Six million instantly obsolete Surface tablets poised to flood the retail channel


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I got excited, as I haven’t been able to afford a Surface Pro yet, but realized quickly they’re really talking about moving the Surface RT.

I wouldn’t be surprised if their pro is strongly outperforming the RT, leading to the stock problem.

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Aren’t these the tablets Microsoft has gone out of their way to make as difficult to do anything with as possible?

And how long will it take before they are proberly jailbroken to run something that’s less crippled?

Yeah, the RT tablets are the gimped ones, although they are supposed to integrate with Win8 proper nicely. For geeks with HTPC / SuperSteamBox setups a surface might be a nice way to control the systems in the house. Screen mirroring would be actually pretty nice for my house’s CivV sessions.

Jailbreaking would be interesting, but my understanding was the RTs don’t have the processor language to run real Win8. Could be wrong. Either way it’d make a nice, if limited, tablet at the right price.

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I predict “deep discount” to be $100 less.


That does seem to be about the sweet spot, going by HP’s example.

This is most likely why they were giving them away free to all the teachers at this year’s ISTE conference. My IT guy gave me his as the school bought him a Pro to play with earlier.

Not going to work? Dump it on public education. Seems right to me.

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Damn! I was hoping that it was the surface pro as well. If they wanted to make a cheaper tablet, making the OS more crappy and less functional was not the way to do it. That would be like apple making the iPad mini and only letting you run half the apps you could on the normal sized one, and it was a foolish move on the part of Microsoft. Then they went and priced the Surface pro quite high, like “I can save a couple hundred bucks more and get a macbook air and half my storage space won’t be taken up by the OS install” kind of high.

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It was an interesting experiment. To get 7hrs of h.264 playback on a lightweight battery, you need to go with a lower-wattage architecture like ARM. Until now, Windows was tied to x86 architectures, so it just wasn’t possible to compete on some metrics.

Surface RT does a lot of things well, but in the end it seems customers want a form factor that does everything… and while competing platform have the luxury of starting out with ARM and having all of their software base naturally be for that architecture, Windows RT required a completely fresh start. A tough position to be in, though the customer’s response was not entirely unpredictable.


Devorcing Windows from the surface.

Is the hardware itself nice? IE the tablet and the click on keyboard. If the hardware itself is nice i might want one for inevetable linux baking in… or android. That’d be amusing.

The RT is the ARM one, which means you’re kind of stuck with Win8RT and it’s vibrant ecosystem of ARM applications. Wait, did I say Vibrant? I mean nonexistent.

Buying a non-x86 Windows machine is full pants on head retarded. It’s no surprise Microsoft has not been able to move these things.


Perhaps they could be repurposed by writing a version of Android OS that runs on them. That might increase their salvage value by a couple hundred bucks. Six million units, that could be some real profit, if you played it right.


Likewise. I’m no tablet-head, nor am I a serious design geek, but the object itself looks really solid and well thought out. But $899 minimum? Yeah, not yet…

Hmmm…given that all my bargain basement HP tablet did was convince me to buy an iPad…

Still, I guess if it’s cheap enough I might get one for the poor soul I gave my HP to, as a (let’s face it, insincere) apology.


Will it work with my Zune?


HP’s example is also a problem. With HP, it was the signal for the death of the product. The company saying “here, just take it. we don’t want ot look at them anymore.” It could be seen as an admission of failure.

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When this product was first announced I had a glimmer of hope that someone finally made a capable all-in-one device for artists, but unfortunately it looks like they went out of their way to ignore that market.

Good luck trying to jailbreak. The Surface RT has UEFI secure boot permanently enabled, meaning the device will only boot an OS or run drivers signed with Microsoft’s platform key.

On OEM x86 machines running Windows 8, Microsoft backpedaled and allowed OEMs the option to not enable secure boot, users to disable secure boot, and users to upload their own PK. Because the Surface is not built by an OEM and the hardware is controlled by MS, they didn’t need to allow this, so they locked it down. This restriction is also why you can’t side-load programs - they have to be signed by MS, so they can only come through their app store.


Also, there is still not an Android version that I would put on it and give to another person to use, while the open source WebOS stuff that has come out since doesn’t support it either. I suppose that with this, at least, there is some possibility that the next couple of updates to Win8 RT will continue to support the hardware.

However, the price drop info I have seen indicates about a 30% drop, though they are giving certain selected audiences (conference attendees, etc) a $99 price offer.

Based on what the artist from Penny Arcade says the Surface Pro is what you are looking for.