Microsoft should be ashamed at how awful the Surface RT tablet is. (The rant to end all rants) - Brian Madden - BrianMadden.com
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Microsoft should be ashamed at how awful the Surface RT tablet is. (The rant to end all rants)

Written on Jan 22 2013 17,668 views, 23 comments


by Brian Madden

Okay, I know that everyone is dogging on the Microsoft Surface RT tablet these days. I knew Windows RT had its issues, but beyond some cursory playing around, I never really sat down and tried to use one until today. And let me tell you—it's bad. Really, really horribly awfully bad. Every few minutes I'm appalled by something else and saying out loud, "Are you kidding me? How could Microsoft release this piece of garbage?"

You know we bought a Surface RT tablet back in October. Jack wrote a review of it right away, and Gabe's had it at his house since then. This week Gabe is visiting me in San Francisco as we pretend to do important work which prevents us from attending the TechTarget global sales meeting in Boston. He brought the Surface RT with him to hand off to me. I thought I would write today's blog post on it, but I couldn't. I literally couldn't use it to do work. So now I'm on my laptop writing this rant.

Before I begin though I just want to apologize to the world on behalf of America that we did this to you.

There is so much wrong with the Surface RT that I can't even decide what the worst part is. So let's just dig in...

Forced updates and reboots

Did you know that the "always up-to-date" stuff that Microsoft advertises means that the Surface can force you to reboot and update against your will? Sorry if you had work to do!

I was working on my article tonight when this screen pops up:

Surface Rant 1

Mind you I didn't ask for these updates. I was just working, and it tells me that it's restarting in 15 minutes and it starts counting down. It tells me to save my work and it gives me options to "Restart" or "Close." I clicked "Close" since, you know, I'm trying to work.

Ten minutes later I get the same message saying that updates are going to happen in 5 minutes and that I should save my work. Of course I'm still working so I just clicked "close."

Do you know what happened 5 minutes later?

Surface Rant 2

The machine kicked me off and just started updating! I didn't have a choice or a warning! I didn't realize that the "close" button before wasn't actually stopping the countdown!

On top of that, this update took 21 minutes! I had no choice. I'm using my tablet, being all modern and mobile, and the thing is like, "Hey! I'm going to make you stop working for 21 minutes right now. I hope you didn't have any deadlines or weren't running up to a meeting. F you!"

AND this whole time I was on battery!!! So it decides that it wants to update on its own without my ability to stop it, and it has the audacity to tell me to keep my PC plugged in? But it wasn't plugged in this whole time! What if I was running around in between appointments trying to get work done real fast?

Look, I understand that major firmware and OS updates need to happen. It's true of Windows, iOS, and Android. But with other OSes I have a choice. If I'm running around and don't have time to update, that's fine. With the Surface RT, I was forced to update, like it or not!

So that's a major, major fail. How can I depend on this thing when I'm running around if it can update whenever it wants?

Side-by-side tile modes and desktop modes are ridiculous

And then there's that whole problem of having the Tile interface mode and the desktop mode which are side-by-side and not at all related. It's like two OS virtual machines side-by-side. How are regular users supposed to understand what the hell is going on? Even worse is that Internet Explorer exists in both modes, yet the two versions are different. They don't even share bookmarks! So I can use Tile mode IE which is all nice and touchy, then maybe I want to use Word. I click on the Word tile and I'm flipped over to desktop mode to run Word. Now I want to go back to IE. Hey cool! There's an icon for IE on the bottom of the screen in the desktop mode taskbar. I click IE and it launched, but it's "different" IE. The menus are different and the URL bar is on the top. And I have no bookmarks. And my tabs aren't open anymore. WTF?

Sure, as a geek I understand that I'm now running desktop IE and not Touch IE, but how's a regular user supposed to know that? I set this thing down while running Word and came back later. I hit the power button to wake it up, logged in, and clicked the IE icon on the bar. Was I supposed to remember "Oh yeah last time I used this I was in desktop mode, so I have to remember that this IE is not the one I want. I have to switch back to Tile mode then launch IE."

