you have XBox Music (free ad-supported streaming, or 10$ per month - unlimited download/streaming no ads), and if you add the Apple media card reader, Apples cover, and Apple keyboard to match the Surface RT 32GB features, you are spending way over about 140$ more than the RT, and you still don't have all the built-in apps, and a real full size USB port. Sure you don't have the screen resolution, but at 10inch the current resolution is sufficient, as it uses vector based graphic engine so everything is always smooth. You don't need higher/lower quality icon, and interface. Everything scales properly.
steveo_mcg 17th October 2012, 16:48 Quote
But you're buying into a "new" ecosystem, there is no way of knowing how well appointed the RT app store will be. Buying an iPad is currently a safe bet.

MS are at a major disadvantage being late to the party they're relying on there being enough people who haven't bought into Apple and willing to spend that kind of money or are willing to spend the same again to switch. Few of the Android tablets have managed to compete on spec and features with the iPad so it'll be interesting to see how MS do.
Stelph 17th October 2012, 17:01 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by steveo_mcg
But you're buying into a "new" ecosystem, there is no way of knowing how well appointed the RT app store will be. Buying an iPad is currently a safe bet.

MS are at a major disadvantage being late to the party they're relying on there being enough people who haven't bought into Apple and willing to spend that kind of money or are willing to spend the same again to switch. Few of the Android tablets have managed to compete on spec and features with the iPad so it'll be interesting to see how MS do.

Also Apple may have just done a masterstroke and swept the rug out from under microsoft by announcing the iPad mini on the 23rd October. Microsoft were always going to struggle to force people away from iPads to their tablet so I think their main target would have been people who didnt like Android and didnt want to invest lots of money into an iPad, a cheap iPad mini gives them a very tempting alternative and so I think youll end up seeing the iPad mini selling like hotcakes and the surface only selling to people who must have microsoft outlook which I dont think will be a huge number of people.

Expect price drops quite soon after xmas
GoodBytes 17th October 2012, 17:16 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by steveo_mcg
But you're buying into a "new" ecosystem, there is no way of knowing how well appointed the RT app store will be. Buying an iPad is currently a safe bet.

MS are at a major disadvantage being late to the party they're relying on there being enough people who haven't bought into Apple and willing to spend that kind of money or are willing to spend the same again to switch. Few of the Android tablets have managed to compete on spec and features with the iPad so it'll be interesting to see how MS do.

Not really. Because Microsoft has something that Android doesn't: the name "Windows". People associate "Windows", with ease of use, with "just like on my computer at home", with "plenty of programs", with "secure", I believe. Plus you mention that you have Office, and now people know "it has everything I need", and "I can do work on the go, like a laptop".

Apps will come and quickly. Why? Because all Modern UI apps works on BOTH Windows 8 and Windows RT, with no effort needed by the developer, due to the WinRT infrastructure set to them. So right now, you just widely expand the potential marketshare. Making a very tempting invitation, plus cheaper price than developing on iOS. Especially for developers as they get to use Visual Studio, the best development IDE there is, from what I am aware of.
So, I expect a lot of apps, and will quickly catch up to iPad. Plus consumers will love it more. Because your tablet apps, can be installed without additional fees on the desktop or their laptop.

So there are a lot of value for developers and consumers.

Obviously, I don't expect for Windows 8 to catch up the next year to Apple, that's impossible, but how many iOS apps are flash light, fart, some million's iteration of pong and other basic/classic games like that? A LOT of redundancy. Something that Microsoft has the edge of not having... at least not for now.
steveo_mcg 17th October 2012, 17:29 Quote
I would agree with you 5 years ago, but Android is a household name and if not Google certainly is probably more so.

Apple is much bigger advantage, its synonymous with "just works" and fun, Windows on the other hand is synonymous with work and getting your son round to fix the computer. It might be getting better but a bad reputation like that takes a lot of work to repair.

The one advantage they might have is if Win8 gains some traction and people prefer to stick to one environment between their home computer and tablet. But since Intel are complaining that people are not buying as many computers as before it might be a while before the masses migrate to a modern Windows.

It will likely catch up but its not already there, Apple is. Unless you need or want a MS tablet why would you bother when the iPad already does what you probably need to do for the same price and Android is cheaper. Plus we've seen MS sink golden opportunities in the past.

Like I said it'll be interesting to see how they get on.
Cei 17th October 2012, 17:47 Quote
More to the point, will Bit-Tech be reviewing?
Jehla 17th October 2012, 18:01 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Icy EyeG
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jehla
On a different note, what x86 program's are people planning to running? Personally most things I can't get on rt wouldn't run on the hardware anyway.

