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Microsoft Businesses

Microsoft, Dell Aim To Sell Surfaces To Businesses 74

jfruh writes: Microsoft became an OS and PC behemoth in part by relentless focus on business sales, and is partnering with old friend Dell to try to recreate that success, trying to woo companies into buying Surface Pros loaded with Windows 10. It may seem topsy-turvey that Dell would be selling someone else's hardware, but Dell is offering ancillary services, including warranties, on the Microsoft hardware.
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Microsoft, Dell Aim To Sell Surfaces To Businesses

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  • I look forward to my new Dell cup holder!
    • Translation (Score:3, Insightful)

      Translation: Microsoft hopes that Dell can move the piles of unsold Surface inventory that is collecting dust.

      • Like I said, cup holders.
      • While the ARM based Surface RT / Windows RT line was a disaster, I thought the x86 based Surface Pros sold fairly well.

        • The Surface Pro is more expensive than a similar (or more powerful) laptop and a decent tablet. Of course the tablet isn't running Windows, which is really the goal here.

          Does anyone know of a decent Windows Tablet?

          • I like my Winbook, but could use it if it had 64GB of Flash drive space instead of 32.
          • If you aren't stuck on the flat object-ness of the tablet form factor, Dell has some decent Windows 10 laptops that have touchscreens. Works well so far, except my son kept exiting the "good" on-screen keyboard so I had to set the service to always restart it if it stopped. The inability to totally disable the analytics stuff still bothers me, but for $500 including a 3 year "accidental damage and spills" next day on site warranty (buy from the business side!) I consider it a *much* better deal than anyth

          • by armanox ( 826486 )

            I just bought a 10" Winbook that isn't horrible - even has a full size USB 3.0 port on it.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Overzeetop ( 214511 )

        Um, I'm pretty sure surface is one of the bright spots at MS at the moment. Last year they were selling a million a quarter, and revenue year on year is more than doubling in the surface line.

        Right now there's nothing out there with the power (real i5/i7, large SSD) and functionality (pressure sensitive digitizer) in as small a package. For perhaps the first time ever, new products are being identified as "a Surface clone", such as the new Lenovo 700 and the iPad Pro.

        It's got its flaws, but the v3 lines - b

      • Dell, as ex Perot Systems, could be selling services and the Surfaces could probably be a part of that package. I think that's the Dell being referred to in this story?
      • Surface is actually selling really well from everything I have seen so I doubt unsold inventory is a problem. The issues they have is MS is not setup for hardware support. We saw this directly with the difficulties in getting from the surface devices we had replaced/repaired after user abuse (drops, spills etc). dell have the hardware support network.
  • by crgrace ( 220738 ) on Wednesday September 09, 2015 @04:01PM (#50489449)

    I remember seeing a lot of private label printers and monitors in the Dell catalog over the years. They also have a history of selling Microsoft products. I recall significant catalog space for the Zune, for instance.

    • Dell pretty much ONLY sells other people's hardware these days, I'm not really sure what TFA is smoking. They have a few internally designed products left that I know of, but almost all of it is various tiers of rebranded bullshit, from just stamping a Dell logo on someone elses turd, to having foxconn, msi, etc. do the electrical design and integrating those into assemblies someone else also puts together.

      Dell has essentially become a stuffed shirt operation with a big ole rubber stamper. There was a while

      • Dell pretty much ONLY sells other people's hardware these days, I'm not really sure what TFA is smoking. They have a few internally designed products left that I know of, but almost all of it is various tiers of rebranded bullshit, from just stamping a Dell logo on someone elses turd, to having foxconn, msi, etc. do the electrical design and integrating those into assemblies someone else also puts together.

        I'm not sure what *you're* smoking.

        What do you think Microsoft hardware is? Made in a factory in Redm

        • by crgrace ( 220738 )

          I'm not sure what *you're* smoking.

          What do you think Microsoft hardware is? Made in a factory in Redmond by Microsoft employees? Hahaha. Microsoft has long had their hardware designed by ODMs and made by CMs. According to this article [infoworld.com], Taiwanese company Pegatron makes the Surface tablets, and is also an iPad supplier.

          *Every* American electronics company these days outsources their manufacturing and frequently their design to Asian companies. No one does any of that stuff here any more, except defense contractors of course.

          That is simply not true. Many electronics companies have outsourced their manufacturing but they still mostly keep the design in-house. The Surface was designed in Redmond, WA, (http://www.engadget.com/2015/03/31/microsoft-surface-3-design/ [engadget.com])

          Apple products are famously designed for the most part in Cupertino. Amazon designs its Kindles in Silicon Valley. I could go on...

