While the ARM based Surface model seemed likely to disappear there are many hints that the Surface Pro models powered by x86 processors are going nowhere and that even Windows RT will stick around. More evidence came today from The Register who read through a Microsoft post and highlighted several updates to the UEFI in the Surface Pro 3 aimed at Enterprise users. Some of the updates are minor but very useful, you can now set the boot device for the device in the UEFI instead of needing to physically push a button during boot. One security feature which is key to the adoption of this device in the Enterprise is as being able to control what devices are functional on the Surface and with this update you can disable various connections as well as the USB ports. The final feature, being able to make changes to the UEFI remotely has been enabled but the tool needed to do so is not yet available.
The device originally seemed doomed to failure but Microsoft has found a market for their tablet and we will be seeing new models soon.
"As explained in a blog post by Redmond's JC Hornbeck, the latest update to the Surface Pro 3's Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) adds new features for enterprise customers but only minor improvements for consumers."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Chip rumor-gasm: Intel to buy Altera! Samsung to buy AMD! … or not @ The Register
- Intel reportedly in talks to buy Altera for £7bn in IoT push @ The Inquirer
- If Samsung bought AMD would it be a good move? @ Kitguru
- Samsung Galaxy S6 & S6 Edge Launch Date & Prices @ Tech ARP
- What To Do If You Destroyed Your Apple iPhone @ Tech ARP
- Did we just wake up in an alternate universe? BlackBerry turns a profit @ The Register
- Turning A Basement Into A Big Linux Server Room @ Phoronix
- Tech ARP 2015 Mega Giveaway
Fingers crossed for a surface
Fingers crossed for a surface Pro 4 with a big kids Wifi/Bluetooth chipset.
The current Marvell Avastar belongs in the trash heap and is what really holds it back from enterprise adoption. They have tried to fix it how many times with firmware? Six? Abysmal throughput and it still cant figure out 2.4/5GHz dual mode SSID’s…
When was it ever stated that
When was it ever stated that M$ was abandoning their surface pro series of Tablets! M$ is depreciating the windows RT-OS devices(the ARM based ones) and the RT-OS, with the RT version of the runtime(TIFKAM runtime, modern, universal, now renamed(again) windows App)! This “RT”(so thoroughly renamed, and obfuscated) runtime will be available on the new non pro x86 based tablet SKU. The bigger story in this is the multiple renaming of the RT/TIFKAM/etc. runtime as Windows App, does this mean the eventual end of the windows desktop applications?
Will windows “Apps” supplant the desktop application ecosystem, and become like an Android on top of the Linux kernel Pseudo-OS, and become the sort of not very useful for productivity sort of consumer grade ecosystem. M$ appears to be going round and round with its constant renaming, and such, bringing users back to the beginning, and leading to the big question of the future of the windows full applications and their ecosystem just as much in question now, as it has been in the past. So the x86 versions with the least powerful x86 based SKUs will take over the NON Pro “Surface” moniker vacated by the former ARM/RT-OS version of the deices that were discontinued, and written off of the books. Will windows 10, even with the TIFKAM/etc. UI pushed towards the background, still eventually see the full windows application ecosystem and applications gradually deprecated out of existence, once everything goes windows 365! Has M$ ever really been up front with their real intentions.
With M$, the Devil is in the Details, to be worked out at a later time, maybe when we finally see the EULA, and see just what that “Supported Lifetime of the device” means, that and just what the other nebulous/nefarious statements mean when they are truly/legally defined!
The Surface Pro devices are
The Surface Pro devices are gaining traction in several Enterprise environments that I’m familiar with. I would hope that they continue the lineup.
We validated the SP3 last
We validated the SP3 last year and are recommending them to any staff that wants a tablet solution as the SP3 still maintains all of our enterprise/AD/Exchange functionality.
The UEFI improvements are nice for IT staff trying to get custom images rolled out, but the only thing the device really lacks is a built-in SmartCard reader.
Great device though, I have one for work and bought one for my wife as well!
They had $1bn revenues from
They had $1bn revenues from them last year, which is like 1/5 of all Mac sales. And that with limited market coverage, marketing and selling pretty much high-end pricey HW.
Revenue-wise, SP3 can’t be called failure.
With all the businesses
With all the businesses running their services in their own private clouds, why pay the high prices for the Pro versions, when what is needed is something that can remote in to a virtual desktop. Intel’s CPU processing power may not be necessary for this, and most of the iPads and Android tablets will have better graphics and sufficient CPU power to drive a thin client/remote desktop to the private corporate cloud server. Apple needs to get a larger iPad(4GB+ memory), for its market with IBM’s iOS business software. Apple also needs a more powerful, maybe A9/A9X, that can run the full OSX for graphics professionals, and the PowerVR graphics is definitely up to the task, especially the 7XT series. Intel is not going to provide suitable graphics in its lower end tablet SKUs, and even its high end tablet SKUs.