They would, if you had a compiler for it. I use many of the programs listed on portableapps.com. Most of them are light enough, and if you had a windows compiler for ARM (or if you could have a MinGW for ARM), most programs could be ported, IMAO.

Sorry, I was unclear. I meant that most things I use that are currently x86 only would not run very well at all on tablet hardware. Games, handbrake, etc.
GoodBytes 17th October 2012, 18:57 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by steveo_mcg
I would agree with you 5 years ago, but Android is a household name and if not Google certainly is probably more so.

Apple is much bigger advantage, its synonymous with "just works" and fun, Windows on the other hand is synonymous with work and getting your son round to fix the computer. It might be getting better but a bad reputation like that takes a lot of work to repair.

The one advantage they might have is if Win8 gains some traction and people prefer to stick to one environment between their home computer and tablet. But since Intel are complaining that people are not buying as many computers as before it might be a while before the masses migrate to a modern Windows.

It will likely catch up but its not already there, Apple is. Unless you need or want a MS tablet why would you bother when the iPad already does what you probably need to do for the same price and Android is cheaper. Plus we've seen MS sink golden opportunities in the past.

Like I said it'll be interesting to see how they get on.

I see your point, but in my view, I don't see people seeing Android as you are seeing, including myself.

I don't have a cellphone, or a smart phone. I know shocking!
However I have been having peeks here and there and this is what I got from Android.

When people talk about Android to others or me, I hear a lot of jargon is passed, and mainly the word "rooting". To me at least, I see the Android platform, as a toy, basically a device for people that like their hands dirty. Always tweak this, tweak that, OC the phone, replace the OS, community Android this and that, that one is better for this and that, and that one is better for this and that. When it occurs, I just simply go in my head: "ENNNNNOOUUUGGTHH!!!! Already!". I love building and repairing computers, but when I am on the go, I don't have time for this ****. I just want to enjoy my device, the same why I enjoy my MP3 player. I don't care about any of this. I don't have the patience for this.

To be honest I have my eyes on the Windows Phone 8 right now. I don't plan to buy it though. I want to finish my study first, get a job, THEN at which point I'll actually make a decision.
Er-El 17th October 2012, 19:07 Quote
Holy cow that's cheap! I'm buying 5.
Guinevere 17th October 2012, 19:34 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoodBytes
You have twice the RAM and storage capacity as the iPad

I agree the surface isn't overpriced but don't agree you get twice the storage capacity. The three options are the same and they're banking on most people picking it up with a keyboard cover.

So in price iPad 3 = Surface + Cover. I think this was very wise of MS even if you're only getting a screen of comparable quality to an iPad 2.
Quote:
You have Office, you have XBox Music (free ad-supported streaming, or 10$ per month - unlimited download/streaming no ads), and if you add the Apple media card reader, Apples cover, and Apple keyboard to match the Surface RT 32GB features, you are spending way over about 140$ more than the RT, and you still don't have all the built-in apps, and a real full size USB port. Sure you don't have the screen resolution, but at 10inch the current resolution is sufficient, as it uses vector based graphic engine so everything is always smooth. You don't need higher/lower quality icon, and interface. Everything scales properly.

Where do I start?

Office is great and might make a difference... certainly with the marketing. Xbox music sounds a bit like Spotify doesn't it, and maybe this time MS is going to do something in the music space and not abandon it two years later. Trouble is enterprise is going to (at first) want x86 compatibility or an extensive app market. RT has a very very long way to go before it will have the app support than an iPad can provide. And I'm talking pro apps here not just casual stuff like fruit ninja and bad piggies.

Most people don't buy smart covers, apple keyboards and card readers. So the value of having them 'included' looks good on paper but doesn't mean the same to all people.

As to screen resolution... oh my. Saying the elements of screen are vector based is completely irrelevant when comparing PPI levels. I thought the world now had a common understanding that unless you have particularly bad eyesight or a tolerance for extreme aliasing screens with high PPI ratings are significantly preferable to those with lower PPI.

It doesn't matter if the actual content of the pixels was generated from a raster bitmap or from a vector representation if the size of the pixels means small on screen elements can't be displayed in sufficient detail. Vector rendered images have some benefits (and some disadvantages) over raster stored images but negating the downsides to a screen with low PPI isn't one of them. iOS also renders some elements using vectors by the way but most standard onscreen assets other than text is pulled from pre-rendered raster images as it's faster and more forgiving on battery consumption. As an iOS developer I have to use rendered assets in a few compulsory places (EG the App icon) but for everything else I'm free to use vector images, and I do. But I don't use vectors for everything as that would be an insane waste of both my time and more importantly CPU / GPU cycles.

