Welcome to the Surface Blog

Welcome to the Surface Blog

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Welcome to the new Surface Blog! I’m pumped for the team to have this new space to share information with you as we continue to tell the stories behind what makes Surface such an amazing family of products. We’ll tell our stories and share the latest Surface news. I’m also excited to have some of my colleagues share the hard work they’ve put into creating a family of devices and accessories that continue to help you have both fun and get more done. In the coming weeks, we’ll be sharing some of the behind-the-scenes stories of how Surface came to be and you can meet some of the folks that helped it be what it is today.


The journey to bring Surface Windows 8 Pro to youis almost complete.

For Surface Pro, you’re going to love the 1080p ClearType display that we’ve created. It is amazingly bright with super high contrast that brings both text and photos to life in ways that are spectacular. With the sharpness of the screen and the thin optically bonded cover glass, it allows for a transformative pen experience. You can take notes in Microsoft OneNote, edit documents in Microsoft Word, and draw amazing pictures using apps like SketchBook Expresswith Surface Pro’s pen. It’s a fantastic experience I hope each of you gets to try. The power and speed of Intel’s Core i5 processor, coupled with the detailed engineering design from our Pro team, really brings you the power and performance of a laptop PC, all in a tablet package. I’m excited to watch folks use this device in the flexible way it was meant to be used. Download and install all your favorite Windows 7 desktop apps, and use all the great new Windows Store apps. Surface Pro is the perfect big brother to Surface RT which gives you all day fun with the ability to get more done.

Lots of people are talking about Surface Pro today. There’s been a lot of great feedback in the early reviews and our team has definitely taken note of what folks are saying:

“The Surface Pro is an important idea, almost a new category, and it will be the right machine for a lot of people. It strikes a spot on the size/weight/speed/software spectrum that no machine has ever struck.” –David Pogue, New York Times

“It’s incredibly portable and incredibly powerful at the same time, and the stellar build quality only gets more impressive the more you examine it. Have you actually snapped a keyboard on one of these things? It really is amazing.” –Paul Thurrott, Windows IT Pro

“I’ve been a Surface Pro user for a few weeks now, and what I have found is that it is the best articulation of Microsoft’s vision for Windows 8 and how the PC and tablet experiences can meld on one device.” –Michael Gartenberg, Gartner Analyst, Computerworld

And I am a huge fan of both Surface Windows 8 Pro and Surface Windows RT! While Surface Pro and Surface RT share much of the same DNA, Surface RT is sleek and simple whereas Surface Pro is powerful and flexible. Surface Pro is perfect for the person or business that wants a laptop and a tablet, but doesn’t want the weight or hassle of both. If you’re looking for all-day battery life and an entertainment-first experience with the ability to still get some work done – Surface RT is for you. Both also have the same great Start screen experience with live tiles showing my favorite apps from the Windows Store.

We have a great network of retailers where you can pick up Surface RT, Surface Pro from Feb. 9th, as well as a whole host of accessories. It will be very cool to watch people decide which product suits them best. With the latest updates to Surface RT and the power and speed of the Surface Pro, the product line up is in an exciting place.

We’ve also had tons of inquiries as for the timing of more countries for both Surface RT and Pro. We are continuously working on the timing and dates for expanded release. We’ll update you in the coming weeks.

I take pride when I see folks out using their Surface. I want to know how you use yours and what you’ve found beneficial. It would be sweet if you could share stories on @Surface, Surface Facebook, and the Blog. For more details on Surface Pro and Surface RT, visit Surface.com. For more information on Windows 8 and Windows RT, visit the Windows Blog.

Look for more from me here on February 9th!

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  • testi
    1 Posts

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  • I both my surface RT 1 week ago...  The machine on its own is OK, but the apps and windows 8 really need improvement...

