Microsoft Surface


'Microsoft Surface' Articles

Microsoft Planning Low-Cost Surface Line to Compete With Apple's $329 iPad

As Apple's iPad and Microsoft's Surface continue to compete in the tablet market, a new report out today by Bloomberg claims that Microsoft is planning its next tablet line to be lower-cost in an effort to attract people to Surface products who aren't interested in the more expensive Surface Pro. The move is directly aimed at competing with Apple's recently launched $329 iPad, and could see Microsoft debut the devices as soon as the second half of 2018. According to people familiar with the company's plans, the tablets will be priced at around $400, so they would still be more expensive than Apple's cheapest options. They will be the first Surface devices to adopt USB-C and rounded edges "like an iPad," instead of the square corners of the current devices. Storage tiers will include 64GB and 128GB, as well as LTE options, and the devices will feature 10-inch screens. The Surface Pro In an effort to make the tablets 20 percent lighter than the high-end $799 Surface Pro, Microsoft is believed to sacrifice battery life by as much as "four hours fewer" than the current generation (13.5 hours for Surface Pro). Not much is known about the insides of the upcoming tablets, but the people said that Intel will supply the main processor and graphics chips. The devices will continue to have the kickstand for upright typing and video watching seen in current Surface models, and they will run Windows 10 Pro. Ultimately, the company is trying to enter the low-cost market again after previous attempts with the Surface RT in 2012 and the Surface 3 in 2015, which both started at

Consumer Reports Pulls Purchase Recommendation for Microsoft Surface Devices

After previously giving four Microsoft Surface devices a purchase "recommendation" status, Consumer Reports today has pulled that status from the Microsoft products. The publication said that because of "poor predicted reliability" in comparison with rival brands, it can no longer recommend any Surface laptops or tablets to consumers. The decision specifically targets four Microsoft Surface devices, including the Surface Book (128GB and 512GB versions) and the Surface Laptop (128GB and 256GB versions). Although only four devices are losing their previously designated "recommended" status, Consumer Reports pointed out that its inability to recommend Microsoft Surface products extends across the company's laptop and tablet devices, including the Surface Pro. As usual, Consumer Reports based its decision on a survey conducted by its subscribers and the devices they own and use each day, this time focusing on over 90,000 tablets and laptops from multiple brands purchased between 2014 and early 2017. The study found that an estimated 25 percent of Microsoft tablets and laptops will "present their owners with problems" as soon as the end of the second year of ownership. In its findings, the publication said the differences between the breakage rates of Microsoft devices and other brands were "statistically significant." Microsoft’s estimated breakage rate for its laptops and tablets was higher than most other brands’. The differences were statistically significant, which is why Microsoft doesn’t meet CR’s standards for recommended products. The surveys are

Microsoft Executive Says iPad Pro Was Apple's Response to Surface

Microsoft executive Ryan Gavin this week suggested Apple released the iPad Pro in response to its Surface devices, per Business Insider. "When Surface initially launched, everyone was skeptical, including them," said Gavin, general manager of Surface commercial devices at Microsoft. "And then they followed, and the iPad Pro is a clear example of that." Microsoft positions the latest Surface Pro, released on Thursday, as a "best-in-class laptop" with the "versatility of a studio and tablet." The new Surface Pro features Intel's latest Kaby Lake processors and up to 13.5 hours of battery life on a single charge. The tablet-notebook hybrid can be configured with up to a 1TB SSD, up to 16GB RAM, and up to Intel Iris Plus 640 graphics, with a USB 3.0 port, microSD card reader, and Mini DisplayPort. During a 2012 earnings call, when asked to comment on why the MacBook Air and iPad would not eventually converge, Apple CEO Tim Cook argued that combining the products would result in compromises. "You can converge a toaster and a refrigerator but those won't be pleasing to the user," said Cook, a comment that Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella poked fun at four years later, alluding to the iPad Pro. "I mean, take even Surface," said Nadella, speaking to The Australian Financial Review. "Three years ago, the two-in-one as a form factor was questioned. Does anybody need one? And now guess what, even our competition has decided that it's not a refrigerator and a toaster but it's actually a two-in-one." While the iPad and Mac remain two fundamentally different products,

Microsoft Says New Surface Pro is 1.7× Faster Than iPad Pro With 35% More Battery Life

Microsoft today introduced the new Surface Pro, choosing that name over Surface Pro 5, at a media event in Shanghai, China. Microsoft said the new Surface Pro delivers up to 13.5 hours of battery life on a single charge, a 50 percent increase over the Surface Pro 4 and 35 percent more battery life than the iPad Pro's advertised 10 hours. The notebook-tablet hybrid features Intel's latest Kaby Lake processors, including Core m3, i5, and i7 chips depending on the model. Microsoft says the high-end Surface Pro with a Core i7 processor is 2.5× faster than the Surface Pro 3 and 1.7× faster than the iPad Pro with Apple's own A9X chip. Surface Pro m3 and i5 models feature a new fanless cooling system, while the i7 model still has a fan with "improved hybrid cooling." The new Surface Pro has a refined design with cleaner lines and curved edges, a "visually softer" camera, and an improved hinge with a 165º range of motion allows it to be placed in Studio Mode like its Surface Studio desktop. It's also the lightest Surface Pro ever, starting at 1.7 lbs. By comparison, the 9.7-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro weigh 0.96 lbs and 1.57 lbs respectively. The new Surface Pro continues to have a 12.3-inch display with 267 pixels per inch, compared to 264 PPI for both the 9.7-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro. Microsoft says its custom PixelSense technology means that colors on the new Surface Pro will be "more vibrant, precise, and impactful than ever before." Other tech specs include up to a 1TB SSD, up to 16GB RAM, up to Intel Iris Plus 640 graphics, a USB 3.0 port, a

