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Surface 2 teaser

It's NOT an iPad - but that's FINE: I learned to LOVE Microsoft's Surface 2

Microsoft’s first take on Surface RT was a disaster, culminating in a $900m stock write-down in July. Curious then that the company has now produced the Surface 2 with a similar design, and also running Windows RT, the locked-down ARM build on which you cannot install desktop applications – only new-style apps from the Windows …
Tim Anderson, 23 Oct 2013
Surface Pro hero

Review: Living with Microsoft's new Surface Pro

While the Surface RT was aimed at Apple's iDevices, its posh Pro cousin is Microsoft's Windows 8 showcase in the PC space, and on midnight on February 9 the first units will go on sale. But we got one early, lived with it for a week, and have, ahem, surfaced to tell of our experience. Microsoft is adamant that the Surface Pro is …
Iain Thomson, 06 Feb 2013
Microsoft Surface tablets

Surface RT now on sale in 13 more European markets

Continental Europeans who can't think of anything to get that special someone for Valentine's Day might condsider a Surface RT fondleslab, which Microsoft made available in 13 additional markets on Thursday. Until now, the ARM-based tablets running Windows RT have only been available in Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany …
Neil McAllister, 14 Feb 2013

How to relieve Microsoft's Surface RT piles problem

Somewhere in Redmond (at least metaphorically speaking) are several very large piles of unsold Surface RT tablet components. Why did the long-awaited and much-hyped ARM tablet running "Windows for ARM" Windows RT flop so badly, when ARM tablets running iOS for ARM from Apple are doing so well? It's not just the Modern Windows …
Liam Proven, 14 Nov 2013

Microsoft halves Surface RT production orders - report

Microsoft has slashed the number of Surface RT tablets on order with the Original Design Manufacturers in Asia, according to reports. The supply chain was primed to build and ship four million units of the ARM-based device by year-end but Redmond has slashed this to two million on the back of weak demand, sources told Digi Times …
Paul Kunert, 29 Nov 2012
Microsoft Surface

Slash A THIRD off Surface RT price or it's toast, Microsoft told

Microsoft needs to hack a third off Surface RT prices and widen distribution to give the fondleslab a fighting chance to compete, said equities analyst Detwiler Fenton Group (DFG). The ARM-powered device isn't winning many friends apart from the software giant's rank and file. Only last week the firm was reported to have halved …
Paul Kunert, 05 Dec 2012
Photo of billboard marketing Microsoft Surface with Windows RT

Microsoft's earnings down on slow Windows sales, Surface RT bust

Just how off were Microsoft's sales projections for its ARM-powered Surface RT fondleslabs? Try $900m off. That's how much Redmond wrote down in inventory adjustments in its disappointing fourth quarter and fiscal 2013 earnings report on Thursday, which saw the software giant miss analyst estimates by a significant margin. …
Neil McAllister, 19 Jul 2013
Microsoft Surface tablets

Smaller, second-gen Surface slabs to arrive in June?

Microsoft has struggled to make headway in the tablet market so far, but sources say it may be ready to take another crack at it by releasing a new Surface model with a smaller screen as soon as next month. Inconsistently accurate Taiwanese IT industry newspaper DigiTimes reports that a variety of Asian component suppliers are …
Neil McAllister, 02 May 2013

Hearts, minds and balls: Microsoft's Windows 8 Surface gamble

What makes Microsoft think people will buy its Surfaces? It would have to be either for the love of the Microsoft brand or because Redmond has got them by the balls on data and apps. These can be the only reasons, based on the partially released specs of the Intel-based Surface running Windows 8 Pro that was unveiled on Thursday …
Gavin Clarke, 30 Nov 2012

Redmond patches 66 flaws on Patch Tuesday

Microsoft has released updates for critical flaws in Word, Office, and Internet Explorer, along with firmware updates for its Surface 2 tablet line. Redmond said that the June edition of Patch Tuesday would address a total of 66 common vulnerabilities and exposures (CVE)–class vulns, most of them in Internet Explorer. In total …
Shaun Nichols, 10 Jun 2014

PC makers! You, between Microsoft and the tablet market! Get DOWN!

