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View Full Version : [tablets] Why the Surface is a terrible tablet right now and forever.




smoledman
Nov 5, 2012, 02:04 PM
#1 Ergonomics - There is a reason the iPad is 4:3. It makes the tablet easy to hold in either orientation. Plus it makes viewing in portrait mode not look silly. There are a ****-ton of portrait-mode only apps in iOS that are fantastic. Also viewing web sites in portrait is the way to go. You can rail on about black bars on video, but people have been putting up with that on televisions for ages, so what?

#2 Storage - The Surface RT comes with only 16GB free on 1st use. This is from Microsoft's own website. By contrast with a 16GB iPad, you get 13.5 GB free on 1st use. That's horrific code bloat. Apologists say just plug in an SDXC card. First of all, if you have to plug in an SD card to make up for code bloat you blew it. Second, you can't install apps on the SD card, only content. Third, to even point XBox Music at the SD card as a "library" requires a horrific hack. Microsoft blew it all the way around here.

#3 Screen - ClearType blah blah blah. Maybe video looks ok, but 80% of blind tests showed people could detect the pixels on text and could not on an iPad 3. The screen is not bad, but people expect the retina display now.

#4 Apps -If you're in the market for a tablet, do you go with the iPad which has 275K apps on Day 1(1000s of truly great ones) or Surface RT that has 10K(only a handful of great ones). 275K > 10K on any day of the week!

#5 Accessories - Then the iPad has a universe of accessories(cases, covers, wireless keyboards). The Surface has just a few that Microsoft sells you at a huge premium.

#6 Backup & Restore - We all know how easy it is to backup all your app settings, email, music, videos, contacts to the iCloud and restore if need be. There is no such easy option for the Surface. As far as I know all that gets backed up to SkyDrive is your app settings & contacts. Another "Microsoft blew it".

I could go on all day about how the iPad is superior to the Surface in every which way, but it would fall on deaf ears. Let's say there are a 1000 use cases for a tablet. There are only 2 I can think of the Surface being superior at compared to an iPad. Watching widescreen video & composing Office documents.

998 > 2.

Also we know the Surface will never become 4:3, so even if all the other things improve it will always remain an ergonomic nightmare.



Gav2k
Nov 5, 2012, 02:11 PM
#2 makes no sense

smoledman
Nov 5, 2012, 02:13 PM
#2 makes no sense

What makes no sense. With a 32GB Surface RT you only get 16GB free on initial use. With the 32GB iPad, you get 28GB free. That's all due to code bloat!

MacCruiskeen
Nov 5, 2012, 02:34 PM
What makes no sense. With a 32GB Surface RT you only get 16GB free on initial use.

Statements make no sense when key details are left out.

#3 "people expect the retina display now"--which is why no one is going to buy the iPad mini.

#4 People made the same argument when Android first appeared. (and for how many years did Apple users have to listen to "Windows has more apps"?)

#7 the history of commercial computing makes it clear that people buy what they want and rationalize it afterwards with long lists of "reasons"; technical advantages hardly enter into it.

Gav2k
Nov 5, 2012, 02:37 PM
What makes no sense. With a 32GB Surface RT you only get 16GB free on initial use. With the 32GB iPad, you get 28GB free. That's all due to code bloat!

#2 Storage - The Surface RT comes with only 16GB free on 1st use. This is from Microsoft's own website. By contrast with a 16GB iPad, you get 13.5 GB free on 1st use. That's horrific code bloat. Apologists say just plug in an SDXC card. First of all, if you have to plug in an SD card to make up for code bloat you blew it. Second, you can't install apps on the SD card, only content. Third, to even point XBox Music at the SD card as a "library" requires a horrific hack. Microsoft blew it all the way around here.


And you've used 16gb as an example not 32. If your going to pass comment make sure you put the details for people to see

smoledman
Nov 5, 2012, 02:40 PM
Statements make no sense when key details are left out.

#3 "people expect the retina display now"--which is why no one is going to buy the iPad mini.

#4 People made the same argument when Android first appeared.

#7 the history of commercial computing makes it clear that people buy what they want and rationalize it afterwards with long lists of "reasons"; technical advantages hardly enter into it.

Apple announced the sold 3 million iPad Minis in the first weekend. Except with regards to rationalizations, none are needed with Apple products. They just work, have a universe of accessories and unparalleled support.

Yet another example of the endless iOS accessories:

http://www.cultofmac.com/199676/unmonday-gorgeous-ceramic-airplay-speakers-from-finland/

You will never ever see top accessory OEMs making this kind of thing for Windows!

DJTaurus
Nov 5, 2012, 03:34 PM
Microsoft Surface Review (with Windows RT)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gQhhtvuZwVg&feature=player_embedded

MacCruiskeen
Nov 5, 2012, 03:36 PM
Apple announced the sold 3 million iPad Minis in the first weekend.

Thereby contradicting your point.

Shrink
Nov 5, 2012, 04:51 PM
[QUOTE=smoledman;16233819]Apple announced the sold 3 million iPad Minis in the first weekend.[/QOUTE]

Actually, I believe that Apple sold 3 million iPad Minis and iPad 4 collectively. The last thing I read didn't indicate how many were Minis and how many were iPad 4s.

Perhaps I missed some information somewhere, but I don't think they indicated how many of the 3 million were Minis.

BaldiMac
Nov 5, 2012, 04:59 PM
Holy crap! Windows RT actually takes up 12 GB more than iOS?!

Renzatic
Nov 5, 2012, 05:16 PM
Holy crap! Windows RT actually takes up 12 GB more than iOS?!

Hell if I can find it again, but a guy up in the Alternative OS forum posted a screenshot showing that Windows takes up about 5-6GB, and Office takes up around 800MB or so. I'm thinking that last 5GB is used by the apps MS has installed, which can be uninstalled.

BaldiMac
Nov 5, 2012, 06:55 PM
Hell if I can find it again, but a guy up in the Alternative OS forum posted a screenshot showing that Windows takes up about 5-6GB, and Office takes up around 800MB or so. I'm thinking that last 5GB is used by the apps MS has installed, which can be uninstalled.

That explanation did not change my reaction at all! :D :eek:

GoCubsGo
Nov 5, 2012, 07:02 PM
OP, have you used the surface or were you just visiting CNET?

tech4all
Nov 5, 2012, 07:07 PM
That's a very dramatic title.

"...right now and FOREVER."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1Y73sPHKxw

Renzatic
Nov 5, 2012, 07:13 PM
That explanation did not change my reaction at all! :D :eek:

Yeaaahh, it's still pretty fat. Just not as fat as people think.

It's got big bones. :P

TSE
Nov 5, 2012, 07:22 PM
The only parts I will agree on is the 4:3 display being superior and the amount of space Windows RT takes up. Besides that, it looks like a great tablet with a better ecosystem strategy than Android...

east85
Nov 5, 2012, 08:02 PM
Microsoft Surface Review (with Windows RT)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gQhhtvuZwVg&feature=player_embedded

I highly recommend everyone watch this. I entertained the idea of buying one of these until I saw both the unboxing and this video.

#1 Ergonomics - There is a reason the iPad is 4:3. It makes the tablet easy to hold in either orientation. Plus it makes viewing in portrait mode not look silly. There are a ****-ton of portrait-mode only apps in iOS that are fantastic. Also viewing web sites in portrait is the way to go. You can rail on about black bars on video, but people have been putting up with that on televisions for ages, so what?

#2 Storage - The Surface RT comes with only 16GB free on 1st use. This is from Microsoft's own website. By contrast with a 16GB iPad, you get 13.5 GB free on 1st use. That's horrific code bloat. Apologists say just plug in an SDXC card. First of all, if you have to plug in an SD card to make up for code bloat you blew it. Second, you can't install apps on the SD card, only content. Third, to even point XBox Music at the SD card as a "library" requires a horrific hack. Microsoft blew it all the way around here.

#3 Screen - ClearType blah blah blah. Maybe video looks ok, but 80% of blind tests showed people could detect the pixels on text and could not on an iPad 3. The screen is not bad, but people expect the retina display now.

#4 Apps -If you're in the market for a tablet, do you go with the iPad which has 275K apps on Day 1(1000s of truly great ones) or Surface RT that has 10K(only a handful of great ones). 275K > 10K on any day of the week!

#5 Accessories - Then the iPad has a universe of accessories(cases, covers, wireless keyboards). The Surface has just a few that Microsoft sells you at a huge premium.

#6 Backup & Restore - We all know how easy it is to backup all your app settings, email, music, videos, contacts to the iCloud and restore if need be. There is no such easy option for the Surface. As far as I know all that gets backed up to SkyDrive is your app settings & contacts. Another "Microsoft blew it".

I could go on all day about how the iPad is superior to the Surface in every which way, but it would fall on deaf ears. Let's say there are a 1000 use cases for a tablet. There are only 2 I can think of the Surface being superior at compared to an iPad. Watching widescreen video & composing Office documents.

998 > 2.

Also we know the Surface will never become 4:3, so even if all the other things improve it will always remain an ergonomic nightmare.

1. Aspect ratio is not exactly a big deal as long as the software content easily supports the display effectively. People aren't going to be holding this thing in portrait mode, ever. I'd guess Microsoft just added it to avoid people laughing up a storm because it wasn't available.

2. I can't agree more here. Microsoft should really work on creating an OS that doesn't hog so much space.

3. Not all video looks okay. Have you seen the Surface try to render a video in flash? Pixel density is something people have become far too obsessed with. I think it's important to have a clean screen, but there's no point to be anal about it. Case in point is the complaints going around about the iPad mini, despite it actually topping the iPad 2 (due to pixel counts being compressed on such a small screen).

4. 10 grand worth of apps is nothing to underestimate. Obviously the market has been around for awhile and Microsoft has some catching up to do, but it's true that the application ecosystem still offers the essentials that most people use and need. This may be the fate of the Surface even if bugs and performance issues are worked out, take a look at what happened to the BB Playbook.

5. The new style charger for the most recent iProducts is a drawback, so let's not forget how Apple has treated third party support here. Your overall point remains true though, Apple has been on the market for a long time and has a lot of support in that regard.

6. I agree here.

Anyways, Microsoft didn't make money for the first 4-5 years of production of the XBOX. They just used their money reserves to keep pumping money into the system until it started to become profitable. I suspect they have the coffers to do the same thing here. They will likely keep funding the device for generations to come even if it remains a failing device in terms of the App ecosystem. I suspect the first revision of most products is going to be the worst, so we'll give Microsoft some time to fine-tune their device in order to solve performance issues. I do not underestimate Microsoft and their ability to make a product successful even if it isn't at first. We'll see what happens, but let's not become fortune tellers here. That's just silly.

thejadedmonkey
Nov 5, 2012, 08:16 PM
Holy crap! Windows RT actually takes up 12 GB more than iOS?!

The breakdown is as such: 8gb for Windows RT and Office 2013, 5gb for a backup partition, and 3 for the whole base 10 v base 12 calculation BS that hard drive makers use. Seriously, 8gb's for a full Windows isntall plus Office isn't bad at all.

#6 Backup & Restore - We all know how easy it is to backup all your app settings, email, music, videos, contacts to the iCloud and restore if need be. There is no such easy option for the Surface. As far as I know all that gets backed up to SkyDrive is your app settings & contacts. Another "Microsoft blew it".

Maybe "Microsoft blew it", or maybe they got it "just right". Developers can opt to use a local save, temp save, or a "roaming save", which is actually sync's with the cloud. For one of the apps I'm developing, I use the roaming profile, and any changes I made are updated across all of my Windows 8 devices. Even if I uninstall the program, the data remains when I reinstall it.

Isn't Apple still charging users for more than 5gb's of iCloud space?

BaldiMac
Nov 6, 2012, 07:56 AM
Seriously, 8gb's for a full Windows isntall plus Office isn't bad at all.

Maybe if you are grading on a curve. It's crazy compared to other tablet OS's.

smoledman
Nov 6, 2012, 11:02 AM
Maybe if you are grading on a curve. It's crazy compared to other tablet OS's.

Yeah I don't get why Microsoft gets a free pass for lazy engineering.

Liquorpuki
Nov 6, 2012, 11:58 AM
Why the Pro version of the Surface is a game changer

There are 3 tablet markets right now
1 - Premium market, dominated by the iPad
2 - Budget market, dominated by the Kindle, Nexus, and Nook
3 - Midrange market, which Apple is trying to create with the iPad Mini

The Surface Pro creates a 4th market that we can call Ultra Premium, higher end than anything that's currently in the tablet market. x86 CPU, 4 Gig RAM, full desktop OS and desktop sw compatibility

Why is that market needed?

Because there are a lot of power users out there who want the form factor of a tablet but also want to do things other than browse the web, watch movies, and play Angry Birds. They'd like streamlined enterprise integration plus the ability to run pro level software like Photoshop, MS Office, etc. You're never gonna get pro level apps on iOS/Android devices because they're budget markets.

