blog You may have noticed, if you’ve bought one of Microsoft’s new Surface tablets, that you haven’t actually gotten the storage you paid for. If you buy a 32GB Surface, you only get 16GB of usable space, with the rest taken up by Windows 8 RT and its associated apps. A similar situation applies with the 64GB model, where you only get 45GB of space.
Consumer watchdog Choice objects to this kind of behaviour, and has referred Microsoft to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission over the situation. Choice writes (we recommend you click here for the full article):
“According [to] Microsoft’s own website, the 32GB version has only 16GB of available hard disk space and the 64GB version has only 45GB of available hard disk space. However, this information does not appear on the actual Surface packaging, so it’s unlikely consumers will be aware of it when making their purchasing decision.”
To be honest, while Microsoft’s storage use is a little extreme in this case, we can’t say we think this is a huge deal. If you buy almost any smartphone, tablet, PC or Mac or, basically, any device which has a hard disk and some form of operating system, you’re likely to find the same situation, and many reviews state explicitly that only a certain percentage of the advertised space is actually usable. After two decades of buying computing devices en-masse, we think most people understand this. However, the Surface example is a little bit more extreme than most, so there may be a case for the ACCC to step in here. Just don’t hold your breath waiting for Microsoft to comply.
Image credit: Microsoft