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New SP4 firmware out

DavidZ

Active Member
I think this device remains a tough sell to the "consumer" market though.....I still think it's overpriced and it requires more management than it probably should.

I agree. I think Microsoft has bungled a huge opportunity here.

If the SP4 and the SB were highly reliable devices, Microsoft would be sitting very pretty now. They would have 2 beautiful showpieces for Windows 10. Instead, these devices are only for tech road warriors like us who are willing to put up with tech challenges because we really love the brilliant design of these things.

Now Windows 10 installation numbers are stalling and we face the prospect of Microsoft ramming Windows 10 down our throats using essentially coercive update tactics on Windows 7 and 8 users in July. Not a very pretty picture compared to what it could have been if these devices had worked the way they're designed.
 
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Philtastic

Active Member
I agree. I think Microsoft has bungled a huge opportunity here.

If the SP4 and the SB were highly reliable devices, Microsoft would be sitting very pretty now. They would have 2 beautiful showpieces for Windows 10. Instead, these devices are only for tech road warriors like us who are willing to put up with tech challenges because we really love the brilliant design of these things.

Now Windows 10 installation numbers are stalling and we face the prospect of Microsoft ramming Windows 10 down our throats using essentially coercive update tactics on Windows 7 and 8 users in July. Not a very pretty picture compared to what it could have been if these devices had worked the way they're designed.
In this case, I'm actually willing to cut Microsoft some slack because, as I understand it, most of the legitimate problems with the SP4 are caused by Intel's Skylake being more challenging to do proper sleep for as well as Intel's GPU drivers being crap... and there's not much anyone can do about that because Intel doesn't have any competition. There is basically no way to hold Intel accountable for their screw ups, so Microsoft just has to keep working away at software fixes while trying to convince Intel to work harder at improving their drivers.
 

DavidZ

Active Member
In this case, I'm actually willing to cut Microsoft some slack because, as I understand it, most of the legitimate problems with the SP4 are caused by Intel's Skylake being more challenging to do proper sleep for as well as Intel's GPU drivers being crap... and there's not much anyone can do about that because Intel doesn't have any competition. There is basically no way to hold Intel accountable for their screw ups, so Microsoft just has to keep working away at software fixes while trying to convince Intel to work harder at improving their drivers.
I'm not all that concerned about who to blame. I'm sure that there's plenty to go around.

The key point is that a huge opportunity is being squandered. Surely these 2 firms with their vast resources can do much better than this. Not for you and me and our enjoyment of these very cool devices, but for the billions in sales that they are passing up.
 

Philtastic

Active Member
I'm not all that concerned about who to blame. I'm sure that there's plenty to go around.

The key point is that a huge opportunity is being squandered. Surely these 2 firms with their vast resources can do much better than this. Not for you and me and our enjoyment of these very cool devices, but for the billions in sales that they are passing up.
My point was that they would get those sales anyway because they have no competition. If you want a computer, you're buying Intel Skylake no matter how bad it is... because AMD's CPUs are even worse. They're passing up basically nothing. If you're not buying a Surface Pro 4, you're buying a Dell, HP, Lenovo, etc. that all use Intel and all have exactly the same GPU driver issues. They may not have the same sleep issues because they're not making use of the phone-like sleep state that these Intel chips support. While writing this comment, I found a good article that explains why the Surface's sleep has problems while many laptops do not:
Trying to Explain the Surface Sleep Problems - Thurrott.com
 

DavidZ

Active Member
My point was that they would get those sales anyway because they have no competition. If you want a computer, you're buying Intel Skylake no matter how bad it is... because AMD's CPUs are even worse. They're passing up basically nothing. If you're not buying a Surface Pro 4, you're buying a Dell, HP, Lenovo, etc. that all use Intel and all have exactly the same GPU driver issues. They may not have the same sleep issues because they're not making use of the phone-like sleep state that these Intel chips support. While writing this comment, I found a good article that explains why the Surface's sleep has problems while many laptops do not:
Trying to Explain the Surface Sleep Problems - Thurrott.com

Good points. And thanks for the article. Microsoft does deserve credit for pushing the edge with this brilliant design. They get high marks for design and low marks for implementation.