If MS gets the functionality part of the Pro version right, it'll make the iPad look like an $500 toy

smoledman
Nov 6, 2012, 12:38 PM
Why the Pro version of the Surface is a game changer

There are 3 tablet markets right now
1 - Premium market, dominated by the iPad
2 - Budget market, dominated by the Kindle, Nexus, and Nook
3 - Midrange market, which Apple is trying to create with the iPad Mini

The Surface Pro creates a 4th market that we can call Ultra Premium, higher end than anything that's currently in the tablet market. x86 CPU, 4 Gig RAM, full desktop OS and desktop sw compatibility

Why is that market needed?

Because there are a lot of power users out there who want the form factor of a tablet but also want to do things other than browse the web, watch movies, and play Angry Birds. They'd like streamlined enterprise integration plus the ability to run pro level software like Photoshop, MS Office, etc. You're never gonna get pro level apps on iOS/Android devices because they're budget markets.

If MS gets the functionality part of the Pro version right, it'll make the iPad look like an $500 toy

B.S. The iPad is a full computing device.

Liquorpuki
Nov 6, 2012, 12:49 PM
B.S. The iPad is a full computing device.

Define full computing device

And what part of what I said do you think is BS?

Jessica Lares
Nov 6, 2012, 03:29 PM
Microsoft already tried Ultra Premium years ago and it failed. The Tablet PC didn't take off, and I don't think the Surface will either. I guarantee you that the Surface Pro will just be another machine that people leave behind at work, just like the DELL and Toshiba laptops I see my dad bring home all the time.

The real problem I see though is that Microsoft is trying to capture the younger crowd with the colorful keyboards and touchscreen. Obviously, the machine costs $500, and the keyboard $120. That is about the cost of a mid-range traditional laptop with a large hard drive and better specs. No parent is going to buy their kid that when there are much cheaper options like the iPad Mini/Kindle Fire HD 8.9" and a Bluetooth keyboard. They don't care about the apps, they just want something for their kid to be able to take notes, write papers on, and read their textbooks.

Windows 8 is going to do well as long as its being used in laptops, and something like being able to choose between Windows XP and Vista doesn't come up again, however the Surface won't be a long lasting product line unless they bundle the keyboards and lower the price by at least $100. Make the money off screen/keyboard replacements and content and focus on gaining the marketshare.

For someone that just wants a portable internet device, it's also just too much money and specs. We want to think that tablets can be our only machine, but in reality, 99% of current iPad users have a main desktop/laptop they use in addition to it.

thejadedmonkey
Nov 6, 2012, 04:39 PM
Maybe if you are grading on a curve. It's crazy compared to other tablet OS's.

Yeah I don't get why Microsoft gets a free pass for lazy engineering.

Because it's not a tablet OS, it's a full version of Windows. Compare it to OS X or Ubuntu, not iOS.

Liquorpuki
Nov 6, 2012, 04:50 PM
Microsoft already tried Ultra Premium years ago and it failed. The Tablet PC didn't take off, and I don't think the Surface will either. I guarantee you that the Surface Pro will just be another machine that people leave behind at work, just like the DELL and Toshiba laptops I see my dad bring home all the time.

Difference is back then, the tablet PC was a laptop with a resistive touch screen. The OS used on Tablet PC's was basically XP with a tacked on touch UI, not an OS that was designed from the ground up with touch in mind. More importantly, there was no real tablet market back then. Totally different product and environment back then.

The real problem I see though is that Microsoft is trying to capture the younger crowd with the colorful keyboards and touchscreen. Obviously, the machine costs $500, and the keyboard $120. That is about the cost of a mid-range traditional laptop with a large hard drive and better specs. No parent is going to buy their kid that when there are much cheaper options like the iPad Mini/Kindle Fire HD 8.9" and a Bluetooth keyboard. They don't care about the apps, they just want something for their kid to be able to take notes, write papers on, and read their textbooks.

Without piggybacking off Windows 8 popularity or the Pro's success, the Surface RT will probably be another iPad competitor that fails to gain significant marketshare. And that has more to do with branding than price.

But the Pro version isn't geared toward kids, and isn't trying to compete directly with the iPad or any existing tablet. It's trying to create a new high end market, which I think there's a need for. I've left my iPad 1 in the trunk of my car for the past 2 months because the most I use it for is as an e-reader or browsing the web. Give me a slate form factor device I can use to create Office documents, edit CAD drawings, and program on and I'll buy it. There's nothing on the market that can do that to a capable degree right now.

The biggest criticism I have of Apple is as good as their OS and hardware is, they don't pay enough attention to software. They've made it so the app store is the only way you can install software on your mobile device. So you have a ton of apps for sale, but only one store, and the commoditization has driven down prices/profit and turned mobile software into a budget market. Because it's a budget market, no one's creating power apps. Because there are no power apps, people still need their laptops to do the more complicated stuff.

Ignoring upcoming hybrids like the Transformer Book, the Pro is the only tablet that will be able to do power apps, because it has the same tech as a midrange laptop (Core i5, 4g ram, HD Graphics 4000) and breaks the app store tradition by letting you install desktop software on it. I'm not guaranteeing MS will succeed but if you're someone who wants the tablet to be more than just a portable internet device, you'll probably be watching how the Pro does in 2013

Renzatic
Nov 6, 2012, 04:51 PM
Microsoft already tried Ultra Premium years ago and it failed. The Tablet PC didn't take off, and I don't think the Surface will either.

You could argue that the reason tablet PCs failed in the past wasn't because people didn't want them, rather they didn't want them as they were presented due to the technology of the time. Those old tablets were massive, fat bastards. Some of the larger ones were 2 inches thick, nearly 6-7 pounds, and lasted an hour and a half on a charge. That isn't something you'd want to hold in one hand or take out with you.

But now? We've got the RT which is a pound and a half and incredibly thin, and last about 9 hours before you have to recharge it. The Pro is only marginally larger and heavier (battery life is still a mystery though). They're much better tablets than the old tablet PCs were, and are likely to have more appeal because of that.

We'll see how much soon enough.

smoledman
Nov 6, 2012, 05:26 PM
You could argue that the reason tablet PCs failed in the past wasn't because people didn't want them, rather they didn't want them as they were presented due to the technology of the time. Those old tablets were massive, fat bastards. Some of the larger ones were 2 inches thick, nearly 6-7 pounds, and lasted an hour and a half on a charge. That isn't something you'd want to hold in one hand or take out with you.

But now? We've got the RT which is a pound and a half and incredibly thin, and last about 9 hours before you have to recharge it. The Pro is only marginally larger and heavier (battery life is still a mystery though). They're much better tablets than the old tablet PCs were, and are likely to have more appeal because of that.

We'll see how much soon enough.

Except the Surface has terrible tablet ergonomics, read my opening post.

Renzatic
Nov 6, 2012, 05:56 PM
It's no worse than any other 16:9 tablet. It might not be quite as comfortable to hold as the iPad's 4:3 screen, but I wouldn't call it terrible, either.

BaldiMac
Nov 7, 2012, 07:49 AM
Because it's not a tablet OS, it's a full version of Windows. Compare it to OS X or Ubuntu, not iOS.

I'll compare it to whatever I like. It is a tablet OS in that it is an OS on a tablet. One designed to compete with the iPad and Android tablets. It just does so at 12 GB more than the OS's it competes with. Like I said you just want to grade it on a curve.

HarryKNN21
Nov 7, 2012, 08:23 AM
That's because it is released at the wrong time, right after Nexus 7 and two new iPad. Who would buy Surface now?

Also how could I trust M$ hardware? I still own a M$ gamepad I bought ten years ago, but it never functioned well.

Zombie Acorn
Nov 7, 2012, 09:48 AM
I find 10" tablets horrific in portrait mode no matter what the form factor. 7" tablets fit in your hand which is nice. My wife has a nexus 7, and for 200 bucks I am thinking about picking one up even though I have a 10" tablet already.

Windows 8 is great on the desktop, I am sure it will be fine on a tablet as well.

thejadedmonkey
Nov 7, 2012, 11:07 AM
I'll compare it to whatever I like. It is a tablet OS in that it is an OS on a tablet. One designed to compete with the iPad and Android tablets. It just does so at 12 GB more than the OS's it competes with. Like I said you just want to grade it on a curve.

I don't know why. It's like racing a Ford Fiesta against a Ferrari and then complaining when the Ford doesn't win the race. No crap, you should compare like vehicles.

Likewise, compare Microsoft's scaled down OS, Windows Phone, against the iPad and you'll see that it only takes up around a gig or two, including Office and that's not taking into account the GB to Gib conversion.

BaldiMac
Nov 7, 2012, 01:21 PM
I don't know why. It's like racing a Ford Fiesta against a Ferrari and then complaining when the Ford doesn't win the race. No crap, you should compare like vehicles.

That's ridiculous. It's not like that at all. It is comparing the OS of tablets in the exact same price range. Similar Size. Similar processors.

A 32 GB Surface has 12 GB less space available than a 32 GB iPad or Android tablet. That's significant.

Likewise, compare Microsoft's scaled down OS, Windows Phone, against the iPad and you'll see that it only takes up around a gig or two, including Office and that's not taking into account the GB to Gib conversion.

:rolleyes: I'm comparing tablet OS's. What Microsoft sells for a smartphone is irrelevant to the comparison.

Renzatic
Nov 7, 2012, 01:47 PM
ikewise, compare Microsoft's scaled down OS, Windows Phone, against the iPad and you'll see that it only takes up around a gig or two, including Office and that's not taking into account the GB to Gib conversion.

A 32 GB Surface has 12 GB less space available than a 32 GB iPad or Android tablet. That's significant.

I'm playing the middle, but my opinion leans slightly more towards BaldiMac than yours, Jaded.

On one hand, it is a more fully featured OS than the usual tablet/smartphone OSes, designed to support multiple pieces of hardware, and higher end software. It's very much Windows 8 Lite, and is bound to be bigger than the usual 1-2GB footprint you get from iOS and Android.

Oh the other hand, it's a little too large for a 32GB drive. Slapping in an SD card or thumbdrive only addresses part of the problem, since you can't run apps directly off either of them. You'll always be starved for space on the entry level Surface.

It could afford losing a couple of gigs off the install size.

G51989
Nov 8, 2012, 12:52 AM
That's ridiculous. It's not like that at all. It is comparing the OS of tablets in the exact same price range. Similar Size. Similar processors.

You do need to take account that iOS and Android are just blown up Phone OS's, Windows RT has FAR more features than either, iOS doesn't really hate any features, its just a grid layout of Applications, hell. It can't even Multitask.

----------

You could argue that the reason tablet PCs failed in the past wasn't because people didn't want them, rather they didn't want them as they were presented due to the technology of the time. Those old tablets were massive, fat bastards. Some of the larger ones were 2 inches thick, nearly 6-7 pounds, and lasted an hour and a half on a charge. That isn't something you'd want to hold in one hand or take out with you.

.

Where are you getting 6-7lbs from? Maybe some of the REALLY huge ones were, and hour and half battery? Must be a bad tablet PC, the one I had back in 03 held a charge for almost 5 hours, and wasn't anywhere close to 7 pounds.

Back then, a tablet PC would run you a solid 2500 dollars to 3500 dollars for a good one, that was the biggest reason. People think the iPad is " expensive ", but it isn't at all. Most people literally couldn't afford one. Some of them are even more capable than lots of tablets today. ( Some of those bad boys had straight up P4s jammed em, toasty ;), I carried an HP Tablet PC for quite some time, it had 3GB ram, a Centrino Mobile Processor, and an discreete video card ( I think it was a GeForce FX or something in it, its nearly been a decade lol ), and a 120gb HDD, not bad for 2004.

They were also super niche at the time, they did fairly well in certain enterprise markets, and we carried them for quite some time, until software in my industry got to the point that I'm back to a 12 pound laptop out in the field.....

Biggest reason tho, your average consumer literally couldn't afford one.

For those of you who remember, a " crappy " desktop from a company like dell would still run you over 1000 dollars just for the tower at that point.

smoledman
Nov 8, 2012, 01:08 AM
Point is Microsoft is 2.5 years late and even the Surface RT is not up to par. Only 5-point touch, too wide, touch cover is already proven to be flaky, problems with the stock apps, lag issues, worse battery life than iPad and so many other problems.

It's a joke.

Renzatic
Nov 8, 2012, 04:09 AM
Where are you getting 6-7lbs from? Maybe some of the REALLY huge ones were, and hour and half battery? Must be a bad tablet PC, the one I had back in 03 held a charge for almost 5 hours, and wasn't anywhere close to 7 pounds.

Back then, a tablet PC would run you a solid 2500 dollars to 3500 dollars for a good one, that was the biggest reason. People think the iPad is " expensive ", but it isn't at all. Most people literally couldn't afford one. Some of them are even more capable than lots of tablets today. ( Some of those bad boys had straight up P4s jammed em, toasty ;), I carried an HP Tablet PC for quite some time, it had 3GB ram, a Centrino Mobile Processor, and an discreete video card ( I think it was a GeForce FX or something in it, its nearly been a decade lol ), and a 120gb HDD, not bad for 2004.

They were also super niche at the time, they did fairly well in certain enterprise markets, and we carried them for quite some time, until software in my industry got to the point that I'm back to a 12 pound laptop out in the field.....

Biggest reason tho, your average consumer literally couldn't afford one.

For those of you who remember, a " crappy " desktop from a company like dell would still run you over 1000 dollars just for the tower at that point.

