1. Computing
Daniel Nations

Microsoft Surface Storage Comes Under Fire

By November 15, 2012

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On the surface, Microsoft's new tablet may seem like a good deal compared to the iPad. The entry-level Microsoft Surface is $499 and comes with 32 GB of storage, which is twice as much as a comparable iPad. But consumers who are looking forward to having more elbow room on the Surface are in for a surprise when they find only 16 GB of that space is available for installing apps or storing music and movies.

So what's up with the other 16 GB of storage? That's used for the operating system and for some of the rather large applications that come with the tablet, with a good chunk used up by Microsoft Office.

Microsoft Surface vs the iPad

This isn't too different from other tablets. For example, that iPad with 16 GB of storage only has 13.7 GB available for apps, music, movies and other documents. The rest is reserved for the operating system and the default apps like Maps, Photo Booth, Reminders, etc. But with such a huge chunk of storage taken up by Windows RT and those default applications -- around half of the advertised storage space is unusable on the entry-level Surface -- this certainly invites consumer confusion over the product.

And one such consumer is taking it to the courts. Andrew Sokolowski, a lawyer, has filed a lawsuit against Microsoft for misleading consumers. I'm not sure how much traction this will get in the courts considering every smartphone, tablet and PC must use some of the advertised storage space for the operating system, but it might get enough attention to force Microsoft into properly labeling how much storage is available for third-party apps and media storage.

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