surface

Any fans of DC Comic superhero Green Arrow watching the TV series Arrow? It started up last October on the CW here in the United States and later went to international broadcasting in late 2012. It’s getting favorable reviews with critics and fans alike. Either way, they’ve recently had some in-show advertisement from Microsoft, highlight a few products from the Redmond company.

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Microsoft has been incredibly coy with numbers the past few years. Especially when it comes to actual numbers for Windows Phone and more recently its new Surface line of tablets. You can’t blame them for not wanting to disclose numbers from the top of the mountain if they aren’t anything to boast about to begin with. Numbers we do get either come from inside sources or website analytics that we all piece together. That said, here are some numbers from inside Microsoft about the number of Surface tablets sold.

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One of the advantages the touchscreen on our Microsoft Surface or other Windows 8 device is the artist uses it presents. You can basically turn your Windows 8 touchscreen into an art canvass.

The Sensu Brush is a tool that can help you draw with not only a stylus point but also mimic brush strokes. It's not your run of the mill Windows 8 accessory but it can come in handy if you like dabbling with art/sketch apps.

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It’s Patch Tuesday, Microsoft’s semi-regular time to push out OS and software updates to our computers. Today is no different, and if you’re on Windows 8 you’ll get at least 13 important updates (83MB) and if you’re on Surface, you’re looking at 14 patches (38-118MB) and a firmware update. (Some of that will vary for you as different Office 2010 and Office 2013 updates are included.)

So what’s new? Well, the biggest news is that Microsoft has enabled Flash to work now in Internet Explorer 10 for RT. If you recall, Microsoft only allowed a few, specific websites with Flash to work on Internet Explorer 10 citing performance and battery life reasons. There was even a neat little work around that you could do yourself to bypass this. Now, Microsoft have reversed that decision, which they say is due to more sites becoming IE10 compatible.

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Staples has an interesting Windows 8 Trade up to Touch program running where you can earn you a little cash back and have the opportunity to recycle your old computer in the process.

When you buy a qualifying touch screen laptop or tablet at Staples, just fill in the online claim form within fourteen days and you'll receive a prepaid shipping label to turn in your older, qualifying device. Just pack up the old computer, drop it off at UPS and within thirty days you'll receive a pre-paid VISA card for up to $400.

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AdDuplex, the advertising publisher for developers on both Windows and Windows Phone, has released data for Windows 8 and Windows RT devices in the month of February 2013. Microsoft's Surface Pro tablet has only been available for a short while and already the product has sold out (but has since been made available once again). So how does this translate to usage?

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Microsoft has again made its Surface Pro tablet running Windows 8 Pro available for purchase on its online store. The product has experienced stock issues since it was released. With the cheapest option starting at $899, Microsoft is certainly pinning the product as a premium experience with a rather expensive price tag. The original Surface tablet is already available with Windows RT, so what will consumers be getting with this new Surface Pro?

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Nearly one third of tech workers in the enterprise sector say they would prefer their next tablet to run on the Windows platform, according to a Forrester Research survey. The survey revealed that 32 percent of information workers surveyed prefer Microsoft Surface, while only 26 percent favour the iPad and 12 percent would choose Android hardware. 

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If you have a few hours to spare, or an entire year if you're exceptionally slow, there's a super piece over at ZDNet that goes into the whole issue surrounding available storage on the Surface RT. Ed Bott has gone into some length to compare the Surface Pro 128GB against the MacBook Air 128GB to see just which product offers more room for consumers to wiggle.

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There are many, many perks to having a Microsoft Store near you. You get great customer service, crapware free devices, and some good deals from time to time. A relatively unknown benefit is the ability to create custom vinyl stickers for a variety of products and accessories. You can spruce up your Xbox 360 controller and now your Surface tablet.

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The Surface Pro doesn’t go on sale for another three days, but reviews hit the airwaves last night. If want check out this post from earlier today summing up what the web is saying. Or I’ll just spoil it for you – the Surface Pro is a kick ass device that is really only slowed down by battery life.

Wouldn’t that be great if there was an accessory that could help push the device past the 4 ½ hour average? There may be.

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Earlier this evening the embargo was lifted and all the tech sites posted their reviews online of the Surface Pro. Big brother to the Surface RT, the Pro was meant to be a truly no compromise device. It promised to give users the best of all worlds: tablet, ultrabook, x86 legacy software support, and new Windows 8 only apps. So, what does the web think of Redmonds second and latest computing device?

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The International Data Corporation has released a report showing an unexpected growth in the tablet market. Worldwide tablet shipments reached a record total of 52.5 million units in Q4 2012. This is the same quarter Microsoft chose to enter the competition with the Surface family of tablets, releasing the Surface RT tablet. But how did Microsoft perform in the first quarter of selling the product?

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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.

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Lightning strikes twice, history repeats itself, and Microsoft will be giving out reservation cards for the Surface Pro like they did with the Surface RT. Back in October, if you visited a physical Microsoft Store or those pop-up holiday kiosks you could get a card guaranteeing you a Surface the day they went on sale. Microsoft is now doing the same with the Intel-based Surface for when it becomes available on February 9th.

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For those looking to pick up the Surface RT tablet your local Costco’s (Costco.com) may be the place to look. Yup, in addition to the Microsoft Store, Best Buy and Staples, the Surface is now listed in upcoming inventory for Costco’s (see image below) including the RT’s various options for purchases.

Users will have their choice of 32GB RT tablet without Touch cover ($499), which is the norm for that SKU but the real deal comes in the “packages” where the Touch cover is included.

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Looks like the Surface Pro isn’t the only new item available from Microsoft come February 9th as the recent emphasis on hardware has the company releasing new Touch covers. Made with laser-etched designs from three artists, it’s a familiar concept that Redmond has used in the past for ‘limited edition’ artist series Microsoft Mice.

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