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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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  • On linux (Score:5, Interesting)

    by walshy007 (906710) on Wednesday January 30, 2013 @09:14AM (#42736591)
    On a typical linux distro like fedora I could have every app I'm ever likely to use _and_ their developer libraries in just under 10gb, always makes me wonder why windows is so much larger and provides so much less.
  • by erroneus (253617) on Wednesday January 30, 2013 @09:23AM (#42736643) Homepage

    If they want to say it has "storage space" of amount X, that's how much should be available to the user.

    If I were renting storage space in a building and said "this is 1200 sqft" and only made 500sqft available because I installed electrical and environmental equipment in there, I would be rightfully challenged by my customer(s).

    The proper way to handle it would be to set asside space for the OS and then install the 64GB or 128GB storage device for the OS to serve up to the user just as it would be proper to set up electrical and environmental gear outside of the storage space of my storage facility.

    Business in the US gets away with far too much "interpretation" when presenting information to its customers. This duality of storage space for RAM and HDD is equally outrageous. Sectors are still in base-2 oriented increments because RAM is in base-2 increments. Why break things just so that HDD makers can lie to the users?! In the end, when the lie becomes the norm, the effectiveness of the lie wears off rather quickly. (Gasoline prices are measured in dollars, and the 0.9 cents doesn't quite have so much meaning... we have all learned to just add one the the last digit in the price haven't we?)

    Let's get back to the simple truths.

  • by Sockatume (732728) on Wednesday January 30, 2013 @09:25AM (#42736659)

    Unfortunately use of a recovery partition is central to MS' backup and recovery strategy for Windows 8. The ability to create a backup of arbitrary files or a disk image is deprecated; you can't even get Previous Versions for files outside of your libraries. Instead you're meant to have an offline cache of Previous Versions (File History) and sign in using a Microsoft account. If you have a failure you're instructed to reinstall from the recovery partition. Then you're meant to restore your apps from the Windows Store, and their settings from your Microsoft Account.

    Quite what you're meant to do if you have a hard drive failure and/or (like every Windows user in existence) most of your apps are Desktop-based and therefore are neither recoverable from the store, nor able to sync their settings to the Microsoft Account, is an exercise for the reader.

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

    by O('_')O_Bush (1162487) on Wednesday January 30, 2013 @09:25AM (#42736663)
    That would be the story of the century. One reason is that Windows likes to keep redundant copies of things. Looking for the login screen background? It is located in no less than five different places on your HDD. This is true for many files.
  • Re:On linux (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Sockatume (732728) on Wednesday January 30, 2013 @09:27AM (#42736673)

    Yes, I dare say that one could install Windows XP and come in well under 10GB as well. The surprise isn't that Windows 8 is large - it's basically two disparate OSes, plus Office - the surprise is that they didn't really consider that when choosing a hard drive size for this tablet. 80GB was a piddling amount of space for a Windows machine five years ago.

  • by serviscope_minor (664417) on Wednesday January 30, 2013 @09:28AM (#42736677) Journal

    If I were renting storage space in a building and said "this is 1200 sqft" and only made 500sqft available because I installed electrical and environmental equipment in there, I would be rightfully challenged by my customer(s).

    Clearly you've never looked at houses in London.

    The sq footage will sometimes include eaves storage, always include parts of the attic extension where the ceiling is so low that the square footage is only accessible to a hobbit and also the cellar. Those are not nice, dry spacious American style cellars either, they are old coal cellars, damp and prone to flooding.

  • Re:OK. Next? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Tx (96709) on Wednesday January 30, 2013 @09:32AM (#42736723) Journal

    According to the article and comments on Ars Technica which I read earlier, the recovery partition can be moved to an external disk, and another fair chunk of space is supposed to be a trial of Office, which can presumably be removed. Those two things would get you to around 40GB free, which is about what you'd expect for an install of Windows on a 64GB disk.

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

    by Missing.Matter (1845576) on Wednesday January 30, 2013 @10:26AM (#42737137)
    You have 58 GB to control after formatting. Windows is about 20GB. Then you have pagefile, hibernation file, recovery partition, and apps - all of which can be adjusted or removed. So if you're using windows you have 38GB of flex space. Another OS might have more.
  • Re:OK. Next? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by gig (78408) on Wednesday January 30, 2013 @08:54PM (#42745161)

    You don't have to look for signs about how often Apple wants you to upgrade your iPad. They will tell you straight out: 2 years. You choose the storage for 2 years, you buy an AppleCare service plan for iPad (term: 2 years) and you go to work for 2 years. It is easy to pick a device with enough storage for 2 years because iOS and its apps and the documents they create are all highly optimized to fit in small storage and over bandwidth-constrained mobile networks. Compared to a typical mobile bandwidth, even a 16 GB SSD is gigantic.

    As for the 2 year cycle, consumers are very, very used to paying $329 for a PC and having to replace it 2 years later with another $329 PC.

    SD cards or any kind of removable media are not suitable for consumer use. You think they are because you are used to a consumer electronics market that is by and for nerds. That is no longer the case. The current consumer electronics market is iPod-based: the devices have iPod parts, they have sealed-in batteries, they have massive internal storage (for their device classes,) they have Internet, and they are connected to cloud services so that amazing things can happen with a tap from the user. Also, in iPod-style consumer electronics, there are no CD's, no DVD's, no removable media. The media is swapped in and out over the network. So you are asking for a steam engine in your electric car, it is crazy.

    What you totally missed is that the iPad *is* the SD card. It's an Internet-enabled SD card. To connect the SD card to the Internet, you have to add a little computer (ARM) and Wi-Fi and a display and user interface and a browser to login to Wi-Fi networks. If you want 128 GB capacity, you buy a 128 GB iPad.

    Also what you missed is I'm using multiple iPads these days, like a lot of people. The idea that each of those iPads should have an SSD slot that I'd have to populate with cards just to get enough storage to work is just crazy. Nobody wants that.

    And the security implications of somebody next to you on a plane popping out your tiny microSDXC card and now they have gigabytes of your data? That is also crazy. The onboard storage on iPad is encrypted, and as long as you maintain physical possession of the iPad you also maintain physical possession of the storage.

    Man, I hate to see nerds redesigning Apple gear. Just stop. Apple really did go to the trouble of designing this stuff and you have to have the humility to recognize that the users are buying the Apple gear BECAUSE IT WORKS.

    The reason that we are suddenly discussing advertised SSD storage space on mobile devices over 5 years after iOS shipped is that Surface CREATED THIS PROBLEM. The iPad does not have this problem. iPad users do not notice the 1 gigabyte of their storage that is used by the operating system and built-in apps. And iPad users can install 50 apps, including video editors and very sophisticated PC class apps from the Mac, and only use up 1 or 2 gigabytes of storage.

    So plugging an SD card into a Surface may be a hacky fix for a problem that shouldn't exist in the first place. Imagining that iPad also needs an SD card because of how badly Surface is designed is way out there.

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