Editorial: The mysterious failure of Microsoft's Surface RT



  • Reply 221 of 347
    freediverxfreediverx Posts: 1,415member
    jmgregory1 wrote: »
    Is complex supposed to be a good thing in your reference? I see it that MS doesn't know how to create anything that for the user isn't overly complex, mostly for no good reason. Consumers, and I mean all aspects of those consuming including corporate, education, individual, etc., inherently want things to work in a way that gets out of their way, not the other way around. Apple figured this out and MS is stuck making products and software that are anything but intuitive.

    Microsoft lacks something Apple has had for years: the ability to say NO. Apple's success doesn't come from including every conceivable feature and function to their products so they can brag about them in a spec sheet. It comes from focusing on the features that matter most and leaving out everything else that can water down the product, even when it means pissing off a few customers. That sort of courage is extremely rare in business today, which is why Apple's story is so different from their competitors'.

    “People think focus means saying yes to the thing you’ve got to focus on. But that’s not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully. I’m actually as proud of the things we haven’t done as the things I have done. Innovation is saying ‘no’ to 1,000 things.”

    —Steve Jobs on product development, from "Steve Jobs: Get Rid of the Crappy Stuff" in Forbes.


  • Reply 222 of 347
    anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 20,254member
    superbass wrote: »
    "..... and am going to try and find another source for Apple news.

    Don't let door hit you on the way out.
  • Reply 223 of 347
    theothergeofftheothergeoff Posts: 2,081member


    Originally Posted by mcarling View Post

    Consumers want real iPads, not fake iPads.

    The real tag line is:


    "There is no Tablet Market.  There is an iPad Market."

  • Reply 224 of 347
    freediverxfreediverx Posts: 1,415member
    abazigal wrote: »
    I find it quite humourous and enteraining though. It's not overused since the article is quite a lengthy one, so it's adequately spread out. I had a good chuckle.

    Unfortunately, while the author clearly has a very good command of the English language, in that he is able to use just the right words to create clear mental images of the scenarios he is describing, what I find increasingly symptomatic about this article (and the others before it) is that it doesn't really tell me anything I don't already know. Nor does it offer an manner of in-depth analysis or insight. For example, it go to great lengths to gloat about how the RT failed, but doesn't really explain why. I have my own theories, but it would be nice to hear from someone else, in the name of promoting healthy discourse. 

    I thought the article was quite clear on the reasons why the Surface RT failed. You might want to give it another read. Or in case you're lazy, here's the relevant quote:

    "Microsoft decided to make the world forget about the epic failures of 2010's Slate PC and 2007's Surface bathtub-kiosk by resurrecting the Surface name as a new sort-of convertible tablet device running the "full Windows" without compromise, albeit in a version that couldn't really run Windows software because it was ported to run on ARM chips, whereas all Windows software is designed to run on an x86 chip. The icing on top would be that this new Surface would adopt the Metro user interface that nobody wanted when it was on the Zune, and that nobody wanted when it was on Windows Phone 7."

    • Marketed as a "Windows" device while lacking the ability to actually run any Windows software
    • Lack of apps
    • Non-competitive price
    • Metro UI which has not been popular in any of its other applications
    • "convertible" design that's full of compromises in each configuration
    • resurrection of failed product name

    The article is tongue in cheek, starting with the title. There is no "mystery" surrounding the Surface RT's failure. Anyone with a bit of common sense could see it as a failure the minute the product's limitations were made apparent. I don't see this as a story about why the Surface RT failed but about how easily the tech media forgets history and fails to hold companies like Microsoft accountable for their bombastic claims.

  • Reply 225 of 347
    d4njvrzfd4njvrzf Posts: 797member


    Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post


    I still maintain that the Surface RT and the Surface Pro are actually hybrid laptops.  


    You have to use them in landscape mode, and you have to use the attached (but detachable) keyboard, and you have to put them down on a table to make them even work, or to get the benefits out of them that Microsoft is selling.  They also run desktop software and work best with a mouse.  Sure they tell us it's a tablet, but other than the name I don't see the difference between them and some of Dell's convertible laptops, or the (Acer?) ones with the detachable screen.  


