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Surface Pro has 128GB, but you can only use 83GB of it

 

Surface Pro

A handful of you are already planning on picking up the Surface Pro when it comes out February 9 (use that reservation card). Before you make the decision on whether to get the 64GB or 128GB version you should know about some storage issues. Like the original Surface RT, useable storage on the Surface Pro will be less than advertised. If you pick up the 128GB model you’re looking at 83GB left and if you pick up the 64GB version you’ll be stuck with 23Gb. Let that sink in.

We first brought the issue up in a From the Forums column, well technically you brought it up first, but it’s worth highlighting again since its making rounds around the blogosphere. Microsoft has released the following statement to a variety of outlets:

“The 128 GB version of Surface Pro has 83 GB of free storage out of the box. The 64GB version of Surface Pro has 23GB of free storage out of the box. Of course, Surface Pro has a USB 3.0 port for connectivity with almost limitless storage options, including external hard drives and USB flash drives. Surface also comes pre-loaded with SkyDrive, allowing you to store up to 7GB of content in the cloud for free. The device also includes a microSDXC card slot that lets you store up to 64GB of additional content to your device. Customers can also free up additional storage space by creating a backup bootable USB and deleting the recovery partition.”

While it’s definitely an advantage that you can add more storage with a microSD card, it’s still rather unfortunate so much space is used up by the OS, built-in apps, and the recovery partition. If you’re reading a tech site like ours, odds are you can easily remove the recovery partition by creating a backup bootable USB, but the average user out there won’t even know what’s wrong.

Knowing what you now know, which version of the Surface Pro are you going to go with? Can and should Microsoft communicate the situation and potential solutions to customers in a clear manner? Are they hoping to push SkyDrive? Sound off below or in this Windows Phone Central Forums discussion.

Source: Engadget

 

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Comments

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Kebero says:

How much of that is the recovery partition, which can be offloaded to external media?

Shane says:

8GB is the size of the recovery partition.

inteller says:

it also comes with a trial version of office which you can carve off of there for another 2Gb+ I'm guessing.

jsnod25 says:

3.5gb to be more precise...

inteller says:

lolz that's ridiculous.  Yep that would be the first thing to go, even before the recovery partition.

I am planning to pick up the 64 GB Version when it finally becomes available in my region. This is the math as I see it.
 
Free Space out of the box - 23 GB.
Remove Recovery - 8 GB.
Remove Office - 3 GB.
Total Free Space for my use - 31 GB.
I will be adding a SD card of 32 GB into the mix and I plan to put all my music on to that. So, 30 GB on the Surface Pro is mine to keep for future app installations and such. Did I get it right?

Nataku4ca says:

actually it would be
23 + 8 + 3 = 34
kind of curious what else is on there though, my Win8 folder doesn't take up 30GB...

ShavedMonkey says:

My understaning is 16Gb recovery partition.  (The actual OS is around 12Gb). 
 
Exacty the same concept as a desktop, laptop, ultra book etc. This is no different.
 
The recovery partition can be 'reclaimed' if need be (would just need to put it on a USB and use that if the recovery need arises).
 
A 64Gb SD can also be added bringing the Surface Pro total upto 192Gb if need be (for around 50 bucks).
 
Remember, this is an 'Enterprise' class device, hence the recovery partition etc..
 

Yeah, but it's also supposed to be a consumer hybrid, so they SHOULD have included the recovery on a 16GB flash drive or something.

stephen_az says:

@Keith Wallace
Why SHOULD they give a consimer a USB drive some will then promptly lose? BTW, which other company gives you a recovery partition on USB drive?  You have the option - end of story. 

mase123987 says:

That is crazy!  No reason they can't make the OS a lot smaller than that.  Does it come with some free software that we don't know about??

inteller says:

when you have a real desktop OS, and not a little mobile toy OS, it is going to be bigger.

mase123987 says:

Way to talk to me like I am an idiot or don't realize that it comes with Windows 8.  Point being, Windows 8 isn't that big on my computers at home.
 

Darkness690 says:

No it's not. The space include the recovery partition, hibernation file, and preloaded applications. Windows 8 does not take up 36gb on my PC.

jfreiman says:

I'll chime in too. Yes it is, and I know this for a fact because I have upgraded 5 computers to Windows 8 Pro w/Media Center on 60GB SSDs and it is what it is.
There is 100% no reason people should be making a fuss over this!
Nobody talks about this with an off the shelf PC! Why create drama where there is none. :/

DaveGx says:

Um, there's plenty of reason to fuss. Less than half of advertised storage is what you get for 64gb version which is a joke. And you lose nearly a 1/3 for the 128 GB version. I wouldn't shell out what they're asking for for these things when you lose that much space off the bat.

RyanAMG says:

It's SSD and that's the reality of it when you load a full computer OS. My Dell Latitude came with a 64GB SSD and windows XP only had 28GB free Windows 7 was 19GB free and Windows 8 is 13GB. I don't see why everyone is crying over this. If we where talking laptops you all would be ok with it. This is what you get for getting fast low power consumption and no moving parts.

pr0phecy says:

Exactly. It's a trade-off. Plain 'n simple.

jbwpcentral says:

Why everyone is making such a big fuss is becuase the micrsoft surface is the first real Tablet/hyrbrid computer. For people looking at the surface as a PC, people would not see a problem with this issue. Where as tablet users see this as an unacceptable problem.

eXus#WP says:

The first?! "Hybrids" (as you call them) existed for years... There is nothing new here. Don't get me wrong, I think it's a great device, but I don't get why people think this is a revolution.

jarail says:

He didn't say the first hybrid. He said the first REAL hybrid. As in something that ships out of the box with enough juice to power photoshop on a 2560x1600 monitor while at the same time being a portable tablet with a high end stylus and touch-optimized UI. There is a lot to get excited about in this generation. Unfortunately for me, I'm not quite ready to grab a v1 when new low-wattage processors are queued up for release in the near future. I'll wait for a haswell-based surface. An extra couple hours of battery life and around 2x the graphics performance is what I expect for a v2 in the later half of the year.

inteller says:

I talk to you as you are.

inteller says:

that's right.  And I'm guessing if you uninstall all of the helpful things Microsoft has provided to you, you can get close to that 48gb number the MBA is sporting.

jamiept says:

But it's a similar issue with Windows RT on Surface

bronzekid91 says:

A little "toy" OS like Windows RT?
lol
I still dont know why they even bother with this thing , it has half the battery life , its heavier, overpriced and has less than advertised storage. I know most devices also do that but still.

AngryNil says:

Er, because it has an Ivy Bridge processor and full Windows 8 Pro?

