Rumor: First Microsoft Surface tablet units to be Wi-Fi only

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Details regarding the final specs of Microsoft's Surface tablet have been scarce since the device was announced on Monday but it was revealed on Thursday that the first units to be sold will only be equipped with Wi-Fi connectivity.

Two unnamed sources close to the project told Bloomberg that Microsoft will initially be equipping the upcoming Windows 8 Surface tablet with short-range Wi-Fi only in lieu of mobile wireless capabilities that are expected to arrive later.

The full specifications of the tablet have not been disclosed as the Redmond-based company painted in broad strokes when it came to describing the device's internals, and glossed over internet connectivity completely. When Surface was demoed on stage, Windows chief Steven Sinofsky attempted to browse the web with Internet Explorer but had trouble with software and never got past Bing's splash screen. The issue seemed to be related to the device's software which quickly froze or crashed seconds later, forcing Sinofsky to transfer to a different tablet.

It is unclear why Microsoft would forego wireless connectivity in a product that is unabashedly going toe-to-toe with Apple's iPad which shipped with a 3G option in 2010 and now boasts 4G LTE in the new Retina Display-equipped model.

As seen in the press photo below, Windows 8's homepage prominently features a number of apps that require internet connectivity to function, including the constantly-updated "Live Tiles" that give users quick access to small bits of information from weather feeds, Xbox Live and more. These services would be all but unavailable to users on the go who are most likely to employ a tablet.

Surface WiFi
Source: Microsoft


According to the sources, Microsoft has contracted with Apple iPhone manufacturer Pegatron to build Surface and will launch the device this fall alongside Windows 8.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 52
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    Im sure that WiFi is the most common iPad sold and even Apple had a 1 month delay between WiFi and cellular for the original iPad (throwing MS a big bone there) but they better get the features they do offer to be excellent or they shouldn't even bother.

    I feel like they've noticed that Apple doesn't enter a market with every feature possible but they don't seem to have noticed what Apple gets right they really get right. If you're going to have an event that demos the device then you should make sure the device is [I]demoable[/I] with the working accessories that you're also demoing.

    And what about time frame and cost? The first ARM-based surface to be out in 3 months with the x86 version 3 months after that which is pretty damn close to the next iPad release time? And pricing was stated to be inline with ultrabooks which means it's well above the iPad's price? Hopefully that was to mean the x86 version and not the ARM version with a $200 less expensive CPU.
  • Reply 2 of 52
    relefuntrelefunt Posts: 18member


    APPLE IS DOOM!


     


    This is a thing of beauty.


     


    I want to sleep with it by my side.


     


    I want to feed it ice cream, especially the big heavy cover.

  • Reply 3 of 52
    john.bjohn.b Posts: 2,739member


    How does Microsoft have this major partnership with Nokia and their own Microsoft-branded tablet doesn't have 3G/4G support in the first release?

     


    Microsoft should just up and buy Nokia.

  • Reply 4 of 52
    derevderev Posts: 64member


    Oh Noooooo,


     


    It's the BLUE KEYBOARD OF DEATH!!!!!!

  • Reply 5 of 52
    hill60hill60 Posts: 6,992member


    WiFi?


     


    I guess Google will step in to seek to ban them from sale in the USA, via FRAND patents held by their subsidiary.

  • Reply 6 of 52

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post



    I feel like they've noticed that Apple doesn't enter a market with every feature possible but they don't seem to have noticed what Apple gets right they really get right. If you're going to have an event that demos the device then you should make sure the device is demoable with the working accessories that you're also demoing.

    And what about time frame and cost? The first ARM-based surface to be out in 3 months with the x86 version 3 months after that which is pretty damn close to the next iPad release time? And pricing was stated to be inline with ultrabooks which means it's well above the iPad's price? Hopefully that was to mean the x86 version and not the ARM version with a $200 less expensive CPU.


     


    Apple's hardware is demoable because it's usually shipping today.


    Plus Apple rehearses their dog and pony shows.


     


    I'm not convinced that Windows has changed its spots. It's still Windows.

  • Reply 7 of 52
    Seriously? If true this is about as dumb as the can get.
  • Reply 8 of 52
    aaronjaaronj Posts: 1,595member


    I know this is going to sound like just a slam on MS, or pure Apple fanboy-ism, or what have you.  But I really don't mean it that way.


