Microsoft to hold low key Surface Pro launch event in NYC

For the launch of both Windows 8 and the Windows RT version of the Surface tablet in October, Microsoft went all out with a big press event in New York City, which was later followed up that same day by a massive public event in Times Square that also marked the opening of the Microsoft Store in that landmark location.

By contrast, the launch of the Windows 8 Pro version of the Surface tablet will be handled with a much more low key event. ZDNet.com reports that Microsoft will hold an invite-only reception in New York City on February 8th, where the lucky guests will be able to buy the tablet a few hours before it officially goes on sale to the public on February 9th. The reception will not be open to the press.

Microsoft will then hold the formal public launch event at the Best Buy store located in NYC's Union Square just before midnight on February 9th. As we reported earlier this week, Microsoft has now closed its massive Times Square location for its Microsoft Store, which was previously designated as a "holiday store".

With 10 days to go before the launch of the Surface Pro, Microsoft has still not indicated that it will offer people a chance to pre-order the tablet before the launch date.

Source: ZDNet.com | Image via ZDNet.com

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ASUS, Dell, and Lenovo all get it... convertibles are an amazing extension in personal computing. Critics stuck in iPad hell can't get their heads around the concept that you no longer need to carry your iPad and MacBook Pro... the Win8 convertible does it all. The ASUS VivoTab with Win8 Pro, 12" IPS+ display uses the Intel Z2760 dual-core CPU for 8hrs on battery, while the Surface Pro (also made by ASUS), slides a i5 to up the performance specs but takes a hit on battery life. Like the desktop pc and notebook before it, lots of room for diversity in this new ecosystem.

Yes I understand some peoples frustrations in terms of battery life (like me) however the fact is that there is a full blown Intel processor in there, which will allow you to install anything you want....that for the time being is the trade off until Haswell is out. It has USB 3.0, and SD expansion so if your crying about storage space at least its expandable. People are too concerned with the cons of this product.

i wouldn't mind one, but a tablet without 3G (or better), it's not a 'real' tablet... i still need to carry around a wifi-to-3g, making this tablet not as good as it could be...

every tablet can be better.
but this tablet will at least give you options with its usb ports.
so, if you want 3g, you can add a 3g usb dongle.

yes, that works, but defeat the point of having a tablet if i need to carry around "optionals" to just get it to work as one. Or better, for my own, i would need a 3G so to have connectivity doesn't matter where i'm, so having a dongle or something else, it's not as good as incorporate, because it's just another bothering thing that get broken/lost/forgotten

AlexMagik said,
i wouldn't mind one, but a tablet without 3G (or better), it's not a 'real' tablet... i still need to carry around a wifi-to-3g, making this tablet not as good as it could be...

Rumor is that a w 3G/4G/LTE version is "coming soon".

tom street said,
every tablet can be better.
but this tablet will at least give you options with its usb ports.
so, if you want 3g, you can add a 3g usb dongle.

And then you no longer have a free usb port for peripherals, rendering the usb support useless in case you're on the go. I don't think I understand the omission of 3G support. In 2013, tablets come with LTE... And are designed for mobility.

What exactly is the problem with a low key launch, will that be the only opportunity to buy one? As long as they advertise it effectively once its available there's no need to go having a huge event that the mainstream press will only bash anyway.

Proof is in the pudding as they say . Low key launch of a over priced tablet that runs a full windows 8 .

I'm telling you this product is done before its launched .

Microsoft had its chance with $499 but killed any chance by shipping it with ARM and windows RT.

TurboShrimp said,
Proof is in the pudding as they say . Low key launch of a over priced tablet that runs a full windows 8 .

I'm telling you this product is done before its launched .

Microsoft had its chance with $499 but killed any chance by shipping it with ARM and windows RT.

The big launch in October was about Windows 8, rather than Surface line. Microsoft is still a software company, with very limited hardware portfolio.

Additionally, the Surface RT was the first PC directly produced by MS and more akin to consumer market, thus the importance of providing more exposure.

The PRo is a product for business market first, given the usage and cost.

