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(BusinessWeek)   Microsoft's Surface tablet will fail because it lacks important apps ... like iTunes   (businessweek.com) divider line 169
    More: Fail, Microsoft Surface, Microsoft, iPads, killer app, open standard, music store, social networking service, iTunes  
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3779 clicks; posted to Geek » on 25 Oct 2012 at 3:16 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-10-25 04:27:21 PM

serpent_sky: My laptop was dying so I rushed to buy one with Windows 7 before 8 came out. I did not want to be stuck with that seeming nightmare....


Anyone that knows what they are doing is not going to have a problem with windows 8, it is just the technophobes and people that had difficultly with a "normal" Windows upgrade that will be in trouble I think.
 
2012-10-25 04:33:59 PM
I've seen the evolution of windows 8 starting from the developer preview and now all the way to the RTM version. It's changed so much and for the better. I gave up on it many times before in other previews but a week back installed the RTM and was very surprised how good its been running on a VM none the less. It sure as heck will work better on a tablet.

I'll probably wait for the Pro version.

I think the biggest issue is people being able to tell the difference between RT vs Pro at the moment.
 
2012-10-25 04:39:33 PM
Ya know, I'm halfway tempted to buy a Surface just to see how bad it could be.
 
2012-10-25 04:40:21 PM

roflmaonow:
I think the biggest issue is people being able to tell the difference between RT vs Pro at the moment.


This.

The confusion between RT and Windows 8 will probably bite Microsoft in the ass.

/I'll pass on both surface tablets for now... Too many other/better options IMO.
 
2012-10-25 04:42:30 PM
It also lacks important apps like a decent e-mail client. It's the 2012 version of the Blackberry Playbook.
 
2012-10-25 04:51:12 PM

BullBearMS: It also lacks important apps like a decent e-mail client. It's the 2012 version of the Blackberry Playbook.


... it has one built in.
 
2012-10-25 04:55:03 PM

meanmutton: madgonad: Endive Wombat: Doesn't come with iTunes currently, big deal isnt that what Windows Media player is for?

I am sure a Facebook app will come at some point, but isnt that what a web browser is for?

Honestly, I do not see the "need" for individual, compartmentalized apps. I much prefer to go through a web browser.

Also, Apple boasting that they have got 275,000 apps? How many are you really going to use? How many of those are in English? How many are actually useful to the average end user?

Finally, I think attempting to compare the Surface to the iPad is not 100% apples to apples. Based off what I have seen, I suspect that the Surface will have a lot more day to day business use than an iPad, largely due to the cover's touch pad and keyboard.

Media Player has been totally gimped. It can't even play a DVD anymore.

What's a DVD?


Okay, I'll translate for you. It can't play mpeg or mpeg2 content at all. Not sure about containers, but MS has had a history of being incompatible with them.
 
2012-10-25 04:55:46 PM

PsyLord: Doesn't come with iTunes is actually a selling feature for me, subby.

/hates that iTunes shiat


Ditto.

Can't wait to get WP8 and Surface Pro. Then bye-bye Apple bloatware.
 
2012-10-25 04:56:11 PM

Endive Wombat: I still to this day maintain that no REAL work can be performed on a tablet.


It depends on what you mean by "real" work. Using Photoshop on an ASUS EP121 is quite nice, apparently.

Marine1: BullBearMS: It also lacks important apps like a decent e-mail client. It's the 2012 version of the Blackberry Playbook.

... it has one built in.


Doesn't matter what you say, the argument people are making is that it's "not Outlook".

This is, of course, from the same people who complain about Outlook as an email client.

/for "real work" the Surface Pro is targeted to that market
//the Surface itself is for less technical, less corporate folks
 
2012-10-25 04:56:26 PM

BullBearMS: It also lacks important apps like a decent e-mail client.


You mean other than Outlook?
 
2012-10-25 04:57:28 PM

Endive Wombat: SacriliciousBeerSwiller: Endive Wombat:
Finally, I think attempting to compare the Surface to the iPad is not 100% apples to apples. Based off what I have seen, I suspect that the Surface will have a lot more day to day business use than an iPad, largely due to the cover's touch pad and keyboard.