So, the new Surface Pro is here – number three. According to Microsoft folklore Redmond gets things right by version number three of a new product, it then kills off the competition and history is written. But it seems unlikely that the Surface Pro 3 will be remembered as the iPad Air or Android killer of Microsoft's tablet …
Gavin Clarke, 21 May 2014
Microsoft Surface tablets

Microsoft may launch several new Surfaces on May 20 – report

Microsoft's Surface launch event on May 20 may be a bigger deal than was previously thought, with multiple new models to be unveiled, a new report claims. Redmond hasn't said what it plans to announce at the media event, billed as a "small gathering" in New York. But most rumors point to a "Surface Mini" – some version of …
Neil McAllister, 07 May 2014

Acer Iconia W3: The first 8-inch Windows 8 Pro tablet

Microsoft has been hinting at smaller tablets running full Windows 8 for months, and with the arrival of the Iconia W3, an 8.1-inch Windows 8 fondleslab from Acer, we finally have a taste of what those look like. Unfortunately, the result is a mixed bag. Acer Iconia W3 tablet running Windows 8 The tiny Acer Iconia W3, shown …
Neil McAllister, 10 Jul 2013
Google Glass

UK Xmas 2014: Go to shops a normal human, walk out a glasshole

Hey folks, it’s Christmas. Well it is if you’re in the PR world, as July is the time of year when the great and the good of the UK’s press get invited to wade through the decorations and mince pies to see what goodies will be on offer to punters at Yuletide. This week John Lewis was hauling out the baubles and Sony rustled up …
Bob Dormon, 04 Jul 2014

Microsoft announces iPad amnesty for fanbois

Sick of your iPad and want to swap it for something that's far less desirable? Microsoft wants to help you out. Redmond has launched a scheme offering a $200 gift card in exchange for a "gently used" iPad 2, 3 or 4. You'll need to give them your charger cable as well and make sure your fondleslab is wiped clean - both on the …
Jasper Hamill, 13 Sep 2013
iFixit iPad 3 disassembly

iFixit boss: Apple has 'done everything it can to put repair guys out of business'

Fixing and upgrading iOS devices can be a rewarding business opportunity, so long as you don't mind having to fight Apple every step of the way. So says the founder of iFixit, who spoke at the MacWorld Expo in San Francisco on Thursday. The repair outfit's CEO Kyle Wiens said there is little or no official public information for …
Shaun Nichols, 28 Mar 2014
Photo of billboard marketing Microsoft Surface with Windows RT

Microsoft loses grip on Christmas shoppers... despite XBox boost

Microsoft's second quarter results, posted on Thursday, reveal that the software giant struggled in the sexy world of devices during the all-important Christmas shopping period. These are the first numbers indicating how the battle between PCs and smart devices played out over the battleground for consumers' wallets that is …
Gavin Clarke, 24 Jan 2014
Nokia Lumia 625 displaying Office app

Watch the videos of the Microsoft enterprise mobility event

Business Transformed – conference in full On June 4, Microsoft ran an enterprise mobility conference in London. Among the speakers were a tech-anthropologist, an IDC analyst and Microsoft execs and customers. As media partner for the event The Register was there to video the proceedings. Above is the webcast of the whole …
David Gordon, 03 Jul 2014
Screenshot of Bill Gates appearing on Fox Business

Bill Gates: Sell off Bing? Nah. Xbox? Maybe...

Microsoft cofounder and board member Bill Gates says he's leery of unloading the company's historically loss-making Bing division, but he wouldn't necessarily be opposed to spinning off Xbox. Gates made the comments in an interview with Fox Business on Monday alongside mega-investor and Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett. …
Neil McAllister, 05 May 2014
Fire Phone opened

Teardown gurus iFixit play with Fire – Amazon's new mobe

The teardown team at repairs biz iFixit has cracked open Amazon's Fire smartmobe, and it seems the new handset is indeed a complex piece of kit even by modern smartphone standards. The teardown repair tutorial, designed to serve as both an exploration into the device and a loose guide for home repairs, found a number of unique …
Shaun Nichols, 25 Jul 2014
Apple iPhones

Redmond expands fanboi trade-in program to include iPhones

Microsoft has expanded its trade-in program for iOS devices to include iPhones, in addition to iPads. Earlier this month, the software giant began offering customers in the US and Canada $200 gift certificates to the Microsoft Store in exchange for iPad trade-ins, in hopes that customers would spend the dough on a Surface …
Neil McAllister, 27 Sep 2013
bsodforwrap

The Return of BSOD: Does ANYONE trust Microsoft patches?

