Surface RT news: New storage disclaimer and order rumors

Microsoft has been pretty open about the fact that the Windows RT version of its new Surface tablet uses a lot of its SSD space for storage of the OS as well as other software. That didn't stop one person from filing a lawsuit against the company earlier this month, who claimed he was unaware about the fact that that the 32 GB version of the Surface has about 16 GB available for its users.

Now Microsoft has apparently made a small but interesting change to its Microsoft Store website listing of the Surface. As you can see in the screenshot above, the listing now says, "Surface comes with great software to help you do more. This software uses significant storage." It then offers up a link to Microsoft's previously launched Surface storage FAQ page.

Microsoft also points out that the MicroSD port on the Surface can be used to expand the tablet's storage amount by an additional 64 GB.  While Microsoft has already been pretty transparent about the storage limits on the Surface, this new disclaimer on the Microsoft Store product listing is clearly a move by the company to head off any more issues such as this recent lawsuit.

In other Surface news, the infamous Taiwan-based website Digitimes reports, via unnamed sources, that Microsoft has cut the number of orders for the Surface RT tablet to supply companies from four million to two million units for the fourth quarter of 2012. Keep in mind that Digitimes has a somewhat spotty record on these kinds of reports in terms of their accuracy but they have been correct in the past with similar stories.

Via: Ed Bott
Source: Microsoft Store | Image via Microsoft

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It general comes down to the size of the storage version the free space. Most people know that when you buy a computer that a small percent will be OS and software but that percents was always around 5 to 10% of the total hard drive, SSD or memory. With that said, if it uses 50% of the storage and advertise at 32GB and you only get 16GB then it would be misleading. It would be different if you get 25GB to 28GB of free space. Thats more of a realistic figure of space you would get for a computer with storage.

But the lawsuit should only force Microsoft to change the ad to 16GB instead of 32GB and let people return the Surface RT for free and maybe a $50 gift card because of it.

Not sure what the expected batter life is, but mine goes all day.

Are people forgetting this thing comes with the OS, all the core apps, plus FULL BLOWN Office 2013 as well.

People are just being ridiculous. For the price of an iPad they want 1TB of Free space. Use the MicroSD slot or even USB slot.

I actually hate this type of idiocy that makes me defend Microsoft when there are so many real things that need fixin'

With an expected battery life of about 4.5 hours, it is deemed for a very cold reception.

Tablets are not expected to be heavy, have short-lived batteries, be fan-cooled and overpriced.
This is unfortunate but, if people thought the Surface RT was not appealing, they're in for a bad surprise with the Pro.

there is a difference between having a device that is a 32gb and only has 20 something useable.
the fact that it has 32gb but only 16 available is a bit unfair.
if you guy a 500gb hdd today and only get 250gb useable, you wouldnt be happy

peacemf said,

there is a difference between having a device that is a 32gb and only has 20 something useable.
the fact that it has 32gb but only 16 available is a bit unfair.
if you guy a 500gb hdd today and only get 250gb useable, you wouldnt be happy


That's because it's just a hard drive. It's blank. It doesn't come with an OS and apps pre-installed.
The amount of actual available storage space on that 500GB HDD would show as about 485GB.

DJGM said,

That's because it's just a hard drive. It's blank. It doesn't come with an OS and apps pre-installed.
The amount of actual available storage space on that 500GB HDD would show as about 485GB.

and? you still would not expect the OS to take HALF the space!
IOS doesn't, android doesn't,

peacemf said,

and? you still would not expect the OS to take HALF the space!
IOS doesn't, android doesn't,


You are forgetting Office 2013 and a slew of built-in Modern apps, plus a way for the consumer to recover/reset their device back to original state in addition to the OS itself.

Chsoriano said,

You are forgetting Office 2013 and a slew of built-in Modern apps, plus a way for the consumer to recover/reset their device back to original state in addition to the OS itself.

yessss, i guess, but its still false advertising...
and again, all those similar apps on IOS/android would not take 10gbs.
you wouldnt be happy if you met up with a girl who said she had double D's but turned out only to have B cups!!!

peacemf said,

yessss, i guess, but its still false advertising...
and again, all those similar apps on IOS/android would not take 10gbs.
you wouldnt be happy if you met up with a girl who said she had double D's but turned out only to have B cups!!!

