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Surface Pro release date Feb 9; it's 'New and exciting' says Microsoft
 ~ today's #ITBW  for +Computerworld ~ $MSFT  #penisfree  ~
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 ~ Microsoft announces it'll be available on February 9—in the U.S. and Canada, at least (the plan for other countries isn't clear). Starting at $899, you'll still need to add a keyboard cover, pushing the price over the magic $1000 bar. Also, the 64 GB version is probably too small, so the total price is more like $1120-ish. In IT Blogwatch, bloggers get their tongues around the official name: Surface Windows 8 Pro. ~ goo.gl/news/izI6 ~
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68 comments
 
So, like twice the price of a laptop but with less power
 
that price is a client deterrent.
 
Find me an Ultrabook with specs that compare to the Surface Pro for less than $1,200. I've looked, didn't see one. 
 
With Chromebooks at  US$ 199 the cheapest model ? And, Chromebooks come with Coreboot, one can install whatever he/she wants on it...
 
Priced to fail... the RT has been a disappointment at half the price and twice the battery life.

All OEMs are missing the earning targets because of slow demand of W8 devices, except lenovo who are selling Android phones like there's no tomorrow in China.
 
I think this is a great device and the future for mobile computing.  I dont understand why people cant see that.  This is an ultrabook guys with comparable hardware specs to macbook air (best ultrabook out there imo) but with the added benefit of touch screen, higher res screen, thinner, lighter and ability to be used as a tablet when needed.  I dont think 64 gb is too small for everyone...thats the one i would get as i have a desktop for my heavy lifting. i would love to have something like this for work (with a dock so i could use my 2 monitors and reg keyboard/mouse).

win8 is a good OS...not perfect but good. surface pro is a great ultrabook...but again not perfect.

ps-i have a macbook air and the battery life is about 4 hours so when im ready for another laptop i'd def. look at this one.
 
Ultrabooks are a niche premium product, and this is too much to pay for MS's first branded Win 8 device, which by all rights should be a popular consumer showcase.
 
+Eli Fennell niche premium product? There are now more than 140 Ultrabook branded machines, to say nothing of the non-Intel based slim subnotebooks that also litter the shelves. 

Hell of a niche. 
 
+Russell Holly Proliferation by OEMs doesn't always prove popularity. I know not one person in my real, non-online world who owns an Ultrabook.
 
I thought the iPad was a niche premium product given it's price point.  But this stupid "Surface" takes the cake...what an overpriced piece of junk!  Hell must have frozen over!  Now Apple seems like the cheap alternative to Microsoft!
 
It is often ridiculed, but the pen is one of the biggest attractions in my eyes for Surface Pro. I work in animation, and having the ability to run a full version of Adobe CS on the go in that form factor is very, very tempting.
 
+Eli Fennell you dont know anyone that has a macbook air? I find that hard to believe...not one person??
 
+Kellon Mohan Not personally, no. What's hard to believe? It's a thousand dollar device and is, what, ~1% of the PC market?
 
(I can't be the only guy who doesn't pal around with a lot of people with incomes that let them justify a $900-1200 PC.)
 
+Eli Fennell good points, i suppose im overindexing on with friends who own one. I also see them all over the place. Its always good perspective to realize how little Marketshare they actually do have lol.
 
I do see them almost daily at my college. Does that count?
 
+Eli Fennell I get that my view is slanted, as most people I know come to me for ideas on their next PC, but everywhere I go I see Ultrabooks, MacBook Airs, and other slim subnotebooks. 

OEM proliferation is almost always an indicator of a growing market, that's why the OEMs make competitive hardware. 
 
+Russell Holly I got asked about dozens of Android tablets this holiday season. Out of those, the number that even sold a thousand units must be ridiculously tiny. If numbers alone proved popularity, Android tabs would have beat iPad's market share long ago. So no, OEM proliferation proves nothing in and of itself. "Market flooding" is not proof in itself of popularity, only that OEM's think they can find a place in the market.
 
