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Microsoft Handhelds Portables Hardware

Microsoft Slashes Prices On Surface 330

Posted by timothy
from the prices-are-only-skin-deep dept.
McGruber writes "Thursday, The Verge broke the news that Microsoft was slashing the price of its tablets — the price of the 32-gig Surface RT plummeted by 42%! Staples, TigerDirect and many other retailers are already selling the tablets at the lowered prices. I wonder what Microsoft will do for customers who purchased a tablet right before the price drop?"
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Microsoft Slashes Prices On Surface

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  • Linux? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by frisket (149522) <.ei.liramlis. .ta. .retep.> on Sunday July 14, 2013 @04:12PM (#44279225) Homepage
    Can I install Linux on one of these? Android?
  • by bored (40072) on Sunday July 14, 2013 @04:47PM (#44279461)

    The difference with the touchpad is that the fire-sale price was 1/2 to 1/3 of these devices.

    Furthermore, it wasn't nearly as locked down. There are some fairly nice android distributions for the touchpad, and it was as easy to root as typing "webos20090606" into the search bar. Plus, there is a fairly large homebrew community, providing everything from an xserver and ubuntu like environments to popular game emulators (NES/etc) allowing access to large catalogs of applications not originally written for the device.

    Best darn $250 i've spent in years (I got one with a touchstone, case and keyboard), as I also provide one of the more popular applications in the app store and its more than paid for the device and the few dozen hours I spent porting/writting the app.

  • Re:Price Adjustment (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Billly Gates (198444) on Sunday July 14, 2013 @04:56PM (#44279531) Journal

    So the more intellectual question is what is next if the surface fails?

    I do not know of any ARM rt devices out there. I heard a rumor about an Acer but have never seen it.

    Will this mean Windows 9 will be part of the WIndows 7 lineage and not WIndows 8/Windows mobile? Or will MS try a surface 2 and keep blowing money into it like they did with Bing and xbox for over a half a decade before they broke even? (Does bing make money yet?)

    Personally I kind of got excited when it came out as Apple has a monopoly on the tablet market since they banned Samsung and other droid tablets out of the market here in the US for using icons and rounded corners. I have seen 1 android tablet in my lifetime by someone and that is it as everyone loves their ipads. But the surface lacked even a GPU unit and no cell phone service WTF. How usefull is this POS if I can not even get a map and weather reports if I am on the road? Seriously.

    The surface pro still doesn't have either making it just a laptop and not a tablet and no disk space

  • Re:Price Adjustment (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ericloewe (2129490) on Sunday July 14, 2013 @05:21PM (#44279715)

    I firmly believe that the Surface Pro has, at the very least, a decent niche with only two competitors: Samsung Ativ Smart PC/Smart PC Pro and Sony Vaio duo 11/13. The former has atrocious build quality (keyboard connector has one pin covered by plastic) and shows signs of being rushed to market (Even the official screen protector film is labeled inside-out). The latter is heavy, has an inferior digitizer (Wacom on Surface Pro/Samsungs vs. N-Trig) and in my experience, Sony does its best to sneak out of paying for warranty repairs. Additionally, both have questionable software at best (Horrible Samsung drivers, traditional Sony bloatware).

  • Re:Price Adjustment (Score:3, Interesting)

    by umafuckit (2980809) on Sunday July 14, 2013 @05:32PM (#44279797)

    ... but considering we are talking about a company with a history of abandoning products that don't become hits (Zune, Sidekick,Kin,WinPhone 7) do you REALLY want to take the chance?

    I'm no MSFT fan, but another way of saying this is that they abandoned products that weren't profitable. Why would any company do otherwise?

  • Re:Price Adjustment (Score:3, Interesting)

    by oPless (63249) on Sunday July 14, 2013 @05:35PM (#44279815) Journal

    It's important to keep the RT (WinCE warmed over)

    WRONG It's actually windows 8 compiled for arm.

  • Re:Price Adjustment (Score:5, Interesting)

    by tnk1 (899206) on Sunday July 14, 2013 @05:52PM (#44279921)

    I have an android tablet. I like it just fine. Apple was not an impediment to me buying one.

    I generally end up with iPhones, but that's mostly because work keeps giving me them, and I see no reason to buy an android phone simply because it isn't Apple. For a tablet, though, I prefer something I can play with (and root if need be) and not have to deal with Apple getting in my way.

