Skip the navigation
Microsoft Surface
Latest on Microsoft's Surface Microsoft Surface RSS from Computerworld

Microsoft discounts Surface for college kids, goes for price edge over Apple's MacBook Air
Microsoft has kicked off a month-long deal on its new Surface Pro 3 tablet-slash-notebook for college students, cutting prices between 10% and 19%.

Surface damage mounts at Microsoft as red ink reaches $1.7B
Microsoft lost money on its Surface tablets throughout its just-concluded 2014 fiscal year, adding hundreds of millions of dollars in red ink.

Surface survives Microsoft cuts, but tablet strategy remains muddled
Microsoft plans to press ahead with its in-house Surface tablets, but the company's strategy remains vague and elusive.

Microsoft wants MacBook Air owners to trade up to a Surface Pro by trading in
Microsoft has launched a buyback program to try to get MacBook Air owners to part with their laptops and replace them with new Surface Pro 3 devices.

Surface Pro 3 'notebook' reaches retail today
Microsoft today kicked off retail sales of the Surface Pro 3, the 2-in-1 device touted by the company as a notebook replacement.

Whoops! Microsoft goof confirms Surface Mini
Microsoft inadvertently confirmed in a user guide that it had a smaller Surface tablet ready to release when it unveiled the larger Surface Pro 3 last month.

Perspective: The Surface Pro is Microsoft's latest premature introduction problem
Microsoft has become mildly famous -- in hindsight -- for being early, far too early, to important technology products and trend swings. Is history repeating itself with the Surface Pro 3?

Surface Pro 3's 'tweener' screen is too small for a laptop, too big for a tablet
Microsoft picked the wrong screen size for its new Surface Pro 3 if it really plans to push the hybrid device as a replacement for premium-priced notebooks, a retail analyst said.

Windows RT isn't dead -- yet
The troubled Windows RT operating system got nary a mention at Microsoft's Surface event today, but don't plan for RT's funeral just yet.

Microsoft doubles down on 2-in-1, enterprise-first Surface strategy
Microsoft today doubled down on its strategy of pushing the Surface tablet as a two-in-one device that does duty as laptop or tablet, serving not consumers but business customers.

No Surface Mini from Microsoft on Tuesday
Microsoft will not unveil a smaller-sized Surface tablet tomorrow, according to multiple sources familiar with Microsoft's plans.

Microsoft's money pit: Surface has lost $1.2B
Microsoft has lost more than $1.2 billion so far on its Surface tablet business, an expensive experiment that makes tomorrow's revelations of new hardware an important milestone for the "devices" side of its corporate-refashioning strategy.

Surface do-or-die moment? Not so fast
Microsoft's scheduled unveiling of new Surface tablets next week is not a last-chance moment for the company's hardware dreams, analysts said, countering a theme popular on the Web.

Microsoft to webcast next week's Surface event
Microsoft will webcast its Surface event next Tuesday, boosting the chance that the company will reveal significant news and/or multiple products.

Microsoft's late to the mini tablet market, but still has a shot at sales
Microsoft may be ready to roll out a small tablet later than rivals, but analysts say a petite Surface is still a good idea.

Apple cuts MacBook Air prices, sells its first under-$900 laptop
Apple today refreshed its MacBook Air line-up, dropping prices by $100 on all four stock models.

Losses mount for Microsoft's Surface tablet line
Economies of scale continued to elude Microsoft's Surface line as the tablet lost more money in the March quarter than in the preceding three-month period, regulatory filings showed.

Microsoft Surface Mini seems likely to ship soon
Microsoft may be prepping to ship a mini version of its Surface tablets within a month, based on an listing for a case custom made for the device.

2-in-1 devices face a long, slow slog to credibility
Microsoft's efforts to push the concept of a "2-in-1" device, a tablet that does double duty as a notebook, will continue to struggle, an IDC analyst said Tuesday.

Analyst credits Surface sell-out to Microsoft swinging conservative
Microsoft's Surface tablets were in short supply Monday, with most models out of stock on the company's online store.

Microsoft Surface 2 deep-dive review: Better hardware, but still with Windows RT
Microsoft has upgraded its Windows RT tablet: The new Surface 2 offers a well-built case, better performance, a great display and the same old operating system.

