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Editorial: The mysterious failure of Microsoft's Surface RT - Page 3

post #81 of 321
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post

Another thing, during the Surface announcement last July they spent most of their time talking about the design of the hardware, and very little about actually using the software. And when Sinofsky did use the software it didn't work.

Yeah, that was a cringeworthy moment for sure.  I thought Sinofsky looked like scared, like he knew that the product wasn't ready and was likely to fail.  Then it did!

That has to be one of the great 'awkward moments of all time' in tech. Poor guy.

Didn't he get fired or some such thing?
post #82 of 321

It has taken many years but I have finally converted my entire immediate and extended family as well as most of my friends to Apple products. My cousin had a 4 year old Dell that recently died. Turns out it was a bad power supply and a bad monitor. She was concerned about a lot of Microsoft office documents she wanted to save, many of which were important family medical, tax, financial records. They bought a 27" iMac. After the Delll was repaired she asked me about Microsoft Office for the Mac and where to buy it. I told her before she does that to check out Open Office. It opened up all her MS Office documents fine and saved her around $200. We imported all her files over from the Dell with a flash drive and she was back in business in a few minutes. 

 

Moral of the story is most people don't need MS Office. Open Office, Pages, and other alternatives exist that do the job fine. Once more people realize this the Surface and Windows Phone will be the least of their worries since Office has been their cash cow for decades. 

 

Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience. 

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Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience. 

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post #83 of 321
Quote:
Originally Posted by ABiggerKid View Post

I think we'll get more innovation in tablets in general if Windows RT doesn't fail.

What 'innovation' are we currently lacking in iPads?

Why do you think it's doing so well if 'innovation' is lacking?
post #84 of 321
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

. . . Microsoft's Zune and KIN, two of the most embarrassing hardware product failures to occur outside of Google.
 

 

Best line of the entire article.  lol.gif

post #85 of 321
There's no mystery here.

It's Microsoft under Ballmer.
post #86 of 321
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

What 'innovation' are we currently lacking in iPads?

Why do you think it's doing so well if 'innovation' is lacking?

The people who say that are probably the same kind of people who wish that they could hook up a mouse to an iPad, and the same kind of people who thinks that it should be just like a desktop OS.
post #87 of 321

Three words....baggage...baggage...baggage.  Oh, and one more...Ballmer.

post #88 of 321
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post

Fact is consumers don't need Windows or Office. Microsoft still doesn't get that. Go watch the Surface event from last July. It was all Windows, Windows, Windows. Heck Microsoft's new logo is a Windows logo. The other thing Microsoft doesn't get is people are perfectly fine with tablets being mostly consumption devices. I think we're finding out that a large number of consumers were really using their PCs mostly for consumption purposes. Email, web surfing, watching movies, etc. Tablets now provide all those services in a much more convenient form factor. And since people are using PCs less frequently, the need to upgrade isn't really there. Google and Amazon don't help Microsoft's cause as they're pushing tablets as cheap consumption devices that they don't need to make any money on. Can Microsoft really afford to get in to a race to the bottom there?

Well said. Especially like...

 

"I think we're finding out that a large number of consumers were really using their PCs mostly for consumption purposes."

post #89 of 321
That mock funeral is silly and unnecessary. It does not sell! It just involved so many feelings of hate that so many consumers are tired of. Make and sell product that is proven useful, safe, good quality etc. avoid all unnecessary dongles the haters which most of them are inferior and do not know what they really need. And at worst they don't even really represent the real market. It's just amaze me how a high tech Microsoft giant could fall and buy into these inferior market demand?
post #90 of 321
Is there a point to this article? I can't find one, except that Microsoft sucks.
post #91 of 321
Quote:
Originally Posted by QAMF View Post

Yup, I'll gladly accept and agree with that. :)
Just not that Tablet's were first done by Apple.

...

 

Well technically, they go back a long long time, but most people accept that the Newton was a tablet and the first commercially viable mass market tablet (Wikipedia does for example), so … yeah, Apple actually.  