Also, I expect very limited availability just like happened with RT, US market only at the beginning. Not exactly thw condition for a consumer device launch such as an iPad or a Galaxy S3

There's no point in educating TurboShrimp. He's been trolling every Surface article with the same nonsense in spite of any valid arguments raised.

Out of the 64GB it should? Absolutely no device on the market offers the '64GB it should'.

Just format it and re-install Windows 8. Then you'll probably have about 47GB free.

You obviously didn't do your research. That's due to the recovery partition. If you don't want that, remove it and create your own recovery disk with a DVD or USB key. Then you'll get most of the GB back.

BoredBozirini said,
A tablet I have to bother with reinstalling the OS in order to get the advertised space? No thanks, why even bother.

There's no reinstalling the OS. It simply offers you an option of recovery the space lost by putting the recovery partition on a USB drive. Where did you get the idea that you have to reinstall the OS?

KevinN206 said,

There's no reinstalling the OS. It simply offers you an option of recovery the space lost by putting the recovery partition on a USB drive. Where did you get the idea that you have to reinstall the OS?

In order to get rid of that crap Office trial, all the extra apps, and the recovery partition, its easier to just reinstall. That said, I should not have to do it if I'm spending $900+ on a tablet. I guess its the iPad for me, Microsoft dropped the ball hard.

BoredBozirini said,

In order to get rid of that crap Office trial, all the extra apps, and the recovery partition, its easier to just reinstall. That said, I should not have to do it if I'm spending $900+ on a tablet. I guess its the iPad for me, Microsoft dropped the ball hard.

Actually, Microsoft doesn't add extra apps to the computers they sell. From what I remember, they call this 'Microsoft Signature'. So you're right, you don't have to do this. And deleting the recovery partition isn't hard. It's useful to have for some people, though.

But if you want a limited device, go ahead and get an iPad. You obviously made up your mind long ago. Anyway, if an iPad is good enough to meet your needs, you should be looking at a Surface RT instead of a Surface Pro.

BoredBozirini said
Does it still offer 23GB out of the 64GB it should? No wonder this is low key.
You should probably do your research next time.. The OS is obviously going to take up some room + the recovery partition.

BoredBozirini said
A tablet I have to bother with re-installing the OS in order to get the advertised space? No thanks, why even bother.
That alone tells me you don't have a clue about what you're talking about.. You don't have to re-install the OS (really..). If you don't want the recovery partition, then just remove it.

Are you aware that there are USB ports on the device allowing you to plug in USB drives for more storage..

BoredBozirini said
I guess its the iPad for me
If you're okay with using an inferior device such as the iPad, then go for it. If you look at it in terms of what it can do and what the Surface Pro can do you can clearly see that the iPad is rather limited.

Try a little research next time. Google is your friend.

Edited by dtourond, Jan 31 2013, 8:44am :

BoredBozirini said,

In order to get rid of that crap Office trial, all the extra apps, and the recovery partition, its easier to just reinstall. That said, I should not have to do it if I'm spending $900+ on a tablet. I guess its the iPad for me, Microsoft dropped the ball hard.

First thing first, if you think an iPad is an alternative to a Surface Pro, then you never really needed or understood the Surface Pro. You should consider an RT if you think the ipad is enough for your needs.

That said, you don't need to uninstall anything, thanks to the Refresh new feature in Win8 I'm sure you are aware of.

Regarding the space on the 64gb, I agree 23gb isn't enough really but as many already said there's an easy procedure to move the recovery partition on USB. Combined with the refresh option will drive you around 45-50 gb free, exactly how much I had on my slate 7 with 64gb after making a fresh install of win8

Lastly, while the price of 64gb can be appetible, a 128gb machine is definitely better for business usage, the primary market for Surface Pro. I bought a Slate 7 64gb because the 128gb wasn't readily available, but if I can choose I would go straight to 128gb

rfirth said,

Actually, Microsoft doesn't add extra apps to the computers they sell. From what I remember, they call this 'Microsoft Signature'. So you're right, you don't have to do this. And deleting the recovery partition isn't hard. It's useful to have for some people, though.

