Report: Surface to be Wi-Fi-only at launch

According to a new report, Microsoft's Surface tablet will be Wi-Fi-only at launch. Microsoft has continued to remain tight-lipped about whether or not a cellular version of the tablet will be available, neither confirming nor denying the report.

Bloomberg is reporting that Surface won't be available with a cellular service option at launch, citing two unnamed sources. It's unclear if Bloomberg's report is referring to both the Windows RT and Windows 8 Surface models or just the Windows RT model, which will launch before the Windows 8 version. As Bloomberg points out, the majority of tablets in the market are Wi-Fi-only, meaning Microsoft's decision could cut down on financial requirements while still reaching the largest percentage of users interested in a tablet.

The outlet's sources also claim Pegatron, the manufacturer of Apple's iPhone, is also making Microsoft's new tablet line. Like Microsoft, however, Pegatron has refused to confirm or deny its involvement in manufacturing Surface.

Surface, which was revealed Monday, is Microsoft's first foray in tablet or computer hardware outside of peripherals. Pricing has yet to be revealed for either version of the tablet. Additional information on Microsoft's tablet can be found in our previous coverage.

Source: Bloomberg

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I like the way how people are saying that the "surface" is "likely to have this and its not likely to that" when really does ANYONE at all really "KNOW" for sure. It is all conjecture !!
Even if there is no surface at all ........and it was all a complete hoax (which it wasn't, not as far as I am concerned), it did what it was supposed to do.......make people think about what COULD be done if they really tried hard enough !!

To all who thinks cellular is needed, let's run the logic. Surface tablet is more of a hybrid between netbook (well sorta) and tablet. Typically a netbook or ultraviolet don't come with cellular or carrier because it comes with wireless. No tech site ever consider cellular was an option to fight for, why? It's because we all own smart phone that will add to a netbook. Personally, I write email on my smartphone because it's just smaller and easier like testing someone. Imagine having to opens tablet just to reply an email. When I do work like writing customer report, it doesn't require me to be online. If I have to send that doc files, I tether, then send the attachment then I untethered.
If I am rich, I am sure paying for 2 devices, smartphone and tablet is still a stupid idea not to mention 2 monthly payment to a carrier who is known to f**k you up.

This device relies on the live tiles to be up to date. So why produce a machine where the tiles wont be up to date when I open the lid unless its on WiFi? Machines like this need a constant connection to be most useful.

Sorry, but I don't want to buy a tablet that has contract locked to one carrier. WiFi is the way to go. If I want internet for my tablet, I can just use the dongle from my laptop. One internet bill for all devices.

I love opinions, so let me throw mine in the mix. Wifi might work for most, but for some, its the cellular connection is a must. Hot-spoting from your phone is a pain if you have to use it ON/OFF throughout the day. And screw having to use a dongle. For this kind of device, I personally am shocked it doesn't have Cellular built in automatically. I also see that to get the price down they would have to eliminate some features. I have an iPad. I have one for the sole reason that it does have the cell chip inside. Its a "cool" device, as is also the surface. But without the cell chip, it suddenly can't do what work i need it to do, and I am 100% not "cool" with that.

rippleman said,
I love opinions, so let me throw mine in the mix. Wifi might work for most, but for some, its the cellular connection is a must. Hot-spoting from your phone is a pain if you have to use it ON/OFF throughout the day. And screw having to use a dongle. For this kind of device, I personally am shocked it doesn't have Cellular built in automatically. I also see that to get the price down they would have to eliminate some features. I have an iPad. I have one for the sole reason that it does have the cell chip inside. Its a "cool" device, as is also the surface. But without the cell chip, it suddenly can't do what work i need it to do, and I am 100% not "cool" with that.

