Microsoft still losing money with Surface tablets

Microsoft's Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 tablets may be selling better than their first generation counterparts, but revenues from the Windows RT and 8.1 devices are still not making up for the amount of money the company is spending on its PC hardware products.

According to the latest filing from Microsoft to the U.S Securities and Exchange Commission, revenues from the Surface division came in at $494 million for the three-month time period that ended March 31st. That's up more than 50 percent from the same period a year ago. However, Microsoft spent $539 million to make those tablets and related accessories from January to March, which meant that for the last quarter the Surface group lost $45 million.

Microsoft said that for the nine month period that ended on March 31st, the Surface division generated $1.8 billion in revenue, but $2.1 billion was spent on the business itself. That means the Surface division lost $300 million in the last nine months.

To be fair, it would appear that Microsoft is losing less money each quarter on Surface tablets, but it has yet to make any profit for the company. Perhaps the rumored launch of the smaller Surface Mini could solve that problem.

Source: SEC via Computerworld | Image via Microsoft

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Selling an expensive toy disguised as a Personal Computer was hardly a winning business decision. An illustration of "sending a boy/girl out to do a man's/woman's work."

Its called a "loss leader". Sometimes you have to take a loss, to survive later. Windows RT is critical to the future of Microsoft. More and more apps have come out for RT, and with the awesome Nokia 2520 RT tablet in the lineup now, with its 128GB Micro SD card, RT has a chance to survive!

Yes, there will still be PC's in some people homes. but the world is going mobile. The Windows Surface and Nokia 2520 tablets are IMMUNE TO viruses, toolbars and java vulnerabilities. This will make a big difference to noobs who infect their PC after owning it a month.

I bring my Lumia 2520 RT tablet to work and the IT dept loves it because they can integrate it with Exchange and other Microsoft Servers. They are even building a custom modern interface CRM app for our sales team.

with "mouse without borders" I can share my mouse and ergo keyboard across the desktop and the tablet. (not that I really use a mouse much on the tablet)

I have 10 hour battery life, and it gets to 80% charge in less than an hour. With NFC, USB, LTE, Bluetooth, WIFI, HDMI and SD I'm all set!

It was just announced that the
SanDisk Ultra 128 GB microSDXC UHS-I Card works in the 2520!

Have surface pro 2. It's a beast.. I don't see it as a tablet.. I use it as primary machine.. docked at work and home.. and ultra mobile on the go. It's a beast! People who downplay it are usually either Apple fanboys who downplay anything MS or never really used one.

Not surprised by this at all, and I am sure the numbers are much worse than that as I am sure they had taken in to consideration some of the accounting loopholes to smoothen their numbers. Just go to any computer selling website such as Best Buy or Future shop and just real the review by people who purchased new computer, whooping 90% reviewer will tell you that Win 8 sucks and there is no marketing gimmick or spin there.

The reason for Surface fail is that it is not suitable device for any real productive work due to its small screen size. It does not matter what people make you believe but people need a bigger screen real estate to really do any productive work. Using Surface as productive device is a novelty which quickly fades off.
Now Surface as a tablet is a big fail as well for multiple reasons. First, it is really a premium device with a higher price tag, second Surface app sucks, Third, bad impression about the Win 8. MS has all the ingredient present for a failed product.

Auditor said,
The reason for Surface fail is that it is not suitable device for any real productive work due to its small screen size. It does not matter what people make you believe but people need a bigger screen real estate to really do any productive work.

If your main argument against the Surface Pro regarding "real productive work" is its screen size, then allow me to use that exact same argument against *any* laptop. I've used everything from 8.9" netbooks to 17" laptops, and while the larger size only makes the laptop itself bulkier than small ones, that's still way too small for me for the sort of work I do, so I used to hook up my laptop to an external monitor (or multiple monitors, with a USB docking station). For the past year, I've no longer had a laptop at all and use a Surface Pro instead. Yeah, the screen might be too small to be the primary display for "productive work", but if you're going to hook something up to an external display device anyway, the Surface Pro is a perfectly fine substitute for a laptop--and it's still less bulky to carry around, it's completely silent, hardly generates any heat (I could definitely tell the difference last summer in my home office) and has a better battery than any laptop I've ever owned (if that was even a concern).

I use my Surface Pro for work for 8-12 hours every day, and even longer periods on weekends. I really wish you'd stop claiming it's "not suitable" for anything and fails at everything in every thread the Surface is mentioned.

Seeking a clarification here. They are losing money only on the RT devices, right? Does that mean they are making money on the x64 Surface 2 Pro?

Perhaps the rumored launch of the smaller Surface Mini could solve that problem.

I wouldn't bet on it. The smaller tablet market has razor thin margins, and Microsoft already has a problem competing on price with the 10"+ category.

Perhaps Microsoft would be better off sticking to the Pro versions, I hear they have significantly lower return rates than their RT cousins, which is usually a good sign.

Silly me, I forgot that everyone expected it to be .99 cents. It's cheaper than an iPad, so I don't see cost as being an issue.

Dutchie64 said,
Windows tablets make up 6% of the tablet market. That's not bad if you realize MS had to dive into a saturated market.

the bottom line is that Microsoft (like many companies) is past its peak. It it trying to reinvent "the good times" and the result is they have lost their way. They are trying to jump on the next big thing, but have no idea what that is, so just keep coming up with "solutions for problems that don't exist" and people aren't buying it.

Sorry Microsoft, you will never go back to the days of "growth" every year. You are going to have to be content with just doing the same as last year.

You also need to give the customer what they want, and stop trying to force new paradigms onto them in the belief that this will "drive growth". As you've seen it actually does the opposite.

dvb2000 said,

the bottom line is that Microsoft (like many companies) is past its peak. It it trying to reinvent "the good times" and the result is they have lost their way. They are trying to jump on the next big thing, but have no idea what that is, so just keep coming up with "solutions for problems that don't exist" and people aren't buying it.