...

inteller says:

windows RT is full Windows 8 on ARM you fool.

elvisff says:

Uh.. No it's not. You can't run legacy programs on RT, only metro apps.. If you're going to insult somebody at least make sure your facts are straight first, lol.

ymcpa says:

It can't run legacy programs because it is on ARM. You would have to recompile the programs to work on ARM. It's still basically full windows 8. However, MS did limit which programs will run on the desktop. So, you won't be getting many ARM desktop apps in the future.

I have the RT. Wish they would hurry and patch/update Windows to make an easy option to include/combine your SD card with your library. This would solve a ton of problems.

dkp23 says:

Have you tried this method before?  I have and it does't work properly. 
 
New files are not recognized by the APP.  So if i add a new music album, it will not recognize.  If the tablet goes to idle, the music stops.  While this is a solution, it is not a good one. 
 
There are many other solutions, but very complicated for the normal person.  I think it was pretty dumb of MS to expect their users to have to configure their surface devices to get it working smoothly.  It needs to work out of the box. 

lilivojdub says:

The one that I used used a method with the cmd prompt. It was pretty easy to do and it works perfectly fine. I forgot the link which is why I haven't added it. Ima look for that link though

Shane says:

I believe it does the same thing whether you use the UI or the cmd prompt.

Shane says:

It does in fact work for me, but you are 100% correct, it is a pain in the ass..

inteller says:

you know, I could try all the fucking methods (and I have) but the bottom line is Windows Libraries is a fatally flawed implementation that needs to be patched or done away with completely and they need to stop treating flash storage as a second class citizen.  If nothing else, allow us to "lock" the storage to the disc space like you could on the WP7 Focus.  I'll then go buy the biggest microSD card I can find and be done with it.
 
Windows Libraries is like the retarded brother of DFS.  Just frickin give us DFS.

jarail says:

We don't want the same implementation as the focus. In this case, the expandable storage is significantly slower than the built in. The built-in SSD is around 10x faster at reads/writes than you can get in the new super tiny micro cards. They're not as fast as the cards most people are used to using with their cameras and such. I honestly don't know why MS decided for the super tiny ones.. it seems like a needless increase in cost and loss of performance/available storage, with very very little in the way of physical space savings.

SilverSee says:

It will work--BUT your card must be formatted with NTFS *and* you must not remove and reinsert the card while the device is turned on.  Doing so will "break" the work-around and you'll have to redo using a different mount point.
 
The reason for this is that the functionality of Windows Libraries depends on Winodws Search, and Search will not index removeable drives or any disks formatted with any version of FAT.
 
This has not been a limitation in the past, but the particular storage constraints of tablet devices coupled with Microsoft's design of the native Metro media apps (to browse content in Libraries only) has suddenly caused this to be an issue. 
 
Microsoft should have forseen this and implemented a more relaxed indexing scheme for Windows 8/RT in my opinion.  But until they do, we'll have to make do with work-arounds.

tkadrum says:

yes i have, working like a charm.
i could pull up my exel, word. Play music, but haven't try video yet.  i could pull up photos for viewing without any issues.

dkp23 says:

what about when you add new content like new music, doesn it update properly?

lilivojdub says:

http://www.teamradicus.com/post/Surface-and-SD-Card.aspx
Use this one. This one worked for me with no issues. Did it on about 5 machines and anytime I added new music or videos they show up right

I used that one and it made a mess out of my library.

CJ Thunder says:

Never used libraries. Just put SkyDrive as my main folder and point all saves there, Zune looks for music and pics, no problems. I despise libraries.

Libraries and pink bunnies...i despise those sons-of-a-britches...

jgbstetson says:

Damn it I feel stupid and pissed at the same time. I had no idea that all the music I downloaded yesterday was not going to my SD. Why the hell would anyone design an SD slot and not create an option to link this to the library. This shouldn't be something I have to patch. Sonovabitch. I mean, even my 810 can do it.

MediaCastleX says:

It's amazing JUST how many sites and places pounced on this story. I'm not going to complain about this site covering it but it bugs me like that's all that it will be considered for if no one takes the time to even read the whole article wherever they read it...not the be all end all to the tablet as far as I'm concerned. I have not taken exception to the available storage on the 32GB RT version, it stands to reason what with not ONLY the OS but multitude of included apps and programs, but not necessarily bloat. That's for the OEMs to do :/

Sam Sabri says:

Did you ready any of those articles, including this one? The missing ~41GB will be because of the OS, built in apps, and recovery partition. The first two I can sympathize, but you're asking tech illiterate people to handle that on their own? 

fwaits says:

The next question is should the tech 'illiterate' be buying a Win 8 PRO device unless they know that's what they need?  Is that who MS is marketing this version of Surface towards?

Sam Sabri says:

Have you ever been to a coffee shop or class room? So many MacBook Pro's that never get used to their "pro"tential (see what I did there?). There are people out there with the money to buy a device that does more than they'll ever need, but they'll still get pissed when they run out of memory.

wpguy says:

Why shouldn't the tech-illiterate not buy a Surface Pro, especially the ones who will be using it for business? Case in point, telecommuting. I don't know of any enterprise-class VPN vendors supporting Windows RT, but they all support Windows 8.

jsnod25 says:

So you would rather "would be customers" to be entirely uniformed of those stats? It would easily convince me to get the 128gb model knowing this info. If I weren't a tech savvy consumer I would be upset out of the box not knowing what's in store, or how to fix it, even if just a little bit of space can be freed up.

Sam Sabri says:

^^^^^^This comment needs to be read by everyone! ^^^^^^^^^^

Because of you Sammie, I read it. :)

fwaits says:

Most non techies will likely get an RT version, not a PRO version.  If they want/need a PRO version then presumably they understand why they need it and then probably get why it eats up more space as well...

simphf says:

Nooooope. My dad thinks computers are witchcraft and he is buying one (read: Surface Pro) for himself and my mom.

Higgs Boson says:

That was a hilarious comment.

biggmax81 says:

Im still buying one. But I will probably get the 128 version now

thebardsrc says:

and this really makes evident how bloated all the backwards compatibility stuff has become in Windows over the years. Windows has become a massive mess of support for years and years and years of things, needing many many different copies of components and a mess of SxS to keep everything running. THIS above everything else is why Microsoft wants to cut ties, cut backwards compatibility out completely, and only look at moving forward with WinRT

peterfares says:

Go  ahead and cut stuff in WinRT but never in x86 windows. I like my backwards compatibility. In another year this won't be an issue anyways, with flash dropping in price even more and 128GB being the standard.

As a core engineer on Windows on and off for more than ten years, backwards compatibility has little to do with the size of Windows.  Most of the so-called 'bloat' is related to PCHealth, the ability of the OS to recover from virtually any damage via a series of hidden backups.    BC is handled by a few small libraries and wouldn't even take up more than a few hundred megabytes at best, if that.

aubreyq says:

Very interesting. Thank you for this post.