The Surface looks useful. The iPad, no matter what anyone says, is a giant iPod Touch.

I still to this day maintain that no REAL work can be performed on a tablet. The Surface is the only thing that may change my opinion on the matter.


I'm an English professor, and I think a Nexus 7 would be very useful for work. With OTG, I could plug in a mouse/keyboard and word process, quickly respond to emails, and read/post articles for the class to read. And it's portable with ten hour battery life.
 
2012-10-25 04:58:40 PM

madgonad: Endive Wombat: Doesn't come with iTunes currently, big deal isnt that what Windows Media player is for?

I am sure a Facebook app will come at some point, but isnt that what a web browser is for?

Honestly, I do not see the "need" for individual, compartmentalized apps. I much prefer to go through a web browser.

Also, Apple boasting that they have got 275,000 apps? How many are you really going to use? How many of those are in English? How many are actually useful to the average end user?

Finally, I think attempting to compare the Surface to the iPad is not 100% apples to apples. Based off what I have seen, I suspect that the Surface will have a lot more day to day business use than an iPad, largely due to the cover's touch pad and keyboard.

Media Player has been totally gimped. It can't even play a DVD anymore.


Install the K-Lite codec pack from www.codecguide.com. HUZZAH! Plays DVDs.
 
2012-10-25 04:59:11 PM

madgonad: meanmutton: madgonad: Endive Wombat: Doesn't come with iTunes currently, big deal isnt that what Windows Media player is for?

I am sure a Facebook app will come at some point, but isnt that what a web browser is for?

Honestly, I do not see the "need" for individual, compartmentalized apps. I much prefer to go through a web browser.

Also, Apple boasting that they have got 275,000 apps? How many are you really going to use? How many of those are in English? How many are actually useful to the average end user?

Finally, I think attempting to compare the Surface to the iPad is not 100% apples to apples. Based off what I have seen, I suspect that the Surface will have a lot more day to day business use than an iPad, largely due to the cover's touch pad and keyboard.

Media Player has been totally gimped. It can't even play a DVD anymore.

What's a DVD?

Okay, I'll translate for you. It can't play mpeg or mpeg2 content at all. Not sure about containers, but MS has had a history of being incompatible with them.


Mine plays DVDs in win 7 & I am sure video LAN will be on it shortly
 
2012-10-25 04:59:50 PM

theflatline: Because the IPAD would also qualify as a dinky laptop screen.


No, because the application I was using on the iPad was not a complete screen-hog. It's about optimizing the usage of screen realestate. There could be a version of Visual Studio optimized to work on tablets. There won't be, because Microsoft has a hard enough time optimizing Visual Studio to work on regular computers, but they could. It's the software, not the hardware, in that case.

Further, I'm sure there will be decent code editors/IDEs for the Surface in the future, but right now- not so much.

theflatline: Plus with HDMI out on the Surface you have HDMI out so you could literally plug a monitor in.


At that point, why am I even using a tablet anymore? This is what perplexes me about the Surface- the RT is as close to useless as it can possibly get, and the full Surface is as close to a laptop as it can get- except my brief handlings of it just made me wish I was using a laptop.

theflatline: Spin much?


Hey, you've convinced me. I'm going to go buy a laptop.
 
2012-10-25 05:00:13 PM

madgonad: meanmutton: madgonad: Endive Wombat: Doesn't come with iTunes currently, big deal isnt that what Windows Media player is for?

I am sure a Facebook app will come at some point, but isnt that what a web browser is for?

Honestly, I do not see the "need" for individual, compartmentalized apps. I much prefer to go through a web browser.

Also, Apple boasting that they have got 275,000 apps? How many are you really going to use? How many of those are in English? How many are actually useful to the average end user?

Finally, I think attempting to compare the Surface to the iPad is not 100% apples to apples. Based off what I have seen, I suspect that the Surface will have a lot more day to day business use than an iPad, largely due to the cover's touch pad and keyboard.

