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Get your flames and pitchforks ready, because it seems like consumers are about to get very upset with Microsoft. It was recently discovered that the new Microsoft Surface tablet has significantly less available storage space than has been overtly advertised. How much less? The 64 gigabyte model only allows the user to consume 46 gigabytes, and the 32 gigabyte model only allows for 16. That’s right: the 32 gigabyte Microsoft Surface lends only half of its internal disk space to the user.

How could this be? How could Microsoft so obtusely deceive us about this? The answer lies in their FAQs.

Microsoft says:

“Surface with Windows RT comes with either 32 GB or 64 GB of internal storage space (hard disk space). However, not all of this space is available for your music, photos, videos, and other content.”

So what’s taking up all the space? The support site offers a chart to explain:

So let’s break this down. The original 32 gigabytes actually translate to roughly 29 gigabytes. That’s because a “marketing” gigabyte is 1000 megabytes, while a computer defines a gigabyte as 1024 megabytes. This translates to a larger discrepancy as storage increases. Then, there’s 5 gigabytes reserved for “recovery tools” and an additional 8 gigabytes for the operating system and Microsoft Office. It didn’t take much to cut that available storage in half.

While Microsoft didn’t technically do anything wrong here, they were extremely misleading. Obviously, operating system files are going to take up a portion of a device’s storage, but half? This was never mentioned, and consumers should be upset. As a comparison, the 16 gigabyte iPad has over 13 gigabytes available. That ratio is much more appealing.

Some people are defending Microsoft, claiming that this information is readily available on the box. While that might be true, putting on a sticker that says “this is a crappy deal” doesn’t make it any less crappy.


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