Microsoft Surface Pro Storage Snafu: Does It Matter? - InformationWeek

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Microsoft Surface Pro Storage Snafu: Does It Matter?
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GAProgrammer
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GAProgrammer,
User Rank: Ninja
1/31/2013 | 8:07:29 PM
re: Microsoft Surface Pro Storage Snafu: Does It Matter?
This article misses the point - the Surface Pro isn't BYOD. It's hardware that can be doles out by IT. It's the only tablet available, out of the box, that can be plugged into existing AD infrastructure. Also, it's impossible that the 128 GB won't cannibalize sales of the lesser models - only power users of the iPad (aka existing users) will be buying the 128GB version. That means those same buyers will not be buying the lesser version, which is cannibalism.

The jury is out still, but losing 70% of the lower Surface Pro is a big deal. I would be furious to pay $900 and find out I only have 30% of my drive to use.
Verdumont Monte
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Verdumont Monte,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/31/2013 | 8:46:47 PM
re: Microsoft Surface Pro Storage Snafu: Does It Matter?
That is fine, but the key issue is, you cannot use it as a traditional windows desktop, unless you install stuff on the SDcard. With my past employer, we had lot of bloated tools, which would be a nice fit for the tablet environment, but needs gigabytes of space. One example on top of my head was the application which was used to project the sales figures in the form of "cubes", the application itself was not that big, but it stored the data without any compression, so 600 MB files for each month was "normal". If you advertise yourselves as "Enterprise friendly" device, these sort of basic stuff should not be compromised.
Michael Endler
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Michael Endler,
User Rank: Author
2/1/2013 | 10:47:04 PM
re: Microsoft Surface Pro Storage Snafu: Does It Matter?
Thanks for the comment, GAProgrammer. You bring up a good point that probably should have been emphasized somewhere in the article: the Surface Pro has a built-in customer base because it snugly fits a certain, important segment's needs. As a corporate-owned device distributed to employees, it will see a lot of use. But I think Orr has a point in the article about Microsoft's retails intentions, which suggest the company has bigger (i.e. BYOD) aspirations. The million-unit initial shipment shows that Microsoft isn't betting the farm on consumer appeal, but I think they hope it becomes more than an IT favorite. We'll see, though.

Good call with the cannibalization comment. It would have been more accurate to say analysts expect minimal cannibalization. Given the high SSD margins they'll be enjoying alongside whatever cannibalization occurs, I suspect Apple will be happy however it shakes down.

Michael Endler
InformationWeek Associate Editor
Verdumont Monte
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Verdumont Monte,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/31/2013 | 8:50:54 PM
re: Microsoft Surface Pro Storage Snafu: Does It Matter?
One key issue with older windows, even with 7, it unnecessarily caches the installation files, service pack files during each update. Why do you ever need those files? People will not be using tablets as their main workstation, so like Google and apple devices, MS should just have the raw essential binaries in their tablet. Esepcially in an enterprise scenario, you could possibly host all these files in a central location and have it used whenever necessary. This where MS fails to innovate. They could do more with the existing tools and design, but they fail to think out of box.
AustinIT
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AustinIT,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/1/2013 | 6:25:12 AM
re: Microsoft Surface Pro Storage Snafu: Does It Matter?
Windows caches installation files in what is known as Side-By-Side. This is for "self healing" when files get corrupted, etc. You'll notice that many applications can be "repaired" in Programs and Features. Side by Side is where the repair files come from.

