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(Slashdot)   Microsoft thought Surface RT might have become the next iPad. It turned out to be the next Zune   (slashdot.org) divider line 111
    More: Interesting, Surface RT, iPads, Microsoft, Windows Store, ARM architecture, Zune, reverse transcriptases, Windows RT  
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2880 clicks; posted to Geek » on 19 Jul 2013 at 2:32 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-07-19 12:32:03 PM
One of the best tech headline I read was on The Register around 2007.

Real Audio --- remember them? -- released some rebranded MP3 player as a product. It was apparently awful and the headline read that it could be a "Zune Killer". Given the sheer number of headlines that promised that A, B or C would be an "iPod killer" since 2002 or so, this was genius. I've since stolen that gag shamelessly ever since.
 
2013-07-19 01:29:20 PM
I don't know if it could ever be considered an "iPad" killer, but the Surface RT certainly turned into a "Microsoft" killer.
 
2013-07-19 01:40:11 PM
Another great piece of hardware from MS that was abysmal because of its OS/software
 
2013-07-19 01:47:37 PM

Majick Thise: Another great piece of hardware from MS that was abysmal because of its OS/software


There's really nothing wrong with Windows RT other than the lack of compatibility with a large portion of the Windows software library.  Windows 8 is great for touch enabled devices like tablets, hell, that was one of the primary design goals.

It was mainly the hardware that led me to the iPad over the Surface RT - if they'd offered the Surface RT with a high resolution screen like the iPad 4, I probably would have gone that way.

The whole ARM-based Windows port is a bit perplexing though, since MS could have just based the Surface RT on Intel Atom hardware, kept it x86 compatible but still lower priced than the Surface Pro, and not had to waste time porting Windows to ARM in the first place.
 
2013-07-19 02:11:44 PM
I still use my Zune.
 
vpb [TotalFark]
2013-07-19 02:12:53 PM
The Atom based tablets are great, but I don't know why anyone would by an RT tablet.  90% of the software I used isn't Metro (or modern or whatever).
 
2013-07-19 02:19:10 PM

vpb: The Atom based tablets are great, but I don't know why anyone would by an RT tablet.  90% of the software I used isn't Metro (or modern or whatever).


The Surface Pros are full Core i5 based, not Atom.  That's why I'm saying Atom would have made the best choice for a low-cost entry-level Microsoft tablet - they could have hit the price point, given enough differentiation to justify the Pro for power users, and still kept the entry level one compatible with the whole library of software out there.
 
2013-07-19 02:28:42 PM
The RT was too expensive to compete with Android tablets and too worthless to compete with the iPad.

Microsoft's strategery here is baffling.
 
2013-07-19 02:35:05 PM
FTFA: expected that the Windows brand name would be enough to spike sales in the short term.

That was the real problem.  Surface RT has very little in common with what people familiar with Windows 95->Windows 7 consider to be "Windows".  You know, actually windowing applications, running x86 applications, using a mouse and keyboard with a Start menu.
 
2013-07-19 02:39:31 PM

TuteTibiImperes: Majick Thise: Another great piece of hardware from MS that was abysmal because of its OS/software

There's really nothing wrong with Windows RT other than the lack of compatibility with a large portion of the Windows software library.  Windows 8 is great for touch enabled devices like tablets, hell, that was one of the primary design goals.

It was mainly the hardware that led me to the iPad over the Surface RT - if they'd offered the Surface RT with a high resolution screen like the iPad 4, I probably would have gone that way.

The whole ARM-based Windows port is a bit perplexing though, since MS could have just based the Surface RT on Intel Atom hardware, kept it x86 compatible but still lower priced than the Surface Pro, and not had to waste time porting Windows to ARM in the first place.


Lol. There's nothing wrong with it except precisely what's wrong with it.
 
2013-07-19 02:43:53 PM
The longer Ballmer is in charge, the better.
 
2013-07-19 02:44:27 PM
Wasting time on ARM was stupid. The new ATOMs are also faster and last in battery life like an ARM and have a new connected standby. Also, you can run huge library of software still.
 
2013-07-19 02:50:18 PM
The Surface RT was a bizarre gamble. Put your eggs in the Pro basket, build awesome Windows 8 PC tablets.
 
2013-07-19 02:50:48 PM
Copying your competitor without providing any kind of advantage is not a winning strategy.
 
2013-07-19 02:55:14 PM
I thought this would be an interesting and in depth article. It turned out to be next Slashdot link.
 
2013-07-19 02:57:12 PM
The funny thing is that Windows 8 is too touch-oriented for a regular PC and Windows RT is too keyboard-oriented for a tablet.
 