Patch early and patch often is the advice of security professionals when it comes to software updates. After all, who needs to be left wide open to hackers and malware writers when the solution is delivered by the software's maker? Yet sysadmins will be increasingly leery of applying such an approach to Windows systems …
Gavin Clarke, 18 Aug 2014
Great Wall of China

Microsoft follows Apple into the dock over warranty terms in China

Hot on the heels of Apple’s well publicised run-in with the Chinese authorities over alleged deficiencies in its customer service, Microsoft is now being targeted by state-run media which claims its Surface Pro warranty terms do not comply with local laws. A China National Radio report on Monday claimed that Redmond is only …
Phil Muncaster, 10 Apr 2013
Windows 8.1 Update Start Screen

The Windows 8 dilemma: Win 8 or wait for 9?

News has started to circulate about the next version of Windows 8.1 – namely update 2 – and even "Windows 9". Whether or not it bears the name Windows 9, the next major "wave of updates", codenamed Threshold is due to land on our desktops and mobes later on this year. The upcoming refresh, we’re told, will see lots of new …
The Register breaking news

Apple regains 'el numero uno' market-value crown

Just a few short days ago, Apple slipped from its position as the world's most valuable company when oil giant ExxonMobil passed it in market capitalization. Well, it's back on top. Apple and Exxon have been tossing the title back and forth for the past few days, but when the market closed on Tuesday, Apple was comfortably ahead …
Rik Myslewski, 29 Jan 2013
Pin to start in Windows 8.1

Here comes Windows 8.1! Microsoft grits teeth, pushes upgrade to world

Microsoft today unleashed Windows 8.1, the version to soothe folks ruffled by the touchscreen-friendly user interface. Crucially, the software giant really didn’t want to make this particular upgrade: it's effectively stepped back from the original Windows 8 blueprint. At 4am Pacific time (7am Eastern, 12 noon UK time), …
Gavin Clarke, 17 Oct 2013

Microsoft lures buy-curious vixens, corduroys with a cheap fondle

Microsoft is slashing the price on its Windows 8-powered Surface RT tablets to slap the unwanted kit into students' palms. For a limited time, Redmond will knock 60 per cent off the price of a 32GB ARM-driven fondleslab to $199 (£127); a 32GB with Touch Keyboard Cover will be slashed by 58 per cent to $249 (£158); and a 32GB RT …
Gavin Clarke, 18 Jun 2013
The Register breaking news

Bill & Jobs' excellent adventure: Steve's tech looked better than mine

“We did tablets – lots of tablets – well before Apple did, but they put these pieces together in a way that succeeded.” Bill Gates had a few kind words for old rival Steve Jobs at the weekend, conceding Apple’s late co-founder had a gift for design and admitting that Microsoft had missed its opportunities on tablets. In an …
Gavin Clarke, 13 May 2013

Foot-long slab too big? Microsoft 'has a 7-incher' to stroke

Microsoft will put a smaller, 7-inch Windows 8-powered Surface laptop-cum-tablet into production this year, according to insiders. Shrinking the touchscreen slab wasn't part of Microsoft's strategy when the then-Windows chief Steven Sinofsky unveiled Redmond's own 12-inch Surfaces and similar-sized Windows 8 devices from PC …
Gavin Clarke, 11 Apr 2013
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella

Microsoft's 'CEO of no' on Xbox: NO SALE

Microsoft’s new chief executive has told us what he’s not going to do - sell Bing or Xbox - but not what is he going to do. So far, all we’re hearing is a lot of "no". Speaking at a technology event in California, Nadella has been reported and quoted on Twitter to have ruled out the sale of both Xbox and Bing. On Xbox, Nadella …
Gavin Clarke, 28 May 2014
The Register breaking news