Media Player has been totally gimped. It can't even play a DVD anymore.

What's a DVD?

Okay, I'll translate for you. It can't play mpeg or mpeg2 content at all. Not sure about containers, but MS has had a history of being incompatible with them.


It can play MPEG2 content just fine, that is not the issue. It is the CSS decryption codecs for DRM encrypted DVDs that is no longer included with Windows (because they have to pay to license it). There are plenty of free players that include them though so it's really not a big deal.
 
2012-10-25 05:00:19 PM

Marine1: Oh yeah. That really screwed over Apple... Remember the wait for the iPad version of Facebook? Nobody, and I mean nobody bought an iPad until that app came out.


Be sarcastic all you want, but you know I'm right: no one app is make-or-break, but that general suite is all that probably 80% of tablet users ever open, plus or minus a few news/sports/games apps. No, no one held back on the iPad because it only had FB for iPhone at the time, but if it still didn't have it that would be an issue.

Also...Apple is a special case, because of the fanboy effect. If, say, GE came out with a tablet tomorrow, they would be held to a much stricter standard. And absence of FB might very well doom in right there.
 
2012-10-25 05:00:26 PM

Rambino: You mean other than Outlook?


Outlook doesn't run on the RT, last I checked. The default Mail application is utter shiate.
 
2012-10-25 05:10:21 PM

t3knomanser: Rambino: You mean other than Outlook?

Outlook doesn't run on the RT, last I checked. The default Mail application is utter shiate.


Outlook 2013 will
 
2012-10-25 05:22:57 PM

madgonad: Endive Wombat: Doesn't come with iTunes currently, big deal isnt that what Windows Media player is for?

I am sure a Facebook app will come at some point, but isnt that what a web browser is for?

Honestly, I do not see the "need" for individual, compartmentalized apps. I much prefer to go through a web browser.

Also, Apple boasting that they have got 275,000 apps? How many are you really going to use? How many of those are in English? How many are actually useful to the average end user?

Finally, I think attempting to compare the Surface to the iPad is not 100% apples to apples. Based off what I have seen, I suspect that the Surface will have a lot more day to day business use than an iPad, largely due to the cover's touch pad and keyboard.

Media Player has been totally gimped. It can't even play a DVD anymore.


Um...it will be on a tablet. Those have DVD drives?
 
2012-10-25 05:23:51 PM

Gunny Walker: Outlook 2013 will


That's at least an improvement. My favorite part of the Mail application is when you decide, "No, I don't actually feel like setting up an account right now," and hit cancel, it doesn't cancel- it complains that you haven't finished setting up your account.
 
2012-10-25 05:28:21 PM
It's a real bummer it don't(RT) have a itunes app, because how else am I going to factory reset someones iProuct for extra beer money
 
2012-10-25 05:28:51 PM

gingerjet: Endive Wombat: Honestly, I do not see the "need" for individual, compartmentalized apps. I much prefer to go through a web browser.

The problem with a "web browser" is performance blows. Which is why facebook rewrote their app. Plus a cellular or wifi connection isn't always available.


How does having a facebook app help if you have no connection to the tubes?
 
2012-10-25 05:34:57 PM
I think Windows 8 is a complete disaster as a computer OS, but the Surface and other devices like it look great. I don't think they'll ever reach iPad-level success, though.
 
2012-10-25 05:37:22 PM

serpent_sky: My laptop was dying so I rushed to buy one with Windows 7 before 8 came out. I did not want to be stuck with that seeming nightmare....


LOL. Oh man...
Do you know how easy it is to pirate whatever version of whatever OS you want? Just buy whatever hardware you like and pair it with whatever software you like. If your new laptop comes with Windows 8, give it a try. You might just like it.

Or, get a huge stick up your ass over an OS you haven't used yet and let that motivate your purchasing decisions. Because taking an afternoon to educate yourself on how to install an OS is HARD!

/Who am I to complain? Willful ignorance like yours puts money in my pocket every payday.
 
