TechEd North America Thread

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Microsoft Surface RT- Microsoft Please Read...

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  • User profile image
    worldramp

    I am really hoping that Microsoft presents super aggressive offers for the Microsoft Surface RT... Considering the sales have not been "through the roof", they would do well to get these devices in the hands of trusted advisors and decision makers. The cost of the units has been speculated to be approximately 250.00. I would be very comfortable paying 100.00 for one so I can see the true value for my customers. I already have had to find innovative ways to get so many of the other devices to be prepared to help my clients. As a small company, I can't afford to buy the latest unit at retail price. Please Microsoft, take the example of Intel who provides extremely aggressive prices on demo product (not as much these days.. but they still try). Given that they did offer the Surface for 100.00, MS would be subsidizing the 150.00 for the true cost. Given roughly 10,0000 influential IT Users will be at Tech Ed, it seems that a 1,500,0000 investment in the product line would be an easy business decision. Personally I already invested in getting a Samsung i5 tablet.... but want to see the RT is in the real world

  • User profile image
    MikeBergin

    I can't imagine them needing to take a loss on sales of Surface RT. They already gave out tablets at the developers conference. Unlike Xbox, where they did take a loss for every sale, they are not looking to become #1 or #2 in the hardware game, nor will they make up for that lost revenue in sales of apps, as they did with games for the xbox. The Surface devices were/are catalysts for the market. Chances are MS will not make a living from these hardware devices..... In my opinion, if you want to experience RT, you may be able to find a refurb Dell or ASUS for 299 or so.

    I just don't see the advantage for MS to "invest" (lose) 1.5 mil in RT which may or may not exist in a year.

  • User profile image
    kmcferrin

    @MikeBergin:  I wouldn't say that it's a strategy of investing on a massive scale to win the market.  After all, we're talking about 10,000-12,000 people (at each conference).  What we are talking about is providing a perk to conference attendees as they have done in the past, knowing that TechEd attendees are some of the most passionate proponents of Microsoft solutions and that we are often times either IT decision makers or in a position to influence them.

    As has been pointed out elsewhere in these forums, in the 5 previous TechEd conferences Microsoft has given away free TechNet Professional subscriptions (retail price of $350) to TechEd attendees, but are not doing so this year.  In the several years before the TechNet subs were given out, I'm told that Microsoft negotiated significant discounts with one or more hardware vendors for a piece of hardware that could be purchased at the conference.  Many (most?) of us were assuming that there would be some sort of giveaway/perk associated with this year's conference.

    What would be amazing would be if TechEd were the place where Microsoft finally announces their 7"-8" Surface tablet and gave one to each attendee.  But I'd be happy with a deep discount on a tablet or phone, or even just the TechNet subs (since mine is expired).

  • User profile image
    MikeBergin

    Maybe... I just don't see it at such a high volume show. Google I/O was only 6k attendees... The developers conf that gave away the win8 Samsung tablets only had 2k attendees. I just don't see the advantage of handing out surface tablets to non developers. It is an OS we are familiar with so i don't see what they would gain? We are all fans of MS software and users/supporters of it regardless of whether or not we have a tablet. We will continue to make our livings off of their software even if they cut all the perks from the show.

  • User profile image
    kmcferrin

    @MikeBergin: Are you sure about the 2000 number?  I've heard Build attendance numbers are closer to 5000-6000, and considering that Build is a merger of the old PDC (which could pull in 6000+) and Mix, attendance numbers of 5000+ seems quite reasonable.

    BTW, that Samsung giveaway was 2011.  Last year was a Surface RT + Windows Phone.  No word on what they're getting this year, but I'd be interested to find out.

    Anyway, you seem to be missing the point entirely.  Nobody is arguing that Microsoft is going to give TechEd attendees free hardware because it will mean more money in the long run for them.  What we're saying is that this conference used to come with certain perks, and now it appears that it doesn't anymore.  We're asking for Microsoft to throw us a bone.  Historically, one such perk had been a discount on hardware for conference attendees, which is is EXACTLY what Worldramp was asking for when he started this thread.

