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Microsoft Must Write-Down Almost $1 Billion on Surface RT Flop

That is certainly a possibility, and one that I'll agree that I have been concerned with in the past. I will say that it has not happened, so far, to my Surface Pro.
Ivy Bridge (which the Surface uses) doesn't use Connected Standby as it is not a SoC, Haswell chipsets that support S0iX are SoC configurations and will/are used in Ultrabooks and Tablets. Clover Trail Atoms are the first SoC Systems from Intel. Not all Haswell chipsets are going to be SoC systems (i.e. desktops, full voltage laptops, etc.) and the new Bay Trail Chipsets come in 3 derivatives and IIRC only the "T" series will be SoC systems.
I think calling RT a flop is shortsighted. And I have never had any issues with performance with my unit.

I think we are both agreeing and disagreeing here. At the end of the article I state, "In the end, Microsoft probably knew the Surface RT wouldn't see much success, but it was never about that initial battle. It's basically a giant marketing stunt designed to alter the public consciousness, so that in the future we view Microsoft as more than just a software company." This is the long-view perspective which you elude to, and we obviously agree on.

However, in the short run and by the numbers, the individual launch of the product really was a flop. When a company has to write off almost a billion dollars because they can't sell any of their product, that's a flop. It doesn't matter that it actually is a good product. Based upon the current results, it was a disaster that would have bankrupted smaller companies.

Ultimately, in the long run, the Surface RT will simply be an expensive PR move by Microsoft. I suspect it will actually make a positive difference in consumer perception in the future, just because it exists.

Microsoft's mistakes where in initial pricing and poor marketing. If they had priced it more aggressively in the beginning and developed better marketing, they could have had both a great marketing gimmick, and a mildly successful initial product too.