2012-10-25 05:39:48 PM

FuturePastNow: I think Windows 8 is a complete disaster as a computer OS, but the Surface and other devices like it look great. I don't think they'll ever reach iPad-level success, though.


I've been running it on my daily driver since the RTM launch and have no complaints... After I got past the "ZOMG no Start Menu?!?!" stage it's been smooth sailing.
 
2012-10-25 05:42:03 PM

Honest Bender: serpent_sky: My laptop was dying so I rushed to buy one with Windows 7 before 8 came out. I did not want to be stuck with that seeming nightmare....

LOL. Oh man...
Do you know how easy it is to pirate whatever version of whatever OS you want? Just buy whatever hardware you like and pair it with whatever software you like. If your new laptop comes with Windows 8, give it a try. You might just like it.

Or, get a huge stick up your ass over an OS you haven't used yet and let that motivate your purchasing decisions. Because taking an afternoon to educate yourself on how to install an OS is HARD!

/Who am I to complain? Willful ignorance like yours puts money in my pocket every payday.


Dude, you just said the "p" word. Get ready for a lot of people to start judging your character and call you everyhthing short of terrorist.

Fark is full of people who have NEVER broken a law, copied a song, or even considered committing piracy.

You scoundrel.
 
2012-10-25 05:48:37 PM
It is doomed to fail. The thing has a USB and SD port. People want USB and SD. Apple has proven you can't succeed by giving consumers what they want. You have to force them to make do with what you are offering. See? Doom.
 
2012-10-25 05:52:04 PM

roflmaonow: I've seen the evolution of windows 8 starting from the developer preview and now all the way to the RTM version. It's changed so much and for the better. I gave up on it many times before in other previews but a week back installed the RTM and was very surprised how good its been running on a VM none the less. It sure as heck will work better on a tablet.

I'll probably wait for the Pro version.

I think the biggest issue is people being able to tell the difference between RT vs Pro at the moment.


People got over x86 vs 64 bit quickly. if Microsoft will have to train store employees to let people know ahead of time.
/I think they should only sell RT tabs at Microsoft stores to avoid confusion
 
2012-10-25 05:52:18 PM
I consider not having iTunes to be a plus, not a negative.
 
2012-10-25 05:52:25 PM
Thank got for no itunes.. i hope the subby was being sarcastic, itunes is one of the worst written and badly designed music organization programs ever made.... try clementine or other linux ones.. MUCH better
 
2012-10-25 05:57:35 PM

serpent_sky: My laptop was dying so I rushed to buy one with Windows 7 before 8 came out. I did not want to be stuck with that seeming nightmare....


I just bought a new HP desktop computer for similar reasons. The only reason I keep any Windows machines around
is because my wife has a Cricut paper cutting machine whose software only runs on it, and I didn't want to risk that
Win8 wouldn't run it.
 
2012-10-25 06:23:29 PM

DjangoStonereaver: serpent_sky: My laptop was dying so I rushed to buy one with Windows 7 before 8 came out. I did not want to be stuck with that seeming nightmare....

I just bought a new HP desktop computer for similar reasons. The only reason I keep any Windows machines around
is because my wife has a Cricut paper cutting machine whose software only runs on it, and I didn't want to risk that
Win8 wouldn't run it.

Why? it(Pro) runs all x86 programs.
/Maybe you mean Windows 8 RT
 
2012-10-25 06:23:32 PM

Skyfrog: madgonad: meanmutton: madgonad: Endive Wombat: Doesn't come with iTunes currently, big deal isnt that what Windows Media player is for?

I am sure a Facebook app will come at some point, but isnt that what a web browser is for?

Honestly, I do not see the "need" for individual, compartmentalized apps. I much prefer to go through a web browser.

Also, Apple boasting that they have got 275,000 apps? How many are you really going to use? How many of those are in English? How many are actually useful to the average end user?

Finally, I think attempting to compare the Surface to the iPad is not 100% apples to apples. Based off what I have seen, I suspect that the Surface will have a lot more day to day business use than an iPad, largely due to the cover's touch pad and keyboard.

