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Data Storage Handhelds Microsoft Portables Windows

64GB MS Surface Pro Only Has 23GB of Free Space 588

Posted by Soulskill
from the 36%-but-who's-counting dept.
An anonymous reader writes "From the LA Times: 'Although Microsoft's 128 GB Surface Pro tablet is advertised as having 128 gigabytes of storage, the amount of space available to users is much less than that. That's also true for the 64 GB model. The Redmond, Wash., company confirmed Tuesday that the 128 GB Surface Pro has 83 GB of free storage, while the 64 GB version comes with 23 GB of open space. The reason for the difference: space already taken up by the tablet's Windows 8 Pro operating system and various preinstalled apps.' It's generally understood that your device won't have as much available storage as advertised, but it's usually a lot closer than this. Should device-makers be required to advertise how much storage is available to users, rather than the size of the storage media?"
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64GB MS Surface Pro Only Has 23GB of Free Space

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  • Re:On linux (Score:5, Informative)

    by Dr_Barnowl (709838) on Wednesday January 30, 2013 @09:09AM (#42737009)

    Let's see... on my current Linux install my root drive (no user documents or settings) is 9.5GB.

    I have..

    * A full office suite
    * An email / calendar program
    * A bitmap graphics program
    * A vector graphics program
    * A general diagram tool
    * A diagram tool for making GUI mockups
    * A UML modelling tool
    * A mind mapping tool
    * A project management tool
    * A selection of different media players, each tailored for a purpose (music, video)
    * A CD ripper
    * A CD creator
    * A DVD / video transcoding application
    * A webcam app
    * A photo management app
    * Two different web browsers
    * More than three different text editors, all with features that blow Notepad.exe out of the water
    * A backup system
    * Database management tools
    * The tools for three different version control systems
    * Development kits for C, C++, Ruby, Python, Perl, XML, Java, C# (probably missed some out)
    * Two Java development environments
    * File differencing tools
    * A hex editor
    * The thoroughly awesome GNU tool set which by itself makes you more productive with a large folder of text files than anything else
    * Encryption software
    * Archive tools for every common archive format and most of the uncommon ones

    * Several sets of remote desktop / system management tools
    * VPN software
    * A Windows-compatible file server

    * A sticky notes program
    * A BitTorrent client

    * A unified instant messenger client
    * A specialized IRC client
    * Skype
    * A unified social network client

    * A cloud folder with 5GB of complimentary storage

    * A calculator
    * A few desk toys
    * A typing tutor

    * The usual system management widgets

    * A means of pretending to be Windows when the need arises

    And

    * A package management system that keeps ALL of it up to date (not just the operating system)
    * and doesn't need a reboot every time it does it ... No, I don't think 40GB of Windows provides all of that.

    (no, not all of this came out of the box, but all of it was available for free, and all of it fits in that 9.5GB ; there's some "payware" on there too but I didn't include it above)

  • by ButchDeLoria (2772751) on Wednesday January 30, 2013 @09:16AM (#42737073)
    You're thinking of the regular Surface. The Surface Pro has full Win8 on it.
  • Re:OK. Next? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Pieroxy (222434) on Wednesday January 30, 2013 @09:46AM (#42737355) Homepage
  • Re:OK. Next? (Score:4, Informative)

    by radiumsoup (741987) on Wednesday January 30, 2013 @10:40AM (#42737969)

    There already exist a number of tablets which have Win 8 Pro installed. They're just not made by Microsoft. Surface Pro is (will be) the first tablet *to be made by Microsoft* with Win 8 Pro.

    Even today you can install whatever you want on a Win 8 Pro tablet that doesn't have secure boot restrictions not already overcome by drivers.

    So, yes, he could have been more wrong. He could have said what you said.

  • by Sockatume (732728) on Wednesday January 30, 2013 @10:43AM (#42737995)

    While there's an easy way to copy the recovery information, there is no user-friendly way to delete it from the original machine. Microsoft intends for almost all Windows users to leave it in place.

