Microsoft Surface will be Wi-Fi-only at first

Microsoft Surface will be Wi-Fi-only at firstMicrosoft's Surface tablet will initially be available solely in Wi-Fi-only form, with a version offering mobile connectivity only set to follow at a later stage.

That's according to Bloomberg's sources, who reckon Microsoft will look to get the ball rolling with the Wi-Fi variant while it finalises terms with the mobile networks.

Microsoft certainly got everyone's attention when it unveiled the Windows 8-powered Surface earlier this week, and for good reason: it's the company's most serious foray yet into the hardware game after decades of success as a software company.

But it was telling that the big reveal came and went without any mention of pricing or availability, and given the fact that the full specification hasn't yet materialised either, it suggests that a fair bit of work still needs to be done before the Surface actually goes on sale.

“The way that Microsoft is positioning this product – that it’s highly mobile but also has the functionality of a notebook – that customer might be more interested in working from any location and not being bound by Wi-Fi,” Creative Strategies analyst Ben Bajarin argues.

Assuming Bloomberg's claims are true (and it sounds entirely plausible), everything will depend on just how much of a delay we're talking about – and indeed when the Wi-Fi-only Surface touches down in the first place.

Microsoft may be new to the mobile hardware game, but it doesn't take much looking to find any number of cautionary tales from the past few years illustrating just how damaging it can be to announce a new product and then keep people waiting months and months for the end product.

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9 comments

JanSt / MOD  Jun. 22, 2012 at 16:05

Microsoft may be new to the mobile hardware game, but it doesn't take much looking to find any number of cautionary tales from the past few years illustrating just how damaging it can be to announce a new product and then keep people waiting months and months for the end product.

Agree... but the new BFF has always been quite 'good' at that ;)

barrybarryk  Jun. 22, 2012 at 16:13

No mention of availability or price?
It runs Windows 8, the RT will launch with Windows 8, the pro 90 days later. What's hard to understand there?
RT priced comparable to similar tablets with the pro priced similar to ultrabooks, for a product line that's roughly 3-4 months from release that's more specific than most.

WiFi only doesn't really bother me, I'd have no intention of tethering it to a contract anyway.

JanSt / MOD  Jun. 22, 2012 at 16:44

No mention of availability or price?
It runs Windows 8, the RT will launch with Windows 8, the pro 90 days later. What's hard to understand there?
RT priced comparable to similar tablets with the pro priced similar to ultrabooks, for a product line that's roughly 3-4 months from release that's more specific than most.

WiFi only doesn't really bother me, I'd have no intention of tethering it to a contract anyway.


I glimpsed a tweet earlier where someone claimed $599 and $900 respectively... Lost the link :(

matt101101 / MOD  Jun. 22, 2012 at 16:48

$900 isn't too bad, though I think I'd still rather have a "proper" ultrabook, such as the Asus UX31 or Acer Aspire S5, they're both cheaper and both have i7 processors as an option.

barrybarryk  Jun. 22, 2012 at 16:50

yeah there was a supposed 'leak' earlier tbh that's a bit cheaper than I'd have thought but it is more or less inline with a wifi only ipad with the same memory for the RT.

And the pro is fair bit cheaper than I'd have thought, if they do their annoying 'we don't like straight up currency conversion so UK and Europe can expect to pay nearly double' I'll just import or get someone heading to the states to bring me one back.

matt101101 / MOD  Jun. 22, 2012 at 16:54

As of right now, $900 is 577 GBP, not too bad for something that's extremely multifunctional and powerful.

SpeedyG  Jun. 22, 2012 at 18:22

I have 2 WP7 phones, yet a bit of me wants Microsoft to flop with Surface and WP8/RT not to be as revolutionary as they make it out to be.

I'm I wrong here? ;)

matt101101 / MOD  Jun. 22, 2012 at 18:29

I have 2 WP7 phones, yet a bit of me wants Microsoft to flop with Surface and WP8/RT not to be as revolutionary as they make it out to be.

I'm I wrong here? ;)

You bought one....then bought another?!

SpeedyG  Jun. 22, 2012 at 19:03

I have 2 WP7 phones, yet a bit of me wants Microsoft to flop with Surface and WP8/RT not to be as revolutionary as they make it out to be.

I'm I wrong here? ;)

You bought one....then bought another?!


No, I got one as a gift so to speak and another one was given up by my Dad whoidn't know how to use it and decided to pay the contract instead.

I didn't pay a pennny. X)

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