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Microsoft Upgrades Hardware

Microsoft Working On "Surface 2" Tablet 192

SternisheFan snips this news from Tech Radar: "The Surface tablets that Microsoft will start selling on 26 October at Microsoft Stores (and in temporary 'holiday stores' in twelve US cities including New York) are only the first of a planned family of Windows devices and Surface 2.0 is already under development. Although Microsoft corporate communications chief Frank Shaw said recently that calling Surface 'our new family of PCs built to be the ultimate stage for Windows' was no more than 'literary licence' and that there was nothing more than the two tablets already announced, the Surface team is 'currently building the next generation' of 'devices that fully express the Windows vision' — according to more than a dozen job adverts posted on the Microsoft Careers site between June and August."
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Microsoft Working On "Surface 2" Tablet

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  • by phantomfive ( 622387 ) on Saturday August 11, 2012 @07:21PM (#40960691) Journal

    'currently building the next generation' of 'devices that fully express the Windows vision'

    The Windows vision is to make Microsoft money. They have no clue how they'll do it, but they're going to try.

    • by symbolset ( 646467 ) * on Saturday August 11, 2012 @08:37PM (#40961001) Journal

      Obviously they'll take share and make money by making Windows not work as well on the hardware of their OEM competitors. That won't be hard to do as they must write the drivers for the hardware - the OEMs can't - and these days they're streaming updates so they can make your Dell PC gradually progressively worse instead of waiting for a new Windows version. This has been their go-to strategy with software competitors since, I think, 1986.

      Just in case you're going to get all [citation needed] on me... Here's Microsoft's internal communications about doing this to Novell [] and here is the painful Novell internal emails about how Outlook 95 broke email on install for users Novell's GroupWise []. These are just two recently transcribed documents of 3,600 from the Comes v. Microsoft case that was settled just a few days after the plaintiff put the documents up on their website because Microsoft failed to seal them - and they are all very, very bad. Fortunately some thoughtful people archived them.

      OEMs have always known that Microsoft did this to software vendors, and they looked away because they were getting theirs. Lotus, Borland, Aldus, Ashton-Tate and many others fell the same way. Well now it's the OEMs turn to play Microsoftball blindfolded and with their legs hobbled, giving their competitor an advanced look at their strategy.

      • by ozmanjusri ( 601766 ) <(moc.liamtoh) (ta) (bob_eissua)> on Saturday August 11, 2012 @10:51PM (#40961595) Journal

        Why is this being moderated Troll?

        This is exactly what Microsoft do. They have always tried to make subtle incompatibilities for competitors products.

        Java, Secure Boot, OOXML, H264, their ACPI trickery, Mono/Silverlight and so on ad nauseum.

        Even Microsoft knows they're an unreliable business partner. This is from their SEC filing: "...our Surface devices will compete with products made by our OEM partners, which may affect their commitment to our platform." "Users may increasingly turn to these [mobile] devices to perform functions that would have been performed by personal computers in the past," "Even if many users view these devices as complementary to a personal computer, the prevalence of these devices may make it more difficult to attract applications developers to our platforms."

        • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

          by symbolset ( 646467 ) *

          This is supposed to happen. The mods are going to go back and forth on this one for a while. Don't worry about me: I have infinite Karma. I can bear it - I do this all the time. I'm actually a honeypot the admins use to detect moderation abuse, among other things. Only the noob astroturfers try that now and they immediately lose their mod privileges and get their IP address flagged for monitoring.

          It's working. Don't mess with it.

          /Q: Do people lie on the Internet?

      • by hairyfeet ( 841228 ) <bassbeast1968@gm ... minus herbivore> on Saturday August 11, 2012 @11:54PM (#40961897) Journal

        Uhhh...those were under gates, who hasn't been running the show since 1999 and frankly it shows. personally I'd much rather have Gates as he may have been a bastard, but he was a bastard that could build good office OSes.

        No dude what we have here is just another chapter in the continuing saga of Steve "I wanna work in Cupertino LOL!" Ballmer, the used car salesman of the corporate world. what we'll get is half assed knockoff that won't work worth a shit and will bomb, simple as that. hell look at the man's track record, Zune, Kin,WinCE, WinPhone, pushing out the X360 with a 2 billion dollar hardware flaw...the man can snatch defeat from victory quicker than the PHB from Dilbert.

