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Surface

Microsoft delivers new batch of Surface firmware updates

It's Patch Tuesday, yet again. And as it often does, Microsoft is rolling out a number of Surface firmware updates as part of it.

There are no firmware updates for the ARM-based Surface RT this month, according to Microsoft's update history page. But the other three Surface devices are all getting numerous updates that users will see listed as "System Firmware Update - 3/11/2014" in their update histories on their devices.

All three are getting keyboard/cover updates, including a driver that supports the new Surface Power Covers that Microsoft will begin making available as of March 19. … Read more

Hey Microsoft, Surface 2 is great, but clear up something please

It might be a good idea now for Microsoft to be more public about the direction of its tablet operating system so consumers know what they're buying into.

I like the Surface 2 and the Nokia Lumia 2520. A lot. As hardware, they're two of the best tablets out there. Bar none (including iPads).

But Windows RT, as it stands now, is in no-man's-land. It's not the Windows 8.1 that comes on PCs and it's not Windows Phone 8.

And it's been that way too long -- since October 2012.

So far, the … Read more

Microsoft's Surface 2 cleared for takeoff in cockpit

Microsoft's Surface 2 has officially won Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approval for all phases of air travel, the company announced on Monday.

The FAA's authorization covers classes one and two for the Electronic Flight Bag. Historically, pilots have brought with them on flights a full flight bag consisting of everything from reference documents to checklists to carts. All of that paper used fuel on planes, prompting Delta last year to opt to deploy the Surface 2 to Boeing 757 and Boeing 767 pilots. Pilots of other airplanes will be added this year.

At launch last year, the Surface … Read more

Microsoft could give you $250 in credit for your phone or tablet

Microsoft has a new trade-in deal designed to get you to shop at its retail stores.

Running from February 2 through March 2, or while supplies last, the trade-in offer promises up to $250 in Microsoft Store credit for a mobile phone or tablet. The offer seems open to any device though it has to meet certain criteria.

The device must power on and be fully functional. No broken or missing parts or cracks on the screen or housing. No liquid damage. No password protection. (Hmm, that one seems like a no-brainer.) And it must include all of its original … Read more

Windows 8.1 Metro: Start or stop?

The Metro screen certainly has had its detractors. Is Microsoft now one of them?

The touch-friendly tiled start screen, aka Metro, that greets everyone in Windows 8.1 may be in danger of being demoted, if reports are to be believed this week.

One report claimed that Microsoft is testing a scenario where the OS boots to the desktop by default (not as an option), bypassing the touch-centric Metro screen.

Of course, it's merely a rumor at this point because no one really knows if Microsoft will in fact implement this when the Windows 8.1 Update 1 is … Read more

Best Buy slashes price of Surface Pro by $400

Anyone interested in the original Surface Pro tablet can save a hefty amount of cash through a new sale at Best Buy.

The promo trims $400 off the regular retail price of $900, bringing your cost down to just $500. The offer is valid online and at Best Buy retail outlets, but it's only good Friday and Saturday.

The Surface Pro comes with 128GB of storage space, a 10.6-inch ClearType HD display with a 1,920x1080 resolution, 720p HD video cameras on the front and rear, and a stylus pen.

Other retailers have trimmed the price of the … Read more

Deciphering Surface updates: What users got and when

January 2014 wasn't the best month for Microsoft Surface users trying to make sense of which updates arrived for their devices.

Patch Tuesday came and went without any word on expected firmware updates. Shortly thereafter, various updates -- some marked as firmware and some labeled as "hardware" updates or as more mundane reliability and performance fixes -- began arriving via Windows Update on users' devices.

I've heard from Surface Pro 2 users who've been plagued by what seems to be the same firmware update being delivered to their machines repeatedly, despite the fact that they … Read more

Microsoft tops Q2 earnings expectations, still no new CEO

This may turn out to be the first earnings report where Microsoft's actual financial results are a sideshow to the main event.

Microsoft reported fiscal second-quarter results Thursday that were better than expected. The company had sales of $24.5 billion and 78 cents per share. Wall Street had expected revenue of $23.7 billion with a profit of 68 cents a share.

But the bigger news -- who will replace Steve Ballmer as the company's next chief executive? -- remains in the realm of a press release, at least for the foreseeable future. The company had nothing … Read more

iPad, Surface, Kindle owners reveal their top gripes

Got a beef about your iPad, Surface, or Kindle tablet? Join the club.

The new holiday report from Q&A site FixYa sifted through thousands of problems reported by its Web site users to determine the most common grievances. The tablets that faced the firing squad included Apple's iPad Air and Retina Display iPad Mini, Microsoft's Surface 2, and Amazon's Kindle HDX. Let's see how they fared.

Microsoft's Surface 2 The Surface 2 was dinged for its poor app support, speaker quality, and Touch Cover keyboard. Users applauded the Microsoft Office suite that comes … Read more

Microsoft may add Kinect-like detection to Surface Mini

Owners of the much-rumored Surface Mini may be able to control the tablet via face and hand recognition. At least, that's the latest tidbit served up by Chinese blog site WPDang.

Pointing to information from an anonymous news source, WPDang said that the Surface Mini will adopt the same type of somatosensory technology used in Microsoft's Kinect. That means the tablet would be able to recognize and react to your face and hand movements. The source also claims that the feature would work more smoothly than the gesture capability currently offered on Samsung's Galaxy S4 and Note … Read more