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Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer recently addressed the companies Surface and the tablet’s sales (or lack thereof).
Speaking with MIT Technology Review, while admitting the Microsoft product was not an iPad-killer, Ballmer stressed the Surface isn’t a post-PC fantasy, either…
“In an environment in which there’s 350 million PCs sold, I don’t think Surface is going to dominate volume,” Ballmer told Cnet during the interview.
Never mind sales that are luke-warm at best, or the Surface getting thumbs-down on repairs or the fact the overpriced tablet is underpowered – the tablet is “a real business,” Ballmer said.
Ballmer also told TechnologyReview the Surface is a long-term play:
I’m super-glad we did Surface. I think it is important – and not just for Microsoft, but for the entire Windows ecosystem – to see integrated hardware and software.
And the ‘real business’ quote:
Surface is a real business. In an environment in which there’s 350 million PCs sold, I don’t think Surface is going to dominate volume, but it’s a real business.
Taking a page from Amazon, which never talks hard sales figures regarding the Kindle family, Microsoft has left it to analysts to describe how the Surface performs.
My guess is those descriptions won’t wind up on a warm-and-fuzzy Surface promo. For instance, initial shipments of the Surface RT – launched in October 2012 – likely outnumbered actually sales.
While 1.25 million Microsoft tablets shipped, sales actually hovered around 55 percent to 60 percent of that figure, iHS iSuppli said in January. That means 680,000 to 750,000 Surface units actually initially sold.
Before someone throws a flag on the play, other products have had low initial sales. But the Surface RT had a type of reversal in demand. Turns out people were rushing to return the gadgets.
The Surface Pro – seen as saving Microsoft’s bacon after the RT – wasn’t greeted with much enthusiasm, either. As CNET points out, upon the Surface Pro’s initial sales, Microsoft proudly hailed it a success, the tablet selling out.
But that sell out was limited to Microsoft stores. As skeptical journalists are want to do, the site asks whether Microsoft rigged the results by providing a small enough inventory to be sure there was no repeat of the Surface RT launch fiasco.
Even Chairman Bill Gates said he wasn’t satisfied with Microsoft’s innovation, telling Charlie Rose of CBS News his company should do lots more in terms of breakthroughs.
Ballmer and I are two of the most self-critical people – you can imagine. And here were a lot of amazing things that Steve’s leadership got done with the company in the last year. Windows 8 is key to the future, the Surface computer. Bing, people are seeing as a better search product, Xbox.
But is – is it enough? No, he and I are not satisfied that in terms of, you know, breakthrough things, that we’re doing everything possible.
There’s your clip.
Not only can’t Microsoft admit the Surface is a failed example of me-too tablet iPad envy, but in the interview, Ballmer metaphorically positions his company as a Silicon Valley rebel.
The Surface is Microsoft’s James Dean moment after vendors balked at pen-based computing. Which is fittingly ironic, as Dean was best known for the movie “Rebel Without a Cause.”
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OK, so you only recently purchased a new Surface device, or you had one for quite some time now, and for some odd, yet unknown reason, maybe after Windows update, the display is not rotating. We know that your Surface was designed to rotate content on the screen whenever you twist and turn it, which is the same as your smartphone. Now, when the screen fails to rotate as expected, the first thing on the minds of many users, is probably the product is defective.Surface screen is not rotating
In most cases, this is not the case at all. Rotation relies on the software; therefore, we can assume that changes were made to Windows 10 unknowing to you that caused the rotation to fail. We are going to look into a few options in order for you to determine what is the cause, so keep reading, ladies and gentlemen.How to make Surface screen auto-rotate
If the screen of your Surface device is not rotating automatically, then try the following suggestions to fix Surface auto-rotation problems:
Remove the Surface Cover or any external screen
Take a look at the Auto Rotation Settings
Restart your Surface
Install the latest Windows 10 and firmware updates
Run the Sensors Troubleshooter
Restore your Surface.1] Remove the Surface Cover or any external screen
When the Surface typing cover is attached, or an external display, the screen is stuck in landscape mode for the entire time. Now, in order to get things to rotate, the best option is disconnecting either the Surface cover or the external display.
After doing these things, check if your display now autorotates without any issues.2] Take a look at the Auto Rotation Settings
If you are still having problems, then maybe it has much to do with the auto-rotation settings than anything else. To check on this, please remove the cover, and swipe from the right edge of the screen to reveal the Action Center.
From here, you should see the Auto Rotation lock, and if its dimmed, then that means it’s deactivated. To activate it, tap the lock with your finger or mouse, and that should do it.