As they say... "You don't need it - until you Need it".
Verdumont Monte
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Verdumont Monte,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/4/2013 | 3:55:56 PM
re: Microsoft Surface Pro Storage Snafu: Does It Matter?
Can't the files used for so called "self-healing", reside in a centralized location, atleast in an enterprise setting? It has been well demonstrated with iOS and Andriod that this model does work. All the binaries are stored at the Appstore / Andriod Play store, and reinstall solves the problem 99% and remainint 1% is solved by clearing the application data. For example, Netflix app got stuck in the loading screen and all I had to do was to deactivate from their website and enter the login info again. BTW, it has been done at my previous employer. They disabled caching of O2K10 install files and have it refer to a centralized share.
Leo Regulus
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Leo Regulus,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/31/2013 | 9:41:22 PM
re: Microsoft Surface Pro Storage Snafu: Does It Matter?
Yes, it matters. No, it's not a 'Snafu'. (IMHO) It was planned that way.
Michael Endler
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Michael Endler,
User Rank: Author
2/1/2013 | 10:07:49 PM
re: Microsoft Surface Pro Storage Snafu: Does It Matter?
Thanks for the comment, Leo. I think "snafu" is defensible (this definition, for example, seems to fit many reactions: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L...,

Diction aside, you're right: Microsoft was no doubt aware of the storage situation when they designed the Surface Pro. If MS had marketed the capacity a bit more transparently, I don't think there'd be any discussion. As many people (and the article) have pointed out, iPads can be just as limiting in terms of storage. Storage capacity will be a big deal for some, but for others, I don't think the issue is usable space, per se, so much as the vibe Microsoft has given off in its marketing.

