This morning Microsoft founder Bill Gates answered questions from users from around the world in his second "AMA" session on Reddit. It was there that he confirmed oddities small and answered questions large, building off his pre-made "myths" video released today as well. One of the first - and perhaps smallest - factoids confirmed by Gates was that the device he uses regularly is a Microsoft Surface 2 PRO.
Microsoft appears to be having a good quarter, as they've announced their financial second quarter (ending on December 31st, 2013), has resulted in record revenue. This revenue high-mark sits at $24.52 billion USD and represents double-digit growth in each of the following segments: commercial, devices, and consumer. Microsoft also seems to have found the correct combination of quality and public push for the Surface tablet lineup, as revenues from this set of devices doubled compared to the quarter leading up to this one.
Microsoft has released its second attempt at a firmware update for the Surface Pro 2 tablet, after a December upgrade left some users with reduced battery life and a Windows 8 slate that would unexpectedly go in and out of sleep mode. The new firmware release is only of use for those Surface Pro 2 owners who managed to install the December 10th update before Microsoft pulled it following complaints.
Microsoft has quietly upgraded the Surface Pro 2, with new hardware including faster processors being sent out to those who returned their Windows 8 tablets after the December firmware update debacle. Although Microsoft yanked the firmware package before every Surface Pro 2 user could upgrade it, some owners sent back their tablets for replacement, only to find, WinBeta reports, that the hardware returned had a newer generation of Intel Core i5 processor inside.
Supposing you’re in a situation where you’d love to work with Apple’s OS X desktop operating system, but for whatever reason you’d rather not - or cannot - work with an Apple-made piece of hardware. If you’re the alternate-solutions type, there may be hope for you with the Linux Ubuntu-based system called Pear OS. The newest version of Pear OS - that’s Pear OS 8 - works with a look and feel that’s very much the most solidly cross-breed inspired iOS/OS X system out in the wild today - again, working with Unbuntu, but certainly appearing to bust out an alternate-universe Apple system by all looks and touches.
The war is on for the most sought-after tablet on the market, and the differentiation between the front-runners appears now, more than ever, to be strikingly high. What we've got from Apple is the iPad Air, a new far-smaller iteration of the same Retina display as the 4th generation unit. From Google there's the Nexus 7 (2013), a low-priced high-powered Android tablet manufactured by ASUS. Microsoft's competitor in the Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 works with Windows 8 and Windows 8 RT, making this battle a three-way fight between operating systems right off the bat.
With the ushering in of the second generation of Microsoft Surface devices in the Surface 2 and the Surface Pro 2, the company decided to give their accessory line a boot as well. What you're seeing this week is a Type Cover 2, a Touch Cover 2, a Power Cover, and a Docking Station. These accessories will all be working with the Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 as well as the original Surface Pro but will not work with the original Surface RT.
If you weren't impressed by the rest of the wares shown off today by Microsoft at their Surface 2 event, there's one accessory you must have missed. This is the Surface Remix Project - one of a line of devices that'll be coming from the company in the near future to make use of the Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2's ability to work with quick-attach keyboard and touch accessories. Here we're aiming at touch-loving DJs with a drum machine vibe and intentions wholly musical.
UPDATE: This cover's name specifically is Music Cover, part of a Music Kit with its software aimed at musicians in the near future. This is, again, one of many Remix Project devices slated for the future.
Microsoft isn't giving up on Windows 8 tablets, and the Surface Pro 2 is the slate that it expects to finally crack the market. Taking the original Surface Pro and refreshing it with Intel's fourth-generation Core "Haswell" processors, the new Surface Pro 2 takes advantage of the more battery-efficient chips to deliver longer runtimes, not to mention introducing more interesting accessories along the way. Read on for some first impressions.