Microsoft Surface RT 32GB has ~20 GB of free storage

Microsoft is continuing its Surface PR train today and is currently answering questions on Reddit about the new Surface RT which you can now pre-order

One of the questions that was unknown until this AMA was how much free storage would be available to consumers after Windows RT is installed along with Office and the default apps? Ricardo Lopez, Test Manager for Surface RT has indicated that after all of that software (which comes pre-loaded) is installed, consumers will have more than 20 GBs of free storage available. Additionally, with the SD card slot, you can add additional capacity but it can only be used for music, photos, movies; you cannot install Windows 8 apps directly to the SD card.

So, if you were worried that Windows RT would consume too much storage space and that 32GBs would not be enough for your needs, ~20GBs of storage should suffice for most users. 

If you have any questions that you would like to ask the Surface team, make sure to head over to Reddit (link below) as they team will likely respond to you if you ask an insightful question.

Source: Reddit

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Out of the box I'd expect roughly the following:

- Office 2013 RT
- IE 10 w/ Flash support
- E-mail Client (Not outlook)
- Messaging/Facebook/Twitter integration
- Bing Search/Weather/Maps/etc
- Calendar
- Xbox Gaming Hub w/ maybe a token game or 2

What apps are installed when you first get the iPad? I was wondering to get a real sense of how much space the Surface OS is actually taking using. If the iPad only has a few apps and you have to immediately start downloading apps then what is available out of the box is not relevant at all. 20 GB of free space seems small but if you have all the main functionality already before downloading anything then this discussion seems moot!

"...you cannot install Windows 8 apps directly to the SD card."

And, this is where Android has it beat, providing you've rooted your device, then you can use the various app to sd apps, although, there are some apps out there that do in fact install directly to the sd.

Asrokhel said,
"...you cannot install Windows 8 apps directly to the SD card."

And, this is where Android has it beat, providing you've rooted your device, then you can use the various app to sd apps, although, there are some apps out there that do in fact install directly to the sd.

but are SD cards treated as hot-pluggable devices or expandable storage?

Asrokhel said,
"...you cannot install Windows 8 apps directly to the SD card."

And, this is where Android has it beat, providing you've rooted your device, then you can use the various app to sd apps, although, there are some apps out there that do in fact install directly to the sd.

apps don't take much room. media does. android has nothing beat other than itself.

spy beef said,
20 gb is not enough for my SolidWorks, Orcad, and Xilinx ISE installs; can I buy off the shelf SSD and install it?

Looks like it's going to have what most Ultrabooks have which is the chips built onto the mobo. OR a m-sata card.

spy beef said,
20 gb is not enough for my SolidWorks, Orcad, and Xilinx ISE installs; can I buy off the shelf SSD and install it?

and you expect to install on that on an RT tablet anyways?

primexx said,

and you expect to install on that on an RT tablet anyways?

It can easily be done. Clone the SSD and put it onto a larger SSD. In theory as long as there are perfect conditions such as it being M-SATA and DRM free it should be simple enough.

primexx said,

and you expect to install on that on an RT tablet anyways?

Exactly. Windows store apps only.
There is a remote desktop app in the store already, so you can remote to your old win x box to run those legacy tools.

djdanster said,

It can easily be done. Clone the SSD and put it onto a larger SSD. In theory as long as there are perfect conditions such as it being M-SATA and DRM free it should be simple enough.

sorry, winRT doesn't support x86 apps. better luck with an surface pro.

neonspark said,

sorry, winRT doesn't support x86 apps. better luck with an surface pro.

Who said it had to be within the Windows environment?

spy beef said,
20 gb is not enough for my SolidWorks, Orcad, and Xilinx ISE installs; can I buy off the shelf SSD and install it?

Windows RT is not a real Windows (desktop version) but Windows- CE in disguise.

At face value this looks bad but I'd like to see what apps it comes pre loaded with before I pass judgement.

MeltedMacaroni said,
Simply dead on arrival.

I'm sure the Microsoft fanboys will jump all over this.
I expect zune diehards will adopt it.
Other than that, I don't know who the intended consumer is for this product.

OK but if you have the Skydrive app installed it automatically downloads your Skydrive folder to your hard drive and I have 20gb,s already so I don't see this working on a 32gb ssd.

Alec Lunsford said,
OK but if you have the Skydrive app installed it automatically downloads your Skydrive folder to your hard drive and I have 20gb,s already so I don't see this working on a 32gb ssd.

Get an SD card and send it all there?