Ha, I don't think your analogy works very well but it was funny nonetheless.

My issue is that I don't think it is false advertising, they are advertising a device with 32GB of storage space - which, aside from the detailed mathematics, is exactly what you get. What you also get is everything else I listed above, which obviously must be installed on the device so would consume the space. I think it has more to do with consumers making very poor assumptions instead of asking questions, and Microsoft needing to make sure they account for this lack of knowledge on the consumer side.

Chsoriano said,

Ha, I don't think your analogy works very well but it was funny nonetheless.

My issue is that I don't think it is false advertising, they are advertising a device with 32GB of storage space - which, aside from the detailed mathematics, is exactly what you get. What you also get is everything else I listed above, which obviously must be installed on the device so would consume the space. I think it has more to do with consumers making very poor assumptions instead of asking questions, and Microsoft needing to make sure they account for this lack of knowledge on the consumer side.


yes and thats my issue, its not that it gives you "more" etc. Its the fact that consumers wont see it that way, they wanted something closer to 32gb not 16gb

"That didn't stop one person from filing a lawsuit against the company earlier this month, who claimed he was unaware about the fact that that the 32 GB version of the Surface has about 16 GB available for its users."


HAHAHAHA +1 LIKE to the guy sueing!

What? People love their Surface RT? I cant believe that orders have been scaled back. This is quite incredible and obviously just a rumor. What about those great adverts for the surface? What about no compromises? No one likes compromises with a tablet and everyone wants the windows desktop, a tiled and flashy interface on top of the desktop, lots of ports and the full version of Office so they can get real work done. Craziness.

The fact that it take up 13gb is a joke and surely because they had to include the desktop portions of the os.

Microsoft should have never released this half-baked software and waited until office was ready for the metro interface.

matt4pack said,
The fact that it take up 13gb is a joke and surely because they had to include the desktop portions of the os.
I'm hard pressed to install XP SP3 and Office 2007 SP3 with updates in about 13GB. To have advanced a decade and still be using 13GB is good in my book.

matt4pack said,
The fact that it take up 13gb is a joke and surely because they had to include the desktop portions of the os.

Microsoft should have never released this half-baked software and waited until office was ready for the metro interface.

There is a built in tool that allows you to move the ~4gb recovery partition to a USB device/disk.

The software is far from half baked. On my surface I enjoy Web Surfing, Flash Videos, DLNA playback, Great Apps, Great Games, Office 2013, HomeGroup/Network Shares & Support, Wifi Printer Support, HDMI monitor out with secondary display support, USB 2.0 support for Keyboards/mice/printers/controllers/disks/network adaptors and such.

The only thing half-backed are your uneducated and inexperienced assumptions.

matt4pack said,
The fact that it take up 13gb is a joke and surely because they had to include the desktop portions of the os.

Microsoft should have never released this half-baked software and waited until office was ready for the metro interface.


30% of that 13GB is recovery, which in a consumer device like this, is absolutely necessary. Plus, like someone stated below, it can be moved to an external storage medium.

theyarecomingforyou said,
It's misleading to advertise it as 32GB when only 16GB is available to the user. A disclaimer does nothing to address that.

Then this applies to every single computer ever sold.

theyarecomingforyou said,
It's misleading to advertise it as 32GB when only 16GB is available to the user. A disclaimer does nothing to address that.

no it's not, they are saying there is 64GB of storage in the system, where do they say there is 64GB of Free space in the system? it in no way is misleading, this has ALWAYS been how computers are sold, you give the storage space as a total, you don't subtract the OS or temp space from the space in the system... if we did that then we'd have to say oh Windows takes up 20GB so subtract that from the storage space listing!

heck I don't go suing Apple because my 8GB iPod Touch only had 7GB of free space, and 1GB used for OS and temp storage... It's always been common knowledge that the OS and programs will take up space

theyarecomingforyou said,
It's misleading to advertise it as 32GB when only 16GB is available to the user. A disclaimer does nothing to address that.