Swag_global says:

Sometime I wonder that reeaalllllllyyyyy goes on with MS!!! Anyway Generation 1????
 

John20212 says:

I am getting the 128GB one, but regardless the storage is not a huge issue, I am more concerned with only 4gb of ram instead of the now standard 8gb.
SDXC adds 64gb (a lot more in the future as the theoretical limit of SDXC cards is 2TB) so all music, videos and docs can go there, no need for external HDD.
Also since its a normal PC I am sure you can just delete the recovery partition if you feel like you don't need it.
And finally you can get rid of all the apps that you don't need, if you intend to use the Surface Pro with many desktop apps like outlook you can pretty much delete all the mobile apps if you dont use them.
The bottom line is the storage should not be a huge issue unless you want to install some huge desktop software or games on it.
 

AngryNil says:

My desktop runs fine on 4GB RAM. I doubt you'll find RAM will be the limitation of this device.

I can't take these articles anymore, no offense but I have seen them everywhere online.  Windows has been around for around 20+ years now.  We know it's bloated and since the CD/DVD drive is near dead we have recovery partitions since 2006.  If your buying this "Pro" device go and format it and remove the recovery partition and be choosy with what you install. 128GB SSD drives in Ultra Books have been around for a while now too.
Also, realize you are walking around and touching a decent laptop powered tablet that weighs two pound.  Once that thought crosses your head then maybe you will see what your holding in your hands.

Sam Sabri says:

I know the point will be lost on you, but I'll try anyways.

People without a degree in computer science will buy this "Pro" device. Those people do not read sites like this and won't understand why they're running out of space when 128GB was advertised on the box. 

John20212 says:

I agree, Microsoft should make it more clear to the layman that the actual storage is not 128GB, but I am guessing that is what they are trying to do with this press release. With so many sites covering it its easyer to get the info out to everyone.
 

I feel sorry for those people then.  To buy something that is near $1,000 without understanding anything about it.  No research or reading reviews. I can't understand that at all.

Agreed. I've been reading and research a number of competing models like the Dell XPS 12 and the Lenovo Thinkpad Helix (which I admit I would buy over the Surface Pro, if it were more affordable)... even as a tech professional, it's still advisable to know what you're buying.

conanheath says:

People do it all the time. They will also be the same people on here ranting in a month because of storage issues. Nobody researches anything. They see latest greatest in advertisements and have to have it. You watch, there will be thread after thread of people complaining about lack of storage after they buy the 64g.

Residing says:

^This.  In my opinion, whether you are tech savvy or not, it is an unnecessary step for one to have to take to free up space by saving the info to a USB stick and then deleting it from the drive.
 
With that said, I hope that on the boot up, Microsoft has step by step instructions for users so that they can easily handle this process.

How is this any different from so called average joe buying an 512GB SSD and only getting to use 470GB of it before any OS is even put on it?
Your logic doesn't make sense.

Rick Dahl says:

Those same people have no idea what 128GB is

Mr. Brown says:

Sam, you pointed out in your article that most people reading this site already know about the space limitations and the work around. I'm personally tired of seeing articles like this going around. Its almost like all these sites are trying to put the product down and convince people not to get it.

blackhawk556 says:

I was going to buy one right away but now I'm going to wait for one to become available on Craigslist at a cheaper price. Once I do, recovery partition is out, and useless apps are getting uninstalled right away. Office 2013 for $10 (home use program) will eat up a good chunk. Craigslist has RT version at very attractive prices.

Apoc says:

I will be getting the 64GB SP. Is the storage issue any different from an Ultrabook with SSD?

This is not the controversy people are making it out to be. Surface is not a mobile tablet device. It is nothing less than any other ultrabook or laptop or even a desktop for that matter... it runs full blown Windows just the same as any of those systems. Nobody makes a stink about their laptops with 128GB SSD's using 20GB of that storage for Windows. Surface is no different, and it's high time for people to shut up and move on over this non-issue.
 
This is a computer. Not a gadget. Enough said.
 
Oh, and I'm getting the 128GB model along with a 64GB microSDXC card along with 125GB SkyDrive.

Sam Sabri says:

It's not a controversy. The article was to inform folks like you what you'll be missing out so you can make an informed purchase. 

I just feel for the average consumer who walks into a store not knowing much about a device and drops north of $1000 on a device because a salesman worked his/her magic. How do you think Apple got so popular? :P

Oh I don't mean this article is a controversy, I mean the fuss that the tech industry, in general, is making of the matter. It's all very much ado about nothing. It should have been an issue for the past 20 years, really.
 
I'm not arguing that Windows isn't "bloated", but I consider it to be mature and functional. It's not intended to be an anorexic supermodel, lol.

dkp23 says:

This is so bad by MS, maybe that is why that steven whoever got "fired"  JK...anyway, the 83 out of 128gb is not as bad as the 23gb out of 64gb.  No, the microsd is not a great solution, you can put your media files in there, but it wont recognize in the libraries unless you configure it that way which is very confusing in itself.  I've tried it and it has been a nightmare to get it to work properly and still haven't been able to.  What this means is the apps wont recognize your files so you can make playlist see album art, info, etc unless you go to the file explorer.  Pretty weak. 
And to expect this from the average consumer to buy a thumb drive to put the recovery partition, come on now, that is asking a lot especially when people would like to buy a tech product and use it right away out of the box without having to configure all this stuff. 
This is a joke to be honest, you have a semi laptop with laptop capabilities, goodluck installing anything on a 23gb notebook.  Space is going to get eaten up quick especially programs software and apps. 

John20212 says:

To make this less of an issue for some Microsoft should have just put the recovery partition on a USB drive that would come with the Surface. 16GB drives cost pennies now and it would save the computer illiterate some frustration.
I am surprised no OEMs are doing this, especcially on systems that use smaller SSDs.
 

inteller says:

Then the idiots would just complain about Microsoft not putting the recovery partition on the surface. You see, MS can't win, there is a contingent out there that hates everything Ms does for no other reason than they are Microsoft.

ej1024 says:

Its all good

sayonical says:

Even worse the headline should have been 64gb surface only has 23gb available for use. Just outrageous.

vlad0 says:

256 SSD is the way to go with Windows 8.. that will leave you with over 200gb which is sufficient.
A North Cape haswell based machine is going to unlock the full potential of the OS... the Surface Pro gen 1 is still too much of a compromise.

abond32 says:

They should have made it 169gb then problem would be solved huh? Lol

Sam Sabri says:

You just wanted to write 69 in a comment. I see what you're doing. 

abond32 says:

Naw just wanted to say something dumb. Most of the post are. ;)

It is really as bad as people are making it out to be. It is a tablet! .. Not a desktop! Yeah it has great specs to compare to an ultra book, but it is not. If you want a bigger HD buy a touch screen ultrabook and you will save money.