    Take a look the next time you see someone using one in a coffee shop (if you ever do).  How is the experience any different than just having a laptop with a touchable screen?  

    Can you type on it while walking or standing up on the bus?  Can you cruise the web with it on your lap?  No, and no.  (at least not really, and not in practice). 


    They are fucking laptops, not tablets.  They are screwed up little hybrid laptops for people that want to think they have a tablet, but can't really let go of the past.  


    If you don't use the desktop app and only use metro apps, wouldn't the Surface RT work like any other tablet? Or are some core apps on the Surface RT only available within the desktop environment?

  • Reply 226 of 347
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 13,001member
    freediverx wrote: »
    Microsoft lacks something Apple has had for years: the ability to say NO. That sort of courage is extremely rare in business today, which is why Apple's story is so different from their competitors'

    I think that they just say no to the wrong people and ideas. I'm sure MS has plenty of talented employees with great ideas but they probably get suppressed. The Xbox guys were initially told no but decided to go over everyone's head and bring the idea directly to Bill Gates.
  • Reply 227 of 347
    sirdirsirdir Posts: 138member
    d4njvrzf wrote: »
    If you don't use the desktop app and stay within metro, wouldn't the Surface RT work like any other tablet? Or are some core apps on the Surface RT only available within the desktop environment?

    There are some 'breaks' ... certain settings that show up on the Desktop only, for example. And the 'old' Desktop is really a 'pita' to use on a (small) touchscreen.
    and of course, there aren't enough 'metro' Apps to be able to forget about the Desktop - IMHO.
    Actually I quite like Metro on the Surface. It's just absolutely unusable where most people will first meet it: On a Desktop/Notebook without touchscreen.

    And if you count office as a core app, that's only available on the desktop...
  • Reply 228 of 347
    gpo344gpo344 Posts: 4member
    Great article as usual. I never leave home without my iPad. I prefer the 9.7 inch over the mini, and take both vacations. I can't wait for the new iPad that is lighter in weight.
    The only chance the Surface RT had was if they included the keyboard in the price. That would be true also for the Pro version. Instead they took a keyboard that cost them less than $20 to make, and sold it for over $100. How stupid. They were so out of touch.
  • Reply 229 of 347
    flaneurflaneur Posts: 4,526member
    droidftw wrote: »
    Trust me, Apple, MS, Google, and FB are all into "Big Data" and you're fooling yourself if you think otherwise.

    I never trust anybody who starts a sentence with "Trust me." Tweny years ago, the reflexive cliché for liars was, "Let me be honest with you . . ." Used car salesmen couldn't work without these tools of persuasion.

    Now what was it you were saying?
  • Reply 230 of 347
    markbritonmarkbriton Posts: 118member
    droidftw wrote: »
    It's best not to feed the trolls.

    I'm not trolling at all. I've explained that I enjoyed and agreed with the article, but that I think the sarcasm ("the lowest form of wit") cheapens it. I've given examples of the most sarcastic phrases used. It's the writing style I didn't like rather than the content. If it's the case that simply not liking something about the article means commenting about it is trolling, then really there's no point in the comments section - it's just a place to praise the writer and agree with every point it makes.
  • Reply 231 of 347
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,217member
    vadania wrote: »
    I understand you want technology to stand still.  I suppose it makes sense on a psychological point of view.

    Wow, where do you dig that out of what was said. No one said anything about not moving forward. Just that Microsoft didn't pick the right way to do it.
    I'd prefer that you looked at it through a different lens.  Mine may have a bit more estrogen in it,

    Lets keep gender out of this. As a female I am not keen on the sexist slant implied in such comments.
    but the more Microsoft spends on it's tablet the better the iPad will be in the future.

    That might be true if the Surface had any grip. But it doesn't, so why should Apple care about it, try to compete with it etc. Not that they are likely to since that is not their form. But the Surface RT had nothing going for it to make Apple change their game. Same with all those devices announced to it get in before Apple said anything.
  • Reply 232 of 347
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,217member
    ascii wrote: »
    The whole point of a vacation though, is not to do any work, and let yourself recharge. I also took only my iPad on my last holiday. But try using it as your only computing device during work time...