Media Player has been totally gimped. It can't even play a DVD anymore.

What's a DVD?

Okay, I'll translate for you. It can't play mpeg or mpeg2 content at all. Not sure about containers, but MS has had a history of being incompatible with them.

It can play MPEG2 content just fine, that is not the issue. It is the CSS decryption codecs for DRM encrypted DVDs that is no longer included with Windows (because they have to pay to license it). There are plenty of free players that include them though so it's really not a big deal.


Actually, no. Here is the list of codec and containers supported by Windows 8 according to Microsoft:

Video codecs
H.264,VC-1/WMV,MPEG4 Part 2
Audio Codecs
AAC,WMA,MP3,PCM,AC3
Containers
AVI, Mpeg-2TS,MP4, ASF, M4A, MP3, WAV 

No DVD navigator, CSS module, or MPEG2 decoder exists in the OS.

DVD playback is explicitly forbidden for Metro/WinRT apps.  Codec plugins are explicitly forbidden to the Metro web browser.

Codec sharing is possible in Metro/WinRT only through Windows Media Foundation filters, which have limited functionality in that environment.

In the desktop, specially signed video drivers are required to play HD content.  This is an extension of Windows 7 OPM aimed at defeating programs that disable HDCP requirements through driver shims.
 
2012-10-25 06:29:48 PM

t3knomanser: Rambino: You mean other than Outlook?

Outlook doesn't run on the RT, last I checked. The default Mail application is utter shiate.


But the webapp does, whoda thunk it?
 
2012-10-25 06:36:31 PM

theflatline: But the webapp does, whoda thunk it?


The web app is a pile of garbage. I mean, c'mon. It's nice if you're stuck, but you can't use it for daily use of Exchange. I'll sometimes use that to get at my work email when I don't feel like Citrixing in, but I'm not going to rely on that as an email client.

drjekel_mrhyde: People got over x86 vs 64 bit quickly.


Hah! Everyone in my office is running an x86 OS on 64-bit hardware, mostly because our software distribution tool doesn't fully support 64-bit yet. As I was mentioning to someone else regarding another issue relating to vendors being slow to adopt important features, my employer has a bad habit of getting in bed with vendors and when the morning rolls around and part of them realizes they just made a terrible mistake, they double down on it and move in.
 
2012-10-25 06:40:31 PM

F42: Microsoft's vaporware tablet will fail because you cannot hold vapor in your hands.


you realize there are already physical units in select peoples hands, right?
 
2012-10-25 06:41:50 PM
Started testing Win 8 on an old Dell XT when it went beta. I was a little unsure with its performance.

Last week I installed Win 8 pro 64-bit on my main workstation (a core i7 convertible tablet). Like others, once I got over the "zomg, there's no start button" stage, I'm really beginning to like it. It's light years faster, and the OS finally has a built in spell checker. Minor, I know, but it's nice. Along with a myriad of other little tweaks that improve the speed of operation and customization (pulling a 'metro' app to the side of the main desktop, then splitting two documents equally is nice). That said, I'll probably wait a little before trying to roll it out to the rest of the office.

/my 64gig Surface RT should arrive in the mail tomorrow.
 
2012-10-25 06:47:12 PM
For how much of a failure so many people say W8 will be, how long will it be before it has more marketshare than Mountain Lion? Six months? A year? Probably less than that.

//Was going to buy several RT's at the imaginary $199 from a few months ago. Will wait and see at iPad prices.
 
2012-10-25 06:47:15 PM

Skyfrog: It can play MPEG2 content just fine, that is not the issue. It is the CSS decryption codecs for DRM encrypted DVDs that is no longer included with Windows (because they have to pay to license it). There are plenty of free players that include them though so it's really not a big deal.


it was removed because most people (not sure if i'm allowed to say the exact percent.. it was a lot) didn't use them. so that is a lot of money out of pocket for a feature that almost none of our users used.

you can get it as a premium add on (Media Center) to Pro.

