September 23 2013, in New York City Microsoft announced the second generation versions of their Surface hardware. Microsoft opted to cut their Surface RT down from $499 to $349 because inventory was not moving well and they also introduced a permanent price drop of $100 on Surface Pro models.
Listed below you will find the full Estimated Retail Pricing (ERP) for all of the new hardware and accessories.
Surface Pro 2 (all devices come with a Surface Pen)
◾ 4GB RAM/64GB storage – $899
◾ 4GB RAM/128GB storage – $999
◾ 8GB RAM/256GB storage – $1,299
◾ 8GB RAM/512GB storage – $1,799
◾ 2GB RAM/32GB storage – $449
◾ 2GB RAM/64GB storage – $549
◾ Touch Cover 2 – $119.99
◾ Type Cover 2 – $129.99
◾ Power Cover – $199.99
◾ Arc Touch Mouse (Surface Edition) – $69.99
◾ Docking Station for Surface Pro – $199.99
◾ Wireless Adapter for Typing Covers – $59.99
◾ Car Charger with USB – $49.99
Launch Event Info
September 23 2013, Microsoft had the formal launch announcement for their second generation Surface hardware. Here is info.
Surface Pro 2
◾ 46% more color accuracy to the Surface Pro 2 ClearType HD display.
◾ Boosted speakers and added Dolby to Surface 2.
◾ Surface Pro 2 is faster than 95% of laptops on the market today.
◾ Graphics performance on Surface Pro 2 increased by 50%.
◾ Overall performance on Surface Pro 2 bumped up by 20%.
◾ Windows logo is gone from the back of the Surface Pro 2 – simply labeled Surface.
◾ Angle of Surface Pro 2 kickstand increased to better accommodate use on your lap.
◾ Surface Pro 2 battery life increased by 75% (approx 7 hours).
◾ Haswell processor in Surface Pro 2 which operates cooler and quieter.
◾ Surface Pro will start at $899.
◾ Four configurations: 4GB RAM/64GB storage; 4GB RAM/128GB storage; 8GB
RAM/256GB storage and 8GB RAM/512GB storage
Surface 2 (formerly known as Surface RT)
◾ Labels this as an introduction as if it is a new device vice an upgrade of the Surface RT.
Calls it a product revamp.
◾ Surface 2 is now available in a silver color. Word is that this will be the only color option
for Surface 2.
◾ Increased CPU speed; runs 3-4 times faster than Surface RT; has Tegra 4 CPU
improved bus, etc.
◾ Has USB 3.0 now.
◾ Added Surface logo to the device kickstand.
◾ Full 1080p ClearType display.
◾ 25% more battery life.
◾ Uses same injection molding process as Surface RT did but is thinner and lighter.
◾ Launches with Windows 8.1 as the OS.
◾ Last year launched with 10,000 apps; this year over 100,000 apps in Windows Store.
◾ Comes with Office just like Surface RT except Windows 8.1 adds Outlook to the suite.
◾ Surface 2 also has the two position kickstand like Surface Pro 2.
◾ Surface 2 docked can handle powering a 3840 x 2160 pixel display.
◾ Surface 2 will sell for $449.
◾ Two configurations with 32GB and 64Gb storage.
Both Devices and Accessories
◾“Best of Skype” for one year includes free international calling and free WiFi hotspots.
◾ 200GB of SkyDrive for two years.
◾ Type Cover 2 (new colors are purple and pink) and is 1MM thinner and lighter than
original Type Cover.
◾ Type Cover 2 is almost as thin as original Touch Cover and is backlit.
◾ Type Cover 2 comes out “next year” according to Panos Panay.
◾ Surface Power Cover adds 30w battery to device which adds 2.5 times battery life to
Surface Pro 2.
◾ Surface Docking station provides 3 x USB 2.0; 1 USB 3.0; Mini DisplayPort; Ethernet;
Audio In/Out and power. Available in “early” 2014.
◾ Touch Cover 2 is also backlit and now has 1092 sensors compared to just 80 in the
original Touch Cover.