The 6-7 pounds thing was probably an overly agressive guesstimation on my part. I've only ever held 1 tablet PC in my day, and while I thought it was a cool idea (it's pretty much what started my love affair with tablets), it was too heavy and cumbersome to hold for too long, and the battery drained way too quickly for my taste.

Maybe if I got to play with some of the later tablet PCs, I'd be singing a slightly different tune. But...never saw one in person again after that.

----------

Point is Microsoft is 2.5 years late and even the Surface RT is not up to par. Only 5-point touch, too wide, touch cover is already proven to be flaky, problems with the stock apps, lag issues, worse battery life than iPad and so many other problems.

It's a joke.

Only 5 point touch? Other than a couple of little games here and there, how many times have you used more than 5 fingers on your iPad? 10 point touch is a nice thing to have (and I'm sure the Surface 2 will have it), but it's hardly a selling point.

And when has the Touch Cover proven to be flaky? Other than the "it looks stooopid MS is dumb" people, I've heard nothing but good things about it.

Vitrum
Nov 8, 2012, 04:24 AM
What makes no sense is making a thread for a product you never intended to buy and just bash without using it, reviews of the surface have been great specially for a rev.1 but in the end you gotta try things yourself with a open mind and stop trying to use other OS like ios.

mentaluproar
Nov 8, 2012, 04:59 AM
I was curious about the surface RT but it seems like it was released before it was ready, like Vista. I think they just wanted something out there for the holiday shopping season and they will focus on refining the surface pro.

I can see the surface doing well if they can crack secure boot and throw Linux on that thing. Gnome shell and unity are almost tablet ready out of box. There's not too much they would have to do to the UI to turn it into a tablet OS and the RT into a usable device.

Vitrum
Nov 8, 2012, 05:01 AM
I was curious about the surface RT but it seems like it was released before it was ready, like Vista. I think they just wanted something out there for the holiday shopping season and they will focus on refining the surface pro.

I can see the surface doing well if they can crack secure boot and throw Linux on that thing. Gnome shell and unity are almost tablet ready out of box. There's not too much they would have to do to the UI to turn it into a tablet OS and the RT into a usable device.

Do you have exp. using a surface ?

mentaluproar
Nov 8, 2012, 05:06 AM
The device itself, no. The OS, yes.

10 minutes with windows 8 and I felt like I should have been put on a 24-hour psych watch.

Vitrum
Nov 8, 2012, 05:13 AM
The device itself, no. The OS, yes.

10 minutes with windows 8 and I felt like I should have been put on a 24-hour psych watch.

I guess you didnt like Windows 7 also ?

About the 10 minutes comment :) classic.

mentaluproar
Nov 8, 2012, 05:14 AM
Windows 7 took time. I still hate how they laid out the networking stuff. I can use it, but I find Mac and Linux more intuitive.

Renzatic
Nov 8, 2012, 05:52 AM
If you're a Linux guy, the new start screen isn't that much different from Gnome Shell 3. Though less confusing, because you don't have to bring up the start screen to multitask. It's just an application/search launcher.

It's only when you start using Metro apps that things get weird.

BaldiMac
Nov 8, 2012, 08:43 AM
You do need to take account that iOS and Android are just blown up Phone OS's

No, I don't because that's just FUD. You can just as easily say iOS is a "blown down" version of OS X.

Windows RT has FAR more features than either,

Maybe. But it currently has FAR less applications.

iOS doesn't really hate any features, its just a grid layout of Applications, hell.

:rolleyes: Do you really not know the difference between an OS and an application launcher or are you purposely spreading more misinformation?

It can't even Multitask.

Only if you made up your own definition of the word "multitask".

roadbloc
Nov 8, 2012, 09:25 AM
If you're a Linux guy, the new start screen isn't that much different from Gnome Shell 3. Though less confusing, because you don't have to bring up the start screen to multitask. It's just an application/search launcher.

It's only when you start using Metro apps that things get weird.

This. I have found Windows 8 pretty good to be honest. It'll suit both tablets, laptops and desktops just fine. Just don't use any Metro apps from the Store App if you're on a PC. It is a nice touch that the pre-bundled Apps can actually be deleted quite easily as well.

I'll be sticking with Windows 7 for now because it'll be in support for many years to come and is currently a solid OS, thus making an upgrade sorta pointless. But I have no issues with Windows 8 and look forward to using it on my machines in the future. Maybe when SP1 comes out I'll grab a copy.

mentaluproar
Nov 9, 2012, 01:57 AM
I wonder if the Surface RT uses DirectX.

GermanyChris
Nov 9, 2012, 06:53 AM
Why the Pro version of the Surface is a game changer

There are 3 tablet markets right now
1 - Premium market, dominated by the iPad
2 - Budget market, dominated by the Kindle, Nexus, and Nook
3 - Midrange market, which Apple is trying to create with the iPad Mini

The Surface Pro creates a 4th market that we can call Ultra Premium, higher end than anything that's currently in the tablet market. x86 CPU, 4 Gig RAM, full desktop OS and desktop sw compatibility

Why is that market needed?

Because there are a lot of power users out there who want the form factor of a tablet but also want to do things other than browse the web, watch movies, and play Angry Birds. They'd like streamlined enterprise integration plus the ability to run pro level software like Photoshop, MS Office, etc. You're never gonna get pro level apps on iOS/Android devices because they're budget markets.

If MS gets the functionality part of the Pro version right, it'll make the iPad look like an $500 toy

Correct it can actually replace a notebook.

I'll compare it to whatever I like. It is a tablet OS in that it is an OS on a tablet. One designed to compete with the iPad and Android tablets. It just does so at 12 GB more than the OS's it competes with. Like I said you just want to grade it on a curve.

The pro is designed to compete with ultrabooks hence the x86 Arch.

giffut
Nov 9, 2012, 08:38 AM
... that's why I wait for the Surface Pro, and then hackintosh it, ha!

G51989
Nov 9, 2012, 11:20 PM
Point is Microsoft is 2.5 years late and even the Surface RT is not up to par. Only 5-point touch, too wide, touch cover is already proven to be flaky, problems with the stock apps, lag issues, worse battery life than iPad and so many other problems.

It's a joke.

Lag issues? Mine doesn't have any, the stock Apps work fine, Office is still in Beta, but mostly works fine. Battery life isn't as good as the iPad, but its also more of a " full computer " than an iPad. I can actually get work done on a Surface.

Such a joke, they sold out of them.

----------

... that's why I wait for the Surface Pro, and then hackintosh it, ha!

They'll most likely doing Secure Boot, OSX won't happen.

----------

No, I don't because that's just FUD. You can just as easily say iOS is a "blown down" version of OS X. .

iOS might share some things in common with OSX, but it can't compete with Windows RT on any level of functionally.

Maybe. But it currently has FAR less applications.

Well, for people who plan on downloading more than 10,000 applications, your right. All the productivity apps you need to get work done are already on Windows RT, some games to. But I won't game on any tablet, because its ******.

Applications will catch up, maybe not the sheer number of Apps ever will, but I won't be downloading 500,000 apps. ( Most of which are never downloaded anyway ).

I'll also be getting a Surface Pro, which comes with most apps than any other eco system in existence.

Do you really not know the difference between an OS and an application launcher or are you purposely spreading more misinformation?

iOS is not just an App launcher, true. But it has very few built in features, and the ones that it does have like, Maps. Don't work.

Only if you made up your own definition of the word "multitask".

I did, its called having more than one program displayed on the screen at the same time. iOS can't do this. And why shouldn't it be able to?

Dagless
Nov 11, 2012, 06:14 AM
Ha, I WISH I could instal "only content" onto expanded storage on my iPad. 64gb and I have to forever juggle videos, photos and music around. I'd put another 64gb in there given the chance.

G51989
Nov 11, 2012, 06:15 PM
Ha, I WISH I could instal "only content" onto expanded storage on my iPad. 64gb and I have to forever juggle videos, photos and music around. I'd put another 64gb in there given the chance.

Why would you want that? Then Apple would have to pay a tiny fee for MicroSD cards.....they need the money....because they love you....

Joesmith13245
Nov 11, 2012, 06:38 PM
Why the Pro version of the Surface is a game changer

There are 3 tablet markets right now
1 - Premium market, dominated by the iPad
2 - Budget market, dominated by the Kindle, Nexus, and Nook
3 - Midrange market, which Apple is trying to create with the iPad Mini

The Surface Pro creates a 4th market that we can call Ultra Premium, higher end than anything that's currently in the tablet market. x86 CPU, 4 Gig RAM, full desktop OS and desktop sw compatibility

Why is that market needed?

Because there are a lot of power users out there who want the form factor of a tablet but also want to do things other than browse the web, watch movies, and play Angry Birds. They'd like streamlined enterprise integration plus the ability to run pro level software like Photoshop, MS Office, etc. You're never gonna get pro level apps on iOS/Android devices because they're budget markets.

If MS gets the functionality part of the Pro version right, it'll make the iPad look like an $500 toy

THIS..

Plus with the Surface Pro you can eliminate the need for a laptop AND a tablet and consolidate your experience to one device. You will be able to use the Surface Pro as a fully feature laptop for ultimate productivity or as a Tablet for extreme mobility and multimedia. All for a price somewhere in between the cost of buying 2 devices(a laptop & tablet).

Microsoft is betting device consolidation will be the future direction. Only time will tell if it will pay off.

Doc750
Nov 11, 2012, 06:46 PM
I had the Microsoft surface RT for about a week. I really did love it, and thought it was an awesome little tablet. The deal breaker for me was that it did not support the security requirements for my company's Microsoft email exchange server. I filed a ticket, read up on forums and nothing worked. I finally returned it today.

I was really looking forward to breaking away from this walled garden, but I guess the surface won't be the way out for now.

mentaluproar
Nov 11, 2012, 07:31 PM
Without flipboard, I won't even consider it. Flipboard sold me on the iPad, and is a requirement for me to even consider it a usable tablet.

G51989
Nov 11, 2012, 07:49 PM
I had the Microsoft surface RT for about a week. I really did love it, and thought it was an awesome little tablet. The deal breaker for me was that it did not support the security requirements for my company's Microsoft email exchange server. I filed a ticket, read up on forums and nothing worked. I finally returned it today.

I was really looking forward to breaking away from this walled garden, but I guess the surface won't be the way out for now.

Im sorry to hear that.

The Surface pro WILL be a way out of the walled garden though.

BaldiMac
Nov 12, 2012, 08:32 AM
The pro is designed to compete with ultrabooks hence the x86 Arch.

Maybe, but we were talking about Windows RT.

iOS might share some things in common with OSX, but it can't compete with Windows RT on any level of functionally.

Hyperbole can be fun. Willful ignorance is not.

Well, for people who plan on downloading more than 10,000 applications, your right. All the productivity apps you need to get work done are already on Windows RT, some games to. But I won't game on any tablet, because its ******.

Applications will catch up, maybe not the sheer number of Apps ever will, but I won't be downloading 500,000 apps. ( Most of which are never downloaded anyway ).

And I suppose you are pretending that you don't know that the point of having more apps in an ecosystem is the likelihood that you will find an app that works how you want it to.

I'll also be getting a Surface Pro, which comes with most apps than any other eco system in existence.

Good for you!

iOS is not just an App launcher, true. But it has very few built in features, and the ones that it does have like, Maps. Don't work.

Again, willful ignorance to make your point.

I did, its called having more than one program displayed on the screen at the same time. iOS can't do this. And why shouldn't it be able to?

Yes, you did make up your own definition.

roadbloc
Nov 12, 2012, 09:45 AM
What makes no sense. With a 32GB Surface RT you only get 16GB free on initial use. With the 32GB iPad, you get 28GB free. That's all due to code bloat!

32GB Surface costs exactly as much as a 16GB iPad.
I've easily freed up about 7GB deleting the pre-bundled apps.
None-issue methinks. Users are not going to be screaming for extra space. Not since you get more for exactly the same price anyway, regardless of whether some optional bundled Apps takes up a fair bit of room.

Quite like my Surface. Windows RT is much smoother than iOS has ever been to me. Now lets get them developers developing Apps for it. If a larger collection of Apps for it is built, WinRT + Win 8 tablets will fly.

Fuchal
Nov 12, 2012, 09:52 AM
The Surface Pro is going to kill it in the enterprise. With full Windows 8 / Outlook / legacy app support, docking stations that turn it into a full-fledged desktop, and remote IT administration... IT departments will flock to these when replacing computers in the workplace.

BaldiMac
Nov 12, 2012, 10:03 AM
I've easily freed up about 7GB deleting the pre-bundled apps.

Based on the numbers earlier in this thread, I think you are exaggerating here. :D

None-issue methinks. Users are not going to be screaming for extra space. Not since you get more for exactly the same price anyway, regardless of whether some optional bundled Apps takes up a fair bit of room.

They would be screaming if it was an Apple device! :) Heck we had people complaining in this forum about the minuscule amount of space that iOS takes up.