        • Definitely not every American company outsources design, even Dell still has a very few in-house design groups, it used to be much larger but they alienated the engineers and ran them off. Apple, Amazon, Facebook, and many, many others still design in the US.

          In terms of manufacturing, your hyperbole is far closer to being true, Apple and Motorola have/have-had efforts here in the US to manufacture certain products, but for the most part that is sadly offshore for almost all high-volume products. However eve

  • by Anonymous Coward
    You can pry my desktop, keyboard, mouse, and triple monitor setup from my dead cold hands.
    • by Pascoea ( 968200 )
      I was happy to give up my boat-anchor of a laptop at work. Comment submitted from my triple screen [2 external + built in], external keyboard and mouse operated Surface Pro 3 tablet. If I could have a "do-over" I would have requested the i7 version with 8GB of RAM instead of the i5+4GB combo I have. There are very few things I have asked it to do that it hasn't been able to do well.
    • I have the Surface Pro 3 as my primary desktop system. This is the note that I sent to our computer support staff when I specced-out what I wanted:

      Surface Pro 3 does indeed have a docking station (looks pretty complete):
      http://www.amazon.com/Microsof... [amazon.com]

      With this device, I can replicate my current office setup:
      DisplayPort 1.2 Multi-Stream Transport (MST) hub

      Here’s a link for one model:
      http://www.club-3d.com/index.p... [club-3d.com]

      This supports two external monitors. The tablet acts as a third monitor. You can actually support two without the hub, but that would entail plugging in a connector every time I return to the office.

      With an 8-GB RAM, and 512 GB storage model, I can pretty much duplicate my current laptop and docking station.
      http://www.amazon.com/Microsof... [amazon.com]

      I've been rather pleased with this setup. When I go to meetings, I just grab the tablet and go. Performance is good

      Not a paid shill!

      • Not a paid shill!

        So you're an unpaid shill then?

        I kid, I kid.

        I have a desktop with three monitors at my desk and a Winbook TW100 10" Windows 10 tablet I take with me to remote into the desktop. Not nearly as much horsepower as a SP3 but it is adequately smooth when doing office activities. And at $200 (right at $200 if you add the matching keyboard case) it won't break the bank.

      • I've been using the Surface Pro for mobile music production for over a year, as I've written here before. It is by far the best mobile, touch-based music production computer on the market today.

        It runs a full version of Pro-Tools, with all the VSTs and VSTi support you could want.

        I haven't taken my MacBook Pro to a field recording session in 9 months.

  • by TWX ( 665546 )
    I don't think that the Surface is rugged enough. People are not terribly kind to business equipment that they are provided with, and consumer-spec tablets do not seem to be up to snuff.
    • by bondsbw ( 888959 )

      True, but I've heard these cases [urbanarmorgear.com] are pretty good.

    • I've taken my Surface Pro 1 places I would have never thought to take a laptop. It's my primary business computer as well as my electronic notebook in the cleanroom and the lab (no case other than the occasional clean ziplock style bag - it's very useful for me to be able to seal my work laptop in a plastic bag for a few hours). It's also my vacation gaming machine... and I have a toddler who sometimes manages to get his hands on it. I've gone through 3 broken smart phones in the time I've had my Surface

  • by denis-The-menace ( 471988 ) on Wednesday September 09, 2015 @04:24PM (#50489659)

    At work we keep getting Surface-only issues:
    -Surface-Specific updates that won't stick
    -BT-gadget not connecting on Surface
    -Apps that works well except on Surface.

    This both Surface 2 and Surface 3. WTF MS! This is supposed to be your flagship device!

    I was sitting on the fence on getting one myself because they look well built until the Snoop-dates. That was the last straw for me.
    At home, I'm moving on to Mint or something else.

    • by Curate ( 783077 )
      Issues with Surface 2 and Surface 3? Or issues with Surface Pro 2 and Surface Pro 3? Huge difference. The Pros are full laptop replacements, running standard Windows (x86 based, runs Win32 apps); while the non-Pros are glorified phones (ARM based, runs only WinRT apps).
      • The Surface 3 (non-Pro) is NOT an ARM/WinRT device, it is an x86 device. It does, however, benchmark slower than the ARM based iPad Air 2.
        • by Curate ( 783077 )
          Ah thanks for the clarification. I stopped following the evolution of the non-Pro line since it was decidedly not interesting to me in its WinRT form.
    • I have similar problems with updates from windows update on my surface pro (1). I've had to reset the thing back to factory defaults in order to remove updates more than once. It's not you.
    • I was waiting for a basher as this is Slashdot and only SystemD gets more hate :-)

      Surface is fine. Your IT got hit with the bad update for Windows 8.1 that was revoked. Use this troubleshooter [microsoft.com]. Your team should test more before deployment

  • Microsoft partnership?

