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Microsoft Surface event

Microsoft's Surface division has invited journalists to a "small gathering" in New York City on May 20. Best bets are for the unveiling of a Surface Mini tablet, along with a possible Surface Pro 3.

  • John Falcone 5/20/2014 2:31:32 PM
    Hello everyone
  • John Falcone 5/20/2014 2:31:48 PM
    And welcome to our pre-game show.
  • John Falcone 5/20/2014 2:32:10 PM
    The event is scheduled to start in about 30 minutes.
  • John Falcone 5/20/2014 2:32:35 PM
    CNETers Dan Ackerman and Tim Stevens are on site, waiting to be seated
  • John Falcone 5/20/2014 2:32:45 PM
    Along with our ace photographer, Sarah Tew
  • John Falcone 5/20/2014 2:33:10 PM
    In the meantime, here's a recap of what to expect.
  • John Falcone 5/20/2014 2:33:52 PM
    Microsoft's invitation to the press called this a "small gathering," which most took to be a not-so-subtle hint
  • John Falcone 5/20/2014 2:34:08 PM
    that a small-screen Surface tablet is on deck.
  • John Falcone 5/20/2014 2:34:35 PM
    Such a product has been rumored for months.
  • John Falcone 5/20/2014 2:35:08 PM
    And this would hardly be the first small Windows tablet. We've seen a bevy of 8-inch models from the likes of Asus, Acer, and Dell.
  • John Falcone 5/20/2014 2:35:37 PM
    Most of these run the latest Intel Atom "Bay Trail" processor, and -- importantly -- run the FULL version of Windows 8.1,
  • John Falcone 5/20/2014 2:35:47 PM
    rather than the stripped-down Windows RT.
  • John Falcone 5/20/2014 2:36:11 PM
    Also notable: Most of them cost between $280 and $350, at least in the entry-level configuration.
  • saketh 5/20/2014 2:36:45 PM
    Surface mini would be excellent in sales.
  • John Falcone 5/20/2014 2:38:04 PM
    In addition to a Surface Mini, we may also see an update of the full-size Surface model. Currently, that's the Surface Pro 2.
  • Tim Stevens 5/20/2014 2:38:44 PM
    Hi everybody! We're in our seats here at the event in NYC.
  • dan.ackerman 5/20/2014 2:39:13 PM
    Hello, all -- we're seated in the Surface event space, following a long queue outside in the blistering morning sun.
  • John Falcone 5/20/2014 2:39:35 PM
  • John Falcone 5/20/2014 2:40:18 PM
  • John Falcone 5/20/2014 2:40:53 PM
    Hmmm. If Dan thinks today is "blistering," I think he's in for a looooong hot summer.
  • dan.ackerman 5/20/2014 2:41:39 PM
    Note this WSJ story from this morning that points out "tablet sales has slowed to a crawl."
  • dan.ackerman 5/20/2014 2:42:05 PM
    One notable quote from that article: "Tablets powered by Microsoft's Windows software, including the Surface, accounted for less than 4% of tablets sold world-wide last year, according to research firm IDC."
  • John Falcone 5/20/2014 2:42:33 PM
    That's kinda been the big story in tech for that past year or two -- consumer "boredom" with current offerings
  • Tim Stevens 5/20/2014 2:42:59 PM
    We have about 18 minutes until our event starts. Have any predictions for us? Hit us up on Twitter. I'm @Tim_Stevens. Dan is @danackerman. We'll share our favorites.
  • dan.ackerman 5/20/2014 2:43:04 PM
    John, it wasn't the sun itself, as much as the no-shade, line-up-against-the-brick-wall vibe, which accentuated the effect. Also, look for sunburned bloggers later today.
  • John Falcone 5/20/2014 2:43:25 PM
    Most folks seem "happy" with their current smartphone, tablet, and/or PC. No compelling reason to upgrade, especially if your must-have apps run perfectly well on existing hardware.
  • John Falcone 5/20/2014 2:44:01 PM
    And if you'll recall, iPad sales were down, too, though Apple claimed that was due to "supply chain issues" or somesuch.
  • sarahtew 5/20/2014 2:44:33 PM
  • Tim Stevens 5/20/2014 2:45:26 PM
    Oh the music is bumping this morning. Perhaps a bit lively for something in the AM, but then again we're feeling a bit tropical after being baked in the sun while waiting in line
  • John Falcone 5/20/2014 2:46:32 PM
    My prediction: none of today's products will run Windows RT, which will lead to a slew of "RIP Windows RT" stories by end of day.
  • Tim Stevens 5/20/2014 2:46:35 PM
    It's a fairly small venue, as advertised, a couple-hundred journos, photogs, videogs, and assorted hangers-on in here.
  • Tim Stevens 5/20/2014 2:46:59 PM
    We're bathed in white and blue, a bongo drum serenade.
  • Tim Stevens 5/20/2014 2:47:40 PM
    Mr. @StefanEtienne says "That will be called Surface. And It will be worth buying this time." -- The Surface name is a lock. Many would say the previous versions were worth buying too. The big question is: what'll change this time to make things more compelling?
  • Tim Stevens 5/20/2014 2:48:33 PM
    @TxdoHawk says "Tiny RT tablet that nobody wants. Surface 3 Pro with nice touches focused on artists." -- Small tablet sales have been booming of late -- as have big phone sales. It's a bit of an odd convergence toward the middle.
  • Tim Stevens 5/20/2014 2:49:26 PM
    @Josh_Sherm says "I'd be shocked is there was a Surface with the new passive-heat i5 processors and a lower ($500) price for them," -- Cooling fans are increasingly an issue in devices of this size -- both for battery life and packaging concerns. If that could be nixed in the Pro models that would certainly make for a thinner, lighter device.
  • dan.ackerman 5/20/2014 2:49:40 PM
    I'll point out that when we have reviews of other tablets, including Windows tablets, on CNET, a handful of dedicated Surface defenders come out of the woodwork.
  • Tim Stevens 5/20/2014 2:50:17 PM
    From @nicolasmagand: "13" Pro, thinner RT, maybe higher-res option, keyboard included, Office included in Pro" -- I have a feeling you might be happy with what we get today, though 13 might be a bit on the large size. Office feels like a natural.
  • Tim Stevens 5/20/2014 2:50:30 PM
    Again, if you want to get in on the fun, we're @Tim_Stevens and @danackerman.
  • sarahtew 5/20/2014 2:51:04 PM
  • dan.ackerman 5/20/2014 2:51:36 PM
    What would a "mini" Surface with a stylus be like? Maybe a bit like the Asus VivoTab 8 I just reviewed:
  • Tim Stevens 5/20/2014 2:51:38 PM
    It's worth noting that there are two Microsoft personnel just sort of hanging out on stage. They're chatting idly at the focal point of the room. Curious.
  • Tim Stevens 5/20/2014 2:52:05 PM
    Panos Panay has just made an appearance, making the rounds and saying hello. Panay is Corporate VP at MS, a guy who we'll be seeing a lot of today.
  • sarahtew 5/20/2014 2:52:24 PM

    Tim Stevens & Dan Ackerman are two rows behind me...

  • Tim Stevens 5/20/2014 2:52:25 PM
    Satya Nadella tweeted earlier about the weather in NY, so the expectation is that he'll be making an appearance today as well.
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