Originally Posted by Paul Connell
I both agree and disagree. I don't think the traditional Windows UI necessarily dooms a tablet to failure, much to the contrary, I think if you're vastly exceeding the cost of a full-on notebook, the full capabilities of Windows (the full desktop and the ability to run all you're x86 applications) is very important. I know iPads sell like hotcakes, but I, and a lot of others, simply aren't willing to spend upwards of $800 for a glorified smartphone. Which is why, despite some of their decisions, I think Microsoft is on the right track with Windows 8 - provide a tablet friendly UI for basic and on-the-go tasks, and the full desktop for when you need to be productive with the "real" applications you need to use. I know there's some overlap between "apps" and traditional "applications", but there's no denying that when real work needs to be done, there's no replacement for full desktop applications.
Clearly what's dooming Windows RT is that it's essentially nearly all the cost of a full Windows Pro system with none of the benefits - unlike iOS or Android tablets, the available app selection is extremely limited and limiting. So you don't have access to your traditional applications, you don't have access to much in the way of apps, and the whole Metro UI is essentially barely out of beta status.
On the other hand, give it a generation or two, and I think Windows RT will be gone and Windows Pro will make a very compelling OS for truly dual-purpose tablets - a touch friendly UI when it's used as a tablet, drop it into a dock and you have a full desktop OS for when you need those capabilities.
I think you have it almost exactly backwards here.
If you think an iOS tablet is a "glorified smartphone" then you aren't really in the market for a tablet at all. You are the part of the market that doesn't actually see much value in the new mobile computing paradigm, and would really prefer a laptop, which is essentially what Microsoft Surface Pro is, a hybrid laptop.
Neither Windows Surface RT, nor Windows Surface Pro, are really tablets at all, they are convertible/hybrid laptops. In the case of RT however, it runs on a different processor, and while it *looks* like Windows, it doesn't actually run any Windows apps on it's Windows desktop. What should have happened, is the Surface RT should have launched *without* the fake, confusing, copy of a Windows desktop in the background. This would actually make it closer to being a true tablet. If it also ran in portrait mode, it would actually *be* a tablet.
This would have had poorer sales, but at least people wouldn't be confused, feel ripped off, and be taking them back to the store for a refund by the truckload. It would also have made the Surface Pro look a lot better because the Surface Pro would actually be a great little laptop, but with the added benefit of having the tablet OS laying on top if you want to use that too.
All Microsoft has done with Windows 8 is thoroughly confuse their entire market. People (average people who buy Microsoft computers), don't even really understand what "Windows 8" is. Is it the Metro deal? Is it both together? Is the underlying "regular" Windows, "Windows 8"? Who knows? And next year, when they start selling "Windows RT" tablets without the desktop mode, will that still be "Windows 8"? If they change the name to something else for clarification, isn't that actually going to be more confusing?
It's all a big pile of poo and there seems little that can be done to fix it. It's likely that they even know this at MS headquarters and know how confusing Windows RT is, but they still did it anyway because the only alternative is having Windows RT "stand alone," and they probably know that it can't actually do that.
Microsoft is absolutely f*cked. In a few years they will be retreating into the business market and giving up on phones and tablets altogether, as they should be already.
They got nothing. They fired their best shot and it landed with a thud.
What are they going to do, make a whole new third mobile OS and see if that flies? And will they tie the Windows boat anchor to that effort as well?