  • Re:OK. Next? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Missing.Matter (1845576) on Wednesday January 30, 2013 @01:17PM (#42739925)

    The fact that MSFT had to cut their Surface order in half [bgr.com] should be a surprise to nobody

    I've seen you post this at least a dozen times. Every time you start a rant about Surface, you invariably bring up this unsubstantiated claim from unnamed Eastern component suppliers. After this "rumor" hit the web, Microsoft actually increased [cnet.com] retail [yahoo.com] distribution [wpcentral.com], said they're increasing production [businessinsider.com], are increasing availability to more countries [theverge.com], and said they're expanding the product lineup [cnet.com]. Together, these point to a completely different direction than your stale, 3 month old rumor.

    You're starting to sound like a broken record.

    Hell even with this, is it 23GB in base 2 like the OS, or is it base 10 like the manufacturers?

    It's base 2.

    all those people getting home and finding none of the Windows software they've accumalated for years will run on the damned thing, THAT is what is gonna make this into a megaflop.

    All the software they've accumulated over the years WILL run on the Surface Pro. That's the entire point of this device. It runs full Windows 8 on an Intel Core i5. You don't seem to know much about this product you constantly are blasting. Even 23GB is enough for any application I've come across, but this can be expanded to 30+ GB by removing the recovery partition. This is the same you'd get with a Macbook Air at 64GB. You can even expand storage easily with an SD card.

  • Re:On linux (Score:5, Informative)

    by Ralish (775196) <ralish@@@gmail...com> on Wednesday January 30, 2013 @01:21PM (#42739983)

    I'm not disputing your central point but there a few technical reasons that account in part for the much greater usage of space on modern Windows operating systems relative to Linux distributions. They may interest some, and are worth keeping in mind:

    WoW64 Compatibility Layer
    Specific to 64-bit installs is that 32-bit binaries are also installed for the vast majority of the operating system. This is due to the WoW64 compatibility layer that allows for (generally) seamless usage of 32-bit software on a 64-bit Windows operating system. Effectively, a full 32-bit copy of all the OS libraries and binaries are installed alongside the 64-bit native copies. During usage of the operating system you're generally running 64-bit native code with some exceptions (e.g. Internet Explorer is by default 32-bit due to the plug-in problem), however, when you run a 32-bit application it will be able to pull in all the 32-bit libraries it needs from the Windows install. On modern Windows Server systems you can actually outright remove the WoW64 compatibility layer, removing all those extra binaries, and in the process losing the ability to run 32-bit applications. This isn't an option on client versions of Windows (although it would be nice). Obviously, what with the overwhelming majority of Linux software being open-source, the need to include 32-bit libraries is much diminished due to most software being ported to 64-bit with relative ease and native 64-bit packages being offered. At any rate, the WoW64 compatibility layer will easily add several gigabytes to the install.

    Windows Servicing
    Another key distinction with Linux systems is how the system is service (ie. OS updates are applied). When you install an update to Windows via Windows or Microsoft update an update package is downloaded and installed which will include any number of updated binaries. Crucially, the original binaries are not removed but kept in a cache in case they are needed later. This is important in the event an update is removed in future, as it allows Windows to automatically downgrade the affected binaries to the "next best" available binaries available in the servicing cache (which might be the originally released versions, or those from an earlier update). Obviously, this results in Windows installations growing larger over time as they accumulate many additional versions of binaries as they are distributed via Windows or Automatic updates. The effect is doubled in the case of 64-bit installations as the update will typically include both 32-bit and 64-bit binaries in the case that WoW64 includes 32-bit versions of the targeted binaries. For the curious, you can find all the distinct packages installed on a Windows system under C:\Windows\WinSxS. The directory will typically be huge both in size and number of files/folders. Almost everything in the C:\Windows folder and various other parts of the system are in fact just hard links to files in this folder. When an update is installed (or removed), these hard links are updated to point to the appropriate binary files in the associated packages in the cache.

    At any rate, these two aspects of Windows alone can add a substantial amount of extra data to the installation. That being said, storage is cheap, so it generally outweighs the negatives, but with SSDs being smaller capacity than most traditional HDDs, you can in some cases feel the pressure!

Physician: One upon whom we set our hopes when ill and our dogs when well. -- Ambrose Bierce

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