Seriously people?

Windows RT can't run any normal Windows programs

Everyone knows that since Windows RT runs on ARM processors that it can't run any of the bajillion existing Windows desktop applications. But if you get down to it, isn't that the whole point of Windows? I mean if I wanted an ARM-based touch tablet that couldn't run all my existing stuff, wouldn't I have just bought an iPad or Android by now?

What possible reason would someone want to buy a Windows tablet that can't run all their Windows programs? I'm guessing that Microsoft is banking on the strong "brand" of Windows to dupe buyers into buying this thing because it says Windows on it. But calling this "Windows RT" which is like Windows but not Windows is crazy. Even Microsoft's official "Help me choose" website doesn't say anything that regular people can understand. (I guess that's why they extended their return policy for Surface RT tablets when consumers found out they couldn't use their existing programs.)

Honestly the only reason anyone might buy one of these things is because it's "like an iPad with real Office." Except...

Even Office RT is not "real" Office

One of the biggest dirtiest meanest underreported facts about Windows RT is that the supposed "real" Office that it includes is not actually real Office. It's Office "RT," which is like real Office but with a bunch of features missing. (Features like, oh... I don't know... macros, add-ins, forms, VBA, and data models!) Seriously, isn't this all the reason why we need real Office and not Google Docs or Apple's suite or Office for iOS? How many people missed that little gem? Check out Microsoft's Office RT FAQs for awesome nuggets like, "To create a Data Model, use a version of Office other than Office Home & Student 2013 RT on a computer or tablet not powered by Windows RT."

Of course that pales in comparison to the fact that Office RT is the "Student and Home" edition which the EULA specifically says is "not for use in commercial, nonprofit, or revenue-generating activities." So that means that I (or my company) have to buy an Office 2013 Pro license or an Office 365 subscription just to use the lesser version of Office that comes with Windows RT. Seriously! You can't make this stuff up!!

I can't help but wonder if this is the reason that Microsoft is holding back on Office for iOS and Android. Do they think that the Windows play is stronger than the Office play?

Plus a million other little things...

On top of those major issues with Windows RT, there are a whole host of minor things. Like that fact that they use Office as a selling point yet it only comes with a "Preview" version of Office. Or the fact that Windows RT is just clunky. Performance in Office is terrible if you're doing anything beyond the basics. Placing graphics into Word documents feels like 1990s RDP. The virtual keyboard has a mind of its own if you detach the physical keyboard. The Rube Goldberg-esque kickstand/screen/keyboard combination is impossible to use on your laptop or an airplane tray. (Maybe that's why they call it the "Surface," because you need one to use this thing. Or maybe because it's a nice surface for setting your coffee cup.)

Even the screen is terrible compared to an iPad. This is not something I'd usually even care about except that Microsoft released all this marketing science babble about optics and how their screen had deeper something and was better than the iPad despite its lower resolution, yet after using an iPad and going to the surface you just think "How could Microsoft claim that this screen is better?" Put them side-by-side. It's not even close!

The Microsoft Surface RT is the worst of both worlds. It's the worst of a laptop combined with the worst of a tablet. Microsoft should be ashamed. It's no wonder HP, Samsung, and Lenovo are all not planning on releasing Windows RT tablets or are killing their products already.

(By the way, I'm looking forward to the Surface Pro and the other Intel-compatible tablets, ultrabooks, detachables, and convertibles. Windows 8 on Intel is fine. But Windows RT? Totally useless.)

 
 




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Comments

Benny Tritsch wrote re: Microsoft should be ashamed at how awful the Surface RT tablet is. (The rant to end all rants)
on Tue, Jan 22 2013 6:38 AM Link To This Comment

In simple words: I agree with you Brian. Only Surface Pro and the like are capable of delivering the "real" Windows experience. RT as it is today just sucks.