Microsoft Surface Beats iPad in Design, Productivity, and Accessory Use in New J.D. Power Study

The Microsoft Surface has been ranked the highest in overall consumer satisfaction, and six points above Apple's iPad in second place, according to J.D. Power's 2017 U.S. Tablet Satisfaction Study. This marks the first top spot win for Microsoft in all six years that J.D. Power has published the Tablet Satisfaction Study, with the company earning a total 855 satisfaction score out of a potential 1,000 points. The J.D. Power U.S. Tablet Satisfaction Study measures customer satisfaction in the tablet market by looking at five areas: performance (28 percent); ease of operation (22 percent); features (22 percent); styling and design (17 percent); and cost (11 percent). The study accounts for 2,238 tablet owners who have owned their current device for less than one year, with participants being questioned between October and December 2016. With these rankings, Microsoft has received the designation as "among the best" on the market, while Apple at 849 points is "better than most." According to J.D. Power, Microsoft's win this year "is largely due to its top rankings in the features and styling & design factors." The company earned top marks in categories related to the variety of pre-loaded applications, internet connectivity, and availability of manufacturer-supported accessories. This last category highlights the Surface's versatility, according to consumers, who reportedly "have the highest incidences of accessory use" with Microsoft Surface when compared to competitors. Specifically, the Microsoft Surface's stylus saw a 48 percent usage rate in comparison to

Microsoft Follows Apple By Hiking Price of Surface Book Laptops in the U.K.

Microsoft has increased the price of its Surface Book laptops in the United Kingdom, following the impact of the country's decision to leave the European Union on the pound sterling (via TechCrunch). Previously, the company had limited its cost adjustments to enterprise products, but the significant drop in the strength of the pound since the E.U. referendum last June has now seen Microsoft follow Apple's lead and hike the prices of its consumer laptops. The price rises mean the base model of the Surface Book in the U.K. now costs £150 more at £1,449 ($1,800), putting it at the same price as the base model of a 13-inch MacBook Pro sans Touch Bar. The price changes, which came into effect today, only affect products and services purchased by individuals, or organizations without volume licensing contracts. "In response to a recent review we are adjusting the British pound prices of some of our hardware and consumer software in order to align to market dynamics," said a Microsoft spokeswoman. Back in October, Apple raised sterling prices for its entire Mac line-up by around 25 percent. The cost of a 2015 13-inch MacBook Pro went from £999 to £1,249 overnight, despite being superseded by a brand new model starting at £1,449. Similar price increases were seen across aging Mac mini, iMac, and Mac Pro lines, while just last month, Apple also increased the price of iOS apps by the same percentage. Microsoft has repeatedly positioned the Surface Book as an alternative laptop for newcomers and unsatisfied MacBook owners, with time-limited "trade-up" offers for

Microsoft Says 'Disappointment' of New MacBook Pro Has More People Switching to Surface Than Ever Before

Microsoft has announced November was its best month ever for consumer Surface sales. In a blog post, the company said more people are switching from Macs to Surface devices than ever before following the "disappointment" of the new MacBook Pro, particularly among professional users. More people are switching from Macs to Surface than ever before. Our trade-in program for MacBooks was our best ever, and the combination of excitement for the innovation of Surface coupled with the disappointment of the new MacBook Pro – especially among professionals – is leading more and more people to make the switch to Surface, like this. It seems like a new review recommending Surface over MacBook comes out daily. This makes our team so proud, because it means we’re doing good work.Shortly after the new MacBook Pro launched, Microsoft launched a trade-in promotion offering MacBook Pro and MacBook Air owners up to $650 credit towards a new Surface Book or Surface Pro 4. Microsoft also unveiled the Surface Studio in October, and the all-in-one desktop has been met with positive reviews. Microsoft's Surface Book starts at $1,499, the same price as Apple's new 13-inch MacBook Pro with a standard row of function keys. Touch Bar-equipped models start at $1,799 for 13-inch models and $2,399 for 15-inch

