[ad] The service leader for Cloud is now in Australia. Secure, reliable cloud and managed hosting all backed by 24x7x365 Fanatical Support. Create your free account now.
Buy an Seagate Business Storage NAS for your chance to win a holiday
[ad] Purchase a selected Seagate Business Storage NAS to receive a $20 cash-back AND go into the draw to win a $1,000 Flight Centre voucher so you can holiday in the destination of your choice. T&Cs apply.
How mobile and social media affect your Customer Experience strategy
[ad] How will the adoption of mobile devices and social media affect your Customer Experience strategy? Are you reaching your organisation's customers through these touch points? Click here to download a whitepaper by Fifth Quadrant examining consumer and business attitudes to these new contact channels.
Great articles on other sites
- War on whistleblowers from Abbott, Turnbull as ICJ case arrives
- Stockland tech revamp at centre of growth plans
- Clare warns of Gonski-like backflips on the NBN
- Victoria seeks early buy-in to avoid past disasters
- Vtalk bucks the China trend with plan for Aussie build
- Booksellers bristle at Amazon's arrival
- Australian customers upbeat on Dell going private
- FTTP NBN supporters lobby Turnbull
- Telstra staff to return to NBN pits after asbestos scare
- ASIC targets insider traders with new $44m surveillance system
50 things top IT pros need to know
[ad] This 18 page TechRepublic whitepaper explores 10 things you should know to become an epic IT manager, 40 other essential tips to advance your IT career and practical guidance for starting an IT consulting business. Click here to access the whitepaper.
The new IT manager: Trends affecting IT in business
[ad] The tables have turned for IT managers. IT used to be able to dictate which computing assets would be used by employees and how they would be used. No longer. This free GigaOM Pro research paper (click here to download it) gives a solid, fact-based perspective on how IT consumerisation, mobile computing and cloud delivery trends are changing the paradigm.
Gadgets, News - Written by Renai LeMay on Wednesday, October 17, 2012 14:54 - 24 Comments
Microsoft Surface gets modest Aussie markup
news Global technology giant Microsoft has revealed that its Surface tablet will go on sale on 26 October next week, as its Windows 8 operating system also launches, in three different models and with only a small markup for Australian buyers compared with US prices.
The Surface tablet is Microsoft’s attempt to take on Apple’s dominant iPad tablet, which enjoys a market share in Australia usually estimated at upwards of 80 percent.
In some of its specifications, the Surface is similar to the iPad. It’s a similar size, featuring a 10.6” screen, it weighs about the same at 680g, and like the iPad, it features a powerful mobile processor (NVIDIA’s T30). It comes with a large amount of RAM for a tablet, 2GB, and like the iPad it supports Wi-Fi network access, has on-board storage (32GB or 64GB) and has two cameras – both 720p HD, on the Surface’s front and back. Like the iPad, the Surface also has in-built speakers and sensors such as an accelerometer, gyroscope, microphones and a light sensor.
However, ther’s where the similarities end. Unlike the iPad, the Surface will not support 3G or 4G mobile broadband, meaning users will need to connect it to a Wi-Fi network or share their smartphone’s 3G connecting through tethering to deliver Internet access to it, and although Microsoft has not yet confirmed the Surface’s screen resolution, this is expected to be much lesser than Apple’s high-end iPad ‘Retina’ displays.
But perhaps the main difference between the iPad and the Surface, to a casual user, will be the fact that it runs Microsoft’s radical overhaul of its Windows operating system. The Surface will run a cut-down version of the new Windows 8 operating system, which will also launch globally next week, dubbed Windows RT. Windows 8 obfuscates access to Windows’ traditional desktop operating paradigm, featuring a new user interface formerly dubbed ‘Metro’ and modelled along similar lines to Microsoft’s Xbox 360 dashboard design and the design of its Windows Phone 7 operating system. It is designed to be used with a touchscreen interface, along with more traditional keyboard and mouse control.
In a statement issued early this morning, Microsoft said its Surface tablet would be sold in three models in Australia – a 32GB version priced at $559, a 32GB version bundled with a black Touch Cover (an addition to the Surface which functions as a keyboard and a cover) for $679 and a 64GB version bundled with a black Touch cover priced at $789. All prices include GST. The same models will sell for US$499, US$599 and US$699 in the US, meaning that the Australian prices represent a modest markup on the US prices for the same models.
Microsoft said that a variety of accessories would also be available, including Touch Covers in five vibrant colours — black, white, magenta, cyan and red — priced at $139.99 “so customers can express their personal style”. “Customers will also have the option to purchase a Type Cover in black for $149.99,” Microsoft said, “which adds moving keys for a more traditional typing feel.”
The Surface will be available for purchase in Australia through the company’s Surface.com website, and it will come with the Windows RT version of Windows 8, which includes a version of Microsoft Office customised for the Surgave.
So far, there has been little evidence of consumer interest in the Surface in Australia apart from in the early adopter segment. However, in the enterprise, chief information officers have indicated their interest in adopting the device for corporate work, according to a poll ZDNet Australia conducted of Australian chief information officers in July.