Sorry Microsoft, you will never go back to the days of "growth" every year. You are going to have to be content with just doing the same as last year.

You also need to give the customer what they want, and stop trying to force new paradigms onto them in the belief that this will "drive growth". As you've seen it actually does the opposite.

I think you are wrong. Isn't it great how opinions work? I like where Microsoft is going. I think abandoning the Win95 Desktop model was brilliant. Most of you don't know this, but Windows was so much better before the start menu/desktop combination ruined it.

I for one, think it is high time they abandoned that failed model. I've never even seen an actual user (and I used to be the type of tech support that went to peoples desks) go into the all programs portion. I use to mystify people opening notepad or the character map... because it wasn't used.

And suddenly no one can live without that thing they never used except it had a nice list of your frequently used apps right on top.

IMO the Surface doesn't really cut it as a hybrid. Reasons for me to not consider it:

- As a tablet: Besides being bulkier than other competing tablets, the Surface's portrait orientation is too tall given the device is 16:9. Pretty much everyone I've seen use the Surface insist on putting it in landscape. The app selection is improving, but still not at the level of more mature ecosystems yet.
- As a laptop: A kickstand plus touch cover sound nice, until you try using the Surface as a laptop on your lap. The kickstand and the main Surface unit are the only contact points on your lap, plus the keyboard provides no stability to keep the Surface from falling. In addition, the touch covers that Microsoft heavily touts - one, the touch covers don't come standard. Two, other tablets have them too, albeit not first party keyboards. Also the Surface Pro's high DPI is a bit of a pain for apps that don't scale themselves properly to anything other than 96 DPI, but that's more of a Windows problem than the device itself.

I get that out of the box the Surface has, on paper, more to offer than competitors, mostly via the choice of OS than the hardware itself. But frankly at the end of the day, consumers have by and large not really cared for the fact you can snap apps or run other Windows apps in a tablet, or even the inclusion of Office (which last time I checked is only on the Surface 2 RT, and getting the Pro will require your own license making it not much different than any other laptop). They're quite happy with their "toys" - it serves their needs just fine.

Denis W. said,
IMO the Surface doesn't really cut it as a hybrid. Reasons for me to not consider it:

- As a tablet: Besides being bulkier than other competing tablets, the Surface's portrait orientation is too tall given the device is 16:9. Pretty much everyone I've seen use the Surface insist on putting it in landscape. The app selection is improving, but still not at the level of more mature ecosystems yet.
- As a laptop: A kickstand plus touch cover sound nice, until you try using the Surface as a laptop on your lap. The kickstand and the main Surface unit are the only contact points on your lap, plus the keyboard provides no stability to keep the Surface from falling. In addition, the touch covers that Microsoft heavily touts - one, the touch covers don't come standard. Two, other tablets have them too, albeit not first party keyboards. Also the Surface Pro's high DPI is a bit of a pain for apps that don't scale themselves properly to anything other than 96 DPI, but that's more of a Windows problem than the device itself.

I get that out of the box the Surface has, on paper, more to offer than competitors, mostly via the choice of OS than the hardware itself. But frankly at the end of the day, consumers have by and large not really cared for the fact you can snap apps or run other Windows apps in a tablet, or even the inclusion of Office (which last time I checked is only on the Surface 2 RT, and getting the Pro will require your own license making it not much different than any other laptop). They're quite happy with their "toys" - it serves their needs just fine.

Of the 5 or 6 Android tablets I've used, they were universally worthless in portrait mode. Every app that was locked to portrait mode was garbage as well. Portrait mode is for phones, and books, and not full size tablets.

I don't even know why people are debating this, MS isn't going to back out of the surface. It has a long history of sticking with products integral to its overall vision. The fact is hardware for tablets just keeps getting even better, we now have tablets that last all day, run a full OS and have a proper digitiser (looking at Acer and Dell).

On top of that Windows itself isn't going anywhere. As the hardware keeps improving and costs come down more and more, each iteration we are going to see more people rocking windows tablets.

I guarantee you the future is full of Windows tablets and many of those are surface tablets. Bet against Windows tablets at your own peril.

People need to slow down and actually think about this before they're so quick to call for lower prices or that they kill the whole line.

"Costs of revenue" is where the issue is, not so much sales, sales are up, we know this because revenues are up 50%, YoY. The issue is that they've spent more money on other things, advertising for one falls into the "costs of revenue" numbers. It's not just how much it cost to make the hardware, that's not what the figure alone stands for. I think that's what people need to understand first before they jump to conclusions here. We know they've got supply and channel issues, something that them buying Nokias devices division will help iron out. These issues in the chain also add to your costs and so on. Regardless the Surface itself is close to turning the corner, $45million isn't much for Q1, which is generally a weak quarter as it's right after the holiday peak season. I'm willing to bet that they finish in the green this year.

I think what YOU need to understand is that your acceptance of utterly ridiculous pricing is what hurts customers in general and will eventually hurt the company as well. They need to lower the prices to sane ones, period.

audioman said,
I think what YOU need to understand is that your acceptance of utterly ridiculous pricing is what hurts customers in general and will eventually hurt the company as well. They need to lower the prices to sane ones, period.

I've never said the prices are fine, I haven't went out and bought one either, acceptance of the fact that they're actually selling at those prices is what I'm talking about. Otherwise revenues wouldn't have went up 50% YoY, what they need to do is cut costs in other areas, and if they can do that then maybe they can cut the prices as well.

So may excuses, the fact is that people just don't want a Surface enough to buy one. It's simple. The same goes for Windows Phone.