    The RT stuff was doomed from the get-go. MS was offering a product for a need that no one has, and they didn't provide anything better than the existing products in the market.

  • Re:Price Adjustment (Score:3, Interesting)

    by jbolden (176878) on Sunday July 14, 2013 @06:01PM (#44279997) Homepage

    I own a surface pro, that's a very nice form factor for Windows 8. I'm a Mac guy and I'd say it is likely the best secondary computing device around. Big enough to work as a bad laptop, small enough to act as a tablet. Powerful enough to run Windows 7 and Windows 8 hardware. Capacitive touch screen for Metro application. Resistive touchscreen for OneNote and other classic tablet applications.

    If you need a powerful machine it can't be your primary. It is a pity that no one is really making truly powerful laptops with capacitive screens (though Lenovo is heading that way). But I think it is rather good.

  • Re:Price Adjustment (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mysidia (191772) on Sunday July 14, 2013 @06:10PM (#44280065)

    If the direction of the price change was the opposite; say a $150 price increase. Could they reasonably expect every buyer to come in and pay the difference?

  • Re:Price Adjustment (Score:5, Interesting)

    by RulerOf (975607) on Sunday July 14, 2013 @06:25PM (#44280151)
    Sorry... the point I'm making is that the real competition for Microsoft is the tablet itself. Excellent attempts to shoehorn the Windows on Intel platform into the tablet form factor have been done, and some of them such as the Surface Pro and the ThinkPad Helix have done a really good job at it given the constraints of the technology itself---the bound of which is mostly the Intel chips themselves.

    The fact that my Helix has an Intel chip in it is enough for me to want it as the device that fits my needs as a tablet---aided greatly by the fact that it actually IS a tablet. With the catalogs of apps available on iOS and Android being so comprehensive, the benefit of the Helix's or Surface's pedigree doesn't shine as bright as it would have even a year ago. That benefit of course is that I can run damn near anything on it if I need to, "Full Windows" included. If that benefit itself becomes wholly irrelevant by the time Windows becomes cost-competitive in the tablet platform, then its market in that platform will cease to exist.
  • Re:Price Adjustment (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ericloewe (2129490) on Sunday July 14, 2013 @06:36PM (#44280213)

    Not netbooks, ultrabooks. It's mostly comparable to an ultrabook in the format of a tablet. From that point of view, it works. Netbooks were always intended for extra-lightweight content creation and consumption. Chromebooks seem to be an attempt at throwing stuff at the wall to see what sticks. If you a look at the Surface Pro like something you can easily carrry around but still do some heavier (non-GPU) tasks if needed (the flexibility of full Windows helps a lot), it makes sense and is decently priced, considering its competitors.
    External connectivity is a bit more limited, but still workable - that's the major difference between it and ultrabooks, besides screen size.

  • The Pro already sells just fine (contrary to Slashdot's never-with-citations snide comments; I know folks who work at MS (comes of being in the tech industry in this part of the country) and they have trouble keeping the up with demand. You can't buy a big clunky laptop with the Surface Pro's SSD, CPU, RAM, and resolution for $300 (I doubt you could get it for $600); are you insane? Throw in the capacitive touchscreen and Wacom stylus digitizer, ultra-thin keyboard, lightweight but absurdly durable vapor-deposited magnesium chassis, USB3, dual webcams, etc. and... yeah, no. The total manufacturing price is probably still well under $1000, but after all the additional expences of getting a product to market, $1200 is a good deal at that price.

    Obviously, it might not be a good deal that you personally are interested in, but you do not represent the whole market. For people who want a portable, durable, and powerful computer usable either as a tablet or a laptop - and they do exist, for sure - it's an excellent price. The market is bearing it admirably.

    RT... not so much. The hardware is excellent, but the OS really is stupid. By changing a single flag in the kernel, they could remove the "MS-signed-only" restriction from desktop apps (there has been a hack out there for months which does it for you at bootup). They could add "desktop apps compiled for ARM" to the already-existing dekstop apps (for x86) section of the store, in addition to the Metro-style apps. They could include an x86 dynamic recompilation layer - a single volunteer developer has hacked up a pretty good basic one already, and the stuff he's having trouble with is the stuff that MS (with their access to the Windows source code) could fix trivially - for running old or simple x86 apps without recompilation (since it thunks to the native ARM system libraries where possible, the performance is much better than one might expect, though still years behind modern x86).

    Microsoft seems determined to drive that platform into the ground, though.

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