2013-07-19 02:58:54 PM
Should have been $200 and $35 for the type cover from the start
 
2013-07-19 03:01:36 PM

TuteTibiImperes: vpb: The Atom based tablets are great, but I don't know why anyone would by an RT tablet.  90% of the software I used isn't Metro (or modern or whatever).

The Surface Pros are full Core i5 based, not Atom.  That's why I'm saying Atom would have made the best choice for a low-cost entry-level Microsoft tablet - they could have hit the price point, given enough differentiation to justify the Pro for power users, and still kept the entry level one compatible with the whole library of software out there.


And saved all of that time porting Windows to ARM.  Because...

Intrepid00: Wasting time on ARM was stupid. The new ATOMs are also faster and last in battery life like an ARM and have a new connected standby. Also, you can run huge library of software still.


Yep.  The advantages of ARM will soon be gone.  I think Windows RT will likewise become orphaned.
 
2013-07-19 03:05:07 PM
Have you ever tried to use an Atom based machine for any length of time?  The damn things choke on JavaScript heavy sites and are generally slow as fark.  Mine has been demoted to HTPC use and it sucks at that too.
 
2013-07-19 03:08:02 PM
What is it with Microsoft and backwards compatibility?

Fark loyal customers. We'll just get new ones.

They are no longer the only viable option for many people and they just don't know how to compete. If anyone else's OS takes off, they're screwed.
 
2013-07-19 03:12:09 PM
I guess people don't need laptops with a touch screen as much as Microsoft thought they did. And the people who predicted Apple is doomed because they don't have a touch screen laptop to compete with the Surface look pretty foolish right now.
 
2013-07-19 03:15:09 PM
The weird thing is, the Zune was actually a pretty damn good product.  At the time, I preferred it the hell over the equivalent iPod version at the time - the one with the click wheel thing.  And the user interface with your desktop was easy as hell for transferring songs and videos, unlike iTunes.  It was also more video format friendly, accepting more formats than the iPod.  It was sturdier, a bit thicker, and had a really big, vibrant display that was better for playing videos than the iPod.

It really could've been the iPod killer, if Microsoft wasn't so meek in throwing its support behind the Zune.  Abandoned way too early.
 
2013-07-19 03:15:14 PM

RottNDude: Have you ever tried to use an Atom based machine for any length of time?  The damn things choke on JavaScript heavy sites and are generally slow as fark.  Mine has been demoted to HTPC use and it sucks at that too.


I had (well, have, but don't use anymore because my usage patterns changed- and my AppleTV got Crunchyroll...) a Atom-based Acer nettop computer that served as my HTPC for several year and worked extremely well at it. Most of that admittedly was the GPU decoding video files- but set up properly and used for what it's made for, they work quite well.
 
2013-07-19 03:15:24 PM
I could be wrong, but I believe that one of the major reasons the Surface didn't go over well was all the incredibly STUPID ads they ran for it.

..but maybe it's just me.

/ That and the crappy O/S
 
2013-07-19 03:16:12 PM
You couldn't get the hepcat crowd anywhere near the Surface because it actually does things. People don't want functionality. They want a status symbol.
 
2013-07-19 03:19:54 PM
It might have had a chance if Windows 8 wasn't the next Windows 95.

/Please, please MS... let Windows 9 be an OS designed for operating a desktop or a laptop.
 
2013-07-19 03:25:42 PM

The Banana Thug: It really could've been the iPod killer, if Microsoft wasn't so meek in throwing its support behind the Zune. Abandoned way too early.


It really was amazing how badly Microsoft marketed the Zune.
 
2013-07-19 03:32:36 PM
I'd be curious to know how well the Surface Pro is selling... You're looking at $999 for the 128GB model plus another $129 for the keyboard/cover... You can get a decent laptop for less.
 
2013-07-19 03:33:34 PM

theorellior: The Banana Thug: It really could've been the iPod killer, if Microsoft wasn't so meek in throwing its support behind the Zune. Abandoned way too early.

It really was amazing how badly Microsoft marketed the Zune.


My wife had one, it was a nice little mp3 player, it broke recently though, went to plug it in, the charging jack broke off inside it.
 
2013-07-19 03:35:48 PM

hamdinger: You couldn't get the hepcat crowd anywhere near the Surface because it actually does things. People don't want functionality. They want a status symbol.


Fine, smart guy.  Exactly what does the Surface RT do, and do better than other available options (i.e. iPad, Android tablet, netbook)?
 
