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Microsoft takes $900 million charge on unsold Surface RT tablets

By Shawn Knight · 43 replies
Jul 19, 2013
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  1. Railman

    Railman TS Booster Posts: 708   +101

    The problem is W8 RT. For the money they charge for the RT Surface you can get a fairly powerful laptop or PC that will run the full version of Windows 8 (or 7). The Surface RT only runs cut down versions of Window Office and you cannot run your legacy apps etc.
    avoidz likes this.
  2. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,173   +3,263

    I must face the truth and confess. I am shallow!

    But in everyones defense, there are reasons not to get the RT version. It is not backward compatible with older Windows applications. If I were to get a Surface, it wouldn't be the RT version.
    avoidz likes this.
  3. Teko03

    Teko03 TS Evangelist Posts: 373   +145

    I personally owbn one and really don't see why this is an issue for people. I don't have a need to run legacy applications on this thing, I mean it's a tiny 10.1 inch screen. I'm using it as a tablet --- because wel, IT'S A TABLET, that just so so happens to offer a little more. Who goes to purchase an iPad and gets angy because they can run the OSX version of Aperture, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom or Pro Tools --- seriously LOL
  4. In response to those saying that Microsoft should price Surface for $99: that would yield no profit per tablet sold and would only further alienate OEM partners... I think the pricing is about right for the RT right now, they just need to focus on better marketing and enriching the Windows 8 ecosystem, particularly the apps. The OS isn't bad it just needs more quality apps.

    Surface Pro with Haswell (improved battery life) for $100-200 less than it is right now would certainly look appetizing to me.
  5. Railman

    Railman TS Booster Posts: 708   +101

    But why get a Surface RT if it cannot be used for serious work? Quite a few of the forms I use at work depend on macros. None of those forms would work in the RT version of Office. RT might be fine for someone who just wants to write the occasional letter, email and the Web but I dare say the same is possible for most tablets. Why buy an expensive Surface RT unless you have money to burn.
  6. inventix1136

    inventix1136 TS Rookie Posts: 85   +14

    The issue with the RT is that it does not have the breadth of applications that Android or Apple has and it also does not have the performance of the other tablets. I have a Asus T700t (Infinity) and it is more powerful with much better screen with higher resolution and much better cameras -- and it costed me LESS than the 32GB Surface costs.

    P.S. I do have a Lenovo Yoga 13 which is running Windows 8 and I can either run it as a Metro (RT mode) or the desktop mode with legacy applications -- MUCH more flexible than just the RT...
  7. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,173   +3,263

    Unless I am missing something Metro is not RT mode. Windows RT is specifically programmed to run on ARM instead of x86, which is why Windows RT will not run Windows x86 applications.

    x86/x64 vs ARM: What’s the difference anyhow?
  8. I recall they discontinued webOS less than two months after launch, and put the devices on fire sale ... did YOU buy a dead-end device for cheap ?
  9. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 2,425   +112

    Can't compare the ARM SoC (system on chip design) MPU vs Atom x86 of x64. Android uses Java as a base to run the apps you on it. ARM on that ranges from 720MHz single core and up to quad core today but that's a whole story there.

    Windows RT more aim for others to get to use most business would deem a Wise Terminal device so only certain software can be installed on it. But business is not that quick to support anything new.

    Face it! Microsoft current CEO decided to go with the Windows RT and DELL along with ASUS too. The prices on these tablet are just frankly higher than I had expected! They need to not use iPad pricing for the pricing of the Surface. Price compare isn't what we should be after.

    Everyone who owns Windows OS (desktop, workstation, server , netbook, and laptop) should own Surface Tablet right? In this case only a limited number of them did just that.

    Surface and iPad are not the same and those commercial ads just make the tablet concept look bad for MS even though to me funny.

    As for the Surface RT will it just not sell at $349 (hey MS still to high) trying selling at the student rate of $199 with the keyboard attachment, might help you some and forget about the OEM pricing.

    Focus on Windows 8 or whatever your going to do with it. Right now Surface mess and Windows 8 issues like keyboard won't engage when you swipe or touch the sport for it. Random this happen.

    Again if there is a sale people will buy anything. If Big Lots gets a hold of the Surface RT and sells it for $99 bucks you know it would be a mean dash out to those chains here in the USA.
  10. ikesmasher

    ikesmasher TS Evangelist Posts: 2,868   +1,192

    Sell the surface PRO for $300 and ill buy.
    avoidz and cliffordcooley like this.
  11. avoidz

    avoidz TS Guru Posts: 460   +55

    Definitely. RT is a waste of time and money for most Microsoft users.
  12. Railman

    Railman TS Booster Posts: 708   +101

    I will shortly be building a new PC and I expect the cost to be about half the cost of the Surface RT. However it will be considerably more powerful and adaptable than the RT. I don't see any logical reason to get a Surface RT.
  13. ikesmasher

    ikesmasher TS Evangelist Posts: 2,868   +1,192

    true. And even if people DO bring out the portability argument, I have aleady seen a ton of touch-screen convertible laptops running x86 windows, and they are all significantly more powerful. these are in the $500-$750 range, too.
  14. amstech

    amstech IT Overlord Posts: 1,713   +874

    Windows RT wasn't a complete miss/mistake, it was just priced WAY too high. Even after the price cuts, its still priced too high.
  15. St1ckM4n

    St1ckM4n TS Evangelist Posts: 2,920   +629

    Wow the amount of butthurt in this thread is unbelievable. If you don't realise the purpose for Surface RT, you shouldn't be commenting.

    Surface Pro is the actual Surface product. It's priced at a small premium (not counting the ridiculous covers), but it's a unique design and sits well amongst other Ultrabooks. If you deny this, then there's nothing to talk about.

    Surface RT only exists because there was a possibility to use the Windows kernel for a lower-power device on ARM. At $350, it's priced very competitively against every other tablet that costs $450+. It's also unique as it is running MS Office (go away with your macroing needs, this device isn't for you obviously) and has tight MS integration, which no other tablet can hope to achieve. The limit to Metro-only apps sucks, but that's what happens with a brand new environment. And that's also why it's priced below competing Android and Apple.
  16. Railman

    Railman TS Booster Posts: 708   +101

    Selling a cut down version of Office is basically dishonest. I think it should have been named MS Works.
  17. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,173   +3,263

    Doesn't Surface RT come with Office pre-installed, so technically they are not selling a cut down version?
    St1ckM4n likes this.
  18. St1ckM4n

    St1ckM4n TS Evangelist Posts: 2,920   +629


    A general consumer who has no need for Office processing on the go, the Surface sucks. The app store is empty, no games, etc.

    For a student etc who would like Word/Excel on the go in a small portable package? Good luck getting an Android/iOS app that has as much functionality and compatibility as Office.

    For an IT pro in a windows environment? The GP and AD sync along with ability to natively RDP into servers and the like in a small portable package, very useful.
  19. Railman

    Railman TS Booster Posts: 708   +101

    But it is a cut down version of Office. No use if you need Macros. You may not think you need macros but try using an imported spreadsheet that uses them you are stuck.

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