It was misleading to advertise my Laptop as a 1TB drive, it only had 968GB. It was misleading to advertise my external harddrive as 2TB, it only had 1.81TB.

McKay said,
It was misleading to advertise my Laptop as a 1TB drive, it only had 968GB. It was misleading to advertise my external harddrive as 2TB, it only had 1.81TB.

I agree, so I'm not sure what your point is.

Only dumb people do that. There is no where they state there is 32GB available storage.

theyarecomingforyou said,
It's misleading to advertise it as 32GB when only 16GB is available to the user. A disclaimer does nothing to address that.

theyarecomingforyou said,

I agree, so I'm not sure what your point is.

The point is they NEVER said it has 32 GB of FREE storage.

When you buy a 32 GB ipad, is all of that space free?

Edited by eddman, Nov 29 2012, 9:06pm :

eddman said,
The point is they NEVER said it has 32 GB of FREE storage.

When you buy a 32 GB ipad, is all of it free?

I have an 80GB iPod and it gives me 74.3GB; it's less than the amount advertised and it is misleading, though it's not something I felt misled about. However, if I'd only got 40GB of storage then I'd have felt VERY misled.

I'm not saying Microsoft is the only company with this issue but that doesn't mean it isn't an issue or that it isn't misleading.

I don't understand why people are defending bad business practices. Can you imagine if you bought a car advertised as a six-seater yet you could only use three because the rest were used to store the engine?

theyarecomingforyou said,

I have an 80GB iPod and it gives me 74.3GB; it's less than the amount advertised and it is misleading, though it's not something I felt misled about. However, if I'd only got 40GB of storage then I'd have felt VERY misled.

I'm not saying Microsoft is the only company with this issue but that doesn't mean it isn't an issue or that it isn't misleading.

I don't understand why people are defending bad business practices. Can you imagine if you bought a car advertised as a six-seater yet you could only use three because the rest were used to store the engine?

Common sense is a good thing too. I'm not saying it's good to have only 16-20 GB free space on surface, but they did not mislead anyone, since they did not claim it to be 32 GB free.

As a buyer, it's our responsibility to examine and research what we're buying. If we can't do that, then we'd be better off not buying at all.

My car has 4 seats, but I'm not able to get more than 3 of my friends in it. Guess I have to sue them.

I don't think buying a car is the same example as this. Also, iPod is not the same device as surface. How much space do you get when you buy iPad. I'm pretty sure it is not 16gb or 32 gb as advertised. Also, taking out MS office package and restore partition, you have over 22GB free of storage for the Surface RT.

theyarecomingforyou said,

I have an 80GB iPod and it gives me 74.3GB; it's less than the amount advertised and it is misleading, though it's not something I felt misled about. However, if I'd only got 40GB of storage then I'd have felt VERY misled.

I'm not saying Microsoft is the only company with this issue but that doesn't mean it isn't an issue or that it isn't misleading.

I don't understand why people are defending bad business practices. Can you imagine if you bought a car advertised as a six-seater yet you could only use three because the rest were used to store the engine?

theyarecomingforyou said,

I have an 80GB iPod and it gives me 74.3GB; it's less than the amount advertised and it is misleading, though it's not something I felt misled about.

Of course, because it has an Apple logo on it. Pay more for an Apple device, you don't feel cheated. Pay less for a device from someone that doesn't have the Apple logo, then you feel cheated.

theyarecomingforyou said,
It's misleading to advertise it as 32GB when only 16GB is available to the user. A disclaimer does nothing to address that.

I don't know what other people are doing to their Surface RT Tablets but mine is a 32GB one that has a total of 24GB storage available to the user.

neufuse said,

heck I don't go suing Apple because my 8GB iPod Touch only had 7GB of free space, and 1GB used for OS and temp storage... It's always been common knowledge that the OS and programs will take up space

Sure, but there is a difference between system software taking 10% of the available space and 50%, regardless of the device or manufacturer.

theyarecomingforyou said,
I agree, so I'm not sure what your point is.
He was being sarcastic...