Seriously, it's not a problem as long as consumers are informed. All these comparison charts that compare various tablets should have an asterisk by the Surface built in storage.

twietee
Nov 12, 2012, 10:03 AM
The Surface Pro is going to kill it in the enterprise. With full Windows 8 / Outlook / legacy app support, docking stations that turn it into a full-fledged desktop, and remote IT administration... IT departments will flock to these when replacing computers in the workplace.

This. is exactly what I'm hearing, too. It doesn't need a genius to see these benefits and wait...it even has an USB port? :eek: Must be some fanzy futuristic tablet. :rolleyes:

Vitrum
Nov 12, 2012, 10:10 AM
This. is exactly what I'm hearing, too. It doesn't need a genius to see these benefits and wait...it even has an USB port? :eek: Must be some fanzy futuristic tablet. :rolleyes:

The future is NOW :cool: and sure as hell it dont blend :eek:

IO01
Nov 12, 2012, 11:14 AM
Note that the OP made similar comments on the "Windows 8 discussion (And it's here!) " thread on ArsTechnica here (http://arstechnica.com/civis/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=1155576&start=2680). I'm not sure why he/she felt the need to repost on a different forum, and why he/she is obsessed about code bloat.

GermanyChris
Nov 12, 2012, 11:23 AM
Maybe, but we were talking about Windows RT.



Hyperbole can be fun. Willful ignorance is not.



And I suppose you are pretending that you don't know that the point of having more apps in an ecosystem is the likelihood that you will find an app that works how you want it to.



Good for you!



Again, willful ignorance to make your point.



Yes, you did make up your own definition.

Not everyone was

GoSh4rks
Nov 12, 2012, 02:48 PM
Yes, you did make up your own definition.

The simplest definition of multitasking: doing multiple things at once.

iOS can do that. WinRT can do that.
However, an iOS user can only do that in a very limited case, usually involving listening to something and doing something else. A WinRT user can WATCH something and read email or whatever at the same time.

WinRT will let you multitask far better than iOS can.

BaldiMac
Nov 12, 2012, 03:07 PM
The simplest definition of multitasking: doing multiple things at once.

iOS can do that. WinRT can do that.
However, an iOS user can only do that in a very limited case, usually involving listening to something and doing something else. A WinRT user can WATCH something and read email or whatever at the same time.

WinRT will let you multitask far better than iOS can.

Absolutely. Though I would quibble over what constitutes "better" for a mobile device. :)

(The original claim that I was responding to was that iOS can't multitask.)

12dylan34
Nov 12, 2012, 03:15 PM
My only reservation about surface is the design. Thick and blocky isn't gonna do it for me, especially the pro version. Other than that, I seriously considered getting one.

cnev3
Nov 12, 2012, 03:16 PM
All this debating is just speculation. The numbers will tell the truth, and time will reveal it's fate.

A lot of people underestimate the importance of software. Without a large selection of good software, the hardware cannot succeed. That's the reason for the failure of the Zune HD, and I predict the failure for the Surface.

"Power users" who intend to use the laptop in ways which other tablets cannot provide, can only account for a small percentage, and won't be nearly enough to make the product a success. It has to sell millions for it to have a chance.

iEvolution
Nov 12, 2012, 04:03 PM
B.S. The iPad is a full computing device.

Yeah except it doesn't have a file system..which makes it a half computing device.

The switch between the desktop/tablet interface is just terribly designed. The RT should be in a tablet interface all the time and the desktop computer should be in the desktop interface all the time. I don't understand why Microsoft thought running hybrid between the two was a home run.

I also think they would have been better off releasing the 'Pro' version first, people would have had a dip into the tablet world of microsoft while still retaining app compatibility.

Renzatic
Nov 12, 2012, 04:10 PM
A lot of people underestimate the importance of software. Without a large selection of good software, the hardware cannot succeed. That's the reason for the failure of the Zune HD, and I predict the failure for the Surface.



If the RT has the same selection as what I'm seeing in the Windows 8 marketplace, it won't be failing due to a lack of software.

400 games have been added to the store since I last had this discussion. Then, I said it already had some 900+ titles to choose from. Now it's sitting at 1385. That's not half bad.

ReallyBigFeet
Nov 12, 2012, 04:57 PM
That's a very dramatic title.

"...right now and FOREVER."

Actually, it should have read FOREVER AND EVER to be truly dramatic.

SlCKB0Y
Nov 12, 2012, 08:38 PM
Seriously, 8gb's for a full Windows isntall plus Office isn't bad at all.


Are you kidding? This is insane! Android including all Google apps is 2GB at most.

My fresh install of mountain Lion on my Macbook Pro was 7GB and then office is another 1GB ...a full desktop OS is the same size as Windows RT.

It's terribly bloated.

----------

Because it's not a tablet OS, it's a full version of Windows. Compare it to OS X or Ubuntu, not iOS.

No, It's not. Windows RT is not Windows 8.

Besides, A full desktop install of Ubuntu including heaps of applications is less than 3GB last time I checked.

cnev3
Nov 12, 2012, 08:41 PM
If the RT has the same selection as what I'm seeing in the Windows 8 marketplace, it won't be failing due to a lack of software.

400 games have been added to the store since I last had this discussion. Then, I said it already had some 900+ titles to choose from. Now it's sitting at 1385. That's not half bad.

It's not the amount of apps, its the quality of them. They have to have software that is at least as good, if not better, than what the competition has, and also have software that offers things that arent being offered anywhere else.

At this stage in the game, a lot of people have a significant amount of money invested in their android or iOS apps, and all the updates coming to the apps they paid for.

When they jump ship to Windows RT, they need good reason to reinvest more money into new software.

I got burned by Windows Mobile in 2007, and Zune HD in 2009. I wont be an early adopter again. The surface has to thoroughly prove itself before I throw down the $600.

Liquorpuki
Nov 12, 2012, 08:42 PM
A lot of people underestimate the importance of software. Without a large selection of good software, the hardware cannot succeed. That's the reason for the failure of the Zune HD, and I predict the failure for the Surface.

Actually, if the Pro succeeds, it'll be primarily because of software. The fact you'll be able to run flagship desktop software on a tablet for once, not stripped down companion apps or third party solutions that require you to jump through hoops to import a proprietary file. This is a software solution iOS can't provide.

Personally I think the software on iOS is lacking. Large selection, yeah, but most of it is not good at all because of budget pricing and app store commoditization. Most of it is disposable $1-5 junk that I'd see in a cardboard sleeve in the bargain bin at Fry's if this was the early 2000's.

"Power users" who intend to use the laptop in ways which other tablets cannot provide, can only account for a small percentage, and won't be nearly enough to make the product a success. It has to sell millions for it to have a chance.

They can easily sell millions if the Pro expands the tablet market. Much like Amazon did a year ago by creating a budget market. A year later, the budget market by itself is something like 18 million units.

cnev3
Nov 12, 2012, 09:01 PM
Personally I think the software on iOS is lacking. Large selection, yeah, but most of it is not good at all because of budget pricing and app store commoditization. Most of it is disposable $1-5 junk that I'd see in a cardboard sleeve in the bargain bin at Fry's if this was the early 2000's.
.

The iOS app selection is lacking compared to what? The Google Play store? Quantity has nothing to do with it. Both app stores have way more apps than a person could sample in a lifetime. It's all about the quality of apps, and iOS has the best apps. I went from an iPhone, to an Android phone, and was disappointed to find that a lot of the best apps werent on Android, some of them were...

Swordigo, Chinatown Wars, Pocket Planes, Street Fighter Volt, Fairway Solitaire, Beat Hazard Ultra, Infinity Blade II, Bike Baron, Gesundheit, Monkey Island 1-3, Groove Coaster, Starfront Collision, Aralon, Rage HD, Matching with Friends, The World Ends With You, Scribblenauts, Avengers Initiative, Back to the Future, Battle Academy, Zuma's Revenge, Touchgrind, MVC3, New Puzzle Bobble, SF vs Tekken, Ultimate MC3, Rayman Jungle Run, Wild Blood, Walking Dead, Final Fantasy Tactics, Final Fantasy Chaos Rings, Bastion, Skate It, Chrono Trigger, NFS Shift 2, Iron Man 2, Prince of Persia, Tom Clancys Hawk, Mirrors Edge, Hero of Sparta, Phoenix Wright, Limbo, Rock Band, Tiny Wings, Zombie Gunship, Eternal Legacy, Ticket To Ride, Sid Miers Pirates, Sid Miers Civilization, Punch Quest

Also, for musicians, Android doesn't have an app that is comparable to Garage Band, and is missing a lot of staple music production apps like FL Studio, Animoog, Filtratron, DJay, Figure, Nano Studio, iKaossilator, DM1, Multitrack DAW, ReBirth, Ampkit, Tab Toolkit, and Amplitube. I also haven't found a video editing program that's as easy to use and has as many features as iMovie. I was also surprised to find that android doesn't have any apps that allow you to plug in your guitar, and use any kind of amp modeling, or recording.

Also, a lot of android apps are ports of iOS apps, and therefore have more issues. And often times an android version of a game isn't released for weeks or months after the iOS version.

I had a lot of issues with my android set, and the 4G service it was on, so i went back to iOS, and honestly, I can't think of any must have Android apps that weren't available for iOS. Can you?

Liquorpuki
Nov 12, 2012, 10:47 PM
The iOS app selection is lacking compared to what? The Google Play store? Quantity has nothing to do with it. Both app stores have way more apps than a person could sample in a lifetime. It's all about the quality of apps, and iOS has the best apps. I went from an iPhone, to an Android phone, and was disappointed to find that a lot of the best apps werent on Android, some of them were...

Swordigo, Chinatown Wars, Pocket Planes, Street Fighter Volt, Fairway Solitaire, Beat Hazard Ultra, Infinity Blade II, Bike Baron, Gesundheit, Monkey Island 1-3, Groove Coaster, Starfront Collision, Aralon, Rage HD, Matching with Friends, The World Ends With You, Scribblenauts, Avengers Initiative, Back to the Future, Battle Academy, Zuma's Revenge, Touchgrind, MVC3, New Puzzle Bobble, SF vs Tekken, Ultimate MC3, Rayman Jungle Run, Wild Blood, Walking Dead, Final Fantasy Tactics, Final Fantasy Chaos Rings, Bastion, Skate It, Chrono Trigger, NFS Shift 2, Iron Man 2, Prince of Persia, Tom Clancys Hawk, Mirrors Edge, Hero of Sparta, Phoenix Wright, Limbo, Rock Band, Tiny Wings, Zombie Gunship, Eternal Legacy, Ticket To Ride, Sid Miers Pirates, Sid Miers Civilization, Punch Quest

I'm not comparing iOS vs Android. I'm comparing mobile vs desktop. Mobile is a budget market because every mobile OS has adopted this dumb commoditized app store model where you have tens of thousands of apps competing for your attention on one storefront. So they undercut each other in a race to the bottom and now it's a huge budget market. Quality follows price. The Surface Pro breaks this standard by letting you put desktop quality software on it.

Also, for musicians, Android doesn't have an app that is comparable to Garage Band, and is missing a lot of staple music production apps like FL Studio, Animoog, Filtratron, DJay, Figure, Nano Studio, iKaossilator, DM1, Multitrack DAW, ReBirth, Ampkit, Tab Toolkit, and Amplitube. I also haven't found a video editing program that's as easy to use and has as many features as iMovie. I was also surprised to find that android doesn't have any apps that allow you to plug in your guitar, and use any kind of amp modeling, or recording.

On a Pro, I'll be able to run Presonus Studio One, which is the $400 DAW in my sig. I probably won't because I'd rather not power 8 MIDI devices off 1 USB port but the point is, I can use a desktop DAW instead of the $10 toy DAW's that populate iOS and Android if I want to. Garage Band, FL Studio, etc are all jokes to me even in desktop form btw. Far as DJay, the industry standard is Serato. You can't run that on an iPad which is why deejays still bring their Macbooks to gigs. You will be able to run it off a Surface Pro though

Technarchy
Nov 13, 2012, 04:57 AM
The 4:3 aspect ratio is just right for a tablet.

Irishman
Nov 13, 2012, 07:54 AM
The Surface Pro is going to kill it in the enterprise. With full Windows 8 / Outlook / legacy app support, docking stations that turn it into a full-fledged desktop, and remote IT administration... IT departments will flock to these when replacing computers in the workplace.

Yeah, you should start holding your breath now!

I find it unbelievable the degree to which people who ostensibly have no dog in the tablet fight are singing the praises of a device that doesn't exist yet! Those of us reading those posts can be forgiven for suspecting that some of these early posts are simply "pie in the sky" wishful thinking.

I know that there are unmet needs in the Enterprise space, otherwise there wouldn't be people clamoring for a tablet that is the best of both worlds. However, the success of the Surface Pro will be limited to Enterprise, it seems to me. Is there enough unfulfilled demand within Enterprise to not only make it a success both now, and 2-3 years down the line?

That depends on Microsoft and the market.

jmgregory1
Nov 13, 2012, 10:54 AM
Yeah, you should start holding your breath now!

I find it unbelievable the degree to which people who ostensibly have no dog in the tablet fight are singing the praises of a device that doesn't exist yet! Those of us reading those posts can be forgiven for suspecting that some of these early posts are simply "pie in the sky" wishful thinking.

