Microsoft says users will be able to free up additional storage space by “creating a backup bootable USB and deleting the recovery partition,” but out of the box they’ll be left with as little as 36 percent of the advertized storage available.
It’s unbelievable how ignorant Microsoft is being here. Consumers are going to be disappointed when they go out and buy a Surface Pro, come home, unbox it and find that it can actually only hold a measly 23GB of their stuff. And that’s before Windows Updates are run.
There was an easy solution to this that’s staring them in the face, and that’s to include a USB recovery key in the box with the Surface Pro. It would cost them essentially nothing and would probably increase their consumers' satisfaction. Instead, they took the route of assuming everyone that uses Windows wants to mess around (and knows how to) to get it working.
Yes, Mary Jo Foley did point out that the 128GB MacBook Air does in fact have only 92GB of available space, but at least you can fit something in there. It could have been less space if Apple had also included a recovery partition, but they aren’t so naive and allow users to recover over the internet.
The problem I have with this is that it is blatantly deceptive. Consumers are accustomed to tablets being marketed like the iPad, where if you buy a 64GB iPad, you actually get around that much space. This isn’t like the PC market, where a machine ships with 95% usable of a 500GB drive because it’s only a drop in the bucket.
By advertising a device that has “64GB of storage” but only actually has 23GB, Microsoft is not only setting themselves up to disappoint, they’re actively deceiving users. 23GB is only 35% of the total usable space. It’s grossly misleading, even if it is a “full PC” product, it’s in a category that markets itself very differently.
I like how Marco put it:
With today’s OSes, iPads could advertise capacities no larger than 12, 28, 60, and 124 GB and the Surface Pros could be named 23 and 83 GB.