    It's very possible, depending on what your 'work' is
  • Reply 233 of 347
    longtermlongterm Posts: 80member
    There's nothing mysterious about the failure of the Surface RT. I have one here right now on semi-permanent loan; it's the 64GB version with keyboard cover.

    I took it home, after playing with it a little when I was at a conference. The screen is bright and clear; the keyboard works fairly well, given it's a flat piece of rubber with no physical feedback when you hit the keys.

    It took me forever just to figure out how to navigate Windows 8; the UI is goofy, the user experience is frustrating and unsatisfactory. Now I'm back home, and the Surface is sitting on a shelf, untouched and unused.

    It's obvious to me why no one likes it; it's a mediocre product, but worst of all, Windows 8 is awful. I would sooner go back to Windows XP and all its terrible troubles than use Windows 8 on a daily basis, and having it on a tablet only compounds its inherent flaws.

    Spend 5 minutes on a Surface tablet and the "mystery" of its failure will be a mystery no longer.
  • Reply 234 of 347

    ^ Don't let the proverbial door hit you in the a$$ on the way out.


    Just noticed a resident troll gave you a thumbs up. No surprise there. Have fun getting "accurate, non-biased" Apple news anywhere on the Internet.


    Edit: meant for poppinfresh or whatever his name is.

  • Reply 235 of 347

    Another so-called 'editorial' serving as a vehicle for DED's self-indulgence in his Apple monomania.


    Calling this bilge an editorial devalues the whole site.

  • Reply 236 of 347
    macrulezmacrulez Posts: 2,455member


    Originally Posted by raylusk View Post

    I started with a windows phone that used a stylus years ago. Later I moved onto Android and after two android phones had enough because of the atrocious lack of timely updates.

    Which models did you have, and what features were you needing updates to that you were willing to switch ecosystems even after being a repeat customer?

  • Reply 237 of 347
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,217member
    megalaser wrote: »
    What's so mysterious? They released a nice looking but very expensive tablet with an untested desktop OS, plastic keyboard and a low resolution screen that couldn't refresh properly (not smooth when dragging) - Microsoft can only be great again when they stop trying to copy Apple and start innovating. I have no understanding of how Bill Gates can sit and watch what is happening and not come back and take charge again.

    Or maybe they need to start copying Apple. Instead of this nonsense of putting a computer OS into tablet form which is weird as heck to use perhaps MS needs to take a hard look at what makes the iPad work for buyers and copy it.

    Part of what made the iPad work is that it was designed to be the computer device for those that don't really need a full computer. But with enough added power that if someone wanted to find a way to do more with what they had, go for it. Another part is that Apple created a fork of their OS that fits the form, rather than shoving in a traditional OS and UI and getting it to work with some page clips and duct tape. Having an App Store that could be used with the 2x zoom until developers got their apps to form also didn't hurt.
  • Reply 238 of 347
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,217member
    semanka wrote: »
    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?

    I believe the term is hubris.

    Certainly they may have been hoist on their own petard.
  • Reply 239 of 347


    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?


    I don't think "innovation" works like that. I don't think the iPad was born out of "what innovation are we currently lacking in iPhone" thinking. Everyone laughed at it as an overgrown iPod touch when it launched.


    I like an interesting ecosystem of devices, most of which will fall beside the wayside. I think Windows RT/8 have some nice ideas such as live tiles and a flexible way of dividing the screen between apps so you can do real multitasking.


    And I did start off by saying that I like my iPad, so I'm hardly an Apple hater.

  • Reply 240 of 347
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,217member
    don108 wrote: »
    Never underestimate the bullheaded determination of Microsoft. Windows 1 came out in 1981. It was a disaster. Nobody wanted it. The same was true of Windows 2 in 1987. Windows 3, in 1990, was better, but the first version of Windows that people actually started to use was 3.1, in 1992.

    It also got them sued by Apple for possible copyright violation. In the end it was not unlike the final vote in most courts with Samsung etc and iOS. Obvious that MS took design cues from Apple but the majority of the 'copying' didn't qualify as a legal violation.
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