Microsoft’s Newest Ad Pits The Struggling Surface RT Against The iPad [Video]

This is a discussion on Microsoft’s Newest Ad Pits The Struggling Surface RT Against The iPad [Video] within the Off-Topic forums, part of the Apple Forums category; Microsoft is again said to be working on a 7-inch Surface to add to the company's next-generation tablet lineup, with the smaller form factor device ...

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  1. #1
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    Microsoft’s Newest Ad Pits The Struggling Surface RT Against The iPad [Video]



    Microsoft is again said to be working on a 7-inch Surface to add to the company's next-generation tablet lineup, with the smaller form factor device reportedly set for mass manufacture by year's end.

    Citing people familiar with Microsoft's hardware plans, The Wall Street Journal reported late Wednesday that the company is readying a new line of Surface tablets to follow up on the Surface RT and Surface Pro released earlier this year. One of the new units will supposedly be a 7-inch model, which would put it in direct competition with Apple's iPad mini.

    Sources say Microsoft did not originally plan on adding a 7-inch Surface to its lineup, but growing demand for small form factor tablets prompted the Redmond, Washington-based company to reconsider.

    With PC shipments taking a nosedive over the past three months, Microsoft may be looking to bolster its financial position by entering new markets. Research firms IDC and Gartner released their quarterly vendor estimates on Wednesday, noting the first quarter saw one of the steepest declines in PC shipments ever recorded.

    This is not the first time Microsoft has been rumored to be developing a 7-inch tablet, as reports in November 2012 claimed the company was planning a gaming-centric device to be sold under the Xbox brand.

    Microsoft's current Surface lineup has seen mediocre sales thus far, with one report from March estimating only 1.5 million units were sold since the Surface RT launched in October 2012. The Surface Pro, which hit store shelves in February and runs a full version of Windows 8, accounted for less than 500,000 of those sales.

    By comparison, Apple sold 23 million iPads over the holiday quarter alone.


    4-11-13

    appleinsider.com

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  3. #2
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    Microsoft’s Newest Ad Pits The Struggling Surface RT Against The iPad [Video]



    Having failed to gain traction in the tablet market, Microsoft has cut the price of its Surface RT tablet so low that the 10.6-inch device now costs nearly the same amount as Apple's entry-level iPad mini.

    Microsoft's 10.6-inch Surface RT tablets saw their suggested retail prices slashed by $150 each in the last week. As a result, resellers such as PC Mall are now offering the 32 gigabyte Surface RT for $349, while the 64-gigabyte model is available for $449.

    That means that the 32-gigabyte Surface RT is now just $20 more than Apple's entry-level iPad mini, which features a smaller 7.9-inch display and half the capacity with 16 gigabytes.

    Of course, regardless of price, Apple's iPad lineup still trounces Microsoft's Surface RT in dedicated apps: The iPad App Store has 350,000 applications, making it the largest tablet-specific software download destination available.

    Last month, Microsoft was selling the Surface RT for as little as $199, but that fire sale was focused on education and students. The latest revision is an apparent across-the-board reduction for the current lineup.

    Microsoft's custom-built Surface tablets debuted last October with prices starting at $499, matching the entry-level cost of Apple's high-end iPad with Retina display. Accessories such as the much-touted touch cover are sold separately.

    The Surface debuted around the same time that Apple launched its fourth-generation iPad and first iPad mini. The company went on to sell 22.9 million iPad units in the holiday 2012 quarter, a new record for Apple.

    But sales of the Surface lineup were much slower than Microsoft had initially hoped. One estimate published in March found that the Surface RT, powered by an ARM processor, and the Intel-based Surface Pro had collectively sold just 1.5 million units since launch.

    It's expected that Microsoft will unveil a second generation of custom-built Surface devices this fall. Rumors have claimed that Microsoft is working on smaller models for its next generation of devices, allowing the company to compete more directly with Apple's iPad mini.