Dumping a Surface? eBay averages double the return of a buyback vendor
First-generation Surface owners have complained that Microsoft won't buy their used tablets to help them buy the new editions shipping in three weeks, but other markets can actually return more cash.

Microsoft's Surface to be under revenue microscope
Microsoft plans to make it easier for Wall Street and industry analysts to track revenue generated by the company's struggling Surface line of tablets.

Microsoft's most loyal users ask for Surface trade-in program
One of the most common questions posed to Microsoft's Surface team Monday was whether the company would buy back used tablets so that customers could upgrade to the newest models set to ship in a month.

Microsoft sticks to guns, will unveil refreshed Surface on Sept. 23
Microsoft will host an event Sept. 23 to introduce new Surface tablets, which are likely to go on sale on Oct. 18.

Surface channel distribution tempo shows Microsoft lacks Plan B after sales debacle
Microsoft's slow expansion of commercial sales of its struggling Surface line is proof that the company had no backup plan after completely misreading the market, an analyst said today.

Lawyers sue Microsoft over Surface RT 'unmitigated disaster'
Several law firms joined forces on Monday to sue Microsoft, accusing the company of misleading shareholders about sales of the Surface RT tablet and calling its entry into the market an 'unmitigated disaster.'

Surface smartwatch in prototype with modified Windows 8, reports say
Microsoft is reportedly moving ahead quickly on development of a smartwatch, having reached the prototype stage with a 1.5-in. device running on a modified Windows 8 housed in a translucent aluminum case.

Microsoft chops Surface RT price to $349
Microsoft on Sunday slashed prices on its Surface RT tablets by as much as 30%, with the entry-level 32GB model selling for $349.

Microsoft slashes Surface RT prices by 60% for schools
Microsoft today confirmed that it has heavily discounted the Surface RT tablet to universities and K-12 schools, cutting the price of the entry-level model by 60%.

Best-guess $349 price for smaller Surface RT pits Microsoft against Apple for high-end Mini market
Microsoft will probably price its own 8-in. Surface tablet running Windows RT at $349, just 6% higher than Apple's iPad Mini but nowhere near the basement $199 of Android rivals, an analyst said this week.

Microsoft and its OEMs stick to an outdated tablet strategy
When it comes to tablets, Microsoft and its OEMs don't know where they're going, an analyst said today.

Gates sticks to company line on tablets, knocks iPad
Microsoft co-founder and chairman Bill Gates today stuck to the company line on tablets, and disparaged rival Apple's iPad for its lack of a keyboard and its inability to run Office.

Microsoft to drive Windows tablet strategy with smaller devices, OS rebates
Microsoft's chief financial officer yesterday confirmed that the company and its hardware partners would ship smaller, lower-priced Windows tablets in the next months.

Windows 8: How to free up disk space on Microsoft Surface tablets
One beef against Microsoft's Surface devices is that they have less usable disk space than the advertised disk size would indicate, but there is a relatively easy way to free up as much 7GB of disk space: Create a USB recovery drive and delete the Windows 8 recovery partition from the hard drive.

Microsoft signals push to smaller, lower-priced Windows tablets
Microsoft has relaxed a Windows 8 certification requirement to allow devices with lower resolutions, a move analysts said means Microsoft could soon join the shift to smaller, less expensive tablets.

Microsoft to expand Surface Pro sales to China next week
Microsoft will start selling the Surface Pro tablet in China next week, the company said yesterday.

Microsoft collects 13 design patents for Surface, keyboard covers
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office yesterday awarded Microsoft 13 design patents for its Surface line of tablets, including their innovative Touch keyboards-slash-covers, according to published documents.

Surface Pro again out of stock; Microsoft underestimated demand, argues analyst
Less than a week after Microsoft began taking reservation orders for its 128GB Surface Pro tablet, the company has again slapped a sold-out sign on its website.

Surface Pro flops in repairability test, says iFixit
Popular do-it-yourself website iFixit today gave Microsoft's Surface Pro tablet the lowest-possible repair score, just 1 out of a possible 10, after spending hours getting the device open.

Microsoft pitches Surface Pro with Mac-iPad price comparison
Microsoft made the clearest case yet for its Surface Pro tablet when a top Windows executive said it should be compared with not one, but two Apple devices.

