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Microsoft Sends Out Invites to Surface 2 Event

By - Source: via Laptopmag | B 23 comments

The new Surface tablets are just around the corner.

All eyes might have been on Apple today San Francisco, but Microsoft is having a party of its own. The company yesterday sent out invitations to an event later this month where it plans to announce the next generation of Surface.

Though it hasn't yet been a year since the original Surface, Microsoft is preparing to announce the new Surface and Surface Pro on September 23. With Windows 8.1 due in October and the current generation of Surface Pro on permanent discount, the invitations are no surprise to anyone. While full specs are not yet known, the Surface is rumored to pack Intel's Haswell (Core i5), Windows 8.1, 8 GB of RAM, and an improved kickstand. The company is also expected to announce a brand new 'Power Cover' that will include both a keyboard and an external battery.

Interestingly, Microsoft is said to be ditching the 'RT' branding for the budget Surface. Instead, the version running Windows RT will simply be called "Surface 2." Windows RT hasn't exactly taken off the way Microsoft had hoped. While the company isn't quite ready to give up on the ARM-powered version of Windows 8, the decision to drop the 'RT' from the name is pretty telling.

No word on pricing just yet, but we'll keep you posted!

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  • 4 Hide
    jhansonxi , September 10, 2013 7:16 PM
    RT -> 2? There will be many buyers surprised by the lack of x86 application support. With the current naming scheme they at least know what to avoid.
  • 3 Hide
    teh_chem , September 10, 2013 8:31 PM
    Yes Microsoft, now that everyone knows that windows RT is cut-down tablet-version, please, by all means, change the name yet again.

    I have high hopes for the surface 2. TBH, the only real reason I use an android tablet is because I don't like iOS. If MS can produce a competent tablet that isn't laggy due to the crappy tegra3, and is of comparable form-factor, weight, and battery life, I'd probably ditch my nexus 7. Maybe...depends...
  • 4 Hide
    m32 , September 10, 2013 8:38 PM
    You know people are going to be ticked off when they can't install their x86 apps.
  • 4 Hide
    lpedraja2002 , September 10, 2013 8:42 PM
    I hope the Surface Pro drops in price even further, it is really an amazing all in one product. I desperately want it after learning it has a Wacom digtizer but I can't spend that much money while my laptop still lives.
  • -1 Hide
    frankpakdmys , September 10, 2013 8:56 PM
    I can't want for Pro 2!
    I was playing with the Pro in the store and it was absolutely gorgeous (bit heavier but it's ok) and extremely responsive!

    I want something that plays flash (it's important to me) without having to download things and use other applications and it was perfect for me.
  • 2 Hide
    jimmysmitty , September 10, 2013 9:18 PM
    Quote:
    Yes Microsoft, now that everyone knows that windows RT is cut-down tablet-version, please, by all means, change the name yet again.

    I have high hopes for the surface 2. TBH, the only real reason I use an android tablet is because I don't like iOS. If MS can produce a competent tablet that isn't laggy due to the crappy tegra3, and is of comparable form-factor, weight, and battery life, I'd probably ditch my nexus 7. Maybe...depends...


    This is a Haswell based Surface (Pro 2) so the battery life will probably jump a lot since that was one f the biggest things Intel worked on. Some laptops were showing 9 hours of average use, the new Haswell MacBook Air is about 13 hours of average use. Its about the same as a Tablet in most other areas.

    Depending on which chip it is as well, it will have decent graphics. I am assuming its a BGA based chip so it will have the Iris Pro on higher end CPU models which is roughly equivalent to a GT640/GTX650 in some cases (HD5200).

    Now all they need is a 1080p OLED screen.
  • 2 Hide
    JD88 , September 10, 2013 9:59 PM
    I just don't get it. The lower priced Surface just needs to be powered by one of Intel's new Atom chips or an AMD Temash running full Windows. Keep everything else exactly the same and this thing would be a winner.