 

One certainly can't make any rational argument that Microsoft thought of the tablet first or "invented" it, or even "popularised" it first if that's what you're saying.  I would argue that Microsoft didn't even innovate in tablets.  They added nothing that wasn't already there and done by others first. 

post #92 of 321
Quote:
Originally Posted by rob53 View Post

Who are you Vadania? Daniel has been around for years and not only writes for AppleInsider but has his own website at http://roughlydrafted.com. CNET knows who he is, they also know how he feels and many times it's not what CNET wants to hear. It's also WWDC and trying to find anyone in that mass of bodies is impossible. I also have met Daniel and have actually talked to him when he presented at the company I retired from. His research and understanding of technology history is second to none. As for his sarcasm, I enjoyed it. If all you can handle is three sentences and two pictures you have a very short attention span, something that bothers me about people these days. All they can handle is a couple words before their brain turns off. Take a little time to understand what Daniel has to say so you're ready for Microsoft's next product release. CNET and almost every technology writer desperately wants something from Microsoft to sell, especially so they can keep their job writing about them, so they will do their best to promote them. Microsoft isn't helping by releasing garbage hardware and software. 

Good job! I was going to respond, also. Thanks for doing it :)

post #93 of 321
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post


That has to be one of the great 'awkward moments of all time' in tech. Poor guy.

Didn't he get fired or some such thing?

Yep...I think it wasn't too long after the launch. I saw the presentation and he did look scared...and then that happened! Ugh! 

post #94 of 321
Quote:
Originally Posted by alansky View Post

Is there a point to this article? I can't find one, except that Microsoft sucks.

 

I thought the last paragraph brought the point home quite nicely...

 

Quote:
After getting its teeth kicked out by the iPod, the iPhone and now the iPad, you'd think the company would realize that it needs to stop repeating its me-too strategies that clearly don't work and try something new: focusing on what it's good at, rather than being a terrible copy of Apple.
post #95 of 321
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post


How about Microsoft making simplified touch versions of Office and selling them on App Store and Google Play? Office is the product line that brings in the most revenue for Microsoft these days. Of course doing that would mean they're willing to screw Windows. But as it is right now people are buying iPads and Android tablets over Windows offerings. At least this way Microsoft could get some Office subscription revenue. Now they get nothing. Perhaps it will happen with this new org structure as Windows and Office will no longer be competing with each other.

 

Well, I think this is exactly why Surface RT has Office on it.  The only other alternative is to make lite, clean versions of Office apps for ARM, and if they do that, then they would work on iOS and who would buy a Surface?  I think it's the same pickle Blackberry is in.  They always knew they could get a lot more revenue by making BBM available on iOS and Android, but it removes the reason to buy their hardware, thus, it's a last resort strategy (which I think they are doing now since they are circling the drain). 

 

Word for iOS would sell like proverbial hotcakes.  I would buy it even if it was twice the price of Pages and I hate Microsoft and don't really like using Word.  I don't think it will ever happen though as they are already moving to the cloud. This is possibly why Pages for iCloud is rumoured to be free when it comes out of Beta.  Why pay for a 360 subscription if Pages is free in the cloud and a $10.00 one time download on iOS?  

 

Microsoft is doomed. 1smile.gif (in the consumer market)

post #96 of 321
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

What 'innovation' are we currently lacking in iPads?

Why do you think it's doing so well if 'innovation' is lacking?

Is it just me or is the word "innovate" getting overused to the point of meaninglessness. I think I'll go to the kitchen and innovate myself a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
post #97 of 321
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vadania View Post

...... I think we should all cheer Microsoft on and encourage them to spend an absorbent amount of money researching what really does work.

 

Absorbent ??? Perhaps you meant to say exorbitant, as in excessive ?
Apple is not Appl ...... Please learn the difference!    
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Apple is not Appl ...... Please learn the difference!    
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post #98 of 321
Quote:
Originally Posted by alansky View Post

Is there a point to this article? I can't find one, except that Microsoft sucks.

Is there a point to your post?
post #99 of 321
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doctor David View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

What 'innovation' are we currently lacking in iPads?