Microsoft sold 900K Surface RT tablets in face of muted demand
Microsoft shipped an estimated 900,000 Surface RT tablets last quarter, barely missing the top five device makers, but illustrating that demand was "muted at best," IDC said today.

Microsoft teases Surface Pro as 90-day deadline nears
Microsoft teased the Surface Pro today, hinting that the company will soon announce an on-sale date for its second tablet.

Windows RT: Bug not a bug?
Microsoft and a respected researcher disagreed this week about whether a bug in Windows RT is actually a security vulnerability that should be patched.

Windows 8, Surface Tablets to Lead Microsoft's Fight for Relevance in 2013
Microsoft made big bets on Windows 8, Windows Phone and Surface tablets in 2012, and now it needs to make those bets to pay off. As more consumers and businesses go mobile, 2013 will be Microsoft's most challenging year yet.

Microsoft's Surface RT getting a tiny share of tablet Web traffic
Sales of the Microsoft Surface RT tablet are hard to measure, but one study indicates the new device is generating a tiny portion of Web traffic -- less than 1%.

Microsoft to expand retail locations for Surface RT sales
Microsoft on Tuesday said the Surface RT tablet will be available at more retailers later this month and at additional Microsoft stores that will grow beyond temporary holiday stores into permanent outlets.

Microsoft's Surface Pro highlights flawed two-for-one strategy
Microsoft's upcoming Surface Pro tablet sums up the company's seeming strategy with Windows 8: That business users can do with one device what they currently accomplish with two.

The approaching BYOD wave
This holiday shopping season is being powered in part by demand for electronics, including boatloads of new tablets and smartphones, most of which will wash into enterprises in early January in a veritable bring-your-own-device (BYOD) tsunami.

Microsoft promises to support Surface RT for 4+ years
Microsoft will support its Surface RT tablet with updates, including security patches, until April 2017, or nearly four-and-a-half years after its launch.

The new business model: Competing with partners!
Whether you blame Google, Microsoft or Apple, the old way of doing business in the mobile market is falling away. Mike Elgan explains why that's not necessarily bad.

After Sinofsky, Microsoft must stop the secrecy, say analysts
The best move Microsoft could make after Steven Sinofsky's departure is to ditch the culture of secrecy he brought to Windows, analysts said today

Surface's high profit margin reveals Microsoft's ape-Apple strategy
Microsoft makes more than $300 on each Surface RT tablet it sells, showing that the company has adopted the business model of its rival, Apple, analysts said.

Microsoft Surface RT: First impressions
We finally go hands-on with the Surface RT. Here's our first impressions.

Windows RT tablets and hybrids coming soon
Microsoft will open the floodgates for Windows RT tablets at a release event Oct. 26 in New York City. The Surface tablet from Microsoft will be available on launch, with more tablets from Asus, Dell, Samsung, Lenovo and Acer coming in the following weeks.

Seven things to consider for a Windows tablet
Come Oct. 26, when Microsoft is set to stage a release party in New York City, consumers may have to choose between a tablet with Windows 8 or Windows RT. The operating systems look and feel the same, but devices will differ on performance, price, battery life, usage and application support.

QuickPoll: Is Microsoft's Surface tablet pricing competitive with the iPad?
Microsoft's pricing of its Surface RT tablet was called 'aggressive' by some analysts, 'mystifying' by others, even as they remained skeptical that it's low enough to make inroads on the dominant player, Apple's iPad. What do you think -- is Microsoft's Surface tablet pricing competitive with the iPad?

Microsoft runs out of $499 Surface RT for pre-orders
Microsoft has exhausted its initial supply of the lowest-priced Surface RT tablet, which now is backordered by three weeks.

Microsoft's Surface RT pricing 'aggressive,' 'mystifying,' say analysts
Microsoft's pricing of its Surface RT tablet was called 'aggressive' by some analysts today, 'mystifying' by others, even as they remained skeptical that it's low enough to make inroads on the dominant player, Apple's iPad.

Ballmer: Microsoft's a 'devices and services' company now
Stop thinking of Microsoft as just a software company; it's not anymore, according to CEO Steve Ballmer.

QuickPoll: What's this year's must-have back-to-school gadget?
Feel that chill? That's not the end of summer approaching; it's the beginning of another school year. With student budgets in mind, what's this year's must-have back-to-school gadget?

