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  • Microsoft's 64 GB Surface Pro to Ship with Roughly 23 GB of Usable Space


    Microsoft is gearing up to release its full-featured Windows 8 tablet complete with a host of built-in apps, the Surface Pro, but the operating system and software is said to take up as much as 64% of the device’s onboard storage depending on the model. According to a Microsoft spokesman, the pre-installed apps and a recovery partition leaves users with a meager 36% to 65% of space to work with.

    The 64 GB Surface Pro model will have 41 GB of installed assets, leaving users with roughly 23 GB of disk space. The more expensive 128 GB version will have 83 GB left after a 45 GB partition is applied. Microsoft for its part does warn users of the issue on the Surface webpage, saying that, “System software uses significant storage space. Available storage is subject to change based on system software updates and apps usage.”

    According to Microsoft, users are given the option to create a backup bootable USB and delete the recovery partition to free up space. In addition, the device boasts USB 3.0 ports and a microSDXC slot for expanding storage with removable media.

    The ARM-based Surface RT models were introduced last October and the stripped down operating system ended up eating up half of the devices’ addressable storage, sparking concerns over how much space would be inquired for a full-fledged Windows 8 install. Apple’s iOS on the other hand leaves over 85% of the advertised storage available out of the box, depending on the device and OS version.

    It’s a bit coincidental to see Microsoft’s statement on the issue come around the same time Apple announces a new 128 GB iteration of the fourth-generation iPad which is scheduled to hit store shelves on February 5, just four days before the Surface Pro.

    Source: The Verge
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Microsoft's 64 GB Surface Pro to Ship with Roughly 23 GB of Usable Space started by Akshay Masand View original post
    Comments 40 Comments
    1. steeda763's Avatar
      steeda763 -
      I played with a WinRT tablet when it first came out and loved it, but I decided against it because the 32GB version had about 3GB of usable space. Expandable or not, that's pretty pathetic, and I like Microsoft.

      I went with a 32GB Transformer instead, which was cheaper, and where the Android 4.1 OS only took up about 2GB. I've yet to fill it up the remaining storage space, and I still can't believe how productive I can be on Android. It's really evolved over the years, and it's made me consider retiring my iPhone 4 for a Nexus 4.

      Full disclosure: I'm not a fanboy. I like all three companies. They all have their strengths and weaknesses, so don't respond to my post like I am.
    1. spazturtle's Avatar
      spazturtle -
      Quote Originally Posted by steeda763 View Post
      I played with a WinRT tablet when it first came out and loved it, but I decided against it because the 32GB version had about 3GB of usable space. Expandable or not, that's pretty pathetic, and I like Microsoft.

      I went with a 32GB Transformer instead, which was cheaper, and where the Android 4.1 OS only took up about 2GB. I've yet to fill it up the remaining storage space, and I still can't believe how productive I can be on Android. It's really evolved over the years, and it's made me consider retiring my iPhone 4 for a Nexus 4.

      Full disclosure: I'm not a fanboy. I like all three companies. They all have their strengths and weaknesses, so don't respond to my post like I am.
      GTFO! Rational people aren't allowed on this site.
    1. Ruthless Killa8's Avatar
      Ruthless Killa8 -
      While the storage space available is unfortunate, a cheap sd card fixes it rather easily. I can't wait to get one of the surface pros, nothing Apple has can compare. Apple needs to stop being lazy and actually improve their products and get back to innovating
    1. spazturtle's Avatar
      spazturtle -
      Quote Originally Posted by Ruthless Killa8 View Post
      While the storage space available is unfortunate, a cheap sd card fixes it rather easily. I can't wait to get one of the surface pros, nothing Apple has can compare. Apple needs to stop being lazy and actually improve their products and get back to innovating
      An sd card won't do, sd cards have very slow read and write times compared to ssds, so you applications will be slow.
    1. Ruthless Killa8's Avatar
      Ruthless Killa8 -
      Quote Originally Posted by spazturtle View Post
      An sd card won't do, sd cards have very slow read and write times compared to ssds, so you applications will be slow.
      I'm talking about using one for the recovery partition that you don't really need as well as for media. I think an SD card is adequate for such purposes
    1. Faresismail's Avatar
      Faresismail -
      Quote Originally Posted by b1997469 View Post
      So the 64GB is actually a 23GB. That sucks bigtime.
      So you will virtually be forced to get the 128GB just so you have some space.
      I might give it a miss and just get an ASUS or another tablet/laptop as they sound a lot better.
      Not sure if Microsoft being Microsoft or extremely good market strategy :/
    1. rocky5's Avatar
      rocky5 -
      Quote Originally Posted by vinaygoel2000 View Post
      Why dont they advertise as 23GB and 83GB.
      Because there is no law to say they need to tell the customer the available memory :-( they only need to specify the total amount.