Sam Sabri says:

What? I'd argue (and win) it's more like an ultrabook than a tablet...

It is a tablet! .. That can handle tasks as an ultra book. It should never be compared. When you search for it .. It will never be found under ultra book. Becuz its not one

The surface pro can do everything an ultrabook can do, so if I were comparing specs I'd compare to an ultrabook. The rt can't do everything an ultrabook can do, so I'd compare it to a tablet. Battery life, processor, and legacy apps (largest app selection on the planet) on the pro al compare to ultrabooks, while the rt compare to a tablets.

pazces84 says:

41GB for an OS, recovery partion, pre-installed apps? WTF????
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H91rPIq2mN4
 

TK2011 says:

Disable swap space and hibernation and you will get many GBs back. My 32GB W8 Pro tablet has 15GB free space after OS and tons of apps. I don't see why you can't do the same with Surface Pro.

OK, here's a quick point of perspective for everyone. I'm a system administrator, so I literally LIVE on my computer. I'm a HEAVY user, far above what most people do. I have a Dell Vostro with 256GB SSD today. Here's what my current storage usage looks like:

  • 256GB Drive, single partition, formatted as NTFS (so 238GB usable storage)
  • 128GB of free space, 109GB of storage "in use" that consists of the following...
  • Windows 8 Professional
  • Outlook 2010 installed (I hate 2013)
  • Office 2013 installed
  • System Drivers installed
  • 45 desktop applications (mostly sys admin tools, all several hundred MB, and a few 1GB apps)
  • 32 metro apps installed (defaults, some games, and some other stuff)
  • 60GB of Personal Data (music, videos, pictures, documents... 30GB of which is DVD ISO image files)

 
So looks to me like 128GB would be perfectly sufficient for my needs with a bit of adjustments with my personal data. Hmm, oh, here's an idea... move the ISO's to a 64GB SD card. BAM! Problem solved!

1jaxstate1 says:

No one wants to do all that computating. I don't think the average job will be keeping could of how much storage they are wasting. But I do think that even the most computer illiterate person can work an external HD. Giving that they don't have to format it.

mlcooper54 says:

Let's not forget the Surface Pro has a USB 3.0 port. How about hanging a USB 3.0  SATA dock on the end with a 3 TB HDD? That's where I'm headed when I get my 128 GB Surface Pro. I already have too many pics from my Nikon D300 to fit on my laptop's 750 GB internal HDD. Plus, my 60+ GB music library. I don't need my photo and music library when out at a meeting at one of my client offices. As an independent computer consultant, I'm a network admin for multiple entities (corporate and government). I need to manage Acive Directory, Exchange Server, Server 2003, 2008, and 2012. VPN and Remote Desktop allows me to do this anywhere I have an Internet/network connection. I also manage some Linux servers via !M (NoMachines, NX Client for Windows, and webmin).
 
GoodThings2Life - You've mentioned Y-Town and hospital. Are you at St E's? I'm one of the founders of the Mahoning Valley Apple Computer Users Group. Once of our members (Andy?) worked n IT at St E's. This is back in the mid-80's. I graduated with a BE in EE at YSU in 1978. Just curious.
 
Thanks - Mark
 

LeiChat says:

How safe is that backup bootable USB?
Can you burn a copy of the USB to a DVD for safe keeping?

simphf says:

No. Microsoft wrote some super special code to stop only you from doing exactly that. Smurf!

johnmcd348 says:

I personally just think it's another one of the many Microsoft missteps in promotion and marketing.  When you buy any other computer, it is advertised as having XXgb/tb of storage, XXmb memory.  When you boot it up the first time and look at it, you don't have that amount of space available.  Memory is taken up by the OS and sotrage is taken up by the Prgrams and other Bloatware that the OEMs install.  This is really no different.  When I buy a smartphone or tablet with an advertised 16gb memory, how much do you actually have for storeage and apps?  It's not 16.  You might get 10-12 if you're lucky.  How do the specs compare to iOS on the iPad and the many flavors of Droid OS's on the various Tablets?
I do however think that loosing 1/3 of the available storage/memory space is quite excessive.  There should have been more work involved either shrinking and streamlining the OS or creating a seperate memory on teh device to hold and run the OS, similar to having multiple drives on a computer.  Would it really increase the price of the device that much to adda a seperate 4, 8, or 16gb memory area for the OS to run in while leaving the other area for apps and programs?  This is a Computer OS afterall that can run multiple HDD and various other memory and input/output devices.

Funny that you ask. I don't know about every scenario, but I know that iOS on an iPad takes 2-3GB out of the box. Beyond that, I'm not really sure about other devices like Google. Keep in mind, however, they are purposely mobile-designed OS's with limited functionality and scope. Windows systems are intended to be fully functional... it's a compromise I think people can/should make if it suits their needs.

rwalrond says:

I agree Microsoft can always do better, but notice the pattern of the industry searching for a problem, any problem to highlight as to why Windows 8 and/or the Surface Pro will fail. We didn't see the kind of coverage when Samsung released their last 128GB Ultrabook that gives you about 56GB after it boots up with all the crapware. Microsoft is in a no win situation, it's best to keep quiet so not to fuel the bandwagon. What Microsoft needs to do now, is market the hell out of the Surface brand, and speed up those app and OS updates to Windows 8.

The same is always true of us Microsoft fans when Apple comes out... we always look for why it's a stupid purchase and you're wasting your money. Circle of life, lol.

DaveGx says:

I still don't see why any OS has to be so large. If an OS is that big, they're over complicating things.

rwalrond says:

The Surface Pro will have more space available than the average Windows Ultrabook with the same size SSD. I just came from Best Buy. A Samsung 128GB Ultrabook had 56GB free. I suspect the lack of crapware may actually give the Surface Pro the edge.
 

graigsmith says:

this is really kinda terrible.  microsoft should be stuffing extra ssd space and then prentend like the ssd is actually smaller.  like they should sell an 128, and call it an 80 meg.   i know it will get better with time.... but right now that doesn't help them..  windows is too large to be a tablet OS.   they really should have took windows RT further like they did with windows phone.  windows phone uses the nt kernel but also takes up way less space. 

graigsmith says:

ipad's os takes up about 4 gigs of space... so on a 64 gig tablet you still have 60 gigs.    microsofts os takes up 40 gigs??  apparently using up 10 times the space that IOS uses.   no wonder they don't have a 16 gig or 32 gig model.  windows wouldn't even fit on those. 