I know that there are unmet needs in the Enterprise space, otherwise there wouldn't be people clamoring for a tablet that is the best of both worlds. However, the success of the Surface Pro will be limited to Enterprise, it seems to me. Is there enough unfulfilled demand within Enterprise to not only make it a success both now, and 2-3 years down the line?

That depends on Microsoft and the market.

I agree with you, but I'd go one step further. The idea that you can run any program on the (yet to be released) Pro MAY only be true when using the Pro as a laptop, not the tablet it is (or is supposed to be). I could be wrong, but I doubt any enterprise software is or has been designed to be driven by both touch and traditional keyboard. So you'll have a bunch of people (maybe) touting they can run some enterprise program on their great little 11" screen using the add-on keyboard with a usb wired mouse. Wow, that's great and quite the accomplishment. Way to go MS, you've created a...laptop where touch screen means little to nothing at all.

spinedoc77
Nov 13, 2012, 12:14 PM
I agree with you, but I'd go one step further. The idea that you can run any program on the (yet to be released) Pro MAY only be true when using the Pro as a laptop, not the tablet it is (or is supposed to be). I could be wrong, but I doubt any enterprise software is or has been designed to be driven by both touch and traditional keyboard. So you'll have a bunch of people (maybe) touting they can run some enterprise program on their great little 11" screen using the add-on keyboard with a usb wired mouse. Wow, that's great and quite the accomplishment. Way to go MS, you've created a...laptop where touch screen means little to nothing at all.

You are wrong, you can run ANY desktop program on the touchscreen. Whether you have it in laptop/dock mode, or whether you are on the subway holding it as a tablet.

jmgregory1
Nov 13, 2012, 12:43 PM
You are wrong, you can run ANY desktop program on the touchscreen. Whether you have it in laptop/dock mode, or whether you are on the subway holding it as a tablet.

Running a program and having a program work for the particular user interface are two different things. Just making your finger become the mouse pointer isn't making things work based upon a completely different user interface.

There is a reason why iOS apps have been designed to be different than their OSX counterparts, because things are different when you're using a tablet as a tablet. If you're using a tablet as a laptop, then sure, it will work just fine using a keyboard and mouse. But that's exactly my point with the Surface. MS wants it both ways and it doesn't work that way. Going forward, sure, you can re-write software to be hardware aware and change user interaction forms depending upon which input method you're using (I should patent this idea). But MS isn't there, just like Apple isn't there (and may never get there).

Just thinking about using the Surface now and every ad I've seen has shown it used in landscape mode. When holding a widescreen tablet, isn't that awkward typing on it, even if it has a split keyboard? And if you use it in portrait mode, you're forcing whatever you're working on to either need to be scrolled sideways to see it or have it scaled in what would seem like a very strange tall and thin format, just to make on-screen typing seem more natural.

If you really start to think about real world usage of the surface, I think you'll agree that MS did not do it's homework. You can disagree as that's your right, but I'm guessing that more people will see it as a product full of compromises and we're likely to see the Surface suffer the same fate as the Zune.

spinedoc77
Nov 13, 2012, 01:06 PM
Running a program and having a program work for the particular user interface are two different things. Just making your finger become the mouse pointer isn't making things work based upon a completely different user interface.

There is a reason why iOS apps have been designed to be different than their OSX counterparts, because things are different when you're using a tablet as a tablet. If you're using a tablet as a laptop, then sure, it will work just fine using a keyboard and mouse. But that's exactly my point with the Surface. MS wants it both ways and it doesn't work that way. Going forward, sure, you can re-write software to be hardware aware and change user interaction forms depending upon which input method you're using (I should patent this idea). But MS isn't there, just like Apple isn't there (and may never get there).

Just thinking about using the Surface now and every ad I've seen has shown it used in landscape mode. When holding a widescreen tablet, isn't that awkward typing on it, even if it has a split keyboard? And if you use it in portrait mode, you're forcing whatever you're working on to either need to be scrolled sideways to see it or have it scaled in what would seem like a very strange tall and thin format, just to make on-screen typing seem more natural.

If you really start to think about real world usage of the surface, I think you'll agree that MS did not do it's homework. You can disagree as that's your right, but I'm guessing that more people will see it as a product full of compromises and we're likely to see the Surface suffer the same fate as the Zune.

You are talking about a market and demand that has not been created yet. While I disagree and from experience can honestly say that touch controlling windows 8 in desktop programs is pretty good in the programs I've tried, programs like MS office, photoshop, etc., the market is still incredibly young and arguably not even born yet. With support and pushing we can only wait and see what Adobe, Microsoft, etc etc come up with. You can't judge the market today. When the very first iOS device came out you wouldn't have been there even before the hardware was released putting down the touch paradigm due to lack of software.

As for the other stuff, typing in a widescreen tablet is very intuitive because MS included the option for a split screen keyboard. But I agree the 11.6" screens like the one I have are a bit unwieldy, personally I like more of the 10.5" screen like the surface pro as a compromise. There will be different markets for the different form factors, which is awesome, if you want a wider tablet you can get it, if you want one more squared and smaller you can get that too. It's not much different than the ipad at all, arguably the longer height makes stylus text entry much better, that's if you opt for the widescreen.

As for MS and their homework, you are right in many senses. I think to tie together a touch tablet OS and the old desktop OS is obviously MUCH harder than anyone anticipated and certainly MS has not succeeded in doing this YET. Is it too little too soon? Maybe, only time will tell. But if you wanted to run a windows tablet ONLY in metro UI there is nothing stopping you from doing it, you never have to see the desktop if you don't want to. This is a work in progress, as we slowly see the "desktop" slip away and merge with what people expect these days, meaningful touch driven activity with the proper use of desktop type activity where it makes sense.

Irishman
Nov 13, 2012, 07:49 PM
You are wrong, you can run ANY desktop program on the touchscreen. Whether you have it in laptop/dock mode, or whether you are on the subway holding it as a tablet.

I'm pretty sure that won't be true of all that back catalog of Win XP, Vista, and Windows 7 software these guys are touting as being a big draw for this mythical Surface Pro.

spinedoc77
Nov 13, 2012, 08:53 PM
I'm pretty sure that won't be true of all that back catalog of Win XP, Vista, and Windows 7 software these guys are touting as being a big draw for this mythical Surface Pro.

Why? I can run all of that software just as much as if it was a win8 desktop.

Irishman
Nov 15, 2012, 10:48 AM
Why? I can run all of that software just as much as if it was a win8 desktop.

Why would you be able to?? Who's going to rewrite that older software to be touch-aware?? Has Microsoft commited to? Nope.

jsw
Nov 15, 2012, 11:18 AM
Why would you be able to?? Who's going to rewrite that older software to be touch-aware?? Has Microsoft commited to? Nope.
Touch aware? It just makes a touch a mouse-click. Easily done. And there's keyboard support.

Technarchy
Nov 15, 2012, 11:38 AM
For the price of the Surface Pro I think I'd prefer hybrid. Asus and Dell have hybrids with docks that give over 15 hours of battery life.

spinedoc77
Nov 15, 2012, 12:08 PM
Why would you be able to?? Who's going to rewrite that older software to be touch-aware?? Has Microsoft commited to? Nope.

Why? Office 13 has been written with touch in mind, it works incredibly well in that paradigm. Photoshop works incredibly well with a stylus and touch. You sound like someone 5 years ago saying no one would ever write touch based programs for iOS. The market is just being born, in time we will see developers follow along, it's a huge mistake to judge this market today, just as it was for those who judged iOS when it first came out.

Besides its not difficult to use the desktop versions in the least. And I still at least have the choice to run it as a laptop if I wanted to, a very powerful choice.

BaldiMac
Nov 15, 2012, 12:42 PM
Touch aware? It just makes a touch a mouse-click. Easily done. And there's keyboard support.

That's oversimplifying a bit! What's a right-click? What's a hover? What's the difference between a dragging an object and scrolling? What about when touch targets are too small because they were designed for a mouse?

There's a reason Microsoft added touch support to Office. There's a reason they developed Metro.

jsw
Nov 15, 2012, 12:56 PM
That's oversimplifying a bit! What's a right-click? What's a hover? What's the difference between a dragging an object and scrolling? What about when touch targets are too small because they were designed for a mouse?
I manage to Remote Desktop into my office Windows 7 PC from my iPhone without much issue.

I manage to Remote Desktop into my office Windows 7 PC from my Nexus 7 with a BT keyboard with mouse-stick and left and right buttons with no issue at all.

I can zoom in when need be, which isn't often.

I don't think it's oversimplifying at all. I completely grant that the apps I use aren't touch-aware, and in fact, many of them (Lotus Notes, anyone?) suck completely even when used with a keyboard and mouse at the computer. Nevertheless, all can be used, remotely, on the N7 tethered via my JB iPhone while outside wifi range.

I have full confidence in a Microsoft-created tablet with an attachable keyboard being able to do as well as a $199 tablet and a $30 BT keyboard.

BaldiMac
Nov 15, 2012, 01:57 PM
I don't think it's oversimplifying at all.

Than why didn't you answer any of my questions? I'm not saying that old applications are unusable with touch, but the quality of the experience will suffer greatly.

And, of course, bringing up a keyboard and mouse-stick is a different discussion altogether.

jsw
Nov 15, 2012, 02:01 PM
Than why didn't you answer any of my questions? I'm not saying that old applications are unusable with touch, but the quality of the experience will suffer greatly.

And, of course, bringing up a keyboard and mouse-stick is a different discussion altogether.
Yes, I did answer your questions, because a keyboard and mouse are viable options. Likewise, on my iPhone using iTeleport, I can simulate right clicks and so on, so, while it's not easy, even on that small screen, I can use Remote Desktop, so there's no way those apps will be unusable on the Surface.

Renzatic
Nov 15, 2012, 02:04 PM
Than why didn't you answer any of my questions? I'm not saying that old applications are unusable with touch, but the quality of the experience will suffer greatly.

From experience, I can tell you that it'll be a decent experience with a stylus, but there's no way in hell I'd want to use a desktop application with just my fingers. You're playing in an environment designed around a pixel perfect pointing device using something that's far from pixel perfect.

BaldiMac
Nov 15, 2012, 02:36 PM
Yes, I did answer your questions, because a keyboard and mouse are viable options.

:confused: But they weren't viable options for the current conversation. The whole point was that they won't work well when using the Surface as a tablet without the keyboard and mouse!

Likewise, on my iPhone using iTeleport, I can simulate right clicks and so on, so, while it's not easy, even on that small screen, I can use Remote Desktop, so there's no way those apps will be unusable on the Surface.

Hence the reason I said you oversimplified! :)

jsw
Nov 15, 2012, 02:53 PM
:confused: But they weren't viable options for the current conversation. The whole point was that they won't work well when using the Surface as a tablet without the keyboard and mouse!
But one of the main selling points of the Surface is that fancy attachable keyboard, stylus, etc. If it is serviceably doable on an iPhone, surely it is usable on a Surface.

BaldiMac
Nov 15, 2012, 03:09 PM
But one of the main selling points of the Surface is that fancy attachable keyboard, stylus, etc. If it is serviceably doable on an iPhone, surely it is usable on a Surface.

Again, the conversation that you entered into was about using legacy/enterprise apps on the surface without the keyboard.

It started around here.
http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?p=16287701#post16287701

And, again, I never claimed they are unusable.

spinedoc77
Nov 15, 2012, 03:31 PM
That's oversimplifying a bit! What's a right-click? What's a hover? What's the difference between a dragging an object and scrolling? What about when touch targets are too small because they were designed for a mouse?

There's a reason Microsoft added touch support to Office. There's a reason they developed Metro.

Overblown. You can do every single one of these things and they are not that difficult. Certainly I agree that legacy programs need to be improved, but this market has barely just been born. I've been using software to run my windows computer on my touch only iPad for years without any issues, the experience is quite good even without a stylus or mouse.

It's very important for programs to be updated, but even programs which are not updated will provide a meaningful experience, and once again you have the option to run it as a laptop or with a stylus. Contrast that with NOT even having the ability to even run those programs and you can see why it's a silly argument.

BaldiMac
Nov 15, 2012, 04:56 PM
You can do every single one of these things and they are not that difficult.

How?

"Not that difficult" isn't really the standard I'm shooting for. Legacy apps will be a poor experience on a Surface when using it without a keyboard/mouse. This really isn't a controversial position! :)

jsw
Nov 15, 2012, 04:56 PM
Again, the conversation that you entered into was about using legacy/enterprise apps on the surface without the keyboard.

It started around here.
http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?p=16287701#post16287701

And, again, I never claimed they are unusable.
I don't use a keyboard/mouse with the iPhone. It has a tiny screen. I'm still able to get work done, and what gets in my way isn't the touchscreen, it's the size of the touchscreen. On the N7, even without the KB, it's a lot more usable. On a larger tablet like my iPad 1st Gen, even more so, despite the lessor resolution.

Yes, it's not as good as touch-centric apps, but it's usable, and those legacy apps will work just fine without a keyboard, but, yes, better with one.

BaldiMac
Nov 15, 2012, 05:25 PM
Yes, it's not as good as touch-centric apps, but it's usable, and those legacy apps will work just fine without a keyboard, but, yes, better with one.

