Samsung rumored supplying 7.9-inch displays for smaller Surface
Samsung has reportedly been tapped by Microsoft to supply 7.9-inch panels for a smaller version of its Surface, according to Digitimes. The purported smaller tablet could be released as soon as the end of June, however, no Taiwanese suppliers have yet been included on the supplier list. Microsoft has not revealed its plans for future versions of its Surface tablet, but it recently changed the specifications of Windows 8 to accommodate displays that could be used on smaller tablets.
Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong set for May Surface Pro launch
The Microsoft Surface Pro will start shipping in a number of other countries later this month, as part of the company's plans to expand its retail availability further than the US, Canada, and China. The United Kingdom will see the device appearing on store shelves on May 23, while a number of markets in Europe looking to get the slate computer on May 30.
Apple apparently reticent to add Metro support
"You shouldn't expect an iTunes [Metro] app on Windows 8 any time soon," Microsoft CFO Tami Reller tells CNN Money. "iTunes is in high demand. The welcome mat has been laid out. It's not for lack of trying." The quote may suggest that Microsoft has been talking with Apple about adding Metro support for iTunes, but without any progress.
Microsoft prepping high-res 7.5-inch Surface says NPD DisplaySearch
An analyst with NPD DisplaySearch has told CNET that Microsoft has settled on a 7.5-inch display for one of its second-generation Surface tablets, which would go on sale in Q1 2014. The display could have a resolution of 1,400x1050 pixels that would give it a pixel density of 233 pixels per inch. This would make it one of the highest resolution small display tablets available and would comfortably beat out the current iPad mini, which sports a 7.9-inch display with a pixel density of 132ppi.
Microsoft Surface shipments for Q1 under 1 million, smaller devices coming
Microsoft Surface shipments for Q1 total just 900,000, according to the latest IDC report published yesterday. The underwhelming sales figures are said to be predominantly sales of its Surface Pro tablet, while the Surface RT had difficulty gaining any significant market traction. In total, since its launch late last year the company is thought to have shipped a total of just 1.5 million Surface devices, which pales in comparison to the 19.5 million iPadsApple sold in Q1 alone.
Surface Pro to hit 24 more countries, RT to reach four more
Microsoft is increasing the number of countries where customers can buy the Surface RT and Surface Pro tablets. The Surface Pro will be available in 24 more countries, while the Surface RT will be launching in Malaysia on April 25th, in Mexico by the end of may, and in Korea and Thailand in June. The expansion will see the Surface RT be available in 29 countries, and the Surface Pro in 27 in total.
Devices coming soon, no pricing or specifications revealed
Outbound Microsoft Chief Financial Officer Peter Klein revealed in today's financial conference call that Microsoft is working with partner companies to build a "new suite of small touch devices powered by Windows" at "competitive price points." The devices are expected in the "coming months" according to Klein. The executive declined to name partner companies, specific prices, or detail specifications.
Microsoft, HP shares suffer due to weak PC sales, troubled mobile strategy
Following reports published by Gartner and IDC showing the worst declines in PC sales on record, both Microsoft and HP shares have taken a beating, reports the Wall Street Journal. At the end of trading on Thursday, Microsoft shares shed 4.44 percent down to 28.94, while HP shares fared worse down 6.5 percent to $20.88 after it was revealed its PC shipments fell 24 percent. With the decline in PC sales directly attributed to the rise of the iPad and other tablet devices, the relatively weak performance of Microsoft and HP in the mobile devices segments has negatively affected investor sentiment in both companies.
Microsoft set to address popularity of sub 8-inch devices with own tablet
Microsoft is developing a 7-inch Windows 8 tablet, reports the Wall Street Journal. Citing “people familiar with the company’s plans,” the Journal contends that it will be launched as part of a second-generation range of Surface tablets later this year. Microsoft’s current Surface RT and Surface Pro tablets center on a 10.6-inch display, however data from IDC shows that half of all tablets sold last quarter were under 8-inches.
Wi-Fi issues fixed on Surface RT, driver fixes made on Pro
A pair of patches are rolling out for Microsoft's Surface tablet line -- one for the RT version, and one for the Surface Pro. The April Surface RT update is a Wi-Fi centric patch, attempting to fix reports of spotty connectivity. The Surface Pro update seems to be mainly focused on improved drivers, in addition to some screen touch navigation fixes.