Also, the WinRT app for Skydrive is more like the WP App than the Win7 app

Alec Lunsford said,
OK but if you have the Skydrive app installed it automatically downloads your Skydrive folder to your hard drive and I have 20gb,s already so I don't see this working on a 32gb ssd.

this is RT. you will not be able to install the desktop app for syncing.

Sraf said,
Also, the WinRT app for Skydrive is more like the WP App than the Win7 app

Actually, it's more like the Windows 8 app which is similar but unique from the WP7 app.

grayscale said,
this is RT. you will not be able to install the desktop app for syncing.

But you can install the Modern Skydrive app from the store which does the same thing.

deadonthefloor said,

Actually, it's more like the Windows 8 app which is similar but unique from the WP7 app.


But you can install the Modern Skydrive app from the store which does the same thing.


It does not. It accesses SkyDrive from the cloud. No syncing. Are you even running Windows 8? Try and use that without internet connection.

Alec Lunsford said,
OK but if you have the Skydrive app installed it automatically downloads your Skydrive folder to your hard drive and I have 20gb,s already so I don't see this working on a 32gb ssd.

WRONG you can't install skydrive desktop app variants and the metro skydrive does NOT download stuff this way.

MsftGaurav said,
Sure it will be in the beginning but not over time.

over time for what
20 GB for RT apps, and basically unlimited space for media seems enough any imaginable over time to me.

MsftGaurav said,
Sure it will be in the beginning but not over time.

what this a file server? get real. 20GB is more than sufficient. and if you need more, slap an sd card for an extra 128GB.

HawkMan said,

over time for what
20 GB for RT apps, and basically unlimited space for media seems enough any imaginable over time to me.

Over time for the OS servicing stack which gobbles up disk space in Windows 7/8/Vista.

MsftGaurav said,

Over time for the OS servicing stack which gobbles up disk space in Windows 7/8/Vista.

Ah, another one who doesn't know how WinSXS works. Sorry, but that's not how it works, and it doesn't grow like that, especially not the RT version. in fact the only reason RT takes that much space is probably because full refresh is included.

Can't compare the iPad since it doesn't have any office suites out the gate. The three office type of apps amounts to about 900MB for keynote, numbers, and pages.

mrmomoman said,
Can't compare the iPad since it doesn't have any office suites out the gate. The three office type of apps amounts to about 900MB for keynote, numbers, and pages.

Actually office Pro is around 600MB and the Surface does not have a full Office suite.

"So, if you were worried that Windows RT would consumer too much storage space and that 32GBs would not be enough for your needs, ~20GBs of storage should suffice for most users. "

It should be "CONSUME" NOT "CONSUMER"

BeingHitesh said,
"So, if you were worried that Windows RT would consumer too much storage space and that 32GBs would not be enough for your needs, ~20GBs of storage should suffice for most users. "

It should be "CONSUME" NOT "CONSUMER"


You shouldn't be so worked up about this (caps) and at the same time not care at all about the most effective way of fixing this ("report a problem with this article" link)

GS:mac

Glassed Silver said,

You shouldn't be so worked up about this (caps) and at the same time not care at all about the most effective way of fixing this ("report a problem with this article" link)

GS:mac

Not worked up at all. It's to draw attention that's all, but thank you for telling me there is a way to repot it. Didn't know that. So Relax. Breathe in, breathe out

whats the maximum sized micro sd card it can take? As you can get 64gb micro sd cards on ebay for £40 also I may be wrong but cant the USB slot be used as extra storage. Again you can get tiny 32gb USB drive that are only a few mm thick. I think overall the storage capacity is great.

Richard Cousins said,
whats the maximum sized micro sd card it can take? As you can get 64gb micro sd cards on ebay for £40 also I may be wrong but cant the USB slot be used as extra storage. Again you can get tiny 32gb USB drive that are only a few mm thick. I think overall the storage capacity is great.

It can take SDXC, assuming full compatibility with that spec, it can take up to 2TB per card

If it is an SDXC slot then you will be able to use cards up to 2 TB. Granted, cards that large don't exist yet, but capacities will continue to increase over time and the machine should be able to take advantage of that.

CJEric said,
Anyone know how that compares to a 32GB iPad when you take it out of the box?

A 32GB iOS device will have over 28GB usable.

rk594 said,
A 32GB iOS device will have over 28GB usable.

Thanks! I'm surprised there's such a difference there. In case of the RT, that's almost 40% of the space already taken up by the system. On the other hand, you have a microSD slot, so it might not be a big deal after all.

