Microsoft starts pre-orders for Surface Power Cover, ships March 19th
Microsoft has opened up pre-orders for its Surface Power Cover, with shipments set to start on March 19th in the United States. Spotted by ZDNet in the Microsoft Store for $200, the Power Cover adds up to 70-percent more battery life to the Surface Pro, Surface 2, and Surface Pro 2 tablets, and retains the same keyboard and touchpad as other Surface covers, though it adds 9.75mm (0.38 inches) and just over half a pound in weight to each tablet.
Rule change to help prevent pilot distraction by mobile devices
The Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) has made two technology-related decisions this week, with both changes affecting pilots rather than passengers. At the same time as introducing new rules limiting the equipment brought into the cockpit, the FAA has given the green light to pilots replacing their bag of flight manuals and documents with the Microsoft Surface 2.
64-bit Denver Tegra K1 from Nvidia touted in next Surface tablet
The next version of the Microsoft Surface could possibly ship with the 64-bit "Denver" version of Nvidia's Tegra K1 processor, according to new rumors. The Windows 8 tablet, one which could be launched before the end of this year, is also rumored to be accompanied by the Surface Mini, a 7.5-inch tablet that will apparently have 4G LTE connectivity options.
Microsoft Surface Tablet for $330 and more
Currently on sale at BestBuy.com is the Microsoft Surface tablet with 64GB of storage, which has been reduced from $380 down to $330, making it the best price we've seen by $50. Free shipping is included, but sales tax applies for residents of most states. This tablet features 64GB of storage space, Bluetooth 4.0 compatibility, built-in Wi-Fi, an integrated kick stand, and has Windows 8 pre-installed. Included is a one-year warranty and 90 days tech support from Microsoft.
Patch either fails to install, or drastically reduces battery life
Microsoft has retracted its latest update to its Surface line of tablets, citing user complaints. According to support forums and assorted user reports, the December update to the tablet is failing installation for most. Even if installation is successful, the patch negatively impacts battery life, among other flaws.
Microsoft may expand Surface line with Surface mini
Microsoft will reportedly roll out a new addition to its line of Surface devices, one with a form factor closer to that of Apple's iPad mini. This according to WPDang, which claims that the device may launch in the first half of next year. The move would be the latest in a series that has seen Microsoft attempting to combat the growth of iOS and Android in the mobile computing market, a segment that appears on track to replace traditional personal computers as the dominant computing paradigm.
Dock being sold in limited numbers before wider availability in 2014
Microsoft has started selling a docking station for the Surface Pro and Surface Pro 2, with sales said to be in limited quantities before wider availability next year. The dock's appearance is accompanied by Microsoft demonstrating one of its recently-announced Surface covers, one which is dedicated to music creation and playback.
Surface 2 offers some key improvements over the original
The Microsoft Surface 2 is being positioned as a productivity tablet, and when it comes to Office productivity there can be little doubt that the Surface 2 delivers on this promise. However, so far it seems as though this is not entirely what consumers are looking for in tablet if sales of the original are any gauge. Yet at the same time, there is a very strong market for keyboard accessories for Apple’s iPad. So, given the reality that many iPad users are looking to use a keyboard with their iPad, is a tablet that makes a keyboard a more integral part of the overall design worth another look? Read on in our review of the Microsoft Surface 2.
Microsoft cuts price of original Surface Pro by another $100
Microsoft has cut the price of its Surface Pro yet again, following the launch of its revised Windows tablet line. The original discounted price of $799 for the base 64GB model has been lowered by another $100 to $699, reports The Next Web, with the 128GB and 256GB versions selling for $799 and $999 respectively. This new discounted price, just like the earlier one, will only apply in the US and Canada and is said to expire at the end of this year, though Microsoft may choose to make it permanent again.
Frank Shaw blasts iPad event
Microsoft communications head Frank Shaw has blasted Apple's latest event and first impressions from attendees, claiming the "reality distortion field ... has extended beyond Cupertino." The executive argues that Microsoft's own Surface and Surface 2 devices represent cheaper alternatives to the new iPads, and, thanks to free Office software, are better suited to productivity tasks.