        So seriously dude, the 90s are over, get over it, okay? windows will stay on X86 which is gonna be like washers and dryers in that nobody will replace until the previous one dies, and if you want someone to be scared of you need to be scared of Brin and Cook, not Ballmer. The days of "the big bad M$" are as gone as the days of "the big bad big blue IBM" are, its over, its done, the fat lady is down the street having a sammich.

        Ya wanna know what happens to the OEMs? Here let me break out my crystal ball...Win 8 shits the bed, OEMs demand win 7 downgrade rights and get it, WinTabs end up on Woot! for 80% off as people wait around the block for iPad 5.awesome. Frankly Gabe at Valve will come out with a Steambox and drive another nail in the coffin for MSFT, Ballmer will retire declaring victory based on how many win 8 licenses sold (while ignoring that like Vista its just a DVD sitting in a box that nobody uses) and once fatboy is gone the board will bring in somebody with a brain, maybe lure Allchin or Ozzie back, and MSFT will become the new IBM.

        So get over it friend, just let it go. MSFT won the desktop which is flatline and will stay that way, Google will lock down Android and they and Apple will control mobile with an iron hand, meanwhile you'll shake your fist at the old tiger in the corner wheezing and limping along because once upon a time they were actually scary.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Google will lock down Android and they and Apple will control mobile with an iron hand,

          Oh dear, credibility is so hard to come by and so easy to shed.

          Android is open source, and Google is opening code releases faster with each version. They may be tightening controls on their repository to combat malware, but the OS is free and staying that way.


          Android share of the smartphone market is around 60%, roughly double that of Apple. Apple may have an "Iron hand", but that just means the more they tighten their grip, the more market share will slip through their fingers.

          htt []

          • 68 percent for 2012Q2, and still rising - four times Apple.
          • Apple will control mobile with an iron hand

            Iron hand or iron hoof []?

          • Dude - you are a supreme troll for trotting out that graph. I mean, can you even read the damn thing? Are you capable of objective thinking?

            ICP has hitting the OEM rollout over the last few months and everyone and their brother is holding their breath for iPhone 5 -- It should be out this fall. So it only goes that the sales numbers will decline, it's SV tradition -- just look to the Osbourne.

            Paste that graph again in November and talk to us then about how the Smartphone Market is slipping through Apple's "

        • by symbolset ( 646467 ) * on Sunday August 12, 2012 @02:26AM (#40962533) Journal

          Wow that's a thoughtful, complex post. Let's deal with these issues one at a time.

          Para 1: Bill is gone. Bill Gates remains the chairman of the board at Microsoft [], and hand-picked all the other board members - who pick the CEO and evaluate his performance, give him goals and guidance, set his pay, bonuses and options, and set policy. Bill is still very much responsible for what goes on there, and weighs in on every big decision.

          Para 2: Steve Ballmer. You neglected to mention the sea of red ink [] that is Microsoft's Online Services Division. I happen to like the direction Steve Ballmer is taking Microsoft. Clearly this is a man with vision [] and purpose who is ready and able to take the company where I want it to go. It takes Marvel Comics level superpowers to get rid of this much cash flow, to destroy a 42 percent success in mobile market share from 2007 [] given their advantages and high hopes [], to so capably destroy the morale and productivity [] of the world's best developers, to put a company with this much income in $55B of debt []. So let's lay off of Steve-o, mmkay? I like him where he is, sweaty shirt and all.

          Para 3: No more Big, Bad MS. With the OOXML debacle [] that nearly ruined ISO, their recent rape of Nokia [], their current ongoing rape of OEMs [], retail vendors [] of both their products and Windows PCs, their planned rape of software distributor partners [], developers and competing independent software vendors and much much more they prove every day that they have not changed. Last week they confirmed they're going to murder the advertisers they bought relationships with in an acquisition by making "Do Not Track" the default [] in IE. Just yesterday [] it came out that the new replacement for Hotmail, is incompatible with Android. The "new kinder, gentler Microsoft" is a myth. They have now declared war on absolutely everybody on Earth, including the people who pay for their products and excepting only the Women's Temperance Union [] and media executives []. Naturally this means I expect them to announce an embedded bittorent feature for IE that involves a drinking game next.

