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  #1  
Old 12-27-2012, 08:25 AM
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Microsoft surface trampled at the bottom of the tablet pile this christmas

http://bgr.com/2012/12/26/microsoft-...s-2012-268839/



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While it does have drawbacks just like anything else, Microsoft’s (MSFT) Surface is a great slate for those looking for a fresh new take on the modern tablet. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like very many people were looking for a fresh new take on the modern tablet this holiday season. In a recent note to investors, R.W. Baird analyst William Power recounted recent conversations had at retailers including Best Buy (BBY) and Staples (SPLS). While speaking with sales reps at the stores, Apple’s (AAPL) iPad was the most highly recommended tablet while Amazon’s (AMZN) Kindle Fire line and Samsung’s (005930) Galaxy Tab line were both recommended as alternatives. Microsoft’s Surface tablet, on the other hand, was not pushed by reps at either chain.

From Power’s note, as picked up by Barron’s:

Microsoft’s Surface, which Best Buy just recently started carrying, was not recommended to us by reps without us asking about it specifically. When asked about sales to date, reps noted that the device was new and indicated that early demand has been modest relative to the iPad and Kindle Fire. We would also note that the device was in stock at every store we contacted […] We contacted Staples stores in an effort to further gauge Microsoft Surface sales, though our impression from speaking with reps was tablets are not a major seller at Staples. Tellingly, Staples doesn’t currently carry the iPad. When pressed for details, Staples reps indicated that Surface volumes have been modest to date. Most reps told us that the primary appeal to Surface buyers is the ability to run Microsoft Office. Consistent with our Best Buy checks, the Surface was also in stock at all Staples stores we contacted. Outside of the Surface, the Google Nexus 10 was cited as another strong tablet option.

Further supporting the idea that Microsoft’s debut tablet wasn’t a big seller this holiday season, Twitter user A.X. Ian did a quick analysis of tweets discussing new tablets during a 24-hour period around Christmas Eve.



Based on his data, 1,795 people tweeted about getting a new iPad during that time span while 250 tweeted about their new Kindle Fires, 100 mentioned their new Nexus 10 tablets and just 36 tweets were posted by users who had received a new Surface.
where's the iPad killer everyone was predicting
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  #2  
Old 12-27-2012, 09:39 AM
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No doubt the Surface failed miserably.

Actually I just played with one last weekend at the Microsoft Store (running RT of course, as the Pro hasn't been released yet). It feels quite heavy and substantial.

The 7" android tablet form factor is good for reading and consuming media, while the 10" is definitely not god for reading, but excellent for streaming. The iPad mini is good for reading, but neither size is good for streaming media despite the hardware.

Besides the big story this holiday has been the sub-100 Android tablets, Surface has been consistently reviewed poorly. I'd like to see its next iteration and when more apps become more available.

I think what kills Apple is Apple itself. We'll see how Mini will affect Apple's top and bottom line.
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  #3  
Old 12-27-2012, 09:41 AM
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Originally Posted by AutoUnion View Post
where's the iPad killer everyone was predicting
Where's the source for anyone- much less 'everyone'- who predicted the Surface RT was an 'iPad killer'? And, I saw this iPhan article. They looked at tweets to arrive at their conclusion? Seriously?

The load of loose BS tweets on which the article is based in one thing, but the presumption that ANYONE thought the Surface RT was an iPad killer is way, way off:

CNET- Why the Microsoft Surface probably won't be an iPad killer

Forbes- Microsoft Surface Sure Is No Apple iPad Killer

FirstPost-Microsoft Surface: This ain’t no iPad killer, say tech experts
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  #4  
Old 12-27-2012, 09:52 AM
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I bought 3 of those sub-$100 android tablets, they're more of a toy than a tool - but I did buy them for children...

As for surface... I don't recall anyone saying it would be an ipad killer... at that price, I knew it wouldn't be... lol
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  #5  
Old 12-27-2012, 09:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AutoUnion
where's the iPad killer everyone was predicting
Aren't you the one most vocal preaching against Androidfanism and iFanism around here? Now look at you... :

And I wasn't aware of anyone expecting Microsoft to be anything Apple killer. On the contrary. If anything, Microsoft is looked at as an old stale out of touch out of fresh ideas always behind company. (Regardless if that's true or not, but that's the general perception).
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Last edited by MatWiz; 12-27-2012 at 10:03 AM.
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  #6  
Old 12-27-2012, 10:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Griffoun View Post
No doubt the Surface failed miserably.