Google to attempt to woo developers from Apple at Google I/O
Google is gearing up for its annual developers conference this week, and analysts say it's time for the company to deliver an ecosystem that can compete head to head with Apple.

First release of Surface tablets to be Wi-Fi-only, sources say
The first release of the Surface tablet computers will be Wi-Fi-only, unnamed sources told the Washington Post.

Microsoft Surface tablets may not match iPad battery life
Microsoft's new Surface tablets may not match Apple's iPad on battery life, according to estimates made by Computerworld based on comparable devices.

FAQ: What we don't know about Microsoft's Surface tablet
Microsoft's introduction Monday of the new Surface tablet may have been dramatic, but the presentation left as many questions unanswered as it resolved. We offer some clues, based on what is known so far.

QuickPoll: Can the Microsoft Surface successfully take on the iPad?
Apple has little to worry about from Microsoft's tradition-breaking move to sell its own tablets, analysts say. Can the Microsoft Surface successfully take on the iPad?

Microsoft's Surface tablet no threat to Apple's iPad
Apple has little to worry about from Microsoft's tradition-breaking move to sell its own tablets, analysts said today.

LG puts tablet development on hold
Following Microsoft's announcement of its new Surface tablet, LG Electronics said it has decided to put its tablet development efforts on hold in order to focus on smartphones.

Pricing seen as key to success of Microsoft's Surface tablets
Microsoft needs to hook customers with better pricing if it wants to capture market attention with its new Surface tablets, analysts said.

Microsoft is its 'own worst enemy' in bold tablet move, says analyst
Microsoft's venture into selling company-designed tablets is fraught with risk, and one analyst says the company is setting itself up as its own rival.

First look: Microsoft Surface tablets
My quick hands-on with the new 10.6-in. Surface tablet at Microsoft's launch on Monday gave me a little surprise: The edges on all four sides are sharp.

Microsoft makes 'radical' move by designing, selling own Surface tablets
Microsoft on Monday introduced its own line of tablets, dubbed 'Surface.' In doing so, the company broke its 37-year tradition of never competing directly with the hardware partners that have helped make Windows the most successful operating system ever.

Microsoft launches own Windows 8 tablets, one a full PC
Microsoft launched two 10.6-in. tablet computers dubbed Surface on Monday, built on Windows 8, with two versions of unusual attachable Touch Covers that double as keyboards.

By the numbers: Microsoft's Surface vs. Apple's iPad
While there's much more to both Microsoft's new Surface tablet and Apple's iPad than pure specifications, the physical and technological differences between the two are likely to play a part in which one buyers like.

FAQ: All about Windows RT, the OS behind a Microsoft tablet
While Microsoft has aggressively talked up Windows 8, the company has been relatively quiet about Windows RT, the all-mobile OS destined for tablets. We fill in the blanks for you.

Update: Microsoft-branded tablet 'makes sense,' analyst says
A Microsoft-branded tablet made by Barnes & Noble makes sense if the tablet is focused on the same market as the $200 Kindle Fire, analysts said Monday.

Shape-Shifting Touch Screen Is on the Horizon
Microsoft applied for a U.S. patent covering a tactile, shape-shifting touchscreen that could replace mobile keypads.

Microsoft pioneers tactile display technology
Microsoft is working on a display technology that shifts under the user's touch.

Prototype Microsoft Mobile Surface PC one-ups iPhone
Microsoft Corp. researchers have shrunk down its Surface tabletop computer into a pocket-sized package that, with the aid of a few accessories, one-ups conventional touchscreen devices like Apple Inc.'s iPhone.

Developers slowly rising to Microsoft's Surface
Microsoft remains optimistic that the Surface touch screen computer launched last year will generate interest among an increasing number of software developers.

Give your computer the finger: Touch-screen tech comes of age
Touch interface technology has been around a long time, but it may be at a tipping point now. Move over, keyboard and mouse.

Microsoft's CEO sets sights on advertising, devices
Steve Ballmer asked investors at an analyst day to be patient with the time it takes for innovation and technology changes at Microsoft.

