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Microsoft Surface 2 vs. MS Pro

Posted on 2013-11-27
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Last Modified: 2013-11-28
EE Pros,

I'm trying to decide on buying a MS Surface 2 or a MS Surface Pro.  When I compare both of them, the Pro has one line that bothers me;  "....and you can run Win7 Apps!"  Does that mean that Surface 2 (non-Pro) with Win NT 8.1 is unable to run Win7 Apps??

Any guidance would be appreciated.

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Question by:Bright01
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by:RKnebel512
ID: 39682035
Yes.  The Surface 2 (non-pro) runs on an ARM processor so it cannot run apps that were created for the x86 architecture you currently use.  Only new apps that are written for the ARM processor will be able to run on that tablet.

One big selling point of the Pro is backwards compatibility.
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Author Comment

by:Bright01
ID: 39682384
Well, the $800 price is unbelievable for the Pro.  I'll wait until they are piling up in the warehouse.  Who's writing apps for the Surface 2?  Doesn't MS have enough problems competing with Apple?  For $800, I can get a retina display 60 GB Mini......

Unbelievable.



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by:McKnife
ID: 39682436
Just to make sure you understood: we cannot use categories like "windows 7 app". This animal simply does not exist. There are apps that exist only in versions written for a certain type of processor, while a few apps are written in two or more "flavors" - these do run on both, the ARM-processor-driven surface and the pc-like surface pro.

So you should find out whether the software(s) you like/ you need to run exist(s) as an ARM version or not. Then decide what to buy.
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Author Comment

by:Bright01
ID: 39683198
thanks McKnife.  I have decided to not buy a Surface.  Apple makes it easy for me to buy a product while MS makes me check compatibility?  I'll wait until the product is 1/2 price and then will buy one.  If a SW product is built on the ARM-processor, I'm assuming it won't then run on the Pro.........?

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McKnife earned 2000 total points
ID: 39683301
You will always have to check compatibility, no matter what device or OS you are on - same for apple. "If a SW product is built on the ARM-processor, I'm assuming it won't then run on the Pro.........?" - there will hardly be any applications that are ARM-only.
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Author Closing Comment

by:Bright01
ID: 39683404
Good conversation!  

I understand compatability between Apple and MS.  However, what doesn't make sense is if I want to use an App that runs on Win 7 and Wintel Platform, on the Surface version ARM Processor, it may not run.  So this makes the Surface and S2 basically a Microsoft Office product right?  And will most SW Vendors adapt their apps to the ARM audience?

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Expert Comment

by:McKnife
ID: 39683419
> So this makes the Surface and S2 basically a Microsoft Office product right
The ARM was used in order to have a cheap and power saving processor - lower the cost, offer long battery-powered sessions. The downside of this is what you see - the application vendors need to program for the ARM-Platform, too. And additionally, customers are confused ;)
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by:RKnebel512
ID: 39684053
@Bright01 - It's not as confusing as you are making it out to be.  iPad also runs on an ARM processor.  You can't just take a program that was running on your Mac and install it on an iPad.  Instead, the program has to be downloaded through the app store if available.

We've already been dealing with this problem with Macs and iPads for years, but now that Microsoft does the same thing, everybody says that it's just awful that a company would do this.

The 2 different processors for 2 different tablets is confusing, but Microsoft is just trying to offer choice where Apple is offering a single product.  This has been a fundamental mission plan of each company for years.
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Author Comment

by:Bright01
ID: 39684361
Good commentary!  In the case of Apple, I've never taken the Mac seriously and the iPad is a wonderful entertainment tool.  In the case of Microsoft, it's all about business applications for me.   For that reason compatibility is very important. However I don't appreciate having to pay 2X for compatibility that should be in the lower end product.  If Microsoft builds a tablet that was completely Compatible in the $400 range, this would be a no-brainer..
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