Microsoft Surface 2, Surface Pro 2 pick up key enhancements
Microsoft's revamped Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 productivity tablets are now shipping to customers. The revised devices both incorporate a number of enhancements designed to boost performance and improve overall usability. Both devices incorporate the latest silicon and an improved dual-position kickstand, while each also ships out of the box with Microsoft's refined Windows 8.1 operating system.
Could cater to professional market
Apple could be preparing a keyboard cover for the fifth-generation iPad similar in style to the Touch Cover for the Microsoft Surface, says ex-Apple worker Jamie Ryan. The company has reportedly been working on "a few different styles" of keyboard covers for some time. Ryan comments that although there are a "1000 no’s [sic] for every yes" when it comes to Apple prototypes, a first-party Bluetooth cover might make the iPad more appealing to professionals. Other "cover-like" accessories are allegedly being investigated.
Windows 8, Surface RT struggles mean pay cut for Ballmer
Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer will only earn 79 percent of his potential incentive award for fiscal 2013 due to the poor performance of the Windows Division and the company's underperforming Surface RT device. Earlier this week, the software giant released its fiscal 2013 proxy statement, revealing Ballmer's docked pay. Last year, the Microsoft head received 91 percent of his eligible incentive award.
Microsoft Surface with smaller screen allegedly still being worked on
Microsoft is still working on a smaller version of its Surface tablet line, according to a new rumor. Specifications for the smaller Windows RT tablet are claimed to include a 7.5-inch display with a resolution of 1400x1050 and a 4:3 aspect ratio, something which matches details supplied in an earlier rumor from NPD DisplaySearch back in May.
New Microsoft tablets shipping October 21st, includes SkyDrive storage
Microsoft has opened up pre-orders for the Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2, a pair of upgraded tablets the company launched at an event yesterday. Both second-generation Surface devices will be shipping by October 21st, at the same time as it goes on sale through retailers, with buyers of either tablet also receiving 200GB of SkyDrive storage for two years and a Skype subscription as a free bonus.
Specification upgrades, new accessories listed for Surface range
Microsoft has launched updated models of both the Surface RT and the Surface Pro slate computers, at an ongoing launch event. The Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 appear to be similar in design to the originals, except for the new two-stage kickstand in the Surface Pro 2, with both devices having a number of internal specification boosts and new accessories.
Microsoft opens trade-in scheme to more devices, larger credits
Microsoft has expanded its buyback scheme to include other devices. The Clover Wireless-managed program, which offered $200 gift cards for iPad trade-ins, now offers up to $350 for a range of smartphones and tablets, including the iPhone. Notably, while Microsoft is pushing participants to buy Windows-based devices with their funds, the form does not appear to allow users to select the Microsoft Surface for trade-in, though the Nokia Lumia range is still tradeable.
Tegra 4, 1080p display, white color options touted in Surface 2
More details for the upcoming refresh of the Microsoft Surface have appeared, with reports suggesting it to have a 1080p display. The new specification rumors come at the same time as Microsoft starts issuing invitations to members of the media for a Surface-related event on September 23 in New York City, likely for the launch of the Surface 2.
Surface Docking Station to be compatible with Surface Pro, Pro 2
Alongside the forthcoming revised editions of its Surface tablet line, Microsoft will also roll out a desktop docking station, according to new reports. That station will turn the Surface into a more powerful device, with a number of additional video, port, and networking options. There is, as yet, no word on pricing or availability, but Windows Supersite expects it to ship along with the refreshed Surface models.
Surface 2 set to gain rechargeable Power Cover, extend battery life
The Microsoft Surface 2 will feature a TypeCover variant with a built-in rechargeable battery designed to extend the life of the unit when on the go. Dubbed the Power Cover, by Neowin, it will be compatible with the Surface 2 (running Windows RT 8.1) and the Surface Pro 2. It is also expected to be backwards compatible with the current Surface Pro, but not the current Surface RT.
Surface Pro to see Haswell, Windows RT version upgraded to Tegra 4
Details have begun to emerge about Microsoft's new line of Surface tablets. Allegedly, the new design of the proposed "Pro 2" version is externally similar to the original model, but includes a battery-conserving Intel Haswell processor, bringing with it enhanced graphical performance in addition to the battery life extension. Additionally, both editions of the tablet will boast a new kickstand, allowing the device to be used more easily on uneven surfaces.