Microsoft receives Touch Cover patent, patent for magnetic latch
Microsoft has won patents for the ornamental design of its Touch Cover for the Surface hybrid as well as for the cover’s magnetic latching mechanism. The patent for the ornamental design of the Touch Cover is very similar to Apple’s controversial ornamental design patents invoked in lawsuits most notably against Samsung. However, the patent for the magnetic latching mechanism is for its functional design.
RT and Windows 8 combined sales less than just RT estimates
According to a report from Bloomberg, Microsoft has sold about 1.5 million Surface tablets to date, in both the RT and Pro versions, since their respective debuts. The alleged sales numbers fall short of Microsoft estimates, said to be two million of the Surface RT in just the December quarter alone. By comparison, in the holiday quarter Apple sold 22.9 million iPads.
Nokia filing sees Microsoft as possible threat
Finnish smartphone maker Nokia is well aware of the threat Microsoft would pose should it decide to enter the smartphone manufacturing business in the same way it entered the PC making business. A recent SEC filing from the company acknowledges that possibility, as well as others, when enumerating possible threats to Nokia's business. The filing illustrates the tenuous relationship between Microsoft and its hardware partners, who are wary of the possibility that the company supplying them with the software to power their devices could wind up becoming a competitor.
Receives repairability score of 1 out of 10
The construction of the Microsoft Surface Pro has been judged to be highly unrepairable, after being dissected by iFixit. The repairability score of 1 out of 10 is the lowest on the firm's scale, and places it as harder to repair than many other competing products, including the Amazon Kindle Fire, the Samsung Galaxy Note, and the RT version of the Surface.
More 128GB version in stores by end of week
Microsoft has confirmed that more stock of its Surface Pro will be heading to stores. The head of the Surface team, Panos Panay, posted on Twitter that more 64GB models are shipping to Staples, Best Buy, Microsoft Stores and for online orders, while the 128GB variant will be reaching Best Buy and Microsoft Stores by Saturday.
Fix won't repair every issue with pen drivers and applications
Following reports of some application incompatibilities with the Surface Pro stylus -- including with several versions of Adobe Photoshop -- Microsoft is working on a fix for the issue. Electronista has learned that full support for pen issues may be left up to individual developers to fix, rather than a single solution for all applications affected by its implementation.
Announcement comes on eve of Surface Pro US retail sales
Three months after its US release, Microsoft has announced availability of the Surface RT tablet for some other countries. On February 14, the device will launch in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. No announcement has been made regarding the Surface Pro anywhere else than North America.
MS Surface Pro reaches retailers ahead of its February 9 launch
The Microsoft Surface with Windows 8 Pro has started appearing in retail stores in the US and Canada. However, the long-awaited Wintel notebook-tablet hybrid is cannot be purchased until its official on sale date of February 9. In the meantime, customers will be able to get their hands on the device and consider handing over the $899 (64GB) or $999 (128GB) that Microsoft is asking to the devices.
Does the Surface RT warrant your consideration
The Microsoft Surface with Windows RT has been on sale for around three months. Although it landed with considerable fanfare, recent estimates suggest that Microsoft may have only sold around 1 million since the device went on sale. When we reviewed the Surface RT we felt it has some quirks, but overall felt that it was effectively a new class of device with potential and awarded it four stars. Many potential buyers could be holding off for the imminent arrival the Surface with Windows 8 Pro, but the Surface RT still has the same strengths going for it.
Long-awaited Surface Pro finally on the way
Microsoft’s long awaited Surface with Windows 8 Pro is rolling off the production line and will be on sale soon. Redmond’s Panos Panay, the general manager of Microsoft’s Surface hardware has tweeted the news and said that it will be “arriving in the coming weeks.” The Surface Pro is expected to shake up the Windows 8 ultrabook market when it launches, undercutting many competing products, while offering better flexibility.
Estimate reduced from 2M, lower than iPad 20M
Microsoft sold only 1 million units of its Surface tablet over the holidays, according to new estimates. Analysts at UBS made the estimate, reducing it down from the previous 2 million thought would be sold during the period, despite efforts from the Redmond software giant to get the tablet into more retail locations in order to boost sales.
