Microsoft’s Surface tablet comes in two varieties: a model with 32GB of integrated flash storage, and a model with 64GB. That flash storage is used for everything; it houses the operating system, recovery data, and a page file, and it’s also where apps, music, and video (and any other user data) get placed. As a result, that 32 or 64GB doesn’t translate into 32 or 64GB of usable space.

How much are you left with? ZDNet’s Ed Bott spotted that Microsoft has published a “disk space FAQ” that attempts to tackle this question. Per the FAQ, the 32GB Surface units have 16GB available. 64GB units have 46GB available.

Why so much disk space in use? A confluence of factors. First there’s the time-honored problem of the computerized misuse of standard SI prefixes: a 32GB Surface has about 32 billion bytes of disk space, but operating system vendors, in their infinite wisdom, decide that “giga-” does not mean 109 but rather 230.

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via Ars Technica » Technology Lab