2013-07-19 03:40:07 PM
"Gee," said a customer that didn't exist. "I sure want a laptop that does all of the following:"

* Says "Windows" on it, but doesn't run Windows apps
* Is more expensive than a tablet and runs slower
* Has a keyboard that's not comfortable to type on
* Comes in colors that aren't even remotely fashionable
* Requires a kickstand for no apparent reason
 
2013-07-19 03:41:28 PM

PanicMan: Copying your competitor without providing any kind of advantage is not a winning strategy.


Truth, that.
 
2013-07-19 03:42:27 PM

MrEricSir: "Gee," said a customer that didn't exist. "I sure want a laptop that does all of the following:"

* Says "Windows" on it, but doesn't run Windows apps
* Is more expensive than a tablet and runs slower
* Has a keyboard that's not comfortable to type on
* Comes in colors that aren't even remotely fashionable
* Requires a kickstand for no apparent reason


You'll get three, but those last two are stupid. "requires a kickstand for some reason" is just a shiatty way of saying that it HAS one.
 
2013-07-19 03:45:49 PM

DigitalCoffee: I thought this would be an interesting and in depth article. It turned out to be next Slashdot link.


http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-07-19/microsoft-craters-on -t he-surface
 
2013-07-19 03:51:42 PM

hamdinger: You couldn't get the hepcat crowd anywhere near the Surface because it actually does things. People don't want functionality. They want a status symbol.


If you're talking about the RT,  you need to extract your melon from your ass.  The RT doesn't do anything different or better than an iPad, Nexus 7 or any other good tablet. The Surface Pro, OTOH, is a pretty capable device, but the typical tablet user isn't the main demographic.

--

MrEricSir: "Gee," said a customer that didn't exist. "I sure want a laptop that does all of the following:"

* Says "Windows" on it, but doesn't run Windows apps
* Is more expensive than a tablet and runs slower


I'd add that it doesn't do anything better or different from other tablets and like the Zune, arrived after Apple was already dominating the market.
 
2013-07-19 03:51:54 PM

AdolfOliverPanties: I still use my Zune.


Diito. I even opened it up and replaced the battery last year. I loved using the radio when I was in Paris and London.

The Banana Thug: It was also more video format friendly, accepting more formats than the iPod.


Not the first gens (which I have.) Damn thing only played WMV files at 320x240 max resolution.
 
2013-07-19 03:52:01 PM

feanorn: The longer Ballmer is in charge, the better.


2.bp.blogspot.com
 
2013-07-19 03:58:01 PM

HeartBurnKid: hamdinger: You couldn't get the hepcat crowd anywhere near the Surface because it actually does things. People don't want functionality. They want a status symbol.

Fine, smart guy.  Exactly what does the Surface RT do, and do better than other available options (i.e. iPad, Android tablet, netbook)?


Microsoft Office is included for free, so I guess you can make PowerPointpresentations.
 
2013-07-19 03:58:25 PM

AdolfOliverPanties: I still use my Zune.


Me too - an old 2003 20GB Jukebox model. The battery's shiat now, but it still holds more music than my 2009 iPod.
 
2013-07-19 04:01:25 PM
I'm pretty sure the tag for that post should have been 'Obvious' instead of 'Interesting'
 
2013-07-19 04:03:30 PM

mcreadyblue: HeartBurnKid: hamdinger: You couldn't get the hepcat crowd anywhere near the Surface because it actually does things. People don't want functionality. They want a status symbol.

Fine, smart guy.  Exactly what does the Surface RT do, and do better than other available options (i.e. iPad, Android tablet, netbook)?

Microsoft Office is included for free, so I guess you can make PowerPointpresentations.


That's a good point.  For those already tied to certain MS offerings, the Surface RT at least gave you smooth integration.  iPads and Android tablets don't run past Windows applications either, so compared to those you didn't lose anything by going with the Surface, but you could spend a few hundred more and get a Surface Pro that gave you even more flexibility.
 
2013-07-19 04:14:32 PM
I have this. It is awesome. Touch screen or tablet. Can remote access, download anything and everything, can use a mouse or full keyboard, lightweight, durable, awesome.
i.dell.com
 
2013-07-19 04:17:12 PM

PowerSlacker: The RT was too expensive to compete with Android tablets and too worthless to compete with the iPad.

Microsoft's strategery here is baffling.


I would agree.  I think they could have come in at $350 (what they are now selling them for) out of the gate and had much better success.  Could have sold quite few that way.  It isn't a bad device, especially for the initial launch.  It is just too damned expensive.  But MS, as has been noted elsewhere, is a Frankensteins monster.  They didn't want to undercut "their partners", but by not doing that they ceded the market and sabotaged the potentinal uptake of the platform.  But somehwere in a boardroom, an executive put his foot down and said that they couldn't jeopardize their relationship with ASUS, HP, Dell, etc.  That is ridiculous and stupid.
 