FuturePastNow: I think Windows 8 is a complete disaster as a computer OS, but the Surface and other devices like it look great. I don't think they'll ever reach iPad-level success, though.


I dislike the UI as much as anyone else here.. but don't confuse "i don't like this UI" for "this OS is utter fail". you can always install Stardock Start8
 
2012-10-25 06:48:47 PM

MrSteve007: Started testing Win 8 on an old Dell XT when it went beta.


I knew it was lighter on resources than Windows 7, but I had no idea it would run on an 8088 PC.
 
2012-10-25 06:51:19 PM
iTunes may be the worst music player I've ever used. I replaced it with mediamonkey for my iPhone, but use the Zine desktop software for most of my actual music listening.
 
2012-10-25 06:58:24 PM

SuburbanCowboy: iTunes may be the worst music player I've ever used. I replaced it with mediamonkey for my iPhone, but use the Zine desktop software for most of my actual music listening.


The default music player may be bad, but it is no where near the abortion that the podcast app is. I'm actually amazed at how awful it is, being a first party app. I haven't always bought the "it just works" koolaid, but there was a fair amount of simplicity and UI genius in pretty much all Apple first party stuff. The podcast app sucks, badly. It will tell me that two podcasts are both playing at the same time, and while one is playing, it is neither of the two that is says are. I can choose to play a podcast and it will start another one. It will start playing (on it's own) if I get a phone call. As much as the map app is maligned, I don't use that daily.
 
2012-10-25 07:00:35 PM

mjbok: For how much of a failure so many people say W8 will be, how long will it be before it has more marketshare than Mountain Lion? Six months? A year? Probably less than that.


Apple was singing from the mountain tops when Mountain Lion sold 3-million copies in the 4 days after launch.

Since 2010, 1-million PCs are sold . . . everyday.
 
2012-10-25 07:05:32 PM
i really don't like itunes, but I have devices that require it, it's a vicious circle
 
2012-10-25 07:19:04 PM

Brontes: And the Atom Z2760 is a total turd of a chip that is locked down to other OSes, so if you don't like Windows 8, to bad, no Linux for you. The Z2760 was designed for only one thing, to run Windows 8. Welcome to Microsoft's walled garden.


Yeah, I give the NetBSD folks a couple of months and they'll figure it out. After they crack it, all of the *nix folks open source that magic straight on over.
 
2012-10-25 07:21:36 PM

Desquamation: FuturePastNow: I think Windows 8 is a complete disaster as a computer OS, but the Surface and other devices like it look great. I don't think they'll ever reach iPad-level success, though.

I've been running it on my daily driver since the RTM launch and have no complaints... After I got past the "ZOMG no Start Menu?!?!" stage it's been smooth sailing.


I had a couple hours of frustration when I first started using it, but now I can do things even faster in Win8 than I can in 7. The interface works, ladies and gents. Give Metro a shot and learn it and you'll notice differences even without a touchscreen.
 
2012-10-25 07:23:26 PM

biyaaatci: Windows RT does not come with Windows Media Player and you can't join a domain. Difficult for entertainment and business. I'm sure I'm missing something, but for a Windows home or environment, those seem like pretty big oversights.


With that kind of focus on video, I can see why they decided to make the aspect ratio exactly 16x9.
 
2012-10-25 07:31:09 PM

Rambino: BullBearMS: It also lacks important apps like a decent e-mail client.

You mean other than Outlook?


Windows RT can't run Outlook.
 
2012-10-25 07:33:56 PM
All that being said, I may still get the surface.
I can see a use for it and it's keyboard cover when I'm traveling and have to scribe a meeting.

Any keyboard screen just isn't able to replace a separate keyboard.
 
2012-10-25 07:35:29 PM

BullBearMS: Rambino: BullBearMS: It also lacks important apps like a decent e-mail client.

You mean other than Outlook?

Windows RT can't run Outlook.


It doesn't need to run Outlook. Outlook is gross overkill for 90% of people who use email on a tablet.

They offer one for installation. It has bugs, but they're bound to be fixed.
 
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