Note that auto-rotation locks automatically once the Surface Cover is attached and is in typing position. Folding back the cover should activate the auto-rotation unless it’s locked in the first place.3] Restart your Surface
What we have here is one of the basic fixes of anything that has to do with Windows 10. In most cases, a simple restart of the computer is good enough to get the job done, so that’s what we’re going to do right now, OK? Good.4] Install the latest Windows and firmware updates
Chances are, the latest version of Windows 11/10 and Surface drivers & firmware is not installed on your computer; therefore, we have to fix that. Bear in mind that your Surface computer requires both firmware and Windows 11/10 updates to stay at optimal performance.5] Run the Sensors Troubleshooter
Running the troubleshooter is super easy. Just open the Sensors Troubleshooter, then follow the instructions on your display, and that’s it for that.6] Restore your Surface
The final step today, which should always be a last resort, is restoring your Surface computer to how it was before. Bear in mind that restoring could remove recently installed apps and drivers, so please keep that in mind before going any further, old chum.
Read next: Screen Auto-Rotation not working or grayed out in Windows Table Mode.
As far as the price is concerned, a Windows RT tablet will cost you $499 for the 32 GB version without its special keyboard touch cover. This is the same price as the new Apple iPad 4’s 16 GB version. The 64 GB version with a touch cover will cost you $699. The cover, by itself, costs around $130, but only adds $100 to the price of the tablet when bought as a bundle along with the device. A 32 GB version with a touch cover, for example, costs $599.Construction
The Windows Surface RT tablet is about as thick as the iPad, and only about 20 grams heavier due to the extra hardware it packs in.
We’ll get to the hardware a little later. The construction of the tablet itself shows clear signs of a device that’s definitely built to last. Like the Zune, a lot of time was invested into making sure that the Surface has a solid construction that can withstand pretty tough conditions. Its exterior is made of “VaporMg,” an alloy of magnesium that’s molten into shape. It’s three times lighter than aluminum and has a very high degree of durability in comparison. The 10.6-inch screen is made of gorilla glass, and the entire tablet has an anti-fingerprint coating.Specs
With 2 GB RAM, a quad-core nVidia Tegra 3 CPU, and support for 802.11n (up to 150 Mbits/sec), you can’t go wrong! Many people reported slightly sluggish graphics when interacting with the operating system, so this probably isn’t the best gaming machine you’ll find. Also, its display is nothing extraordinary compared to Apple’s Retina display. Its support for a wide variety of memory cards and 5-point multi-touch would make up for these shortcomings. The audio on it isn’t very powerful, but provides a vibrant stereo output that will likely catch the attention of all the music lovers out there. Battery life is 8 hours with consistent use, and 360 hours (unconfirmed) on standby. The expansion card slot supports cards with up to 64 GB of storage capacity, adding a whole bunch of memory to your otherwise small tablet.Available Apps
Unlike Windows Phone 8, which will contain a ton of applications upon its release, Windows RT (the operating system that Surface runs on) has a very limited number of choices so far. There’ll probably be more apps in the future, but it’s a complete waste of time to check out the Windows Store at this moment.Prognosis
Is the Windows Surface tablet worth it? Perhaps not right now, but it might be worth the wad of cash in the near future. If you really like Windows 8, get it now and wait for new apps to come out. They’ll come pouring once the tablet gains traction. The slower graphics and regular display might make it rather dull, but it’s still got some strong points with its expandable memory capabilities, USB slots, and sturdy construction. You also have to understand that Windows RT is not the same as Windows Pro, and you can’t install desktop applications on it. If you are looking to run the full fledge Windows experience on the tablet, then the current version of Surface (running Windows RT) is not for you.Opinions?
Miguel has been a business growth and technology expert for more than a decade and has written software for even longer. From his little castle in Romania, he presents cold and analytical perspectives to things that affect the tech world.
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During their splashy press conference on Monday, Steve Ballmer and the other Microsoft execs referred to the company’s upcoming Surface devices as tablets. So it makes sense to compare them to other tablets, right?
Actually, that’s only half-right. The ARM-based Surface for Windows RT looks like–and will be priced like–competing tablets, but the Surface for Windows Pro will be too heavy and expensive to compete head-to-head with the iPad. (For the sake of simplicity, I’ll refer to the two models as “Surface RT” and “Surface Pro” hereafter.) Surface Pro’s natural competition: Windows Ultrabooks.
The tricky thing is that the Surface Pro is the tablet that many Windows users think they’ve been waiting for. It’s the one that can do anything a desktop can do: It can run the apps we have already (like Adobe Photoshop CS6, and Camera Bits Photo Mechanic), graphics-intensive games (like Diablo), and other tried-and-true Windows software; and it has a serious laptop processor, Intel’s Core series, that can power through complicated work.