Why do you think it's doing so well if 'innovation' is lacking?

Is it just me or is the word "innovate" getting overused to the point of meaninglessness. I think I'll go to the kitchen and innovate myself a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

Agreed. Hence my use of the term in quotes..... ;-)
post #100 of 321
I think the Xbox 360 did good because their only real competitor botched their console with crazy pricing. I think Apple dominates because it's not priced too high. If Apple gets cocky and releases a product that's outside their consumers price point, consumer will look for alternatives.

No one thought Sony would lose on the console war when the Playstation was dominating for so long, but price is more important than people think. I know everyone keeps saying an iPhone Lite is un-Apple like, but Apple isn't any different than any other corporation. When they see an opportunity to create a feasibly usable product at a cheaper price point, why not? Apple waited this long for the technology to reach a point where they can offer a good quality product at a lesser price.
post #101 of 321
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrrodriguez View Post

I think the Xbox 360 did good because their only real competitor botched their console with crazy pricing.
No one thought Sony would lose on the console war .......

 

http://www.vgchartz.com/analysis/platform_totals/

 

Er, when exactly did "Sony lose the console wars"?

post #102 of 321
Quote:
Originally Posted by dukemeiser View Post
I'd really like to see Apple turn the AppleTV into an iOS developer store platform with gaming support. It would completely devastate the Xbox and everyone else in it's path.

 

It seems clear to me that Apple intends to do this.  They have been rolling out critical support features each year for such a platform:  iCloud allows syncing of player data, and saved games.   GameCenter supports multiplayer games, leader boards and game discovery and is a borderline social network for games. 

 

I think the reason they haven't done it is there 's a critical set of TV related deals they want to get nailed down so that the device has a lot of content.   For some reason, probably related to this feature, the AppleTV AppStore is being held back until that deal is done.... or, they are working on UI improvements to make the SDK that developers would need more useful for general apps and games.  Right now the APIs (according to reverse engineering analysis I've read) are pretty limited to TV program oriented type apps. 

 

I think when they do it, it's going to be sort of a "Big Bang" event, much like launching the iPad.   We'll get a lot of stuff at once. 

 

One question is whether the current generation of AppleTV hardware-- which is nice and cheap at $99, but doesn't have "console" level graphics performance-- will be what they launch, or if they'll launch a new one that has a beefier GPU to support higher end games.

 

Either way, I think it's just a matter of time.  The AppleTV is not ready, but ever since Steve Jobs believed they'd "cracked it", they've been working on it... Tim Cook said "it remains an area of intense interest", which is Apple code for "we've got something in development, but it's not ready to announce."

post #103 of 321
Nothing mysterious about it. If you're not first, you've got to be best. The RT isn't either one of these things - not even close.
post #104 of 321

no one has really nailed the reason for the RT's Total Fail - it's a one-off "orphan" product. can't run W8 desktop apps because it's ARM (as DED noted), but also can't run Windows Phone apps. MS must have thought the superficial user-facing Metro UI skin it shares with W8 and WP would sufficiently mask this isolation and that consumers would embrace the unique "live tile" constant updating they all share. MS also must have thought bundling a basic version of Office with it - while holding back an Office app from iOS and Android tablets - would provide sufficient special practical utility to draw a solid base of buyers, as if Office were still a "killer app." add some pump-priming cash incentives for developers to come up with RT apps to get momentum going there, and then other OEM's would jump on board ...

 

it's not hard to imagine MS top brass being very optimistic about all these factors. and they also knew they had pretty good hardware (unlike the V1 Zune, for comparison). so they went all-in on a big initial production run of several million units.

 

but of course it has now been revealed by marketplace results that Office isn't a killer app anymore. and that the Metro UI with its live tiles just hasn't captured widespread consumer interest - at best Windows Phone has gotten a toehold in the market, thanks to Nokia's all-in commitment and what is left of its brand power. so developers aren't wasting time building apps for the RT orphan platform, and OEM's aren't throwing away hundreds of millions either on an obvious dead-end platform.

