Article: In defence of the Surface RT

Discussion in 'Microsoft Surface General Discussion' started by beman39, Aug 29, 2013.

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  1. beman39

    beman39 New Member

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    very interesting read and the writer has a lot of good points I find! the only thing I disagree on is removing the desktop interface, as I use it all the time to go back and forth to my other computers and transfer stuff from one folder to the other..so I end up using it ALOT I couldn't use the METRO interface all the time because I think I would go nuts! lol

    In defence of the Surface RT | Enterprise | Real World Computing | PC Pro
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2013
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  2. Nick M

    Nick M New Member

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    I would agree, Metro might work well on the phone but for the day to day work I need to accomplish desktop works best for me.

    Nick
     
  3. pallentx

    pallentx New Member

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    I think people who say they should get rid of the desktop really mean that they should replace everything you do in the desktop with a robust, powerful, modern version. I can see both sides on this one. I think the balance MS found works for now. I was happy to have a familiar file browser, control panel, and such so everything wasn't 100% new on my Surface. Also, this keeps things consistent with the desktop Windows 8 world. Eventually, though, as the platform matures, I think it will need to move 100% towards touch optimized on the Surface - especially RT.
     
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  4. pallentx

    pallentx New Member

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    "The "one-size-fits-all" philosophy of Windows 8 is a mistake, because tablets and desktops/laptops need different user interfaces. There, I’ve said it. Sorry, Microsoft."

    I understand why people keep saying this, but it think they couldn't be more wrong. First of all, its not really one-size-fits-all. Its one OS with two modes. Having both modes available on a desktop does not take away from the desktop, it adds more functionality to it. Why be stuck only running x86 legacy stuff on your desktop/laptop when there's a new, blossoming ecosystem apps you could also make use of? People calling for MS to put up walls between the classes of devices like Apple just don't get it. There's a lot of power in what MS is doing. If they manage to get WP into the one app, multiple devices world, it will be even more powerful.
     
  5. Johntxk

    Johntxk New Member

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    When I first started using my RT I a few months ago I was more comfortable with the desktop mode but now I find myself hardly using it at all.
     
  6. machistmo

    machistmo Active Member

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    Last edited: Sep 1, 2013
  7. oion

    oion Well-Known Member

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    No one needs an iPad, that's for sure.

    But when I was a student, I would have KILLED for the Surface RT. Included Office (especially Word with footnotes, Track Changes, TOC, etc.), all-day battery life, decent-enough browser to do everything, a few touch games to take a break. And only 2 lbs total including Type cover next to my ginormous textbooks. Eh, and no worries about malware. I spent over $2+k for different Japanese subnotebooks at the time instead, and they served me quite well, besides being head-turners. :p I'm not a student anymore, but I still value mobility and longevity over raw power because I travel and write outside of home just enough for all of that to matter. (And I have a desktop.)

    I don't agree about the general desktop mode criticism--as a smart power-user who knows the difference between tablet/desktop OSes--but I can see how it didn't help the confusion about software installation when MS itself failed on all marketing fronts. Desktop mode is still ideal for all the fine fiddling because there's only so much discrete information you can put in a small area (like lots of different files in "detailed view"). MS could have saved itself a lot of headaches if it made everything clearer from the outset and trained salespeople better. Or, the faster and cheaper way...instead of getting rid of the desktop mode, a much better solution is to HIDE/disable it by default, and smart people who know what they're doing can enable it. There, done. Let's move on.

    As for the competition like the Atom tabs mentioned in the article, I get the feeling that the article writer and many others missed a big point. MS claimed that it was going into hardware to force their manufacturers to be more creative with the Windows platform. In that respect, it would seem they were 100% successful. Face it--the market for this type of device was dead until the Surface started making the news.

    This reminds me of what happened between Transmeta and Intel. Intel was not seriously in the mobile CPU market, by the way, until Transmeta in the '90s started gaining traction in bleeding-edge ultramobile computing and forced Intel's hand in a previously underserved market (Intel spokespeople allegedly admitted this to press at a conference). Thus, everyone can thank Transmeta for forcing the Intel to create their first Centrino/Pentium M. And tah-dah, with the death of Transmeta, selling their IP to Intel, now we have the power-efficient mobile computing market. Then the short-lived netbook craze killed the niche subnotebook market but the popularity forced companies to rethink ultramobile computing, which lead to a repeat evolution to Intel Ultrabooks like I predicted in 2008, and then the iPad was released as the "netbook killer"...