But if you want a limited device, go ahead and get an iPad. You obviously made up your mind long ago. Anyway, if an iPad is good enough to meet your needs, you should be looking at a Surface RT instead of a Surface Pro.


Ironically if reports are correct, Surface Pro can't be a Microsoft Signature because it includes Office 365 trial

dtourond said,
I wish I could be there. I'm a little bit surprised that Microsoft would make this launch low-key.

I am surprise as well. I thought that Pro would have been the event.

Not surprising, they want to avoid embarrassment when only 2 people show up, thus the "no press allowed"

This is not a good sign since all the MS drones rationalized the RT failure with "Just wait until the Pro - THAT will sell"

Darrah Ford said
Not surprising, they want to avoid embarrassment when only 2 people show up, thus the "no press allowed"
It's not as embarrassing as your comment.

The fact is that the Surface Pro is actually a really great product. The fact that it offers the best of both worlds is a great thing. Instead of bringing a laptop and a tablet with you, you can bring a Surface Pro with you and get everything done on that.

Another blind bat that can't see how great something really is.

dtourond said,
It's not as embarrassing as your comment.

The fact is that the Surface Pro is actually a really great product. The fact that it offers the best of both worlds is a great thing. Instead of bringing a laptop and a tablet with you, you can bring a Surface Pro with you and get everything done on that.

Another blind bat that can't see how great something really is.

I like the surface pro but lets not pretend its the best thing since sliced bread. It certainly has the best design of the tablet range but for that design ms sacrificed battery life, weight and thickness, which pending your usage 3 things that if used primarily as a tablet (not a laptop replacement) is a big deal and well worth potentially considering one of the oem options.

I think the great thing is actually the resurgence of the tablet pc. Its great seeing a new gen discover how handy inking can be etc.

dtourond said,
It's not as embarrassing as your comment.

The fact is that the Surface Pro is actually a really great product. The fact that it offers the best of both worlds is a great thing. Instead of bringing a laptop and a tablet with you, you can bring a Surface Pro with you and get everything done on that.

Another blind bat that can't see how great something really is.

Out of curiosity but why would you carry a laptop and a Tablet, Tablet PC of course?
Since the time of XP Tablet OS I have always bought Convertible Tablet and never missed my previous laptops. Sure a Convertible may not be as slim as a Slate one but would perfectly replace a laptop.

Osiris said
It certainly has the best design of the tablet range but for that design ms sacrificed battery life, weight and thickness, which pending your usage 3 things that if used primarily as a tablet (not a laptop replacement) is a big deal and well worth potentially considering one of the oem options.
I'm not a fan of the battery either, but remember. Windows 8 is a hybrid OS running two full UX's, unlike iOS or Android. This has the power and capability of running regular x86 apps so I can also understand how it would take up more juice from the battery. I do hope that Microsoft works on that though.

Weight isn't an issue unless I'm too weak to handle it... Thickness isn't an issue either. It'll probably get thinner over time but for now, it's not bad (at least for me it isn't).

Osiris said
I think the great thing is actually the resurgence of the tablet pc. Its great seeing a new gen discover how handy inking can be etc.
I was thinking the same thing when I first saw this.

I think the main reason why the original Tablet PC failed was because they were trying to make a pure Desktop experience (strictly mouse & keyboard) work on a mobile device by using a stylus. What I love about Windows 8 is that it brings both UX's to the tablet, giving it more power, capability, productivity and the opportunity to do both whenever the user chooses without needing two separate devices.

This reminds me of the launch of the first iPhone, when Jobs said

Steve Jobs
An iPod, a phone, an internet mobile communicator. An iPod, a phone, an internet mobile communicator.... Are you getting it. These are NOT three separate devices!

Edited by dtourond, Jan 31 2013, 3:54am :

Osiris said,
I like the surface pro but lets not pretend its the best thing since sliced bread. It certainly has the best design of the tablet range but for that design ms sacrificed battery life, weight and thickness, which pending your usage 3 things that if used primarily as a tablet (not a laptop replacement) is a big deal and well worth potentially considering one of the oem options.