      Apple do the same :-( but they don't seem to use as much space.
    1. pyroemaniac's Avatar
      pyroemaniac -
      Quote Originally Posted by spazturtle View Post
      An sd card won't do, sd cards have very slow read and write times compared to ssds, so you applications will be slow.
      If you don't cheap out and get a class 10 SD card instead of a $5 dollar class 2 it will be plenty fast.

      The reason the iPad doesn't use much space is because it is running a phone operating system. It doesn't have very much capabilities in the way of much of anything except games and stripped down business apps.

      A windows tablet can do everything that the desktop counterpart can do because it is running the exact same software. The recovery partition has always been there so that you could back it up to an external source and use if needed. That means that you will have an extra 20-30 gbs once you back up the recovery and delete it.

      For the guy that said HDD's are getting larger for the sole purpose of media, well you are sorely mislead. As technology develops and becomes more sophisticated for use with more complicated tasks then naturally more code will be used as well as graphics. This will make all programs larger and larger.

      Sorry if I sound condescending, but the ill informed posts started to annoy me.
    1. BboyAirrick's Avatar
      BboyAirrick -
      Yay 1/3 of what you thought you were getting. I was gonna get this, the commercial was so enticing but i understand why the school girls in the commercial were so angry!
    1. raduga's Avatar
      raduga -
      Quote Originally Posted by pyroemaniac View Post
      A windows tablet can do everything that the desktop counterpart can do because it is running the exact same software.
      LOL!

      For the guy that said HDD's are getting larger for the sole purpose of media, well you are sorely mislead. As technology develops and becomes more sophisticated for use with more complicated tasks then naturally more code will be used as well as graphics. This will make all programs larger and larger.
      Its principally for media, and design elements, some of which are embedded in "code" for efficiency.
      Binary executables and libraries expand, and take up ever more room because they can, since storage space is rarely considered a meaningful constraint anymore. Lots of duplication, old versions and backups.

      Newer OSes do legitimately need more logic (hence, more code) but unique instances of logic are not a key driver of bloat. Media in its various guises, and redundancy are. Development models that encourage rapid prototyping and copying of inefficient algorithms, while discouraging careful and precise code tuning (it is more cost effective from the developer's standpoint) play a BIG role in fattening the system, too.

      Its the way of the future, pretty much.

      Sorry if I sound condescending, but the ill informed posts started to annoy me.
      Sorry, I didn't notice your condescension, but the woeful misapprehensions are saddening.
      Using them as a basis to criticize others is unfortunate.
    1. Luie82's Avatar
      Luie82 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Colby21 View Post
      No you will not be virtually forced to do anything. The surface has 3usb ports and an SD slot. You can have nearly infinite amount of memory if you wanted. I use a 1tb external hard drive



      You disagree? Buy a w7 laptop for 200 bucks and see. I've had mine since Black Friday of 07. It has never crashed on me once and has helped me earn my bachelors degree. I'm buying a new laptop soon and it won't be w8, it will be w7 again.
      I'm sorry I'm not spending a $1,000+ on a tablet that requires me to use a flash drive, SD Card or hard drive to add more storage, I'd already have to buy the keyboard just to use the damn thing to get work done. For that money I'd get a MB Air and install parallels on it
    1. fanboyfanboy's Avatar
      fanboyfanboy -
      Here's my 2 problems, I'm not spending that much money then throwing more money at the keyboard AND storage. I shouldn't have to spend upwards of a grand only to buy external storage spaces. Not only that, even buying extra space, you can install programs to that external storage, so you Are still stuck with 23GB of programs you can install, that's of you keep ALL files on the external storage. Too much for the costs vs rewards
    1. pyroemaniac's Avatar
      pyroemaniac -
      Quote Originally Posted by raduga View Post
      LOL!


      Its principally for media, and design elements, some of which are embedded in "code" for efficiency.
      Binary executables and libraries expand, and take up ever more room because they can, since storage space is rarely considered a meaningful constraint anymore. Lots of duplication, old versions and backups.

