One of my journalist friends, Monica Guzman, sent me an email asking what I'm looking forward to for 2014 as it pertains to technology and gadgets. There's a lot that I'm looking forward to, since I see 2014 as a marquee year--one that we will look back on as having brought us devices and convergence that we've been waiting for, for years. However, when I thought about it more, there was one thing that was more important to me. Here's how I responded:
Microsoft's 900 million write off on the Surface RT hasn't prevented them from continuing its advertising campaign efforts by bashing Apple's iPad and propping thier device as the the better alternative. Microsoft recently slashed the price of the Surface RT by $150 in hopes of getting them off store shelves and into customer's hands. The Surface tablet has been suffering from poor sales as it dove into the highly competitive tablet computer arena. The question is will these continued commitment efforts work? Check out the video ad. Does Microsoft make its case?
If you are looking to pick up the Surface RT this weekend, you'll want to make sure you wait until Sunday, when the price is slashed by $150. That's right, Microsoft's Surface RT is set to get its first widespread price cut, bringing the price of the entry-level 32GB Surface RT to $349 (down from $499,) and the 64GB model to $449 (down from $599.) Add $100 to the new prices if you want a Touch Cover thrown in.
If you haven't bought a Surface RT yet, is the new pricing enough to get you to take the plunge? Check out our Surface RT review for our take on the device.
Microsoft has prepared a video first-look at Windows 8.1, the upcoming update to its major desktop operating system, due out later this year. Using a Surface Pro to demo the software, Jensen Harris of the Windows User Experience team walks us through some of the improvements, including the new cloud-powered lockscreen, new Start screen tile sizes, app sorting, Start screen arranging, new personalization options, motion accents for wallpapers, and more. Two pretty big items not touched upon are the return of the Start button, and that Outlook 2013 is coming to Windows RT 8.1. Check out the full video after the break to see what awaits you in Windows 8.1, the preview of which will be available on June 26.
Former Microsoft CEO, current mosquito-wrangler and public donator of his vast wealth, Bill Gates, was talking on CNBC about how he feels iPad users are frustrated about not having a physical keyboard and the lack of Microsoft Office. Curious among many where he is getting his data. Bill didn't waste any time proposing the Microsoft Surface tablet, which has Microsoft Office, as a better alternative, despite sales indicating the contrary. Perhaps, it might behoove Microsoft to go to its roots and start selling software instead of trying to sell an ecosystem. After all, we're in the 'Post PC-era' as coined by the late Steve Jobs. On the other hand, Bill is saying tablets are growing in popularity, and that, eventually, they'll be hard to distinguish between them and PCs. Catch the video after the break.
"With Windows 8, Microsoft is trying to gain share in what has been dominated by the iPad type device. A lot of those users are frustrated. They can't type. They can't create documents. They don't have Office there. So we're providing them something with the benefits they've seen that have made that a big category but without giving up what they expect in a PC." - Bill Gates
Those hoping to score a 128 GB Microsoft Surface Pro have been frustrated by lack of supply, but that should be changing this Saturday. While Microsoft has been tight-lipped regarding Surface Pro 128 GB stock since launch, the company has promised that more of the tablets will be available in stores on Saturday. This includes Microsoft stores and Best Buy, with Staples being questionable--so if you want one, we recommend going with one of the first two.
Many would-be Surface Pro purchasers were disheartened to find stock so limited upon launch, since Microsoft didn't allow for pre-orders of the devices, leading many to believe that there would be plenty for everyone, which was far from reality. You can also try your luck at grabbing a Surface Pro from the Microsoft online store.
Aside from the announcement of the Surface Pro launch date, Microsoft also announced today that it will be releasing three limited edition designs for its innovative Touch Cover. Expect a red model with elegant snake design for Chinese New Year, pink color with flowers, and a blue version emblazoned with skulls. These are truly limited edition, with Microsoft saying they'll be in store for just a short time. The limited Touch Covers will also come at a premium, costing $129.99 each, $10 more than the regular models.
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Microsoft has finally announced a launch date for its Surface Pro tablet: you'll be able to pick one up on February 9th. Yes, the device missed the promised January release timeframe, but we're talking 9 days here. That date, by the way, only pertains to the US and Canada, with international markets to follow in "the coming weeks and months" according to the company.
Surface Pro will be the first Microsoft tablet to run the full version of Windows 8, as opposed to the stripped down Windows RT. This means that you'll be able to install and run regular desktop applications on the tablet. It's a half pound heavier than Surface with Windows RT, but also brings a 1080p display and digitizer pen support. Oh, and a much higher price tag. Surface Pro will start at $899 for the 64GB model, and $999 for the 128GB version.
2012 is set to come to a close in just a few hours, and we are just in time with our annual top 10 list of the most-watched Gear Live video episodes. Over the past year, as expected, there was a bunch of Apple gear that made the list, and it's dominated by smartphones and tablets, with the exception of two Monster headphones, a look at the Boeing 787, and a USB 3.0 hard drive.
There’s no question that it’s been a momentous year at Microsoft. The company introduced the world to Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8, announced its family of Surface PCs, showcased a new version of Microsoft Office and released “Halo 4,” keeping up a steady rhythm of advancements across its most popular products for individuals and businesses throughout the year. - Microsoft
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