Will Microsoft beat Apple with its 'giant iPhone'?
First there was the command line, then the graphical user interface. Now, Microsoft has become the first company to announce a PC with a third-generation user interface. But will Apple be first to ship?

Our bloggers on Microsoft Surface Microsoft Surface blog RSS from Computerworld

Will Microsoft's Satya Nadella dump Windows Phone and the Xbox?

If Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella is true to his logic, one day he'll dump both Windows Phone and the Xbox -- and of course, the Surface. But is he willing to follow that logic, or instead keep Microsoft's worst-performing divisions?

With $1.7 billion in Surface losses, is it time for Microsoft to pull the plug?

In the nearly two years since the launch of the Surface tablet line, Microsoft has racked up $1.7 billion in losses on it, with no end to the red ink in sight. Is it time for Microsoft to finally pull the plug?

Will Microsoft's Surface line ever make a profit?

Microsoft's quarterly earnings report this week had a bit of deja vu: The company's bottom line once again took a hit because of woes with the Surface line. This time around, it was cancelling the Surface Mini. Will the Surface line ever make a profit?

Microsoft's top Surface exec: We're all in with Windows RT

Last week's introduction of the Surface Pro 3 was noticeably lacking an RT version of the device -- the first time a Surface Windows tablet was announced without a Windows RT companion. But Panos Panay, in charge of the Surface, today insisted that Microsoft is committed to Windows RT for the long haul.

3 reasons the Surface Pro 3 looks like a winner

Microsoft's new Surface Pro 3 may do the impossible: Save the struggling Surface line from adding on to its more than $1 billion in losses to date. Here are three reasons it looks like a winner and could save the line.

Does the world really need a Surface Mini Pro?

Tomorrow Microsoft will likely introduce a 7- or 8-inch Surface Mini running Windows RT. Some rumors also point to a Surface Mini Pro as well, running full-blown Windows 8. Does the world really need a full-bore small Windows 8 tablet?

Microsoft loses money on every Surface it sells -- $300 million in total and counting

Microsoft may say that its future lies in devices and services, but at the moment it's losing big in the devices market: $300 million and counting for the Surface in the last nine months. And the more Surfaces it sells, the more money it loses. Is this any way to turn around a company's mobile strategy?

Can Microsoft's new Mini tablet save the Surface?

It looks as if Microsoft's long-rumored Surface Mini may finally be on the verge of being released. Can the small tablet help save the Surface line, or will it be too little, too late?

Microsoft loses money on every Surface tablet it sells. Is that really a bad thing?

There was very good news for Microsoft in its earnings report yesterday, with sales of its Surface tablets more than doubling from the previous quarter. Microsoft did it by losing money on every Surface it sold. Could that actually be a good thing?

Was 2013 one of Microsoft's worst years ever?

2013 was a year of big ups and downs for Microsoft -- ups like the purchase of Nokia and the Xbox launch, and downs like the continuing problems with Windows 8. Did the downs outstrip the ups, and was it one of Microsoft's worst years ever?

Do big holiday sales mean that Microsoft Surface tablets are for real?

Holiday sales and post-holiday usage numbers show big gains for Surface tablets. It is a one-time blip, or are bigger Surface tablet the wave of the future?

Microsoft Surface could soon become the second most popular tablet

Microsoft's Surface tablet is on the verge of becoming the second best-selling tablet, behind only the iPad, and ahead of the Samsung Galaxy Tab, the Google Nexus, and the Amazon Kindle Fire. Is this a fluke or a sign of things to come?

Even The Tech Guy can't explain Windows tablets

This past Sunday, Leo Laporte was about to say nice things about the Nokia 2520 tablet, but first he tried to explain what it was. It didn't go well. If you are buying a tablet this holiday season, this is a worthwhile read.

iPad cover with keyboard to be announced today?

Apple to reinvent the Surface Type Cover?
Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is rumored to be readying an iPad cover with a built-in keyboard. Microsoft Surface fans are no doubt suffering a severe case of déjà vu right now. In IT Blogwatch, bloggers ponder Apple's "a lot to cover" punnage.

Microsoft's Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2: Too-high prices mean they're non-starters

Microsoft's Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 have gotten some nice hardware refreshes, but they're still priced too high -- so high that it's unlikely they'll seriously compete against the iPad or Android tablets. Think of them as Ballmer's last stand.