• Enjoy the freedom to innovate and grow your business


    [ad] With Microsoft Azure you have hybrid cloud flexibility, allowing your platform to span your cloud and on premise data centre. Learn more at microsoftcloud.com.

  • IT Admin: No Time to Save Time?


    [ad] Do you spend too much time patching machines or cleaning up after virus attacks? With automation controlled from a central IT management console accessible anytime, anywhere – you can save time for bigger tasks. Try simple IT management from GFI Cloud and start saving time today!

  • Free Forrester analysis of CRM solutions


    [ad] In this 25 page report, independent analyst house Forrester evaluates 18 significant products in the customer relationship management space from a broad range of vendors, detailing its findings on how CRM suites measure up and plotting where they stand in relation to each other. Download it for free now.

  • Great articles on other sites
  • RSS Great articles on other sites


  • Reader giveaway: Google Nexus 5


    We’re big fans of Google’s Nexus line-up in general at Delimiter towers. Nexus 4, Nexus 7, Nexus 10 … we love pretty much anything Nexus. Because of this we've kicked off a new competition to give away one of Google’s new Nexus 5 smartphones to a lucky reader. Click here to enter.

  • Gadgets, News - Written by 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.

    opinion/analysis
    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

    submit to reddit

    24 Comments

    You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

    1. Muz
      Posted 17/10/2012 at 3:04 pm | Permalink |

      > Microsoft has not yet confirmed the Surface’s screen resolution

      The Surface RT has a resolution of 1366×768
      The Surface Pro has a resolution of 1920×1080

      Source:
      http://www.microsoft.com/Surface/en-US/surface-with-windows-rt/specifications

      Personally, I have no interest in the Surface RT, but am keenly awaiting the Surface Pro, as I hope the Surface Pro can replace both my iPad and my laptop.
      Currently whenever I travel I take an iPad with me for entertainment/ebooks/browsing etc, but still have to take a Windows laptop in case I need to do real work.

      • Posted 17/10/2012 at 3:13 pm | Permalink |

        Ah cheers, I couldn’t find the resolution listed — and Microsoft has apparently declined to comment on it a number of times.

        • James
          Posted 17/10/2012 at 3:38 pm | Permalink |

          Waiting for the Pro version before I make the ‘Surface or Ultrabook?’ decision, but I’ll be going into JB (or wherever) to try it out as soon as I can.

          • James
            Posted 17/10/2012 at 3:39 pm | Permalink |

            Wasn’t meant to be a reply..
            :P

      • Posted 17/10/2012 at 3:48 pm | Permalink |

        I agree, totally waiting for the Pro.

        Any excuse to toss my Ultrabook, the better.

        As much as I love Samsung’s Series 9, its a pain in the ass. I’d rather have the surface which is modestly more compact, works perfectly with my Lumia 920 and will sync seamlessly with my PC.

        Unfortunately seamless syncing is just something both Android and iOS just cant do as well as Windows.

        Call me a fanboi or whatever but I’m really warming to the idea of WP8 + Windows8 over Android on my S3.

        • Paul Thompson
          Posted 18/10/2012 at 1:27 pm | Permalink |

          I agree 100%. Having a desktop, tablet and mobile all working in perfect harmony? That would be bliss. The combination of Lumia 920, Surface Pro and my PC using Windows 7 seems like an ideal one to me.

          I would also think that this sort of thing would have to be attractive to businesses. Once they have put down their iToys for a moment, and realised that there can be real productivity barriers when things don’t sync up nicely, then it should be a no-brainer to start using the Surface Pro and WM8 in the workplace too.

      • jo
        Posted 17/10/2012 at 4:32 pm | Permalink |

        Personally I don’t see the point of the Surface Pro and in fact the surface design when used as a laptop. You have to use it on a flat surface. Its pretty awesome looking and designed really well but for me I’ll stick to one of the tablets that come with a dock.

        I’m pretty much set on getting an ASUS tablet with x86 processor and keyboard dock. Something like this would really be able to replace both ultrabook and tablet: http://www.engadget.com/2012/06/04/asus-transformer-book/ if only they would release one.

        • James
          Posted 18/10/2012 at 8:25 am | Permalink |

          > Something like this would really be able to replace both ultrabook and tablet

          That Asus *is* an ultrabook. It just has a removeable screen.
          Also, it’s screen sizes of 11.6″, 13″ and 14″ are too big to be useable as a tablet (in my opinion).