          Para 4. Ballmer outbound. Steve Ballmer is not retiring for another seven years at least, when his last kid goes off to college [].

          Para 5. Immortal desktop victory. It's not enough to take ground. Once you take ground, you have to hold it. MS won mobile with 40% share too [link above], once upon a time. And now they'r

          • to so capably destroy the morale and productivity of the world's best developers

            You had me up until that point.

            Nice one, sir.

      • Obviously they'll take share and make money by making Windows not work as well on the hardware of their OEM competitors.

        At least they still allow Windows to run on third-party hardware. Their major competitor in the tablet market, and second largest vendor of PCs and laptops, is not so generous. Yet no-one complains about that...

        • Apple have always been a hardware company and it uses its software to sell hardware. MS has always been a software company that made money by licensing its software to OEMs.
  • Why is this news? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 11, 2012 @07:23PM (#40960711)

    Surface 1 is done. Of course they are working on Surface 2 and maybe even Surface 3.
    In other news, Apple is working on iPhone 6.
    Samsung is working on Galaxy S4.

    And so on...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 11, 2012 @07:26PM (#40960719)

    Coming soon to a Marked Down bin near the check-out counter near you!

  • by 93 Escort Wagon ( 326346 ) on Saturday August 11, 2012 @07:37PM (#40960781)

    Actually, a more accurate statement would probably be "it sucks to own stock in a Windows OEM right now". It's pretty obvious Microsoft intends to emulate Apple; and, if everything goes according to plan, the OEMs will all shrivel up and die.

    On the bright side, Microsoft may fail.

    • I know Ballmer is known to shoot a toe once in a while but I doubt he's dumb enough to blow both his legs clean off.

    • It's pretty obvious Microsoft intends to emulate Apple

      Not very well. Have you ever heard Apple discussing the next version of their product before the current version ships? No, Apple is much too smart to do that. Every new Apple product is the greatest thing ever and all focus is on that greatness and how everyone needs to get that greatness now. Even as the last product ages and it becomes clear to everyone that Apple must be getting close to releasing the next version, they keep it mum until they can announce it with huge fanfare as the new greatest thi

      • by bankman ( 136859 )

        I think this has a lot to do with FUD no longer working so well for Microsoft. There was a time when they just had to annouce that they were planning to develop something along the lines of XY and everybody in the market for XY got scared shitless. Competitors stopped actual development on their version of XY (because if MS was developing it, they had no chance) and customers would wait for MSs version of XY because it would become the standard. This worked well for a very long time.

        No longer. It seems that

  • Osbourne Effect (Score:5, Informative)

    by cpu6502 ( 1960974 ) on Saturday August 11, 2012 @07:37PM (#40960783)

    I'm not buying a Surface 1.0.
    I'll wait for the Surface 2.0 instead.
    "The name comes from the planned replacement of the Osborne 1 computer. In 1983 founder Adam Osborne pre-announced several next-generation computer models (the "Executive" and "Vixen" models), which had not yet been built, highlighting the fact that they would outperform the existing model. A widely-held belief was that sales of the Osborne 1 fell sharply as customers anticipated those more advanced systems, and dealers cancelled orders." And the company went bankrupt.

    Other examples:
    "In 1978, North Star Computers announced a new version of their floppy disk controller, which had double the capacity, to be sold at the same price as their existing range. Sales of the existing products plummeted and the company almost went bankrupt."

    "When Sega began publicly discussing their next-generation system, barely two years after launching the Saturn, it became a self-defeating prophecy. This move, combined with Sega's recent history of short-lived consoles, led to a chain reaction that quickly caused the Saturn's future to collapse. Immediately following the announcement, sales of the console and software substantially tapered off in the second half of 1997, while many planned games were canceled, causing the console's life expectancy to shorten substantially."

    • Re:Osbourne Effect (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Mabhatter ( 126906 ) on Saturday August 11, 2012 @07:49PM (#40960835)

      Really, they need to be more tight lipped. One of Apple's points is that they don't leak, so they don't lose sales "waiting". You can't "go back" and get money customers didn't spend this quarter... It's gone. People that wait generally didn't keep the money handy, so they don't buy "more".

      Apple is already citing that as a reason for diminished quarter... Because everybody KNOWS we get a new iPhone, iPad, iPod each year.