Microsoft exec: No 'Plan B' despite mobile stumbles

Should Microsoft's tablet and phone efforts continue to inspire little interest among the buying public, don't expect a radical shift in strategy – according to one senior Redmond exec, the company has no "Plan B". "It's less 'Plan B' than how you execute on the current plan," CFO Peter Klein told investors at Goldman Sachs' …
Rik Myslewski, 15 Feb 2013
Screenshot of Windows 8.1 showing new Start button

There she blows! Mid-October release date for Windows 8.1 sighted

Microsoft will unleash Windows 8.1 for world+dog to download in October, it's claimed, a year after it released the touchscreen-friendly, tile-tastic Windows 8. The software giant is preparing to release version 8.1 of its operating system to computer makers later this month, but it has been reported the public will get the …
Gavin Clarke, 13 Aug 2013
The Register breaking news

Microsoft may be readying Outlook for ARM – or not

Sources say Microsoft is testing a version of Outlook for Windows RT, the flavor of Windows that runs on Redmond's ARM-based Surface RT tablets, but whether it will ever see the light of day is another matter. Well-connected Microsoft watcher Mary Jo Foley reports that no less than three of her insider contacts have confirmed …
Neil McAllister, 26 Jan 2013
Sinofsky's Surface skateboard

Win 8 man Sinofsky's 'retirement' deal: $14m shares, oath of silence

Windows 8 architect Steven Sinofsky has officially “retired” from Microsoft having inked a deal in which he cops a share payout worth $14m in exchange for not joining the competition. The agreement comes six months after he unexpectedly left the company. The deal was revealed as Microsoft closed its fiscal year. The company …
Gavin Clarke, 04 Jul 2013

Windows 8.1: Here at last, but is it good enough?

The de-cloaking of Windows 8.1 at Microsoft's BUILD conference was greeted with cheers from attendees as the company finally confirmed changes following a major U-turn. Yes, there's a Start Button but it's really no more than an onscreen version of your keyboard's Windows key. Metro loosens the ideological shackles: you can skip …
Gavin Clarke, 28 Jun 2013

Spies catch Acer's Windows 8-incher before it hides

Acer will be the first of Microsoft's hardware partners to release a small-screened tablet running Windows 8, if photos purportedly leaked from the PC maker are any indication. French technology site Minimachines was the first to reveal photos and specs of the sub-sized device, which it claims will have an 8-inch screen and will …
Neil McAllister, 23 Apr 2013
The Register breaking news

Pwn2Own: IE10, Firefox, Chrome, Reader, Java hacks land $500k

It's back to the drawing board for coders at Microsoft, Google, Adobe, Mozilla, and Oracle after entrants in the annual Pwn2Own contest waltzed off with over half a million dollars in prizes for exploiting security holes in popular software. At this year's CanSecWest security conference in Vancouver, contestants had a choice of …
Iain Thomson, 08 Mar 2013
The Register breaking news

Never mind WinRT: Tiny Win8 slabs will ship with free Office, too

Mere days after we got word that the Japanese versions of Microsoft's Surface Pro fondleslabs would come preloaded with Office, Redmond has announced that forthcoming small Windows 8 tablets will come bundled with the productivity suite, too, and in all markets. Speaking at the Computex conference in Taipei on Wednesday, Windows …
Neil McAllister, 05 Jun 2013

PEAK LANDFILL: Why tablet gloom is good news for Windows users

"Everything points to a boom in the landfill business" – The Register, 2012 Are tablets the new netbooks – a flash in the pan? Or perhaps even the new picture frames - a one-season fad? I don’t think so, but sales are flat, and the numbers look ominous for any global technology company hoping they’ll provide a long-term money …
Andrew Orlowski, 31 Jul 2014

Microsoft can't even shift Windows 8 slabs in the middle of a tablet frenzy

Microsoft can't tap into the fast-growing tablet market, according to new figures that reveal lacklustre sales of Surface RT and other Windows 8 slabs. Canalys figures for Q4 show a 12 per cent growth in the worldwide PC market, fuelled by a 75 per cent rise in tab shipments to 46.2 million units. Notebooks sales were flat (58 …
Paul Kunert, 07 Feb 2013