    1. You don't open the tablet with a passsword but you open an account... that means that your email is availleble all the time... you can not shut it down... that means that if you leave someone else work on your tablet they have access to your mail... So you have to give peoples another account to work with... so 4 members in the family = 4 accounts and you are constantly switching from one account to another.... that sucks

    2. apps are very limited on information or posibbility's... games fore instance... after 2 levels you have to pay the other levels or you are stuck... apps from Belgium are practicly not existing or are not downloadeble if you don't have android

    3. Facebook games are not loading or are disconnected after a short while...

    I am a little bit sorry that I both a windows tablet... when I see what my sister and children have on possibility's with android i'm really jaleous

  • damalinows
    2 Posts

    Does this place have an email address?  I am working for the US Military overseas.  I can not get a chat going. There is no way to post a question unless it is to the general population.  There is no way to call me due to the environment I am currently in.  At least Apple will support their products here.  Whoever designed  this Support Page had their head up their forth point of contact.  How about a little help from Support.  These guys over here are putting their lives on the line and the I can get is dead air space.  I like the tablet, but if this is the best you can do, obviously it might be better to go with another manufacture.  

  • damalinows
    2 Posts

    Need assistance.  I was asked to improve the connectivity of a Surface Tablet to a wireless AP.  Issue is: dropped connectivity due to building and other objects in between the Surface Table and wireless AP.  This results in poor signal strength and readability.  Other laptop users are using external wireless cards and antennas to increase connectivity.  Unsure if the Surface Tablet is pushing out same wattage as an average laptop. On the premise since battery life is important one,way for the Surface Tablet to extend this would decrease the amount of wattage to the wireless card.  Is it possible to attach an external wireless card and antenna to the Surface Tablet?  If so, would it be possible to attach an external cdrom drive to the Surface Tablet to install the driver for this external wireless card and antenna? I do not want to replace the wireless card on the Surface Tablet, but have an option of which wireless card I can use.  As it is on a laptop.  Before loading drivers I just want to make certain I will not be altering the original setup of the Surface Tablet.  

  • Kirk
    1 Posts

    I bought the 32gb Surgace RT for work.  Light, quick, do my work on the fly and save time.

    Dang.  It's a toy.  It's now $150 less.  I just returned it to have it fixed.  Non-operative SD card reader and sluggish performance especially with MS Word. But it's really nice otherwise so I will find a use for it.

  • SirRDS
    5 Posts

    Title = Twice the night before Christmas

    The Story (Christmas Time) = Hello, my name is Roberto S. and I’m a systems analyst in Los Angeles, California.  My story starts during the Christmas 2012 shopping season.  My daughter (age 10) was hinting (lobbying) very hard to get an iPad for Christmas.  Being the sole provider in the family, purchasing a $500 toy seemed a little extreme to both my wife and I.  My daughter kept on hinting/lobbying that she wanted an iPad for Christmas, so my wife said let’s get her one that she can share with her brother (age 7).  A gift for two (2), but I still didn’t like the idea of a $500 toy.  I said OK, but let’s check out the new Microsoft Surface RT and other Android tablets.  I told my wife that an iPad was just a toy (e-mail, movies, games, apps, etc.), but that the Surface had Office and could be used for school aside from using it as a toy.  My wife liked the idea.  I went on the internet and got a comparison list that compared the Surface RT, iPad, and Galaxy Tab.  I showed it to my wife explaining to her the benefits of the tablet.  Bigger screen, MicroSD, Micro HDMI, Office (I loved this one, but school work is not a plus for kids).  I slowly started mentioning the Surface to my kids in subtle hints.  My son who idolizes me agreed the Surface was better, but my daughter said, “Let’s play with it and see how it works?”  So we drove out to the nearest Microsoft Store (Costa Mesa – 37 miles away), because at that time Best Buy and Staples still didn’t carry it.  We used it, I liked it (I easily adapt to new technologies), my son liked it (kids are always quick learners), my wife loved it (because the kids could use it for school), and my daughter started to really come around.  So, then came the days of waiting for the rumored price drops that never came.  Then, on Christmas Eve I went in a hurry to buy it at my local Best Buy (Staples & Best Buy now had the Surface) before it closed early for Christmas.  When we went to sleep that night I noticed my daughter suspiciously eyeing the Christmas tree.  The Surface wasn’t there; she went to sleep contempt at not getting what she wanted.  I wrapped up the gift at night while they slept and carefully put it under the tree.  When morning came, both my kids were jumping, excited at what Christmas gifts they could open.  They saw one gift with both their names on it, from Mom & Dad.  When both my kids opened their brand new surface they were thrilled, ecstatic, and overwhelmed with joy (so was I).  I will never forget the look on their faces.