BeingHitesh said,

True, but RT comes with office. So have to think about that as well.


Yeah, but how much does that take up?

Surely it's all legitimately used, I wonder whether you can uninstall Office though?

GS:mac

Glassed Silver said,

Yeah, but how much does that take up?

Surely it's all legitimately used, I wonder whether you can uninstall Office though?

GS:mac

Not sure dude. I am holding off until I read some reviews and get a opportunity to play with it. Regardless, I would rather get the intel than arm.

BeingHitesh said,

Not sure dude. I am holding off until I read some reviews and get a opportunity to play with it. Regardless, I would rather get the intel than arm.


If I were to buy one, I'd much prefer the x86 one, too.

GS:mac

BeingHitesh said,

True, but RT comes with office. So have to think about that as well.

What could be the size of the Office Edition installed? 300MB? It is not a full Office Suite...

CJEric said,
Anyone know how that compares to a 32GB iPad when you take it out of the box?

There is no SD slot on the iPad. Just get a 32GB microSDHC for $20 or a 64GB microSDXC for $60 and you'll have more storage than is offered on the iPad for far less money.

I think the fact it has a microSD slot would put any fears of this to rest early on. If you can just swap in different cards with your content as needed then there's no problems IMO.

GP007 said,
I think the fact it has a microSD slot would put any fears of this to rest early on. If you can just swap in different cards with your content as needed then there's no problems IMO.

Apple are shooting themselves in the foot by not offering a MicroSD slot, but this is a deliberate marketing ploy so the fanboys will buy the next best model. All Android devices I've seen, and now the Surface have one, which makes it expandable giving it a longer lifespan.

@Livin in a box: It isn't really wrong as it happens with hard drives. You don't get the advertised capacity actually "usable", in the Surface's case most of the non-user accessible 12GB is probably reserved for Windows 8 and other system stuff.

I'm looking forward to the Surface and will get one, I will never give Apple money for their crap marketing 'suing to get to the top' tactics and to have to upgrade every time Apple stop support after a year when a new product comes out playing catch-up to the rest of the industry.

Tidosho said,

All Android devices I've seen, and now the Surface have one, which makes it expandable giving it a longer lifespan.

Nexus 7 doesn't have one, or have you never seen one?

Tidosho said,

....and to have to upgrade every time Apple stop support after a year when a new product comes out playing catch-up to the rest of the industry

Like what? Apple haven't stopped supporting anything after a year, or did you mean to say MS with WP7?

Tidosho said,

Apple are shooting themselves in the foot by not offering a MicroSD slot, but this is a deliberate marketing ploy so the fanboys will buy the next best model. All Android devices I've seen, and now the Surface have one, which makes it expandable giving it a longer lifespan.

@Livin in a box: It isn't really wrong as it happens with hard drives. You don't get the advertised capacity actually "usable", in the Surface's case most of the non-user accessible 12GB is probably reserved for Windows 8 and other system stuff.

I'm looking forward to the Surface and will get one, I will never give Apple money for their crap marketing 'suing to get to the top' tactics and to have to upgrade every time Apple stop support after a year when a new product comes out playing catch-up to the rest of the industry.

Apple is doing just fine without microSD slots. They don't put them on there because their userbase has shown that they are willing to pay $100 more for an extra 16GB of storage and then another $100 over than for another 32GB. 48GB of flash storage doesn't cost anywhere near $200 but their users are willing to pay that much.

The people in charge wouldn't be doing their job if they included a microSD slot because then people would opt for the 16GB model.

JudasI said,

Like what? Apple haven't stopped supporting anything after a year, or did you mean to say MS with WP7?

Hmm yes.. After a year you couldn't get the new iOS' on the first iPad and WP7 is still being supported by MS.. it's called WP7.8. I think Steve Job's crotch is blinding your vision

So that's 11 articles about the Surface today...wow.

So basically, Microsoft are advertising a 32GB tablet and then the consumer opens it, only to see ~20GB remaining? Isn't that a bit...I don't know, wrong?

This is the same for iPad and other tablets. The OS does take up space. Office 2013 is also installed so there goes at least another 500mb of space.

Livin in a box said,
So that's 11 articles about the Surface today...wow.

So basically, Microsoft are advertising a 32GB tablet and then the consumer opens it, only to see ~20GB remaining? Isn't that a bit...I don't know, wrong?