TK2011 says:

They have 32G models for W8. Check out Acer W510. I have a W500 32GB and have 15GB free space. OS itself it not that big.

You are also missing the conversion.64gb is more like 56-58 or so, then add the OS to that.

DaveGx says:

I will be waiting for Gen 2. MS is getting roasted all over the place over those right now. They'll likely do something different for the next version.

dangish says:

The Surface Pro memory can be expanded...as opposed to an iPad that CANNOT. Stop saying you're disappointed or that it is misleading. The freaking iPad 128GB will have probably 116GB usable ITS AN ENTERTAINMENT CONSUMPTION DEVICE. The Surface Pro is a TRUE PC tablet.

anilraj says:

Heart breaker, but not deal breaker.
My desktop Win8 takes only 18GB.
I wish, Microsoft can give a free 64GB microSD with surface.

biggmax81 says:

How many of you actually truly use that much space on ur tablet/laptop? Its like saying a 16gb iPad that has only 12gb free is not enough. How is 23gb or 83gb not enough space?

pstavros1967 says:

This is nothing new why are people making such a big deal. Anytime you buy a computer you never get the reported storage its always less due to formatting, OS install, and bloat ware.

ryan.kruger says:

I think you're the first one to mention formatting. Props.

I dont have a problem with it, but I know people will because how many people you know will take the partition off? Not everyone knows how to do all that. Lastly, jeez that's a large chunk of GB. That's why I opted for the 64GB on my RT.

mr toes says:

Imagine paying for 64gb and getting only a third of that space, that's just plain ridiculous, it should be advertised as a 32 gb at least.

texantony says:

Of all the people complaining, how many actually planned on buying one?  I'm ready for my 128GB and I'm glad I read about transferring the recovery to a USB. Anyway, although you lose quite a bit of space, I think in the end it all balances out with Skydrive, USB port, and microSD cards.

fpostrow says:

Cool! I just gained some extra space on my 64gb RT Surface by spending 15 minutes moving the recovery partition to a bootable USB drive. Not that I needed the space but cool anyway.

1jaxstate1 says:

Thanks to the writer for bringing this to light. Im getting the 32 gig and a 250 gig external. Besides techies who read tech sites all day, I don't think this will be that big of a deal.

lumiaro says:

Microsoft should be giving 50GB of skydrive free for an year or two, same way google is giving  free100GB of google drive with Chrome Books for 2 years.
That would be awesome IMO..

dajunga says:

128GB MacBook Air has about 100GB usable space out of the box. Minus the restore partition and Office on Surface Pro you'll get about 94GB of useable space. Not a big deal.

Air also comes with a full blown keyboard and 7 hours of battery. Not really doing Surface any favors comparing it with Air

dajunga says:

That's part of the problem. Once you recognize that it is a new category of device it makes more sense. For people who once carried both a MacBook Air and an iPad this form factor is compelling. The Surface Pro with Keyboard is about the same price as a Macbook Air. In my opinion the last piece of the puzzle is battery life. From what we're hearing Haswell may be able to help with that in the next iteration. But for me and I suspect many others used to much worse battery life on older laptops, 5 hrs is plenty.

ChrisFricke says:

If you aren't impressed with battery life then check out the ASUS Transformer Book TX300. Windows 8 Pro in Transformer form factor. I have the Asus Transformer Prime Android tablet and love it - mostly. Having that form factor with bumped specs and a desktop OS makes it a major win for business/college use. Moreso than the Surface IMO.

NIST says:

It was always the Surface Pro 128.
I wish it came with leather seats.

kurtd says:

They should be advertising 80 and 20 gig models. Then customers will be happy when they find an extra few gigs instead of pissed and wondering where their space went.

fangle says:

i dont think its smart to buy a Surface Pro right now.  With Haswell processors coming out in a few month, why get an ivy bridge product that has nad battery life? 

Sam Not Spam says:

Times like this make me wish Microsoft could jettison everything and truly start from scratch. I like the Metro/Modern environment, and do feel that WinRT is a step forward to eliminating dead weight, but wish they'd go faster. That said, I don't want them to be Apple-fast in killing stuff off! I got rid of my old iMac because it couldn't go any farther, OS-wise.
I am glad we can expand the storage, though.

crazygonzo says:

Agree completly, screw the legacy apps and refocus the efforts on RT version.

Kei Square says:

usb 3.0 + external hard drive... case closed.

uopjo6 says:

Tablet + brick = portability -> obsolete = missing the whole point of this product.

aubreyq says:

+100000000000

motosada says:

I was really looking forward to the Surface Pro, but I think I'll wait. I'll want a bigger on-board storage capacity, plus the ability to use it on a mobile broadband network.

adix82 says:

This is so so so so so so so so old news.. When i bought the iconia tab w501 with a win7 professional. The onboard memory is 32gb. but i get to utilize 12GB only.. pathetic. For an ipad with 16GB, at least u have 13.5GB to use. 

dajunga says:

A better comparison would be to an iPad that can also run Mac OSX.

Kadcidxa says:

The only people who are making a big deal are out of this are Apple users. They don't know about sd slots and usb ports. Surface is far more advanced than your typical iPad toy. Surface has three different ways of expanding storage. sd card, usb, cloud.

mythos13 says:

I fail to see the story here. That is the way it has been since the dawn of operating systems. They have always taken up part of the hard drive and they almost always take up more space with every iteration.

MDboyz says:

Most of people in here are tech savy, so I don't get why people think this is the issue.  I have windows pro x64 installed on my desktop with all the main apps, and I already used up to 41GB already.  People don't understand this is FULL version of Windows 8.  What people are expected anyway? ...

uopjo6 says:

Most people buying are not tech savy. 

And if this was a FULL version of Win 8 more storage should be included. Since you will have FULL softwares installed and if this is a laptop replacement, FULL music libraries are gonna be imported as well. If you get the 64gb version (23gb)  you're left with a lucky 5gb of space after you're done setting up. 

rodneyej says:

Why can't they just put more storage in these things.. There is no reason why they can't make a tablet with 250gb or more.

chuco187 says:

Well there goes the customer base!

cdb033 says:

Man, that inflated me a little. I was going for the 128gb, guess I'll check out the HP Envy.

The Envy will have even more bloat ware so you'll get even less space used. This is a non issue. Samsung Series9, their flagship ultra book comes with 56gb free from 128. Where were the headlines then?

dbam987 says:

What extra software does the Pro come with?

I'll be getting the 128 gig iPad and getting rid of the surface rt. I've enjoyed it and it does everything I want but not being able to have all the music I want or movies is getting to be frustrating. If MS can get the Music/Skydrive working before the iPad comes out I may reconsider.

c0ld99 says:

Have you considered purchasing an SD card?

