Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 18th Jul 2013 22:12 UTC
Microsoft The Verge, reporting that Microsoft lost almost a billion dollars with Surface RT, in this quarter alone. "At the end of the day, though, it looks like Microsoft just made too many Surface RT tablets - we heard late last year that Microsoft was building three to five million Surface RT tablets in the fourth quarter, and we also heard that Microsoft had only sold about one million of those tablets in March." That's catastrophically bad.
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Wow
by WorknMan on Thu 18th Jul 2013 22:57 UTC
WorknMan
Member since:
2005-11-13

So when's the $99 fire sale happening? Sad thing is, I still wouldn't buy one for that price. I'm not even sure at $49. I guess it would make a decent tablet for web browsing, if you don't already have one. I'm not sure what else it would be good for. I was kind of hoping that RT would take off because of Metro on Windows 8, but that doesn't seem to be happening.

Edited 2013-07-18 22:58 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Wow
by ricegf on Thu 18th Jul 2013 23:51 UTC in reply to "Wow"
ricegf Member since:
2007-04-25

I would have paid $99 in a fire sale for one, except that (I believe?) the boot loader is encrypted to prevent Linux from loading on it. Looks like a sweet target for an Ubuntu or Plasma Active port, too. Oh, well.

Reply Score: 8

RE[2]: Wow
by ssokolow on Fri 19th Jul 2013 00:24 UTC in reply to "RE: Wow"
ssokolow Member since:
2010-01-21

I would have paid $99 in a fire sale for one, except that (I believe?) the boot loader is encrypted to prevent Linux from loading on it. Looks like a sweet target for an Ubuntu or Plasma Active port, too. Oh, well.


Agreed. If someone finds a bootloader exploit before they have a fire sale, I'll get one.

Otherwise, they'd probably have to cut the price down to something like $10-20 where I could justify getting it as something to shelve for when I eventually feel I've learned enough about electronics and surface-mount desoldering to cannibalize it for the screen.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Wow
by quackalist on Fri 19th Jul 2013 01:42 UTC in reply to "Wow"
quackalist Member since:
2007-08-27

Suppose it's not hackable to put android on ? If it is, I'd buy for £50 and be happy.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Wow
by Jokel on Fri 19th Jul 2013 05:21 UTC in reply to "RE: Wow"
Jokel Member since:
2006-06-01

Nope - thanks to the wonders of "secure boot" it is "secured" to run Windows only. Only if you could flash the EFI rom with a "unlocked" image it could be possible to do such thing, but as far as I know it is hard coded (maybe a PROM, so no flash possible) and you are out of luck here.

And yes - that's the same "secure boot" Microsoft demands all hardware makers have to put on their motherboards to get a "Windows 8 certification". The only difference with the above is you very generous can get a "Microsoft key" from Verisign (free for personal use and $99 if you are a pro) to be able to boot into another OS, or you can disable or enable "secure boot" bios-wise every time you want to reboot from Windows 8 to another OS. Needless to say it wont secure Windows at all, but creates an artificial extra hurdle to use anything else but Microsoft Windows..

But - at least on other platforms that have "secure boot" it is possible to run another OS..



For now....

Reply Score: 5

v RE[3]: Wow
by lucas_maximus on Fri 19th Jul 2013 05:46 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Wow"
RE[4]: Wow
by ssokolow on Fri 19th Jul 2013 06:56 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Wow"
ssokolow Member since:
2010-01-21

Secure boot is a good thing, despite your protests to the otherwise.

MBR malware has been on the rise for years.


That depends on how you compare the pros and cons.

As implemented, I think Secure Boot is terrible for competition and I think that's intentional. I'd have no problem if that weren't the case.

For example, if there were a simple, cross-vendor standardized (and tested) way to grant an unsigned bootloader permission to run and register its own keys.

Perhaps something like this to make it hard to trick ignorant users into it:

1. If the user didn't call up the manual boot device chooser menu by holding F8 while booting, fail hard if the bootloader's signature can't be verified.

2. If the user did manually select a boot device and the bootloader is unsigned, display a big, scary but ultra-concise warning with the user being required to type "I Understand" to pass.

(Something like "You are trying to start an operating system provided or modified by an unrecognized vendor. This usually means that your computer has become infected. Unless you are are absolutely sure you know what you are doing, please turn off your computer and contact a technician. Otherwise, please type "I Understand" and press Enter.")