theyarecomingforyou said,
I have an 80GB iPod and it gives me 74.3GB; it's less than the amount advertised and it is misleading, though it's not something I felt misled about. However, if I'd only got 40GB of storage then I'd have felt VERY misled.
I don't understand why people are defending bad business practices. Can you imagine if you bought a car advertised as a six-seater yet you could only use three because the rest were used to store the engine?
Your examples are unpassable. First, the 32GB Surface has way more than 16GB usable. The fact of the matter is, the 32GB label is in decimal, and there is only actually 29 binary GiB available. This is probably the only isleading part. However, computers have always been this way and this is nothing new.
Second, you cannot say that you would only be upset about your 80GB iPod if half of the space was used. That is simply blindness and idiocy. Proportionally, you get 92% of your iPod's labelled space, and 53% of the 32GB Surface's labelled price. It must be observed, however, that an iPod has a MUCH simpler OS and does not come with recovery tools, an Offcie suite, or very many built-in applications. And with the 64GiB (actually 59GB) Surface, you get 78% of the labelled space.
Finally, just as with the storage labels, cars have always had engines under the hood. If a car suddenly came with an engine filling three seats, yes I would be upset. But that is only because cars have never been this way; which is just like computers: they have always used decimal labels that do not have Windows or other factors measured in.

Mulsivaas said,
Proportionally, you get 92% of your iPod's labelled space, and 53% of the 32GB Surface's labelled price. It must be observed, however, that an iPod has a MUCH simpler OS and does not come with recovery tools, an Offcie suite, or very many built-in applications.

And none of that matters to the consumer. Do you not accept that it's misleading? Because Microsoft obviously does, as they had to add a disclaimer.

theyarecomingforyou said,

And none of that matters to the consumer. Do you not accept that it's misleading? Because Microsoft obviously does, as they had to add a disclaimer.


Them adding a disclaimer does not mean they felt they were being misleading. It means that they didn't factor in how ignorant/uninformed the general consumer is, nor the idiotic reactions that would result from this ignorance.

Yes, this is a CYA statement, and yes I think it's better that it's there as opposed to not - but I hate that things like this are necessary because consumers are so stupid.

Chsoriano said,
Them adding a disclaimer does not mean they felt they were being misleading. It means that they didn't factor in how ignorant/uninformed the general consumer is, nor the idiotic reactions that would result from this ignorance.

And what if the operating system and applications took up 80% of the storage, or 90% or 100%? At what line does it become misleading? You can't seriously expect consumers to have to go over every marketing claim with a fine-tooth comb just to find out information that should be readily available.

I have no idea why you feel the need to defend multi-billion dollar corporations engaging in misleading and anti-consumer practices.

theyarecomingforyou said,

And what if the operating system and applications took up 80% of the storage, or 90% or 100%? At what line does it become misleading? You can't seriously expect consumers to have to go over every marketing claim with a fine-tooth comb just to find out information that should be readily available.

I have no idea why you feel the need to defend multi-billion dollar corporations engaging in misleading and anti-consumer practices.


I'm defending them because I don't feel it is misleading or anti-consumer for them to advertise and sell a device as 32GB when it does have a 32GB storage device in it. The problem is that the public is uninformed, have unrealistic expectations, and make very poor assumptions about the products they purchase.

"I want a device with 32GB storage, AND I want it to come with Windows 8, Office 2013, a bunch of cool apps for me to use, etc. but not use any of that storage space..." - How does that make any sense at all? Why would a level-headed human being actually think that?

That said, Microsoft should by now realize that we all still have a long way to go with regard to the education and understanding consumers have of the technology we use every day - but I don't believe slamming Microsoft for "false advertising" is the right way to address this issue.

Chsoriano said,

I'm defending them because I don't feel it is misleading or anti-consumer for them to advertise and sell a device as 32GB when it does have a 32GB storage device in it. The problem is that the public is uninformed, have unrealistic expectations, and make very poor assumptions about the products they purchase.

The trouble is that lots of electronics devices - like iPods, tablets and mobile phones - advertise their storage in the same way yet they include the full amount, minus the decimal-binary discrepancy (which is also misleading but in a different way). Consumers shouldn't have to rely on blind luck to figure out how much storage they will have, especially when you're talking about losing 50% of the available storage.

Businesses have an obligation to be honest and transparent with customers and adding a small disclaimer is not good enough.