Every month on second Tuesday, Microsoft will release release patches and updates for its software and hardware lineups. Surface RT and Surface Pro devices were also getting these updates since launch and this month is an exception. There is no firmware update for both Surface RT and Surface Pro devices this month from Microsoft. I guess, Microsoft is working on delivering Windows 8.1 with fully optimized firmware for both these devices in October. When asked about the lack of updates this month, Microsoft commented the following to Neowin, Windows and Surface are periodically updated with new features and improvements as they become available, and they will continue to receive updates as needed. Product updates for Surface RT and Surface Pro will become less frequent as the products mature. This is the natural cycle for all devices. Are you waiting for Windows 8.1 update on your Surface device? Source: Surface RT, Surface ...

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Microsoft today sent out invites to the press for the next generation Surface event. The event is scheduled on September 23rd in NYC, US.  Microsoft is expected to reveal next generation Surface RT, Surface Pro and new accessories at this event.  We have already reported about most of these devices in the past few weeks.  The next generation Surface RT will come with 1080p display, Tegra 4 processor, and more.  The next generation Surface Pro will come with Intel Hasewell processor, 8GB RAM option and more.  Both the Surface devices are expected to sport new Kickstand with two-step preset. The rumored Surface Mini is not expected to be announced at this event.  The Lenovo 8-inch tablet has also been delayed, coincidence? Here are those posts, Surface RT 2 Details Revealed: Tegra 4, Full HD 1080p, White & Black Options, & More Surface 2 Specs Leak: Haswell, New Kickstand, More RAM, ...

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For the first time ever, a Windows RT build has leaked online. This is the upcoming Windows 8.1 RTM build, 6.3.9600.16384.WINBLUE. Microsoft has already made an announcement that they are rolling out Windows 8.1 to both ARM and x86/x64 PCs in October. If you are so eager to try it out before that, you can download it from torrent sites. As expected, this build comes with Office 2013 pre-installed which will also include new Outlook 2013 RT. But as always, there is a risk associated with it. So, do at your own risk! Windows RT 8.1 Build details: MICROSOFT.WINDOWS.RT.8.1.WITH.OFFICE.2013.RT.RTM.WOA.ENGLISH.DVD-WZT magnet:?xt=urn:btih:48D55E2DCBDA7E1D251C4325EC9DC0ABAC59F48A RELEASE DATE: 08/21/2013 BUILD: 6.3.9600.16384.WINBLUE_RTM.130821-1623 OFFICE 2013 RT BUILD: 15.0.4505.1015 FILE: 9600.16384.130821-1623_WOAFRE_ClientRT_O15_EN-US-IRM_CCSA_DV5.ISO SIZE: 2,611,933,184 byte SHA-1: F2683FA0240EF928A846C69A5016AD5BC9CE21D6 MD5: 20FF7884B78470D2322BB43BBA875635 Surface RT Driver details: FILE: SurfaceRT-8.1-drivers.zip SIZE: 12,230,873 byte MD5: A000FB5083C82281B8848A7E7622BAD0 SHA1: 9639D5A75D6F48D8CDE2A5BDED334FFD706A8F86 The language packs for both Windows RT 8.1 and Office 2013 also got leaked. You can find download links ...

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Microsoft Surface Team has announced a new contest where you will be able to win a Surface Pro device. It is a special Surface Pro unit, Halo: Spartan Assault skinned 128 GB Surface Pro. You have to tweet Surface team on why you think Surface is an awesome gaming experience between August 21 & 22 and you will have a chance to win 1 of 10 Surface Pro devices. Halo: Spartan Assault Surface Twitter Contest: We will be posting a question on the @Surface Twitter page at 10:00 am PT on August 21, 2013 and will be taking your responses to our question until 11:59 pm PT on August 22, 2013. Your reply to our question should be no longer than 130 characters and must include @Surface and the hashtags #WinSurface and #Ad. To help maximize your character space, you can get super creative and post a video, picture, or ...

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Microsoft today announced their expansion of commercial distribution for Surface in 17 new markets. These resellers in all the countries will offer variety of additional value-added services to the Surface device, such as asset tagging, custom imaging, kitting, onsite service and support, device recycling and data protection. Also all these devices will come with Microsoft’s extended warranty and accidental damage. Today we’re kicking off the next phase in this plan – the first international channel availability of Surface RT and Surface Pro for our commercial, education and public sector customers in 17 new markets. In addition to the U.S. commercial channel, the markets that will begin to sell Surface today via a commercial channel include: Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the UK. Microsoft posted a short Q&A on their blog. Frequently Asked Questions: Q: Which specific resellers are authorized in ...

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Microsoft today released set of firmware and driver updated for both its Surface RT and Surface Pro devices. These update brings enhance stability, reliability and more. Here is the full change log. Windows RT 8.0 updates only: UEFI firmware update that optimizes the audio experience at low volumes and removes a perceived pulsing in audio volume for some content. Update to system drivers that enhance stability and reliability. Windows 8.0 update only: UEFI and System Aggregator (SAM) firmware update that enhances system stability, reliability, reduces power consumption, and improves touch latency with the touchpad on the Surface Type Cover and Surface Touch Cover. Updates are automatically installed on Surface through Windows Update. If you want to manually install, follow the below steps. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen and then tap or click Settings.      (If you’re using a mouse, point to upper-right corner of screen, move the ...

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In an interview to CNET, Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang revealed that they are working really hard on second generation Surface to make it a success. This confirms two things. First, Microsoft is indeed working on next generation Surface RT device. Second, the upcoming Surface RT device will also run on Nvidia Tegra platform. He said that the lack of Outlook was one of the significant problems in first generation Surface launch. “It is the killer app for Windows,” Huang said. “Now we’re going to bring it with the second-generation Surface. We’re working really hard on it, and we hope that it’s going to be a big success.” Source: CNET ...