"Just fine" being relative to your expectations, and dependent on the app, of course. I think you are only considering a minimal subset of Windows software. For example, most games will suck.

But you still didn't address the questions I asked about mapping mouse events to touch. :)

jsw
Nov 15, 2012, 05:40 PM
"Just fine" being relative to your expectations, and dependent on the app, of course. I think you are only considering a minimal subset of Windows software. For example, most games will suck.

But you still didn't address the questions I asked about mapping mouse events to touch. :)
Touch by default is mouse move. Tap is left click. Right click can be two-finger tap, an option on a mouse widget that hovers where you touch, and so on.

These problems have all been addressed.

Again, touch-oriented apps will be better, but most of what most people do on most legacy apps doesn't involve a ton of right-clicking and delicate mouse work. Clearly, there are apps that will be a real pain to use, but the point is that even those apps are usable. Most work fine. Not having a scroll wheel sucks, but, again, we're talking about legacy apps, and developers will improve the ones where profit can be made by improving them. The fact Office will be touch-capable pretty much covers most users most of the time.

BaldiMac
Nov 15, 2012, 06:21 PM
Touch by default is mouse move. Tap is left click. Right click can be two-finger tap, an option on a mouse widget that hovers where you touch, and so on.

You are going to two finger tap on a target that was designed for a mouse pointer? Good luck. Again, all of these "solutions" have trade off when you are dealing with apps not designed for touch.

These problems have all been addressed.

Or some of them have been addressed poorly. You still ignored the other two issues.

Again, touch-oriented apps will be better, but most of what most people do on most legacy apps doesn't involve a ton of right-clicking and delicate mouse work. Clearly, there are apps that will be a real pain to use, but the point is that even those apps are usable. Most work fine. Not having a scroll wheel sucks, but, again, we're talking about legacy apps, and developers will improve the ones where profit can be made by improving them. The fact Office will be touch-capable pretty much covers most users most of the time.

Again, you are arguing a strawman. Most of what you are saying here is exactly my point. The touch experience for legacy apps will be poor in a lot of cases.

jsw
Nov 15, 2012, 06:32 PM
You are going to two finger tap on a target that was designed for a mouse pointer? Good luck. Again, all of these "solutions" have trade off when you are dealing with apps not designed for touch.

Or some of them have been addressed poorly. You still ignored the other two issues.

Again, you are arguing a strawman. Most of what you are saying here is exactly my point. The touch experience for legacy apps will be poor in a lot of cases.
I'm not ignoring your issues at all. I admit that using a tablet without a keyboard - and I don't see why you'd be using a Surface without a keyboard, but whatever - isn't as good as using a computer with a monitor and keyboard. However, in my experience, in most cases, it's fine. Not poor. Fine. In a select few cherry-picked cases, yes, it will be unpleasant. But not for most people most of the time, and it's not like people will be using the Surface purely and solely to run legacy Windows apps. So, again, I don't see the point.

Most day-to-day apps will be touch-enabled soon enough (Office, browsers, email). Most of the remaining apps will be perfectly usable, just not as usable. A select few apps will be nearly unusable, but not the apps used by most people on Windows.

Using a tablet inherently involves tradeoffs. Any tablet, and nearly any app that requires text input. This is not a Surface-specific thing, and the Surface will be the best tablet for Windows apps, anywhere, and given that an Apple iPad is perfectly usable with Remote Desktop, a Surface will be a non-issue, or at least no more of an issue than any other tablet.

spinedoc77
Nov 15, 2012, 08:18 PM
How?

"Not that difficult" isn't really the standard I'm shooting for. Legacy apps will be a poor experience on a Surface when using it without a keyboard/mouse. This really isn't a controversial position! :)

Sounds like you personally have difficulty, but others do not. Once again its about choice. I wouldn't term it poor at all, it's very doable. I'm just having a hard time seeing what's so difficult. You keep saying things like mapping mouse input to touch is a poor experience. I highly beg to differ, it's quite easy to simply touch something, arguably easier than to abstract a layer in clicking a tool called a mouse. You can touch and drag, I so it all the time in file explorer for example. Long touch to right click. I'm having a hard time believing you are really assigning difficulty to these actions.

BaldiMac
Nov 16, 2012, 08:17 AM
I'm not ignoring your issues at all.

And, yet, you didn't offer a solution.

I admit that using a tablet without a keyboard - and I don't see why you'd be using a Surface without a keyboard, but whatever - isn't as good as using a computer with a monitor and keyboard.

Then why not buy a laptop! :D

However, in my experience, in most cases, it's fine. Not poor. Fine. In a select few cherry-picked cases, yes, it will be unpleasant.

And your experience would be "a select few cherry-picked cases." There are hundred of thousands of legacy windows apps, and a whole lot of them are going to work poorly on a Surface when using it as a tablet without keyboard/mouse.

There is a reason Windows has failed on tablets for years. And there is a reason that Microsoft has updated Office to work better with touch. And there is a reason that they introduced Metro as the primary interface for touch input. Playing that off likes it's irrelevant is missing the forest for the trees.

Sounds like you personally have difficulty, but others do not. Once again its about choice. I wouldn't term it poor at all, it's very doable. I'm just having a hard time seeing what's so difficult. You keep saying things like mapping mouse input to touch is a poor experience. I highly beg to differ, it's quite easy to simply touch something, arguably easier than to abstract a layer in clicking a tool called a mouse. You can touch and drag, I so it all the time in file explorer for example. Long touch to right click. I'm having a hard time believing you are really assigning difficulty to these actions.

You wouldn't have a hard time if you actually thought about the questions that I asked. How does a long touch to right-click work in games? Not very well for a lot of them. What does that mean for controls that require a click and hold with a mouse? This isn't subjective. Again, you are thinking about the situations where touch would be easy, instead of the ones where touch would be hard or confusing.

jsw
Nov 16, 2012, 08:30 AM
And, yet, you didn't offer a solution.I don't see a problem requiring one.
Then why not buy a laptop! :DIt won't have a touchscreen. And there will be a lot of touch-enabled apps for the surface.
And your experience would be "a select few cherry-picked cases." There are hundred of thousands of legacy windows apps, and a whole lot of them are going to work poorly on a Surface when using it as a tablet without keyboard/mouse.Office, email, and browsers are not "a select few cherry-picked cases." They represent the vast and overwhelming majority of use cases for most users. The fact that there are hundreds of thousands of legacy apps is irrelevant for several reasons:

Most users don't use them.
Those that do, can. We've gone over that. If you desperately need to use some legacy app, you can attach the keyboard and/or use the stylus. The fact you can do so doesn't mean the tablet is useless without doing so, just not all that useful for some legacy apps.
The fact you can at least use legacy apps effectively adds those hundreds of thousands of legacy apps into MS's app store, in the same sense that the iPad inherited lower-res iPhone apps. Is the user experience great? No. But they at least can use them, unlike on any other tablet except via Remote Desktop.
The apps that most people will want to use but which are horrifically legacy will be either ported or replaced by similar touch-enabled apps, because that's how capitalism tends to work. Demand will cause supply.


There is a reason Windows has failed on tablets for years. And there is a reason that Microsoft has updated Office to work better with touch. And there is a reason that they introduced Metro as the primary interface for touch input. Playing that off likes it's irrelevant is missing the forest for the trees.
The reason is that there are a crapload of touch-enabled iOS and Android apps, and people buy tablets from Apple and Google partners because of that. Now, all the cool apps will be touch-enabled on the Surface and people will be able to use legacy apps. Score for MS.
You wouldn't have a hard time if you actually thought about the questions that I asked. How does a long touch to right-click work in games? Not very well for a lot of them. What does that mean for controls that require a click and hold with a mouse? This isn't subjective. Again, you are thinking about the situations where touch would be easy, instead of the ones where touch would be hard or confusing.
Have you ever used Remote Desktop on a tablet? It really isn't all that confusing. And legacy games? Really? The fact that some legacy games won't play well isn't going to sink the Surface. People just won't play them, just like most gamers don't play legacy games now.

You seem to be stuck in a belief that the Surface will just be a tablet form of Windows with only legacy apps on it and no way to effectively use them. Instead, it will have all the most-commonly used apps in touch-enabled form, tons of games (you seriously think the game developers won't develop for MS?), etc. AND there will be all the legacy apps as an added bonus to ease the transition.

I would freaking love to be able to run all my OS X apps on an iPad. But I can't. Were I an MS user (other than at work), I'd be thrilled at the prospects of the Surface Pro. Because, 99% of the time when I didn't need legacy apps, I'd have a lightweight tablet. And when I did, I'd still have a lightweight tablet - but one that could run legacy apps.

BaldiMac
Nov 16, 2012, 08:42 AM
I don't see a problem requiring one.
It won't have a touchscreen. And there will be a lot of touch-enabled apps for the surface.
Office, email, and browsers are not "a select few cherry-picked cases." They represent the vast and overwhelming majority of use cases for most users. The fact that there are hundreds of thousands of legacy apps is irrelevant for several reasons:

Most users don't use them.
Those that do, can. We've gone over that. If you desperately need to use some legacy app, you can attach the keyboard and/or use the stylus. The fact you can do so doesn't mean the tablet is useless without doing so, just not all that useful for some legacy apps.
The fact you can at least use legacy apps effectively adds those hundreds of thousands of legacy apps into MS's app store, in the same sense that the iPad inherited lower-res iPhone apps. Is the user experience great? No. But they at least can use them, unlike on any other tablet except via Remote Desktop.
The apps that most people will want to use but which are horrifically legacy will be either ported or replaced by similar touch-enabled apps, because that's how capitalism tends to work. Demand will cause supply.


The reason is that there are a crapload of touch-enabled iOS and Android apps, and people buy tablets from Apple and Google partners because of that. Now, all the cool apps will be touch-enabled on the Surface and people will be able to use legacy apps. Score for MS.

Have you ever used Remote Desktop on a tablet? It really isn't all that confusing. And legacy games? Really? The fact that some legacy games won't play well isn't going to sink the Surface. People just won't play them, just like most gamers don't play legacy games now.

You seem to be stuck in a belief that the Surface will just be a tablet form of Windows with only legacy apps on it and no way to effectively use them. Instead, it will have all the most-commonly used apps in touch-enabled form, tons of games (you seriously think the game developers won't develop for MS?), etc. AND there will be all the legacy apps as an added bonus to ease the transition.

I would freaking love to be able to run all my OS X apps on an iPad. But I can't. Were I an MS user (other than at work), I'd be thrilled at the prospects of the Surface Pro. Because, 99% of the time when I didn't need legacy apps, I'd have a lightweight tablet. And when I did, I'd still have a lightweight tablet - but one that could run legacy apps.

You've completely lost track of the point we were discussing. :)

jsw
Nov 16, 2012, 08:45 AM
You've completely lost track of the point we were discussing. :)
Please remind me: what was that?

Edit: sorry, not being rude. I thought the point was that the Surface is or is not a terrible tablet.

spinedoc77
Nov 16, 2012, 08:59 AM
And, yet, you didn't offer a solution.



Then why not buy a laptop! :D



And your experience would be "a select few cherry-picked cases." There are hundred of thousands of legacy windows apps, and a whole lot of them are going to work poorly on a Surface when using it as a tablet without keyboard/mouse.

There is a reason Windows has failed on tablets for years. And there is a reason that Microsoft has updated Office to work better with touch. And there is a reason that they introduced Metro as the primary interface for touch input. Playing that off likes it's irrelevant is missing the forest for the trees.



You wouldn't have a hard time if you actually thought about the questions that I asked. How does a long touch to right-click work in games? Not very well for a lot of them. What does that mean for controls that require a click and hold with a mouse? This isn't subjective. Again, you are thinking about the situations where touch would be easy, instead of the ones where touch would be hard or confusing.

I'm still having a very hard time seeing your point. I'm sorry I don't have time to play very many games on my tablet, I'm quite jealous that you do. ;) Certainly games are a big selling point on the ipad, but 1) the market is still very young for microsoft, they have a lot of incredible IPs like Halo and if they are smart they will capitalize on them, and 2) gaming SUCKS IMO on the ipad, games like first person shooters for example control horribly without a physical game pad, what's your point? Sure the bedazzled stuff works just fine, but then it works just fine on windows as well, touch is touch. Are you saying that Doom runs better on the ipad than on a windows tablet, because I'm here to break it to you that it doesn't. While you are at it can you explain how to do a right click on the ipad ??! Nah, it's a non issue.

This is where I'm completely confused though. You have the SAME exact limitations on the ipad, last I checked it was a touch centric device, in fact it is ONLY a touch device from the factory. It's very odd that you are criticizing the windows tablet because you don't feel that desktop legacy programs will translate well to a touch interface, which is your opinion and you are well entitled to it, but to that I say so what? You can run a windows tablet virtually EXACTLY like an ipad, using touch only programs and never ever even look at the desktop or a single legacy program, so what's your point? For others such as myself I relish the fact that I now have CHOICE, if I have a proprietary windows program (hint, virtually all professional medical programs are windows proprietary) I can flip over to desktop mode and use them, I have zero option to do that on the ipad. You are criticizing something you never have to use if you don't want to in favor of not even having that choice, senseless. That, of course, is after a simple difference of preference. I don't have ANY difficulty running a legacy program in touch mode on my windows tablet, but once again I have the choice to dock my tablet and run it as a laptop, something which is poorly implemented and shoehorned into ipad but quite natural on a windows tablet. I'm still not seeing where you find touching something onscreen versus clicking a mouse is that difficult, you raise your finger, you touch the screen where you would normally touch the mouse, your hold your finger if you want to right click, etc etc, seriously it's not rocket science.