    Instead, it's going to be another epic fail. I don't understand how releasing the exact same product with a slightly faster chip is going to change that. Save Windows RT for something like 8" tablets or merge it with windows phone for everything under 10" and use all the arm chips you like. It's not like legacy Windows apps would really be usable at those screen sizes anyway.
  • -4 Hide
    back_by_demand , September 10, 2013 11:46 PM
    It's unfair to say Surface RT can't run x86 programs, because neither can Apple or Android, all 3 have Apps specially made for it and despite the overhype on how many more Apps they have over RT, there are only so many people actually use and they nearly all match up - seriously, has anyone got more than 1000 apps installed? There are 160 fart apps, how many of those does anybody have?
  • 1 Hide
    portentous , September 11, 2013 1:10 AM
    Agree with JD88. I do like my current Surface RT and would go for the next Generation Surface Pro if it has the Haswell. While the Surface RT is great and has replaced my iPad and Nexus 7, having Atom and running legacy full fat Windows would make it unbeatable.
  • 1 Hide
    w8gaming , September 11, 2013 2:04 AM
    Quote:
    I just don't get it. The lower priced Surface just needs to be powered by one of Intel's new Atom chips or an AMD Temash running full Windows. Keep everything else exactly the same and this thing would be a winner.

    Instead, it's going to be another epic fail. I don't understand how releasing the exact same product with a slightly faster chip is going to change that. Save Windows RT for something like 8" tablets or merge it with windows phone for everything under 10" and use all the arm chips you like. It's not like legacy Windows apps would really be usable at those screen sizes anyway.


    The only way I see Surface 2 (RT model, not Pro) will ever fly is to priced it below $200 and lower. Now almost after a year, the app situation in Windows Store is still disappointing. Sure, they now have some social networking app now. But still, one of the most popular app in Android, Whatsapp is only made for Windows Phone, not RT. Most likely due to lack of 3G/4G support. Even video players are few in selection and unable to playback many formats. The app situation is bad beyond descriptions. But still, HP managed to sell out their tablets with a price tag of $100 and no future upgrade and support. So that proves low price does sell. And Surface RT can run Office at least.

    As for legacy app not usable at 8" screen size, actually the first netbook had an 8" screen, way underpowered CPU, and sold like hot cakes. Some people might find use for it. But it will never be mainstream though.
  • -2 Hide
    ubercake , September 11, 2013 6:06 AM
    The MS RT tablet is the same thing as anyone else's tablet. The only thing it's lacking is games you might find on other tablets. There is just about every mainstream app available otherwise.

    I don't see why people think these tablets need to be anything more than anyone else's tablets. My A500 with its tegra2 chip work great for what it does and has for 3 years, but I don't expect to run photoshop or premiere on it. It serves a tablet purpose: consumption. Web browsing, GPS navigation, video/audio streaming, social networking, simple games and apps. Unless you're a tablet app developer, if you think you're going to do much else with a tablet (beside the Surface Pro), you haven't done much homework.

    I can't install my x86 apps on any iPad or my Android tab? It doesn't mean they're garbage. Tablets do what they do.

    If you want increased functionality, you have to get the Surface Pro tablet, laptop, or desktop and you pay for it.

    I tried the RT in the Microsoft store and even the current gen is as good or more responsive than other tablets out there. If I were in the market for a tablet (and didn't have unrealistic expectations for a tablet's functionality), I'd definitely consider an RT.
  • 0 Hide
    teh_chem , September 11, 2013 6:18 AM
    Quote:
    This is a Haswell based Surface (Pro 2) so the battery life will probably jump a lot since that was one f the biggest things Intel worked on. Some laptops were showing 9 hours of average use, the new Haswell MacBook Air is about 13 hours of average use. Its about the same as a Tablet in most other areas.


    It's due to Tom's poor handling of article subjects vs. article content. Surface 2 "event" is going to address the Surface Pro as well as the next revision of the Surface RT--which is being called the "Surface 2." It's confusing because Tom's inserts the rumored spec's for the next Pro revision, though they talk about the Surface RT/2 event...

    Surface Pro will remain named Surface Pro. Surface RT is going to transform name into Surface 2.
  • 1 Hide
    burkhartmj , September 11, 2013 6:32 AM
    Quote:
    The MS RT tablet is the same thing as anyone else's tablet. The only thing it's lacking is games you might find on other tablets. There is just about every mainstream app available otherwise.