Benny (a Win8 user since early Beta)

Kata Tank wrote re: Microsoft should be ashamed at how awful the Surface RT tablet is. (The rant to end all rants)
on Tue, Jan 22 2013 7:23 AM Link To This Comment

Even if I do agree with you to a certain extend (updates, RT, apps, ...), I'm always caution with such high impact title as I'm sure that this is good enougth for some people and will also maturate (remember this is version 1.0)....

For example : Without entering into technical debate I personally think that iPad (or iPhone) sucks compare to latest android device and guess what... Some people are trully happy with it... not me.

Anyway, to have played with RT and the regular pro x86 one (HP Envy X2-like type of things), I do not understand the RT factor. In compareason, the PRO one is really, really great.

Claudio Rodrigues wrote re: Microsoft should be ashamed at how awful the Surface RT tablet is. (The rant to end all rants)
on Tue, Jan 22 2013 10:33 AM Link To This Comment

Well I do think you have some fair points but overall the article is dead wrong in many points:

1. Updates: that is probably what happens if you buy the Surface RT back in October and never turns it on until January. They are forcing you due to your laziness and I side with Microsoft on this one. Users that do not update anything for three months should have their internet connection cut. I mean, literally cut with garden scissors. I have been using mine on a daily basis and have NEVER seen such behaviour. Why? Because I use it and when updates are required they are done automatically AT NIGHT when I am sleeping. So two possible options here: either you or Gabe never turned it on, or you do not sleep. Surface 1 x Brian 0.

2. Tile/Desktop: Well my friend guess what? That is Windows 8 and NOT Surface. Surface RT or Surface Pro run the same OS, the same one that gives you the two modes. AND before you ask, Windows 8 laptops from any vendor, yes, they also run the same Windows 8 with tiles and desktop mode. This is for sure the most out-of-place comment for this article. This is a Windows 8 fundamental design decision. Please write another article ramming Windows 8. Surface 2 x Brian 0.

3. Windows RT and normal programs. Well not sure where you have been since iOS has been around but guess what? iOS cannot run normal OSX programs! Surprised? If the close to half a billion iOS devices out there proved there is a market for a closed App Store, I do not see why the Surface RT or any other device that takes the same proven successful approach has to be seen as an inferior, locked device. Again, you want to vent about locked apps vs. full blown OS apps, let's write an article together on why iOS/AppStore sucks, why Android sucks and so on. I will even throw why BlackBerry sucks to make the article more interesting. Surface 3 x Brian 0.

4. Office RT is not real Office. Very misleading. Office if you are not aware of, has several SKUs or versions as the peasants know the term as. One of these versions, admittedly less featured than what typical BriForum attendees run on a daily basis, a.k.a Office Professional. Yes, it is not the full blown thing and has limitations. The reality is when comparing what is out there for tablets, Office RT simply trounces them. I can open a stupid document that has nothing more than certain formatting applied to it perfectly on the RT. Moving to the iPad, it loses formatting or has poor formatting. Same for Android. After using every single iOS app you can think of to deal with Office apps, even with the RT limitations, it does work 100x better than anything else on the market at this moment. Well you need that built-in Albino Camel Calculator that Excel 2013 Full gives you? Then get the Surface Pro or a laptop. The reality is a lot of peasants do not need Albino Camel Calculators built-in. Only Royals do. And let me tell you they are not the majority. Surface 4 x Brian 0.

5. Other things: well here is the only place where you may have a point. The device indeed has glitches but for a v1 that has copy and paste and even an SDK (things iOS did not have with v1) we need to give them a break AND welcome competition on this particular space. Surface 4 x Brian 1.

And I could go on and show how much better RDP8 is on the RT compared to all other platforms. But I will stop here.

Resuming: Surface RT rocks, Brian sucks (for this article - everything else Brian is cool. Too bad he does not have that Fiat anymore with fire truck horns).