3. Somewhere in the process, there would be a checkbox with an equally clear message which would grant the OS some kind of one-time authentication token to allow it to register a new signing key in the bootloader.

Hell, even the Chromebook developer switch model has some advantages over UEFI Secure Boot.

Edited 2013-07-19 06:57 UTC

Reply Score: 9

RE[5]: Wow
by lucas_maximus on Sat 20th Jul 2013 08:08 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Wow"
lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

Chromebooks are just as gimped because they can't install windows without mucking about with the bios, however nobody is crying from the rooftops about how Google are restricting choice.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Wow
by toast88 on Fri 19th Jul 2013 07:26 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Wow"
toast88 Member since:
2009-09-23

Secure boot is a good thing, despite your protests to the otherwise.

MBR malware has been on the rise for years.


So, tell me, when was the last time you booted your PC off a floppy disk?

Bootsector malware has been on the rise? Really? What year do we have? 1995?

Most computers are attacked over the network nowadays, not boot media.

This whole justification for "Secure Boot" is just bullshit.

Reply Score: 12

RE[5]: Wow
by hamster on Fri 19th Jul 2013 08:18 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Wow"
hamster Member since:
2006-10-06

Mcafee seems to believe the mbr attacks are on the rise. But other then that i have not found any sources. And mcafee, yeah well they not unlike ms lives on spreding fear among the costumers...

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: Wow
by Drumhellar on Fri 19th Jul 2013 08:25 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Wow"
Drumhellar Member since:
2005-07-12

I think he means rootkits, not MBR viruses, which are two different things.

Secure Boot isn't about old-style boot sector viruses. It's about rootkits, which still exist and still attack current versions of Windows.

Edited 2013-07-19 08:29 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Wow
by Alfman on Fri 19th Jul 2013 09:34 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Wow"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

Drumhellar,


"I think he means rootkits, not MBR viruses, which are two different things."

Or maybe he meant linux ;)

There are less controversial ways of protecting the MBR against the former two, but users intentionally booting alternatives are tough to block...Just sayin'

Edited 2013-07-19 09:47 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[7]: Wow
by Nelson on Fri 19th Jul 2013 10:59 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Wow"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

I'm just waiting for when we can have a Surface post without rehashing the same tired SecureBoot crap.

Fine, you don't like it, you won't buy it. The first hundred times, and I'm being nice here, it might've been a productive discussion. But now what use does it serve, pat each other on the back and agree?

Reply Score: 3

RE[7]: Wow
by Drumhellar on Fri 19th Jul 2013 19:25 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Wow"
Drumhellar Member since:
2005-07-12

Okay. Enlighten me. How else does one guarantee that the boot loader and the kernel haven't been modified prior to boot?

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Wow
by toast88 on Sat 20th Jul 2013 22:41 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Wow"
toast88 Member since:
2009-09-23

Dude, if you have gained so much access to a machine that you can write to the bootsector, what's the point in doing that already?

You already have FULL access to a computer at the time and can copy and manipulate any data that you want.

Adrian

Reply Score: 1

RE[7]: Wow
by Drumhellar on Sat 20th Jul 2013 23:07 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Wow"
Drumhellar Member since:
2005-07-12

Well, the benefit of rootkits is that they tend to go undetected. You can have adware/spyware running, and a hacked kernel can make the associated processes completely invisible to everything else. Or, the hacked kernel can be designed to trick anti-virus software into thinking viruses were properly and correctly removed when they weren't.

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: Wow
by Vanders on Fri 19th Jul 2013 10:21 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Wow"
Vanders Member since:
2005-07-06

I've always worked with the assumption that Secure Boot was more of a reaction to Windows 7 loaders like DAZ Loader. That's just my theory though.

Edited 2013-07-19 10:21 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[6]: Wow
by Nelson on Fri 19th Jul 2013 10:23 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Wow"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

This is probably it. For the most part.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: Wow
by toast88 on Sat 20th Jul 2013 22:46 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Wow"
toast88 Member since:
2009-09-23

That's actually a valid reason to use a protected boot loader since it prevents the loading of a manipulated kernel image, i.e. one where the key protection has been patched out.

Yet, just because Microsoft cannot fight every single bootleg copy of Windows, it's not justified to install such a lock-out mechanism into all new PCs being sold.