 

despite the brave words in public, the real discussion inside MS now must be whether to pull the plug on the RT right away and cut its losses, or roll the dice on a V2 RT model (for the holidays?), "improved" somehow and priced more competitively from the start. maybe most likely tho, is a half-ass strategy of a "major" RT OS update to the existing hardware model (sound familiar, like Windows 8.1?) that adds functionality, like running WP apps inside an emulator ... (this is all so remeniscient of the Zune saga).

 

but that would be futile. the RT has the smell of death all over it now and no one wants to touch that. stick a fork in it, it's done.

post #105 of 321
Great article. The story of Microsoft's predicament has yet to be understood—witness some of the comments in this thread—so the history of how they got here has to be told by someone who was paying attention back then. That's what we have here. The sarcasm makes the story bearable to read. How could he tell it without the snark?

Not even Microsoft understands what's wrong. I'd say it's still a matter of taste.
post #106 of 321
Microsoft doesn't have an A game because they can't innovate anything. Everything they have done was copied from someone else thinking they could throw their money and marketing at it to make it work.
post #107 of 321
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

So at this point, I know what you're thinking: "how could this all-around winning Surface RT strategy not fail to beat back the iPad and take over the tablet world in a way that all of Samsung's hardware expertise and all of Google's software savvy had failed to do over the previous two years as Microsoft toiled to port Windows to ARM and blogged about its incremental progress along the way?"

 

Wrong. I was actually thinking about pizza, and a nap.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #108 of 321
Quote:
Originally Posted by Westcoast8 View Post

However, the Entertainment and Devices Division includes a lot more products:

Yes, but it seems like Xbox is propping up the rest of the division. Xbox Live revenue is up 20%.

And R&D costs were repaid by 2010. Don't believe the myth that the Xbox 360 is still in the hole.

However, the less said about the Xbox One launch, the better. 1smile.gif
post #109 of 321
Quote:
Originally Posted by smshnick View Post

The tone of this article is a bit too condescending and elitist for my taste. I enjoy some of the articles on this site, but stuff likes this makes me wanna root for Windows and Android success just so this author would eat some humble pie. Apple pie??

Is that supposed to be a threat? Be more humble or you will root Android? 1biggrin.gif

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #110 of 321
Quote:
Originally Posted by piot View Post

http://www.vgchartz.com/analysis/platform_totals/

Er, when exactly did "Sony lose the console wars"?

I think your missing the point, although ps3 turned things around in the end, they really botched with the ps3.. Just ask Ken kutaragi!
Think we would have seen a ps4 long ago if ps3 had really lived up to expectations. It's taken years to sort out. Ps4 looks to have learnt a lot from ps3, whereas Microsoft...... I still laugh, did he really say "for those offline we have a product, it's called xbox360 - suitable for people on submarines, I can see them liking Xbox 360' lol.
post #111 of 321
Quote:
Originally Posted by piot View Post

http://www.vgchartz.com/analysis/platform_totals/

Er, when exactly did "Sony lose the console wars"?
Lol VGChartz? You might as well just make up numbers in your head than quote them.

In terms of overall profit and dominance, no Sony flopped on its PS3
post #112 of 321
The only tablet that had a chance against the iPad was the WebOS TouchPad. HP should not have been so quick to throw in the towel.

I worked in tablet sales. I remember the Toshiba Thrives, Blackberry Playbooks and Galaxy Tabs sitting on the store room shelves, unsold and unloved, same as the Windows Phones.
Embrace your inner geek.
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Embrace your inner geek.
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post #113 of 321
The asinine mark up cost that Microsoft wanted out of it with a lack luster ecosystem exhibits the huge ego Bill Gates still envisions around himself.
post #114 of 321
Quote:
Originally Posted by markbriton View Post

I like the editorials, but I'd prefer less sarcasm.

 

 


Quote:
Originally Posted by juxtapose View Post

Lots of great content here, but the thick sarcasm detracts from your story.
 