  • User profile image
    MikeBergin

    I am just saying, don't hold your breath. Economy sucks and Tech Ed is a ton of attendees. Just don't see it happening.

  • User profile image
    adnorton

    I think we will see discounts which is one of the reasons they are having a retail store at the conference this year in addition to the book store that is usually there.

  • User profile image
    MikeBergin

    We'll see.... Past TechEd's may have had Technet for free, but I can't see discounting a surface. As for the windows store, the store they usually have at TechEd with books and clothes, are not discounted. There MAY have been discounts but they were laughable. I would bet my Pro that there are no deep MS discounts or giveaways.

  • User profile image
    MikeBergin

    also, the build conference makes sense to give stuff away. Those guys are the ones who they want to develop the apps that will make the devices attractive and sell. We are consumers of the devices. They will get no return from us.

  • User profile image
    Patrick​Dunlap

    Actually the sys and ops admins have tremendous power of what to recommend and support in their environments.  I am currently on a project to decide on a MDM solution, what direction to go with the hundreds of legacy BlackBerrys in International, and what tablet form factors to support.  At my desk I have a few Androids, iOSs, and an RT tab that I am running through use case scenarios, testing on the network, VPN, etc.

    Respect your sys ops!

  • User profile image
    kmcferrin

    Mike Bergin wrote

    We'll see.... Past TechEd's may have had Technet for free, but I can't see discounting a surface. As for the windows store, the store they usually have at TechEd with books and clothes, are not discounted. There MAY have been discounts but they were laughable. I would bet my Pro that there are no deep MS discounts or giveaways.

    As has been pointed out elsewhere, the store at this conference is not the typical Microsoft conference store with books, t-shirts, coffee mugs, etc.  It is being set up as a full-on Microsoft Retail Store like you would see in your local mall.  Therefore trying to make comparisons to previous TechEd conference stores is probably not particularly instructive.

    Also as pointed out elsewhere, significant discounts have been present at other TechEd conferences in the past, from Microsoft.  So have giveaways (i.e., free TechNet subs).

    We get that you want to rain on someone's parade, but you don't know what is going to happen any more than we do.  All that we know for sure is that there is a documented historical trend for Microsoft to provide discounts or freebies to TechEd attendees, and that this year we won't be getting a free TechNet subscription.  To my knowledge, nobody "in the know" has said that we would or wouldn't be getting anything else.  

    I do find it interesting though that despite the fact that there have been at least 3 very popular threads on the topic this week, we have yet to hear from anyone with TechEd what (if anything) would be given as a perk this year.  Until we officially hear otherwise, it's probably safe to assume that SOMETHING will be going on.  In 15+ years of working in IT, I have yet to attend a Microsoft conference or event that didn't come with something nice as a freebie.  I've gotten TechNet subs (multiple), Office and Windows software (multiple times), a Zune HD, Xboxes (two), and even vouchers for the Microsoft Employee Store (that lets you buy several hundred dollars worth of merchanidise at the Employee discounted rate).  Heck, I even went to one conference where they gave us a nice piece of Wenger roller-bag luggage embossed with a logo, which I'm still using regularly 5 years later.

  • User profile image
    MikeBergin

    Dude, I can have an opinion. relax. I already bet my Pro, if you want a surface so badly just accept my bet!! Smiley

  • User profile image
    Fredrik​Nilsson

    First OF all i must say that I don't think we'll get any hardware. I keep my hops up but I don't think it will happen. But there is a fact that's been said in this thread, many of the TechEd attendees are in decision making/consultation positions. And to my knowledge the slate hardware that lays on the meeting room tables around the world is very often not MSFT. To be able to return with a new device and use it in our day to day business will take the hardware into those meeting rooms. Since I ditched my iPhone I've been demonstrating the power of the Windows Phone in the enterprise environment many times, wen I put my phone on the meeting table I know I'll get comments on it. My laptop runs Windows 8 and is a non touch device, when I go into meetings I deliberately leave my win 8 mouse in my bag, cos as with the phone I know that I'm going to get some remarks on it. Then I ask why and pull out my mouse and voila, I get the swipe and many of the touch features used. So bring me the hardware and I will evangelize it. My hunch is that I'm not alone Smiley

  • User profile image
    MikeBergin

    Not to beat the crap out of a dead horse, but some are saying MS should either give attendees a Surface RT or deeply discount it, and most are suggesting that it would benefit them in the enterprise to either showcase to others or to be able try out in the environment. However, the RT is not an enterprise device. It can't be domain joined, it can't adhere to policies, it doesn't have outlook. VPN and other enterprise applications will only work if there has been an app designed for it in the Windows Store. I personally think it would be a bad idea for word of mouth if MS handed out RT's to all attendees and have them try to use them in an environment for which it wasn't designed.