    The Story (The Surface) = Now the deal was that this new tablet would be for all the family to use (and boy did we use it).  I was constantly on it streaming movies/TV shows on it, downloading new games/apps, using Office, browsing the web, taking HD video and plugging it to our HDTV.  My kids were always on youtube, playing games, or browsing the web.  We had to make a schedule for when everyone could use it.  I knew something had to change, then came a point and time that changed everything for the better.  I drove down to Staples (we were already in February 2013) and I bought a second Surface RT, so that the whole family could more easily enjoy this great tablet.  I never thought that a tablet could change something this much.  Now I wonder how we could’ve gone so long without one.  Christmas is not too far away, so who knows what will appear under our tree this year (Surface Mini, Nokia Phablet, or something new).

    The Conclusion = When compared to other tablets of similar price and specs, I believe that the Surface RT is the overall winner if you plan on being productive (Office).  Sure there are not that many apps, but you can always go to Facebook.com, Youtube.com, or whatever.com and do what you want to do if there’s not an app for it.  I’m not a Microsoft fan boy (I’ve seen a lot of blogs, internet sites about this), but I do find the Surface RT to be a great tablet for what I want.  All the complaints about apps and new interface seem to have not applied to us.  This is great for my family and me and we enjoy it everyday.

    Other Facts = I own a Galaxy SII Android cell phone, my wife owns an iPhone 4S and all our PC’s are Windows XP.  The Surface RT tablets were our PC upgrades.

  • SirRDS
    5 Posts

    Is this where you leave your Surface stories? Or, do you have to do it on FaceBook & Twitter?

  • Time-lapse video Retouching with the Surface Pro

    I used an external bluetooth keyboard and Adobe Photoshop CS6


    Retouching and Photography done by http://www.exactdigital.com

  • Carlos nmb
    1 Posts

    Java is essential for many applications that run in internet explorer.  When Java application will be available to Surface RT?

  • Could anyone please help me out with one of my projects and take this really quick survey. www.surveymonkey.com/.../5WNCR7X

    It is on the Surface. It would be greatly appreciated! Thank you!

  • Keith
    3 Posts

    My Surface Pro gets hot, a thermometer shows on the screen, and then, it turns itself off.  Why is it getting hot?

    3 Posts

    You may have the vents blocked off.  Make sure the air can flow through freely.

    I'm an old guy too.  70.  Must be talking to  myself.

    Three moths with my Surface RT (a fine Christmas present from New York indeed) and just wanted to say well done to Microsoft for producing a gorgeous Windows-based tablet...

    The Surface RT was never designed to be a laptop. It's Microsoft's tablet. I waited months to get one. My partner has an iPad but I am not a great Apple fan. The Surface matches the iPad but all these comparisons are pointless. And many of the critiques online are unfair and seriously Apple-biased.

    The Surface should be viewed first and foremost for its merits. Not its shortcomings compared to others. The hardware is divine. Sturdy, sleek and easily more beautiful in real than any picture on the net suggests. I am a little confused, too, why everyone concentrates on the keyboards. My Touch cover is great when sending work emails from home. But to be honest, as a tablet, the on-screen keyboard is gorgeous and there is a great choice of layout.