I would challenge anyone who tends to notice the difference between 'good' and 'bad' screens to spend time with a retina device compared to an equivalent non retina and not say they prefer the retina. I'd also do this test with the a new high PPI kindle over the older generations.

If everything else is equal, smaller pixels make for better images. End of.

The caveat of course is that if you really can't see or care for the difference between a ?x768 screen and ?x1536 screen (or equivalent) then you'll be fine with an RT table or an older generation iPad.
GoodBytes 17th October 2012, 20:54 Quote
[QUOTE=Guinevere;3191560]I agree the surface isn't overpriced but don't agree you get twice the storage capacity. The three options are the same and they're banking on most people picking it up with a keyboard cover.

So in price iPad 3 = Surface + Cover. I think this was very wise of MS even if you're only getting a screen of comparable quality to an iPad 2.
[quote]
Actually the Surface RT without the cover is sold out already. Now you can only pre-order, for next batch, of the pre-order for this option.

Also, I see significantly more people with iPads covers, at least where I live, then third party. And again, you can buy it without the cover, and use a third party solution for the Surface, witch for sure will come.

You can't compare to the iPad 2 resolution is less than the Surface RT.

Quote:

Xbox music sounds a bit like Spotify doesn't it, and maybe this time MS is going to do something in the music space and not abandon it two years later.
Actually, XBox Music is renamed Zune Marketplace, which existed since 2006 with the Zune MP3 player. The subscription is the same price, and those, like me, that have the Zune Pass, their account works on the XBox Music service... because its the same thing... just renamed, and a free option has been added.

Spotify has a limited 14 million songs (based on their about page), while XBox Music has 30 million songs. Also, assuming you have a subscription on both, you can't download unlimited songs in Spotify for offline play. You can only make playlists and download those, which is getting complicated for nothing. Also, Spotify is only available in a few select country. Canada is not even in there. XBox Music is or will be available in 22 regions around the world.

Quote:

Trouble is enterprise is going to (at first) want x86 compatibility or an extensive app market. RT has a very very long way to go before it will have the app support than an iPad can provide. And I'm talking pro apps here not just casual stuff like fruit ninja and bad piggies.
Enterprise won't even get Windows 8. They just upgraded to 7.. you have to wait for the next cycle in 6 to 8 years. They are always behind technology by a large factor (unless its a tech company, and even then).

Quote:
Most people don't buy smart covers, apple keyboards and card readers. So the value of having them 'included' looks good on paper but doesn't mean the same to all people.
You have to compare official accessories with official accessories. Else it's not fair.
Quote:
As to screen resolution... oh my. Saying the elements of screen are vector based is completely irrelevant when comparing PPI levels. I thought the world now had a common understanding that unless you have particularly bad eyesight or a tolerance for extreme aliasing screens with high PPI ratings are significantly preferable to those with lower PPI.
You didn't understand me. I was talking about DEVELOPERS. DEVELOPERS don't need to make new graphics to make them look nice. I have Flash, do you want a demo of this that you want me to put on my server, and you see by scaling the web browser window?

If you want raster bitmap in action, simply boost the DPI in Windows, and see more than half of your program not scale properly. High-resolution icons needs to be done. For games it will be the same thing, you need to make higher (or lower, depending on where you initially start) textures, else it looks blocky and ugly.
Quote:
iOS also renders some elements using vectors by the way but most standard onscreen assets other than text is pulled from pre-rendered raster images as it's faster and more forgiving on battery consumption.

As an iOS developer I have to use rendered assets in a few compulsory places (EG the App icon) but for everything else I'm free to use vector images, and I do. But I don't use vectors for everything as that would be an insane waste of both my time and more importantly CPU / GPU cycles.
Really? It doesn't cache? Flash (if properly programmed, which isn't the case for most content on the web... poor Flash) does that.

Microsoft reply on screen resolution:
Quote:

Screen resolution is one component of perceived detail. The true measure of resolvability of a screen called Modulation Transfer Function (MTF), not Pixels. MTF is a combination of both contrast and resolution. There are over a dozen subsystems that effect this MTF number.. Most folks just focus on one number out of dozens that effect perceived detail. Without good contrast resolution decreases. Check out contrast sensitivity of the human eye graph (http://www.telescope-optics.net/images/eye_contrast.PNG" rel="nofollow) and if you want more see the links below.