No one is arguing that Microsoft is making important steps to integrate its OS and programs better with Touch, and no one is arguing that legacy programs will not benefit from being updated to have touch elements in them. So you see these programs being improved, just like with iOS the programs will catch up. MS failed at the tablet market due to the hardware being crappy, slow hardware, thick and unwieldy, hot, fans, horrid battery life now that doesn't exist anymore, the hardware is on par with the ipads of the world. Software was certainly a big factor as well, and iOS showed us which direction to take, but IMO we went to far in that direction. I don't need a huge green GO button in every program I want to work with, as I don't need to work on a photoshop project on the subway either. Photoshop, for example, will never be utilized to its full potential on the ipad, you realize this when you have the incredible experience of using photoshop on a windows tablet with a pressure sensitive stylus, absolutely amazing.

I respect your opinion and it's a fascinating conversation, but at some point I have to wonder if you are just having some fun and trolling on purpose for a response because it just doesn't make much sense to me.

BaldiMac
Nov 16, 2012, 09:09 AM
Please remind me: what was that?

:D Simply that I think you oversimplified when you claimed that it was easy to give legacy apps on a Surface touch support by mapping a tap to a mouse-click.

I provided several examples where mapping touch support can be difficult or confusing on legacy controls.

Here is another one. You have a legacy app with several objects on a canvas. To select a subset of the objects, you would normally draw a selection box with a mouse. How do you do that with touch if the app isn't updated? Tap and drag would scroll the canvas, not create a selection box.

Nothing about legacy apps being useless. Nothing about the Surface being useless. Nothing about legacy apps being the only thing available on a Surface (Where did you get that from?!?).

I'm still having a very hard time seeing your point. I'm sorry I don't have time to play very many games on my tablet, I'm quite jealous that you do. ;) Certainly games are a big selling point on the ipad, but 1) the market is still very young for microsoft, they have a lot of incredible IPs like Halo and if they are smart they will capitalize on them, and 2) gaming SUCKS IMO on the ipad, games like first person shooters for example control horribly without a physical game pad, what's your point? Sure the bedazzled stuff works just fine, but then it works just fine on windows as well, touch is touch. Are you saying that Doom runs better on the ipad than on a windows tablet, because I'm here to break it to you that it doesn't. While you are at it can you explain how to do a right click on the ipad ??! Nah, it's a non issue.

This is where I'm completely confused though. You have the SAME exact limitations on the ipad, last I checked it was a touch centric device, in fact it is ONLY a touch device from the factory. It's very odd that you are criticizing the windows tablet because you don't feel that desktop legacy programs will translate well to a touch interface, which is your opinion and you are well entitled to it, but to that I say so what? You can run a windows tablet virtually EXACTLY like an ipad, using touch only programs and never ever even look at the desktop or a single legacy program, so what's your point? For others such as myself I relish the fact that I now have CHOICE, if I have a proprietary windows program (hint, virtually all professional medical programs are windows proprietary) I can flip over to desktop mode and use them, I have zero option to do that on the ipad. You are criticizing something you never have to use if you don't want to in favor of not even having that choice, senseless. That, of course, is after a simple difference of preference. I don't have ANY difficulty running a legacy program in touch mode on my windows tablet, but once again I have the choice to dock my tablet and run it as a laptop, something which is poorly implemented and shoehorned into ipad but quite natural on a windows tablet. I'm still not seeing where you find touching something onscreen versus clicking a mouse is that difficult, you raise your finger, you touch the screen where you would normally touch the mouse, your hold your finger if you want to right click, etc etc, seriously it's not rocket science.

No one is arguing that Microsoft is making important steps to integrate its OS and programs better with Touch, and no one is arguing that legacy programs will not benefit from being updated to have touch elements in them. So you see these programs being improved, just like with iOS the programs will catch up. MS failed at the tablet market due to the hardware being crappy, slow hardware, thick and unwieldy, hot, fans, horrid battery life now that doesn't exist anymore, the hardware is on par with the ipads of the world. Software was certainly a big factor as well, and iOS showed us which direction to take, but IMO we went to far in that direction. I don't need a huge green GO button in every program I want to work with, as I don't need to work on a photoshop project on the subway either. Photoshop, for example, will never be utilized to its full potential on the ipad, you realize this when you have the incredible experience of using photoshop on a windows tablet with a pressure sensitive stylus, absolutely amazing.

I respect your opinion and it's a fascinating conversation, but at some point I have to wonder if you are just having some fun and trolling on purpose for a response because it just doesn't make much sense to me.

See the explanation above about what I was actually discussing.

As far as your claim, that you have "the SAME exact limitations on the ipad", you are missing the difference between an app designed for touch and a legacy app on the Surface that is not.

I did not criticize the Surface at all. Just the ease of use of some legacy apps when using it as a tablet.

jsw
Nov 16, 2012, 10:18 AM
I did not criticize the Surface at all. Just the ease of use of some legacy apps when using it as a tablet.
If truly all we are arguing about is that some legacy apps will be difficult to use on a tablet, then I concede.

spinedoc77
Nov 16, 2012, 11:36 AM
:D Simply that I think you oversimplified when you claimed that it was easy to give legacy apps on a Surface touch support by mapping a tap to a mouse-click.

I provided several examples where mapping touch support can be difficult or confusing on legacy controls.

Here is another one. You have a legacy app with several objects on a canvas. To select a subset of the objects, you would normally draw a selection box with a mouse. How do you do that with touch if the app isn't updated? Tap and drag would scroll the canvas, not create a selection box.

Nothing about legacy apps being useless. Nothing about the Surface being useless. Nothing about legacy apps being the only thing available on a Surface (Where did you get that from?!?).



See the explanation above about what I was actually discussing.

As far as your claim, that you have "the SAME exact limitations on the ipad", you are missing the difference between an app designed for touch and a legacy app on the Surface that is not.

I did not criticize the Surface at all. Just the ease of use of some legacy apps when using it as a tablet.

OK so it's just a degree of difficulty that we disagree on. You think it's difficult enough to dissuade some consumers from using legacy programs, I disagree and find using legacy programs quite simple on a windows tablet. Possibly chalked up to our different uses, I don't play many games, and use my windows tablet to intake patients, fill out forms/history, document encounters, communicate this with other providers electronically, write and edit reports collaboratively over the net, etc. For personal I use photoshop a lot, surf the internet, etc. All of these over legacy programs, even surfing the internet is done on the desktop IE10. Piece of cake every single one of them, and MUCH easier and more productive than any other tablet out there. But once again, seems we differ on our uses of a tablet. I see you are not disparaging the legacy programs, but I'm still confused why waste energy on arguing the degree of difficulty, it's something that's pretty individual to the user. Seems like a lot of work to just argue a small shade of grey.

As far as the ipad being more limited, I think you are missing the point, or maybe it's just a difference of our user habits. The touch apps on the ipad 1) have the same limitations as a touch app on any other OS, and 2) have LESS functionality than a desktop legacy program on a windows tablet, not more as you seem to think. The ipad was not the answer to touch input, it was a stop gap on the road to having truly mobile tablet computing, but it's input system is too lacking and primitive leading to programs which resemble toy versions of the desktop program. The answer is not the legacy program itself either, but it is certainly not the ipad version, common sense would dictate that the solution is somewhere in the middle but probably closer to the desktop side. It really isn't difficult to use, remote desktop is pretty insane for example, I loved running a full windows PC on my ipad before the windows tablets came out and would have used them in my practice if it wasn't for privacy concerns in transmitting sensitive data.

You bring out silly stuff like drawing a box on a canvas, you do know this is possible with touch, for example in photoshop you can draw a box in image editing, touch with 2 fingers and spread them apart to define the box and you can resize it afterwards as well. This can also be done to select multiple files in file explorer just to give another example. I figured examples would be better than just something abstract like what you described. So that's resolved, right click is resolved, dragging is resolved, heck even mouse hovering is resolved with the digitized stylus (something the ipad will never resolve) which one is next?

It just seems that people without foresight keep bringing up the same things about the windows tablets which are things that are being constantly worked on, improved, etc. Heck the Pro version of the Surface isn't even due out for another 2 1/2 months, we've seen the incredible interface enhancements MS has made to Office for example, and they still can't see that software developers will take us to a place where the interface makes sense in the near future.

spinedoc77
Nov 16, 2012, 12:05 PM
That's oversimplifying a bit! What's a right-click? What's a hover? What's the difference between a dragging an object and scrolling? What about when touch targets are too small because they were designed for a mouse?

There's a reason Microsoft added touch support to Office. There's a reason they developed Metro.

Here is your original complaint. Right click is a long touch hold, drag an object by touch hold with one finger and move it, scroll with 2 fingers, there are no touch targets which are too small, even on my ipad I can hit a tiny tiny little link/target with very good precision (you can also zoom THEN touch, doh?), hover can be done with a digitized screen and stylus.

Did I cover your initial concerns or did I miss any?

BaldiMac
Nov 16, 2012, 01:53 PM
Here is your original complaint. Right click is a long touch hold, drag an object by touch hold with one finger and move it, scroll with 2 fingers, there are no touch targets which are too small, even on my ipad I can hit a tiny tiny little link/target with very good precision (you can also zoom THEN touch, doh?), hover can be done with a digitized screen and stylus.

Did I cover your initial concerns or did I miss any?

Sigh. As I responded to before, all of those mappings will have issues with different legacy apps. For example, when right-clicking does something other than bring up a context menu. Photoshop for example.

As far as no target being too small, I don't know what to say. Try a color picker in Photoshop. (Honest question. You implied that you would be able to easily zoom in on the interface. How would you do that on a Surface? Obviously, pinch to zoom would zoom content and not the interface, right?)

Again, you are looking at the situations where it will make sense, I was commenting that there are situations where it will not. You seem to think that they will all work like they do on an iPad. They will not. I'd bet on lots of problems, particularly when apps use non-standard controls and other elements.

You bring out silly stuff like drawing a box on a canvas, you do know this is possible with touch, for example in photoshop you can draw a box in image editing, touch with 2 fingers and spread them apart to define the box and you can resize it afterwards as well.

That's not what I said at all. I was talking about creating a selection box to select multiple objects. Not drawing a rectangle.

Here is how you do it in the iOS version of pages.
http://support.apple.com/kb/PH3559?viewlocale=en_US

That won't work in a legacy app.

This can also be done to select multiple files in file explorer just to give another example.

How?

I see you are not disparaging the legacy programs, but I'm still confused why waste energy on arguing the degree of difficulty, it's something that's pretty individual to the user. Seems like a lot of work to just argue a small shade of grey.

Because I originally made a simple statement that continues to be mischaracterized. :)

spinedoc77
Nov 16, 2012, 02:43 PM
Because I originally made a simple statement that continues to be mischaracterized. :)

No I think it's just a simple difference of how we use our devices, that's all. I just don't see it being the end of the world using legacy programs, I see it as being quite easy. But I addressed the particular ones you had an issue with, they are quite useable in legacy programs.

As I said though, in the end the developers will move closer to the middle. But for the programs which don't get updated the big deal is choice, I'll never have that choice on an ipad to use those programs. The ones I can use are watered down and toy like. FYI Pages is not that simple or intuitive to use IMO.

BaldiMac
Nov 16, 2012, 03:59 PM
No I think it's just a simple difference of how we use our devices, that's all.

Not what I said.

I just don't see it being the end of the world using legacy programs, I see it as being quite easy.

Never said it was the end of the world. Never said it will affect all or even most of them.

But I addressed the particular ones you had an issue with, they are quite useable in legacy programs.

No, you didn't. You just picked easy examples that will work okay and ignored the problem cases.

As I said though, in the end the developers will move closer to the middle. But for the programs which don't get updated the big deal is choice, I'll never have that choice on an ipad to use those programs. The ones I can use are watered down and toy like. FYI Pages is not that simple or intuitive to use IMO.

Yep. That's your preference. Nothing to do with what I said. You want my argument to be that legacy apps are a problem for the Surface. It's not. I never said anything of the sort.

Liquorpuki
Nov 16, 2012, 04:14 PM
That won't work in a legacy app.

Then flip the kickstand, use the type cover, plug in a USB mouse.

You're arguing a moot point that some things won't work well or at all in tablet mode. That's pretty much a given. If they could, there'd be no need for the touch/type cover and that kickstand on the back. Instead, those things are selling points.

If the iPad could run legacy OS X apps, it would have the same exact problem. But Apple won't let you run legacy apps. And having the option to run legacy software, even if you have to rotate the tablet 180 degrees and prop the kickstand to use it, beats not having the option at all.

Renzatic
Nov 16, 2012, 04:46 PM
It's a moot point discussing how difficult legacy apps are going to be to use via touch. Wanna know why? I'll tell you...