2013-07-19 04:23:38 PM

TuteTibiImperes: Majick Thise: Another great piece of hardware from MS that was abysmal because of its OS/software

There's really nothing wrong with Windows RT other than the lack of compatibility with a large portion of the Windows software library.  Windows 8 is great for touch enabled devices like tablets, hell, that was one of the primary design goals.

It was mainly the hardware that led me to the iPad over the Surface RT - if they'd offered the Surface RT with a high resolution screen like the iPad 4, I probably would have gone that way.

The whole ARM-based Windows port is a bit perplexing though, since MS could have just based the Surface RT on Intel Atom hardware, kept it x86 compatible but still lower priced than the Surface Pro, and not had to waste time porting Windows to ARM in the first place.


I assumed it was because they wanted to do a port of the NT kernel to ARM for Windows Phone 8 anyway.
 
2013-07-19 04:24:45 PM
MS spent too much time figuring out how to make the keyboard make the exact right "snap" sound when connecting to the tablet, not enough time to figure out if what they were making is a POS.
 
2013-07-19 04:24:58 PM

TuteTibiImperes: mcreadyblue: HeartBurnKid: hamdinger: You couldn't get the hepcat crowd anywhere near the Surface because it actually does things. People don't want functionality. They want a status symbol.

Fine, smart guy.  Exactly what does the Surface RT do, and do better than other available options (i.e. iPad, Android tablet, netbook)?

Microsoft Office is included for free, so I guess you can make PowerPointpresentations.

That's a good point.  For those already tied to certain MS offerings, the Surface RT at least gave you smooth integration.  iPads and Android tablets don't run past Windows applications either, so compared to those you didn't lose anything by going with the Surface, but you could spend a few hundred more and get a Surface Pro that gave you even more flexibility.


But a netbook can handle Office better than the Surface, and would give you Outlook as well.  Granted, it isn't free, but a netbook + the Office Standard license would still be cheaper than the RT.
 
2013-07-19 04:25:35 PM
Microsoft should have given the thing away for practically free and taken a bath in the short-term, while dominating the market for the long-term. Same as they did by letting hordes of people pirate Windows for decades.
 
2013-07-19 04:31:28 PM

seanpg71: TuteTibiImperes: Majick Thise: Another great piece of hardware from MS that was abysmal because of its OS/software

There's really nothing wrong with Windows RT other than the lack of compatibility with a large portion of the Windows software library.  Windows 8 is great for touch enabled devices like tablets, hell, that was one of the primary design goals.

It was mainly the hardware that led me to the iPad over the Surface RT - if they'd offered the Surface RT with a high resolution screen like the iPad 4, I probably would have gone that way.

The whole ARM-based Windows port is a bit perplexing though, since MS could have just based the Surface RT on Intel Atom hardware, kept it x86 compatible but still lower priced than the Surface Pro, and not had to waste time porting Windows to ARM in the first place.

I assumed it was because they wanted to do a port of the NT kernel to ARM for Windows Phone 8 anyway.


That could be true.  Windows Phone 8 runs the NT kernel on ARM, but it still isn't compatible with Windows RT.  Now, if this was a backdoor way to get more applications developed for Windows for ARM that would eventually merge with the Windows Phone platform it wasn't a bad idea, just executed poorly.

If they'd just base everything from Windows Phones to up to full PCs on x86 hardware and incentivize developers to create programs with multiple interfaces depending on the device in one install (i.e. you buy a program, and it installs to your PC with a desktop-oriented UI, your Surface tablet with a touch based UI, and your Windows Phone with a touch based UI optimized for a smaller screen) they'd have a killer platform.
 
2013-07-19 04:45:45 PM

PainInTheASP: I don't know if it could ever be considered an "iPad" killer, but the Surface RT certainly turned into a "Microsoft" killer.


Meh ... Microsoft has a great enterprise business going.  It just sucks connecting with the average consumer.
 
2013-07-19 04:48:39 PM

mcreadyblue: HeartBurnKid: hamdinger: You couldn't get the hepcat crowd anywhere near the Surface because it actually does things. People don't want functionality. They want a status symbol.

Fine, smart guy.  Exactly what does the Surface RT do, and do better than other available options (i.e. iPad, Android tablet, netbook)?

Microsoft Office is included for free, so I guess you can make PowerPointpresentations.


A funny thing happened in the last few years ... as people bought ton of iPhones and Samsung (which makes the only android based phones and tablets actually making money) devices people discovered they didn't need Office anymore.
 
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