 

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #115 of 321
@vadania "...absorbent amount of money..." LOL, I think you mean "exorbitant".
post #116 of 321
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post

Another thing, they rarely ever show the device being used in portrait orientation. A lot of people use tablets as e-book readers. The Surface, always being shown in landscape orientation and with the kickstand out and the keyboard attached didn't make it look like a thin and light tablet you could just pick up and read like a book or easily take on the go.

 

Because if you rotated the Surface, the gaudy neon click-in keyboard would be hanging off to the side, and the kickstand would flop uselessly.

The iPad OTOH is fully functional with or without a keyboard in landscape AND portrait mode. In other words, a true tablet from the ground-up, not a desktop in tablet clothing. Post-PC vs. PC pretending-to-be-Post-PC.

 

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
Reply

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #117 of 321

Microsoft seems to be a company which does not properly understand the dynamics of the consumer electronics market unlike Apple. That's why their music players, phones and tablets failed. Actually Microsoft is doomed right now rather than Apple.

post #118 of 321

The Apple Newton was a stupendous failure as well, as far as I can tell, only 300,000 were sold or roughly 60,000 per year. Palm basically shipped the PDA that everyone wanted by focusing on simplicity, functionality, and accuracy. Let's just add that to fix up the snarky selective quoting of history that papers over Apple's failures while emphasizing others.

 

I'd say there's a path dependency issue at work here. Previously tablets failed because both the technology wasn't there yet, in terms of weight, performance per watt, usefulness to justify their use over a small laptop. Before the Web taking off, if the stars had aligned in terms of technology availability (capacitive screens, powerful ARM chips, tiny radio chips, etc) Microsoft would have had a chance at launching something like an iPad, because of the lock-in effect of the MS ecosystem, but the Web really devalued the need to run Windows. The original iPhone took advantage of this, simply including a great, usable web-browser, Mobile Safari (without native apps) was already a huge value -- from day one, they had a vast content repository. Whereas companies like Palm had to launch with only builtin apps, and build up from there. The Web provided a bridge while Apple built up their native app ecosystem -- even without native apps, the original iPhone was quite for usable because of this.

 

But the iPhone provided years of native app content creation prior to the arrival of the iPad, and so out of the gates, it had two things going for it, the Web, and a huge iOS software catalog that is mostly exclusive to Apple. Now other people wishing to enter the Tablet space face the same proposition people wanting to enter the Desktop PC space faced: They can make a "from scratch" platform and face the issue of no launch software while their competitors have lots. iOS has become the new Windows monopoly in that regard. Yes, some people want iOS because "it's better", but a lot of people who've never touched an iDevice will want iOS because of brand and because of the huge software library.

 

So it is hard to evaluate Surface on the grounds of purely technology or design. I think Microsoft could produce the most advanced tablet ever with the best and most usable OS ever, and it would fail, because at this point, improvements in specs or OS design are of marginal value compared to third party software.

 

The mobile space has started to crystalize, it's become mainstream, people have become used to the form factor and operation semantics, and the players who were out of the gates first, Apple and Google/Samsung, have now reaped the benefits of having an ecosystem and widespread brand association. It will be hard for any third platform player to change this, even with enormous sums of money.  (Ok, it doesn't help that Microsoft faces the innovators dilemma and continually tries to 'link' Windows to their mobile stuff, when consumers don't want Windows/Office. They want chatting, music, watching video, playing games, and taking pictures. MS is marketing their stuff like enterprise users should buy it)

 

Look at how long it took for Windows to be weakened, it took a combination of the Web and Mobile, huge disruptive movements, and Windows is still selling billions per year, so they aren't going to go away anytime soon, but they can't win by making a third platform with the same form factor/usage characteristics. iOS and Android are going to own that for another decade. At this point, they need to focus on something new, maybe it's XBox One/Kinect and the TV market. Maybe it's wearables. They need a new platform.

post #119 of 321

Nice Job

I like the editorial and I like the sarcasm.

Very well written and very detailed narrative.

post #120 of 321
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post


There have been MS tablets for years, so how are they copying Apple?

 

what did their tablets look like before the iPad?  And what do they look like after the iPad?

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