Adrian

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Wow
by Lennie on Mon 22nd Jul 2013 11:33 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Wow"
Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

These devices don't have a user visible BIOS I guess and can't get these 'security checks' disabled, but PCs do...

for now.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Wow
by Alfman on Mon 22nd Jul 2013 20:59 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Wow"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

Lennie,

"These devices don't have a user visible BIOS I guess and can't get these 'security checks' disabled, but PCs do..."

My wife's Samsung tablet has a simple "BIOS" to perform some basic functions like flashing firmware over USB. Don't these windows rt tablets have a similar mode?

Edited 2013-07-22 21:02 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Comment by Drumhellar
by Drumhellar on Thu 18th Jul 2013 23:03 UTC
Drumhellar
Member since:
2005-07-12

I hope Microsoft hangs in there, and eventually enjoys success. Surface looks cool - I'd be tempted to pick one up, even though I just dumped Win8 for Kubuntu.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by Drumhellar
by ilovebeer on Sat 20th Jul 2013 22:39 UTC in reply to "Comment by Drumhellar"
ilovebeer Member since:
2011-08-08

Kubuntu over Windows 8? Was this a drunken dare or something?

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by Drumhellar
by Drumhellar on Sat 20th Jul 2013 23:01 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Drumhellar"
Drumhellar Member since:
2005-07-12

Heheheh. Dare? No. Drunk? Possibly.

It's more a matter of convenience than anything else. I dumped Windows primarily for privacy concerns, but will likely carve out some disk space and add it again, just because some of the games I bought through Steam haven't been ported to Linux, plus I think I want to get back into Diablo III.

I might give the Fedora KDE spin a go, now that the Optimus is supported in nVidia's Linux drivers - they're a huge pain in the ass to install in Ubuntu - but Bumblebee seemed more convenient to install on Ubuntu than other distros.

Really, I'd prefer FreeBSD, but there's no Optimus support yet, and the pre-compiled packages for Xorg aren't built with KMS, which means building a newer version from scratch via ports. Mixing older packages (say, KDE) with newer software (Xorg) from ports produces unpredictable results.

Reply Score: 2

Too bad
by kiz01 on Thu 18th Jul 2013 23:05 UTC
kiz01
Member since:
2005-07-06

It's too bad that it hasn't been more popular. I really like mine. Having Word and Excel on a tablet is great - I use it at work all the time. My kids love playing games on it and my Android tablet's been collecting dust since I got it.

Is it the right fit for everybody? No.

Did it get a lot of bad press for not meeting expectations? Yes.

Does it work well for me? Yes.

If they do have a $99 fire sale, I'll be getting at least two more.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Too bad
by leos on Fri 19th Jul 2013 04:36 UTC in reply to "Too bad"
leos Member since:
2005-09-21

My kids love playing games on it and my Android tablet's been collecting dust since I got it.


The draw of office on a tablet I can understand, but this? There are literally tens of thousands of more games for Android than Windows RT. Why would they use your RT tablet instead of an unused Android one?

Reply Score: 8

Comment by Nelson
by Nelson on Thu 18th Jul 2013 23:20 UTC
Nelson
Member since:
2005-11-29

If they have 3-6million sitting in a warehouse they're inebriated and whoever made that decision needs to be fired. Holy crap.

No way out of the gate they were going to sell that much. Especially not with an ecosystem that needs to go from 0-60 quickly.

Reply Score: 7

RE: Comment by Nelson
by Nelson on Fri 19th Jul 2013 01:02 UTC in reply to "Comment by Nelson "
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

I'll also admit I was wrong about Surface price reductions merely clearing left over inventory for a new model. This is a major write off indicating a gross overestimation of potential sales.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by Nelson
by reduz on Fri 19th Jul 2013 03:34 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Nelson "
reduz Member since:
2006-02-25

They shouldn't have diversified that much in such a short time. Microsoft has:

-Windows Desktop
-Windows Modern x86
-Windows Modern ARM
-Windows Phone

All incompatible between them.

Apple Has:

-OSX
-iOS

Google Has:

-Android
-Chrome Store/OS


I'm also surprised they killed C# at this point. While it's true that most developers of large apps or games prefer C++, they would have been able to have many of the apps work everywhere.