RT just needs to die. There are no apps for the platform. If I have to pick a tablet, I will pick iOS or Android but if I need a laptop, I will pick a Surface. The whole RT and Windows 8 Pro branding has been confusing for the consumers. My mom felt confused like hell between Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2.

The whole Surface Mini will be a flop too because of RT and lack of apps. I don't want to just take notes on my tablet, I need it to do more than that which is where RT will fail.

Ummmm really? I been there the other day and it is still crap. if you ask me that Windows Store needs a serious revamp in design. It very bad you cant even got through all the reviews, you can check the version number of the app your using and its slow and laggy on the RT. I think Microsoft is in so much hot water with windows 8 they dont even have time to address the problems with RT now that they have to go about reimplementing the start button back into 8.1 They just need to allow developers to recompile their programs in arm and give users the ability to just install apps normal like you would on a regular laptop.

StandingInAlley said,
RT just needs to die. There are no apps for the platform. If I have to pick a tablet, I will pick iOS or Android but if I need a laptop, I will pick a Surface. The whole RT and Windows 8 Pro branding has been confusing for the consumers. My mom felt confused like hell between Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2.

The whole Surface Mini will be a flop too because of RT and lack of apps. I don't want to just take notes on my tablet, I need it to do more than that which is where RT will fail.

I want a Surface Mini just for taking notes on. That sounds awesome. As long as it isn't more than $100-$150.

I'm not really sure what the issue is specifically, but I will say this applies to both the Surface and Windows Phone. Those that I talk to that have one or both of those love them. I think Microsoft has both winners in Windows Phone and Surface, the issues just come down to marketing and public perception I guess.

in other words, they are on the road to profitability and have sales growth as the ipad declined year to year. Continue in this direction, and they will have a really good hit in their hands.

They need to stop copying apple however:

1) 10 inches is an arbitrary number by apple that is too small for the power user, too big for the budget user. worse of both worlds.

2) excluding LTE from your intel model is stupid. and excluding intel from the non pro model is double stupid.

3) include the covers. period.

Better yet, allow OEMs to make them just as google lets crap like LG make nexus phones and asus make tablets. Surface can stand for a MSFT brand which holds OEMs to standards.

Disagree. I see sales going up for the Surface, however, I do not see a "hit" as you project. The Surface will be like the Windows Phone, marketshare growth, but will plateau at 3rd place. The same direction that Windows Phone is heading, comfortably in 3rd place. Unless they can "awe" consumers, there will be no "hit".

What I find interesting is that some are focused on that fact that they are still running in the negative overall and not the fact that sales are up significantly over the previous versions. So many seem to want to see MS just cut and run on the Surface line and want to take another shot or two at Win 8 in the process, but it looks to me like people are buying. Demand is actually happening and I dont see why that would stop as long as MS keeps to an aggressive pace for rolling out new hardware and improvements to the software.

If MS can keep the pace up with the next round of releases, then suddenly they are making a profit on the brand. They are not that far from positive territory now.

I do agree that things like cheaper prices, better developer support, and os improvements are all great ideas to improve adoption, but its way too easy to just call this a big failure considering the trend is up right now.

As someone else said, MS has a track record for being willing to drop big amounts of money for a long term goal. So if MS is serious about Surface tablets long term, then don't look for them to cut and run now that a little momentum has come their way. In fact, with the addition of Nokia's smartphone division, I would say its pretty safe to say that the Surface line is just getting started.

The devices themselves are built well and have a great style. The OS has been improving with each update, and apps are starting to show up. The addition of universal apps will mean even more developer attention will come to Windows tablets. It can feed off of the momentum that they are building for WP. I agree that there are issues to improve on, but I just don't agree that its a loss with no redeeming value.

Unless microsoft finds a way to add a great keyboard to a tablet that's as good or better than an iPad, they will continue losing money. And unfortunately the technology to do that simply doesn't exist yet.

It's not because of the marketing... It's not because of the ecosystem. This has been a no-brainer since the beginning, yet Microsoft chose to believe in (and got carried away by) their own marketing.

Edited by Sekhmet667, Apr 30 2014, 12:49am :

I think had they replenish the inventory on Surface Pro2( and sometimes Surface 2) to keep up with the demand, it would've made them more profit. But we continue to see Out Of Stock, which is very DISCOURAGING and I was deterred from buying one. Eventually, I decided to wait for Surface Pro 3(hopefully) to buy them instead.

It seems anything with the name "Windows 8" mentioned with the device, doesn't sell well. Windows 8 has been a thorn in Microsoft's backside. The Surface does have potential though. However, I'd still prefer an Ultrabook over a Surface Pro.

Funny when you look at sales, the same thing can be said about OSX. Only Apple has struggled for a lot more years with their MAC sales.

Wall-swe said,
Funny when you look at sales, the same thing can be said about OSX. Only Apple has struggled for a lot more years with their MAC sales.
Looks like your jab at Apple (though I don't care, been using Windows since the early 90's) failed miserably. If you would have done your homework before posting you would know that the Mac lineup actually makes Apple money. It's no Surface!

Mac is not an industry standard device with its sole purpose to get other OEM's to bring in better devices for a better price.

But please, try another analogy, maybe that one will work.

Windows 8 is not a thorn in MS's backside, it brought in a boat load of cash as second best selling Windows in history.

Microsoft has already made such a profit of Windows 8, where Apple with its iMac lineup can only be jealous off.

Windows 8 haters are a minority but just very vocal. Average joe 'hates' it because you and other "I dont like Windows 8" people tell them so. Each average joe I managed to get from XP/Vista/7 to 8... hasn't complained since telling them "Just give it a chance, yes it takes some getting used to, but after a few weeks... bussiness as usual".

