Microsoft's Surface RT has not been the most successful of tablets since its release late last year, and although a myriad of factors have contributed to its shortcoming in the market, the fact is that tens of thousands of units remain unsold. As such, Microsoft has already dropped the price on a couple of occasions to try and boost sales, but with today being Black Friday and all, Micro Center has come through with an exceptional deal offering both the Surface RT and a Touch Cover for just $179.
Last week, Windows 8.1 made its debut right on cue, but for those in ownership of the Surface RT - admittedly few, judging by Microsoft's own official numbers - as well as other Win RT-based devices, updating the latest version was a bit of a struggle. There was a workaround available for those who didn't want to wait for an official fix that we covered here at Redmond Pie, but now, Microsoft has begun distributing a recovery image for Windows 8.1 RT.
Microsoft has worked hard to establish itself in the tablet space, and its first effort, the Surface, has been the subject of much critical acclaim. Yet the estimated sales figures posted by the Redmond at its annual Form 10-K with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing suggests there's much work to be done if the company is to compete with some of the big players in the game. With Surface, Microsoft took the hybrid approach to target both iPad like form factor and the Ultrabook market, but with less than impressive sales as demonstrated here, neither field will be feeling the heat from the Surface range.
As part of Microsoft's continued endeavor to boost sales of its Surface RT, the Redmond company has slashed the price of the tablet across markets in Europe following a similar move across North America just a short while ago. The deal sees the cost of the ARM-powered slate reduced by up to a third, with prices ranging from £279 in UK, or €329 in Germany.
The Surface RT was released with a great deal of excitement, and although it has been spoken of positively by many corners, it's still yet to find itself a firm place in the iPad dominated tablet industry. In an effort to change the fortunes of the Surface RT, sources familiar with Microsoft's internal plans are suggesting that the Redmond company are planning on launching a new variant of the tablet, but this time choosing Qualcomm Inc. as their preferred processor suppliers.
Microsoft's Surface RT tablet hasn't quite taken off in a way that we're sure Microsoft would have wanted it to. In fact, we suspect that's the reason behind a new initiative that the Redmond outfit is putting into place that will see discounted slates being made available to educational institutions.
This past Monday, we reported on a jailbreak for Windows RT that allowed it to run apps available outside of Microsoft’s Windows Store. The Redmond company has now come out, not to condemn the jailbreak, instead simply to confirm that it poses no security threat.
It would appear as though the modding community of everything Windows would have something to cheer about this week. That is because security researcher clrokr looks to have discovered a way to get desktop apps up and running on Microsoft's ARM-based OS. Within Windows RT's code, there's a particular setting which prevents ARM-based desktop apps besides the Redmond company's stock offerings, but clrokr has snuffed it out, and has, in short, paved the way for the running of unsigned desktop apps.
There's a growing concern that Redmond-based Microsoft is not achieving the kind of orders it had initially hoped or expected of its Surface RT, and it's now looking like the company's orders are petering out - as opposed to increasing - in the run-up to Christmas. CEO Steve Ballmer's note of "modest" sales at launch has done very little to instill confidence recently, and to compound the situation, upstream supply chain sources have revealed the software maker has reduced orders of the Surface RT by half.
In light of the recently-released fourth-gen iPad, which succeeded the iPad 3 after just seven months as Apple's flagship slate, it's certainly refreshing to hear that the Surface tablet - created, of course, by rival Microsoft - will be getting an incredible four-and-a-half year shelf life, with support and updates for the product eventually scheduled to end on April 11th, 2017.