rippleman said,
I love opinions, so let me throw mine in the mix. Wifi might work for most, but for some, its the cellular connection is a must. Hot-spoting from your phone is a pain if you have to use it ON/OFF throughout the day. And screw having to use a dongle. For this kind of device, I personally am shocked it doesn't have Cellular built in automatically. I also see that to get the price down they would have to eliminate some features. I have an iPad. I have one for the sole reason that it does have the cell chip inside. Its a "cool" device, as is also the surface. But without the cell chip, it suddenly can't do what work i need it to do, and I am 100% not "cool" with that.

you eat too much apple and how it limits you and you love it too. what is being offered here is the ability to choose because you vou a USB port that is not locked down to doing only certain things. you can simple get what you need from the provider you want and the ability to change when you want.

neonspark said,
seeing sales of android celular capable tablets fall into the abys, MSFT is making the right call. it needs to be cheap.

Hoping they sell at evens or loss and make it up on the new revenue from the store.

Annoying if it's true. I can't teather my Lumia 800 so if I'm 100% MS ecosystem then I can't get online with my Surface when travelling.

What's all this tosh about negotiating with carriers? Screw that, just slap in a SIM slot and 3G modem. Writting this on a HP ProBook which has a slot in it - nothing to do with carriers. I just whack in a SIM.

stevehoot said,
Annoying if it's true. I can't teather my Lumia 800 so if I'm 100% MS ecosystem then I can't get online with my Surface when travelling.

What's all this tosh about negotiating with carriers? Screw that, just slap in a SIM slot and 3G modem. Writting this on a HP ProBook which has a slot in it - nothing to do with carriers. I just whack in a SIM.

You could use USB Data Cards/Dongles for that

It's not really a deal breaker. Why should I have to pay for data for individual devices when I can just wireless tether my phone to it? Of course not everyone has such luxuries due to pricing and data caps.

A Lenovo Convertible costs what $1,300/$1,500? That, and even something more, is the price I expect to pay for a business class device that would make useless having a laptop also.

Why would you want a 3G version when tethering is so simple?

Makes me smile when I see people forking out £$£ for yet another SIM/Contract, worse still laptop owners buying a 3G dongle that sits next to their Android phone which easily does the same thing.

My HTC Legend's battery would drain in under an hour with mobile hotspot on. My new iPad's battery lasts for 9 hours on 3G. My current phone doesn't being a mobile hotspot.

It's always funny to see people only being able to reason from their own stance.

.Neo said,
My HTC Legend's battery would drain in under an hour with mobile hotspot on. My new iPad's battery lasts for 9 hours on 3G. My current phone doesn't being a mobile hotspot.

It's always funny to see people only being able to reason from their own stance.

Well I'm sure they'll offer an option for 3G/4G tablets later on, but it sounds like your market could be different from the US. I know at least a couple dozen people with iPads, and only one of them uses it with a data plan.

Enron said,
Well I'm sure they'll offer an option for 3G/4G tablets later on, but it sounds like your market could be different from the US. I know at least a couple dozen people with iPads, and only one of them uses it with a data plan.

It depends on the group. Younger people tend to have to Wi-Fi model, commuters tend to have the Wi-Fi+4G model. Most business people I dealt with have the Wi-Fi+4G model as well.

I'd say it's around 50-50.

Tethering is not so simple. I am on the road and I jump in and out of my car all day. I tried tethering and it was a huge pain and a huge time waster. I am much better off with a 3G tablet. If this Windows machine is meant to be some kind of work tool for someone on the road taking orders, doing data entry or looking up information then built in 3G/4G is a must.

Arceles said,
I need ethernet... until ethernet comes out, or even better, until amd steps in I'll probably buy one.

I don't think you're going to see that on a tablet.

Arceles said,
I need ethernet... until ethernet comes out, or even better, until amd steps in I'll probably buy one.

I'm curious. Why do you *need* ethernet? I'm not trying to be a jerk or anything. I'm just curious. In most cases WiFi is plenty, and in the fringe cases you probably wouldn't be using it as a tablet to begin with.

