Microsoft had this grand vision of jumping into the tablet market with a pair of tablets built around Windows 8 -- one with ARM inside and the other a x86 slate running Intel hardware -- but the company may have overestimated the competitive landscape. Reportedly, the Redmond software giant has cut its Surface RT orders with overseas suppliers in half after failing to generate the kind of sales figures it was anticipating.
The typical support lifecycle for a tablet seems to be around two and a half years if you ask Apple; or until you reach the parking lot if you buy from an Android OEM. When Microsoft released the Surface last month we had no reason to believe they would be pushing for anything different, but then again, they want you to believe its more laptop than tablet right? Microsoft has finally professed their support intentions for the Surface, and we are cautiously optimistic they are moving the bar forward.
Microsoft's hardware partners continue to take potshots at the company's Surface tablet. Last week, Acer warned Microsoft that delving into hardware is like "hard rice and "is not so easy to eat" (no joke, though something may have been lost in translation), and now HP is piling on the criticism, calling Surface a "slow" and "kludgey" solution. HP credited the press for hyping up a tablet that otherwise isn't very competitive.
October was a scary busy month for Tech (Halloween pun totally intended). Manning and "womening" episode 191 of the No BS podcast are Editor Josh Norem, Editor-in-Chief Katherine Stevenson, Online Managing Editor Jimmy Thang, and Deputy Editor Gordon Mah Ung. This time around the crew tackles a wide variety of topics that include:
Acer has never been particularly keen on the idea of competing with Microsoft in the hardware space, and apparently the Taiwanese manufacturer is still holding a grudge. In a recent interview with Tancent Technology, Linxian Lang, president of Acer's Greater China division, warned Microsoft that the hardware business is like "hard rice" and "is not so easy to eat." Say what?
For our friends at iFixIt, tearing into Microsoft's Surface with Windows RT (Surface RT from here on out) represents just another day at the office. But for the rest of us, it provides an interesting peek at what lies beneath the Surface, as well as how easy or difficult it is to open up and service at home. Apple products are notoriously burdensome to crack open and repair; is the Surface any different?
Experience the Windows 8 release with our launch event video.
We had the opportunity to check out the Windows 8 release event at Microsoft’s San Jose Windows store, located in the heart of Silicon Valley.
In the video below, we go up close and personal with Microsoft’s newly released Surface RT tablet, get impressions from customers on the controversial new OS, and interview the store’s manager to see if the long-awaited launch lived up to the hype.
Click the "Read More" button to check out our image gallery from the launch.
Over the the past few years, Microsoft has tried to master the delicate art of vertical integration on several occasions, but none of those previous attempts quite measure up to the Surface in audacity. If the Surface succeeds, Microsoft stands to reap the financial fruits of vertical integration, but at the risk of estranging the many PC vendors with whom it has longstanding ties. So the big question at this point in time is: just how far is Microsoft willing to go?
Bill Gates doesn't often talk about Microsoft products ever since riding off in the sunset as a retired billionaire. Sure, he remains a fixture of the company he co-founded, both as the Microsoft's iconic face and serving as a chairman, but these days he's much more interested in his philanthropy efforts via the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Perhaps recognizing all that's at stake with Windows 8, Gates recently sat down for an interview where he talked about the touch friendly OS, Surface, and other Windows-related topics.
Well that was fast, Despite all the speculation about Microsoft's pricing strategy for Surface, there were enough pre-order buyers to deplete whatever initial stock of the standalone 32GB model the Redmond company had set aside. Now when you go to order a 32GB Surface RT without a Touch Cover, the estimated delivery is "within 3 weeks" instead of October 26, which is when the other models will still arrive.