CR

Claudio Rodrigues wrote re: Microsoft should be ashamed at how awful the Surface RT tablet is. (The rant to end all rants)
on Tue, Jan 22 2013 10:47 AM Link To This Comment

Oh forgot this.

@Benny What do you mean by full Windows 8 experience? You mean running the exact same OS with the exact same dual mode (tile/desktop) interface? RT actually runs it.

What I think you mean is simply the ability of installing apps outside the Windows Store. It is like asking Apple to allow OSX apps on the iPad. At least Microsoft provides such alternative if you need it. Called Surface Pro. Thicker, half the battery life and not always connected mode. But yes, you can run any apps. To each its own I guess. :-)

madderts wrote re: Microsoft should be ashamed at how awful the Surface RT tablet is. (The rant to end all rants)
on Tue, Jan 22 2013 11:04 AM Link To This Comment

I undertstand its a blog/personal opinion piece an all that but seriously, have you reached such hieghts of technological sophistication that it is beneath you to see/believe that the majority of people will get along just fine and ...gasp, even enjoy what the surface RT has to offer?

It is not meant for people like you (and myself) who need a full out PC at any given point during our day. Thats what the  surface pro is for!

I bought two surface RTs, one for my wife, one for my 8yr old kid. They couldn't be happier!!! Honestly!!! The kid has probably d/l'd every free game app in the store and is probably gonna bankrupt me in ink costs from his Fresh Paint printouts. The wife Skypes with her folks, checks her email, surfs, reads her mags on the Nook app, finds dinner recipes on Allrecipes app,then  throws the thing in her handbag and goes! Every now and then she'll use Word. Took her a couple of uses to wrap her head around the swipes and dual Metro/Desktop spaces for Word but she's good to go now. Not a word about updating/preview versions/app store size/side modes/portrait views/non use in lap/ etc and all the other supposed fatal flaws of this device. Her previous laptop has gathered dust!

This is who this device is for.........NOT FOR POWER USERS!!!!

The amusing thing is I've found myself stealing the wife's Surface, because when I'm in the couch, I simply enjoy keeping up with news and bloggers who go on lopsided rants

My objective criticisms are it can feel a shade slow in app load times and reorienting. Peripheral compatibility has to be considered (Bought a digital microscope for the kid that was incompatible), My 4yr old printer wasn't recognized.

Other than that,  no regrets, great device for the segment it is attended to address.

Debasser wrote re: Microsoft should be ashamed at how awful the Surface RT tablet is. (The rant to end all rants)
on Tue, Jan 22 2013 11:26 AM Link To This Comment

Nah, Brian is right.  The simple test is to give this device to a child.  I have a Surface and asked 4 families who had kids with iPads to tell me which one they liked better.  Every time the kid handed back the Surface.  Surface is garbage

Benny Tritsch wrote re: Microsoft should be ashamed at how awful the Surface RT tablet is. (The rant to end all rants)
on Tue, Jan 22 2013 11:56 AM Link To This Comment

@Claudio Yes, I'm talking about full Windows 8 experience with both Windows Store UI (fka "Metro") and the traditional desktop + an optional keyboard. This is what I'm using on my tablet, on my laptop and on several PCs. Works great for me, even on the tablet. For me the "Metro" UI is just a Start Menu on steroids, I hardly use any Store apps.

So I agree with Brian in that RT only at low screen resolution is not enough.

Harry Labana wrote re: Microsoft should be ashamed at how awful the Surface RT tablet is. (The rant to end all rants)
on Tue, Jan 22 2013 12:24 PM Link To This Comment

Calling it a PC just adds to the confusion and expectation IMO. A marketing fail. To me, it's just another tablet but adds some basic PC things that you could do. This is a consumer device not really a work device.

@Crod forcing updates is ok for enterprise use cases. Consumer use cases and not even being smart enough to to detect that there is no power source, is just plain "you don't get it."