Microsoft Surface, Samsung Galaxy phones gain appeal
Apple is losing popularity amongst American teenagers, claims youth-targeted marketing agency the Buzz Marketing Group. "Teens are telling us Apple is done," BMG's Tina Wells remarks to Forbes. "Apple has done a great job of embracing Gen X and older [Millennials], but I don’t think they are connecting with Millennial kids. [They’re] all about Surface tablets/laptops and Galaxy."
Calls to Microsoft stores offer specific Surface Pro street date
Microsoft is allegedly going to release the Surface Pro, the tablet that will run the full version of Windows 8 instead of Windows RT, on January 26th or January 29th, according to two rumors. The earlier date would make the launch take place exactly 90 days after that of the Windows RT-based original and Windows 8 itself.
NVIDIA TegraZone gives Windows RT a gaming boost
NVIDIA TegraZone has finally made its way to Windows RT, adding a gaming boost to Tegra 3 devices running Windows RT. The most prominent Tegra 3 powered Windows RT device to hit the market is the Microsoft Surface, with both NVIDIA and Microsoft hoping its arrival on the platform makes a splash. Games available through the TegraZone portal have been optimized to take full advantage of the Tegra 3’s graphics performance.
Wii U, Surface among other list entries
Time Magazine has awarded the iPhone 5 the title of "Gadget of the Year" for 2012. In his piece on the phone, writer Harry McCracken calls the device "one of the most artfully polished gadgets anyone's ever built," and claims it outperforms other "nifty" smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy S III, which isn't included in his top-ten list despite the presence of the Galaxy Note II in eighth place. "When it comes to melding hardware, software and services so tightly that the seams fade away, Apple still has no peer," McCracken argues.
Low Surface sales figures said to be incorrect
Reports have emerged that the coming days will see Microsoft's Surface RT tablet showing up in more traditional retail outlets as the software giant looks to improve accessibility for its first major foray into computer hardware. Details on where the device will be turning up remain scarce, but the plan to move toward wider distribution is said to have always been a part of Microsoft's plan for the device, though it was initially scheduled for early 2013. Wider distribution, it is thought, would help boost sales of the Surface tablet, which is currently available only online and at Microsoft's physical retail locations.
Microsoft reported to have cut Surface RT orders in half
Upstream supply chain sources have revealed that Microsoft has reduced its orders for the Surface with Windows RT by half. If true, it dovetails with comments made by Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer who revealed that the Surface RT had achieved ‘modest’ sales’ on launch. Although there were signs of sell-outs on launch, it is possible that users are taking a ‘wait and see’ approach, particularly as the launch of the Surface with Windows Pro is looming.
Ballmer insinuates Wall Street to blame for slow stock price climb
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer took the stage at the company's annual shareholders meeting, conceding that the Windows maker should have been "more proactive" in coming to market with an iPad competitor. Also in the meeting, Ballmer suggested that he had done all he could to drive the company's stagnant stock up -- but it was not Microsoft's failures, but Wall Street's inability to recognize improvement, that prevented investment growth.
MS makes good on promise to deliver Office 2013 RT free of charge
Microsoft has issued a 348MB update for its Surface with Windows RT. The update (KB2748583) takes Office for Home and Student 2013 RT Preview to the final release version. One of the key advantages of the Surface RT is that it ships with a version of Office preloaded on the device; the new update makes good on Microsoft’s promise to take users to the final release version at no cost.
Surface tops Windows 8, Nokia tops Windows Phone
Microsoft's Surface RT has assumed a commanding market share, at least with regard to the nascent Windows 8 market. This according to the largest ad network for Windows Phone and Windows 8 apps, AdDuplex, which found that the reportedly fast-selling Surface RT tablet accounts for 11 percent of the overall Windows 8 market, more than the next seven Windows 8 devices combined. At the same time, Nokia retains the top spot among manufacturers of handsets running all versions of Windows Phone.
Microsoft Surface RT gets performance boosting patch
Microsoft has issued the first system firmware update for the Surface with Windows RT. Although unspecified, the firmware update brings with it performance improvements that have been reported to speed up the launching of applications. The update also brings with it several security patches and other minor fixes.
Microsoft issues software update for Surface RT
Microsoft has issued a software update for its Surface RT device, the first for the device since it launched last month. The update is said to improve app launch times and to patch a number of known security issues with Windows RT. It does not apparently, though, address an audio stuttering issue that has been pointed out on the device.