Basically, as resolution/DPI increases the eye has becomes less sensitive. So as a result, the amount of light in a room and the reflections off the screen have a huge effect on the contrast of the display.... we designed a custom 10.6” high-contrast wide-angle screen LCD screen. Lastly we optically bonded the screen with the thinnest optical stack anywhere on the market.. something which is more commonly done on phones we are doing on Surface. While this is not official, our current Cleartype measurements on the amount of light reflected off the screen is around 5.5%-6.2%, the new IPad has a measurement of 9.9% mirror reflections (see the displaymate link: http://www.displaymate.com/iPad_ShootOut_1.htm" rel="nofollow). Doing a side by side with the new iPad in a consistently lit room, we have had many people see more detail on Surface RT than on the Ipad with more resolution.
Source: http://www.dailytech.com/Microsoft+Surface+Team+About+Weak+Resolution+Youre+Looking+at+it+Wrong/article27966.htm

Call it crap statement, it does make sense. I saw the iPad retina display, and all I saw was this over-saturated IPS panel, and broken pixelated apps, and for teh rest that appeared correctly, I saw no difference. 0, none, nada, even when my eyes are close to the screen. This reminds me of OEMs that pack low end GPU's with 2, 3, 4, or even 5GB of RAM, to push sales, in trying to convince consumers that more memory is better, even if you had a 6 display setup to enjoy 5GB of of memory, the game will go at what? 1 fps. YAY! Another example, MegaPixel in camera. "Ohhhh but it has 500 MP", Ok so... does it take nice pictures? No! Because there is no image stabilization, or a crappy one, the lens is a joke, and the sensor is tiny.

If Apple spend money in an anti-glare glass surface for the iPad instead on a over the top resolution that provide no purposes, and break compatibility with most apps due to miss engineering of the OS, by not thinking of long term, then it would have been far better choice, and THEN it would have been, at least in my book, something important thing to consider
scuppy 17th October 2012, 22:06 Quote
would rather buy a laptop.
Guinevere 18th October 2012, 01:11 Quote
Edit: Late night rant. Feel free to laugh, skip read and move on.
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoodBytes
You have to compare official accessories with official accessories. Else it's not fair.

Classic! You can't compare two eco systems because one has thousands of different accessories and the other doesn't even have an eco system yet?
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoodBytes
You didn't understand me. I was talking about DEVELOPERS. DEVELOPERS don't need to make new graphics to make them look nice. I have Flash, do you want a demo of this that you want me to put on my server, and you see by scaling the web browser window?

No need to shout sweetie.

I do know a little bit about developing for raster and vector based systems but I'm not about to compare CVs, and if you believe that it's less work to create a vector image that will scale nicely to any resolution compared to a raster image then you're right... but also wrong. It's not as simple as saying Vector > Bitmap. They're different and each has their advantages.

First up. If working with bitmaps you can generate those from vector sources. If working with vectors you can't easily create them from bitmaps.

Complicated images such as full colour icons with gradients etc will (on most systems) display with less CPU/GPU overhead if they are pulled from a bitmap rather than rendered on the fly. Alpha transparency can be a killer on some platforms.

If you want to adjust your image so that it looks optimal (and not just smaller / larger) on different PPI settings then you sometimes need to adjust the content of the image. For example an icon for a page of text may have 5 lines of text at 350ppi but only 3 lines at 72ppi. Easy with vector, a bit more complicated with vector.
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoodBytes
If you want raster bitmap in action, simply boost the DPI in Windows

LOL. Windows is crap at scaling assets as it wasn't designed to do this and the assets are low res to start with. OSX has it's HiDPI mode which when handled correctly by developers (Still unfortunately early days) works perfectly. Yes Apple and devs have to create multiple versions of files and OSX will pick the best one but the result is perfect and has a performance hit no matter how many assets onscreen, how complex or at what size.

You can get perfect results using vectors or bitmaps. Vectors are easier for some things, bitmaps are easier for others. Both will look identical if they are displaying the same pixels.

Shoddy assets look shoddy no matter what. Poor scaling choices are poor no matter what.
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoodBytes
Lastly we optically bonded the screen with the thinnest optical stack anywhere on the market

This is the same process everyone is already using on their premium devices that have been released since the manufacturing technique was perfected. Apple has it on the iPhone 5 & rMBP etc. I can confirm the rMBP does indeed have less reflections than older screens. It's great MS are using the latest tech, and I'm sure everyone will be doing this on their premium screens within the next 6/9 months.
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoodBytes
I saw the iPad retina display, and all I saw was this over-saturated IPS panel, and broken pixelated apps, and for teh rest that appeared correctly, I saw no difference. 0, none, nada, even when my eyes are close to the screen.