    Dump your Dell shares while there is still time.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Dump your Dell shares while there is still time.

      How? Dell is no longer publicly traded. OTOH, you are very unlikely to actually own any Dell shares, unless you are Michael Dell or Silver Lake Partners.

  • Still can't push them eh....
    • Only if you have your eyes closed in the industry. The Surface Pro line is getting real traction in governments and education across the world, and it makes for a good personal device too IMO. I bought one after using one at my previous job. Aside from a few bugs I think they are great.

  • >> in part by relentless focus on business sales

    "in part"...vs...."relentless focus" - which is it?

  • I think that's smashing news. Microsoft branded hardware with Microsoft software, and on top of all that you get Dell quality service. What an age we live in. Now excuse me, I have to go turn the gas on so it's ready for dinner in 4 hours.

  • by thegarbz ( 1787294 ) on Thursday September 10, 2015 @04:07AM (#50492945)

    I have a Surface Pro 3 for about a year now. It's a fantastic little device which I like a lot. But that said it does have a couple of issues unbecoming of a flagship product. A few bugs that I've noticed:

    - The pen every so often goes to max sensitivity registering touches before even touching down on the screen. Remove and reinsert the battery fixes it.
    - Windows gets confused with the keyboard state leading to situations where you can't log in because the keyboard is folded back but it's not displaying the on-screen keyboard. Likewise this locks the screen rotation at sometimes inopp

    But the biggest and most stupid bug of them all:
    - Microsoft's graphics driver for the GPU exhibits extreme banding and the screen flickers while on battery. This is fixed by forcefully installing the driver from Intel's website, but every few months Windows Update reinstalls the Microsoft driver.

    In my opinion if Microsoft want to start being taken seriously as an integrated hardware/software vendor they need to start owning and fixing the bugs on their flagship product.

    • I think what you are saying goes a long way to illustrate what an amazingly adaptable creature the average human is; personally, I would have thrown it away in a howling rage long ago, if I'd had that sort of trouble.

      Apart from that, I think the whole tablet concept has come to the end of it development, really; there probably won't be many more useful features that can be added. Apple nailed it, Android managed to wedge themselves in because Apple's business model iss too exclusive, and Microsoft were simp

      • I actually disagree a LOT with the notion that Apple nailed it. Apple nailed part of it. The iPad is a nice little device for sitting down and reading the news and that's about it.

        Personally it took transformer type devices for me to gain a real interest in the form factor. The iPad was infuriatingly basic when it came to doing any type of work or content creation, even for things it could in theory excel at like drawing on a screen. I hated it for emails, I hated it for note taking, but I absolute love it

        • I actually disagree a LOT with the notion that Apple nailed it.

          So do I, although I can see why you might think otherwise. I think tablets as they have developed so far, are a load of crap, but Apple certainly took over the market and managed to define the whole concept. Tablets could potentially be great, but they aren't, not least because of the captivity of the audience and the built-in spy-ware, which is present even in Android, it seems.

          This is really sad, because it could have been a very useful device for when you are out and about, but instead tablet computers s

      • Apple nailed it? really? things like the surface pro are becoming so popular as apple DIDN'T nail it. They created a great media consumption device, but it is a dismal failure when you try to use them for most business scenarios. Not sure the Surface Pro's completely nailed it either, but they are a significant step up from what apple pushes (when looked at from a business perspective).
  • Microsoft became an OS and PC behemoth in part by relentless focus on business sales

    No, they became a dominant player with an abusive contract which said everybody had to pay Microsoft.

    Yes, they focused heavily on business, and still see the world as Office and Outlook ... but let's not start pretending they got where they are by selling a product in any other way than consumers not having much of a choice.

    People had to go to court for the right to buy a computer without paying Microsoft. It's easier to ra

  • I work in an IT dept supporting end-users of all types. We have 40 different models we support with some a vintage age 8 years that are running just fine. Surfaces, although, have taken the PHBs by storm. They have constituted more RMAs, support issues, causes for reimaging, and general nuisances for all IT more than all other devices combined in 15 years, even though the constitute less than 1 percent of the fleet in the last 2 years.

The unfacts, did we have them, are too imprecisely few to warrant our certitude.