Microsoft's $7.1bn Nokia gobble: Why you should expect the unexpected

With Microsoft’s purchase of Nokia’s mobile business for $7.1bn, the Redmond software giant has finally become a phone and device maker. The deal gives Microsoft Nokia’s global handset engineering, manufacturing, sales and distribution business; the family of Windows-Phone-powered Lumia smartphones; a war chest of 8,500 Lumia …
Gavin Clarke, 03 Sep 2013
Photo of Microsoft Surface Windows 8 Pro, with Touch Cover

Microsoft acknowledges the long and winding road ahead

Microsoft's latest quarterly results are a mixed bag; record revenues, a slight fall in profits and Windows going full steam ahead – but CFO Peter Klein was taking a cautious tone at Thursday's analyst call. "It's early days, an ambitious endeavor like this takes time," he said. "We've learned a lot over the past quarter and …
Iain Thomson, 25 Jan 2013

Windows growth keeps Microsoft earnings relatively stable

Microsoft's latest quarterly financial results are a mixed bag: good performance from the Windows division, but overall profits down slightly. Redmond's revenues for the quarter are $21.46bn, with an operating income of $7.77bn and profits of $6.38bn – which, while down nearly 4 per cent, is still a sizeable chunk of change. …
Iain Thomson, 24 Jan 2013
michael_dell

Microsoft Dell deal would restore PC makers' confidence

The PC business could experience not one but two seismic events on Monday. First, the world’s third biggest PC maker is expected to announce a $20bn leveraged buyout, taking it off the stock market and putting it back into private hands. Twenty-five years after Dell floated, the PC maker’s management would no longer be …
Gavin Clarke, 02 Feb 2013
Microsoft Surface Pro

Microsoft carves out 'niche' in tablets, says numbers chap

Apple had to watch Android match then exceed its share of the smartphone market and now it’s having to watch Google’s OS do the same thing in the tablet space. First quarter figures from Strategy Analytics show Android running in 52 per cent of the fondleslabs that shipped during the period. Apple’s iOS was in 41 per cent of …
Tony Smith, 25 Apr 2013
The Register breaking news

Former Microsoft Windows chief: I was right to kill the Start button

Ex-Windows chief Steven Sinofsky is “happy” with the miserable sales record of tablets and PCs running his Windows 8 baby. Speaking at the Wall St Journal’s D11 conference yesterday, Sinofsky pitched sales of Windows 8 licences as something to be proud of, saying the jury’s out on who will win - Apple, Android/Samsung... …
Gavin Clarke, 31 May 2013

Microsoft blasts PC makers: It's YOUR fault Windows 8 crash landed

Microsoft blames PC makers for underwhelming Windows 8 sales over Christmas, The Register has learned. The software giant accused manufacturers of not building enough attractive Win 8-powered touchscreen tablets. But the computer makers are fighting back: they claimed that if they’d followed Microsoft’s hardware requirements and …
Gavin Clarke, 24 Jan 2013

85% of Windows 8 users wield the desktop on day one

Microsoft has released information about sales of Windows 8 and apps from the Windows Store, plus data on users' interactions with the new operating system. News of Windows 8 sales appeared in a blog post summarising Chief Marketing Officer and Chief Financial Officer Tami Reller's presentation to Wednesday's Credit Suisse …
Simon Sharwood, 28 Nov 2012

Apple under CEO Angela Ahrendts? Hmm ... (beard stroke)

Cloud king Marc Benioff has hailed "future Apple CEO" Angela Ahrendts, Apple’s new head of retail and online sales, as "the most important hire Tim Cook has ever made". Some have interpreted the tweet by Benioff, chief executive of software-as-a-service success Salesforce.com, as more than just a bit of encouragement for his …
Gavin Clarke, 30 Oct 2013
Screenshot of Windows 8.1's revamped Start screen

Microsoft talks up devices, Windows 8.1 at developer shindig

Everything is beautiful at Microsoft's Build developer conference this year. Beautiful, gorgeous, delightful, beautiful, absolutely beautiful. These days, Redmond's mouthpieces seem to stammer out the word "beautiful" about as often as most speakers say "uh." But beyond all the disingenuous awe and self-congratulation, Wednesday …
Neil McAllister, 26 Jun 2013