Claudio Rodrigues wrote re: Microsoft should be ashamed at how awful the Surface RT tablet is. (The rant to end all rants)
on Tue, Jan 22 2013 12:35 PM Link To This Comment

@Benny: the main difference between RT and Pro is simply you are locked into the Windows Store and cannot install anything else. Everything else the Pro can do, the RT can pretty much do. As HarryLabana noted this is not supposed to be an enterprise device where a 1080 screen may be required.

Just for the record, the RT does work with any bluetooth keyboard and mouse (even Apple ones by the way) and with a microHDMI to HDMI cable can drive a second screen at 1080p (what I do sometimes, working pretty much like a PC - apps I cannot have locally are delivered by either RemoteApps 2012 or XenApp 6.5).

@HarryLabana I have never seen it called as a PC. It is simply Windows Surface. But if Microsoft is doing it, agreed, that is plain simple wrong. Regarding the updates, as I have mentioned, given my usage pattern I have never seen such behaviour, it always happens overnight. And like any other device I have, once I notice the battery is low I plug it. I do not say that as an IT person. Even my wife and two kids do that with their devices. And to finalize it, this is something that can be easily fixed in a quick software update so no need to stress out IMHO.

Harry Labana wrote re: Microsoft should be ashamed at how awful the Surface RT tablet is. (The rant to end all rants)
on Tue, Jan 22 2013 12:49 PM Link To This Comment

@Crod note first and second screen shot from Brian, plus many MS talks i have seen where MS says PC is simply evolving. That may be true, but that a PC means to so many is deeply engrained and as you have shown in your comments distracts from the intended value IMHO.

As for simple fix, yes. However overlooking something so key to user experience aimed at non enterprise use cases underlines the cultural DNA challenges that need to be overcome. Just smells of non really knowing who your customer is. 1.0 for this type of customer is also a poor excuse, as consumer mind share so hard to capture, let alone recapture.

Brian Madden wrote re: Microsoft should be ashamed at how awful the Surface RT tablet is. (The rant to end all rants)
on Tue, Jan 22 2013 12:52 PM Link To This Comment

Okay @Crod, I'll bite on a few of the bigger ones here.

You say that iOS and Mac OS can't run the same apps. That's true! That's why they have different names. :) But Microsoft calling this Windows RT and Windows 8 Pro... those names are confusing to customers. Especially since Windows RT can only run Windows 8 mode WinRT apps, and Windows 8 Pro can also run WinRT apps. Even in your Blog Claudio (http://blog.wtslabs.com/?p=217) you use terms like "Windows Surface" when referring to Surface RT and "Windows 8 RT" which is not a thing.. My point is that it's just all so confusing.

And the whole marketing of Surface just confuses everything more. I mean even on the "Help me Choose" page on surface.com it doesn't say in big letters that Surface RT does not run your current apps. Are consumers supposed to extrapolate the phrase "runs apps exclusively from the Windows Store" to mean DOES NOT RUN YOUR CURRENT APPS?

Honestly if Microsoft would have released this and not tried to stick it in the Windows 8 train (and if they wouldn't have had desktop mode) then they might have been on to something.

Also regarding office, you use words like "Perfectly" and "Full compatibility" in bold capital letters regarding office. But the Office RT website sure has a long list of stuff that doesn't work. In fact at TechTarget we have two XLS spreadsheets that I regularly need access to which Google Docs doesn't handle well and Apple Numbers mangles. How about them in Excel 2013 RT? They also don't work. So yeah maybe I'm nitpicking, but that doesn't sound like "full compatibility" or "perfectly" to me. Plus there's no Outlook and the built-in mail and calendar capabilities leave MUCH to be desired. They're more like mail and cal on the iPad. :( So again, that's not full Office. (Oh, and it's student & home edition so you're not even allowed to use it for work anyway!) BTW I wonder how Microsoft will handle the fact that their "Pro" version of Surface doesn't include Office? Good luck with that!