I guess I'm banking on some form of dock (a la Samsung Series 7 Slate) to handle ethernet. Or just a usb port replicator to start.

Arceles said,
I need ethernet... until ethernet comes out, or even better, until amd steps in I'll probably buy one.

USB->ethernet adapter is your friend.

If you need ethernet, you probably need other peripherals, too. Get a USB 3.0 hub, and when you're at your desk requiring it, you now only have one connection to plug in. Easy.

NeoandGeo said,
Good, wifi is all you need. Just get a smartphone and use it as a data connection for any Wifi device under the sun.
And if one really needs a 3G/4G connection, it's got a USB port!

cybertimber2008 said,
And if one really needs a 3G/4G connection, it's got a USB port!

thats the first thing I thought when I saw the headline! Why pay an extra £100 for a 3g model when you can buy a £20 dongle!

Silver47 said,

thats the first thing I thought when I saw the headline! Why pay an extra £100 for a 3g model when you can buy a £20 dongle!

Why buy a tablet when paper is $2 a ream.....

NeoandGeo said,
Good, wifi is all you need. Just get a smartphone and use it as a data connection for any Wifi device under the sun.

I agree, I mean if you own Window phone, it's easy to do Internet sharing via the setting.

NeoandGeo said,
Good, wifi is all you need. Just get a smartphone and use it as a data connection for any Wifi device under the sun.

I agree, I mean if you own Window phone, it's easy to do Internet sharing via the setting.

Kushan said,
Prices are "at least $599" for the RT and "at least $799" for the pro.
Source: http://hexus.net/mobile/news/t...rface-tablet-prices-emerge/

For me, that's a fail.

I dunno... I'm not sure that a company manufacturing a device for Microsoft who is not involved in pricing, distribution, marketing, or getting the product to market can really give a solid figure like that. Microsoft said that the Windows RT version would be comparably priced to the iPad, so I expect that to be the case. The Pro version that may very well be the case for, as I expect that one to be a bit more. I guess we'll just have to wait and see what they come up with.

Shane Ekanayake said,

where did microsoft officially said that?

In one of the earliest NeoWin articles detailing the Surface, I believe the author came to the same conclusion. I have seen those numbers thrown around on a lot of other sites too.

It is not official, but it looks to be the expected prices.

Julius Caro said,

that sounds expensive for the RT and on the cheaper end for the Pro, considering the pro is pretty much an ultrabook. they need a wider gap IMO. the Pro one really isnt the one most people should be looking at

I agree. It wouldn't make much sense if they were priced this closely... I hope that's not the case. I guess we'll have to see. lol

Kushan said,
Prices are "at least $599" for the RT and "at least $799" for the pro.
Source: http://hexus.net/mobile/news/t...rface-tablet-prices-emerge/

For me, that's a fail.


Just so we're clear:

A device that shares the entire windows core that costs $600, has full blown office. Can act as a tablet, or full computer. Can participate on networks to print. Has full USB support and most likely the entire library of drivers (scanners etc. etc.). Has MicroSD Support. Is Fail?

A device that costs $800. Can act as a desktop computer, laptop, tablet, has all of the abilities above. Has the ability to run any piece of software available to Windows. Has USB 3.0 & HDMI. Can participate in a corporate network. Can access every device with drivers for Windows. Etc. Is Fail?

WTF is wrong with people not seeing the difference here? No, and I mean NO, tablet on the market has that ability. Android, iPad. They cannot act as full computers in any sense unless you make huge compromises in software and productivity. They have a tiny fraction of hardware addons and devices that the new windows tablets will. Are you people dumb, short sited, or just love having 3 devices when you could have just one.

Julius Caro said,

that sounds expensive for the RT and on the cheaper end for the Pro, considering the pro is pretty much an ultrabook. they need a wider gap IMO. the Pro one really isnt the one most people should be looking at


I'd argue the pro is the one nearly everybody should be looking at. A full replacement of both your desktop/laptop & tablet rolled into one.