    But while I was watching all of that, all I wanted was a new, sleeker iteration of my subnotebooks imported from Japan. I didn't even consider touchscreen back then, but with the Surface RT, it feels natural to type on the keyboard and then touch the screen for interface interactions. In fact, after a long period of use and returning to my desktop, I find myself reaching for my 25" LCD screen sometimes!


    The vast majority of the Surfaces' problems went like this:

    (1) Shitty business decisions: "Let's release the Surface RT with slow and buggy preview Office despite the fact that Office is the single biggest killer app suite on the thing." No, really, you should've waited at least a month or something. The first impression is critical, and though I bought my SurRT after the major firmware patches and updates, a lot of other people stick by that hearsay impression.

    (2) Shitty marketing. MS, your marketing sucks. Dancing people? WTF? You could take lessons from IBM and Mastercard for great, targeted marketing that makes sense and sticks with you. You should've talked to a lot of students first. You should've marketed to students first. (You should not have even mentioned business for Surface RT without clearly talking about umbrella licensing and putting Outlook in there.)

    (3) Shitty information everywhere! I personally don't understand why people got confused that you can't install desktop applications on Windows RT, but clearly the ball was dropped in multiple places.

    (4) Shitty reviews based on shitty information or incorrect use cases.

    Is the product itself shitty? No. Neither Surface is a bad product--they fit particular use cases. And only when a person finds the combination of hardware and software fits their lifestyle does it become the perfect device. It kills me when idiots buy any product and find it doesn't fit their use case and then blames the product itself. Crap marketing had a lot to do with it here, sure, but really the only time you blame the product is when it genuinely fails what it should do--like a camping backpack's seams ripping. In the case of Surface, the common types of complaints are more like "I bought a Honda Fit, but it's a piece of crap because it's not a Subaru Forester."
     
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  8. machistmo

    machistmo Active Member

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    I agree, the whole thing is almost laughable at this point. Ballmer is 'retiring' NOT. Hes being allowed to exit the company with kneecaps.
     
  9. machistmo

    machistmo Active Member

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    Until now, the Windows Brand has meant, for the most part, backward compatibility and legacy support to some degree. They launched this Device out of nowhere that had proprietary apps only, thinking that if Apple can get away with it, so can Microsoft. WRONG. It just really does NOT make sense. like I have said so many time before:

    "There is a Microsoft shaped hole in the wall where they went chasing after Apples' business model. Meanwhile consumers are still buying iPad's and Galaxy tabs while the Enterprise, Microsoft's CORE customers, are left scratching their heads"

    I meant there is no overwhelming reason to get a Surface. Home and Student office offering virtually assures no Enterprise customers will want to grab them and then figure out Microsofts complex licensing system. Have you ever REALLY looked at their licensing? You need a degree in Microsoft Licensing to fully understand it. I agree they should still be going after Students with that device, but the iPad has that cool factor and Dancing hipsters in commercials just made the RT even weaker. Everyone I know has an iPad. They work 99% of the time. They have issues but when I see one its mostly so trivial that it can be easily ignored. Microsoft on the other hand - I have had 3 tabelts an RT and a SP and a TPT2. The TPT2 is sitting here on my desk because using it to post here with the software keyboard in 8.1 IE 11 is absolutely impossible. Impossible. I love that I can't use the latest MS OS and IE to post on a site dedicated to a device running that OS. I love it. Wait, no I dont love it and want a device that works. What the hell am I talking about? My experience with Windows 8 and 8.1 so far is that it is just not ready for Prime time. I just now tried to use the share feature on the TPT2 to send an article out of the core news application. The mail said 'sending mail' for about 3 minutes, at which point I canceled that attempt and made a second which appeared to complete itself, I.E. the window closed as if the task had completed but no email was sent or received. The same thing happens updating apps and in general in Windows 8. I just never know what will fail to work at all next. The spinning dots have become the dreaded dots of failure for me.
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2013
  10. demandarin

    demandarin Active Member

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    Think about this, if you all remember. Imagine if bill gates didn't kill off the MS Courier tablet. I wanted that so badly. It was light years ahead of Ipad or android tablet capabilities. MS could've been had a headstart in this new mobile generation. But noo..lol

    I'm still amazed watching demos for that device. Would've loved to get my hands on that prototype device..smh

    It would've had proprietary apps. I think that's why Bill killed it. Because it didn't run windows. But even bill predicted Ipad type devices b4 apple. They never just really acted on them.
     
