There are signs that suggest consumers are warming up to Microsoft's second generation Surface products. The first sign is the sold out status of every single Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 device at Microsoft's Online store. Every single SKU is out of stock, including Surface 2 in 32GB and 64GB form, and Surface Pro 2 in 64GB, 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB form. Can there really be that much demand?
During Apple's press event earlier this week, the Cupertino company took advantage of its stage time by taking subtle digs at Microsoft over its Surface strategy and software costs. Apple chief Tim Cook pointed out that Microsoft "tried to make tablets into PCs and PCs into tablets," and Apple made sure to point out the price tag of Windows 8.1 and Office when announcing that OS X Mavericks and iWorks would go the pro bono route. If Apple was hoping to elicit a response from Microsoft, well, it got one.
Microsoft's original Surface and Surface RT are officially a memory at this point, having now been moved aside to make room for the Surface 2 (Windows RT 8.1) and Surface 2 Pro (Windows 8.1), both of which are now available to purchase at Microsoft retail stores and authorized commercial resellers in 21 markets, including the United States. For people living in China, the new Surface products will launch next month.
ARM-based Surface 2 systems won't carry RT branding
Whatever your opinion of Microsoft's original Surface products, one thing most people can agree on is that the Redmond company did a poor job educating consumers on the difference between Windows 8 and Windows RT. It's not as though tech savvy users picked up a Surface RT and expected to run legacy Windows apps, but for the mainstream user who doesn't understand that ARM-based SoCs and x86 processors feature completely different architectures, the RT branding could be confusing. Microsoft has now admitted as much.
In a major shot in the arm for Microsoft’s struggling Windows RT platform, Delta Air Lines has announced that later this year it will begin deploying the company’s upcoming Surface 2 tablet across its Boeing 757 and Boeing 767 fleets with the aim of “replacing heavy paper-based flight kits containing navigational charts and aircraft operating and reference manuals.” It expects to complete the rollout by the end of 2014, by when a total of 11,000 such Surface 2 electronic paper bags will have found their way into its cockpits.
Microsoft Surface RT is now the only Windows RT device on the market
The Dell XPS 10 Windows RT tablet is no longer available from the PC vendor’s website and the now-private company is recommending the Windows 8-running Latitude 10 instead to anyone who comes looking for the former. With Samsung, Lenovo and Asus having already given up on the struggling platform, this is probably the last thing Microsoft needed at this point.
Surface Pro 2 boasts up to 75 percent longer battery life than predecessor
Microsoft on Monday introduced the world to the second generation of its Surface tablet family. According to Microsoft, the Surface 2 and the Surface Pro 2 both pack “significant” improvements in everything from processing power to battery life.
Redmond is offering a minimum of $200 for “gently used” iPads
Microsoft is currently running a limited-time iPad trade-in offer, allowing people to bring in their “gently used” iPad 2,3,or 4 into select Microsoft retail outlets across the U.S. and Canada and walk out with a Microsoft store gift card worth a minimum of $200. While the offer has been live for well over a week now, the good news is that there’s still plenty of time left.
Microsoft has put the past behind it and is nearly ready to introduce to the world its second generation Surface line later this month. The special unveiling is scheduled to take place on September 23, 2013 in New York City, according to invitations Microsoft has begun sending out to members of the press. At that time, the Redmond outfit will introduce its Surface 2 and Surface 2 Pro products.
Go ahead and forget all about the original Surface RT and Surface Pro. They came, they flopped, and Microsoft ate its fair share of crow prepared long ago by Acer. It was also a learning experience for Microsoft -- albeit an expensive one -- and hopefully the lessons learned will result in a smoother Surface 2 launch and warmer reception than its predecessor. Yes, there will be a Surface 2, and this is what we know about it so far.