I do agree that Windows RT will have the best Citrix Receiver and RemoteFX client. That's important too since I'll need them to get real work done on Windows RT!

As for you never seeing this called a PC, it's called a PC all the time, right within the UI. They use the word "PC" all over the place.

Also, that car with the fire truck horn was an Alfa Romeo, not a Fiat! :) Though the frame still cracked in half.

As for @madderts, you bought your wife and kid both Surface RT tablets? Wow, you must have a lot of extra money or work for Microsoft. What use cases do they have that can't be solved with $200 Android tablets?

Claudio Rodrigues wrote re: Microsoft should be ashamed at how awful the Surface RT tablet is. (The rant to end all rants)
on Tue, Jan 22 2013 12:59 PM Link To This Comment

@HarryLabana. Agreed Harry, for sure. The main points on the article though really apply to Windows 8 as a whole and not to a single device like the Surface. Add to that, some other points apply to any of the Tablets out there (out-of-the-box I mean as I can root/jailbreak anything and install whatever that suits you). So my whole point is this article is full of holes in many ways, that is all.

Claudio Rodrigues wrote re: Microsoft should be ashamed at how awful the Surface RT tablet is. (The rant to end all rants)
on Tue, Jan 22 2013 1:20 PM Link To This Comment

@Brian: Full compatibility is a stretch I agree for two simple reasons: people do not work the exact same way and the version you use/need may NOT be the version I use/need. For my basic needs where I need to be able to open Word files with the exact same formatting as I see on the PC, it always worked, no matter how messy the file was. Flawlessly and 100% of the time. The same files never worked on any other platform, PCs with Windows being the exception. Everything else failed. The Surface succeeded. Of course if you have some crazy Excel files with Macros, Data Sources, etc then yes, the Surface will not cut it. This does not mean it sucks. The iPad does not cut for that either and it is far from sucking. Point is, get the right tool for the job. The Surface is not a Swiss Pocket Knife that can do every single thing hardcore IT people need/want. That is where the Surface Pro comes in. Or a full blown PC for that matter. As a tablet, and considering my particular use case (that by the way many people share) for editing Word documents properly, it delivers. 100%.

The PC word being used, agreed 100%. Call it a tablet. Avoid confusion. Point taken.

And yes, it was an Alfa! I do remember that. Well at least I was not way off as they are both Italians, they both crack in half and are owned by the same company. :-)

Cheers.

CR

Brian Madden wrote re: Microsoft should be ashamed at how awful the Surface RT tablet is. (The rant to end all rants)
on Tue, Jan 22 2013 1:50 PM Link To This Comment

Agree that Office RT does not suck, it's just not "full compatibility." But I agree 100% that it's the best Office experience on ARM, and I wish I had the same thing for iOS and Android.

madderts wrote re: Microsoft should be ashamed at how awful the Surface RT tablet is. (The rant to end all rants)
on Tue, Jan 22 2013 2:34 PM Link To This Comment

Brian, a happy wife and kid is priceless!!!

I'm not denying your point. Let me state for the record, yes, I am an MS fanboy that thinks android is just apple cloned affordably and apple itself has grown stale and has no place in my line of work (engineering/construction).

But my whole point is your hatred against RT is over the top and misplaced.  Let the consumption segment enjoy the device and save your "poison pen" for the surface pro (if necessary)!

Ernie Oporto wrote re: Microsoft should be ashamed at how awful the Surface RT tablet is. (The rant to end all rants)
on Tue, Jan 22 2013 3:11 PM Link To This Comment

I gotta say that as a sysadmin, the forced reboot infuriates me the most. Barring a power outage, nobody is getting me to reboot my system before I'm good and ready. Just for that, it would barely be sticking out of the drywall.