Last time I checked, +Eli Fennell, there was a dramatic swing in popularity aimed at 7" tablets. With all due respect, I think you are mistaking the market as a whole for the market as a segment and mistaking the market as a segment for a niche.  
 
+Russell Holly Yes, there was, but the market for $500-700 or more Android tablets never got that far, did it? I haven't been able to find exact ultrabook market share, but I'd wager it's hovering somewhere near 10% of the PC market. Why is it hard to believe than any PC that costs $1000 and in terms of hardware offers no benefit over much cheaper PC's save for portability is by its very nature a niche? I don't know who you hang with and what their income levels are, but none of my real life friends and acquaintances could begin to justify that expense. We are the 90%.
 
I believe you could price it at half that and it still wouldn't sell.
 
+Eli Fennell you proved my point entirely with your post. 10% of a market is pretty far from a niche. 10% of the Android ecosystem run 4.1+ on their phones, to offer some perspective. 

Yes, there are still plenty of reasons to approach the budget consumer, but the Ultrabook market is what is in need of disruption right now. 
 
+Ryan Light not sure that article considers Macbook airs ultra books.  or maybe the data is just outdated because checkt he link below...it says MBAs alone sold for 1.2 mill in 4th quarter up from 1 mill in the 3rd quarter...

http://news.cnet.com/8301-13579_3-57356056-37/macbook-air-sales-rise-as-ultrabook-market-heats-up/

in the end its all semantics.  whether ultrabooks are niche or not does it matter?  This surface pro is a very good option within that group.  if you want it buy it, if you dont...then dont and keep hope it fails so somehow you feel better about yourself.

regardless of if i buy this or not i hope its a huge success not because of anything to do with microsoft but so that the next macbook air looks simililar.  in the ultra portable category a hybrid device like this with a full OS is what the future holds.  This is the first entry into the market....
 
+Ryan Light Ouch!  Worse than I thought.  Remember when Intel predicted they'd be 40% in 2012?

I'd say 0.5% pretty much defines "niche".
 
+Russell Holly 10% is niche for anything, but if the article Ryan just posted is correct, I ovestimated those numbers by about 20x.
 
+Kellon Mohan I agree with both you and +Russell Holly that the Surface Windows 8 Pro is the best in its category.  I still think MS was dumb to make their first branded Win 8 PC cost more than the vast majority of the market can afford or is willing to spend on a PC.  Trying to capture Apple-level hardware margins isn't what Microsoft has ever done well.
 
+Ryan Light I stopped believing anyalysts' estimates for the success of Microsoft products a couple years back.  Every year now is the "Year of the Ultrabook", "The Year of Windows Phone", etc... and it never quite happens.  I tend to think the analysts are more in denial about MS's current plight in the consumer market than Ballmer (the guy who gets a good chuckle out of going from really small to really small market share) is.

It's as simple as this: there is a very real bottleneck for the current Ultrabook price points.  People can't, or don't want to, spend that much on a PC.  Yes, okay, Mac users will suck down the Airs like it was actual oxygen and they were suffocating.  We know Mac fans are the oddball group that defies market gravity in terms of hardware costs and margins.  Windows and Android users are, in general, programmed different, programmed to expect a really good price, indeed a bargain, for their devices.  We can joke about Netbooks, and they really were that bad, but people ate them up before they figured that part out.
 
Asus Vivotab is $500 (although it's only an Atom)
 
I just want it to run full blown Adobe Suite and some light web developing.. 
 
+William Lee Fair enough.  This is probably good for you.  I think it looks like a great device.  Possibly the best portable full-Windows device ever.  But there's nothing I do on a PC that is worth $1100 to me.
 
+Flavio Zanda Asus doing splendid well too, because of selling Nexus 7 like there's no tomorrow.
 
