Here’s why there is no 16GB Microsoft Surface: Windows RT with Office is nearly 12x bigger than iOS

Here’s why there is no 16GB Microsoft Surface: Windows RT with Office is nearly 12x bigger than iOS
The Microsoft Surface is already up for pre-order and prices are in line with those for the iPad starting at $499 for a 32GB model without the Touch Cover, that defines the Surface. You might argue that the Surface is actually a better deal because for the same kind of money you can only get a 16GB iPad. You’d be technically right, but to make the picture crystal clear, let’s also note that Windows 8 with Office would be nearly 12 times larger than iOS on the iPad.

Windows RT with Office and essential apps on the Surface takes up a whopping 12GB, according to members of Microsoft’s Surface team.

Answering a question about how much space Windows RT occupies, Ricardo Lopez, a test manager on the Microsoft Surface team said he had nearly 20 GB of free space with Windows RT, Office RT, and "a bunch of apps."

So while we can't exactly say how much Windows RT takes up, fact of the matter is that you should get around 20GB of free space. And that's not much more than the nearly 14GB of free memory on the 16GB iPad.

And that explains why you don’t have a 16GB Microsoft Surface - it simply wouldn’t have enough space for storing things outside the operating system.

And that’s what bothers us. The Surface is already up for pre-order but important details like this one are only now appearing and not even through the official channels. We wouldn’t rush to get it until we know all the final details - it does seem like a beautifully designed product, but we know little more than that.

source: Reddit via Business Insider

Related phones

Surface RT
  • Display 10.6" 1366 x 768 pixels
  • Camera 1 megapixel
  • Processor NVIDIA Tegra 3 T30, Quad-core, 1300 MHz
  • Storage 32 GB



1. darkvadervip

Posts: 366; Member since: Dec 08, 2010

Sounds like jealousy and someone trying to kill Microsoft sells.

19. MeoCao unregistered

But 32GB is certainly better than 16GB b-c we can port Android to Surface which will free up a lot of memory.

21. ithinkimjoe

Posts: 25; Member since: Jan 19, 2012

you don't know this.

26. 8logic

Posts: 154; Member since: Mar 05, 2012

hmmm..... but since its arm based, i think i would work fine

40. B3BLW29

Posts: 238; Member since: Mar 02, 2012

yeah but why woul u do that. when Surface supports SD and external memory via USB... :)

28. -box-

Posts: 3991; Member since: Jan 04, 2012

Agreed. Did the author forget the Surface has USB ports and a MicroSD card reader for storage expansion? Onboard doesn't matter as much when you have expandable memory. Not only that, cloud storage!

32. drahmad

Posts: 480; Member since: Aug 20, 2011

phonearena wont like to mention the number of features windows has more wrt ios. windows rt is a full os except that thirdparty legacy apps need to be rewritten.

2. B3BLW29

Posts: 238; Member since: Mar 02, 2012

I dont Think MicroSoft is that stupid....

3. eisenbricher

Posts: 973; Member since: Aug 09, 2012

I think this is just a rumor. This may be true with the Pro version as it offers the full windows experience, but with RT, no way it's gonna consume 12GB space.

24. saiki4116

Posts: 413; Member since: Mar 31, 2011

It may consume that much space because,they share the same kernel.The stack above the kernel in RT might have been toned down in order to accommodate in tablet.But In the end,it does not matter for a consumer,when it can get things done and the pricing too is not that bad..

4. darthinvader

Posts: 63; Member since: Sep 18, 2012

"Seems Legit"

5. eli577

Posts: 142; Member since: Jun 29, 2010

Interesting....when the Iphone 5 went on pre-order, no one cared about what the phone actually will be like in real life. There was a media event, where nobody could touch it, and then tha pre-orders started.

17. BillyG

Posts: 305; Member since: Sep 24, 2012

i can't believe how stupid you are, apple open the pre order the next day, by then media event and bloggers already posted some hands on, even only a little, and all the specs are crystal clear stated on keynote. the size of the OS, you can already see it on ipsw file, so you can get picture of it. comparing to that, what MSurface do is to make buyers buy cat in a bag -- schrodingers cat -- it can be alive and it can be dead already.