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Microsoft Surface RT devices does not support External Ethernet so far and there were some workarounds to make it work. But even those solutions are not working right now. According to ZDNet, Microsoft is working on bringing  External Ethernet support to Surface RT devices. Also Microsoft is working with hardware partners to make external Ethernet dongles that support Connected Standby, the Windows 8 feature that provides instant-on/off whenever network connections are available. Another related news about Surface RT is that Microsoft has extended the discounted Surface RT availability program for qualifying education institutions till end of September. “In June, we announced a one-time offer for Surface RT that starts at $199 for qualifying education institutions, valid for all K-12 and universities purchasing from Microsoft. Thanks to great customer interest, we are thrilled to share that this special offer to education institutions will continue until the end of September. Microsoft has a ...

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Microsoft today announced the availability of both Surface RT and Surface Pro devices in Taiwan. Even though Taiwan’s Pegatron makes Surface tablets for all parts of the world, their home country got Surface devices nearly after 9 months of the launch. According to Neowin, the new reduced price of Surface Pro is also live in Taiwan for a limited period. Sales of the tablets began at noon Sunday, when 100 Tsann Kuen Enterprise and Fayaque electronic stores became the first outlets to officially sell the Surface RT and Surface Pro in the country. The Surface Pro will feature a reduced price until Aug. 29, when Microsoft plans to end its temporary price cut; Taiwanese customers will pay the equivalent of about $100 less for the tablet until that time. Source: Microsoft via: Neowin ...

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Microsoft submitted their Form 10-K filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission today and it revealed some interesting information about Surface. Microsoft Surface totally generated a revenue of $853 million. This is not so encouraging number for Microsoft because it equates to poor sales of the Surface units. If you roughly calculate the $853 million for $500 per Surface unit, you end up with just 1.7 million Surface units sold number. Recently, Microsoft announced a $900 million charge to reflect a $150 price drop in the Surface RT device, attempting to clear inventory due to poor sales. Source: SEC via: Geekwire ...

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According to Strategy Analytics, global tablet shipments reached 51.7 million units in the first quarter of 2013 with Windows having 4.5% of global share. Android almost doubled its market share to 67 percent while Apple iOS declined to 28 percent. Strategy Analytics expects that there may be growth in Windows tablets for Q3 due to the recent price cuts from OEMs like Microsoft. Microsoft captured a niche 4.5 percent global tablet share in Q2 2013. There may be an uptick in Windows RT shipments in Q3 following savage price cuts by all the partners still involved in the RT Market. Microsoft has reduced prices by $150 and other vendors even more; they are still not cheap, but are much more where they should be to compete. The shortage of apps continues to be a problem, with seemingly little incentive for developers to work on the platform. ...

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  We all know that Microsoft faced a bad financial struggle related to Surface tablets with their $900 million write off related to current generation Surface models inventory. In an internal event held at Microsoft, Steve Ballmer expressed his concern that Windows devices are not selling well enough. He also revealed that Microsoft is currently testing next generation Surface that will feature ‘typical improvements’  and the internal response to the next gen Surface has been positive. Other tidbits from the address are that Microsoft is hoping to carry the third quarter momentum into Q4 and that, like many organizations, they will be investing heavily into professional services in the next fiscal quarter. Other obvious talking points included the fact that Windows 8.1 was heavily shaped by user telemetry and  was why Microsoft reintroduced the Start button back into Windows 8. Are you looking forward towards next generation Surface? Read more from the link below. ...

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According to report from Reuters, members of Microsoft board have held talks with ValueAct Capital Management in the last week over the activist shareholder’s demands to have a seat on the Microsoft’s board. ValueAct owns 33 million Microsoft shares as of March, which is 0.4 percent of total outstanding shares of Microsoft in NASDAQ. ValueAct wants to have control over Microsoft to make changes on how they adapt to the new world of mobile computing by having a board member. Microsoft’s huge stock drop on Friday, prompted by its financial results and a $900 million write-down on the value of unsold Surface tablets, provoked fresh skepticism of Ballmer’s new plan to reshape Microsoft around devices and services. “The recent reorganization does not fix the tablet or smartphone problem,” Nomura analyst Rick Sherlund said in a note to clients on Friday. “The devices opportunity just received a $900 million hardware write-off ...

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Microsoft’s stock price fell more than 11 percent on Friday, their biggest plunge in more than 11 years. Microsoft reported their quarterly financial results yesterday of $19.90 billion in revenue and a net profit of $4.97 billion. But the stock value down is due to whopping $900 million write-off of Microsoft’s Surface RT inventory. Microsoft recently reduced $150 off the price of the Surface RT tablet to further increase the sales. Steve Ballmer said the following statement on Surface and Windows based tablets, “We are working hard to deliver compelling new devices and high value experiences from Microsoft and our partners in the coming months, including new Windows 8.1 tablets and PCs,”   ...

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Microsoft has posted a new commercial on their official youtube account directly comparing the SurfaceRT to the iPad again.  The new commercial is similar to the ad released a few weeks back, but reflects the new $350 price of the SurfaceRT.  Microsoft recently took a $900 million charge related to lowering the price of the SurfaceRT and inventory adjustments on associated accessories. The ad continues the theme of showing how versatile the SurfaceRT is compared to the iPad.  Look for this commercial on a tv screen near you.  Personally, I’m quite enjoying these ads and I think the message will get through to the average consumer. Source: Frank Shaw ...

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