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Earlier today, Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 became available at our Microsoft retail stores, online at MicrosoftStore.com, and select retailers in 21 initial markets, including the United States. This also includes new Surface accessories like Touch Cover 2 and Type Cover 2. Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 come with significant updates, including increased performance and battery life. You will also see improvements to display and camera resolutions, and to the Kickstand which now has dual-positions making it easier to use on your lap or at your desk.
For more on Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2, read this post from Panos Panay, Corporate Vice President for Microsoft Surface.
Both Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 include some pretty awesome offers from Skype and SkyDrive: When you purchase either device, you’ll receive free Skype calling to landlines in more than 60 countries for one year, unlimited Skype Wi-Fi on your Surface 2 or Surface Pro 2 at more than two million hot spots worldwide for one year, and 200GB of free SkyDrive storage for two years.
I received my Surface 2 today with a purple Type Cover 2!
I have the Surface Pro, purchased at TechEd earlier this year (128g for $399 and the 32g Surface RT for $99)...green with envy? I gifted the Surface RT.
I have provided client-end support for the iPad. While the iPad is "fun" and mindless to use, you get what you pay for and "there's an app for that"...there are hordes of apps. Try to find one to monitor your wireless network, manage AD, compatible Office or decent Remote Acces. Perhaps its because Apple doesn't support or invest in developers a priority.
Surface, however, fits the bill. I've demonstrated it's usefulness in court and in meetings. It's a full-fledged computer in a tablet form, what's not to love? No apps to buy, no look-alike software. Inking is so cool. Handwriting is as smooth as a pen on paper. My notes no longer look like I have palsy.
Most Apple fanatics don't use their tablet for corporate business. It's a favorite in the Entertainment industry because of it's media apps, which admittedly are great. The small cadre of enterprise clients using the iPad use it for email or reading docs (once they download the right app), most don't find the iPad useful beyond that.
Learning to use the Surface vs the iPad is slightly longer. It doesn't take long before you're swiping windows in and out and moving stuff around. Especially if you read the guide. Nobody ever wants to read the guide. We are, after all, about instant-gratification.
I reset my Surface Pro to factory (totally my bad.) Twenty minutes later I picked it up to start installing Office 365 and resetting stuff. Low and behold, the Surface had everything installed. I couldn't stop grinning.
I've shown the Surface to my hairdresser who couldn't live without her iPad. She now has a Surface and can edit Quicken and Excel, which was tougher to do on the iPad. While I've never used Quicken, she says she has all the bells and whistles she didn't have on the iPad.
MSullivan: Sorry to hear about your Microsoft Store purchasing experience. I've had nothing but excellent results. I especially enjoy the free classes the brick-and-mortar stores offer on Saturdays. Very knowledgeable folks. That reminds me, based on my experience with the Apple genius bar - I met one super competent tech, the rest need to be categorized other than "genius."
Microsoft Store Surface purchasing experience:
9/28 visit beautiful store pages, preorder Surface Pro 256GB model set to deliver 10/21.
10/14-10/20, periodically check order status page for delivery/tracking info -- no info, order status "In Progress".
10/21 release date, no change on status. Chat with Microsoft online help who are extremely polite. I am told not to worry, 10/21 is a shipping day, and my Surface will arrive the next day.
10/22 morning: In anticipation of delivery, have someone at home waiting. 1-2pm, 10/22, still no change to order status, talk to online chat rep #2. An equally polite rep informs me that my Microsoft Surface will not be delivered today, despite what I was told yesterday. Apparently, an attempt was made last week to charge my account, but it failed (bank flagged it fraudulent) -- Rep has no answer as to why a message was not sent last week, and no status update was made to my order. The rep explains I need to talk to the bank and have them authorize the original payment. I offer to change the payment information, but the rep explains that they can't accept a new payment and instead the original one needs to be authorized.
10/22 evening: Contact bank, verify transaction is not fraudulent. Ask that they authorize the original payment as suggested by Microsoft, but they explain that is impossible. Store must charge my account again. They also confirm any subsequent charge won't be flagged as fraud. Return to store page, status has never changed (still says it is pre-ordered will be delivered 10/21). I can't change the payment information on the order, but am able to add another card as a payment method.