29. -box-

Posts: 3991; Member since: Jan 04, 2012

Technically they opened it 2 days later. Just sayin'.

6. the_best

Posts: 139; Member since: Oct 14, 2012

"you have roughly 20GB, not much more than the memory on the 16GB iPad." you mean a fourth of the ipads memory isnt big enough difference for you to pay the same money, and feel that you got more of the deal?

7. the_best

Posts: 139; Member since: Oct 14, 2012

and another thing, do you acually have 16gb free on the ipad?

10. random1204

Posts: 28; Member since: May 26, 2010

No. No you don't. You have like...12-13gb.

36. CellularNinja

Posts: 306; Member since: Sep 27, 2011

That's what I don't get. Surprisingly, PhoneArena seems slightly biased against the surface. "20 gigabytes doesn't seem like much more than 14?" uhmmmm I don't know how you define "much more" at Phone Arena, but 6 gigabytes is plenty more when you're paying the same amount of money

38. jeff1434325

Posts: 97; Member since: Aug 07, 2012

you're totally right.

8. MarcMaiden

Posts: 25; Member since: Nov 24, 2009

Hey PhoneArena - you took the guys comment out of context a bit here - he said "After loading office 2013 and a bunch of apps - I still have over 20gb free. I highly doubt the OS takes 12gb itself.

11. Victor.H

Posts: 1045; Member since: May 27, 2011

Thanks! We've actually mentioned this in the article, but you do have a point. I've now made some corrections so it is extra clear that it's not just the OS, but Office and some apps as well.

9. dcutting

Posts: 1; Member since: Oct 17, 2012

This is not true. When asked in a forum, they said that win rt plus default apps and OFFICE, there would be over 20GB left. The OS itself is not 12GB.

12. Mobile-X-Pert

Posts: 565; Member since: Dec 20, 2010

The OS itself is not 12GB. MS said that you only get 20GB of free space because of all the Programs pre-installed on it, such as MS office, etc.

13. GJanee

Posts: 214; Member since: Jun 29, 2011

looks like someone forgot about the microSD expansion...

39. jeff1434325

Posts: 97; Member since: Aug 07, 2012

.....yeah, and it also has a USB port for extra storage. (pathetic article)

14. pongkie

Posts: 663; Member since: Aug 20, 2011

it has an micro sd card and usb so it may compensate somehow

15. xtroid2k

Posts: 601; Member since: Jan 11, 2010

Windows RT is a full version of windows however it only supports the ARM architecture. This does make sense as win 7 takes up to 10gb or more on a clean install as opposed to XP which only took about 2 to 3gb as it was thought the user would install additional features as needed. Remember MS designed a new mobile platform and not really a mobile OS. So with all the built in products such as office and metro style apps its easy to reach 12GB.

16. B3BLW29

Posts: 238; Member since: Mar 02, 2012

Agreed OS might be slightly bulky but there's no way Ppl at Redmond are that dumb. That 12GB out of 16 GB for Man this new sure is from iPhone Arena :). I just remember a couple of years back they went after Iphone, was it AntennaGate or some other goof up, PA was down for some reason :P. Since then they have been pro Fruit Ninja :D

18. ogy_dogy

Posts: 453; Member since: Jun 29, 2012

Well for the same money you get more storage space, but all of you and pa are forgetting that the surface has a sd slot for up to 64gb cards plus a real usb conectorr for thumb drives and even hard drives. So basically you get a lot more for the same buck. Not to mention that w rt is a kick ass os, not a upscaled phone os...

20. speckledapple

Posts: 902; Member since: Sep 29, 2011

I am not sure what the point of this is. We all know that operating systems take up a certain amount of memory on drives. It is also no question that Windows RT or Pro is a much more robust offering than what is on the iPad or Android; which obviously accounts for the greater space. My question is what is the point of stating the obvious? With expansion cards, something which other tablets except Android, do not have, is there a limit? Really its not.

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