I will say this, though. Microsoft's first try is usually a fail. They always perfect it on the third try. So while I will enjoy my iPad, I would still be looking over my shoulder.

Claudio Rodrigues wrote re: Microsoft should be ashamed at how awful the Surface RT tablet is. (The rant to end all rants)
on Tue, Jan 22 2013 3:31 PM Link To This Comment

@Ernie: the forced reboot, as I have said, has NEVER happened to me and I have been using the device on a daily basis since it was first shipped to customers. Also taking a look at the scheduled tasks I can indeed see things set at 3:00am on mine. I did not tweak anything, just seeing what is now there.

I am certain you can further tweak the scheduled tasks exactly like you do on a real PC with Windows 8. Even regedit is there and works as expected (had to use to allow Flash on any site I want).

I guess Brian got an isolated case thanks to Gabe and him never updating the device in the first place.

@Brian: I guess some people are expecting full compatibility with the full blown Office Professional 2013, what is indeed a very different beast from what the Surface comes with. But as you said it is at this point the best Office experience on ARM (or any other tablet for the matter) and exactly like you, I really wished this was available on the iPad.

VM_Guy wrote re: Microsoft should be ashamed at how awful the Surface RT tablet is. (The rant to end all rants)
on Tue, Jan 22 2013 9:29 PM Link To This Comment

Brian is taking the shoes of a poor regular user, which will not even be sure if the device is plugged on power, and will take weeks to get used to the Metro/desktop confusion.

Claudio has the point of an expert , geek, MS fan user, which knows everything, all the details, etc etc ...

Everyone that I know and loves the surface , are generally IT people, that like everything new, and like to eat a brand new OS. Everyone else hates the Win8 crap.

Derek32smith wrote re: Microsoft should be ashamed at how awful the Surface RT tablet is. (The rant to end all rants)
on Wed, Jan 23 2013 7:46 AM Link To This Comment

Oh Brian, you are dead wrong. Crod says so, thus it must be true.

You didn't update for months. Shame on you. Of course you should be forced to update by the system at any point in time as you described. You clearly are unrealistic in your expectations. You are acting like, dare I say it, Joe Average user. Sorry, I know that hurts.

I think you have been hanging sround with too many users, and picking up bad habits. Back to the dark depths of a computer lab for you!

Expecting to get full Office capabilities from a product called Microsfot Office? Absurd. As an IT professional, surely you know to read the fine print.

And you don't like the screen?  WTF? Microsoft has the scientific proof that it is superior to the iPad. Maybe a trip to the opthamologist is in your future. Getting old sucks. First your eyes, then who knows what will go next.

Brian, your sphere of influence is far and wide, and clearly has had an impact on sales of this device. Is it possible you are responsible for Mr. Sinofsky's firing?

How do you sleep at night?

:)

Claudio Rodrigues wrote re: Microsoft should be ashamed at how awful the Surface RT tablet is. (The rant to end all rants)
on Wed, Jan 23 2013 11:20 AM Link To This Comment

@derek32smith Not sure if you read my comments correctly but I was very clear that as a daily user of the RT I have never seen the update behavior described by Brian. A quick look at the scheduled tasks does show things happening at 3:00am on my unit. Possibly that was added in one of the updates Brian/Gabe missed. Now it should work as mine does.

Also stating office capabilities without mentioning which Office SKU is completely BS and misleading. As you know products like XenApp have many versions, each with different capabilities. It is like bitching XenApp cannot support more than 75 users when you have Essentials SKU.

Same applies here. Office RT on the Surface is NOT Office 13 Professional and therefore certain features will not be available.

If you kept reading, you would also notice Brian did agree with me the Surface offers the best Office on ARM experience to date, beating any other tablet and even mentioned he would like to have that capability on iPads, Android, etc.

The screen is 100% subjective. For some it is great, for people over 65, yes it may be hard to read. It is definitely higher resolution than the iPad and iPad 2. Of course the retina one beats it hands down. Just look at the technical specs.

