Microsoft announces new Surface programs; states that it has been getting "a lot of interest"
While analysts are stating that Microsoft’s Surface isn’t doing as well as hoped, yesterday the Redmond technology company stated that they have “had a LOT of interest from businesses, schools and universities wanting to use Surface.” Today, Surface is currently available in 29 different markets and over 10,000 physical stores worldwide.
Three major announcement about Surfaces availability in the USA, commercial partnerships, and education were announced.
First, Microsoft is beginning the first phase of an expansion plan into business channels that will allow purchasing through authorized resellers. The list of resellers include CDW, CompuCom Systems, En Pointe Technologies, Insight Enterprises, SHI International, Softchoice, Softmart, PC Connection, PCM Inc., and Zones Inc.
The new availability through commercial resellers will allow additional services for enterprise customers including asset tagging, custom imaging, kitting, onsite service, device recycling, and data protection. When working with machines on a large scale, services like these allow for a more efficient and hassle free IT environment.
Microsoft announced that over the next few months it will be working to authorize more commercial distributors in resellers in countries around the globe.
Secondly, the company is announcing a new program known as AppsForSurface; available to Independent Software Vendors, the program will provide funding for developers working to develop more applications for the Windows App Store. We aren’t talking about angry birds and temple run though, the program aims to bring key enterprise apps to Surface and Windows 8 machines.
Companies have already begun to sign up for AppsForSurface and current members include AirStrip, Citrix, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, and Sage.
Lastly, the already announced Surface program for education will be expanded into commercial channels. The deal currently allows qualifying educational institutes to purchase the Surface RT starting at $199. Microsoft hopes that the expansion of the program will “help to get Surface in the hands of even more educators and students.”
Is the Surface doing better than analysts think or is Microsoft hyping up faux information – let us know what you think in the comments below.
Source: Surface Blog
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They could also use the fanless Haswell ..
If the Surface Pro 2 does not have Haswell, or if it has Haswell and does not have better than 4 hours of battery life, guess what Mr. "I'm so much better than everyone else"? I won't buy it.
You sound like a grade A level douche who likes to act like he's superior when he knows nothing.
The UI is much quicker and swiping guestures are much better. Having all the windows built in drivers is amazing, pretty much all my USB stuff works. Networking is much better, can connect and share files so much easier than on iPad, just like a PC really. And having MS Office when I'm travelling has been a real bonus.
Downloaded 8.1 for it the other day and it just makes it even better.
Its all about brands though, and Apple is renound for being the best but I just feel the are lacking at the moment.
One person I know who did buy a Surface RT back around Christmas sent it back after dealing with a 4-hour update shortly after turning it on. My guess is that the first update was a patch for the less than satisfying Wi-Fi driver, which was the cause of a less than stable Wi-Fi connection during her first update. Too bad. I know she would have loved it had she stuck it out.
That said, I would need to rely on sharing my phones's broadband through wi-fi and that sucks on the battery like nothin'.
I already have a data-only plan that includes a volume of 10gb and an extra SIM would only cost additional 10€ (the contract itself only costs me 30€). Everything I do with my mobile devices is done online; I do calls via Skype (incl. world wide and that for consistent prices) & send messages also through Skype as well or use WhatsApp.
So having the choice that suits best for a particular way of doing things would be nice.
The native Bing apps are poised to get a solid upgrade in Windows 8.1, and Office for Metro will join in due time (2014). Outside of Microsoft we'll be seeing Flipboard, Foursquare and VLC, and as of late, I am seeing some really nice, quality apps pop up in the Windows Store. For example, consider Torrex (Beta), a functional torrent downloader, and then Social NV, a solid 3rd party Facebook app!
Sure, we likely won't see as many apps as Android or iOS, but Windows RT has a number of added capabilities that dilute the necessity of many apps. Consider Flash in Internet Explorer allows one to stream media, thereby negating the necessity of cable network apps to stream catch-up TV, movies, etc. This is rock solid IMHO.
Honestly, with Flipboard alone I can see myself spending 40-50% of my typical time in Metro, throw in Office and we're hitting 70-80%.
In any case, the goal of these devices should be to get them into as many hands as possible, and in the process ensure that a lot of people are using Bing Search, Maps, News, etc (other Bing apps), Skype (w/adverts) as possible. Heck, instead of bundling each unit with a free copy of Office Home, why not develop an offline HTML5-based versions ala OWA, but upped a little bit in the way of functions (to be good enough)? And load them with advertisements too...
...but in all of that, give users the option to pay like $100 more to get rid of all advertisements on the entry-level Surfaces.
Suface in itself does not have to make money hand over fist for it to be successful as it is a model PC for other OEMs to strive for. Just as the Acer 8" full W8 tablet is sub-par and not even worth the low price it cost, a sub-par Surface RT will not be a winner. A 8" Surface RT tab with the same specs at ~$300 might be doable.
Perhaps MS can reserve the Surface brand for a premium brand, and in tandem, have a cheaper brand to set the bar for budget devices? I believe MS (or an OEM) need to hit the $200 marker for 7-8 inch Windows tablets, it's time to double down and drive the point home.
Surface Pro, as it has ALWAYS BEEN, is not an iPad competitor. It is a MacBook Air competitor, and a spectacular one at that.
That said, I agree that price is always a factor... cost must be proportionate to what REAL customers are able and willing to spend. But clearly you're missing out on all the advertising showing how much cheaper Win8 systems are compared to Apple.
The RT does have advantages over the iPad, yes, such as the UI and ports, but most people use a tablet for ease of apps/social/media, and this is where the RT is behind the iPad. We both own 8X windows phones so no we’re not iSheep. And no I wouldn’t compare the RT to the Pro. They’re totally different animals…..the pro being an animal I want to mount.
As far as smoothness and fluidness, I did notice that after a few firmware updates, RT ran smoother. Now with 8.1, its very smooth. And because its Windows at its core, you can always tweak the performance in Advance System Settings. And RT has Defender turned on by default, you can always disable that if you like to gain a few more ounces of speed. There is also a tweak out there for decreasing the “touch friction” to speed up touch.
But even ignoring the sales factor, any efforts to reach out to new developers and customers is a good thing. It's good to see them launch these programs and trying to court new development for the platform.
Remember, folks, Microsoft is all about third attempts... first is to test the waters, second is to come out swinging, and third is where they decimate the competition. 8.1 is second attempt.
You will not need to remount.....just reconnect your library to the appropriate folders on the newly discovered "D" drive.
Surface really feels more fluid and responsive. I had no complaints before but I do see an improvement.
"missionsparta".....if you are adventurous you should try it. The only downside is that everyone is saying that when the production version comes out you would have to reload your apps. For me that's not much a big deal. I can install Apps just as long as my data is all there. I have no regrets that I've installed the 8.1 preview. On the contrary.........quite enjoying it!!
Having said that, my experience with 8.1RT has been very good and I don't think I'll be using that USB drive at all. :)
Am thinking of Surface Pro but am not sure..should I wait for Pro 2..what options do you folks suggest??