          I agree that this would be much easier to use on your lap / without something solid to rest on, though. That’s a benefit for Ultrabooks over Surface for me, but I’m still weighing up pros and cons ;)

          • Jo
            Posted 18/10/2012 at 9:55 am | Permalink |

            11.6″ is fine. Its almost the same width as the iPad but longer and its great for laptop use. Any smaller and its annoying as a laptop (thats how I feel anyway)

            Ah well, I won’t be buying one until early next year anyway so lots of time to try them out and see whats best :)

    2. Kvad
      Posted 17/10/2012 at 3:20 pm | Permalink |

      Res has been known for a while.

      Here’s a good read.
      http://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/11kyja/iam_panos_panay_gm_of_microsoft_surface_amaa_ask/

    3. JamesM
      Posted 17/10/2012 at 3:22 pm | Permalink |

      I agree with the last comment. Microsoft never gives up. That’s a good thing. It’s vital for progress for big corporations being prepared to keep having a crack at things even if they fail. Not only is it vital for consumers but also for companies. Any company that pulls back into its shell for too long to try to protect its core revenue base eventually dies. Might take decades for the slow decline to complete, but a slow death is still death. Nokia and Kodak come to mind. Apple would be wise to take note. Litigation is a poor substitute for innovation.

    4. Brett
      Posted 17/10/2012 at 3:56 pm | Permalink |

      I’m pretty sure us Aussies get 2 years warranty compared to United States’ one as well

      • jo
        Posted 17/10/2012 at 4:14 pm | Permalink |

        Yep :)

        As it should be, after all we are paying a premium as we do with the iPad.

    5. Stephen H
      Posted 17/10/2012 at 5:31 pm | Permalink |

      Still not impressed with that mark-up.

      Based on today’s exchange rate of $1.0313 USD to $1.00 AUD, the direct price conversion would be AU$483.86. Australians are being charged a total of AU$559, or US$576.50, a markup of US$77.50 or 15.5%.

      My sister is in the US on release date and will hopefully be able to grab me one.

      • Posted 17/10/2012 at 6:06 pm | Permalink |

        I quickly scrambled through price this morning. Average cost of shipping here would be around $60 bucks (incl of insurance).

        I dont trust customs so insurance is a must – other things I’ve bought overseas that are the latest and greatest and had shipped here or brought through customs were opened, checked and in two cases; used. I’ve even got one photo of the chap that used my Galaxy Tab 10.1 when it launched. Taken via the front camera’s security I set up.

        The $60 bucks difference would put it in pretty close proximity of price to the US.

      • Chad
        Posted 17/10/2012 at 6:07 pm | Permalink |

        You’re forgetting GST. When you factor in the longer warranty, the cost to ship it out here, and the volatility of our currency, the price is fine.

        • Brett
          Posted 17/10/2012 at 6:14 pm | Permalink |

          and the american pricing doens’t include their local state taxes as well. So for 2 years local warranty, its not so bad at all.

    6. Brett
      Posted 17/10/2012 at 6:19 pm | Permalink |

      Just read this on twitter from @microsurface ‘Microsoft Surface RT 32GB Model Sells Out on Day One”

    7. rod
      Posted 17/10/2012 at 7:47 pm | Permalink |

      so long as the cash holds out

    8. Daniel996
      Posted 18/10/2012 at 9:42 am | Permalink |

      …which includes a version of Microsoft Office customised for the *Surgave* <- ?!?

    9. Sathias
      Posted 18/10/2012 at 4:58 pm | Permalink |

      Being able to run windows applications on a tablet gives it an instant leg up over the iPad in my opinion. Then again, I don’t have a tablet currently so I’m not locked into a particular platform yet.

      • Frank
        Posted 18/10/2012 at 7:56 pm | Permalink |

        Only if it is a Surface pro. The RT will only run Metro apps

    10. Zok
      Posted 18/10/2012 at 5:44 pm | Permalink |

      “…version of Microsoft Office customised for the Surgave” was meant to be “…for the Surface”, I guess. Although, even that is incorrect, in two ways — no apps will be customized for the Surface; they will be re-written for Windows 8/Windows Store (formerly known as ‘Metro’). ;)

      Windows Store apps will run on any Windows 8 tablet or PC, not just Microsoft Surface.