Ticomfreak says:

Buy an SD card and shove it in the surface, which could get you up to 128GB. Can't do that on a 64GB iPad I bet!

lesd777 says:

If that much storage is used, it shouldn't be advertised as such. That's ridiculous. If they are selling it like this, then there should be a popup on startup or quick setup guide in the packaging with an alternative to backing up the OS to free up space.

uopjo6 says:

A small drop won't matter. But 64 to 23GB is insane. This is being advertised as 64 and 128. If you haven't noticed more memory cost more. Buying a 64gb model assuming you could use probably 40gb but to find out you only have 23gb left is  insane and feels like being robbed. You're left with MUCH LESS after installing all the softwares you want on a full functional tablet. Include some music and movies and basically you have a tablet with all the softwares but left with no space to save any files. There will be huge files if this is running a full Win 8 OS. 

Imagine using a laptop (i assume this is how it will be used, laptop-like) with only 23gb's left and aftering installing and importing music you've got what, 1gb left? No, seriously. 

pstavros1967 says:

So buy yourself a 64gb SD card and never remove it. Lets see you apple lovers do that. Oh wait you can't cause there is no expansion. Never has never will be! Guess what I'm an apple fan I own 2 ipads, have had every version of iPhone accept for V5 , and 2 computers. Yet I'm tired of Apples stale OS and lack of listening to customers wants.

procen says:

I like your honesty!

No, you are using all of it except the part you are not using. The question is how much you can add to it. The OS is not nothing. The other stuff is not nothing. I have no earthly use for 83G of fast SSD storage for other stuff. It is called storage hierarchy, and I have almost endless TB sitting in my closet on NAS for less than the cost of this. And more in the cloud for when I need it anywhere I am. This is yet another example of retweet journalism. There are already more versions of this same story, referencing each other, grabbing views, filling more GB than one hundred suns can hold. And it means nothing. If you are even thinking of a surface pro, you can't afford it if you can't afford the 128G version. Period. So don't buy the 64, and don't worry about it. It it is too steep, buy something you can afford. You can get a killer machine of almost endless variety for well south of $1k these days.

uopjo6 says:

Like I said that's extra $ you're shelling because of insufficient space. A SD card would solve for sure. But a full funcitonal OS tablet with 23gb onboard is ridiculous nonetheless. That's less than my 32gb Lumia. Lack of onboard storage will cause performance issues too. We're not talking normal smartphones or tablets here, MS is selling this as a full functional tablet/laptop hybrid where you can install Adobe photoshop / illustrator and everything else. 

Btw I own1 old iPhone 4 only i hope that doesn't make me a Apple lover. :-)

latempete says:

I am still buying the 128GB. Imagine what Apple would charge for a 128GB iPad! That isn't even close to being a real computer. And those theives don't even offer memory expansion at all. Let alone ACTUAL standardized ports. Sure they have adapters.. But that costs even MORE! I have no issues with the usable storage. The issue with the libraries you mention does sound like a legitimate issue. One that I have to look Into. I just hope, if it becomes an issue for many, Microsoft will fix it with an update.

Ticomfreak says:

Apple is charging $899 for the iPad w/ 128GB. Disgusting.

bull2760 says:

Please show me an iPad with 128GB of storage, the store only shows a max of 64GB.  Is this a magical iPad?

rkeenan says:

That is ridiculous to have 23 GB left for the 64 GB Pro when it costs $899. I will wait until the 3rd Gen or 4th Gen comes out.....or else I will buy the Nokia tablet. More than likely it will be latter because I am impatient and want it NOW!

dabs1710 says:

This BS is why I am getting completely turned off by all things MS. How can apple make an OS 500 MB in size and MS needs freakin 40 Gigs. Its just completely BS. No way I am ever going to buy a Pro now. Was really looking forward to it.

VagrantWade says:

Are you comparing Windows 8...with iOS?

adix82 says:

Don bring apple fan or microsoft fan into this news. We have proof and no to show. A Macbook air 128GB comes with 110GB of space. 13GB is for OS X! this is a real number. 128GB and comes with 83GB is totally unacceptable. 

OSX doesn't come with a recovery partition and a hibernation file. Both of which can be removed to get back about 12gb

uopjo6 says:

+1

Not to mention  64GB coming with 23GB on board. TWENTY-THREE. 

dabs1710 says:

Also, WP is not progressing as fast as it should if they ever wish to even lick the heels of iOS/Android.

dabs1710 says:

Its similar to the problem with the winsxs folder in Windows 7. MS keeps beating around the bush on the matter because they have no solution.

VagrantWade says:

No device with a hard drive and it's own OS/firmware comes with the advertised capacity. Ever.
Windows 8 Pro allows you to natively add SD card content to libraries. I'm not remotely concerned. Can't wait for my pro!

dabs1710 says:

Yeah. But what device comes with only 23/64 GB free space.

VagrantWade says:

I don't know, I do not know of many advertised 64gb Windows 8 Pro devices to compare it to. Are you comparing it to one of those iPad toys that kids use?

uopjo6 says:

lol. lets say consumers buy the 64gb because it's more reasonable (that's why there's the higher 128 right?). Consumers probably know some of it is going to be used. ok. 

But a 41 (!) gig difference is way over the line. That's less than a 32GB smartphone and I'm not going to even go through all the softwares that will be installed on the S.Pro (adobe etc). 

Like you say they're advertising it as 64. But you get 23 on board. I don't care if I can expand with SD if it is 64GB on the advertisement I won't expect the usable space to drop over 50%. It's a rip-off. I could get a i7 touchscreen ultra book for the same price and more than quadruple the space. (23 x 4)

EXkurogane says:

An OS taking up like 30-40Gb including restore point is not surprising, and im actually baffled there are people complaining over this. There is nothing wrong with microsoft's ads either. They said "built in" when they mention 64Gb or 128Gb. They never said it's the space that is "user available". You buy a  32Gb android tablet with you have have 25Gb  space left only; so, having only around 23Gb useable space left for the surface is to be expected - that's common for a tablet.
 
I'll say it again, it's a TABLET - but with a full desktop OS. It's not even a hybrid to me because the keyboard is separate, 7 incher cheap china made android tablets out there also have a foldable case with keyboard that makes use of the micro USB port as an optional accessory sold separately. If i call this a hybrid, then all other tablets out there also deserve to be called a hybrid, including the iPad, because there are keyboard docks sold by third parties. An example of a hybrid will be one of those Dell XPS (forgot the model name), 13 incher, which the screen can be flipped over a hinge. 
 