    I don't see why people think these tablets need to be anything more than anyone else's tablets. My A500 with its tegra2 chip work great for what it does and has for 3 years, but I don't expect to run photoshop or premiere on it. It serves a tablet purpose: consumption. Web browsing, GPS navigation, video/audio streaming, social networking, simple games and apps. Unless you're a tablet app developer, if you think you're going to do much else with a tablet (beside the Surface Pro), you haven't done much homework.

    I can't install my x86 apps on any iPad or my Android tab? It doesn't mean they're garbage. Tablets do what they do.

    If you want increased functionality, you have to get the Surface Pro tablet, laptop, or desktop and you pay for it.

    I tried the RT in the Microsoft store and even the current gen is as good or more responsive than other tablets out there. If I were in the market for a tablet (and didn't have unrealistic expectations for a tablet's functionality), I'd definitely consider an RT.


    I think there's a couple of reasons this frustrates people so much. the first one is simply that it's Windows, so people want it to act like Windows [the uninformed consumer issue basically]. Another issue is that Microsoft's marketing is confusing and could almost be considered misleading. They talk about Windows 8 on both devices almost like its the same thing, downplaying [though not completely ignoring] the fact that the Surface RT is completely different from the expected Windows experience. The last, [and biggest] issue is that it doesn't make sense anymore. With Atom matching the performance of tegra in Windows apps while still allowing x86 apps [albeit slowly], there's just no reason for MS to be putting resources into a version of Windows compiled for ARM, much less trying to push a tablet with ARM instead of Atom. You could get the same battery life, mostly the same performance [the same or better once Baytrail hits] and better legacy and enterprise support [since RT doesn't support things like domain joining or group policy] with an Atom based Surface

  • 0 Hide
    thdarkshadow , September 11, 2013 6:36 AM
    If the rt had more apps and good ones I think we would all be looking at it much closer. While android tablets dont necessary have nice apps at least it has the Google suite. Windows rt has Microsoft but who uses skydrive? How about xbox music or video? Not many people that I know. Not saying they are bad just not the services I have money in
  • -1 Hide
    ubercake , September 11, 2013 6:45 AM
    Quote:
    If the rt had more apps and good ones I think we would all be looking at it much closer. While android tablets dont necessary have nice apps at least it has the Google suite. Windows rt has Microsoft but who uses skydrive? How about xbox music or video? Not many people that I know. Not saying they are bad just not the services I have money in

    But just like with an Android, on the RT (or soon-to-be '2') you can use other music or cloud-drive apps. These are available on the MS tablet. You aren't forced to use skydrive or xbox music or video. There are apps available for the RT for all the most popular cloud drive and audio/video streaming services.
  • 0 Hide
    thdarkshadow , September 11, 2013 7:20 AM
    Quote:
    Quote:
    If the rt had more apps and good ones I think we would all be looking at it much closer. While android tablets dont necessary have nice apps at least it has the Google suite. Windows rt has Microsoft but who uses skydrive? How about xbox music or video? Not many people that I know. Not saying they are bad just not the services I have money in

    But just like with an Android, on the RT (or soon-to-be '2') you can use other music or cloud-drive apps. These are available on the MS tablet. You aren't forced to use skydrive or xbox music or video. There are apps available for the RT for all the most popular cloud drive and audio/video streaming services.


    Really? I guess I didnt realize it had I heart and tune in. Wow two apps most I've seen in one category haha. For video do they have you tube? How about amazon prime? Yeah they have netflix but that's just about all they have. On to cloud storage you have Box. That is it besides skydrive. They actually have kindle, nook and kobo so I cant complain about ebooks
    My point with all this is while they may have an app for each category its not the one I use. I think I could get my music to xbox music and I could change cloud storage and I could pay more each month for netflix but thats more trouble than I want to go to. A full windows tablet where I can do all that through the browser or an android is what I will be looking at. An ipad would even be a better option for me.
  • 0 Hide
    stevejnb , September 11, 2013 8:15 AM
    Yeah Uber, RT has a respectable lineup of apps in a variety of areas now. It is worth a look. The thing is, it won't suit everyone's needs and that's fair - if the iPad works better for you, or an Android tablet, stick with that. I still find myself using my older, clunky Le Pan II with Ice Cream Sandwich on it for some purposes ahead of my RT, though RT has become a *huge* favourite for productivity/movie watching.