+Eli Fennell I think that's where people get lost at. For me there's two markets the developers and the users. I use PC to work and to develop/create which always helps me to pay for all my expensive toys, but the greater market doesn't need all this and does not do what I do. I used to laugh at people that used to tell me oh I need a new computer and I would ask for what? What do you do that requires you to obtain a $1000 + computer and they would say well I need to surf the internet and check emails.. and I would really laugh because they really believed that having 8gb or ram and a quad core will allow them to surf the internet faster or view emails faster and would swear up and down that they noticed the speeds. I would tell people look.. I do video editing, web development, and CAD on PC with less specs than that, I've done it on a PII processer without hyperthreading and 2GB of ram and it ran smoothly.. what makes you think you do more work than me? I think people can be ill informed and people have to really look at what they do vs what is trendy. Like you said you don't do anything on the PC to warrant the $1100 investment which is what people should be thinking when people purchase such things.. what can they really do with what they buy and does it fit their agenda and for people like me it fits just nicely. People have to realize there's different worlds out there and accept that as a fact.  
 
+William Lee I mean, yeah, I get that, but this just makes no sense to me.  I'm Microsoft, and I desperately need a consumer hit.  iPads have moved well at an entry level of $500, but no other tablets have done well there.  The Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire HD are selling like hotcakes at $200.  I really need to hit one out of the park, so I... launch an $1100 device to compete?  I think +Ryan Light had it right, and Microsoft thought Surface RT could be that thing.  Maybe it even could have, I mean, they already had a mobile OS with lots of apps available, but then didn't use it.  There's just nothing in this strategy to me that says "Win!"  More like #winning  in the Charlie Sheen tradition.
 
I saw a $499 ASUS-built Android tablet yesterday that was SO tempting to buy.  Didn't, but wanted to.  At $1,128 I would feel no temptation.
 
Sweet, can I just have the free pen please?
 
If it had a Apple logo on it, every one would be singing praises about the most affordable Apple laptop evar! 
 
+Trevor Selby LMAO Not me!  I spent $200 for my tablet and you know what?  That's the right price.  Why, I even bought a keyboard case and mouse for it for about $30 more.
 
For the money, I think it is a better purchase than an ultrabook/MBA... However, I do wish that Windows 8 was still a better tablet OS. The app environment still sucks.
 
I have an MBA, and the productivity/benefit is strong enough for me that I've still not purchased a tablet.  But, I did spring for a Galaxy Note 2 "phablet".  
 
Linux and Android, not crap out of Redmond ever again... Even if they came up with the best OS and hardware,I still wouldn't touch them out of principle, and the same goes for Apple...
 
I am buying one, not as a taplet, but as a portable laptop solution. I am writing this post on my ASUS Prime, but after a year of use I am tired of being limited by the Android OS. It's not Androids fault, it's the fact that I support Windows server environments, so many of my support tools are Windows only. It's the right fit for me.
 
Im gonna wait until they stop charging a premium to change it from a laptop to a tablet, why is the same specced laptop cheaper?
 
I'm not saying they aren't charging a premium, because they are... but you get a well built machine that is free from crapware. There are some expensive materials and heavy R &D that go into designs like this that you do have to pay more for. If you want a super powered plastic brick of a laptop, then there are plenty of cheaper alternatives. Nobody blinks an eye when Apple releases a premium $1000 laptop, why can't Microsoft? At least there are lower cost options if you so choose. 
 
+Eli Fennell I think you are correct about that. I think they thought RT would hit it out of the park for them. I don't see Surface Pro being the next big thing, It simply cost too much for the everyday joe, but I think their target audience isn't the everyday Joe with the surface pro, it seems to target people who want to do more with a tablet than just surf and play games.
 
The Apple Newton was pretty pricey and crappy when it came out in 1990. 15 years later, apple nailed it.
 