Evidently the Surface Pro won’t compete with top tablets in display resolution, either. Microsoft has said that the Surface Pro will have a “Full HD” display, meaning a display with a resolution of at least 1920 by 1200 pixels. That would put it on a par with the best Android tablets from Asus and Acer; but because those displays are 0.5 inch smaller, their pixel density should be better. And none of those tablets’ resolutions can compare with the Apple iPad’s at 2048 by 1536 pixels.
Surface RT vs. iPad and Android Tablets
If the Surface Pro isn’t intended to compete directly with the iPad, so be it. But what about the Surface RT? How will it stack up against an iPad or Android tablet? Those tablets, like Surface RT, run lower-power, ARM-based processors.
The Surface RT will give you more ports than most competing tablets, along with the ability to view two apps on one screen. The Surface RT tablets will carry at least 32GB of storage (the iPad and many Android tablets start at just 16GB). Though the Surface RT won’t have the iPad’s high resolution, it will have an optically bonded display, which eliminates the annoying air gap between the screen and the glass for clearer images, improved contrast, and reduced screen glare. Like its more powerful sibling, it will also have a comfortable built-in kickstand. All of those features represent useful improvements on today’s tablets.
But Microsoft’s Surface RT runs into trouble on other metrics. If its weight turns out to be 1.5 pounds (as currently estimated), it will be just 0.06 pound heavier than the current iPad; but iPad itself got heavier this year, not lighter. Android tablets, by contrast, are consistently moving toward lighter weight; for instance, the Surface RT at 1.5 pounds will be about 0.2 pound heavier than the Toshiba Excite 10.1 or the Asus Transformer Prime. Microsoft lists the Surface RT’s display as “HD” rather than as “Full HD,” which may mean a resolution of just 1366 by 768 pixels—and that won’t be competitive with iPad’s Retina display, or even with Android tablets like the Asus Transformer Pad 700, announced at CES, and the Acer Iconia Tab A700 (both with resolutions of 1920 by 1200 pixels).The Takeaway on the Two Surfaces
There’s no question that Microsoft’s decision to build its own tablets changes the market considerably. But until we know more-precise details about specs and pricing, accurately predicting how well the two Surface models will compete is quite difficult.
In the end, the Surface RT may not quite be an iPad killer. Apps are paramount to tablet buyers, and until we see what kinds of Metro apps Microsoft and its developer partners produce, many consumers may shy away from the Surface RT.
Surface Pro, meanwhile, will challenge the current crop of laptops and Ultrabooks–and there it may well win. Why purchase a classic clamshell-style laptop if you can get a tablet that quickly and elegantly becomes a laptop when you need one–all without sacrificing performance, interoperability, or functionality? The big question here is whether consumers can manage with a 10.6-inch display as their laptop screen; for many consumers, I suspect, the convenience of a tablet/laptop hybrid may be worth the drawback of having to put up with a smaller screen.
If not, just wait: No doubt Microsoft’s hardware partners are kicking plans to design Windows 8 tablets of their own into high gear–including models with bigger screens–to compete with the Surface Pro.
With the backing of its new parent company, Yammer more than tripled its revenue year on year in the quarter that ended in March.
Sales of Yammer’s cloud-based enterprise social networking (ESN) software shot up 259 percent in Microsoft’s third fiscal quarter, compared with the same quarter in 2012, when Yammer was still an independent company, Microsoft said on Thursday.
Microsoft isn’t disclosing Yammer’s revenue in dollar figures, but the growth and momentum—Yammer added 312 new customers in the quarter—is a validation of the $1.2 billion it paid for Yammer last July, a Microsoft executive said in an interview.
“We’re really pleased with the acquisition, with the process of the teams coming together and with the continued customer acceptance and demand,” said Jared Spataro, senior director of the Microsoft Office Division.
“There are always questions after an acquisition, like, ‘How is it going?’ There’s a worry about cultures clashing, and about products and strategies coming together,” Spataro said. “When we did the acquisition, we talked a lot about how it would accelerate Yammer’s momentum. So this is a great data point to demonstrate how well things are going in general.”
Spataro specified that to calculate the revenue spike, Microsoft considered only sales of standalone Yammer licenses, and left out revenue coming in from Enterprise Agreement volume licensing deals involving the ESN product.
It should also be noted that after the acquisition, Microsoft eliminated Yammer’s Business edition and slashed the price of the more sophisticated Enterprise edition from $15 to $3 per user per month, so in this year’s quarter Microsoft generated significantly less revenue per license than Yammer did in the prior year’s quarter.