People arent so afraid of change, every time they buy a new cell phone they have to relearn the whole damn thing (unless its a WP or iOS, but those are a minority)

Even Microsoft would disagree with this statement. But go ahead and tell yourself that if it makes you feel confident about Windows 8.

"People who dislike Windows 8 are the minority" LMAO!

By continuing to make changes to please the majority. You think they'd back pedal and add a start menu for your so called "minority haters"?

So if they've let Windows 8 be Windows 8 and never change it, would show they stand behind it?

8.1 was announced before 8 went RTM.
Start menu is still not part of Windows 8.1, might never become part of Windows 8.1, might just be an experiment if they actually could modernify the start menu.

Not sure what th e start menu was to you or many others, but for me and according to Microsoft 'spying' on people using their products. Start menu had become a giant 'advanced' runbox dialogue.

People open it to click whats in the top used list onthe left, or type + enter/click for what they want.
But with Windows 8 it suddenly became an irreplaceable piece of Windows......

jimmy_jazz said,
Well there is a land fill in New Mexico that now has some room

Sorry it's been claimed for copies of windows 8.

They can keep losing money, I couldn't care less, because the price is far too high. Lower your price, sell more. Anyone who claims the manufacturing costs are that high, back up your claims. No one has. It's a bunch of BS.

Find me an untrabook / tablet that is built as well as the Surface / Surface Pro 2 - that has a built in kickstand and a keyboard that works like the MS one and also is a digitizer. No one can touch the built quality of the Surface Pro 2. Also the power connector is unique also - Apple licensed the technology from Microsoft. Most Vendor devices are built like crap with cheap plastic.

Universal apps, and bundle it with a free touch cover. You can't charge a premium till the apps start arriving in droves. I love this device, with keyboard and kickstand I will NEVER not use keyboard on my tablet. The form factor is a winner. If you put a kickstand and a keyboard cover on an iPad, they would all use it when it came time to get stuff done.

They had some good ideas, but the bottom line is that the price of "pro" is still much too high. Just look at the new Haswell line from Apple for under a grand and you quickly see what could have been. RT was and is a disaster and will be completely unnecessary by the end of the year because we'll have both power and battery life. Still can't figure how they're still losing so much at those prices. I hope they stay in the fight and eventually get it right, competition is always good for consumers.

No surprise there. Does "Edsel" come to mind. Ford finally cut their losses and killed that model. When will MS kill that line? They really need to focus on fixing their flawed Windows-8 OS.

TsarNikky said,
No surprise there. Does "Edsel" come to mind. Ford finally cut their losses and killed that model. When will MS kill that line? They really need to focus on fixing their flawed Windows-8 OS.
Agree

Uhm, this isnt comparable to some production vehicle.

MS never intended for the Surface to sell in giant quantities, I'm pretty sure they calculated a loss even before building the first surface tablet.
They made them to set industry standards. Not to take over the market like an iPad or Galaxy Tab.

By making a loss on the Surface, MS is earning money in the Store, Bing division, Windows division and everywhere else because the Surface shows there can be very capable Windows tablets and it will draw in users into Microsoft's ecosystem.

Ford has no ecosystem besides car manufacturing and car repair.

They should just include one type or touch cover for free with the purchase of a Surface or Surface Pro. That would price it just about right.

And for the "3" generation, the Surface 3 needs a pen, and a dock so it won't get lost. ALL "Surface" devices should come with a pen. Push the note-taking, inking, mark-up, handwriting recognition, etc. features. And ALL versions should have Wi-Fi *and* LTE versions available. And ALL versions should have built in GPS. One of the most annoying features of my Surface 2 is that when I travel with it, it doesn't auto-adjust to the new time zone. That's ridiculous.

I agree the keyboard should be included - and people should have a choice on which one they want. GPS would be great also and I expect that the RT operating system will go away and will just have the regular W8.1 OS

_Alexander said,
As a table Surface has nothing going for it. It is not professional. As a laptop replacement it work though.

It's not professional? What? If anything, it's too professional.

rfirth said,

It's not professional? What? If anything, it's too professional.


The most professional app I found is an SSH client, but alas not free like desktop's Putty.
Heck to access services and group policies - there is no modern equivalents of these GUIs.

Surface has little going for it because there is nothing to do on it (fun and professional) as a tablet.

EDIT: But the i5 is quite a boost from my Atom / ION netbook.

_Alexander said,

The most professional app I found is an SSH client, but alas not free like desktop's Putty.
Heck to access services and group policies - there is no modern equivalents of these GUIs.

Surface has little going for it because there is nothing to do on it (fun and professional) as a tablet.

EDIT: But the i5 is quite a boost from my Atom / ION netbook.

Mentioning the i5, you're talking about the Surface Pro.
That makes the first comments full of bulls***, as the Pro can run ALL Windows app.

Keep trolling, but not here please.

The surface is not a failure at all it is the best built Ultrabook / tablet on the market. I am a system engineer and use my pro 2 as my main laptop and it works fantastic. Windows 8.1 is a fantastic operating system - people just need to be willing to learn something new and different. You can do everything on win8.1 that you can do on 7

Dutchie64 said,

Mentioning the i5, you're talking about the Surface Pro.
That makes the first comments full of bulls***, as the Pro can run ALL Windows app.

Keep trolling, but not here please.


And you can still access the desktop control panel on Windows RT and thus have access to services and his precious group policies.

krobin said,
The surface is not a failure at all it is the best built Ultrabook / tablet on the market. I am a system engineer and use my pro 2 as my main laptop and it works fantastic. Windows 8.1 is a fantastic operating system - people just need to be willing to learn something new and different. You can do everything on win8.1 that you can do on 7

Just because you can do something doesn't mean people will choose to.

Surface is really a failure. Does it cost too much? Not the form factor people want? RT? Windows 8. If it's losing money then it's a failure.

siah1214 said,

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loss_leader

Amazon didn't make money for the first seven years of its existence. Care to rethink that statement?