    11. Nick
      Posted 21/10/2012 at 9:57 am | Permalink |

      might be time to update my Snow Leopard AcerOne hackintosh.
      will be waiting for a surface hackintosh




    Get our 'Best of the Week' newsletter on Fridays

    Just the most important stories, one email a week.

    Email address:


  • Most Popular Content


  • Six smart secrets for nurturing customer relationships
    [ad] Today, we are experiencing a world where behind every app, every device, and every connection, is a customer. Your customers will demand you to be where they and managing customer relationship is the key to your business’s growth. The question is where do you start? Click here to download six free whitepapers to help you connect with your customers in a whole new way.
  • Enterprise IT stories

    • NetSuite in whole of business TurboSmart deal turbosmart

      Business-focused software as a service giant NetSuite has unveiled yet another win with a mid-sized Australian company, revealing a deal with automotive performance products manufacturer Turbosmart that has seen the company deploy a comprehensive suite of NetSuite products across its business.

    • WA Health told: Hire a goddamn CIO already doctor

      A state parliamentary committee has told Western Australia’s Department of Health to end four years of acting appointments and hire a permanent CIO, in the wake of news that the lack of such an executive role in the department contributed directly to the fiasco at the state’s new Fiona Stanley Hospital, much of which has revolved around poorly delivered IT systems.

    • Former whole of Qld Govt CIO Grant resigns petergrant

      High-flying IT executive Peter Grant has left his senior position in the Queensland State Government, a year after the state demoted him from the whole of government chief information officer role he had held for the second time.

    • Hills dumped $18m ERP/CRM rollout for Salesforce.com hills

      According to a blog post published by Salesforce.com today, one of Ted Pretty’s first moves upon taking up managing director role at iconic Australian brand Hills in 2012 was to halt an expensive traditional business software project and call Salesforce.com instead.

    • Dropbox opens Sydney office koalabox

      Cloud computing storage player Dropbox has announced it is opening an office in Sydney, as competition in the local enterprise cloud storage market accelerates.

    • Heartbleed, internal outages: CBA’s horror 24 hours commbankatm

      The Commonwealth Bank’s IT division has suffered something of a nightmare 24 hours, with a catastrophic internal IT outage taking down multiple systems and resulting in physical branches being offline, and the bank separately suffering public opprobrium stemming from contradictory statements it made with respect to potential vulnerabilities stemming from the Heartbleed OpenSSL bug.

    • Android in the enterprise: Three Aussie examples from Samsung androidapple

      Forget iOS and Windows. Today we present three decently sized deployments of Android in the Australian market on Samsung’s hardware, which the Korean vendor has dug up from its archives over the past several years for us after a little prompting :)

    • Businesslink cancelled Office 365 rollout cancelled

      Microsoft has been on a bit of a tear recently in Australia with its cloud-based Office 365 platform, signing up major customers such as the Queensland Government, Qantas, V8 Supercars and rental chain Mr Rental. And it’s not hard to see why, with the platform’s hybrid cloud/traditional deployment model giving customers substantial options. However, as iTNews reported last week, it hasn’t been all plain sailing for Redmond in this arena.

    • Qld Govt inks $26.5m deal for Office 365 walker

      The Queensland State Government yesterday announced it had signed a $26.5 million deal with Microsoft which will gain the state access to Microsoft’s Office 365 software and services platform. However, with the deal not covering operating system licences and not being mandatory for departments and agencies, it remains unclear what its impact will be.

    • Hospital IT booking system ‘putting lives at risk’ doctor

      A new IT booking platform at the Austin Hospital and Olivia Newton-John Cancer and Wellness Centre in Melbourne is reportedly placing the welfare of patients with serious conditions at risk.

  • Enterprise IT, News - Apr 17, 2014 16:39 - 0 Comments

    NetSuite in whole of business TurboSmart deal

    More In Enterprise IT


    News, Telecommunications - Apr 17, 2014 11:01 - 151 Comments

    Turnbull lies on NBN to Triple J listeners

    More In Telecommunications


    Featured, Industry, News - Apr 17, 2014 9:28 - 1 Comment

    Campaign Monitor takes US$250m from US VC

    More In Industry


    Digital Rights, News - Apr 17, 2014 12:41 - 15 Comments

    Anti-piracy lobbyist enjoys cozy email chats with AGD Secretary

    More In Digital Rights