Actually I just played with one last weekend at the Microsoft Store (running RT of course, as the Pro hasn't been released yet). It feels quite heavy and substantial.
What's interesting is that it's not a terrible tablet. If it wasn't so overpriced, I would pick it over an 10inch Android tablet.

It's letdown by its price, app support, and annoying OS (I'm sure you could get used to it...eventually)

The Surface Pro is only going to screw Microsoft even more because the 128gb version costs $999 and has about 4-5 hours of battery life. You can get a touchscreen Asus Zenbook for about that much and get much better battery life.

Last edited by AutoUnion; 12-27-2012 at 10:06 AM.
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  #7  
Old 12-27-2012, 10:32 AM
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I'm more curious to see what will be of their cell phones. I think it will slowly gain popularity but will stay on the low end for years.

The apps store is gaining apps, CNET says http://news.cnet.com/8301-10805_3-57...50k-plus-apps/

Quote:
Windows Phone store doubles to 150K-plus apps
More than 75,000 new apps (and 300,000 app updates) arrived in Microsoft's Windows Phone store during the course of 2012.
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  #8  
Old 12-27-2012, 10:54 AM
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They should make it so that it could run android apps and ios apps. And reduce to a quarter of msrp.
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  #9  
Old 12-27-2012, 11:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AutoUnion View Post
What's interesting is that it's not a terrible tablet. If it wasn't so overpriced, I would pick it over an 10inch Android tablet.

It's letdown by its price, app support, and annoying OS (I'm sure you could get used to it...eventually)

The Surface Pro is only going to screw Microsoft even more because the 128gb version costs $999 and has about 4-5 hours of battery life. You can get a touchscreen Asus Zenbook for about that much and get much better battery life.
I'm left wondering what use wonderful hardware is if the price, app suppor and annoying OS are big issues... lol
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  #10  
Old 12-27-2012, 11:24 AM
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Originally Posted by AutoUnion View Post
What's interesting is that it's not a terrible tablet. If it wasn't so overpriced, I would pick it over an 10inch Android tablet.

It's letdown by its price, app support, and annoying OS (I'm sure you could get used to it...eventually)

The Surface Pro is only going to screw Microsoft even more because the 128gb version costs $999 and has about 4-5 hours of battery life. You can get a touchscreen Asus Zenbook for about that much and get much better battery life.
I don't see myself getting Surface RT thanks to Amazon, which gives away free app everyday. Of course they're most likely giving away crappy apps, but still I've managed to accumulate 135 paid apps for free.

I really like the touch cover, and the flip-stand on the back of the Surface. It would be a bonus that MSFT succussfully launched the Surface line, but I see its point to put pressure on the OEMs to design better hardware.

The touch cover is expensive, but think about how much it cost for a very portable bluetooth keyboard + decent flip cover on an Android / iPad, add some premium to the cool factor and MSFT's research effort, $100 really isn't too bad afterall.

I agree the Surface was poorly priced. It hasn't learned from Amazon's Kindle Fire and Google Nexus (and the mistake that Palm made when releasing TouchPad) that it should grab as much marketshare as possible when starting as an underdog. MSFT can still have a healthy profit margin if they cut the price by $100 for the 32Gb model, and more for the 64Gb model. App developers will not be motivated to develop on RT without decent user base.

Last edited by Griffoun; 12-27-2012 at 11:35 AM.
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  #11  
Old 12-27-2012, 11:34 AM
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Originally Posted by AutoUnion View Post
The Surface Pro is only going to screw Microsoft even more because the 128gb version costs $999 and has about 4-5 hours of battery life. You can get a touchscreen Asus Zenbook for about that much and get much better battery life.
The Pro isn't for the same market as Zenbook (an ultrabook), or other tablets like iPad, Nook, Kindle or Android.

