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.
It looks like Microsoft is set to bring back the Start button in Windows 8.1, a mainstay of the Windows OS that was removed in Windows 8. According to a report from The Verge, the new Windows 8.1 Start button will not include the traditional Start button functionality, but will rather be a method of taking you back to the Start screen. In addition to the Start button making a reappearance (in name, at least,) Microsoft is also said to be including a feature that will allow users to boot directly to the desktop, bypassing the Start screen altogether.
Read More | The Verge
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.
The release of the Microsoft Surface is a much bigger deal that the average consumer might perceive it to be. You see, Surface marks Microsoft's entry into the PC market. That might sound odd, but it's true--Microsoft may be the maker of Windows, but it's always been Microsoft partners who build the PCs. I'm talking about companies like Samsung, Toshiba, Dell, Lenovo, and others. Now, Microsoft is competing directly with its partners, hoping that consumers will flock to its Surface in a major way.
Similar to Apple's approach, Surface is the marriage of first-party software with first-party hardware. Microsoft controls the whole platform. If devices like the Mac, iPhone, iPad, and even Microsoft's own Xbox 360 have shown us anything, it's that when you have the ability to control the whole device as it pertains to software and hardware functionality, you can generally make a better product than you could using third-party ingredients. It's never a guarantee, but we think it puts you in a better spot to shine. That is the hope that Surface brings. Does Surface succeed in carving out its own niche, and filling a need that consumers are willing to pay to remedy? That's what we are here to discuss, so following along with us for our Microsoft Surface RT review.
Microsoft's Windows 8 has arrived, and alongside it, the Microsoft Surface tablet with Windows RT has been released! Surface is Microsoft's first first-party tablet PC device that it has ever released, and we were able to get our hands on it a little early to give you a look at what you'll find in the box. While we prepare our full Surface review, check out our unboxing video above where we give you a look at the tablet, the Touch Cover, and the setup process!
When Microsoft announced Surface pre-orders, many consumers were puzzled by the lack of a 16GB option for the tablet. We got a lot of emails from readers wondering what was up, and it looks like we've got our answer. The Surface starts at 32GB of storage, and as it turns out, the user is left with 20GB of usable storage space on that model. That means that Windows RT and the pre-installed Office RT apps use up 12GB of space. In other words, if there were a 16GB model, the user would be left with just 4GB of space for their own documents, apps, and anything else. That would just make for a bad user experience, so Microsoft decided to start with 32GB of storage so that Surface users would still have a substantial amount of free space to use as they see fit. By comparison, a 32GB iPad leaves the user with about 31GB of free space, since iOS and built-in apps take up just 1GB of storage.
Have you pre-ordered a Surface tablet? Let us know in the comments!
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Looks like the Surface with Windows RT has slipped to a 3 week shipping time for those who want to order one without one of the black Touch Cover accessories. The 32 GB tablet will now be delivered by November 8 for those who took their time to decide if they really wanted one or not. Pre-orders for the 32 GB and 64 GB models with black Touch Cover are still on track to be delivered on October 26th. If you were hoping to get a Microsoft Surface tablet on launch day without a Touch Cover, then it looks like you're gonna have to head to your local Microsoft Store or Best Buy.
Microsoft's Surface RT tablet is set to go on sale in just 10 days, and the company is finally ready to reveal price details and tech specs. It's official: Surface RT will sell for $499 for the 32 GB model, $599 for 32 GB with black Touch Cover, and $699 for 64 GB with black touch cover. Pre-orders begin today at 9:00am PT.
What about all those colorful Touch Covers that the company showed off at the Surface unveiling? Those will be sold separately for $120 each. If you prefer the Type Cover, which features mechanical keys, you're looking at $130. Many were speculating that Microsoft would bring Surface to market at an incredibly low $199, but obviously, that extremem measure of cost-cutting just isn't possible. Wanna pre-order one now? Head on over to the Surface page to do so.
Read More | Microsoft
The Microsoft Surface tablet is nearing launch, and as such, the company is releasing more information as it pertains to what consumers should expect. Office 2013 RT edition will ship on the lower-end model, but it will have a bunch of features stripped from the software in order to ensure a smooth tablet experience. Oh, and also it'll be a preview version rather than the full, final version that's set to arrive in early 2013.
Expect Office 2013 RT to be missing features like macros, third-party add-ons, and VBA support. A few other "small features" will also be cut, with Microsoft pointing to battery life and reliability as the culprits.
Read More | The Verge
Yesterday we told you all about the big announcements Microsoft made--the Microsoft Surface tablet was unveiled, along with the intriguing Touch Cover and Type Cover accessories. There was even an odd Surface intro video they teased us with. Now, you can watch the entire Surface event in its entirety after the jump.
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