  • User profile image
    Patrick​Dunlap

    That's interesting, I did not even know MS had W8 gesturing mice.  Just sent some specs to our config team for a few test models.

  • User profile image
    Fredrik​Nilsson

    Smiley I don't think there will be any hardware under our chairs Smiley It's just fun speculating J

    The Surface RT isn't an enterprise device but on the other hand I don't think the iPad/droids is either. The RT is a consumer device and is much like the iPhone/iPad a wallet opener for other systems. If you get one and gets used to the interface, functions in your home environment it's more likely that you at least consider one for your business.

    I don't think that the Macbooks would have been so successful and that Apple would have grown if it wasn't for the fact that users already had their wallets opened for the products.

    I can give you an example: If you go to an IKEA store what is the first thing you see coming in to the store? Napkins, candles or something really cheap. If you put one of them in your yellow bag it's more likely that you continue shopping.

    It's the same way with other products, if you start buying a brand it's more likely that you continue buying the same brand. The phenomena is really interesting people don't jump brands that easily the brand get adopted into the person and starts stating who they are.

    So there are some really nice wins for MSFT to hand out stuff J I'm certain that the marketing teams in Redmond has a lot of stats around stuff like this and have made calculations on topics like this.

    Anyway we'll know in a couple of weeks what we get, an awesome time in NOLA.

  • User profile image
    Eks

    A lot of interesting points being made here! A couple of things to add to the debate Smiley

    1) Why do people think that TechEd is only geared toward sysops types? A LOT of devs go to TechEd (particularly TechEd Europe). From the official MS blurb: "TechEd - Microsoft’s Premiere Event for IT Professionals & Enterprise Developers".

    2) Companies are happy for their employees to go to TechEd as they enjoy and learn from the event - it's a win win, a break from the office, a social gathering with other techies and sessions where they can pick up valuable knowledge to take back to the office. I also imagine that TechEd generates a lot of money and publicity for Microsoft, both directly (tickets, sponsors, Expo space) and in terms of product/brand loyalty down the line. For this reason MS should be doing all they can to make attendees happy, so they go back to the office and say to their employers 'that was a great event' - whether that be because of great sessions, a fantastic party or a bunch of freebies. Then, next year, that company will send employees back to the next TechEd, and so the cycle repeats. If this means giving away some free gifts (i.e. a TechEd subscription, or a hardware offer) then they absolutely should do it - companies haven't paid $2200 + costs for their employees to go back to the office disappointed because MS scrimped and cut back. If this happens = no more TechEds.

    3) There is no MS store at TechEd Europe - so I doubt there will be any heavily discounted items from there or wouldn't really be fair on the Euro attendees!

    4) I'd love for them to prove me wrong but, judging from recent TechEds, I really can't see MS giving away hardware either Sad

    5) This is in no way a dig at MS/TechEd, really enjoyed past events and hopefully will this one!

  • User profile image
    worldramp

    Just a follow up on my thoughts.

    1.  I have not heard that MS will not be giving a NFR of TechNet.. Hopefully that is a rumor and not the case.   The content is always great at Tech Ed, but the TechNet subscription is valuable to my business.  Guess we'll see what MS does

    2. I don't expect a Surface RT to be free, but a significant discount should be available.   I would really like to have one, and be able to show to my customers.   I carry a Windows 8 phone (Nokia 920), a Windows I5 tablet (Samsung), Ultra notebook (HP).   Without a doubt I manage other vendors (Apple and Android) devices, but I constantly want to show my customers the MS value proposition which is usually there.

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