The Enterprise is waiting for a secure, manageable platform without additional complications of new licensing, security compliance troubles and added administration. Unless Apple comes out with the iPad Pro (I just made that up) first, the Surface Pro will be the only fully powered tablet device appropriate for production in the enterprise. TPM, central management within the enterprise with no additional licensing, and compatibility with existing Enterprise software licensing are all new to the tablet form factor. Name another tablet on which you can run the full Adobe Creative Suite, the full Office suite, Visual Studio, or play any number of PC games. There isn't a platform like it yet. On the contrary, the Surface Pro may be the thing that saves Microsoft's tablet entry- as long as it's not too late.

Last edited by PropellerHead; 12-27-2012 at 11:35 AM.
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  #12  
Old 12-27-2012, 11:43 AM
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Originally Posted by PropellerHead View Post
The Pro isn't for the same market as Zenbook (an ultrabook), or other tablets like iPad, Nook, Kindle or Android.

The Enterprise is waiting for a secure, manageable platform without additional complications of new licensing, security compliance troubles and added administration. Unless Apple comes out with the iPad Pro (I just made that up) first, the Surface Pro will be the only fully powered tablet device appropriate for production in the enterprise. TPM, central management within the enterprise with no additional licensing, and compatibility with existing Enterprise software licensing are all new to the tablet form factor. Name another tablet on which you can run the full Adobe Creative Suite, the full Office suite, Visual Studio, or play any number of PC games. There isn't a platform like it yet. On the contrary, the Surface Pro may be the thing that saves Microsoft's tablet entry- as long as it's not too late.
You bring up a very good point, but a touchscreen Zenbook and Surface Pro run the exact same OS. Anything you could do on a Surface Pro can be done on a Zenbook. Plus it's just simple fact that if this is supposed to be an enterprise solution, work is supposed to get done. An actual keyboard will provide much much more productivity than any touch keyboard cover that Microsoft can make.
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  #13  
Old 12-27-2012, 12:02 PM
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Originally Posted by PropellerHead View Post
The Pro isn't for the same market as Zenbook (an ultrabook), or other tablets like iPad, Nook, Kindle or Android.

The Enterprise is waiting for a secure, manageable platform without additional complications of new licensing, security compliance troubles and added administration. Unless Apple comes out with the iPad Pro (I just made that up) first, the Surface Pro will be the only fully powered tablet device appropriate for production in the enterprise. TPM, central management within the enterprise with no additional licensing, and compatibility with existing Enterprise software licensing are all new to the tablet form factor. Name another tablet on which you can run the full Adobe Creative Suite, the full Office suite, Visual Studio, or play any number of PC games. There isn't a platform like it yet. On the contrary, the Surface Pro may be the thing that saves Microsoft's tablet entry- as long as it's not too late.

maybe enterprise and CIO's will let loose some of the draconian rules due to employee demand. they have already with many of the androids and iphones that they have let loose on the enterprise IT systems.
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Old 12-27-2012, 12:19 PM
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You bring up a very good point, but a touchscreen Zenbook and Surface Pro run the exact same OS. Anything you could do on a Surface Pro can be done on a Zenbook.
That's not true. No TPM on the ZenBook. This addresses regulatory and auditing requirements from HIPAA, SOX, SEC, and the fed gov't. Until the other vendors come ready to play in the big boy sandbox with real enterprise features, they'll be left out of serious consideration.
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maybe enterprise and CIO's will let loose some of the draconian rules due to employee demand. they have already with many of the androids and iphones that they have let loose on the enterprise IT systems.
They have indeed. BYOD is one of the end points of Vahalla for the enterprise. BYOD gets the enterprise out of the PC buying business and into the true information services business. The next step is to take all of that infrastructure that supports BYOD- including software licensing, servers, storage, etc - and outsource it to the cheapest bidder. This eventual step takes the Health care company, global beverage producer, and just about anyone who can get it done out of the IT business and into the service delivery/vendor management business. They can now focus on delivering product, not IT.

