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 really, really needs the Surface 2 to succeed. Praise around the first-generation Surface RT's hardware and design was tempered with more than a little criticism of Windows RT, and confused consumers left tablet manufacturers focusing on Windows 8 until only Microsoft's slate was left running the pared-back version. The Surface 2, then, aims to give Windows RT a second chance, but is Microsoft finally onto a winner or simply flogging a dead horse? Read on for the SlashGear review.
In light of the new Surface 2, Microsoft has made some interesting claims regarding its tablet competition to the folks over at Tech Radar, where the company seems to take a passive swipe at Apple while saying that others are playing catch-up. Microsoft isn't the only company to be pushing out its big-name tablet offerings in recent times, with Apple having just recently taken the wraps off its new iPad Air.
The industrious folks at iFixit have taken to tearing into Microsoft's Surface Pro 2, putting it through the same dismantling process the Kindle Fire HDX, iMac 2013, and other devices have recently undergone. Unfortunately, those who grab the Microsoft slate are going to have quite a battle if they ever elect to go the DIY route, with the Surface Pro 2 scoring a dismal 1 out of 10 repairability score.
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.
Microsoft has unveiled its latest Surface tablets, the Surface 2 and the Surface Pro 2. All varieties of both tablets are available for pre-order now from Microsoft, and are being offered alongside a variety of different accessories. Earlier this month, it was revealed that 11,000 Delta airlines pilots will be using the Surface 2.
Microsoft Surface chief Panos Panay has confirmed that "multiple aspect ratios and sizes" are in the pipeline, though declined to comment specifically on longstanding speculation around a "Surface Mini" tablet. Chatter of a 7- to 8-inch Surface to take on the iPad mini and Nexus 7 has persisted since the launch of the original model in 2012, though Microsoft did not wheel out its smaller slate when it unveiled second-gen Surface hardware last month. However, that doesn't mean new devices aren't in the pipeline.
A couple days ago, we mentioned that the Microsoft Surface 2 had beaten out the iPad and Nokia tablet to be used by Delta Air Lines pilots in the cockpit. Delta and Microsoft have come back and offered some more details on exactly how many Surface 2 tablets will be purchased under the deal. Delta says it plans to equip 11,000 pilots with Surface 2 tablets.
Microsoft's Surface Mini, the smaller version of the Windows tablet, is not expected to launch until 2014, insiders claim, with the software company supposedly waiting on a new version of the OS. The tablet will run Windows RT on an ARM processor, ZDNet's sources insist, but won't hit stores until the so-called "Spring 2014 GDR" update to Windows 8.1.