Not only that, they sacrificed CPU power - Microsoft like to plaster "Ivybridge Core i5" in the promotional materials but its running with both hands tied behind its back since its a 17W ULV.

But even factoring all that its still an attractive multipurpose device. If only they hadn't priced it into the stratosphere, because now nobody's going to care. Nerds on a fansite may understand the difference between a Surface Pro and an iPad, but the war is for mindshare among joe and jane consumer that don't.

Fritzly said
Out of curiosity but why would you carry a laptop and a Tablet, Tablet PC of course?
Because some people want to work, but also want to relax and play their favorite games or check their facebook/twitter on their tablet.

Fritzly said
Since the time of XP Tablet OS I have always bought Convertible Tablet and never missed my previous laptops. Sure a Convertible may not be as slim as a Slate one but would perfectly replace a laptop.
I love the convertibles. The problem is that there's simply not enough of them around. Where I live (Canada) finding a convertible laptop/tablet is like trying to find gold..

Darrah Ford said
But even factoring all that its still an attractive multipurpose device. If only they hadn't priced it into the stratosphere, because now nobody's going to care. Nerds on a fansite may understand the difference between a Surface Pro and an iPad, but the war is for mindshare among joe and jane consumer that don't.
I'm sure average people will know the difference as long as the people who are explaining it to them know what they're talking about. And I'm not too keen on the price either, but imagine if this were an Apple product. You'd be paying double that amount. Of course, I'm exaggerating that number, but you get the point, right?

dtourond said,
Because some people want to work, but also want to relax and play their favorite games or check their facebook/twitter on their tablet.

I love the convertibles. The problem is that there's simply not enough of them around. Where I live (Canada) finding a convertible laptop/tablet is like trying to find gold..


Cannot you buy a Lenovo there? The ThinkPad convertible is what I will order shortly to replace my ancien Toshiba.

dtourond said,
I'm sure average people will know the difference as long as the people who are explaining it to them know what they're talking about. And I'm not too keen on the price either, but imagine if this were an Apple product. You'd be paying double that amount. Of course, I'm exaggerating that number, but you get the point, right?

It doesn't really matter what Apple would charge or not. They've spent many years as a marketing company that happened to sell technology widgets, and they got a lot of momentum and brand recognition built up in the process. Microsoft doesn't have that luxury, so they'll have to offer something more compelling - unfair as it may be. And branding EVERYTHING Windows including smartphone/tablet wasn't the answer - thats like branding everything "calculator". Its a household name but doesn't get people excited.

Fritzly said
Cannot you buy a Lenovo there? The ThinkPad convertible is what I will order shortly to replace my ancien Toshiba.
I could most likely order it online but I've never seen any convertible at a Best Buy or Futureshop in my life. The only thing I saw that was closest was a Windows 8 laptop with a touchscreen that flips all the way back-to-back. I like the ones where the screen turns the other way, then flips down so the back of the screen is touching the keyboard and all I see is the screen.

[quote=Darrah Ford said]It doesn't really matter what Apple would charge or not. They've spent many years as a marketing company that happened to sell technology widgets, and they got a lot of momentum and brand recognition built up in the process.[/quote]You didn't get what I was saying. I could get a laptop with specs that are at least over 3/4 of what a Macbook Pro offers for less than what Apple charges. What I'm getting at is that I feel Apple charges just a little bit too much.

[quote=Darrah Ford said]Microsoft doesn't have that luxury, so they'll have to offer something more compelling - unfair as it may be.

Disagree..

Darrah Ford said
It doesn't really matter what Apple would charge or not. They've spent many years as a marketing company that happened to sell technology widgets, and they got a lot of momentum and brand recognition built up in the process. Microsoft doesn't have that luxury, so they'll have to offer something more compelling - unfair as it may be.
You didn't get what I was saying. I could get a laptop with specs that are at least over 3/4 of what a Macbook Pro offers for less than what Apple charges. What I'm getting at is that I feel Apple charges just a little bit too much.

Darrah Ford said
And branding EVERYTHING Windows including smartphone/tablet wasn't the answer - thats like branding everything "calculator". Its a household name but doesn't get people excited.
Disagree..