My goal was to give people a review from someone that has been using the device for over 3 months now and not after trying to use it for 3 hours. Very different things.

The device does have flaws like any other tablet out there but does have its own strengths (like anything else again).

Let's just make sure we do a proper review of whatever we write about, that is all.

CR

PS: written on Windows Surface.

Derek32smith wrote re: Microsoft should be ashamed at how awful the Surface RT tablet is. (The rant to end all rants)
on Thu, Jan 24 2013 6:55 AM Link To This Comment

@crod: thanks, that's more helpful.

Good information.

However, I would suggest that Microsoft, rather than highlighting the technical weanesses/deficiencies regarding running full Windows on this device, purposefully added to the problem. Their marketing campaign, and in-store staff implied or stated directly the device could run full Windows apps, not just "dumbed down" apps (is that the proper technical term?).

I would suggest that Joe Average consumer buying one of these during the holiday season madness had little notion to identify specifics around product SKUs."It runs Windows - good for me!"

Now, in fairness to Microsoft, this is not unique to them. Apple is somewhat guilty of this too. As an example, Keynote on the iPad does not have the full graphics motion capabilities of Keynote on OSX. But, the in-store staff will take the time to tell you the difference.

Microsoft can and should do better.

Now, do the floor mats come with the car?

Matt Kosht wrote re: Microsoft should be ashamed at how awful the Surface RT tablet is. (The rant to end all rants)
on Thu, Jan 24 2013 10:48 AM Link To This Comment

> Even worse is that Internet Explorer exists in both >modes, yet the two versions are different. They don't >even share bookmarks!

@brian This is not entirely accurate. IF you integrated the Surface RT with Windows Live login, IE bookmarks are synced from the Windows Live cloud. Both IE tile/desktop will get same favorites. I do this now with mine and bookmarks are shared across several PCs and the Surface. That aside having 2 IE personalities is damn confusing to anyone.

fluffycloud wrote re: Microsoft should be ashamed at how awful the Surface RT tablet is. (The rant to end all rants)
on Tue, Feb 5 2013 10:13 AM Link To This Comment

Hi there, not bashing anyone, so please don't take the words out of context!  Been an avid reader/lurker for 7 years!  Agnostic with tech - if it's good or does the job I like it.  I don't queue for Apple products (so sad to see!), but I enjoy some of them.  I use Windows OS's daily, but not a 'fan boi!'

My view:

Brian's forced update comment is VERY valid if not written in the heat of the moment/height of his frustration!  :-)

CROD > I am glad you use your device everyday and put it to charge every night and this doesn't present YOU a problem, but it is outrageous it cannot detect it is not on mains before updating or at least give a warning.  There should be the option to postpone the reboot for a specific period of time or be able to control this like Windows Update settings.  Hell, even the fisher price iphone allows you when to apply IOS updates!

Going back to my point, how many 'standard' users do you see, using the device in this same way?  I can picture some people I know panicking when they see the yellow screen or not know what's going on and trying to save/bookmark what they are doing before time runs out - it is a fail I'm afraid - devices should free the user.  We all work differently (and have good/bad habits to match!)

Windows Metro does suck hard (not limited to RT) - been using Windows 8 for 3 months and left hand now has muscle memory for the Windows key + shortcut, but still get annoyed it does this - make your mind up what you are Windows 8 - you're a bit of a ***!

I was expecting surface (maybe my bad getting confused with surface RT?  Someone help me!?) to be Metro only, or heavily Metro driven for consumer market?  MS should go with one of the other?  Trying to provide both and switch between is just a mess for tablet.

How about a user or STD (metro) and admin or PRO (desktop)?

In a nutshell, I think VM_GUY summed it up perfectly :-)

Still have to remember its day 1 and Windows 8 a bit of dud at this point in my opinion!

I love the fact we have loads of choice and flavours we can utilise!  

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