Smarthouse.com.au reports that Australian retailers will soon start selling the Microsoft Surface, with JB Hi Fi confident that they will have stock in store before Christmas. Harvey Norman is also expected to carry the Windows RT tablet. Scott Browning, the Marketing Director of JB Hi Fi, said "We have been talking to Microsoft for some time about selling their Surface tablet. It’s now a question of stock levels and whether we can get the device into stores prior to Christmas." Browning said "This is a product that needs to be exposed to a consumer; they need to touch and feel it and only retail stores can do this. Online is a commodity sell and if a consumer does not know the product or has not seen it in store it is always going to be harder to sell online". Smarthouse reports OEMs are not too happy with the move. One ...

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As Microsoft Surface runs Windows, we can expect security fixes, performance improvements, etc, over Windows update regularly. Microsoft has already released a firmware and software update to improve the experience of Surface for end users. Now, MS_Nerd is reporting that new updates are coming on patch Tuesday for Surface. This patch Tuesday is going to be important for getting Surface ready for the next step. Some services are going to be updated as well. I hope they update the Mail app along with others as well.   ...

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Few days back we reported about the poor Microsoft Surface sales due to lack of distribution. It seems Microsoft is aware of the issue and looking to solve this problem by increasing the retail availability. ZDNet reports that Microsoft is planning a two phase roll out to increase the distribution of Surface. Microsoft plans to allow retail chains to sell the Surface RT devices in many countries other than US, Canada and Puerto Rico. In the 2nd phase roll out slated for January 2013, Microsoft is planning to sell Surface RT and Surface Pro through major retailers such as BestBuy, Staples, etc,. Read more about it in the source link below. Source: ZDNet   ...

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Gizmodo yesterday posted a blog post about the 10 most important tablets of 2012. Microsoft’s Surface took the No.1 spot leaving Apple’s iPad and Google Nexus 10 behind. Here is what Gizmodo said on the new Microsoft Surface RT, A new operating system. An entirely new product category. A new keyboard cover technology. Microsoft Surface RT may not be the PC-tablet bridge we’d all been dreaming of—we’re still hoping Surface Pro manages that trick—but it was without a doubt the most important demonstration of how far tablets can take us, and how much Microsoft is willing to risk to get us there. Even I think Microsoft Surface was the most innovative tablet that got released this year. What do you think? Source: Gizmodo ...

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No-one except Microsoft really knows how well the Surface is selling, but speculation is rife. Detwiler Fenton, a Boston-based brokerage firm, said in a research note today that Microsoft is likely to sell just 500,000 to 600,000 Surface RTs in the December quarter. The analyst, a bit like Steve Ballmer, blamed it on poor distribution of the tablet. “Lack of distribution is killing the product,” Detwiler Fenton explained. “Mixed reviews and a [$499] starting price tag certainly don’t help, but lack of retail exposure at Best Buy and others is severely depressing sales.” Potential buyers are not able to get a hands-on with the device themselves, which can be a deal breaker with a new product like the Microsoft Surface. Currently, there are just 31 Microsoft stores and 34 smaller holiday kiosks in the U.S. Given that paucity of stores, the average consumer’s is pretty likely to see the device ...

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Few analysts predicted that Microsoft may sell few million Surface tablets in Q4 2012. Now, IHS iSuppli analyst Rhoda Alexander have told CNET that Microsoft may sell only over 1.3 million Surface units this quarter. She said “I would be surprised to see it much above that,”. Boston-based brokerage firm, Detwiler Fenton released their research report on Surface sales and told that the number will be below 1 Million. Do you think Microsoft can reach the million units number by selling the device through online stores alone in Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, the United Kingdom, and in ~90 retail stores from US? I think this numbers will go up if Microsoft makes Surface available among 3rd party physical and online retailers. Source: CNET   ...

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Readers may recall an episode of Modern Family which rotated around acquiring an iPad. Microsoft appears to have purchased a similar level of marketing and product placement for the Microsoft Surface, which not only starred prominently in the show in multiple scenes, but also managed to get a nice feature run down during the show also. Are our readers impressed at Microsoft’s level of spending? Let us know below. Thanks Bugbog for the tip. ...

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MSNerd, well known leaker of Microsoft secrets, has posted the following tip: MSFT switch to Snapdragon for 8.6" Surface RT2, Temash for 11.6" Pro 2 & Haswell for 14.6" Surface Book. The Snapdragon processor for the next Surface RT of course makes a lot of sense, given that it is generally felt Qualcomm’s processors are more performant than NVidia’s. The Temash processor for the Surface Pro 2 however does not make as much sense. The chip is an X86 unit by AMD with two cores and a GPU cut at 28 nm and therefore very low power.  The issue is of course not the processor specs, but whether Microsoft would further jeopardize their relationship with Intel by using an AMD processor in their own-branded device. Lastly we do have an Intel chip for the intriguingly named Surface book, which has a 14.6 inch screen and is powered by an Intel ...