I like the Surface RT and have little doubt that the Surface Pro will be a capable device. But I think Microsoft needs to manage its messaging. Given the Surface RT lawsuit, this storage mess was pretty foreseeable.
Johnnythegeek
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Johnnythegeek,
User Rank: Strategist
1/31/2013 | 10:21:25 PM
re: Microsoft Surface Pro Storage Snafu: Does It Matter?
I have always had issue with the storage capacity of any of these devices. iPads, Surface or other tablets.
The value to me is not the best and you pay a steep price (especially on Surface Pro) for a device with limited storage. Even though it does have abilities to use SD storage. I had a Apple Macbook Air when they first came out. I opted for 256Gb storage and not the standard 128. I was certainly glade I did. Because unlike IOS for the iPad. OSX has like Windows swelled in size and also added a restore partition to the added space taken up even before you load a single program, file or picture. In my view a lack of storage almost forces you to save in the cloud which has its own set of problems. Mainly security and access.
Plus I would much rather have my files stored inside a device on a Flash memory. Then risk losing a SD card full of my files or forget to bring it. That's just my thoughts.
MyW0r1d
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MyW0r1d,
User Rank: Strategist
2/1/2013 | 4:12:28 PM
re: Microsoft Surface Pro Storage Snafu: Does It Matter?
Storage has been an issue on these limited devices. At least there is a SD card slot and USB capability in recognition of the limitation (my iPad has none of that). I've always archived to external USB devices since they were available for long term stability through the evolution of jobs, laptops and PCs as they are replaced.
Michael Endler
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Michael Endler,
User Rank: Author
2/1/2013 | 10:57:27 PM
re: Microsoft Surface Pro Storage Snafu: Does It Matter?
It'll be interesting to see how Surface Pro gets received and used. I can appreciate the viewpoint that says it's ludicrous to clog up 70% of the SSD with the OS, and that SD Cards are cumbersome additional steps that make the device more difficult than it should be. But if I also think about whether I'd enjoy using one, carrying an SD card or a flash drive doesn't seem like THAT big a deal. Inconvenient, sure, but not a deal-breaker. It makes me think of Canon DSLRs a little, which often look uninspired on paper but generally handle better than other options in practice. I'm not saying Surface Pro will end up similarly, with the device fitting a need so well that users overlook its lesser characteristics. In fact, I think it's more likely that a group of people is going to remain dismayed by the storage issue regardless. But I think Surface Pro can gain fans in certain quarters, and it'll be interesting to see how many.
bretus
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bretus,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/1/2013 | 10:31:30 AM
re: Microsoft Surface Pro Storage Snafu: Does It Matter?
It will probably gobble up hard drive space like all windows products do
So abscence of sd card slot is a bit stupid . not everyone wants to use the cloud.
SO WONT BE BUYING . But will buy if later models come with sd card slot .
Wonder if the battery is replaceable, since most laptop batteries only last 1 to 2 years.The battery in the surface pro will get quite a hammering given only about 4 to 5 hours use before recharge.
A tablet with windows 8 should come with at least 250GB with ability to expand .
If its got a laptop proccessor it should have laptop storage
I can not understand the logic of having sd slot in the RT and not in the PRO.
Surface Pro with decent storage would have made big inroads into ipads sales.
In other words i want a laptop tablet, when will someone make one?
avwidw
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avwidw,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/1/2013 | 6:47:00 PM
re: Microsoft Surface Pro Storage Snafu: Does It Matter?
...read the article:
"additional memory can easily be added via Surface Pro's microSDXC card slot and USB 3.0 port, and that SkyDrive, Microsoft's cloud service, provides additional options."
moarsauce123
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moarsauce123,
User Rank: Ninja
2/1/2013 | 7:21:45 PM
re: Microsoft Surface Pro Storage Snafu: Does It Matter?
After spending thousand bucks I don't want to add more storage just to get use of the Pro - no matter how easy it is.
bretus
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bretus,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/2/2013 | 1:02:08 AM
re: Microsoft Surface Pro Storage Snafu: Does It Matter?
My mistake about SDXC slot, previous articals have stated that only the RT had SDXC. So would have to get a catogery 6 or higher SDXC card for performance.
Which makes it expensive space.Much prefer larger hard drive
Would you buy a laptop with 128GB drive?
I dont want my files on the cloud for my own reasons
And plug in space just isnt good enough
The little bit of space that it does have will soon be gobbled up with updates ect
The surface Pro should have been released with a minimun 250GB plus SDXC slot
Buy the time i put my apps on this divice there wont be much left
This makes the Surface Pro a Failure
Why have a laptop proccessor and operating system on a device with slightly more storage than a mobile phone.
My Nokia N900 has 96GB of space and i can still increase it to 160GB
Which is the reason for looking at the pro because i want a larger screen to run my apps on... most of them being diagnostic
AustinIT
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AustinIT,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/2/2013 | 2:29:36 PM
re: Microsoft Surface Pro Storage Snafu: Does It Matter?
I really don't get the complaints about Pro. For once you have a tablet device with dual personalities (tablet/laptop) that runs the full blown Windows OS, has 128Gb of faster and more reliable SSD (vs. spinning disk) storage, has an SD slot, has USB 3 on board, and connects to cloud storage via either SkyDrive or Sharepoint. Try getting all that on an iPad.

Any OS with installed programs is going to suck up disk space. More SSD storage equals more space and more cost. So compromises are inevitable in the tablet sized devices. You can thank the SSD drive makers for the limitations and extra expense. Don't blame MS or Apple, etc. for that.
bretus
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bretus,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/3/2013 | 12:33:36 AM
re: Microsoft Surface Pro Storage Snafu: Does It Matter?
The Cloud is not every where. It is fine for city dwellers but out in the field in a lot af instances it doesnt exist.
Its only as good as the 3g reception.There are plenty of black spots even in the cities which have verry poor speeds
A 250 GB SSD is not new technoligy it is a cheaper upgrade than SDXC
When im working i dont want to depend on streaming data that should already be on my tablet, that is inefficient.Because of the small SSD I would be operating from SDXC having to swap them around.
My 3 year old Nokia N900 can manage it why can't Surface Pro
I dont want to buy a device that will be at full capacity from day one
The Surface Pro is a competitor for the macbook air or similar not the ipad. The Surface RT would be copetitor for ipad.
The point is would you pay an extra $100 AU for a 250GB SSD.
Even if microsoft made $0 on the upgrade it would translate to a lot more sales. Perception is everything.


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