So you couldn't see any difference between an iPad 2 screen and an iPad 3 screen and yet you could see when icons were horribly pixilated on an iPad 3? That doesn't make any sense at all! Either you can see a difference or you can't! You can't on one hand say the retina screens are identical to the lower res screens and simultaneously say than non-retina apps look awful on a retina screen.

It would be like saying you can see zero / nada difference between 1080p and 480p and then stating that 480p content doesn't look as good as 1080p.

I'm confused... and if it was someone else saying this I'd think they were trolling.

As to apps...

I haven't seen any "broken" apps on a retina iPad. 100% of standard assets are retina aware and I don't know of any app that hasn't been updated since the iPad 3 came out and hasn't been updated to retina. I bet there's some apps out there that haven't been touched in years though, so I'll concede a point.

Again I stand by my challenge. Anyone who can tell the difference between quality of screens will very quickly come to see a retina screen as 'normal' and a non retina as 'pixilated' when used for text based reading or work.

I think most people here on BT could tell the difference between a high PPI and a low PPI screen in the same way they'll be able to judge low FPS, poor antialisasing and screen tearing.

If you can't see a difference, or don't care about the difference, or are just on a big ol' anti Apple tirade then fine.
Guinevere 18th October 2012, 01:12 Quote
Oh dear I've turned into the local uber posting, multi quoting rant bitch.

I think I'll stop now.
Guinevere 18th October 2012, 01:12 Quote
Dupe
impar 18th October 2012, 01:27 Quote
GoodBytes 18th October 2012, 02:09 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Guinevere

Classic! You can't compare two eco systems because one has thousands of different accessories and the other doesn't even have an eco system yet?
I didn't compare the 2 eco system. Beside the new iPad/IPad mini will use a new connector, so all accessories will not work. We are restarting from scratch.

As mentioned, I am comparing official accessories with official accessories.

Quote:
I do know a little bit about developing for raster and vector based systems but I'm not about to compare CVs, and if you believe that it's less work to create a vector image that will scale nicely to any resolution compared to a raster image then you're right... but also wrong. It's not as simple as saying Vector > Bitmap. They're different and each has their advantages.
I am not talking about doing games. I am talking about program layout. When you do something in vector graphics, you cache it, so that the GPU or CPU doesn't need to render it at every frame. When you are using vector graphic, to do a good job, you want to push everything on the GPU (which Windows 8 does, Flash does not entirely). Plus there is a lot of optimization you can do. The best is a hybrid system, which Windows 8 does use, so you bring the best of both worlds, and reduce downsides.

Quote:
First up. If working with bitmaps you can generate those from vector sources. If working with vectors you can't easily create them from bitmaps.
That is one optimization technique yes. It can be done once it draws it.
Quote:

LOL. Windows is crap at scaling assets as it wasn't designed to do this and the assets are low res to start with. OSX has it's HiDPI mode which when handled correctly by developers (Still unfortunately early days) works perfectly. Yes Apple and devs have to create multiple versions of files and OSX will pick the best one but the result is perfect and has a performance hit no matter how many assets onscreen, how complex or at what size.
You haven't used Windows Vista or newer Windows OS from what I can see.
As for "when handled correctly by developers ", that applies to Windows too. As most developers don't have high resolution monitor, or more like, as 99%, if not, 100% of their market share don't even touch the DPI settings in Windows, developers don't bother.
Quote:

So you couldn't see any difference between an iPad 2 screen and an iPad 3 screen and yet you could see when icons were horribly pixilated on an iPad 3? That doesn't make any sense at all! Either you can see a difference or you can't! You can't on one hand say the retina screens are identical to the lower res screens and simultaneously say than non-retina apps look awful on a retina screen.
Let me try and simulate what I saw, it's not going to be exact, for sure, and bellow will be a complete exaggeration, as I am simulating it, but it's show you an idea

iPad 2:
http://www.helpweaver.com/ff_32.png

iPad 3:
http://www.helpweaver.com/ff_16.png
Quote:

I haven't seen any "broken" apps on a retina iPad. 100% of standard assets are retina aware and I don't know of any app that hasn't been updated since the iPad 3 came out and hasn't been updated to retina. I bet there's some apps out there that haven't been touched in years though, so I'll concede a point.
I saw the iPad 3 when it came out. I dont' know the current state of iPad users, but I can imagine a lot of developer being so pissed to require to get their graphic artist redo icons in high HD, instead of working on their next project.
Quote:
Again I stand by my challenge. Anyone who can tell the difference between quality of screens will very quickly come to see a retina screen as 'normal' and a non retina as 'pixilated' when used for text based reading or work.
The text was equally clear and equally easy to read. I am not using a desktop computer, I am using a tablet.. the same way I not using a computer, I am using a phone. So all these "Super XHD resolution" on small device is useless. If I buy a tablet, its for quick work on the go, as my laptop. As long as the resolution is "proper" to me, and provides me with more work area, than I am happy. Seeing things in higher definitions provides me with no advantage, and all it makes is reduce my battery life, make my device warmer, and make my movies look all pixelated, like watching a 320p youtube on a 30inch screen (2560 x 1600). There is just so much scaling you can do to a content before it looks like crap.
Snips 18th October 2012, 10:45 Quote
"If you can't see a difference, or don't care about the difference, or are just on a big ol' anti Apple tirade then fine."

Couldn't that just be turned around on you as a "big ol' anti Microsoft tirade?
rollo 20th October 2012, 11:45 Quote
The big difference is advertisement microsoft has no advertised this at all on tv to the general consumer it's aimed at, there has been 0 tv adds in uk and no advertisement on boards or out at all.

Apple on the other hand is basically everywhere you go, it's called building hype its what apple is good at.
impar 22nd October 2012, 11:00 Quote
Greetings!
Quote:
Microsoft offers only one-year Surface warranty, despite EU law
Summary: Microsoft is offering only one-year warranty for the enterprise-favored Surface tablet, while EU law dictates it should be "at least two." Didn't Apple recently get stung for this kind of behavior?
GoodBytes 22nd October 2012, 15:28 Quote
I am sure its an honest mistake.
Once the product is release, they'll get a letter form EU, and update the website.
I highly doubt they'll fight it.
faugusztin 22nd October 2012, 15:32 Quote
No, it is the UK system, where you get one year warranty from the seller and the rest works who knows how :).

German page has this :
Quote:
[4] Im Surface-Lieferumfang ist eine 2-jährige beschränkte Garantie enthalten.
suragh 22nd October 2012, 15:49 Quote
A membrane keyboard for £100 - screw that, I know I am contradicting myself but that's a silly price.
impar 5th November 2012, 23:52 Quote
Greetings!
Quote:
Microsoft offers info on usable storage space on Surface
...
The FAQ page has Microsoft admitting that "Some of the Surface disk space is used by built-in apps and by the Windows features that can help you protect and recover the stuff you store on your Surface." Overall the 32 GB version of the Surface has about 16 GB available for its users after those apps are taken into consideration. The 64 GB version has 46 GB of free storage space.
...
GoodBytes 6th November 2012, 00:04 Quote
Why are you doing a face palm?

This does not surprise me at all:
I think this is correct. And this doesn't surprise me. I mean:
-> Storage space mentioned is not what you get in real life, (like all SSD/HDD's that you buy)
-> You have Windows RT

-> You have the entire structure for multiple accounts system
-> Desktop
-> Multi-monitor support (clone, extended, and external only)
-> Security features
Well my point is that Windows RT is a freaking complex and powerful OS, compared to iOS and Android. Every feature small or big ads size to the OS/software

-> Printer drivers, controller/joystick drivers (like the XBox controller) and any other drivers Microsoft wanted to provide via its USB port
-> You have Office which is big by itself
-> You have hibernation file (fast boot), and page file (so that you are not limited by RAM)
-> You have ALL the Windows 8 tools built-in Windows RT (Notepad, Firewall, Calculator, Disk Management, Paint, Resource monitor, task manager, event viewer, etc.)
-> All provided Metro apps.
-> Recovery for re-install without the need of any disk or other system.

So I don't see why anyone would be shocked.
impar 6th November 2012, 01:14 Quote
Greetings!
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoodBytes
This does not surprise me at all:
...
Of course not.

Microsoft has now removed the FAQ entry. Too much info.
Anfield 6th November 2012, 02:10 Quote
The storage thing is pretty much the same as with PCs, if you buy a Harddisk that is advertised with a capacity of 2TB they also don't write on the box that the OS will take up several GB on it.

Personally I see the low res screen as the bigger issue.
GoodBytes 6th November 2012, 02:48 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anfield

Personally I see the low res screen as the bigger issue.