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So far we have heard some positive news about Microsoft Surface sales. But now Digitimes reports that the upstream supply chain of Microsoft’s Surface RT has recently seen the tablet’s orders reduced by half. Microsoft originally expected to ship four million Surface RT devices by the end of 2012, but has recently reduced the orders by half to only two million units. Not just Microsoft, Windows RT tablets from other OEMs such as Asustek Computer, Samsung Electronics and Dell are also facing weak consumer demand. Digitimes also speculates that Microsoft may bring Intel based Surface Pro tablet earlier than expected due to weak Surface RT demand. The sources also pointed out that Surface RT is also unlikely to achieve great performance in the upcoming quarter which may force Microsoft to bring out its Intel-based Surface Pro tablet earlier in December. The sources also noted that Microsoft may consider reducing its ...

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During Microsoft’s shareholder meeting today CEO Steve Ballmer acknowledged to shareholders that Microsoft should have moved quicker into hardware. “Sometimes getting the innovation right across the seam between hardware and software is difficult unless you do both of them,” he said, noting it was  something “maybe we should have done” earlier. “Bill did hold up a tablet many years ago,” when it was observed that Microsoft called tablets the future in 2001. “Maybe if we had started innovating then, which is what we really did with Surface,” Mr. Ballmer said, “maybe we should have done that earlier. Maybe that tablet shift would have been sooner.” “But we are building a big business working with those partners and serving a lot of needs,” he added. “What we say now is there is no boundary between hardware and software.” Steve said Microsoft is now determined to propel change, even suggesting there could ...

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Windows RT, the new version of Windows that runs on ARM processors has started shipping to consumers via new tablets such as Microsoft Surface, Asus VivoTab RT, etc,. So far, Nvidia Tegra is the only ARM processor that Windows RT ships on. Some reviews of the devices like Microsoft Surface pointed out to the performance hiccups in Windows RT. This may be because of Windows RT is not yet fully optimized for Nvidia Tegra 3 processor. Microsoft is still working on fully taking advantage of Tegra 3 processor in Windows RT. It is evident from the Nvdia’s own page that Windows RT is not taking advantage of Tegra 3′s key innovation 4-PLUS-1™ Quad-Core with a 5th Battery Saver Core. 4-PLUS-1™ Quad-Core with a 5th Battery Saver Core** – Four plus one refers to Tegra 3’s four CPU cores, plus the fifth, battery-saver CPU core. This Variable SMP architecture enables four performance ...

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Microsoft today posted a new commercial to promote its Microsoft Surface tablet. The new ad focused on all the unique features of Microsoft Surface in 10 seconds. It showcases Microsoft Surface features such as multi-colored Touch Cover availability, Built-in Kickstand, USB support, Availability of apps like Skype, Netflix, Xbox Music, Xbox Video, Fresh Paint and Microsoft Office compatibility. ...

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These days it is not uncommon to see developers auctioning off exclusive dev units they received for free, but the action of a Steve Ballmer-signed Microsoft Surface is fortunately nothing like that. Emotion Touch is auctioning off an exclusive Steve Ballmer signed Microsoft Surface with all proceeds going to supporting a Christmas Party at the cancer ward Charité, Campus Virchow-Klinikum, Berlin, under the auspices of the Kinderleben Association for the Promotion of the Department of Children’s Cancer Association. The 32 GB Surface tablet was signed by Steve Ballmer at a Berlin developer event 3 weeks ago, and comes with free shipping and the original accessories, and also with a VAT invoice if companies want to bid. At the time of writing the auction is standing at 610 Euro with 9 bids and is closing on the 5th December. See the auction at eBay here and support a good cause while ...

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Regular readers will know we are quite concerned by the lack of support for 3G Dongles in the Microsoft Surface and by extension other Windows RT tablets. While 3G/WI-Fi dongles provide somewhat of a solution, it seems unnecessary to waste battery life on running two WIFI radios when communication could as easily happen via USB. The big issue with using existing 3G dongles is that they need drivers and management software installed, which makes all of the current crop incompatible. Now it seems, from a twitter conversation with O2 support, that O2 may be working on a Connection Manager for Windows RT, which would solve the problem and fulfil one of the major expandability promises of the Surface- the ability to overcome any issues by simply plugging in an accessory into the USB port. See the twitter conversation here. ...

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The Microsoft Life Cycle Support page has revealed Microsoft intends to look after Surface RT buyers for a very long time into the future. The listing for Surface with Windows RT shows that mainstream support will continue until at least April 11, 2017. A separate post on Microsoft’s support website shows the various SKU builds of Windows 8 will have their mainstream support end on January 9, 2018, with extended support ending on January 10, 2023. Support in this case likely means the provision of service packs and patches, not necessarily new features, but it still sounds like a much better deal that Windows Phone users can expect, where even for Windows Phone 8 Microsoft is only promising updates for 18 months after release. Windows RT itself, when not ensconced in a Microsoft Surface, is still to have its sunset date revealed, but in a in an FAQ post, Microsoft ...

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