The only compelling feature of the Surface is the pen.  I had a Galaxy Note for a time, and the active digitizer made it so useful for all kinds of things.  You just can't get the same precision from a capacitive stylus.  More tablets should have active digitizers.  I've sworn off Samsung products ever since I couldn't recover my Note to factory settings, so I'm hoping some other manufacturer will put a Wacom digitizer in a tablet, soon.  Preferably a Nexus device...
 
It's a pricey laptop, how is this news?
 
Surface Pro?  I thought the Pros only used Linux.
 
Really the only reason I'm not interested in this is because it does not use a Haswell processor. I spent $1500 on my ultrabook last year... so the price isn't a big deal. In fact, I think I would have had more for my money with the Surface Pro. But Intel needs to improve their power draw before I invest in any more laptops... maybe 2014.
 
+Andi Hope Not in the least... Maybe that's your opinion, but I help run a multi billion dollar company's IT and it is 95% Windows. We run over 1000 virtual servers in the environment and we rarely have any issues with the Windows OS. Some of the things we do in our data center would blow your mind. We have Linux and Unix as well for some Web services, but we do not have even 1 Mac. 
 
We just finished upgrading the entire company to Windows 7, so Windows 8 will never be introduced into the environment, but I'm sure whatever is the next version of Windows will be chosen... Mainly because there is no other OS that blends usability and compatibility like Windows. I run it at home as well, so I know it's great for a "fun" OS as well. I tried Linux and OSX personally and I can not see myself switching to either. 
 
+Trevor Selby So,70% of servers in the world must be wrong for using Linux, along with most supercomputers! People use Windows, simply because most people don't know any better unless they are in tech. Windows is inefficient,unsecure and a memory hog.If you have to run loads of different stuff like anti-virus, spam,spyware just to keep your computer safe and have Reg keys which need to be cleaned and defrag your disk constantly because of the inefficient filing system to stop it progressively slowing or on the same hardware run on Linux it will fly twice as fast using half the processing and memory and is totally secure with only the firewall turned on...You could have saved your company $1000s on licenses and saved yourself a lot of work switching over... Barclays, one of the world's biggest banks, is just switching to Linux now with an estimated saving of $billions...
 
+Trevor Selby I think the only thing the everyday joe sees is the mac book being used for everything due to marketing.. I remember watching "the girl with the dragon tattoo" I think its called...She was using a MAC for hacking?! I thought people used Linux boxes for that, kind of defeats the purpose of being a hard core hacker and using an OS that can be tracked by a company.. hmm serial #'s and registration, purchase dates, and what store you bought it from? For someone who wants to stay anonymous she really picked a great OS for that lol.. but hey its all about marketing to the sheep right? I think every OS has its purpose and the fan boys just can't stand that fact.
 
+Trevor Selby Download Linux Mint 14 Cinnamon Edition onto a DVD and try it out. You can run it as a CD...
 
The Linux foundation was created for free, open source platforms for the mutual benefit of all and Microsoft & Apple exist purely for the monetary profit of themselves... Which do you think is gonna be better for consumers and businesses alike?...
 
+Andi Hope Don't get me wrong, I don't dislike Linux... Like you mentioned, only techs no how to use it, which makes it a problem for a company with 4000 employees and less than 50 techs. There are a lot of things I would never run on Windows, but for an end user environment it is still the only real option. Also keep in mind Linux is free if your time is worth nothing. My previous company switch over their point of sale machines to Linux to save $100 a machine in licensing. Then spent 4 million dollars paying devs to fix and rebuild a point of sale system designed for Windows. The licensing cost of an OS is less than one techs hourly rate in some cases, so sometimes theres value in buying a solution that end users already understand.
 
+William Lee Totally agree with you, you aren't hip if your machine doesn't have a glowing apple on it right? I love how regular PCs always have their logos taped over in shows, but any Apple machine is right up front glowing just to make sure you know it's an Apple. People can buy whatever they want, and if they want to buy the hype then I ain't going to stop them, but a Mac is completely useless to me. Maybe if I start a hipster indie band, I might need garage band or something, but I can do without for now. ;)
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