      Newer OSes do legitimately need more logic (hence, more code) but unique instances of logic are not a key driver of bloat. Media in its various guises, and redundancy are. Development models that encourage rapid prototyping and copying of inefficient algorithms, while discouraging careful and precise code tuning (it is more cost effective from the developer's standpoint) play a BIG role in fattening the system, too.

      Its the way of the future, pretty much.


      Sorry, I didn't notice your condescension, but the woeful misapprehensions are saddening.
      Using them as a basis to criticize others is unfortunate.
      What you fail to mention is the fact that with a generic operating system it has files that are built in for compatibility purposes (ex: you have to have certain duplicate files from xp so that programs can run on vista/7/8). Also the fact that people want resolutions that are unnecessary due to what are eyes can actually comprehend. Larger resolution means larger images for each item which in turn means larger files sizes.

      And no I wasn't criticizing the people themselves but the fact that they take articles on the internet as fact and don't do the research themselves.

      The reason I brought up the fact about larger hard drives are for media alone is because it is simple, that is false. It is a big part but not the entire purpose.
    1. bmwraw8482's Avatar
      bmwraw8482 -
      Quote Originally Posted by LittleJob View Post
      article is refering to storage space. Not usable ram..
      I understand that. Same idea though... Windows is a resource hog
    1. teej1410's Avatar
      teej1410 -
      Wow. I thought the surface couldn't be more pathetic. I was sure wrong.
    1. Colwood's Avatar
      Colwood -
      That's disappointing.
    1. aidanharris's Avatar
      aidanharris -
      So according to Adobe (Adobe Creative Suite 6 Master Collection - Tech specs) their CS6 Master Collection takes up 14.5gb of disk space meaning after you've installed it you'll have what? 8.5gb (yes that's right about the lowest spec iPhone 4's storage space for an easy comparison) which is quite frankly pathetic. I'd rather get myself a 128gb iPad which you know will actually have 128gb of storage space with the majority of it useable.
    1. Venom1234's Avatar
      Venom1234 -
      Quote Originally Posted by aidanharris View Post
      So according to Adobe (Adobe Creative Suite 6 Master Collection - Tech specs) their CS6 Master Collection takes up 14.5gb of disk space meaning after you've installed it you'll have what? 8.5gb (yes that's right about the lowest spec iPhone 4's storage space for an easy comparison) which is quite frankly pathetic. I'd rather get myself a 128gb iPad which you know will actually have 128gb of storage space with the majority of it useable.
      With a locked down OS and no ability to install programs only apple approved AppStore apps. Yea such a way better choice.
    1. LivesForJihad's Avatar
      LivesForJihad -
      Something about this ain't right. I have a 64 Gb (59.5 GB) windows tablet running Windows 8 and a fresh install with a few basic programs installed andI still have 45.5 GB free. I am only using 14 GB. I think MMi had failed to check facts just to generate Windows hate.

      The fact is, I would rater have a Windows tablet as opposed to an iPad bcause, simply put, I can do more on a Windows tablet. Screw RT, give me full Windows 8.

      The iPad is a toy...intended to play music and videos, and angry birds.

      Surface is a productivity tool, intended to do laptop stuff when sitting, and tablet stuff when moving. The surface is meant for work, and a full Windows OS is needed for that.

      FYI...a responsibly used Windows machine destroys Mac 10 times outta 10. That is the beauty of Windows; in the right hands...it is a beast!
    1. kyphur's Avatar
      kyphur -
      Quote Originally Posted by LivesForJihad View Post
      Something about this ain't right. I have a 64 Gb (59.5 GB) windows tablet running Windows 8 and a fresh install with a few basic programs installed andI still have 45.5 GB free. I am only using 14 GB. I think MMi had failed to check facts just to generate Windows hate.
      You're running Windows 8 RT which is stripped-down tablet/phone version of Windows 8. The Surface Pro will be running the same version of Windows 8 as a full blown PC/Laptop.

      Now I do agree that Windows 8 (yes even RT) and even Android (Phone or Tablet) have a lot of advantages over iPad's iOS such as the ability to store documents and other "Real World" computing content locally on your device. I mean sure Cloud Computing is nice but we're still a long way from ensuring a completely reliable connection to that cloud all of the time.

      i love the fact that Windows 8 tablets not limited by RT can run EVERY app a PC/Laptop can. just imagine if your iPad could runn all of your Mac apps...