In a 8Gb phone, you only have 7.2 Gb useable, and including the OS you may have only 5Gb left. In the 64Gb Surface pro, probably only 55Gb out of 64Gb is useable, and including OS + restore point, only 20+ left is not surprising. You dont get this "WTF? space so little?" problem with ultrabooks because at least 500-640Gb is built in that you dont even realise the OS already took up a huge chunk of space. There is no 32Gb version of the Pro because it wont even be enough for the OS.

conanheath says:

The difference is I bought my RT in 64gb because its a tablet. That's all I need in a tablet. I won't buy a laptop with less than 500gb hard drive. This will be average consumers laptop replacement. They won't be happy when the run out of storage.

TechnoTim says:

Whack it and clean install. Even if the OEM is Microsoft.

tylo5 says:

I know if forced a habit change for me. Since getting my Surface I have upgraded to a higher tier Skydrive account and use it for EVERYTHING. Its not a bad thing once you get used to it.

adix82 says:

To Mr EXkurogane
 
The Surface is a tablet with a full PC function. Pls take note. Do not try to steer ur theory to confuse ppl. Its not just a tablet. 
This surface is either catagorize with the ipad  or Macbook air. U choose it. 
If you place it under the Macbook air catagory, The Surface lack of user memory due to a incompetence OS is absurd.
If you place it under the ipad catagory, the surface lack of user memory due to a incompetence OS is also absurd.
My question to you, which catagory are you going to place the surface at?
 

I personally think it is categorized as both. It is going to be seen by people as the device they want most. If I am looking for a tablet, I am going to compare it to tablets. Why? Because it has enough tablet qualities in look, feel, etc. to justify that comparison. If I am looking for a notebook, I am going to compare it to notebooks because, again, it is similar in many ways.
 
Saying that it should or can be classified as this or that is irrelevant, because I am quite sure different people are going to classify it as different things. This is a pretty exciting, but at the same time scarey, thing MS has done. They have taken the laptop and the tablet and made a device that can potentially appeal to the needs and uses of both. Will the tablet live up to those expectations? Because I guarantee you there are plenty of people that expect just that. "I can toss aside my macbook and my iPad because I now have a device that does everything the two of those alone ever did and then some!"

EXkurogane says:

Just as ordofthereef said - both. That is the main advantage surface has over others (but apparently most consumers havent realised it and prefer the iPad). It is a tablet to me, a tablet with full desktop OS - which is a big advantage over other tablets but unfortunately still a bit pricier than ultrabooks. I doubt people who visit this site will get confused by what im saying. 
I refuse to call this an ultrabook or a hybrid unlike others simply because u can also plug any other tablets into a keyboard dock (and thus I can call them hybrids). The physical form factor is tablet - features and OS are that of a PC. That's my conclusion, I call it a tablet because of the physical form factor. Though, my way of explaining may be too technical for some dumb consumers out there to understand - some people just walk in a shop and as the seller to recommend since they dont know anything. Instead of 23Gb of space, i'd be more concern about the battery life. 

Maybe I am in the minority, but I have plenty of gripes about this device and storage wouldn't even fit in my top five...
1. Battery life - four hours? Yeah, yeah, it's a full blown laptop, blah blah blah. Full blown laptops get more than four hours in this day and age. I am with those saying that they are waiting for AT LEAST gen 2, where we should see much better power efficiency.
 
2. Fan - When the fan kicks in on your laptop, it's loud. Through the years I have owned about a dozen laptops and they have all been less than pleasant when the fan kicks on in a quiet room. Apple is probably the quetest, but even that is anoying. These chips are going to be spewing way too much heat. We will hear these devices. And it will suck.
 
3. Kickstand - a novel idea, really. But there is only one setting. ONE. The great thing about a laptop (or replacement) is that you can move it around to envoronments the desktop can't go. This very act will put you in areas where glare is an issue. So you angle the screen just a but up or down, right? Not with the surface.
 
4. Laptop Use - This thing is supposed to be a laptop replacement, and looking at the specs it can be. But have you tried actually using one of those in your lap with the kayboard? Granted you won't be using the keyboard all (or even most) of the time, but God help you when you need it and it actually sits in your lap. It's a floppy, bendy mess.
 
5. Expandable Memory - It seems great on paper, but have a look at the issues people are reporting in this very thread. What use is this when you have to be tech savvy to use it? Forget the xGB left of space out of the box, in every other device anyone has ever owend (note, I am saying this for empahsis, I am sure some wise guy will point out that this or that product didn't utilize the sd slot properly, though I am sure that product was a dismal failure), placing a micro sd card into the slot meant you could easily access and store data on it. Turns out if I remove it without practicing some witchcraft I might not regain access to the data stored there? Cool.
 
I point all of this out because there are arguments over why the noob userer shouldn't get this device, or why the tech savvy person can overcome all of this. Have a look at Windows 8. They took Windows and made it usable by anywaone. Are you really trying to convince me that the path MS is taking is one where they are still making products that the power user can figure out and the layman is going to hate and pass? If so, that is a pretty stupid business model, if you ask me, especially when it doesn't have to be this way.

Iain_S says:

I really dont see much truth in any off your points. I have a Samsung ativ smart pc pro 128GB, which pretty much has the same specs as the surface pro. The battery life under normal usage is quite a bit more than 4 hours.
Not many laptops today get any better battery life, even those stupid new chromebooks only get 4 hours with crappy hardware.
There is a lot less heat generated from this than an ipad, so another pointless remark. I do not hear the fans whatsoever on this tablet.
 
I can type a lot easier with this on my lap than i can using my laptop in the same position, whether using the keyboard or touch.
 
I cant comment on the kickstand on the pro but i would imagine its just as good as the rt model which i also have and have absolutly no issues with it
Storage space. I have the OS, Office 2013 pro plus, Quickbooks Pro, Others contractor software, a bunch of software i use on a daily basis, documents, photos, blueprints, some videos, music and samsungs bloatware and i still have over 68GB free space
This is an extremly fast tablet and quite simply you can not even start to compare this to an ipad, the ipad is just too far down the scale on this beast.

crazygonzo says:

No, those are all valid points that everyone should consider, my notebook that's over two years old had almost 7h battery life of constant file/web browsing with the screen brightness set at half (and that was before flash/ssd drives so now I expect to see at least 9h with better specs). And with the upcoming Intel chips there'll be no problem to get a fully capable new laptop with 9h battery life and tablets should last at least 12h in 2013 (now 10h is an old standard).

elvisff says:

Really? All anybody has to do is look at any Win8 ultrabook with a 128gig ssd and you will see less available storage, I.e. the Yoga. Move the recovery over to a USB drive, it is simple to do with Win 8 and clean up the stuff you don't need on the PC. If you don't know how to do these simple tasks then you shouldn't be buying an ultrabook either.