My iPad is 16GB, but only has 13GB capacity. Yes, the WinRT OS takes up more space than iOS, but I have not seen anyone claiming Apple is misleading the consumer. Besides, there is usually small print on the box about 1GB = 1,000,000,000 bytes, space taken by the OS, etc.

Livin in a box said,
So that's 11 articles about the Surface today...wow.

So basically, Microsoft are advertising a 32GB tablet and then the consumer opens it, only to see ~20GB remaining? Isn't that a bit...I don't know, wrong?

Same thing as OEMs claiming there's a 500GB HDD in their PC/Laptop when that's before install or formatting.

Livin in a box said,
So that's 11 articles about the Surface today...wow.

So basically, Microsoft are advertising a 32GB tablet and then the consumer opens it, only to see ~20GB remaining? Isn't that a bit...I don't know, wrong?

A bit of space would be used for formatting and that pesky GB vs GiB thing (Windows reports in GiB listed as GB, storage space is always sold as GB)

I'm trying to figure out how much exactly

Livin in a box said,
So that's 11 articles about the Surface today...wow.

So basically, Microsoft are advertising a 32GB tablet and then the consumer opens it, only to see ~20GB remaining? Isn't that a bit...I don't know, wrong?


dude, everyone does this.
besides, you have to remember that office 2013 is also installed on there when you buy one.

Livin in a box said,
So that's 11 articles about the Surface today...wow.

So basically, Microsoft are advertising a 32GB tablet and then the consumer opens it, only to see ~20GB remaining? Isn't that a bit...I don't know, wrong?

Bit different when you're losing close to half. Plus while Android/iOS apps can run into the larger figures the majority hover around a few MB, this simply isn't so with Windows programs. Then there are things like the WinSXS folder which grows with every update. All in all actual 'Media' space, the actual point of the device, is fairly limited.

aviator189 said,

dude, everyone does this.
besides, you have to remember that office 2013 is also installed on there when you buy one.
I am fully aware that everyone does this, when I buy an 32GB SD card I accept about 29GB of it is going to be usable, and when I get my Nexus I don't expect to be able to use 16GB.

But losing almost half of that storage space on it seems a bit much, and I know for us it seems obvious because we're tech enthusiasts but the large majority of consumers don't know about this at all. That's what I mean.

Hollow.Droid said,

Bit different when you're losing close to half. Plus while Android/iOS apps can run into the larger figures the majority hover around a few MB, this simply isn't so with Windows programs. Then there are things like the WinSXS folder which grows with every update. All in all actual 'Media' space, the actual point of the device, is fairly limited.

Don't forget that this is the Surface RT, so it can't use the traditional larger apps, but will have smaller RT apps

Livin in a box said,
So that's 11 articles about the Surface today...wow.

So basically, Microsoft are advertising a 32GB tablet and then the consumer opens it, only to see ~20GB remaining? Isn't that a bit...I don't know, wrong?

I bought a 1TB external HDD. Turns out it only has 932GB. Man I should complain and sue them right?

greenwizard88 said,
Not at all. What computing device - any, in all of the world - lists 32gigs and has 32gigs of usable space?

The % of space filled on the surface the worst we've ever seen, over a third full on arrival is rubbish.

thealexweb said,

The % of space filled on the surface ***32GB*** the worst we've ever seen, over a third full on arrival is rubbish.

Fixed that for you.
The 64GB one would not be 1/3rd full, but instead 1/5th.

Heck I don't think I can get XP and Office 2007 installed in 12GB with all the updates so what is everyone fussing about?

cybertimber2008 said,
Fixed that for you.
The 64GB one would not be 1/3rd full, but instead 1/5th.

Heck I don't think I can get XP and Office 2007 installed in 12GB with all the updates so what is everyone fussing about?

Windows RT has and office 2013 RT have a lot of features and apps stripped out, it's surprising it still needs 12(ish)GB

Livin in a box said,
So that's 11 articles about the Surface today...wow.

So basically, Microsoft are advertising a 32GB tablet and then the consumer opens it, only to see ~20GB remaining? Isn't that a bit...I don't know, wrong?

So, you think they should've built a 44GB hard drive for the Surface, just to leave 32GB of free space left?

thealexweb said,

The % of space filled on the surface the worst we've ever seen, over a third full on arrival is rubbish.


Yeah but... What're you gonna fill the space up with? RT applications are gonna be lightweight, no massive 8GB games or anything for RT, office files are relatively small, there's no WMP so forget music (I'm assuming there will be an app for that or it's the metro edition or something). So all in all, 20GB to fill up with....?