The purpose of a loss leader is to draw customers to a product that actually makes money. And when people buy a Surface, can they buy one of many "money making" accessories? They can't, there aren't any.

Amazon and Surface are two completely different examples.

heatlesssun said,
You're forgetting the Windows Store.

Ding ding! He gets it. It's building an ecosystem. The surface is a gateway to the rest of the MS ecosystem: Xbox Music, Store apps, etc. etc.
Because of my Windows phone purchase 3 years ago, I signed up for Xbox Music, got a Surface, got an Xbox, got Office 365, signed up for Skydrive, etc. etc. Microsoft has gotten a lot more money from me just because one day I decided I would buy an HTC Trophy. That's how this stuff works.

siah1214 said,

Ding ding! He gets it. It's building an ecosystem. The surface is a gateway to the rest of the MS ecosystem: Xbox Music, Store apps, etc. etc.
Because of my Windows phone purchase 3 years ago, I signed up for Xbox Music, got a Surface, got an Xbox, got Office 365, signed up for Skydrive, etc. etc. Microsoft has gotten a lot more money from me just because one day I decided I would buy an HTC Trophy. That's how this stuff works.

I would say that besides using Windows OS a Xbox One or a WP phone could be characterized as a gateway to MS ecosystem much more than a Surface device. The latter would be more the cherry on top of the cake for someone already in it.

It's more than just the Windows Store, it's about trying to provoke OEMs to produce classy devices, rather than the same old boring plastic boxes they always produce. Part of Apple's splendour is their build quality. Look at the MB Air and look at what OEMs like Acer or Lenovo were peddling out as their devices, they look like cheap garbage in comparison.

Microsoft originally said they weren't producing them so they earn bucket loads of money, rather, they were designed to ignite a fire under OEMs to stop being lazy and producing garbage, and start focusing on build quality and attention to detail.
In a way, they're working towards that end.

siah1214 said,

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loss_leader

Amazon didn't make money for the first seven years of its existence. Care to rethink that statement?

People expect massive profits immediately nowadays. A solid business plan that spans more than 6 months isn't really an option nowadays it seems.

Also, don't forget MS was late to the current tablet market, and has to carve itself a place in there to move people away form iPads and Android.

The surface is not a failure at all it is the best built Ultrabook / tablet on the market. I am a system engineer and use my pro 2 as my main laptop and it works fantastic. Windows 8.1 is a fantastic operating system - people just need to be willing to learn something new and different. You can do everything on win8.1 that you can do on 7

siah1214 said,

Ding ding! He gets it. It's building an ecosystem. The surface is a gateway to the rest of the MS ecosystem: Xbox Music, Store apps, etc. etc.
Because of my Windows phone purchase 3 years ago, I signed up for Xbox Music, got a Surface, got an Xbox, got Office 365, signed up for Skydrive, etc. etc. Microsoft has gotten a lot more money from me just because one day I decided I would buy an HTC Trophy. That's how this stuff works.

Totally agree with you

Forget trying to make your bottom line profitable. Work hard on establishing the brand and improving customer satisfaction (most people I've talked to / posts I've read online, are quite satisfied with the devices). Not everything has to be about making billions and billions of gold coins.

The Surface is great, recognisable brand (among those that are aware of its existence) that stands for premium devices (yes, they are expensive, and that is an absolutely justified critique). Work to make it even better, don't let it slide away just because it is not making billions.

I used to have the iPad, the Galaxy Note tab, and now I own a Surface 2 and it's a lot more productive in my opinion. I have to be honest, do not expect a desktop pc performance, its a tablet, but the fact of running windows is a clear advantage, iOS needs a huge update in terms of functionality and multitasking.

I totally agree. I love my Surface 2 RT. It's quick, in a small form factor and the best of all, it's productive. Honestly, I'm not sure why hate it. It's great.

I have Surface 2 and I'm happy. (Before I had Asus Transformer, Samsung Galaxy Tab 2, Nook Color HD.) But I'm happy with Windows RT and tablet itself only. Everything else is WRONG! I dont want to by Type Cover for 130 Eur. 130 Eur for keyboard? LooL! I want to buy Power Cover even for 150 - but where this ^%&^%^$ cover? Microsoft promise it almost 1 year now. Where the wireles charger, where car charger? Nokia sell they tablets and smartphones with full range of accessories. MS sell onlly tablet, and think they will beat Apple on they field. Funny.

Had the original Transformer. Looking back, eh. Got a N7 and gave the Transformer to my mom since she mostly just reads books and plays simple games.

Vlad - you should have bought a Surface Pro 2 - granted it is more expensive and yes I agree they Microsoft should add the type cover for free with the purchase. Surface 2 is way to limiting because you can't install regular applications.

One of the reasons why I haven't purchased a Surface is price. It's still 699€ for the original Surface Pro, it's just too much for a tablet...

Seketh said,
One of the reasons why I haven't purchased a Surface is price. It's still 699€ for the original Surface Pro, it's just too much for a tablet...

It's a tablet/ultrabook in one. It has a Core i5 in it for crying out loud. My Surface Pro 2 was worth every penny.

Seketh said,
One of the reasons why I haven't purchased a Surface is price. It's still 699€ for the original Surface Pro, it's just too much for a tablet...

There's nothing else out there with a digitizer in that pricerange.

I agree people keep comparing the Surface Pro 2 the iPAD which is a joke - the Surface Pro2 is an Ultrabook that can be used as a tablet. The build quality is second to none and if runs perfectly because it was optimized by Microsoft. Microsoft got tired of vendors building garbage.

I'm also waiting on the price to go down. However if my desktop was to croak, I'm in at the current price.