    For watching films and sports, it is a dream. The 16:4 layout is ideal and turning it to portrait really isn't a problem. The connectivity is excellent. My partner loves his iPad and I admit it is very nice, too. But can we watch a film in HD through the iPad on our telly? No....can he simply add films, document and other media to a USB stick? No....a lot of nonsense, too, on the net about the Micro SD slot being useless...I am again confused. I bought myself a 64GB card, put it in and it appeared immediately. And I can access all my files in any app. Not quite sure what others are doing...

    The desk-top is nowhere near as restricted as people claim, either. As for not using the legacy apps...I have my full PC for that. I did not want a tablet for that. As I am sure iPad users know there are limitations to their OS-based tablets too. Note the word: TABLET. Not PC or laptop.

    So it is a tad heavy. But really not that heavy. And that's the compromise for having a seriously well made solid machine.....if you want cheap plastic, look elsewhere!

    Microsoft has come in for a lot of slack about the Surface RT. But why? The RT is a tablet, and if viewed as such, it is the leader in the Windows 8 RT class, no doubt about it, It is taking the whole concept of touch based tablet computing to the next level. Give it a chance...you'll see it is actually a very good device indeed.

    I am very pleased I waited. It is a wonderful tablet and I wouldn't change it for the world.

  • bharms
    1 Posts

    I’m an old guy – I remember working with UNIX version 1 on an ATT PC running X-win.  I started on a single-sided floppy driven Apple, and found MS DOS version 1 to open doors literally unthinkable prior to the vision of a few guys as Seattle Pacific and marketed through that little startup, Microsoft.  After weathering over 20-years of new innovations and bigger aspirations I’m happy to report that a new product has rocked my world, and I would surmise, will rock the computing industry.

    Computers are not my life.  They are tools to empower me to enjoy the life I live.

    Enterprise networks and integrated IT platforms that do more than play songs and give me something to read at night are the lifeblood of my professional existence.  At the end of the day, when I’m making specifications for a multi-national network nobody has been able to provide the soup to nuts platforms that Microsoft offers.  Don’t get me wrong.  This is often a love/hate relationship as we grow through the countless nuances driven by the latest product acquisition, but since life is more than a cool smartphone, it is a marriage that offers more benefits than challenges.

    I awaited the Surface with anticipation.  My HP Slate tablet valiantly attempted to support the Windows 8 environment.  As a matter of fact, Windows 8 saved the Slate from the ‘also tried’ category of products that litter my office and almost turned it into a workable business solution.  So, the Surface offered the performance specs of a real computer, and the convenience of a tablet.  The RT scared me, and it wasn’t until I put hands on a Windows 8 Pro while looking for camera equipment, that I decided to take the plunge.

    It arrived late last week.  Packaging was spectacular – something far different than the piles of Microsoft boxes that line my office shelves.  Each of the peripherals did what marketing said they would, and the system powered up seamlessly.  In less than an hour I had replicated my working laptop with all of the software, virtual environments, and security required for our enterprise.  Today I retired my state-of-the-art laptop, and trust my Surface with the responsibilities inherent in operating and managing an enterprise environment.

    I read the reviews online this weekend.  I’m reminded of a seminal point in lecture I heard when teaching graduate school, ‘... a child is born with the ability to find fault in their environment, it is how they express and meet their needs for food, rest, and clean diapers.  It is an adult trait to find what is right with their environment, and to use those assets to improve it for those who follow …’  

    I’m not dissuaded or discouraged with 5-6 hours of battery life.  This is a computer, after all.  The battery lasts through most flights, and a day’s worth of meetings.  If you run out, plug it in.  Is it too heavy?  Do you want to play midget football or compete in the NFL?  Anything can be produced cheaper, lighter, and less expensively if you are willing to reduce quality and functionality.  Is it too expensive?  This is an enterprise workhorse.  It is a lot less expensive than buying a laptop to do my work, and then carrying a tablet to do my social networking.