Scratching beneath the Surface
The Microsoft Surface with Windows RT arrives a full two years after Apple reinvented the tablet market. Microsoft and its partners had struggled along valiantly with convertible notebooks that could work in a tablet mode, but they were just too heavy and impractical. Within the first several months of the iPad launching, it quickly outsold the sum total of all Windows tablet PCs ever sold, even though they had been on the market for years. So the question is, has Microsoft managed to bring something new to the table? Read our full review of the Surface RT to find out.
Ballmer gives no specifics, says WP* will ramp up quickly
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has described sales of the software giant's new keyboard-enabled tablet as "modest" in an interview with a French publication. It is the first time since the device's release late last month that Microsoft has given any indication of the popularity of the Surface RT tablet, though it was previously believed to be selling well due to sell-outs in online availability. Official sales numbers on the device remain unavailable.
Touch Cover splits, audio issues reported in forums
Just a few weeks after the launch of the Surface RT tablet, some owners of the device are beginning to notice flaws in the both its operation and its hardware. A number of threads on Microsoft's support forums point out random muting and audio stuttering on some units while Surface is in use or in on standby. Other users have reported that the Touch Cover attachment -- one of Microsoft's main selling points for the device -- may be prone to splitting and fraying. Retail sources close to Microsoft tell Electronista that the return rate on Touch Covers could be as high as one in five.
How is Microsoft's first tablet PC shaping up?
Much has been written about Microsoft’s entry into the PC hardware space, competing for the first time directly with its Windows hardware partners. For whatever reason, Microsoft decided that it needed to ‘make a splash’ with its own hardware announcing the Surface tablets running Windows 8 or RT in June, ahead of their late October launch. Electronista is currently playing with a Surface RT tablet with 32GB of storage paired with the interesting and clever Touch Cover. So how is it stacking up so far, a few hours out of the box?
Sources suggest Xbox-centric tablet to have custom ARM processor
Microsoft is looking into making its own 7-inch tablet specifically for gaming, despite only recently launching the general-purpose Microsoft Surface. Rumors suggest that the software giant is working on the hardware, which will allegedly have a custom ARM processor and high-bandwidth RAM for gaming, though it is not clear if it will be for the current or next generation Xbox..
Microsoft making more money than Apple for each tablet sold
A new teardown shows that Microsoft is generating huge profit margins out of each Surface RT tablet that it sells. According to IHS iSuppli, the bill of materials (BOM) for the Surface RT tablet 32GB is $248 plus $18 for the TouchCover, which Microsoft is selling for $599. By comparison, an earlier teardown of the third-generation iPad revealed that it costs Apple $316 to make, which it then sells for $499 indicating that Microsoft is making a substantially higher gross profit for each tablet it sells.
New Microsoft Windows Phone could be called Surface as well
Fresh rumors have surfaced that Microsoft is developing its own Windows Phone 8 smartphone. According to the Wall Street Journal, Microsoft is said to be ‘testing’ is own Windows Phone 8 hardware with a device bearing a screen “between four and five inches. A similar rumor emerged in early October, with the China Times also claiming that if it pushes ahead, Microsoft will reuse the Surface brand name on the handset.
Surface ranks a bit above Apple's iPad for disassembly
Microsoft's new Surface tablet has received the requisite dissection by the device repair pros at iFixit. According to iFixit, Microsoft's tablet is a bit easier to disassemble than Apple's iPad, but less so than Amazon's Kindle Fire or Google's Nexus 7. In particular, the display appears to be difficult to access, requiring that the person doing the disassembling to go into the device from the back, removing most of its components in order to gain access.
'There's no device on the market that's like the Surface'
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has indicated that the software giant's foray into the hardware sector is not a step it is likely to reverse any time soon, and that Microsoft will be releasing hardware beyond its just-released Surface tablets. Microsoft's move into hardware production has angered some of its PC manufacturing partners, who now fear that they will have to compete with the very company that supplies them with an operating system. That fact apparently has not swayed Ballmer, though, as he has stated that the company will do more in hardware "where we see important opportunities to set a new standard."
