Microsoft VP Panos Panay has been answering questions relating to Windows 8's storage needs on the Surface Pro tablet and the Microsoft slate's limited battery life.
The Surface-related discussion on Reddit saw Panay and his team reveal the thinking behind some of the tablet's less popular features, and hint at some future accessories that might be in store.
It was reported recently that the storage needs of Windows 8 Pro itself and pre-installed apps could leave the 128GB Surface Pro with just 83GB of available space and the 64GB Surface Pro with just 23GB (we reported 19GB).
However, Microsoft now says those estimates are conservative.
“Initial reports out regarding available disk space were conservative (eg. 23GB available on 64GB and 83GB available on the 128GB system), however our final production units are coming in with 6-7GB additional free space,” Panay and co revealed via Reddit.
He pointed out that the relatively large storage space taken up by default was a deliberate decision, and made it possible to upgrade quickly and easily to a full version of Office plus included a recovery image by default.
As for battery life, Panay returned the expected argument that in the end battery life involved a trade-off between performance and portability.
“If you compare it to say a MacBook Air, you will quickly see that pound for pound in battery size vs battery life, you will find optimizations that puts Surface best in its class.”
As for the possibility of further accessories, it all comes down to the new connector plates at the bottom edge of the Surface Pro, which aren't there on the Surface RT.
“At launch we talked about the 'accessory spine' and hinted at future peripherals that can click in and do more,” the company noted. “Those connectors look like can carry more current than the pogo pins, don't they?”
Turns out Microsoft is quite the tease, though it did clarify afterwards to The Verge that an own-brand dock isn't among the possibilities that may in the works. Still, you'd think the deliberate decision to sacrifice battery life for portability means a future battery-boosting add-on of some kind is a no-brainer.
Just to confirm, we still don't have a clue when Microsoft will actually start selling the Surface Pro here in the UK, or what it'll cost.