You either have reduce performance, reduce battery life and a hot tablet (see iPad 3), or have what Microsoft picked, a reduced resolution. The Tegra 3 chip is a bit old in today's technology, so its not very powerful. Even the iPad 3 GPU is still not much, hence the hotness and reduce battery life.

We are close to exactly what we have on the desktop GPU. if you want a 2560x1440 monitor back in the GeForce 400 series days, you are looking at getting SLI setup, if you wanted a smooth gaming experience at max settings. But now you are balancing battery life and heat.
impar 6th November 2012, 13:17 Quote
Greetings!
Quote:
IAm Panos Panay, GM of Microsoft Surface, AMAA - Ask Me or My Team Almost Anything
...
- How big is the install of Windows RT? Meaning if I get a 32gb unit, how much free space will I have? Can I save downloaded Apps to the SD card so it doesnt take up primary storage space?

- After the OS, OfficeRT and a bunch of apps, you will still have more that 20GB. As you say, you can always add an SD card and while you cannot add apps there, you can get music, movies and photos there.
Just missed for ~6GB.
faugusztin 29th November 2012, 20:45 Quote
Krazeh 29th November 2012, 21:01 Quote
$999 for the 128GB version. Doesn't come with a cover tho afaik.
Nexxo 29th November 2012, 21:10 Quote
I'm interested in the battery life...
GoodBytes 29th November 2012, 21:17 Quote
Sounds like an excellent deal to me.
I was expecting 1200$ product.

It beats most ultrabooks offering in build quality, display, and features. The only downside is the 1 USB 3.0, but a compromise that needed to be done for it's tablet form factor.

With it's mini-displayPort and built-in Bluetooth.. this system can easily be a desktop system, laptop, and tablet all in one.
Nexxo 29th November 2012, 22:58 Quote
I think it's a solid price. If battery life is halfway reasonable we have a future design classic in the making.
GoodBytes 29th November 2012, 23:27 Quote
Surface Pro will have about half the better life of the Surface Pro.
So 4-5h, but at least the power adapter is small.

The Surface RT has 8h with wireless ON, browsing the web and playing music, at 50% volume, 200 nit brightness, based on TomHardware review.
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/surface-windows-rt-battery-life,3346.html
So half everything.
Nexxo 29th November 2012, 23:31 Quote
Pity, but not surprising. It's a whole lotta processing power that requires a whole lotta juice. But it makes it clearer where the RT fits.

The second generation Surfacw Pro using Haswell might give us 8 hours. Then we have an all-round winner.
GoodBytes 29th November 2012, 23:46 Quote
The digitize pen support is what eats the battery. I recall the Dell Latitude XT series gain battery life, if you disable its digitize pen support (I forgot how much). I don't know if you can with the Surface Pro.

Exactly. Already it has a bigger/battery battery, so its not like Microsoft didn't try with the Surface Pro to alleviate the impact.

I don't think Haswell will boost that much battery life, maybe we will have a solid 7h.
Nexxo 30th November 2012, 00:04 Quote
In my experience (Motion Computing LE1600 tablet) its not the pen digitiser as much as the handwriting recognition. Scribble in OneNote: no problem. Use the handwriting recognition to write a document in Word: battery drains at an alarming rate.
GoodBytes 30th November 2012, 00:11 Quote
I like how many people on the internet says that the MacBook Air is cheaper.


MacBook Air - 64GB cost 999$
Surface Pro - 64GB cost 899$ + Type Cover (we will go fancy now) 120$ = 1019$.

Ok so let's have a deeper look:
-> MacBook Air needs Windows 8 for the same experience, so that's 140$. Now the MacBook Air is at: 1139$. So 120$ more.
-> No touch screen
-> Not a tablet
-> No digitize pen support, or any pen support for that mater.


Ok, the Surface Pro doesn't a backlit keyboard, but it has 2 web cams
The battery life is better?! Questionable. Windows 7 and much worse for Windows 8, Apple drive for BootCamp is complete utter crap. Specifically designed to break Windows experience to show how MacOS is better. If MacOS is so much better, Apple should not be doing these kind of tricks, as they should not be afraid of anything, and be proud of their product.

But lets assume longer battery life, the Surface Pro takes less time to recharge (assuming its close to the same as the Surface RT), and the power adapter is smaller, and it's bigger.
GoodBytes 30th November 2012, 00:13 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo
In my experience (Motion Computing LE1600 tablet) its not the pen digitiser as much as the handwriting recognition. Scribble in OneNote: no problem. Use the handwriting recognition to write a document in Word: battery drains at an alarming rate.