10/22 At 11:24PM: Via email, Microsoft's system for the first time informs me something is wrong with my order. It finally informs me of their failure to charge me the prior week, and explains I must change the payment on my order between Friday 10/25 and Sunday 10/27.
10/25 12:16 AM (just after midnight): Store sends me an automated email with a link to update payment information. I log in, verify information, select my other card as new payment and hit confirm: UPDATE_NOT_PROCESSED TIME_OUT_ERROR_MESSAGE INVALID_NOTIFICATION_CONTACT_INFO BACK_TO_MICROSOFT_STORE.
Sign out of store, retry email link: We're sorry, your order is not available for a payment update. Please view your account for details. Having trouble? Call us at .
10/25 1 AM: Call a support number from an email. I explain my problem, asking whether they can just charge either card. I am instead escalated to another rep, who has me experience the broken store link in other browsers. I also receive an email that says my pre-order has been canceled. Reps insure me that it is not canceled, however they can do nothing for me and someone else must call me back later during business hours. I'm given case # 1221309292 and assured that someone will call me at noon, which I selected as it's my lunch time.
10/25 10 minutes after noon: No one has called me back, so I call support back myself. After various delays by 12:30 (when I should be wrapping up lunch), a rep says he will transfer me to a technical rep on my existing case information. Instead, he transfer me to a line filled with a computerized voice explaining I've attempted to connect to an invalid number, reciting off a long string of random letters and digits.
8PM, still no rep has called. Write up this experience to get some satisfaction and closure out of the experience, as a warning to others.
As a .NET developer, I'm finding it particularly ironic that Microsoft publishes countless articles on web development with e-commerce examples. They spend a billion dollars on advertising to attract you to a store that can't even retry or change a payment.
For any of their competitors, I have no doubt that I would have instantly received feedback about a problem with the payment method. In a real system, I could have changed the payment within 5 minutes and status pages would have reflected a true status all along. Instead, I use my time and their money talking to half a dozen polite but useless people. People who either through ineptitude or well-meaning lies are steadily manufacturing another hater.
I have done my analysis.
Both Surface 2 and Lumia 2520 are great products!
The Lumia 2520 is more mobile: use it outdoors, in class, in the bus/train etc while Surface 2 is a fantastic tablet at home or office. I'm going for Surface 2 but I'll get a red 2520 for my daughter.
This is the best thing that can happen to MSFT. Create the WANT for these products. How? Don't kill 2520 instead drop the size. MSFT should continue with Surface in its current size. However, for its 7"/8" devices it should be Lumia tablets!
Lumia will rule in these diamensions and Surface will continue to be a premium tab for both work and play.
Surface on 7''/8'' will never match a Lumia in 7''/8''.
The current form factor of Surface will be an ugly device on 7''/8''.
Remember, image is everything at first and it's key. That's what we are saying!
The technology and mainstream news media virtually ignored much of anything else but what Apple brought out.
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@Johnnythegeek: That's exactly the growing insanity of today's economics, advertisement and marketing: To make you want a product you don't need. It lacks any kind of rational logic. Don't get met wrong: I'm sure there is an audience that has a need for these products, but convincing the other ones who don't just for the sake of profits or better sales figures (that's what it all boils down to) by creating an irrational "want" is just immoral and wrong.
You know I feel kind of sorry for Microsoft these days. You introduce a improved Surface 2 and it ends up being over shadowed by Apple. The technology and mainstream news media virtually ignored much of anything else but what Apple brought out. Which in my opinion was just more typical generational product advancement. Not that the Surface 2 was any better, it too was simply a generation set of improvements. But not any less important then what Apple did. Nokia introduced something brand new and got so very little press. You know it probably will fail on the simple fact many won't even know it came out. To me, I don't care much about anything Apple brings to the table. The iPad is what it is. I am not any more inspired by a Surface for the same reasons. Nobody yet, has demonstrated either products useful and practical advantages. If anything, the only reason Apple has done well with the iPad is two things. Brand loyalty, and the ability to control impulse buying habits of consumers. Microsoft in my opinion needs to stop trying to convince consumers the Surface is better then anything else. It needs to convince consumers that they "want" a Surface. Its not about "need" anymore with products. Its about creating a WANT.