MrHumpty said,

Just so we're clear:

A device that shares the entire windows core that costs $600, has full blown office. Can act as a tablet, or full computer. Can participate on networks to print. Has full USB support and most likely the entire library of drivers (scanners etc. etc.). Has MicroSD Support. Is Fail?.


You won't be able to run desktop apps on Windows RT. Just Metro apps + Microsoft Office. So whether or not it can act like a full computer is up for debate.

Mainer82 said,
That's too bad... I'll have to wait for an edition that has a 1Gb NIC.

Whooah, how did you get from no 3g to needing a 1Gb NIC? How would having 3g mean you don't need a Gb connection anymore? I'm confused...

duddit2 said,

Whooah, how did you get from no 3g to needing a 1Gb NIC? How would having 3g mean you don't need a Gb connection anymore? I'm confused...

Maybe he's being sarcastic?

.Neo said,

In what way does it make sense?

It's easier to get a WiFi tablet out the door, without waiting for and working on 3G/4G partnerships with cell providers. Less red tape, thus, no waiting to release the product.

.Neo said,

In what way does it make sense?

Gets to the market quicker, not as expensive (to Microsoft to develop and manufacture), reaches the largest percentage of consumers. Most tablet releases seem to take this route. In a perfect world, sure, they'd have both at launch, but it makes sense.

xendrome said,

It's easier to get a WiFi tablet out the door, without waiting for and working on 3G/4G partnerships with cell providers. Less red tape, thus, no waiting to release the product.

Exactly. Negotiating with the carriers is ALWAYS a hassle and takes time. So why delay the Wi-Fi product while you're working on getting these terms ironed out?

Not to mention just about every tablet goes this route for that very reason. It's not unusual by any means.

I have wifi at home, work, and most other places I go. The only place I could see a use for 3G/4G on a tablet would be if I'm a passenger in a vehicle, but usually then I'll just use my phone by itself or tether the tablet to it.

Enron said,
I have wifi at home, work, and most other places I go. The only place I could see a use for 3G/4G on a tablet would be if I'm a passenger in a vehicle, but usually then I'll just use my phone by itself or tether the tablet to it.

I agree. Personally I don't see the point and certainly wouldn't pay a monthly contract for that...

xendrome said,

It's easier to get a WiFi tablet out the door, without waiting for and working on 3G/4G partnerships with cell providers. Less red tape, thus, no waiting to release the product.


As far as I recall Apple managed to ship both the Wi-Fi and 3G original iPad within the same month. An international release following a month after that. There are new smartphones being released every month, so I don't really follow your train of thought here. Especially not when it involves a company the size of Microsoft. They still have to finish up Windows 8/RT so in the meantime why not make sure you're able to get a 4G model out the door as well?

I'm just finding it surprising Microsoft doesn't put everything on everything to get a complete lineup out the door.

este said,

In what way does it not make sense?

It's basic tech millions, if not billions, of people use every day. Not some form of alien technology human kind just discovered. It also doesn't make sense from a business point of view: Microsoft wants to directly compete with the iPad. Here in Amsterdam the new iPad 4G model sold out with the first couple of days. You'd think Microsoft want to have a piece of that action.

M_Lyons10 said,
I agree. Personally I don't see the point and certainly wouldn't pay a monthly contract for that...

Obviously it's extremely hard to phantom not everyone has the routine as you.

Edited by .Neo, Jun 22 2012, 2:38pm :

neonspark said,
in that the most peopular ipad is the wifi. that's what they need to go after.

That doesn't change the rest is selling really well too.

.Neo said,

Obviously it's extremely hard to phantom not everyone has the routine as you.

What does this mean?

I'm honestly not sure why you're getting so worked up over this. Most tablets ship Wi-Fi versions prior to a 3G / 4G rollout. It's not an uncommon thing. Wi-Fi versions are more popular too. Not even to mention that it does take some time to scale production of an electronic like this, so staggering certainly helps avoid supply problems... And then there's the fact that Microsoft is not a company like HTC that has the approval process and contractual hoops for various carriers around the world figured out and more easily traversed... How does this not make business sense?