At the moment conventional thinking in the IT industry appears to be dominantly along the lines that Windows 8 will be largely ignored by large enterprises and consumers, apart from in the tablet area, where many people expect it to have a chance at displacing the iPad in enterprises, due to the iPad’s historically (if not currently) poor manageability and the fact that the laptop/tablet category seems logically designed to converge in the long-term.
Personally, I’m on the fence about whether the Surface – and Windows 8 in general – will succeed and if so, when. As I’ve previously written, in order to displace the iPad, which most people seem pretty happy with, Microsoft and its partners need to do something actually better than Apple is doing. But with Apple’s lead in hardware, software, third-party developer mobile ecosystem and market share, plus the plethora of enterprise manageability tools which have popped up to manage it in large organisations, this seems like a pretty tough ask. Pretty much the only advantages Microsoft appears to have at this point are the fact that Apple has not yet converged the tablet and laptop categories – so maybe Microsoft can – and the fact that Microsoft currently dominates the enterprise, an area which Apple has always treated as a secondary priority. Can the Surface find its place in this dichotomy?
… my gut says ‘not just yet’, but I’m certainly looking forward to reviewing one.
I won’t be buying one myself just yet, but I remain open to being convinced by the Microsoft machine that it can pull this off. After all, it was only a few years ago that Microsoft was struggling to convince people like me that its entrance into the video gaming console scene would pay off. And it was only a few years later that Microsoft was struggling to convince people like me that its new mobile phone operating system (Windows 7) would go anywhere. The same in databases. The same in virtualisation. The same in servers (think about its decade-long battle with Unix/Linux). The same in CRM, business intelligence, identity. And the list goes on.
You have only look at Microsoft’s current product line to know that Redmond can sometimes take a while to get something right … but that it does have a degree of persistence that few other companies have. This is the thing I love about Microsoft. It never gives up.
Image credit: Microsoft
Latest Delimiter 2.0 articles (subscriber content)
|Politicians from Australia’s major parties need to stop issuing ludicrous blanket pardons for the intelligence community’s ongoing misdemeanours and start applying a basic modicum of transparency and accountability to this important national security function.|
|The independent pro-fibre National Broadband Network movement is doing a far better job of promoting Labor’s Fibre to the Premises-based NBN policy than Labor itself. When is Labor going to wake from its slumber and start supporting this scrappy but energetic grassroots network of activists?|
|Ziggy Switkowski's first substantial public appearance since being appointed NBN Co chief executive has starkly demonstrated just how different he is from his predecessor, Mike Quigley, and just how strictly he will adhere to the guidelines which his patron, Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull, has set for him.|
|Australian technology companies have been virtually absent from the the nation’s public stockmarket over the past decade as the stigma of the dot com bust took its toll on investor confidence. But a clutch of new listings planned for the closing months of 2013 shows renewed interest in the sector and that local entrepreneurs are smelling money in the air once again.|
|NBN Co’s Strategic Review process gives the company an unmissable opportunity to re-evaluate the early decision to deploy its FTTP network primarily through Telstra’s underground ducts. The company and its new Coalition masters must now seriously consider deploying more fibre aerially on power poles in an effort to speed up its rollout substantially.|
|That moment which many Australian technologists fervently hoped for but never expected to see has come to pass: Simon Hackett has been appointed to the board of the National Broadband Network Company. But what questions should the Internode founder be asking NBN Co’s executive management team? Here’s five ideas to start with.|
|The rapid replacement of respected NBN Co chief operating officer Ralph Steffens with a Telstra executive who appears less experienced with fibre rollouts but better politically connected represents a key signal that NBN Co’s senior executive hiring process has now become completely politicised and is no longer independent from the Federal Government.|
Enterprise IT, Featured, News - Dec 4, 2013 17:02 - 1 Comment
More In Enterprise IT
- Defence finally allows staff iPhones, iPads
- NSW Govt refreshes ICT Advisory Panel
- Coles is yet another complex cloud case study
- CenITex has no disaster recovery capacity
- Vic Govt abjectly fails IT security tests
Featured, News, Telecommunications - Dec 4, 2013 15:18 - 40 Comments
More In Telecommunications
- Defying the Senate: Turnbull to release NBN Review by end of 2013
- Senate to force Turnbull to publish NBN Review
- Get on with FTTN job, Quigley tells NBN Co
- Senate circus shows politics has no place in NBN
- Foxtel to launch broadband by late 2014
More In Industry
- Xbox One goes off with a bang … but will the PS4 launch eclipse it?
- It’s not just Freelancer: Aussie tech IPOs are back in general
- Freelancer’s IPO: A billion reasons to care
- Australian retailers online: Late to the party and much to do
- DesignCrowd picks up another $3m
Digital Rights, News - Dec 4, 2013 13:33 - 1 Comment
More In Digital Rights
- Labor open to surveillance discussion
- Snowden an “American traitor”, says Australia’s Attorney-General
- ASD goes rogue with Aussie metadata
- It’s live: Delimiter publishes AGD FoI mirror
- Dept can’t find piracy meeting invitations