    Microsoft hit a home run with this platform.  The laplet will drive tablet technology into the enterprise realm.  It will be the death-knell to the desktop environments, and will put the laptop manufacturers on notice. I had an old music teacher that said, ‘It doesn’t matter if someone else performs a song before you do it, as long as what you do is markedly better.’  I believe I hear the ‘fat lady’ singing …

  • Running out of space on my Surface Pro 128! I added a 64 gb microSD however I do not not know how to set the apps (Kindle and Audible) to point to it. Help please

  • GGLoveless
    1 Posts

    My wife purchased a Surface Pro 128G with a type keyboard on Feb 9th.  It is an excellent PC which ventures into new territory with its combination of a legacy laptop and a tablet.  She loves the Pro.  Clearly, extensive thought and testing went into the Pro but some improvements are still desirable.  My wife is a retired University professor who still lectures periodically and an active member of multiple professional organizations both of which require her to run legacy software (the Pro), but the ability to have a tablet to take to lectures and meetings is important too.  The RT was not a suitable because of its inability to run legacy software.

    I am a semi-retired corporate lawyer with a need for a legacy laptop but a desire for the convenience of a tablet.  I still engage in extensive legal research and drafting but like the ability to have a small package that I can add a large screen monitor to when engaged in extensive writing.  I currently use a Lenovo U460.  I will delay purchase of a Pro waiting for three things.  

    1- Stronger WiFi antenna/reception.  The Pro gets half the wireless signal strength (with attendant slower speeds for upload and download) of my U460 unless it is in the same room as the wireless router.  The Pro does not have cellular access to the Internet which means WiFi is the only means to connect with the outside world.  It needs enhanced strength.  Hopefully, this enhancement can be included in the Pro version 2.

    2- Stylus attachment improvement.  The use of the magnet on the right side of the Pro for both the stylus and the power cord is unsatisfactory.  The enhanced magnet in the Pro vs the RT successfully keeps the power cord connected.  That is a good improvement.  However, use of that magnet for the stylus is not satisfactory.  The battery life of the Pro is not adequate for all day use when at the office.  This means keeping the Pro connected to the external power source except when it is used in a mobile mode.  When the power source is connected, there is no place for the stylus.  Moreover, when the stylus is mounted on the magnet with mobile use, the stylus is knocked loose much too easily.  This situation could be solved by adding a 1" long by 1/2" diameter "sleeve" to the keyboard.  Ideally, the sleeve could be manufactured into the right and/or left side of the keyboard.  When the stylus is not in use, this would permit it to be securely connected to the Pro but always in the user's line of sight so fumbling for the stylus would be eliminated.  This modification to the keyboard could be done quickly and would not need to wait for the next version of the Pro.  Further, existing Pro owners could obtain this enhancement by purchasing an upgraded $129 keyboard and they would not need to replace a $999 Pro.

    3- Longer battery life.  Four hours +/- is at the margin.  It is not long enough for all day conferences or meetings. Hopefully, a stronger batter or an Intel chip that uses less battery power will be included in the Pro version 2.

    The Pro is an excellent product.  It could be better.  Hopefully, these three items can be considered.

    Hello GGloveless - i'm so happy to hear you are a Pro enthusiast too! would you mind helping me out by taking a survey about the Pro? My class is trying to figure out insights about why users love the Pro. Your responses are really appreciated!!! Thank you!  


    1 Posts

    I have a design suggestion that will help with this to some extent. I would like for there to be an optional magnetic attachment spot on the top of the unit so that when the Surface is connected to the charging cable I could move the pen to this other spot. With a slight rearrangement of what I presume to be the ambient light sensor on the top edge (move it towards the power button) there would be plenty of room on the top left side for the pen to saddle. However, this doesn't help with your other concern regarding the pen being easily knocked off.

  • anyone have a bit of the finish coming off the edge of the kickstand.. Its not a huge deal, but debating on weather to take it back.. its only the kickstand so maybe they can just replace that...

    Yes. A little. Not a big deal. I am keeping mine.