M$ is selling the current surface Pro line at a very high price point, compared to the other makers, including Apple, and M$ currently offers its Pro Tablets with the full windows OS, so Apple needs to offer an OSX tablet version ASAP. AMD needs to think beyond Android for its K12 cores in the tablet market, and at least get one or two design wins in a full Linux K12 custom ARM ISA based tablet, with the AMD K12 APU and AMD’s graphics. There is a big untapped market for some serious graphics tablets that can be utilized by both students, and professionals.
The tablet market is saturated with the Android, and iOS versions that can not run the desktop versions of the graphics packages, except for the Surface Pro, and its Intel graphics does not have the SP/other execution resources of the mobile Nvidia, Imagination technologies, or AMD GPUs for graphics workloads. Intel’s graphics, with its sparse execution resources, is more tuned for gaming, and less suited for other graphics uses, while Nvidia’s, AMDs, and Imagination technologies'(PowerVR) products do not skimp on the execution resources and are useful for both gaming and graphics. Even when Intel utilizes outside graphics IP, Intel never uses the latest third party IP, and certainly never the higher end third party GPU IP.
1) Cloud on travel is still
1) Cloud on travel is still sci-fi.
2) K12 is not tablet chip, rather notebook/desktop/server part. Just out of curiosity, what kind of graphics workloads are you referring to?
Surface4 non-pro using Cherry Trail would be something I would love to buy (if it has 120+GB storage).
3) If you look at Core-M graphics benchmarks (e.g. Anand’s review of the Asus ultrabook), it is around the level of Apple A7, which is pretty decent.
Are you sure that Core-M with current nVidia’s tablet graphics (instead of what they have now) would be good enough for what you’re looking for?
The K12 is a core
The K12 is a core microarchitecture that will be utilized for both server SKUs and Tablet SKUs, and with SMT in a custom ARMv8 ISA design like the K12, AMD could derive many SKUs from the base K12 custom ARMv8 ISA based cores. Maybe a little more SMT resources in the server SKUs say 4 processor threads per core, and a little less for a tablet SKU with 2 threads per core, the minimum amount of processor threads per core to keep the pipelines busy and take advantage of any stalls/waits in the core’s other processor thread.
One need only look at the RISC design power8(8 processor threads per core) to see how many processor threads per core can be efficiently packed on a die, relative to the x86’s CISC design which requires more DIE space to implement dew to the nature of CISC. And the Power8 has an 8 decode and 10 instruction issue execution from its instruction issue queue, with plenty of execution pipelines 14 per core including a packed decimal unit, to keep the 8 processor threads serviced.
A companies private cloud with the resources to support its employees is not so far fetched, owing to the possibility of utilizing the corporations back haul and dedicated IT services infrastructure should help. And most conference centers, and business hotels have specialized high speed services. For sure the K12 being HSA compliant, more so that previous AMD APUs, should do very well on the tablet form factor with the GPU accelerating spreadsheets and other data intensive workloads, Apple is going to have a hard time against the K12’s custom ARMv8 ISA based designs especially since the K12 will support SMT, I would expect that Jim Keller’s design team has made a wider order superscalar design like Apple’s A7/A8, and NVidia’s Denver, and we will see a custom ARMv8 ISA K12 tablet with at least 6 or 8 wide decode/issue with 2 processor threads per core. Both Apple, and Nvidia do not currently have any SMT capabilities for their respective custom ARMv8 designs.
I don’t see AMD needing to utilize its x86 Zen cores in any but maybe the top end Tablet SKUs that may or may not be utilized for any windows OS based tablet designs, as having a powerful more efficient RISC design in the K12 custom ARM would be better utilized for the more power efficient tablet market, both K12, and Zen will be utilizing AMDs graphics and be HSA compliant, the K12 will be much more power efficient in the tablet form factor, and why should AMD waste valuable resources trying to get the CISC x86 designs into a power envelope that is more natural for its ARM ISA based K12 RISC custom microarchitecture.
Intel has had a very hard time getting its x86 CISC designs to compete with the ARM designs in power efficiency, and the ARM designs are 2 process nodes behind Intel’s, and the ARM designs are just as power efficient with that process node disadvantage. Wait until the ARM designs get closer to fab process node parity with Intel, and the x86 CISC design’s intrinsic complexity will put it behind the power usage curve once again. AMD will not have to even try, as AMD’s K12 will be there for AMD to utilize for the majority of its SKUs for the tablet market.
I want one but they made i3
I want one but they made i3 SKU so useless with 64gb ssd.