Livin in a box said,
So that's 11 articles about the Surface today...wow.

So basically, Microsoft are advertising a 32GB tablet and then the consumer opens it, only to see ~20GB remaining? Isn't that a bit...I don't know, wrong?

what?, it is the SAME with everything including the ipad. get a clue.

neonspark said,

what?, it is the SAME with everything including the ipad. get a clue.

I have a 32GB iPad and mine reports it can take 26GB of files.

Hollow.Droid said,

... Then there are things like the WinSXS folder which grows with every update. All in all actual 'Media' space, the actual point of the device, is fairly limited.

WinSXS is 'side-by-side'. Since there's not 64bit info you won't have to worry about that.

thealexweb said,

The % of space filled on the surface the worst we've ever seen, over a third full on arrival is rubbish.

You want to know why? Its because your getting a feature packed and fully fledged OS unlike other tablet OSs which are watered down and feature limited piles of crap which are only backed up by a solid ecosystem.

Win8 RT = Full OS
iOS = Win/10 ---------> Hence the OS being of less space

See?

ingramator said,

You want to know why? Its because your getting a feature packed and fully fledged OS unlike other tablet OSs which are watered down and feature limited piles of crap which are only backed up by a solid ecosystem.

Win8 RT = Full OS
iOS = Win/10 ---------> Hence the OS being of less space

See?


Windows RT is not full. It's cut down to tablet needed functionality.

It picks up so much space due to WinSxS that was introduced in Windows 6.0. But in my opinion you don't need it in WinRT. They should cut it off as well.

coth said,

Windows RT is not full. It's cut down to tablet needed functionality.

It picks up so much space due to WinSxS that was introduced in Windows 6.0. But in my opinion you don't need it in WinRT. They should cut it off as well.


I really doubt WinSXS can be a problem in WIndows RT.

What makes any Windows so "bloated" are hidden files like the hiberfil.sys and pagefile.sys that can take both until 4Gb of disk sapce for a device with 2Gb of RAM like the Surface RT.
If those numbers they are saying are true, and you disable hibernate and swap files, Windows RT would take 5Gb of disk with Office 2013 (and full backup MSOCache) included, which is awesome.

Jygoro said,

I really doubt WinSXS can be a problem in WIndows RT.

What makes any Windows so "bloated" are hidden files like the hiberfil.sys and pagefile.sys that can take both until 4Gb of disk sapce for a device with 2Gb of RAM like the Surface RT.
If those numbers they are saying are true, and you disable hibernate and swap files, Windows RT would take 5Gb of disk with Office 2013 (and full backup MSOCache) included, which is awesome.

There are no hiberfil and pagefile on SSD even with Windows 7. Because they kills SSD very quick. There would be mo MSOCache because it's on Windows x86. Windows RT is limited to M. UI framework only.

coth said,

There are no hiberfil and pagefile on SSD even with Windows 7. Because they kills SSD very quick. There would be mo MSOCache because it's on Windows x86. Windows RT is limited to M. UI framework only.


You may be right with SSD, as I have not seen Win7/win8 on it yet., But I'm sure the MSOCache is still there as it's needed for repair Office even on ARM. Anyway we will see the details in 10 days.

So there is still a chance of filling up your surface tablet and NOT having room left for programs.

Is this a windows 8 rt limitation or a limitation on the surface itself?

majortom1981 said,
So there is still a chance of filling up your surface tablet and NOT having room left for programs.

Is this a windows 8 rt limitation or a limitation on the surface itself?

wat

LOL.

At least the Surface has SDXC support so you can add up to 64GB of expandable memory without having to buy the more expensive model. 32GB cards are super cheap now too (under $20).

majortom1981 said,
So there is still a chance of filling up your surface tablet and NOT having room left for programs.

Is this a windows 8 rt limitation or a limitation on the surface itself?

You can fill up any finite storage medium and not having room left for programs...

majortom1981 said,
So there is still a chance of filling up your surface tablet and NOT having room left for programs.

o.o

you realize that even if it had like a 100 TB hard drive there would "still [be] a chance of filling up your surface tablet and NOT having room left for programs," right?


Is this a windows 8 rt limitation or a limitation on the surface itself?

it's a AFAWK-there's-no-such-thing-as-limitless-storage limit

majortom1981 said,
So there is still a chance of filling up your surface tablet and NOT having room left for programs.

Is this a windows 8 rt limitation or a limitation on the surface itself?

it is a limitation of your wallet sir.