    The irritating thing is when people act as if RT isn't a *fast* fleshing out platform and doesn't offer a host of options for the average user. There aren't many glaring omissions in the major app landscape in RT any more but people still act as if there are. Odds are, the RT is filled out enough to suit your needs whatever they are, though it's still not the obvious choice for everyone or even most people.
  • 0 Hide
    ubercake , September 11, 2013 8:30 AM
    Quote:


    Really? I guess I didnt realize it had I heart and tune in. Wow two apps most I've seen in one category haha. For video do they have you tube? How about amazon prime? Yeah they have netflix but that's just about all they have. On to cloud storage you have Box. That is it besides skydrive. They actually have kindle, nook and kobo so I cant complain about ebooks
    My point with all this is while they may have an app for each category its not the one I use. I think I could get my music to xbox music and I could change cloud storage and I could pay more each month for netflix but thats more trouble than I want to go to. A full windows tablet where I can do all that through the browser or an android is what I will be looking at. An ipad would even be a better option for me.


    They have Amazon Prime. They have youTube. It all has to do with what you're using it for. These RT tablets even come with full versions of Excel, Word and Powerpoint right now.

    I guess if it doesn't have apps you want yet, it'll eventually get there. I hated my A500 when I first got it. I got it just after they came out. They plugged it like it could do netflix and everything you could do on an iPad. I found this wasn't the case. There was no netflix streaming, but you could manage your instant queue (bfd!). There was no amazon prime or amazon cloud player and HBO2Go was a mere listing and preview app. The pandora app was even kind of lame compared to the web site. Now all of that functionality is there for Android.

    If there's a demand, the app will eventually be created.

    The RTs are solid from a hardware perspective. It's only a matter of time before they catch up on apps that are in demand.

    On a side note, I find it funny when any of these companies tout the number of apps they have for their tablets OS. 80-90%+ of the apps in the numbers for Android and iPad are worthless. How many companies need to make a nude pic of the day app? Seriously. I guess there's a lot of demand.

    I just think it's great to have a 3rd player in what seems to be becoming a two-choice world (ie democrat/republican, Nvidia/AMD, Intel/AMD, etc...). It fosters competition. This is good for us as consumers.
  • 0 Hide
    mcd023 , September 11, 2013 9:58 AM
    The argument that the arm version can't run x86 apps, so it'll suck is erroneous, I believe. While we like to think that it's necessary, I've been using my surface pro and the only x86 app I use is Visual Studio. Everything else is fine in (not) metro or the web browser.
  • 0 Hide
    burkhartmj , September 11, 2013 10:20 AM
    Quote:
    The argument that the arm version can't run x86 apps, so it'll suck is erroneous, I believe. While we like to think that it's necessary, I've been using my surface pro and the only x86 app I use is Visual Studio. Everything else is fine in (not) metro or the web browser.


    This really depends on how you use the device. I had an atom based win8 tablet and it had loads of legacy software on it. Good examples start with Dropbox, Google Drive, and Skydrive. The 2 of the 3 with apps couldn't sync to a local folder and had limited file opening hooks, so I still needed the legacy versions of all 3. Playing MKV's woulda been impossible without codec packs or VLC, which I installed. Chrome is a pretty big deal for people, though I adjusted to not having it [dead slow on Atom]. Then you have things like Evernote that have an app, but it's vastly less usable than the legacy version.

    A big issue isn't so much that x86 is needed as the fact that you can get it with little or no sacrifices in regards to the device. Atom is so effective at running Win8, and with Baytrail on the horizon it's only going to get better. This makes ARM largely irrelevant for Windows and a waste of time and resources for Microsoft.
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