Also, anybody who calls the pro a tablet instead of a PC is a total retard. Comparing the Surface Pro to ipads and android tablets is an apples and oranges scenario. The surface is an ultrabook in a tablet form factor. It is not a media consumption device, nor is it marketed as such. Make no mistake it is a niche device, meant to appeal to businesses and professionals who need pressure sensitive pen capabilities like artists, draftsmen, ECT. You want media consumption, then look at the RT.

adix82 says:

Ultrabook in a tablet form? so where do u catagorize it again? 
If Surface compare with ultrabook.. say a mac air?(its the father of all ultra book right?) still the lack of memory is absurd
If Surface compare with a Tablet.. say a ipad? still the lack of memory is absurd right? 
 
Pls do not type statement like businesses and Professional will buy the surface pro. The lack of memory space will shun all these ppl away. Why do i have to purchase an extra SD card? Why do i need to purchase another hard drive? I have to pay for everything if i wan to get a surface pro? I rather get a Macbook air and bootcamp with win7. Mind u, its way way faster and better.. 

elvisff says:

I would categorize it as a tablet PC... They've been around for a long time and appealed to a niche market. And no the amount of memory is not a big deal because it is on par with or better than every other Win8 ultrabook with a 128gig ssd. Compared to a Mac Air, I don't know, as I don't use a mac.
As for the lack of memory space shunning away professional and business types, I disagree strongly. They are less likely to bog down their machines with video and audio files and to use the device for its intended use. And if they wanted to bring a library of media with them, the USB 3.0 port and microsd slot only gives them flexibility.
You guys want to make a mountain out of a molehill, go ahead. But at least do a little comparison with like devices, such as the Lenovo yoga, which had around 50 gig available off the same size hard drive.

VagrantWade says:

@lordofthereef since replying is broken right now...
1) I wish my laptop got 4 hours on the battery.
2) You clearly know nothing about the ventilation system on the Pro.

3) It's a tablet...when I hold it, I can angle it however the hell I want...
4) I have an RT, I have used it in my lap with little difficulty after getting use to it.
5) Those expandable memory issues you are reading, do not apply to the Pro as they were library related on RT.

RN50 says:

If the surface is considered a laptop replacement why not just offer 500gb straight up? Its not like memory is expensive.

To lose 50gb is not acceptable.

Mattyh95 says:

You pay for 120 odd GB so you should get 120gb!! Might have to wait for surface 2 :/

cashcar1979 says:

Come again? Have you ever used a computer, tablet ,etc before in your life?

Microsoft really shouldn't advertise it as 128 and 64GB. It's a lawsuit waiting to happen. 23GB free space? I wonder what Microsoft is smoking

MDboyz says:

You mean like people can sue all PC makers too about that?
I don't know how hard to understand the ad that the device is equipped with 128GB <> than the device comes with 128GB available space.

waynejk says:

I'm sorry but this 'Suface Storage' story is the BIGGEST NON-STORY EVER! If you need more space, then buy the 128 GB Surface, won't you? ("Boo hoo, I bought a netbook and it's slow! Boo hoo, I bought a cheapo Android Tablet and I can't upgrade to Ice Cream Whatever! Boo hoo, I bought a 64 GB Surface and the dirve is occupied!") Right now, I am staring at a Samsung Series 7 tablet with Windows 8 Pro and the drive has 48 GB of USED space. I have many RT apps installed. I've also been using it since October when Windows 8 Pro was released. I use SkyDrive so I can work with my important files seamlessly from desktop to laptop to tablet (and to WP8 phone). I just installed Office 2013. This is not my main computer, so nothing on it is mission critical. And I can plainly see that it will be a while before I fill up this hard drive. After all my desktop has the 2TB worth of important stuff that I back up weekly. Doesn't yours?

Sam Sabri says:

Cool story bro. 

Rod Hull says:

Whilst those in the know won't be disturbed by this news, the average consumer who is eyeing up a Surface Pro alongside an iPad will be mighty perturbed by this. And before anyone gets all uppity, I know they're not strictly comparable, but they will be sat next to each other in most electronics shops, and are both marketed as tablets.
Hopefully most folks will recognise how much more flexible Microsoft's Effort is, but this kind of info is always misreported in the popular press.

BaboliDaboli says:

I see no problem with 128 GB model. You won't find many reviews of laptops or ultrabooks with 128 GB SSD + Windows 7 or Windows 8 (and loads of bloatware on top) mentioning anything but raw drive capacity. I can't even remember seeing a spec in a computer store stating anything but raw drive capacity regardless of the bundled OS and apps (and that goes back to the days when hard drive real estate was expensive). So bashing the 128 GB Surface PRO or Microsoft for "available drive capacity" only makes some sense if you look at it as a marketing effort by competition making sure they hamper success and market penetration of Surface PRO a little bit (or a biased opinion of their devoted fans).
 
I agree on the other hand that 64 GB Surface PRO model is truly questionable to even offer. This is because I see the internal SSD storage as the only viable place for the OS and applications. It shouldn't be ignored that Windows stores the OS updates and restore points on system partition (I'm not aware if that changed in Windows 8) and that will certainly take additional space.
 
23 GB free space on Surface PRO is actually much worse than 16 GB free space you get with 32 GB Surface RT. RT apps have a rather small footprint and I suppose updates for Windows RT would be smaller than updates for Windows 8 Pro. On the other hand there are desktop programs out there that can easily eat 1 GB of disk space all by themselves especially various creativity or developer suites and installing (all) those programs is supposed to be a major advantage of PRO over RT (or other tablets for that matter).
 
Furthermore, RT (as far as I know) doesn't come with Outlook so there is no danger whatsoever of a huge ost or pst file landing in user profile. But on Surface PRO running full Outlook would be a major thing for most businesses with Exchange server. And with that 23 GB of free SSD space starts looking practically unacceptable. I know there is an (unsupported?) option for displacing parts of user profile to SD card but have no idea how well or fast Outlook would be doing regarding accessing or indexing files on SD card. I guess one could consider giving up local (offline) copy of your Exchange mailbox altogether (or pst archives for that matter) but that is not a "winning proposition" for many business users.
 
I honestly think Microsoft should have gone with 128 GB as a base model and 256 GB as a premium model of Surface PRO considering the advertised advantages of having full Windows 8 Pro on a machine like that. I'm afraid that those buyers who go for a 64 GB model might be headed for a sore dissapointment.

Simple Solution. MS charges you $30.- extra and you get a microSD card with the recovery partition and Office Trial and other goodies.
Do do it, it only needs a top down decision from Steve Balmer.

WilliamC1972 says:

I have my Surface RT and I can't wait to purchase my Surface Pro!!!!

theefman says:

People making a big deal out of this are beyond ignorant. Do the rest of us a favor and stop buying computers period.

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