But I'm not talking about SP4 and SB sales. I'm talking about Win 10. Microsoft's competition is not Dell, HP and Lenovo. It's Google and Apple. Surface is a side business. The operating system is their core business.

Microsoft has bet their future on Continuum. Win 10 is the implementation of this strategy. The surface line is the showcase for Continuum and it's not a reliable showcase for their core future. Think of where Microsoft would be today vis a vis Apple and Google if the latest surface products worked flawlessly.
 

Philtastic

Active Member
Good points. And thanks for the article. Microsoft does deserve credit for pushing the edge with this brilliant design. They get high marks for design and low marks for implementation.

But I'm not talking about SP4 and SB sales. I'm talking about Win 10. Microsoft's competition is not Dell, HP and Lenovo. It's Google and Apple. Surface is a side business. The operating system is their core business.

Microsoft has bet their future on Continuum. Win 10 is the implementation of this strategy. The surface line is the showcase for Continuum and it's not a reliable showcase for their core future. Think of where Microsoft would be today vis a vis Apple and Google if the latest surface products worked flawlessly.
Eh, I'm pretty sure that, even if SP4 and SB worked perfectly, both Continuum and their phone business would still be stagnant. This is because their phone hardware is not exceptional and the Windows Store is sorely lacking. As such, Continuum is irrelevant regardless of Surface. In fact, Surface is the complete opposite of what Continuum is trying to do because Continuum is about not needing a tablet or laptop to get real work done: just plug in your phone to get "full" desktop Windows.

Or are you talking about the Universal Windows Platform where apps work across platforms? If so, unless Microsoft locks out the installation and running of regular Win32/64 exe's and/or openly allows people to install UWP software from outside of the Windows Store, I can't really see UWP taking off. There was a cautionary article recently posted by Tim Sweeny, co-founder of Epic Games, about how Microsoft is trying to turn Windows into a monopolistic walled garden like iOS and Android with UWP. It's a good read: Microsoft wants to monopolise games development on PC. We must fight it
Again, even if SP4 and SB worked perfectly, it would have no impact on UWP adoption since both systems run regular Windows software.

Although this discussion is interesting, it's not really on-topic for this thread so I'm going to drop it at this point.
 

DavidZ

Active Member
Eh, I'm pretty sure that, even if SP4 and SB worked perfectly, both Continuum and their phone business would still be stagnant. This is because their phone hardware is not exceptional and the Windows Store is sorely lacking. As such, Continuum is irrelevant regardless of Surface. In fact, Surface is the complete opposite of what Continuum is trying to do because Continuum is about not needing a tablet or laptop to get real work done: just plug in your phone to get "full" desktop Windows.

Or are you talking about the Universal Windows Platform where apps work across platforms? If so, unless Microsoft locks out the installation and running of regular Win32/64 exe's and/or openly allows people to install UWP software from outside of the Windows Store, I can't really see UWP taking off. There was a cautionary article recently posted by Tim Sweeny, co-founder of Epic Games, about how Microsoft is trying to turn Windows into a monopolistic walled garden like iOS and Android with UWP. It's a good read: Microsoft wants to monopolise games development on PC. We must fight it
Again, even if SP4 and SB worked perfectly, it would have no impact on UWP adoption since both systems run regular Windows software.

Although this discussion is interesting, it's not really on-topic for this thread so I'm going to drop it at this point.


I probably used the wrong terminology, but here's what I'm saying. The beauty of the SP4 and the SB is that they float effortlessly between tablet mode and PC mode. In that sense Windows 10 is years ahead of their competition (Apple and Google). If not for Microsoft's (and Intel's) implementation stumbles, they would be far ahead of where they are today in terms of the image of the Surface line as well as Windows 10, their core product.

And, yes, this discussion is right on the topic with this thread, because the new firmware released in February is just one in what is emerging as a long series of unsuccessful attempts to recover from their initial implementation stumbles.

If you're saying that Microsoft is exactly where they would be, in terms of Windows 10 image and acceptance, if the Surface line implementation had been flawless, then I have to strongly disagree with you.
 

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