Edited 2013-07-19 03:36 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by Nelson
by moondevil on Fri 19th Jul 2013 05:57 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Nelson "
moondevil Member since:
2005-07-08

I'm also surprised they killed C# at this point.


WHAT?! Do you have any idea how the developers ecosystem looks like on Microsoft platforms?! Are you aware of all the .NET stuff that was presented at BUILD 2013?

The only thing C# related that they killed, was XNA as are pushing C++ for games.

While it's true that most developers of large apps or games prefer C++, they would have been able to have many of the apps work everywhere.


All mobile vendors have C and C++ support as part of their SDKs, while for C#, developers need to buy Xamarin stuff.

Edited 2013-07-19 06:00 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE[4]: Comment by Nelson
by Nelson on Fri 19th Jul 2013 10:24 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by Nelson "
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

No he's not. Neither is ze_jerkface below with his bs

Edited 2013-07-19 10:25 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Comment by Nelson
by Nelson on Fri 19th Jul 2013 10:55 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by Nelson "
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

Err in the other thread, too early. Need coffee.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by Nelson
by BluenoseJake on Fri 19th Jul 2013 12:51 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Nelson "
BluenoseJake Member since:
2005-08-11

I'm also surprised they killed C# at this point. While it's true that most developers of large apps or games prefer C++, they would have been able to have many of the apps work everywhere.


They most certainly did not, c# is one of Microsoft's premiere languages, the last thing they would do is kill it.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by Nelson
by ronaldst on Fri 19th Jul 2013 03:40 UTC in reply to "Comment by Nelson "
ronaldst Member since:
2005-06-29

If they have 3-6million sitting in a warehouse they're inebriated and whoever made that decision needs to be fired. Holy crap.

Me thinks he's already gone. He was in the news last week.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by Nelson
by Fergy on Fri 19th Jul 2013 05:59 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Nelson "
Fergy Member since:
2006-04-10

Me thinks he's already gone. He was in the news last week.

Balmer is not responsible?

Edited 2013-07-19 05:59 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Comment by Nelson
by kwan_e on Fri 19th Jul 2013 06:01 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Nelson "
kwan_e Member since:
2007-02-18

"Me thinks he's already gone. He was in the news last week.

Balmer is not responsible?
"

No he's not. That's what makes him a bad CEO.

Reply Score: 7

RE[3]: Comment by Nelson
by Nelson on Fri 19th Jul 2013 10:22 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Nelson "
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

CEOs delegate responsibility. If they fail at those responsibilities, they are fired. There's a chain of responsibility. I'm sure you're aware Ballmer is one person, despite the boogey man like characterization you're obsessed with giving him.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by Nelson
by toast88 on Fri 19th Jul 2013 07:22 UTC in reply to "Comment by Nelson "
toast88 Member since:
2009-09-23

Weren't you the one here who was constantly claiming that Surface was selling like crazy and that the numbers look promising and that Microsoft is doing everything right herp de derp?!?

Microsoft and people like you should finally understand: No one wants Windows on their tablets and no one wants a mutant Windows which doesn't know whether it's a tablet or desktop operating system.

This whole strategy from Microsoft is just hopelessly flawed and if they don't finally realize that, they're gonna die like the other big players like Commodore, Atari, digital and whatnot.

http://www.businessinsider.com/windows-monopoly-is-getting-destroye...

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Comment by Nelson
by Nelson on Fri 19th Jul 2013 10:20 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Nelson "
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

I'm sure you're aware (or maybe you're challenged and you're not) that you can order too much stock and still sell a modest amount. The two are not mutually exclusive.

I don't even know why I'm going into this with you, if my last comment on the subject, complete with references to market statistics from various sources wasn't enough, then there's no convincing you.

Not all write offs are for hard assets either, like the acquisition write off Microsoft did a little while ago.

Anything else, dipshit?

Reply Score: 3

Device with no place in the universe.
by reduz on Thu 18th Jul 2013 23:36 UTC
reduz
Member since:
2006-02-25

I can't make sense at all of WinRT..

If they wanted to do ARM, they could have just made it a windows phone 8 tablet.

If they wanted a lightweight and not battery hungry version of the regular surface, they could have gone Atom and keep BW compatibility.

But a completely different and incompatible version of the OS? wtf?