Could be, as it is CPU intensive task. I recall the reviewers were not specific at the time.
impar 30th November 2012, 10:43 Quote
Greetings!
Quote:
Originally Posted by faugusztin
http://www.businessweek.com/ap/2012-11-29/microsoft-prices-pro-version-of-surface-at-899
$899 for the Pro version, that doesn't sound bad at all.
Compared with the RT version, it isnt bad at all.

_____________
Quote:
Upstream supply chain sees Surface RT orders cut by half
The upstream supply chain of Microsoft's Surface RT has recently seen the tablet's orders reduced by half, and with other Windows RT-based tablet orders also seeing weak performance, sources from the upstream supply chain believe the new operating system may not perform as well as expected in the market.
Nexxo 2nd December 2012, 11:34 Quote
Compared with any ultrabook it's not that bad at all.

As for the Digitimes article: ah, more rumours. :)
faugusztin 2nd December 2012, 11:50 Quote
I still have yet to see any of the new Windows 8 tablets. And it is December already. I guess they dislike the christmas market, so they try to ignore it. Nokia has already pushed 920 to Q1/2013 in my country, seems like W8/WRT tablets are going the same way. At least that is a good news for Google and Apple.
Nexxo 2nd December 2012, 12:40 Quote
Microsoft is failing epically at marketing and distribution. The Surface adverts are everywhere, but don't tell you where you can buy the thing. It does not show you what it can do (as Apple commercials always do). It does not follow the Windows 8 strategy of selling the first devices cheap to establish a market presence. It does not show demo models in all the major cities in Europe. It does not set up small franchises in all the major consumer electronics stores. It does not train its sales staff to know the product. It does not make clear that you can use the Surface RT for business (yes, it's covered by the Home and Student Office licence).

If the Surface RT succeeds it will be almost despite the marketing department. Microsoft should be laying off some people there.
impar 2nd December 2012, 13:07 Quote
Greetings!
Quote:
Originally Posted by faugusztin
I still have yet to see any of the new Windows 8 tablets. And it is December already. I guess they dislike the christmas market, so they try to ignore it. Nokia has already pushed 920 to Q1/2013 in my country, seems like W8/WRT tablets are going the same way. At least that is a good news for Google and Apple.
They are failing Christmas. Although I did see some expensive WRT tablets yesterday over here.
Same thing for WP8 devices, late for Christmas and expensive, only 8X available.
Nexxo 2nd December 2012, 15:49 Quote
Here in the UK the Lumia 920, 820 and the HTC 8X are available. Although the Lumia 920 is selling out. Several places in London has had some Surface RTs on display, but that's not nearly enough. The rest is other manufacturers' devices in consumer electronic stores.

Microsoft still has a lot to learn from Apple in marketing and selling hardware.
GoodBytes 2nd December 2012, 15:58 Quote
The problem that Microsoft has, is that they want to wake up OEMs in making better systems than what they are doing, however they do not want to frustrate OEMs, which are the one selling Windows 8 devices. So, they are not touching OEMs turf (retail store). The Surface lineof product and accessories, is only available are Microsoft online store, and SOME (not all), Microsoft physical stores in the states.

Sadly for Microsoft, it won't work. If you don't do a dent in OEM sales, they won't care.
Nexxo 2nd December 2012, 17:03 Quote
I'd say: screw the OEMs. What are they going to do? Switch to Android? Good luck going up against the Nexus 7. Microsoft should just push the Windows 8 ecosystem as aggressively as possible and make the best, most aggressively priced hardware possible. If people want it, the OEMs will follow; that is how it works for Google. If the OEMs don't follow then Microsoft goes it alone; that's how it works for Apple. But if Windows has to ask its business partners respectfully and sensitively to please make slightly less crappy Windows products, then it has got the power balance all wrong.
RedFlames 2nd December 2012, 17:08 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo
Here in the UK the Lumia 920, 820 and the HTC 8X are available. Although the Lumia 920 is selling out. Several places in London has had some Surface RTs on display, but that's not nearly enough. The rest is other manufacturers' devices in consumer electronic stores.

Not seen a signle WP8/8 RT device in the flesh or for sale where I am... which is a shame as I was considering a WP8 phone...
Nexxo 2nd December 2012, 17:14 Quote
I guess that Birmingham is a bit closer to civilisation than the Northern Wastes of Geordieland. :p
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