◾ Touch Cover 2 is also thinner and lighter than the first version.
◾ Type Cover 2 and Touch Cover 2 work on all Surface products.
◾ Surface Remix Project is available on 22 October 2013. It is a special edition cover that
lets you remix your favorite music and share it and is in conjunction with Xbox Music.
See http://surfaceremixproject.com/ for more info.
◾ Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 will be available on 22 October 2013 – just four days after
GA of Windows 8.1.
End of Support 212 days
Time to be thinking about upgrading or buying a new Windows 8 desktop, laptop or Surface pro 2 or Surface RT 2 will be running Intel’s latest line of chips a Haswell-based Core i5 and ram choices are 4GB or 8GB.
For the next eight months Microsoft will be warning Windows XP users to switch your operating system now! Because the lifecycle of Windows XP will only go up to April 8, 2014, that will include both security and non-security hot fixes, free or paid support options an online technical content updates. There are still many Windows XP uses that still won’t change the operating system by April 8, 2014, they rather wait till Windows XP no longer works. Microsoft officials have said to have no plans to extend yet another cutoff date for XP. Windows XP has 37% of computer users out there.
What is the risk of still using Windows XP after the cutoff date? Because now the attackers will have plenty of time to reverse engineer security updates. Once they have identified the vulnerability they will attempt to develop code that will exploit it on XP systems. From now on Windows XP will be vulnerability forever “zero day” There is antivirus software out there to help protect and fix infected computers. The challenge is now you will never know with confidence; you can trust your computer with Windows XP on it without any more monthly updates. As a result, the security features that are built into Windows XP are no longer sufficient to defend against modern threats.
So is time now to either update the operating system or invest in a new Windows 8 computer, is up to you?
• Microsoft Windows 8.1 new features Previewing on June 26.
• Microsoft Final release of Windows 8.1, it will be later in the calendar year.
• Price for Windows 8.1 will be a free update to Windows 8 and RT users.
• Windows 8.1 respond to customer feedback.
Let checkout some new features Windows 8.1 has to offer:
- The Start button is back: it will be a shortcut for the Start Screen only. It also will be visible while working on the desktop, while in the Metro UI; you will be able to access it by simply moving the mouse cursor in the lower left corner like it was before.
- The lock screen will let you customization with sideshows using photos that you stored on your computer or in SkyDrive.
- Windows 8.1 to let you shut down directly via Start button.
- The Start Screen will have new background and color settings and also features animated background. In also can use your desktop wallpaper as a background for the Start Screen, Metro and the desktop will blend seamlessly together.
- All Apps screen has been improved in a few ways. You swipe up to reach it now, and you can sort the screen by app name, date installed, most used or category.
- Live tiles will come in four different sizes will allow you to order them by usage. Microsoft thinks that the Start Screen will bring it closer to the original Start Menu.
- Internet Explorer 11 will also be included and will come with improvements.
- SkyDrive has a major improvement it will come with deeper Windows 8 integration. You can save your files right to SkyDrive.
- Snap View mode will let you run apps side by side like windows 7 does. You can snap up to 4 different Metro applications.
- The Windows Store will undergo a major makeover; will display more details about each app and have new rankings for each category.
- Metro apps will be updated automatically when a new version are released.
- The Search Charm will be powered by Bing and will allow you to look for information on the computer and on the web. It will offer support for files, apps, settings, web, and SkyDrive accounts.
- New Metro apps will be installed by default on all Windows 8.1 machines, including an Alarm app, Movie Moments, Reading List, and Calculator.
- The touch keyboard will have new improvements, auto-suggest features and will support new gestures.
- Users will be allowed to skip the Start Screen completely and boot directly to desktop.
- File Explorer, the new file manager available in Windows 8, will also be updated. Libraries will no longer be displayed in the navigation panel, while Computer will be renamed to “This PC.”
Check out the chart (by Into Windows) to see the difference between
windows 8 and 8.1.
If everything works out for windows 8.1, I will be upgrading to the final release of windows 8.1 later in this year !!!