For me I look at the RT and the iPad as toys. I'd end up giving either one to my 5 year old after getting tired of playing with it. I bought a Nexus 10 and after a year I just couldn't bring myself to do anything other than fun stuff.

Night Prowler said,
I'm also waiting on the price to go down. However if my desktop was to croak, I'm in at the current price.

For me I look at the RT and the iPad as toys. I'd end up giving either one to my 5 year old after getting tired of playing with it. I bought a Nexus 10 and after a year I just couldn't bring myself to do anything other than fun stuff.

Same here. Prices are too high across the surface line. They needed to be in that magical 200-300 range on the RT where the average income can buy it and pay their bills in 1 pay check. The Pro should be in the 2 paycheck cycle zone of $600-800.

I have a Surface Pro 2. It is a great device, but for serious work, you still need to plug it into a large monitor (I usually get tired of coding in it after a while).

sviola said,
I have a Surface Pro 2. It is a great device, but for serious work, you still need to plug it into a large monitor (I usually get tired of coding in it after a while).

Fortunately the Surface Pro not only enables that behaviour, but also promotes it. If you* don't look at it through the lens of "just a tablet", and instead look at it for what it is, and what its potential is, it's exceedingly powerful.

Use it at work with a dock/big screen, then pack it up, use it on the train on the way home to play games and do some reading, then sit on the couch in front of the TV or in your home office doing a bit of work. It covers all bases, and it does it well, if you let it.

*Generalisation, not you specifically.

Exactly. It's surprising how few people get this. When my SP2 is docked, it becomes a monitor to run my full-screen apps (of which there are many, don't be fooled), and my big screen runs my desktop, same as the last 20+ years of Windows. I've managed to transition, just not sure why so many others can't. If you don't dock your Surface, embrace it for what it is, a tablet. Just don't cut it short because touch is the future, adapt.

Nothing, because no matter how much people hate Windows 8, Windows 7 is unusable in a tablet. I speak from experience.

People seem to forget that fact...

Actually, we have several slate Samsung tablets at work I have not had time to install Win8 on and it works really well. But people could be opting for iOS or Android because they didn't like Win8

Yeah, no. I've been using convertibles and slates since Windows XP Tablet PC Edition and while 7 is a big improvement over XP and Vista, it doesn't even come close to the tablet experience in 8. The Start Menu is completely useless on a slate, and the whole experience is #### when compared to Windows 8.

I get that people could go to iOS. But Android? BlueStacks on Windows tablets, c'mon!

I said Win7 works well on the Slate...not that it was better And the Samsung Slates comes with a stylus and it is not hard to use the start menu with it at all.

Hated using the Start Menu with a stylus/touch combo to open an application. "Click > click > scroll with finger > click > clic.. oh crap opened readme.txt..."

I'll have the " swype > touch > swype > touch" process of Windows 8 every day.

Windows 7 doesn't work well. Not when compared to 8.

I am not comparing it to Win8. Just saying it works well and the Slates have Swype as well. Never had to double click an icon and you can setup it up for one click. Win7 has few tablet features in Programs/Features.

Yeah, Microsoft did their first true step to touch with Windows 7, it introduced some decent features,

But I can't seriously picture anyone trying Windows 8 on a slate and then going back to 7 and say "I'd rather have 7" with a straight face.

It's just not happening... Unless such person didn't even learned how to bring up the charms menu...

Seketh said,
Nothing, because no matter how much people hate Windows 8, Windows 7 is unusable in a tablet. I speak from experience.

People seem to forget that fact...


And speaking from experience I have used a Tablet since 2002, therefore with XP Tablet OS; later I used Vista, W7 and now W8 and while, obviously I would add, the experience kept improving with each release I never felt that even XP was "unusable". Actually with XP Tablet the biggest limitations were related to the hardware: a Toshiba 3505.

techbeck said,
I offered to upgrade a users Slate to Win8 and they refused. To each their own I guess.

But did those users have any idea what they were actually refusing?

Yea, she had Win8 at home. But really knowing what your missing doesnt matter to lots since lots base purchases off of looks first, function second or third.

But was it on a tablet? A group of rejecting something out of hand when they probably didn't know what it was that they we're rejecting doesn't really prove much.

Sure it does. Proves lots like looks first and based a lot of the decision on such. Informed or not, users dont have to use something in order to not like it. A lot of Apple's success is how their products look.

So they are uninformed idiots with lack of knowledge. Doesnt change the fact that lots based their purchases off of how something looks. Why I asked if the issue with Surfaces making MS money has to do with Win8.

But we're talking about a tablet. I don't know a lot of people that thought that Windows 7 ever "looked" good on a tablet. Just saying that some people refused to upgrade to an OS that would make the device work better as a tablet doesn't prove anything other than they either didn't understand the implications, don't use the devices much with touch or were otherwise misinformed about Windows 8.x, and that happens A LOT.

I never mentioned Win7 until you. I posed the question "I wonder how much of this has to do with people not liking Win8". Then you responded and assumed I meant they would prefer Windows 7 by saying it was unsable on a tablet . And then the convo went from there.

heatlesssun said,
Reread the thread, you bought up Windows 7 well before I did.

Sorry, is late long day. Still, my intial comment was pointed at Win8 and not Win7. And my point before where looks is an important reason why people by something.

Microsoft is pretty good at sticking it out and ironing out the problems then reaping in big rewards though. That tends to be how they do it. Just look at the XBOX and Bing...

MS screwed up in a few ways with the XBOX ONE. Almost like downgrading buying an X1. A new version of a product should not be missing popular features the previous version had.

techbeck said,
MS screwed up in a few ways with the XBOX ONE. Almost like downgrading buying an X1. A new version of a product should not be missing popular features the previous version had.