Ignoring for a minute that this is a rumor, you will still be able to get a 3G version when they are available... It's not that big a deal...

M_Lyons10 said,

What does this mean?

I'm honestly not sure why you're getting so worked up over this. Most tablets ship Wi-Fi versions prior to a 3G / 4G rollout. It's not an uncommon thing. Wi-Fi versions are more popular too. Not even to mention that it does take some time to scale production of an electronic like this, so staggering certainly helps avoid supply problems... And then there's the fact that Microsoft is not a company like HTC that has the approval process and contractual hoops for various carriers around the world figured out and more easily traversed... How does this not make business sense?

Ignoring for a minute that this is a rumor, you will still be able to get a 3G version when they are available... It's not that big a deal...

Why would you need carrier approval ? Never saw apple need carrier approval as they were never sold on contract.

M_Lyons10 said,

What does this mean?

I'm honestly not sure why you're getting so worked up over this. Most tablets ship Wi-Fi versions prior to a 3G / 4G rollout. It's not an uncommon thing. Wi-Fi versions are more popular too. Not even to mention that it does take some time to scale production of an electronic like this, so staggering certainly helps avoid supply problems... And then there's the fact that Microsoft is not a company like HTC that has the approval process and contractual hoops for various carriers around the world figured out and more easily traversed... How does this not make business sense?


I'm not getting worked up over this trust me. I'm just saying that just because you don't need 3G doesn't mean the same thing applies to everyone. What does carrier approval has to do with anything? Just sell the thing without a contract like Apple does, not any different from the Wi-Fi only model.

In all honestly, I'm just wondering why Microsoft isn't going all in for a change. They seem to have a very nice product on their hands, I'd say go for it. Fully. Instead repeating the Zune and Windows Phone 7 launch debacles. We, the consumer, could use some serious competition. And no, I'm not taking Android on tablets very seriously.

paulheu said,
Ever heard of USB peripherals? Oh wait.. iPad can't use those..

Let's buy an ultra portable device and then plug it full USB peripherals on-the-go! Oh wait… That kinda defeats the purpose of buying such a device. Smartass.

Ever seen the size an average USB 3G dongle? They're huge and really not that practical in a busy commuter train.

.Neo said,

...Just sell the thing without a contract like Apple does, not any different from the Wi-Fi only model.

Here in the US, if you buy a model with 3G/4G, you are right then and there required to pick a data plan for that model and lock into a contract.

este said,

In what way does it not make sense?

tying it to a particular service limits its growth potential. you most likely will easily slip in a 3G/4G/whatever G you want into the USB port and life is good. you are NOT tied to any one type of service or provider. i think that's called freedom of choice

RangerLG said,
Here in the US, if you buy a model with 3G/4G, you are right then and there required to pick a data plan for that model and lock into a contract.

Why would be required to pic a data plan if you're buying an unsubsidized iPad? Anyway if that's the case luckily there's a whole world outside of the US as well. I bought my new iPad at the Amsterdam Apple Store and wasn't required to also take a contract. I could if I wanted to, but it wasn't mandatory in any way. Beyond that I can get "contracts" here that you can cancel each month.

.Neo said,

Why would be required to pic a data plan if you're buying an unsubsidized iPad? Anyway if that's the case luckily there's a whole world outside of the US as well. I bought my new iPad at the Amsterdam Apple Store and wasn't required to also take a contract. I could if I wanted to, but it wasn't mandatory in any way. Beyond that I can get "contracts" here that you can cancel each month.

You still have to get approved by the FCC and what not.

andrewbares said,

You still have to get approved by the FCC and what not.

So do Wi-Fi only devices in certain countries by their respective organizations. I also don't see why this should present itself as a sudden problem for Microsoft.