Six million instantly obsolete Surface tablets poised to flood the retail channel

Yesterday, Microsoft announced a $900 million writedown triggered by the failure of their Surface tablets. According to David Gilbert at the International Business Times, this means there are about six million unsold tablets in inventory, shortly to flood the market at deep discounts. What should we do with these? Jailbreak 'em, install a free/open operating system, and use them as control systems for projects too complex for Raspberry Pi or Arduino? (via /.)

Notable Replies

  1. I predict "deep discount" to be $100 less.

  2. It was an interesting experiment. To get 7hrs of h.264 playback on a lightweight battery, you need to go with a lower-wattage architecture like ARM. Until now, Windows was tied to x86 architectures, so it just wasn't possible to compete on some metrics.

    Surface RT does a lot of things well, but in the end it seems customers want a form factor that does everything... and while competing platform have the luxury of starting out with ARM and having all of their software base naturally be for that architecture, Windows RT required a completely fresh start. A tough position to be in, though the customer's response was not entirely unpredictable.

  3. Perhaps they could be repurposed by writing a version of Android OS that runs on them. That might increase their salvage value by a couple hundred bucks. Six million units, that could be some real profit, if you played it right.

  4. Will it work with my Zune?

  5. On the plus side, you can prevent quite a lot of paperwork from blowing away by placing one of these on top of it. No worries about battery life , either.

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