  11. beman39

    beman39 New Member

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    Oion I completely agree with you on all points good posting

    Machistmo>> who really cares about licensing? Seriously I or any one I know have never read that! So why bring that up? It makes no point or sense to why Surface sales are not doing better than they should, but Oion makes perfect sense on all his points and THATS why the sales have not been better. Also the fact that the idiots out there thought you can run full windows on the RT and pay less money! Meaning They wanted a slice of cake and wanted to eat it too! All they had to do is buy the PRO but it was more expensive. But that's just my opinion
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2013
  12. machistmo

    machistmo Active Member

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    The Enterprise cares. We tested them and found converting the licenses to from Home and Student to a business license looked like just one more reason not to go in the RT direction. It was not the deal killer but it was discussed on more than one occasion in the whole of 0 meetings needed to determine that we would not being going with the RT. Strangely the RT attracted us because it was on lockdown and could only install apps already inspected and signed off on by Micorsoft. Every other single about it however lead us away from it. I agree that it should have been marketed to Students more heavily but in the end the iPad has all the latest apps and EVERYONE and their mom has one... Its pretty much hard to say 'Heres office, love our underpowered device' as is evidenced by the dismal sales of the RT and I agree with Oion on most of his points I just dont think they go far enough and so decided to share those points I saw in the Enterprise killing the RTs chances there.

    Any reason I should not share my experiences?

    We never even had a meeting around the RT. We bought three devices. I was given one, my boss got one, which he promptly decided to give someone else as he had an iPad and hated the Surface after minutes with it, and my VP got one, which he promptly gave to our network security guy who I think uses it to hold up books on his shelf. After a month or so I sent mine to a co-worker and never heard another word beyond his request for assistance getting it connected to our hidden network. It should be noted that when the device my Boss had was given to another employeee, he promptly ordered a SFF lenovo desktop PC in order to remote into via the RT... Just not ready for prime time... Period. Hence my comments. And hence my comments that the device "never really got any traction in our organization" because it didnt and it didnt even require a meeting to determine its fate... It did that simply through end user experience. Of 6 of us that tried the units, one is still using his, the guy with the extra PC bought, staged, and put into production simply so that he can remote in to it sitting literally 1 foot away... Its all very ridiculous. No, its RIDONKULOUS...

    My VP is currently using the Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet2 and I think continues to use it because it is so portable and runs 8 PRO. He hates it otherwise and we have already had to replace it and the keyboard ( quite possibly the worst tablet keyboard EVER designed ). Touch Sensor on the tablet went bonkers after a month or so.

    So if our experience with the devices is any indication of others in the Enterprise, just how much of 900 million in lost sales do you think the Enterprise side acocunts for, because the consumer market resoundingly hated the RT?

    Anyway - you asked - Answered.

    FYI here is what analysts are saying about it:

    Right now, the average consumer most likely considers the Surface RT to be good for little more than surfing the Web and running Microsoft Office. At $349 for a 32 GB model—$150 more than the Nexus 7, which will be refreshed soon—the Surface RT just looks like a rotten deal. However, a 32 GB Surface RT is now $250 less than an iPad, a fact that Microsoft points out in its [video=youtube;wE7AQY5Xk9w]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wE7AQY5Xk9w&feature=player_embedded[/video]. Will the recent price cut make up for a much weaker app environment? I'm not sure. The Windows RT brand appears heavily bruised.[​IMG]Google's Nexus 7 tablet.Microsoft must demonstrate the value proposition of the Surface RT tablet, pronto. To its credit, it’s done so with its latest commercials, emphasizing Office. But even with the value that Office brings, a further price cut looks inevitable to bring it in line with competing solutions. But if it does so, it looks even weaker than before. It’s an ugly situation.

    Source: http://www.pcworld.com/article/2044720/man-the-lifeboats-the-surface-rtitanic-is-sinking-fast.html
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2013
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