The latest news, our picks, your questions, and Gordan's rant!
This time around it was a full podcast room as we tackled the latest industry developments, including the future of our very own magazine. First up Deputy editor Gordon Mah Ung kicked off a discussion on AMD's 5GHz CPU and its position in the enthusiast market, then Editor in Chief Katherine Stevenson dished on the rumors surrounding the Microsoft Surface refresh, and finally Associate Editor Tom McNamara opined on the state of the PC industry. We closed Edpisode #207 of the Maximum PC Podcast with some tablet talk, tons of reader questions, our editors' picks, and Gordon's signature rant.
Multiple sources are saying that Microsoft is currently working on another Surface tablet, one that will likely be smaller in size than the current models, and less expensive as well. If the rumors are true, then it means Microsoft received the memo that $500 tablets without an Apple logo are a tough sell. which is the same memo Google's hardware partners received long ago in reference to Android.
Steve Ballmer sat for a spell with MIT Technology Review to discuss the Windows 8 ecosystem.
It's no easy task to gauge the impact Windows 8 is having on the industry, in part because the industry is changing. The traditional desktop is taking a backseat in popularity to mobile form factors, like notebooks, tablets, and hybrids. Windows 8, as you know, is an attempt to bring all these devices together, along with smartphones, under a unified user interface. Is Microsoft happy with its strategy up to this point?
The Surface Pro can be ordered in either 64GB or 128GB storage capacities, but don’t be deceived. 128GB models will only offer users 83GB of usable space, and the 64GB version will supply a paltry 23GB for user files. Extra internal capacity can be added through the devices microSDXC card slot, but it makes the marketing behind Microsoft’s Surface Pro just as shady as it was for the RT version.
Bill Gates feels confident in Microsoft’s new Direction, and has no desire to return as CEO.
Okay so he might be just the tiniest bit biased, but Bill Gates claims Windows 8 and the Surface tablet have “done well”. His answer was a response to a CNBC interview question with regards to the future of his company, and if he would ever consider reclaiming his CEO title from Steve Ballmer. According to Gates, Windows 8 and the Surface were both developed without his guidance, and as a result he feels the company is doing just fine without him.
Microsoft is said to be expanding the sale of its Surface tablet beyond its own outlets.
While analysts seldom see eye to eye, the diversity of opinions that the Surface RT has managed to inspire among them is fairly remarkable. If you ask IHS iSuppli, it will tell you that the Windows RT-based tablet is looking set to crack the 1 million unit sales mark in the fourth quarter. Boston’s Detwiler Fenton, on the other hand, expects Surface RT sales to be around the 500,000 mark.
One thing is clear though: the ARM-powered slate hasn’t really set the world on fire. That is something Microsoft is now trying to address, according to noted Microsoft blogger Paul Thurrott, by expanding the sale of the Surface beyond its own outlets.
Microsoft's Surface RT tablet ended up on our controversial list of "Holiday Gifts to Avoid" because it lacks a x86 foundation (and therefore won't run all your fancy Windows 7 applications), is slow to load apps (initially), and is sitting behind a bare ecosystem. Surface Pro looks to be a better, albeit more expensive option when it launches in January 2013, but even so, Surface RT could rack up sales of more than a million units by the end of the year.