Microsoft expects Yammer sales to get another boost this summer when the Yammer sales team is merged with Microsoft’s global salesforce, boosting the number of reps pushing Yammer from about 100 today to thousands worldwide.
As a frame of comparison, worldwide revenue for enterprise social collaboration software grew about 25 percent in 2012 compared with 2011, according to Michael Fauscette, an IDC analyst.
Another market benchmark is Jive Software, a publicly traded ESN vendor, whose revenue grew 34 percent to almost $34 million in the quarter that closed at the end of March.
“Clearly with this announcement Microsoft is trying to put a certain amount of validation out there that says they made a good acquisition, because some people thought they had overpaid for Yammer,” Fauscette said.
Looking back, it’s clear to Fauscette that Microsoft picked the best ESN product available at the time, and that so far the acquisition appears to be working well for both parties.
Microsoft bought Yammer primarily to boost the ESN features in its all-purpose and ubiquitous SharePoint enterprise collaboration server, which has an on-premises version and a cloud-based version called SharePoint Online that is part of the broader cloud email and collaboration suite Office 365. The newest on-premises version is called SharePoint 2013.
Integration of Yammer and SharePoint is grinding along and will take probably two years to complete. In March, Microsoft offered an integration road map that calls for Office 365 customers to get the option this summer to replace SharePoint Online’s activity-stream component with Yammer’s, a modest, basic first integration point.
Also by this summer, Microsoft will deliver a Yammer application that will let users embed a Yammer group feed into a SharePoint site. This Yammer application, which will be available in the SharePoint app store, will work both with SharePoint Online and with SharePoint 2013 servers installed on a customer’s premises. Microsoft will also make it possible for customers to replace the newsfeed in SharePoint 2013 servers installed on premise.
Later in the year, the integration will deepen with a single sign-on and the inclusion of Yammer in the Office 365 interface. Yammer will also gain integration with Office Web Apps, the browser-based version of the Office productivity suite, before the end of the year.
Next year, Office 365 customers can expect integration between Yammer and other Office 365 components beyond SharePoint, such as Lync and Exchange. Yammer is already being integrated with Microsoft Dynamics enterprise software.
The Microsoft Surface Studio is one of the best computers on the market, though the inability to use the screen as a regular monitor is a problem for many. Now, the device was created mainly for creators, which means, it is powerful enough to play some games.Surface Studio overheating while gaming
Many owners have been using their Surface Studio to play all sorts of games, and with that comes a lot of problems. The latest we’ve come across is a user who complained about his Surface Studio overheating while gaming.
This particular user was having issues with Rainbow Six Siege and other games that were not named. With this in mind, we summarize the problem had nothing to do with the games themselves, but rather the computer.
Gaming related heat is nothing new, but when it comes down to the Surface Studio 2, we have to look into these because it is not a common occurrence:
Surface Diagnostic Toolkit
Heat transfer and airflow
Do not play demanding games
Update drivers and firmware
We will now talk about this problem in more detail.1] Surface Diagnostic Toolkit
Most problems related to the Surface line of computers can be fixed by running the Surface Diagnostic Toolkit. The Microsoft Surface Diagnostic Toolkit is a lightweight, portable diagnostic tool that runs through a suite of tests to diagnose the hardware of Surface devices.
If there are any problems with the diagnostic tool to fix, then it will do so. There are times when the toolkit isn’t capable of getting the job done, so in that case, let’s look at some other options.
Related: Windows PC shuts down while gaming2] Heat transfer and airflow
One of the main culprits that cause a Surface computer to overheat is the ventilation airways under the system. Some units also have these openings at the side and rear.
The user must check these vents to make sure nothing is stopping proper airflow. Be sure dust is not clogging the airways, and if that is the case, then bring it to a professional if you’re not versed in cleaning the device yourself. We recommend a can of compressed air if you want to DIY.
In some situations, depending on the extent of the dust, a complete pull down of the Surface Studio may be the only option to deliver a proper cleaning of components.3] Do not play demanding games
Yes, the Surface Studio is a powerful computer, but it was not built primarily for gaming. Therefore, you should consider running games at low graphical settings to not place a lot of stress on the graphics card and CPU. If running the game at the lowest setting still doesn’t end the issue, then play something else.
One should also close all apps running in the background so that the game can gain access to all available memory and CPU resources.4] Update drivers and firmware
The next step, then, is to download the latest drivers and firmware files if they are available. Simply visit chúng tôi to download the latest drivers and firmware for Surface. From here, you will want to choose the .MSI file that matches your current Windows OS build and hit Next.
Once the download is complete, run the file right away, then restart your computer to get things going.
We hope this post helps you.
Now read: Surface shuts down after black screen with Thermometer icon appears.
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