Microsoft Surface under fire from consumer watchdog

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Choice has referred Microsoft to the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) for "misleading claims" around its Surface tablet.

Choice is accusing Microsoft of "misleading claims" over the Surface.
(Credit: Microsoft)

According to Choice, the issue is with Microsoft claiming it has 32GB and 64GB hard disc space on two models of the Microsoft Surface tablet.

Because of the preloaded software on the Surface, the actual amount of available space on its HDD is significantly different to the advertised number.

Choice said that while the Microsoft website clarifies that the 32GB model has only 16GB of space available, and 45GB on the 64GB model, this information is lacking on the packaging of the Surface products, making it difficult for consumers to make an informed decision about the product.

The watchdog noted that, while it is common for tablets to have slightly less storage space than the advertised figure, it felt that the Surface in particular has "much less than consumers would consider reasonable".

It contrasted the Surface with the Nexus 7 and the iPad 2, stating that they respectively had 85 and 84 percent of the advertised storage figures available for use: 27.33GB on the 32GB Nexus 7 and 13.43GB on the 16GB iPad 2.

It's unknown at this stage if the ACCC will investigate further.

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PeterM13 posted a comment   

Jesus effing Christ, I am ashamed to be an Australian Citizen in which we have Dinosaurs just coming out of they're cave and saying something that is anti-consumerist in which every non-idiotic technology user on the face of the planet knows that memory on the device refers to it's capacity.
Guess what, bundling MS Office as an extra with your Laptop eats up MOAR

It's not like it's 2013 and there are magically devices that can store all your heavy duty space hogs like photos, music and home videos that can transfer them magically to your device; THROUGH THE AIR; to your consumption device of choice saving the local memory for executables like apps.



CSerruto posted a comment   

This is utter crap. Made me lose a lot of respect for Choice. The packaging is not visible until you actually purchase the device, so why should it mention the storage space? Also, laptops and oem desktops have had this for years, so why is the Surface any different. Typing this from my Touch Cover right now, and when I purchased the Surface I knew exactly how the storage worked, and so will everyone else as it is clearly stated. Get out of it Choice. Stick to reviewing fridges and washing machines.


thesorehead posted a reply   

The Surface is different because in a device where storage capacity is a selling point, fully *half* of this is completely inaccessible, and AFAIK can't be recovered by an ordinary user.

If you bought a notebook with a 320GB HDD and it turned out that 160GB was used up just by the non-replaceable OS, wouldn't you feel a bit gypped?


WPDownUnder posted a comment   

LOL - The Packaging of the product is not even visible in retail or online! Seriously. Old news - going nowhere!


Restricted_access posted a comment   

I've been saying it for months! I believe that people are mature enough to understand that an Os takes some of the storage on a device, but to lose 50% is ridiculous! It is time the ACCC took MS to court over this matter. The ACCC took Apple to Court over the 4G matter. This is no different. The best resolution would be to have device manufacturers advertise only the amount of storage actually available to the user.


Chandler posted a reply   

I doubt anything truly meaningful will come from this - look at hard drives in PCs/Laptops: it's been looked at before, and they're still advertised larger than what they actually are...


Shannon.Roberts posted a reply   

ACCC wont be persuing anything, I'd rather them try and find a loop hole at Aust getting the Full Mirosoft Surface Pro Windows 8 version, than the cut down we're getting :).

Might need to source it over-seas

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