True, but they are working those out. From a programming standpoint this seems to be pretty different than the other xboxes. It still doesnt change the fact of my point though.

XBOX makes money now. They didnt sell xbox one at a loss. But when XBOX first came out they lost money. I think the same is true for Bing. Was operating at a loss. Now I think it makes money (or close to it).

techbeck said,
Yes, I know. Just a little bitter over no external drive support yet.

Its on the List, hold on to your undies ....
People are never happy with anything

I want this support as well, also i want 3D , but I know I got to wait

EvilAstroboy said,

Its on the List, hold on to your undies ....
People are never happy with anything

I want this support as well, also i want 3D , but I know I got to wait

I just want to say that for being next gen there are a lot of updates still left to be had for the xbox one to function at the next gen level. PS4 also, they cant escape it either. Once directx 12 gets rolled out to xbox one, watch out. Then it truly will be the next gen console.

But if you think the life span on consoles is like 5 years and then, if the xbox one takes 2 years to get next gen, thats 3 years left before xbox one II comes out. It just seems like its taking a while to get there...

EvilAstroboy said,

Its on the List, hold on to your undies ....
People are never happy with anything

I want this support as well, also i want 3D , but I know I got to wait

Gotta love these polite replies...

I would buy one, if the pro came down to rt prices, and rt went away. I mean if it had a video card in it I'd get it now, but with intel onboard it's not worth it to me.

SierraSonic said,
I would buy one, if the pro came down to rt prices, and rt went away. I mean if it had a video card in it I'd get it now, but with intel onboard it's not worth it to me.

Why don't they just give it away for free? Would that satisfy you?

siah1214 said,

Why don't they just give it away for free? Would that satisfy you?
It would, I'm sorry that you feel that paying $1000 doesn't at least include something slightly peppier than intel onboard video.

They should fully embrace intels new low power lineup, and include some decent gfx, that is worth $1000. They should offer RT for free, maybe the price of office and no more, anything else is pointless.

SierraSonic said,
It would, I'm sorry that you feel that paying $1000 doesn't at least include something slightly peppier than intel onboard video.

They should fully embrace intels new low power lineup, and include some decent gfx, that is worth $1000. They should offer RT for free, maybe the price of office and no more, anything else is pointless.


If you can find me an ultrabook with the Surface Pro's specs and anything other than Intel integrated graphics AND decent battery life, then you'll have a point. Otherwise you're just blowing smoke.

siah1214 said,

If you can find me an ultrabook with the Surface Pro's specs and anything other than Intel integrated graphics AND decent battery life, then you'll have a point. Otherwise you're just blowing smoke.
Who said I wanted an alternative? I'm am speaking for me, if it means buying what I consider a ###### deal, or waiting til what I want comes out, I'll wait. I do not consider this a buy, or must have.

Also: http://www.amazon.com/gp/produ...4872&seller=&sr=8-9

Shrink the screen 5 inches, add touch, same price.
Exchange 1tb HDD for SSD 128gb. Sameish price.
Core i5 instead of i7, save money.
Remove multimedia disc drive, save money.
ETC.

Edited by SierraSonic, Apr 29 2014, 11:40pm :

I understand why people think they're "pricey"... because they are. But I don't think they're "over-priced"... in the sense that you're getting a premium device. Surface RT is a beautiful & well-built piece of hardware and deserves a premium price. It also leaves room for OEMs (building less premium devices) to make a buck off of their devices. Furthermore, the Surface Pro is also worth the price... because it's really an ultrabook... but in tablet form factor. Again, it's worth the price... on paper, at least.

The reality is that both Surface tablets are premium devices designed to push the OEMs to build equally premium devices (as well as lower-end ones). I'm not sure Microsoft needs, wants, or expects for the Surfaces to be the best-selling Windows tablets... so long as other Windows tablets & hybrids are selling. It's probably enough for Microsoft to break even on the Surfaces... so long as it's leading the OEMs to step up and produce better hardware--which they are.

SierraSonic said,
Who said I wanted an alternative? I'm am speaking for me, if it means buying what I consider a ###### deal, or waiting til what I want comes out, I'll wait. I do not consider this a buy, or must have.

Also: http://www.amazon.com/G53JW-XA...p;sr=8-1&keywords=G53Jw

Shrink the screen 5 inches, add touch, same price.
Exchange 500gb HDD for SSD 128gb. Sameish price.
Core i5 instead of i7, save money.
Remove multimedia disc drive, save money.
ETC.

Haha you're honestly comparing the Surface Pro to THAT thing?

mrp04 said,

Haha you're honestly comparing the Surface Pro to THAT thing?

I'm comparing specs to price, not form-factor, etc. I also edited my link with a more comparable gaming laptop.

SierraSonic said,
I would buy one, if the pro came down to rt prices, and rt went away. I mean if it had a video card in it I'd get it now, but with intel onboard it's not worth it to me.

You are under estimating how much Intel HD graphics have caught up to both NVidia and AMD GPUs, especially if you factor in the power consumption.

For many years I hated systems that used Intel GPUs, then things started to change and have improved markedly with the HD2000/3000/4000/5000. The HD4000/5000 series can be used for 99% of games even if you have to pull the quality settings down.

Sadly users overlook this and will buy a notebook with AMD/NVidia GPUs and assume they are 'always' faster, which isn't true with lower end NVidia and AMD GPUs.

It used to be true that any discrete/dedicated/APU GPU option would be faster than Intel, but no longer.

Of course Intel isn't building high end gaming GPUs, but they get the job done and can do it on even a tablet with several hours of battery life, which is an acceptable trade off.

And yes a Surface Pro 2 can run all versions of Crysis. ;)

SierraSonic said,
It would, I'm sorry that you feel that paying $1000 doesn't at least include something slightly peppier than intel onboard video.