      The obvious question is that if Surface 1.0 isn't released, why are they working on 2.0? Microsoft hasn't released ANY Surface yet... Stop assuming anybody will care about the NEXT one... Or worse, what features are they going to leave OUT? This becomes like iOS updates where people get upset when only this YEAR's model gets all the new features.

      • Re:Osbourne Effect (Score:5, Insightful)

        by __aaqvdr516 ( 975138 ) on Saturday August 11, 2012 @08:26PM (#40960959)

        Apple might not leak, but is it really surprising that any company is working on "the next version"?

        What company in their right mind would put out a device and say "yep, I think we'll just stop developing anything further for the next 5 years while we sell this one."

        The only thing that needs to be held under wraps is potential release dates.

      • The other thing is we know Microsoft's announcements are full of shit - just look at what Longhorn was supposed to already be doing in 2002 and Windows 8 can't do yet in 2012. I don't think this is going to slow things down because not many people are going to believe it until they see some actual hardware instead of some ad with a magic table.
      • Really, they need to be more tight lipped. One of Apple's points is that they don't leak, so they don't lose sales "waiting".

        By now, everybody knows that iPhone and iPad get refreshed in one year cycles. The only thing you don't know in advance is what, exactly, will change in the next version. But then you don't know this here, either.

        The obvious question is that if Surface 1.0 isn't released, why are they working on 2.0?

        Because there is enough manpower to work on both?

        Stop assuming anybody will care about the NEXT one

        They call it a "bet". If you bet right, you can sometimes get a pretty spectacular pay-iff.

        • By now, everybody knows that iPhone and iPad get refreshed in one year cycles. The only thing you don't know in advance is what, exactly, will change in the next version. But then you don't know this here, either.

          Apple has been pretty consistent in ensuring that at least two devices into the past are supported. This means that even if you buy the previous version of an iPad around when the new one is launched, or even up to a year later, you can be pretty sure that you will be looked after for most of the lifetime of your device. One of the biggest problems with Android devices and the best reason to buy a Nexus is that only Google has been similarly reliable with future support. Microsoft, on the other hand has

          • Most likely either x86 or ARM will be killed. There's no way that such a tiny ecosystem can support the level of fragmentation which two processor architectures with totally different power characteristics suggest.

            Why, if that level of fragmentation is largely transparent to both the users and the developers?

            The "totally different power characteristics" argument is also bogus. Did you miss Android phones running on x86 (Medfield), showing battery life pretty much in line with ARM? And Clover Field, which is specifically Intel's answer to ARM in tablets (Android and Win8 both).

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Threni ( 635302 )

      They did the same with their phones: []

      Release v7 phones then announce that they won't be able to work on v8 phones.

      Guess it's a bit like their close partner Nokia, with the famous Burning Platform memo: []

      • Guess it's a bit like their close partner Nokia, with the famous Burning Platform memo

        Maybe I'm just not boardroom savvy enough to comprehend the subtle inticracies of an executive master plan but what the hell was Elop thinking? They could have done any number of things to slowly build up excitement for their Windows Phones without taking the excruciatingly and so obviously disastrous step of Osbourning their still profitable at the time Symbian business. He had to know they were going to still support the Symbian handsets for years down the road. There was the PureView that was in the l

        • Re:Osbourne Effect (Score:4, Informative)

          by RocketRabbit ( 830691 ) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @01:20AM (#40962279)

          What do you mean what was he thinking? It's obvious to everybody that he's a torpedo executive sent to sink the Nokia ship. In that sense he is exceeding all expectations!

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by rtfa-troll ( 1340807 )

          I mean, what the fuck was the point of that?

          Remember, even in a private company, the CEO doesn't have full decision power. The board can effectively overrule him and he can't get rid of the people under him or fully control them without the board's support. A number of those people probably looked at Microsoft's history in mobile ( Microsoft's market share has continually declined overall in mobile [] having previously been in double digits) and foresaw disaster.

          Elop was setting out to destroy the power base of people who might try to push for backup

        • by gl4ss ( 559668 )

          what was he thinking? he was making public moves to ensure that n9 would tank and that symbian would tank faster than it would(they still sold more symbians than wp's in last quarter, mind you, and were selling symbians more than ever when he made the speech). that way he made sure he could override the board and internal advisors on what to use the marketing budget for(essentially for a product they weren't even shipping yet, funny that).

          have you ever seen elop hype up any product that wasn't ms based? hel

    • by dougsyo ( 84601 )

      Particularly given that they INTENTIONALLY and KNOWINGLY left Windows Phone 7 folk in a lurch with Windows Phone 8...