Apple exec labels Surface tablet a ''confusing product''
During a conference call following Apple's fiscal Q4 financial disclosures, CEO Tim Cook did not hold back his thoughts regarding Microsoft's Surface tablet and PCs in general. Answering a question about the potential threat from competing products, the executive labeled the Surface tablet a "compromised, confusing product" and likened it to a car that might be able to fly and float, but would not be able to "do all of those things very well."
Surface RT tablet gets snaps for hardware, but not overall experience
Early reviews of the Microsoft Surface with Windows RT tablet have started to hit the web, and the verdicts vary widely. While nearly all have found something positive say about Microsoft’s first piece of computer hardware, most of the complaints center on the Windows RT OS and the dearth of available applications for the new platform. The Wall Street Journal's Walt Mossberg found many positives, although The Verge argues that far from being better than the iPad and other tablet competition, the Surface RT tablet is not even on par with them.
DisplayMate doubts Microsoft's Surface prediction
DisplayMate has weighed in on Microsoft's recent assertion that the screen on its Surface RT device would be better for reading than the high-resolution Retina display featured on the newest iPad. In a brief analysis of Microsoft's claim, DisplayMate finds that Microsoft's tablet will likely produce a more readable image than the iPad 2, but that it was unlikely to be able to best the Retina display. As the Surface has not yet been released, DisplayMate was unable to use an actual unit, but instead relied on an Asus Netbook, which they believe to be similarly specced.
If true, would steal thunder from Microsoft Surface debut
A little-known enthusiast website has cited a source that was accurate on the launch date of the iPhone 5, and this time has predicted that the iPad mini -- which is likely to be unveiled in a press event on October 23 -- will debut in the US and a handful of other countries on November 2, with pre-orders opening a week prior. If true, the date of the pre-orders would undoubtedly steal the spotlight away from the official launch of Microsoft's Surface tablet, which will finally make its public debut on the same day.
32GB model without cover now shipping in three weeks
Microsoft's Surface RT tablet may only have become available for preorder in the last 24 hours, but that hasn't stopped at least one model from apparently selling out. The low-end model of the Surface RT is now shown on Microsoft's product page as being available for preorder with shipment "within three weeks," indicating that Microsoft has run out of supply of the device. The other two higher-priced models are still available for delivery by October 26.
Microsoft puts the Surface tablet with Windows RT up for pre-order
Microsoft’s eagerly anticipated Surface tablet is now up for pre-order in eight countries. The first version up for the taking runs Windows RT on an ARM-based Nvidia Tegra 3 quad-core processor clocked at 1.5GHz. Prices start at $499 for a 32GB model without the vaunted Touch Cover, with a shipping date of October 26.
Surface RT pricing leaks on page, quickly taken down
A page on Microsoft's web site appears to have quickly leaked the pricing for Microsoft's forthcoming Surface RT tablet ahead of its official unveiling later this month. The Surface RT, which will not run the full version of Windows 8, will likely start at $499 and will range in price up to $699. The leaked pricing figures, while comparable with the tablet market-leading iPad, are well above the expectations Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer set recently for Surface pricing. The pricing page has been taken down, though, so the price points are not necessarily final.
Commercial devoid of technical, pricing information
A new ad for Microsoft's Surface tablet premiered during Monday Night Football. The commercial features Microsoft's tablet with magnetic covers in assorted colors, generally airborne amidst a bevy of synchronized dancing youths. As with the rest of the pre-release materials for the tablet, the commercial was bereft of technical information, and a price still has yet to be announced for the pair of devices. The commercial was shown across networks, making an appearance not only on Monday Night Football on ESPN, but also on shows such as post-apocalyptic drama Revolution on NBC.
Elop: Nokia has WP8 rights beyond others, even Microsoft
Even with rumors of a Microsoft smartphone surfacing again, Nokia CEO Stephen Elop believes the Finnish smartphone maker will be able to distinguish its Lumia line of Windows Phone 8 devices and provide a WP8 experience that no other manufacturers can match, including Microsoft. Elop's comments came as part of an interview with GigaOM, one in which the Nokia CEO noted that Nokia's bet on the Windows Phone platform had netted the phone maker some permissions particular to Nokia. Those permissions, as well as Nokia's years of research into smartphone technologies, give Elop confidence that, should Microsoft roll out its own smartphone, Nokia's position in the WP8 segment will be largely unaffected.