     


    That thing looks like a Fisher Price toy.  It really does.  I guess I'm just not the demographic.

  • Reply 9 of 52
    pe8er8pe8er8 Posts: 5member


    The keyboard cover is a brilliant take on Apple's folding screen. I want one for my new iPad.How long will it be until an enterprising company puts out an iPad version. Probably before we'll get a real Surface that you can buy . . .

  • Reply 10 of 52
    sennensennen Posts: 1,467member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by pe8er8 View Post


    The keyboard cover is a brilliant take on Apple's folding screen. I want one for my new iPad.How long will it be until an enterprising company puts out an iPad version. Probably before we'll get a real Surface that you can buy . . .



    It's been done, long ago.

  • Reply 11 of 52

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by John.B View Post


    How does Microsoft have this major partnership with Nokia and their own Microsoft-branded tablet doesn't have 3G/4G support in the first release?

     


    Microsoft should just up and buy Nokia.



     


    Why? Microsoft already makes made phones!


     


    Microsoft Kin One and Two

  • Reply 12 of 52
    markbyrnmarkbyrn Posts: 637member
    A keyboard with a solid click and WiFi only is the complete re-imagining of tablet portability - Microsoft cannot be stopped!

    [URL=http://forums.appleinsider.com/image/id/168976/width/480/height/329][IMG]http://forums.appleinsider.com/image/id/168976/width/480/height/329[/IMG][/URL]
  • Reply 13 of 52
    johndoe98johndoe98 Posts: 278member
    Microsoft has keyboards, Apple dictation; I'm wondering what will be more useful down the line...

    (this post was dictated faster than I could type it)
  • Reply 14 of 52

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post


     


    Apple's hardware is demoable because it's usually shipping today.


    Plus Apple rehearses their dog and pony shows.


     


    I'm not convinced that Windows has changed its spots. It's still Windows.





    Yes, and its being "still Windows" is exactly why the x86 variant is a win.  However, I think the ARM version will be a fail.

  • Reply 15 of 52

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by johndoe98 View Post



    Microsoft has keyboards, Apple dictation; I'm wondering what will be more useful down the line...

    (this post was dictated faster than I could type it)




    One way trips with dictation are fine.  Editing large text is not, and it is a privacy/secrecy/noise pollution issue, too.

  • Reply 16 of 52
    johndoe98johndoe98 Posts: 278member

    One way trips with dictation are fine.  Editing large text is not, and it is a privacy/secrecy/noise pollution issue, too.

    I wouldn't want to edit large text on an ipad or surface anyway.
  • Reply 17 of 52
    gsteenogsteeno Posts: 56member


    I would surmise they just haven't quite figured out how to optimize battery efficiency after including 4G cell radio.


     


    I recall the Q&A with Steve Ballmer at D8, and someone asked about improving the battery on windows products (laptops), b/c the 10 hours on the iPad was a huge competitive advantage, and will those products come soon?  Ballmer was emphatic when he said "yes".  Can't release a product that calls out this exchange.     

  • Reply 18 of 52

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by johndoe98 View Post





    I wouldn't want to edit large text on an ipad or surface anyway.


     


    If you think of the surface as a tablet, sure, but it has a keyboard and an OS compatible with 99% of the software out there that matters.  And that's the thing, the Surface isn't a tablet, it a modular computer.


     


    EDIT: I'm talking about the x86, I have no faith in the ARM version.

  • Reply 19 of 52
    johndoe98johndoe98 Posts: 278member
    If you think of the surface as a tablet, sure, but it has a keyboard and an OS compatible with 99% of the software out there that matters.  And that's the thing, the Surface isn't a tablet, it a modular computer.

    EDIT: I'm talking about the x86, I have no faith in the ARM version.

    Well the surface might work well is against the netbook market but I don't think it'll be very good as a workstation. But let's wait and see.
  • Reply 20 of 52

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by pe8er8 View Post


    The keyboard cover is a brilliant take on Apple's folding screen. I want one for my new iPad.How long will it be until an enterprising company puts out an iPad version. Probably before we'll get a real Surface that you can buy . . .



     


     


    You cannot use a trackpad with iOS.  Keyboards with no pointing device are already available for the iPad - have been since day 1.

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