      • by dbIII ( 701233 )
        It became a dead platform anyway once they bought Skype. Carriers hate Skype and now they hate Microsoft.
    • Actually I think the Sega example is a better analogy as like Sega MSFT is notorious from just walking away from products, see Zune, Kin, Sidekick, and from the looks of it anybody who buys a WinPhone 7 won't get the Win 8 why in the hell would you buy a MSFT mobile product? Answer: you shouldn't.

      At least with X86 Windows you know to the day when its EOL thanks to the corporate agreements and their own roadmap but with mobile the only way buying a MSFT device would be worth it is if you got i

    • I'm not buying a Surface 1.0. I'll wait for the Surface 2.0 instead.

      That's very courageous of you. Me, I'm waiting for Surface 3.11!

    • I wouldn't be surprised if this is exactly why Slashdot posted this article. Every company with a serious product is obviously going to be developing future versions, this really isn't news, but there's nothing like trying to amplify the message and pretend it's journalism anyway.

  • by gallondr00nk ( 868673 ) on Saturday August 11, 2012 @08:10PM (#40960907)

    Or more likely, end in mediocrity.

  • Alpha release (Score:4, Informative)

    by pubwvj ( 1045960 ) on Saturday August 11, 2012 @08:21PM (#40960937)

    They have not yet released version 1.0.
    They didn't let reviewers at their media event actually use it.
    They're already announcing version 2.0.
    Me thinks v1.0 was the alpha to test the waters and they found serious problems.

    • "You will love it. That wasn't an observation, nor was it a request."

    • They did not announce a version 2, they announced job application spots for a later generation of Surface devices. Not only could this be referring to other kinds of Surface devices, but even if it was an updated version of the first it shouldn't come as a surprise that Microsoft is planning newer devices. Personally I would find it a whole lot more strange if they weren't developing newer possible versions of their products.
    • The was no announcement of 2.0, this is only speculation. However, as others have observed, in the tech industry they're always working on 2.0.

      • by pubwvj ( 1045960 )

        The was no announcement of 2.0, this is only speculation.

        Precisely. So they announce rumors for what isn't announced while they don't sell what isn't available. v1.0 may never make it to actual consumer hands - Microsoft has done that before. Meanwhile they'll either drop it saying the market isn't there (as demonstrated by the totally failed iPad, iPhone, iPod) or they'll bring out 2.0 and call it 1.x or just change the name. Microsoft's afraid to get in the water.

  • by roc97007 ( 608802 ) on Saturday August 11, 2012 @08:46PM (#40961053) Journal the one that will actually work...

  • Does Microsoft really think they can freeze the tablet market by announcing vapor-based hardware?
    • by 0123456 ( 636235 ) on Saturday August 11, 2012 @11:09PM (#40961677)

      They can certainly freeze the Windows tablet market...

      • Totally agreed. They probably did so already. If I were to consider to buy a Windows based tablet, I'd be waiting for the Surface (in a parallel universe or so, you never know, in this universe I'm not even considering to buy a tablet to begin with).

        And even in this universe, I'm interested in it. Not to buy, just normal curiousity. The specs are very interesting, the form factor is different from anything else currently on the markt. That's interesting.

  • Is this a case of the Osborne effect [] ?
  • ...and Apple is working on the iPad X, Samsung is working on their Galaxy Y and (name your vendor) is working on their (name their tablet) Z.

    How is this news?

  • already taken - we'll be calling it the "Next Tablet Microsoft will Release" Tablet.

  • If MS can woo developers into making lots of super cheap or free apps for their tablet, then they will do well. If they don't they're road kill.

    This means easy-peasey dev environments (on the production end) and a clean, clear, and wildly easy way for users to get the apps. (on the consumption end).

    Also, this tablet had damn well better be cheaper than the iPad.

    It's not impossible for all this to happen - but if it's cheaper for me to get a small laptop that has more memory and more power than a datap

"If it's not loud, it doesn't work!" -- Blank Reg, from "Max Headroom"