Discount added to Surface RT bundles, Touch Covers
Microsoft has decided to make its temporary price cut of the Surface Pro a permanent fixture, with the $100 price cut in the United States keeping the tablet computer at $799 for the base model. The same discount has also made its way across the Atlantic, with European customers seeing a similar permanent price cut.
Could represent inventory drain in preparation for new models
The Apple iPad suffered a major drop in Chinese marketshare during the second quarter, says research firm IDC. In spite of its cost, the iPad has usually dominated the Chinese tablet market, holding over 50 percent of it. Q2 results, however, show the iPad down to just 28 percent, still in the lead but in active competition. Some 1.5 million iPads shipped to China in the quarter, half the amount delivered during Q1.
Like Surface RT, Surface Pro gets price cut
Microsoft is cutting the price of the Surface Pro by $100 according to the company's web site for the page. The price cut comes after it was revealed that the software giant has yet to turn a profit on its touchscreen computing devices. The $100 price cut will last through the month of August.
Annual 10-K with SEC reveals $50 million less earned than spent
Microsoft's annual 10-K filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) have revealed some uncomfortable truths about its maligned Surface tablet line. According to the filing, the entire Surface product line has failed to make a profit, with revenue of $853 million -- less than the $900 million write-down on the Windows RT tablet the company announced earlier this month in its quarterly earnings statement.
Intel to debut first fanless 'Haswell' mobile chip design later this year
The first fanless low-voltage Core i-series chip from Intel based on the ‘Haswell’ architecture is inbound for a late 2013 debut. This will enable a new generation of Windows and other tablets that will be able to offer full performance in a much thinner, ARM or Atom-like tablet design. Intel says that the new chip will sip just 4.5 Watts, meaning that a 2-in-1 tablet maker like Microsoft will be able to create a Surface Pro 2 that would be much more like the Surface RT in thickness and weight.
32GB model hits $349, 64GB down to $449 in hefty Surface RT discount
Microsoft has cut the price of its Surface RT tablet, in what appears to be an effort to reduce stock in the slate computing device. As earlier rumored, the 32GB Surface RT has dropped in price from $499 to $349, the 64GB model is now $449 instead of $599, with the same $150 discount being applied to the black Touch Cover versions, at $449 and $549 respectively.
Move aimed at clearing inventory channel of old units before upgrade
Paving the way for a new release, Microsoft is reportedly preparing for an imminent price reduction on the Surface RT tablet. Sources familiar with the matter claim the cuts are coming as early as next week, with all models being slashed by $150.
Presentation points to upcoming Surface updates, more MS stores
During today's Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference, Microsoft Chief Operating Officer Kevin Turner called this year the company's "biggest innovation year ever" and teased new releases from the Seattle-based company. At the end of his remarks, Turner displayed a slide showing major releases from nearly every aspect of the company -- including Office, some Surface revisions, and a host of Skype improvements.
MS updating WP8 for 1080p, quad-core support, 256GB Surface coming
Windows Phone 8 users are set to join Android users who currently enjoy 1080p displays on their smartphones. Although no WP8 phones have been confirmed as bringing 1080p displays to market yet, an emulation function in Visual Studio 2013 has been discovered to offer the resolution for testing. Microsoft is also said to be adding support for quad-core processors in the next version of its mobile phone OS, as it seeks to match Android devices for specs in the highly competitive smartphone segment. However, the updated OS is not due until the end of 2013.
Previous Japan only 256 GB model to sell for $1,200
Following its availability in Japan, Microsoft has commenced selling 256GB models of its Surface Windows 8 tablet in the US. Additionally, the company has expanded the venues the tablet can be purchased through, including companies like CDW, and others, now carrying the device, other than just "official resellers."
Nvidia to remain supplier for some versions of Surface
Microsoft is working on a version of its Surface RT slate computer that uses a Qualcomm processor, according to a report. The change in chip comes at the same time as Microsoft drops the price of the tablet for educational users, in what appears to be a clear-out of current Surface RT stock ahead of a device refresh.
Bigger 256GB capacity replaces 64GB version, could appear elsewhere
Microsoft has rolled out its Surface Pro to Japan, as part of its plans to offer the slate computer in more countries, and has included an option for larger storage. A 256GB model will go on sale in the country on June 7th, and marks the first time Microsoft has increased the capacity for the Pro version of its tablets from the original 64GB and 128GB variants.
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.