Darrah Ford said,

...If only they hadn't priced it into the stratosphere, because now nobody is going to care. Nerds on a fansite may understand the difference between a Surface Pro and an iPad, but the war is for mindshare among joe and jane consumer that don't.

Apple have made that discussion far easier, have you seen the price of the 128GB iPad? Almost the same price and that doesn't have a full OS or great keyboard, ports and can't run Office etc..... Whilst there will always be improvements to technology the processor is plenty powerful enough for most of what it needs to do. Us nerds will always want more power with more juice time. The next version always delivers that and we still want more. Buy and benefit now or sit around waiting for the best.

I looked at alternatives and nothing matches the ease of switching between keyboard and touch interface in as ligh a form factor without having to disconnect the keyboard and carry something extra around in another container.

If someone came out with an ultrabook that had the keybaord flip in and away when not needed as well as Surface does I might consider that a worthy alternative. Based on my review of the current market nothing exists to compete in those areas.

as147 said
Apple have made that discussion far easier, have you seen the price of the 128GB iPad? Almost the same price and that doesn't have a full OS or great keyboard, ports and can't run Office etc..... Whilst there will always be improvements to technology the processor is plenty powerful enough for most of what it needs to do. Us nerds will always want more power with more juice time. The next version always delivers that and we still want more. Buy and benefit now or sit around waiting for the best.

I looked at alternatives and nothing matches the ease of switching between keyboard and touch interface in as ligh a form factor without having to disconnect the keyboard and carry something extra around in another container.

If someone came out with an ultrabook that had the keybaord flip in and away when not needed as well as Surface does I might consider that a worthy alternative. Based on my review of the current market nothing exists to compete in those areas.

Very well said.

Fritzly said,
Out of curiosity but why would you carry a laptop and a Tablet

Really? I do this all the time on business trips.

During a flight, it's painful to attempt to use a laptop (even a small 11-12" one). If I don't need to get work done, I usually entertain myself with movies or games on an iPad. Often, I need to get work done and there is simply no avoiding pulling the laptop out.

Soon, the Surface Pro will replace both for me.

BloodShed said
Really? I do this all the time on business trips.

During a flight, it's painful to attempt to use a laptop (even a small 11-12" one). If I don't need to get work done, I usually entertain myself with movies or games on an iPad. Often, I need to get work done and there is simply no avoiding pulling the laptop out.

Soon, the Surface Pro will replace both for me.

Exactly. A device that can do the things that would normally require two separate devices is really great in my books.

dtourond said,
I like the ones where the screen turns the other way, then flips down so the back of the screen is touching the keyboard and all I see is the screen.

Check the Lenovo I mentioned; it converts the way you like.

BloodShed said,

Really? I do this all the time on business trips.

During a flight, it's painful to attempt to use a laptop (even a small 11-12" one). If I don't need to get work done, I usually entertain myself with movies or games on an iPad. Often, I need to get work done and there is simply no avoiding pulling the laptop out.

Soon, the Surface Pro will replace both for me.

Well the Toshiba Portege' 3505 started to do it, to be honest with some bumps, since 2002.... never owned a laptop since I switched to Tablet OS devices.

Fritzly said
Well the Toshiba Portege' 3505 started to do it, to be honest with some bumps, since 2002.... never owned a laptop since I switched to Tablet OS devices.
Well the problem is that it's too old. If there were a wide variety of laptop convertibles that were more up to-date, then I probably wouldn't need a Surface Pro, but where I live; I have not seen any laptop convertibles.

dtourond said,
I would probably get it but it looks like it only works with pens instead of being able to touch the screen with your finger. Also the price looks a little pricey for me.

It has a touchscreen as well and yes, it is not cheap, but keep in mind that, at least for me, the ThinkPad is the Aston Martin of portables.

Fritzly said
It has a touchscreen as well and yes, it is not cheap, but keep in mind that, at least for me, the ThinkPad is the Aston Martin of portables.
Well If I find one that is affordable for me and offers true touchscreen capabilities (both pen and finger), then I might consider it. Until I see such a thing, I'll be waiting for the Surface Pro