    7-15-13

    appleinsider.com

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    Microsoft’s Windows RT tablets now $150 cheaper to compete with iPad Mini


    Microsoft has been trying to penetrate the tablet market for some time now, but with little success apparently. Some Windows 8 or Windows RT tablets might sport interesting features, but they haven’t convinced consumers to drop their iPads just yet.

    As a result, we are seeing this week a huge discount being applied to the 10.6-inch Surface RT tablet. Curious users researching the prices of such tablets will discover that a 32GB Surface RT can be now purchased for $349 while a 64GB one for $449. This brings the tablet in the iPad mini lower price section. This is a considerable downscaling, since when it first got released last autumn, the Surface RT starting prices were set at $499.

    Since last month, following Apple’s “Back to School” campaign, Microsoft applied some more price cuts. So students and educator looking to acquire a Surface RT are able to do so for the incredible low price of $199.

    Sales have been slow in the tablet department for Microsoft. The company has released its Surface tablet host pretty much around the same time Apple launched the 4th gen iPad and the iPad mini with whom it is so obviously competing now. But is competition the word we really need to be using here? Apple has sold 22.9 million iPads in only one quarter during the holiday season in 2012, setting an all-time high, while Microsoft barely managed to score 1.5 million, according to an estimate. Will a drastic price cut, resolve issues for the company?

    Written by RaduTyrsina.

    Source - Discounted Surface RT Will Most Likely Come With Windows 8.1

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    I wonder how long it will be before they actually open their eyes and see that it's their operating system that is the root cause of poor sales.

    It aint just a river in Egypt :)
    True nobility lies not in being superior to another person, but in being superior to our previous selves.

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    Microsoft’s Newest Ad Pits The Struggling Surface RT Against The iPad [Video]



    Microsoft’s recent barrage of anti-iPad ads have nearly all featured third-party tablets rather than boasting about Microsoft’s own iPad-killer, the Surface RT. Now that it’s desperately slashed prices on RT units, Microsoft is feeling inexplicably cocky in its latest ad, which pits the hardware and software specs of the iPad against that of the Surface RT.

    Basically, Microsoft is praying the iPad’s lack of a keyboard (that you have to purchase separately), Microsoft Office, and a USB port will be enough to entice some unlucky nerds to buy a Surface RT instead of an iPad now that it’s cheaper than ever but still deprived of quality apps.


    Here’s the ad:





    Let’s be honest here, Microsoft. No amount of shit talking will rescue the Surface RT from the hell it’s in. Your own CEO admits the Surface RT is one of the biggest flops on the market, and it has nothing to do with a USB port or Microsoft Office. Just try making a better tablet next time.



    8-7-13

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    Microsoft faces lawsuit over SurfaceRT struggles as launch preps Oct.17 launch of 8.1



    Even as it prepares a critical update to its Windows 8 platform, Microsoft has become the target of a lawsuit alleging that the software giant misled investors regarding both Windows RT and the Surface RT device it released last year.

    The lawsuit [PDF via TechCrunch] is a class action complaint filed in the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts. The complaint alleges that Microsoft violated the federal securities laws with the way that it handled informing investors of the progress of the Surface RT tablet it released late last year.

    The filing claims that Microsoft "led the market to believe that [its] launch of the Surface RT had been executed in a measured and conservative fashion so that it could observe and understand its progress and outcome." Instead, though, the suit calls the Surface RT launch "an unmitigated disaster, which left it with a large accumulation of excess, over-valued Surface RT inventory."

    The suit goes on to claim that Microsoft issued "materially false and misleading financial statements and financial disclosures" regarding the real financial impact the Surface RT's underperformance was having on the company. Microsoft finally wrote down $900 million on the failed device at the end of the most recent quarter, and the company's stock plunged $4.04 per share, or 11.4 percent, eliminating roughly $34 billion of Microsoft's market value.

    The suit also names a number of Microsoft's executives as defendants, including CEO Steve Ballmer and CFO Peter S. Klein. According to the filing, those individual defendants "are liable as participants in a fraudulent scheme and course of conduct that operated as a fraud or deceit on purchasers of Microsoft common stock" due to their sharing of information the suit deems "false and misleading," as well as their alleged "concealment" of other information.