Reply Score: 2

Kochise Member since:
2006-03-03

Divide and reign...

Kochise

Reply Score: 2

Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

Intel got more power efficient faster than they expected is what I'm guessing.

Think about the state of Intel on tablets, Windows Phone, etc at the time these decisions were made.

And the RT port will help when Mjcrosoft finally fully unifies the platform.

Plus RT has more tablet optimized apps than Android at this point, that's why you scale down and not scale up.

Reply Score: 4

JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

Plus RT has more tablet optimized apps than Android at this point, that's why you scale down and not scale up.


And another perfect pull out of his ass by Nelson! How does he do it?

PS: Scaling up is exactly what Apple did with iPad.

Reply Score: 4

Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

How many tablet optimized apps exist for Android?

Reply Score: 2

tylerdurden Member since:
2009-03-17

you're the one making the claim, have you consider the possibility it is your responsibility to substantiate it?

Reply Score: 2

Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

Most stats I've seen (and its hard because Google won't break down numbers, I wonder why) peg the figure at the tens of thousands.

Windows 8 by comparison has over 100,000 tablet optimized applications. That's a pretty wide gap.

I asked because he seemed to sure I was wrong that I was interested in which statistic he had.

Reply Score: 3

tylerdurden Member since:
2009-03-17

Windows 8? I thought you were talking about Windows RT

Edited 2013-07-19 20:37 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

Metro applications (for the most part) run on both, give or take a thousand or two. There are over 100k tablet optimized Metro apps for Windows 8/RT.

Reply Score: 3

Terrible pricing and no apps
by ronaldst on Fri 19th Jul 2013 03:50 UTC
ronaldst
Member since:
2005-06-29

I love the Surface RT but it never stood a chance.

Microsoft built it's company on low-cost mass volume PCs. Consumers expect cheap devices.

I wish they'd stop trying to act like Apple.

Reply Score: 6

RE: Terrible pricing and no apps
by skpg on Fri 19th Jul 2013 21:43 UTC in reply to "Terrible pricing and no apps"
skpg Member since:
2012-09-21

I love the Surface RT but it never stood a chance.

Microsoft built it's company on low-cost mass volume PCs. Consumers expect cheap devices.

I wish they'd stop trying to act like Apple.


Microsoft is not a hardware company, they are a software company. The majority of Microsoft's profits come from licensing windows and office. Given that windows is the most widely used os in the world and desktop manufacturers have to pay ms a royalty fee for having windows pre-installed (it's $50 for each computer that has windows installed) that's how they can have strong earnings despite losing close to a billion dollars on Windows RT.

Microsoft also collects licensing fees from small businesses, government schools etc. And since windows has 90-92% marketshare with no close substitute, they are technically a monopoly.

It's interesting that despite losing $900 million dollars they were still profitable thanks to their monopoly licensing windows. Also no one else can license windows or fork any of their software, that is how they obtain billions of dollars every year, combined with their marketshare.

Simply put Microsoft's monopoly is the unintended consequences of copyright lasting way too long. If there was no copyright laws in software, Microsoft wouldn't be able to garner billions of dollars in licensing fees every year, and they would not able to lock the consumer to using windows, while making their software incompatible with the competition.

This chart proves my point.
http://infogr.am/Microsoft-revenue-by-division

Edited 2013-07-19 21:46 UTC

Reply Score: 0

Cool but not practial
by wocowboy on Fri 19th Jul 2013 08:53 UTC
wocowboy
Member since:
2006-06-01

Surface RT machines are very cool looking, but that coolness factor only works when the device is used as a tablet. When you attach the keyboard and try to use the thing as a laptop-replacement anywhere but on a flat, solid table/desk-top surface, it is useless. Trying to balance the thing on your lap with the kickstand and flexing keyboard is an exercise in frustration. It just doesn't work. There are those who say that it does work just fine that way, and that's fine if it does for them, but a traditional laptop design is FAR more useful and stable in that situation. There are far cheaper real laptops that do the job much better.

Reply Score: 2

chithanh
Member since:
2006-06-18

Charlie from SemiAccurate notes two more points:

* Dell now sells their XPS 10 tablets at or below hardware cost
* Lenovo appears to have stopped taking orders for the Yoga 11

http://semiaccurate.com/2013/07/22/microsoft-drove-the-bus-off-the-...

Reply Score: 2