If you are itching to get your hands on a Microsoft Surface RT tablet, chances are that your itch will remain unscratched for quite some time, as the device is now backordered for three weeks. So your best bet now, should you want it earlier, is to walk into a Microsoft retail outlet on or after October 26 and pick one up yourself (if you can). For those who don’t want to leave anything to chance, Microsoft is giving out special "Surface reservation passes."
Lest there be any doubt whatsoever that Microsoft has a lot riding on Windows 8, the Redmond outfit's financial report for its first fiscal quarter of 2013 (which ended September 30, 2012) contained more thorns than roses. For example, the company's quarterly earnings dropped 22 percent sequentially to $5.47 billion, as slumping PC sales continue to adversely affect tech firms across the board. Revenue also declined, dropping 8 percent to $16 billion, down from $17.37 billion one year prior.
With just a few days left to go until the release of Windows 8 and the Microsoft-built Surface tablets, the Redmond-based company has donned its marketing hat. While the jury is still out on the amount Microsoft has earmarked for the Windows 8 marketing campaign, it is likely to be a large sum (some reports peg it at over $1 billion), especially considering how much Microsoft has riding on these two products. But wait, what exactly does Microsoft have “riding” on them?
In case you haven't heard, Microsoft's Surface with Windows RT tablets are now available to pre-order, starting at $499 for the 32GB model sans Black Touch Cover. With the Touch Cover, the price jumps by a Benjamin to $599, and the 64GB version (with Touch Cover) is going for $699. Those are competitive price points compared to Apple's third generation iPad tablets, but as the Android camp found out, $499+ tablets are a tough sell.
Microsoft made a splash in cyberspace this morning when it temporarily revealed pre-order pricing for its Surface RT tablet line, only to inexplicably pull the listing offline. Well, once you let the cat out of the bag on the Internet, there's no putting it back in, so either Microsoft caved, or it was planning to go live with the pre-order site all along. Either way, the pre-order page is now back online, presumably for good.
Samsung has readied itself for Microsoft's Windows 8 launch at the end of next week by revealing over half a dozen new systems built to take advantage of the touch oriented operating system. Leaving no stone unturned, Samsung unveiled a pair of convertible tablets, two Ultrabooks, a pair of all-in-one (AIO) systems, and a traditional notebook, most of which sport touchscreen displays.
Over the last couple of years, many a company has entered the tablet market with high hopes, found the going tough and become an also-ran. Kupa may not be the most recognizable of names in the tablet world yet, but it is trying its level best to avoid that fate. Having entered the market with the Windows 7-based X11 Pro Tablet earlier this year, the Santa Monica-based company is now trying to stand out with the UltraNote, a modular tablet that runs Windows 8.
Much has been made about the Metro makeover Microsoft applied to Windows 8, and there are a number of ways you can see what all the fuss is about. For one, you can read detailed reviews, like the one we posted last month, or you can install the Release Preview, which is still available to download from Microsoft in 32-bit and 64-bit flavors. Yet another way to experience Windows 8 before it's made available to the general public is to head down to your local Best Buy.
You might love it, you might hate it, but like it or not Windows 8 hits the streets in less than two weeks on October 26th. As a result the Microsoft marketing machine has kicked into overdrive, and we finally have our first of what is likely to be many television bound ads designed to reel in consumers far and wide to the new platform.