Microsoft CEO Stokes Surface Phone Rumors With 'Ultimate Mobile Device' Comments

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has stoked speculation this week that Redmond is prepping a new line of smartphones under the Surface brand for launch in early 2017. In an interview with the Australian Financial Review published on Monday, Nadella said the company was conducting innovative research that would ensure it continued to have a presence in the smartphone market. However, rather than follow a present trend, Microsoft would attempt to re-define the field in a single-handed pursuit of the "ultimate mobile device". Underlining his philosophy, Nadella said that the company would not launch into a device category without bringing something different to the table, because it was more interested in how individuals and organizations were using devices, and less in the devices themselves. "We don't want to be driven by just envy of what others have, the question is, what can we bring? That's where I look at any device form factor or any technology, even AI," he said. "We will continue to be in the phone market not as defined by today's market leaders, but by what it is that we can uniquely do in what is the most ultimate mobile device."Rumors of a "Surface Phone" that would complement the popular Surface Book and the highly praised Surface Studio have been bubbling away for a while. Some rumors suggest a device running Windows 10 Mobile OS, others predict a range of devices, some of which could sport a keyboard flip case reminiscent of Blackberry phones. Meanwhile, several observers have pointed to the HP Elite x3 – part smartphone, part mini PC – as a potential

Microsoft Announces Surface Book i7, Desktop PC 'Surface Studio,' and Windows 10 Creators Update

At its media event today in New York City, Microsoft announced a new update coming to Windows 10 devices that's focused on creativity and productivity tools, as well as two major new pieces of hardware: the Surface Book i7 and Surface Studio. The Surface Book is the second generation of last year's original model, while the Surface Studio is the company's all new, all-in-one desktop PC that's aimed at the high-end, enterprise market with a starting price of $2,999. Windows 10 Creators Update Coming in early 2017, Microsoft today announced the newest update for Windows 10 devices, which it calls the "Creators Update." In the update, the company aims to enhance user productivity with a collection of 3D creation tools, including a new update to Paint called "Paint 3D," that use simplified interfaces to let anyone work and produce fully 3D artwork and projects. With a Windows Phone -- and eventually coming to more devices -- users can even scan real-world objects into digital form to send to friends and family. Microsoft also showed off the upcoming "3D magic" in the Creators Update using Hololens, including a way for users to preview pieces of furniture in their own homes from a web browser. Windows 10 is gaining support for various VR headsets from companies like HP, Lenovo, Asus, and Acer, that all let users interact with the Creators Update's "mixed-reality" abilities, including a feature called "Holo Tours" that transports Windows 10 users into 360-degree videos taken around the world. Priority contacts will be placed on the Windows 10 toolbar in the

Microsoft Takes Inspiration from Apple, Launches Surface Upgrade Plan for Businesses

Microsoft today launched the Microsoft Surface Membership, an upgrade plan for Surface devices that allows business customers to "get the latest Surface devices, accessories, support and training." The new plan was first spotted by Thurrott.com (via Engadget). The plan is similar to Apple's iPhone Upgrade Plan. The Surface Membership is available for three Surface devices with payment plans that can be spread over 18, 24 or 30 months. The Surface 3 is $32.99 per month for 30 months, $37.99 per month for 24 months, and $48.99 per month over 18 months. The Surface Pro 4 is $51.99 per month for 30 months, $58.99 per month for 24 months, and $70.99 per month for 18 months. The Surface Book is $79.99 per month for 30 months, $89.99 per month for 24 months, and $108.99 per month for 18 months. All Microsoft Surface Memberships come with Surface accessories, which include the Surface Type Cover for the Surface 3, both the Type Cover and pen for the Surface Pro 4 and the Surface Pen for the Surface Book. Members will also get phone and in-store tech support, one-on-one personal training, in-store discounts on future hardware and software and the Microsoft Complete for Business Extended Service Plan with accidental damage. Finally, users will be able to upgrade to the latest Surface devices when they launch. Apple announced the iPhone Upgrade Plan last year alongside the iPhone 6s, allowing customers to pay a monthly fee for their devices and upgrade every year. Apple's plan is also limited to iPhones and does not include discounts for future hardware, though it does

Delta Employees 'Fought Hard for the iPad' as Microsoft Announces Surface 2 Deal

A pilot for United States-based Delta Airlines has stated that the company’s employees "fought hard for the iPad" as the airline sought to save paper and reduce weight in moving to electronic flight bags, but the effort was vain as Microsoft yesterday announced that the carrier will be equipping 11,000 pilots with Microsoft Surface 2 electronic flight bags, reports AppleInsider. The airline was one of the early testers of iPads for use as electronic flight bags in 2011. "We fought hard for iPad," a pilot working for the airline told AppleInsider. He described the Delta deal as being about money, travel contracts, and Delta's Information Technology staff historically being "in bed" with Microsoft. Microsoft stated in its announcement that it would save the airline $13 million per year in "fuel and associated costs", with the company's upcoming Surface 2 running on the Windows 8 RT 8.1 platform offering "real-time access to essential tools and the most up-to-date flight-related resources including key charts, reference documents and checklists". The announcement comes after a number of other airlines and military divisions have begun testing iPads to replace heavy flight bags, including United, American, the U.S. Air Force and the U.S. Marine Corps. While airlines have been looking to embrace the use of mobile devices in the cockpit, the industry has been divided over personal electronics usage by passengers during takeoff and landing. A Federal Aviation Administration advisory committee, however, recommended the relaxation of electronic device restrictions on