    Windows RT, a pared-down version of Windows meant to run on ARM-powered devices, was meant to give Microsoft a foothold in that low-power device market and serve as a bulwark against Apple's dominance in the segment. The operating system, though, debuted to consumer yawns and confusion, and Microsoft has been struggling to generate interest since.

    Windows RT's full-powered counterpart, Windows 8, has seen little more luck as consumers are increasingly opting for Android and iOS-powered phones and tablets instead. Microsoft announced on Wednesday that a long-awaited update would arrive on October 17 under the moniker Windows 8.1. That update will give consumers the option to bypass Microsoft's "Modern" touch-centric interface in favor of the more familiar desktop layout.

    The failure of the Surface RT is similar in some ways to that of Research In Motion's (now BlackBerry) PlayBook tablet. After the release of Apple's iPad in 2010, RIM attempted to roll out its own tablet device in order to capture a portion of that segment. The PlayBook sold just a half-million devices in its first quarter of availability, a quarter-million in the quarter after that, and 150,000 in the quarter following. RIM eventually took a writedown of $485 million on unsold inventory, and the company has been reluctant to re-enter the tablet market since.

    Microsoft is thought to have sold a bit over 1.5 million units in total of its entire Surface line, which includes both the Surface Pro and the Surface RT. While the software giant hasn't released a detailed breakdown of Surface device sales, the majority of that 1.5 million figure is believed to consist of Surface Pro sales.

    The lawsuit, filed on August 12, seeks class action status and unspecified compensatory damages.



    8-14-13

    appleinsider.com

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    Microsoft now giving away Surface RT tablets to boost Bing use in schools



    Microsoft is already offering its Surface RT tablet device to educational institutions for just $199, but now the software giant is giving classrooms the opportunity to earn free units by using Bing. The firm announced on Wednesday a new Bing for Schools pilot program for more than 800,000 students in the Los Angeles Unified School District, Atlanta Public Schools, Fresno Unified School District, Detroit Country Day School, and a few other school districts.

    With the new program, Microsoft will be providing an ad-free, privacy-enhanced Bing search experience for students and faculty. In this sense, the firm will be taking on Google, which dominates the Internet search industry in both market and mind share.

    The Surface RT units come in as an incentive to get students using Microsoft's search option. Continual use of Bing generates credits for the Bing Rewards program. Microsoft pools the credits for each school, and when a school reaches 30,000 credits, Microsoft sends the institution a Surface RT unit with a capacitive Touch Cover attachment. The new Bing for Schools pilot program targets the L.A. Unified School District, where Apple recently secured a major deal to provide iPads to all students.

    While the Surface units are only sent to schools, the rewards program is open to a wider audience, meaning that community members can put their own Bing Rewards credits toward a Surface RT unit for a particular school. Microsoft estimates that 60 regular Bing Reward users could hit 30,000 credits in about a month of use.

    The move is just the latest in Microsoft's ongoing effort to generate interest in both the Surface platform and Bing. Bing is the second-most popular search engine in the United States, with about 18 percent market share. That is a far cry from the industry leader, Google, which holds two-thirds of U.S. Internet search.

    The Surface RT device, though, has been far less successful than Microsoft's search efforts. Despite millions spent on marketing the device, the Surface RT is largely viewed as an unmitigated failure, due in part to the device's stuttering performance and consumer confusion over the Windows RT brand.

    Windows RT was meant to give Microsoft a foothold in the segment of devices running on low-power ARM processors, but instead it split the Windows brand between the Modern UI-based Windows RT and Windows 8, which can run apps built for previous versions of Windows. Manufacturers have largely abandoned the Windows RT platform, and Windows 8 PC sales have underperformed since the OS' launch.