I think for many people that look at the Surface Pro, the fact that the keyboard doesn't come with it makes people shy away from it. For the price, the Lenovo Yoga has sold quite well when people are exploring their options.

i5 processor 4th gen / 4gb RAM / 128GB SSD / slightly bigger screen at the 11.6" / 7½ hr battery life / has tablet-like form factor when desired, more ports, and comes with the keyboard... $799 is a hard price to pass up by the time you consider $999 + $129 Type Cover...

The pen functionality is cool and all (arguably the main reason why I'd love to have one), but I feel it really doesn't represent what most people will want or ask for. :/

Mobius Enigma said,

You are under estimating how much Intel HD graphics have caught up to both NVidia and AMD GPUs, especially if you factor in the power consumption.

For many years I hated systems that used Intel GPUs, then things started to change and have improved markedly with the HD2000/3000/4000/5000. The HD4000/5000 series can be used for 99% of games even if you have to pull the quality settings down.

Sadly users overlook this and will buy a notebook with AMD/NVidia GPUs and assume they are 'always' faster, which isn't true with lower end NVidia and AMD GPUs.

It used to be true that any discrete/dedicated/APU GPU option would be faster than Intel, but no longer.

Of course Intel isn't building high end gaming GPUs, but they get the job done and can do it on even a tablet with several hours of battery life, which is an acceptable trade off.

And yes a Surface Pro 2 can run all versions of Crysis. ;)

What? Intel HD caught up to AMD's iGPU's? LOL! Where are you getting your info from? HD4000 and 5000 can barely do 30 fps on low settings even now whilist AMD's offerings are going for 50 on medium-high.

SierraSonic said,
I'm comparing specs to price, not form-factor, etc. I also edited my link with a more comparable gaming laptop.

What people keep forgetting in this, is that the Surface Pro has a full working digitizer, like a Wacom Cintiq. MASSIVE difference in usability.

Dutchie64 said,

What people keep forgetting in this, is that the Surface Pro has a full working digitizer, like a Wacom Cintiq. MASSIVE difference in usability.

Great, that features extra to me and not required. So to me it adds $0 to the value.

Dutchie64 said,
What people keep forgetting in this, is that the Surface Pro has a full working digitizer, like a Wacom Cintiq. MASSIVE difference in usability.

And that's why I mentioned that, even though I'd LOVE to have that, I know many people don't really care and would rather opt to have a keyboard come with it over the digitizer.

dead.cell said,

And that's why I mentioned that, even though I'd LOVE to have that, I know many people don't really care and would rather opt to have a keyboard come with it over the digitizer.
I'd prefer an iGPU over both, though I will be getting the power cover with my purchase if I get a SP3.

SierraSonic said,
Great, that features extra to me and not required. So to me it adds $0 to the value.

Then the Surface Pro is simply not targeted at you…

MFH said,

Then the Surface Pro is simply not targeted at you…

You're right I need a device thats not the rt, and slightly different from the pro.

SierraSonic said,

You're right I need a device thats not the rt, and slightly different from the pro.

Good thing for you that MS is not the only manufacturer for Windows tablets… :D

MFH said,

Good thing for you that MS is not the only manufacturer for Windows tablets… :D
Problem is no other manufacture has anything close, all I need is a decent iGPU, and a lower price.

Microsoft really did things wrong in how they both designed and marketed Windows RT. It is essentially a cut down version of Windows akin to iOS or Android however it kinda-tries-to-work like regular Windows. This just confuses the consumer. Also, and I know this gets mentioned all the time, it needs the apps and games that consumers want if that is going to be the only way to get things installed on the device. Microsoft were late to the party and are still paying for it.

I agree that calling their mobile OS "Windows" confused people. They should've called RT something else--maybe, "Modern OS" or "Mobile OS"--and marketed it as running "Microsoft services" like OneDrive, Office, Xbox Music, etc. PLUS many of your favorite mobile apps.

At this point, I think most people have figured it out... but that's after A LOT of bad press.

Can Microsoft recover? Yes, and they will (most likely). I don't think it's too late... yet.

bithush said,
Microsoft really did things wrong in how they both designed and marketed Windows RT. It is essentially a cut down version of Windows akin to iOS or Android however it kinda-tries-to-work like regular Windows. This just confuses the consumer. .

I'm not so sure consumer were confused. I'm wondering if their reactions were not instead : "Hey microsoft, you are trying to fool us ? I do not buy".

I think the main problem with Windows RT is that it's an intentionally hamstrung OS instead of being simply Windows 8 for ARM. If Microsoft hadn't restricted third-party developer access to everything except modern UI the platform would have been so much better. Want Java? Nope. Want a third-party VPN client? Nope. Want (fill in the blank) non-Microsoft windows desktop app? Nope.

Without that restriction I expect many currently supported windows applications would have been recompiled for Windows on ARM. The list of recompiled open source apps is already rather impressive, for those that run the jailbreak. I wouldn't have purchased my Surface RT were it not for the jailbreak.

bithush said,
Microsoft really did things wrong in how they both designed and marketed Windows RT. It is essentially a cut down version of Windows akin to iOS or Android however it kinda-tries-to-work like regular Windows. This just confuses the consumer. Also, and I know this gets mentioned all the time, it needs the apps and games that consumers want if that is going to be the only way to get things installed on the device.

Agreed. I have some family members who are not 'tech savvy' and own a Surface 2. When they asked me 'why cant I install apps that I used to have on my old laptop' I had to explain it to them and that didn't really go over well. "If its not in the app store then you simply cannot install it" which kinda sucks. So if you want to install apps that you cannot find in the store, it is a better choice to go with the Surface Pro 2.

Totally agree with you there.

Does anyone else think Microsoft wouldn't be facing this issue if they had not killed the Courier Tablet?