I love the way Apple made inroads into the enterprise. What used to be a quiet little space over in the in-house video or training production rooms, back door IT gnurds, or an executive here and there turned into the boldest pathway anyone could imagine- Right through the front door! But IT still needs to address the above security concerns as thoroughly as required. That's Apple's greatest hindrance to the enterprise right now.
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Old 12-27-2012, 12:31 PM
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maybe enterprise and CIO's will let loose some of the draconian rules due to employee demand. they have already with many of the androids and iphones that they have let loose on the enterprise IT systems.
All BYOD technology in my employer must have an official endpoint manager on it or otherwise cannot access any enterprise assets.
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Old 12-27-2012, 12:35 PM
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But IT still needs to address the above security concerns as thoroughly as required. That's Apple's greatest hindrance to the enterprise right now.
Apple devices in my company have had the VPN shut down. We ran a pilot and they were found unsafe. They can now access a few basic pieces of functionality including email and instant messenger all of which require corporate products to be installed. All other corp apps on the intranet are shut out.

Android VPN pilot is still humming along smoothly. Security concerns can be sufficiently addressed.
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Old 12-27-2012, 01:38 PM
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Android VPN pilot is still humming along smoothly. Security concerns can be sufficiently addressed.
Indeed they can. But not for free like Windows 8 devices. Some software vendors seek to demonstrate that they can bring this to both Apple and Android. But the key is that they bring along yet another management console, another vendor relationship and integration, and perhaps most difficult: another financial/licensing concern.

Bitlocker already has a strong following in the enterprise for the same reasons that give Windows 8 mobile devices an edge: It's free, it is hardware-based (TPM) encryption, and it's managed within the same console as every other device on the network. When looking at end-point data encryption security, we've seen countless enterprise CxO's ask the same question: "How am I supposed to turn away the same functional security with nearly the same performance for free?" Many vendors have compelling reasons, but the sell is not an easy one. Hell, I've even been deeply involved in the discussions and just can't get it done against Bitlocker.

The Windows 8 device slides directly into the existing security infrastructure and management tools. No additional licensing, no additional training, and no additional bills to pay. Of course, it will take less than a week for someone to install Windows 7 on a Pro tablet, but then they'd be right back to where they were: Windows 7 just isn't a great touch screen product. All of the same things that can be said here about Windows 8 are true of 7 except on mobile phones. WP7 or 7.5 or 7.8 may look and 'feel' like Windows 8, but they're not truly secure Windows 8 devices. It's an important distinction that I think Microsoft got right- even if they didn't get the word out to WP7 device manufacturers who might have then offered an upgrade path.

This may sound like a rousing endorsement for Windows 8. I suppose for the right user, it is that kind of endorsement. But I intend only to offer that enterprise perspective of the mobile end user and the commitment to corporate data on it. I don't know of any enterprise out there looking to standardize on Windows 8 mobile devices, but there are compelling reasons that it could fit well within their current security infrastructure as well as offer end users more complete access to corporate services for less, little, or zero licensing and management cost.

Last edited by PropellerHead; 12-27-2012 at 01:43 PM.
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Old 12-27-2012, 09:44 PM
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Originally Posted by PropellerHead View Post
Indeed they can. But not for free like Windows 8 devices. Some software vendors seek to demonstrate that they can bring this to both Apple and Android. But the key is that they bring along yet another management console, another vendor relationship and integration, and perhaps most difficult: another financial/licensing concern.
I work for a large company with an entire division of security products. For the most part we're using our own commercially available enterprise technology.

So far, I don't know of anyone using Windows 8 in the workplace but I'm sure they're out there. We tend to stay away from MSFT products whenever feasible.



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Old 12-27-2012, 11:25 PM
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I work for a large company with an entire division of security products. For the most part we're using our own commercially available enterprise technology.

So far, I don't know of anyone using Windows 8 in the workplace but I'm sure they're out there. We tend to stay away from MSFT products whenever feasible.
Not a terribly unique circumstance and one especially more prevalent within IT operations. Do you know what they use for end point disk encryption? Do you allow users to carry/store corporate data on mobile devices? Regardless of the policies, what safeguards are in place to prevent lost or stolen customer/partner or other confidential data stored on them? What does your enterprise use to manage both servers and workstations?
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