    8-21-13

    appleinsider.com

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    Microsoft outs new Surface 2, Surface Pro 2 in latest pitch to tablet generation



    Microsoft on Monday used a media event in Manhattan to show off the next wave of its Surface devices, doubling down on an effort to simulate Apple's widely successful ecosystem by which the company is responsible for developing both the tablet's software and hardware.

    The new devices — the Surface 2 and the Surface Pro 2 — are follow-ups to the Surface RT and Surface Pro, two tablets Microsoft released in this past October and January, respectively. Among their highlights are tweaked design elements and improved internals, as Microsoft tries to improve on the abysmal record of its first generation of computing hardware.


    Surface RT lives on as Surface 2

    The Surface 2 marks Microsoft's continuing effort to establish a market for Windows RT, a version of its operating system built to run on the same ARM chipsets powering much of today's mobile technology. The new version has a 1080p display, USB 3.0 ports, and what some believe to be an Nvidia Tegra 4 processor. Its battery life is also 25 percent longer than its predecessor while its entry level price has been knocked down to $450, which is $50 less than the original Surface RT.

    The Surface RT — and, indeed, Windows RT in general — is generally considered a failure for Microsoft, one that has cost the Redmond giant hundreds of millions of dollars.

    Initially seen as a way to get a foothold on the ARM platform, Windows RT is believed to have confused users, and the inability for the OS to run legacy Windows apps is generally seen to have hobbled its chances. The Surface RT, which runs Windows RT, fared little better, and Microsoft wrote down $900 million on the initial run of Surface RT devices due to poor sales.


    Surface Pro 2 gets Haswell, new peripherals

    The Surface Pro 2 has little in the way of redesign about it, at least with regard to aesthetics. The laptop-tablet hybrid has only seen one major design shift: the addition of a second possible position for its built-in kickstand.

    Internally, though, the Surface Pro 2 has several considerable upgrades. In terms of storage, the device is now available in 256GB and 512GB configurations as well as the 64GB and 128GB options consumers had with the original Surface Pro. The devices also have the option of 8GB of RAM.

    Perhaps most importantly, the Surface Pro 2 has significantly more battery life than its predecessor. Microsoft updated the device with Intel's new Haswell line of processors. Those chips give Apple's newest MacBook Airs battery life in excess of 9 hours. With the Surface Pro 2, Microsoft touts 75 percent higher battery life thanks to Haswell chips. Depending on a user's activities, that could amount to roughly eight hours of use.

    Microsoft is still trying to position the Surface Pro 2 as a form of laptop replacement. In presenting the device on Monday, company officials pointed out that the Surface Pro 2 should be faster than 90 percent of laptops on the market. It is also said to be 20 percent faster than the original Surface Pro.

    While still underperforming, considering the amount of money and marketing Microsoft put behind it, the Surface Pro was decidedly the more successful of Microsoft's two initial tablets. The entire first generation of Surface devices is believed to have generated about $853 million for Microsoft, with the Surface Pro accounting for most of that revenue.


    Accessories, accessories, accessories

    Monday's unveiling also saw Microsoft placing a good deal of focus on accessories for Surface devices. The company revamped both its Touch Cover and Type Cover keyboard attachments. The Touch Cover 2 now has 1092 sensors built in -- more than 10 times the number Microsoft included in the original Touch Cover capacitive keyboard cover, which won points for novelty but was ultimately panned in the press due to unresponsiveness.

    The diminutive mechanical keyboard, dubbed Type Cover, also saw an update on Monday. With Type Cover 2, Microsoft took roughly a millimeter out of the travel distance for the physical keys, making the device about as thin as the first generation Type Cover.

    Beyond the two standard keyboard covers, Microsoft also showed off another model, dubbed the Power Cover. Power Cover also includes a hardware keyboard, but it packs in additional battery power, adding up to 30Wh to a Surface unit. That could boost battery life up to 50 percent, meaning the new Surface Pro could last up to two and a half times longer than its predecessor. The firm also showed off a mixing-pad attachment that clicks onto the Surface, giving users the ability to remix their own music on the go.






    9-23-13

    appleinsider.com

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