It's because 99.864% of the people using legacy apps on a touchscreen device will be doing so with a stylus. A method of input supported in Windows for well over a decade now. It's one of the main reasons why the Surface Pro is going to come with one, because even MS knows you don't want to use desktop Photoshop with just your finger.

insimbi
Nov 16, 2012, 04:48 PM
even MS knows you don't want to use desktop Photoshop with just your finger.

That's what she said :D

Renzatic
Nov 16, 2012, 04:52 PM
olol ur mom

BaldiMac
Nov 16, 2012, 04:54 PM
some things won't work well or at all in tablet mode. That's pretty much a given.

That was exactly my point. :) Not sure why it was so controversial.

spinedoc77
Nov 16, 2012, 07:10 PM
Not what I said.



Never said it was the end of the world. Never said it will affect all or even most of them.



No, you didn't. You just picked easy examples that will work okay and ignored the problem cases.



Yep. That's your preference. Nothing to do with what I said. You want my argument to be that legacy apps are a problem for the Surface. It's not. I never said anything of the sort.

That's oversimplifying a bit! What's a right-click? What's a hover? What's the difference between a dragging an object and scrolling? What about when touch targets are too small because they were designed for a mouse?

Your words, not mine, which I addressed, not "easy" ones, rather the ones you specifically complained about.

I also never said, that you said it was a difference in use patterns, that's what I said, keep up. You may not have said end of the world, but you made it pretty clear when YOU said:

Legacy apps will be a poor experience on a Surface when using it without a keyboard/mouse
Again, all of these "solutions" have trade off when you are dealing with apps not designed for touch.
The touch experience for legacy apps will be poor in a lot of cases.
There are hundred of thousands of legacy windows apps, and a whole lot of them are going to work poorly on a Surface when using it as a tablet without keyboard/mouse.

That's only one page of your comments, I was too lazy to go through the other pages. Sure I won't use "end of the world" but it sure seems pretty appropriate. Sounds to me like you are saying specifically that legacy apps will be a problem for the surface, feel free to clarify your position, but based on your own words you can see how others thought you took that position.

At the end of the day if you are saying that some things won't work well in tablet mode, well then thanks Captain Obvious. I don't think we needed all this discussion in that case, the sky is blue too. The entire point of the surface, MS entire strategy is that if you need a laptop you can just stand up the surface, flip open the keyboard and voila, that's just a huge point to miss, but you know you can look up the Click commercials where they spend 60 minutes continuously clicking the keyboards onto the surface.

Irishman
Nov 16, 2012, 07:41 PM
Why? Office 13 has been written with touch in mind, it works incredibly well in that paradigm. Photoshop works incredibly well with a stylus and touch. You sound like someone 5 years ago saying no one would ever write touch based programs for iOS. The market is just being born, in time we will see developers follow along, it's a huge mistake to judge this market today, just as it was for those who judged iOS when it first came out.

Besides its not difficult to use the desktop versions in the least. And I still at least have the choice to run it as a laptop if I wanted to, a very powerful choice.

Being forced to buy an extra $130 keyboard to be able to use XP-vintage programs not written by MS or Adobe is not a win. It's a kludge.

What I'm talking about are the hundreds of small developers who wrote programs people still use, some of which are no longer supporting those titles because they're out of business. What are the odds that this rosey Surface Pro picture you paint will come to pass with them?

I'll calculate it for you! Slim to none.

And comparing this to iPad when it was new is not applicable, as you didn't have people telling you that the real compelling apps were "coming soon"! Apple made sure - because of that walled garden some love to hate - that there were compelling apps that made patently obvious why the iPad was useful.

spinedoc77
Nov 16, 2012, 07:50 PM
Being forced to buy an extra $130 keyboard to be able to use XP-vintage programs not written by MS or Adobe is not a win. It's a kludge.

What I'm talking about are the hundreds of small developers who wrote programs people still use, some of which are no longer supporting those titles because they're out of business. What are the odds that this rosey Surface Pro picture you paint will come to pass with them?

I'll calculate it for you! Slim to none.

So what? I still have the choice to use the kludgy program, that's a win for me. Some of my medical programs are old XP type programs which I'm forced to use, that takes away a lot of options on the ipad. A lot of companies when faced with the astronomical cost of rewriting all their software will opt to keep the old versions for years, yes this sucks but for the worker caught in this having a windows desktop will be a godsend. Plus who is forcing you to buy a keyboard? Do YOU need to use those xp programs? If you need to use them then you will want a keyboard anyhow, just as if you want to use Pages on the ipad you are going to want a keyboard, I don't understand what your point is?

What you are talking about, the hundreds of small programs which will never be updated to work on anything but windows desktop, this is a strength, not a weakness as you describe. It means people can still run these programs for whatever reason they need to.

As I keep repeating, in the end it's all about choice. If not a single person ever used the desktop on MS products then so what? You can still use it as a "dumb tablet" like the ipad, at that point it just becomes a popularity contest and while Apple has a huge following I think people heavily underestimate Microsoft.

Night Spring
Nov 16, 2012, 08:54 PM
As I keep repeating, in the end it's all about choice. If not a single person ever used the desktop on MS products then so what? You can still use it as a "dumb tablet" like the ipad, at that point it just becomes a popularity contest and while Apple has a huge following I think people heavily underestimate Microsoft.

I think the problem is that support for legacy desktop mode comes with a cost. For instance, the Surface Pro is thicker and heavier than Surface RT. And it's been reported that even on Surface RT, the OS + Office take up nearly 16 GB of storage. And the side of the Surface where the keyboard cover attaches is uneven, making that side uncomfortable to grip when using it without the cover. All these factors detract from using the Surface as a tablet, for the sake of supporting legacy desktop programs. It might be great for people who need to use such programs, but as for those who don't need such programs, they end up paying the cost for having a choice without getting any benefits. So weighing the cost/benefits, those people would likely pick an iPad or Amdroid tablet over a Surface.

So choice is good. I, for one, am glad I'm not stuck with just the Surface.

Irishman
Nov 16, 2012, 09:00 PM
I don't see a problem requiring one.
It won't have a touchscreen. And there will be a lot of touch-enabled apps for the surface.
Office, email, and browsers are not "a select few cherry-picked cases." They represent the vast and overwhelming majority of use cases for most users. The fact that there are hundreds of thousands of legacy apps is irrelevant for several reasons:

Most users don't use them.
Those that do, can. We've gone over that. If you desperately need to use some legacy app, you can attach the keyboard and/or use the stylus. The fact you can do so doesn't mean the tablet is useless without doing so, just not all that useful for some legacy apps.
The fact you can at least use legacy apps effectively adds those hundreds of thousands of legacy apps into MS's app store, in the same sense that the iPad inherited lower-res iPhone apps. Is the user experience great? No. But they at least can use them, unlike on any other tablet except via Remote Desktop.
The apps that most people will want to use but which are horrifically legacy will be either ported or replaced by similar touch-enabled apps, because that's how capitalism tends to work. Demand will cause supply.


The reason is that there are a crapload of touch-enabled iOS and Android apps, and people buy tablets from Apple and Google partners because of that. Now, all the cool apps will be touch-enabled on the Surface and people will be able to use legacy apps. Score for MS.

Have you ever used Remote Desktop on a tablet? It really isn't all that confusing. And legacy games? Really? The fact that some legacy games won't play well isn't going to sink the Surface. People just won't play them, just like most gamers don't play legacy games now.

You seem to be stuck in a belief that the Surface will just be a tablet form of Windows with only legacy apps on it and no way to effectively use them. Instead, it will have all the most-commonly used apps in touch-enabled form, tons of games (you seriously think the game developers won't develop for MS?), etc. AND there will be all the legacy apps as an added bonus to ease the transition.

I would freaking love to be able to run all my OS X apps on an iPad. But I can't. Were I an MS user (other than at work), I'd be thrilled at the prospects of the Surface Pro. Because, 99% of the time when I didn't need legacy apps, I'd have a lightweight tablet. And when I did, I'd still have a lightweight tablet - but one that could run legacy apps.

I just saw a touchscreen capable Ultrabook at Best Buy the other day, running Windows 8.

Your problem has been solved.

Windows 8 for Surface Pro has no reason for existing, according to your above use cases!

spinedoc77
Nov 17, 2012, 04:19 AM
I think the problem is that support for legacy desktop mode comes with a cost. For instance, the Surface Pro is thicker and heavier than Surface RT. And it's been reported that even on Surface RT, the OS + Office take up nearly 16 GB of storage. And the side of the Surface where the keyboard cover attaches is uneven, making that side uncomfortable to grip when using it without the cover. All these factors detract from using the Surface as a tablet, for the sake of supporting legacy desktop programs. It might be great for people who need to use such programs, but as for those who don't need such programs, they end up paying the cost for having a choice without getting any benefits. So weighing the cost/benefits, those people would likely pick an iPad or Amdroid tablet over a Surface.

So choice is good. I, for one, am glad I'm not stuck with just the Surface.

You are right about the Surface Pro, in its current iteration it may be a niche product due to its size and battery life, although we will see if MS surprises us. The true game changer IMO is the Atom processor, these units (like the one I'm typing into currently) are amazing, FULL windows desktop and legacy program support with battery life just as good as the ipad, same thinness and form factor, and best of all same price. If MS can sort out there unfinished OS I think people are going to see that choice of being on a toy OS versus a real OS and some of them are going to opt for windows. It's all about choice, and I, for one, am incredibly glad I am not stuck just with iOS.

----------

I just saw a touchscreen capable Ultrabook at Best Buy the other day, running Windows 8.

Your problem has been solved.

Windows 8 for Surface Pro has no reason for existing, according to your above use cases!

Yes the touchscreen laptops are amazing, the touchscreen desktops are amazing as well, they give that Minority Report feel. But you are mistaken, they don't solve my problem. I need a tablet on the road, and a laptop at home but I need them BOTH to run the OS which runs my programs. So I totally don't get your connection, I think you are severely misunderstanding the difference between a laptop and a tablet and the surface strategy.

Irishman
Nov 17, 2012, 05:34 AM
You are right about the Surface Pro, in its current iteration it may be a niche product due to its size and battery life, although we will see if MS surprises us. The true game changer IMO is the Atom processor, these units (like the one I'm typing into currently) are amazing, FULL windows desktop and legacy program support with battery life just as good as the ipad, same thinness and form factor, and best of all same price. If MS can sort out there unfinished OS I think people are going to see that choice of being on a toy OS versus a real OS and some of them are going to opt for windows. It's all about choice, and I, for one, am incredibly glad I am not stuck just with iOS.

----------



Yes the touchscreen laptops are amazing, the touchscreen desktops are amazing as well, they give that Minority Report feel. But you are mistaken, they don't solve my problem. I need a tablet on the road, and a laptop at home but I need them BOTH to run the OS which runs my programs. So I totally don't get your connection, I think you are severely misunderstanding the difference between a laptop and a tablet and the surface strategy.

Dude, I respectfully think your use case is like 5% or so of the whole tablet market. Otherwise, one could be forgiven for concluding that the needs you have are quite coincidentally 100% fulfilled by the Surface Pro.

spinedoc77
Nov 17, 2012, 06:15 AM
Dude, I respectfully think your use case is like 5% or so of the whole tablet market. Otherwise, one could be forgiven for concluding that the needs you have are quite coincidentally 100% fulfilled by the Surface Pro.

I don't think so, but again we are just espousing personal opinions here, nothing more. I believe there are a lot of consumers who want to combine their tablet and laptop, consumers who want to take the OS they have used for 20 years with them instead of compromising into a watered down OS. If iOS was so powerful then we would have seen it take over laptops, but that isn't the case, so why isn't iOS on any laptops? Because people see laptops as power devices to get work done, to be productive, etc. iOS was a necessary evil because of the hardware constraints of the day, but those hardware constraints do not exist anymore and once people see that they can take EXACTLY what they have on their laptop on their tablet it's going to be a different story.

Certainly I won't argue that we have to transition to a more elegant and easier system than the old desktop, but that's just common sense and sheer obviousness. With the astronomical numbers of windows users worldwide you can bet that developers will step up and get us to where we need to similar to how Microsoft Office was rewritten. But once again, you have the CHOICE to run legacy programs, or to run revamped touch friendly programs, or to treat it as a dumb tablet and just run apps. Feel free to stick your head in the sand and obtusely deny the value of the windows tablets, but I think a significant majority will find them useful.

jmgregory1
Nov 17, 2012, 07:05 AM
I don't think so, but again we are just espousing personal opinions here, nothing more. I believe there are a lot of consumers who want to combine their tablet and laptop, consumers who want to take the OS they have used for 20 years with them instead of compromising into a watered down OS. If iOS was so powerful then we would have seen it take over laptops, but that isn't the case, so why isn't iOS on any laptops? Because people see laptops as power devices to get work done, to be productive, etc. iOS was a necessary evil because of the hardware constraints of the day, but those hardware constraints do not exist anymore and once people see that they can take EXACTLY what they have on their laptop on their tablet it's going to be a different story.

Certainly I won't argue that we have to transition to a more elegant and easier system than the old desktop, but that's just common sense and sheer obviousness. With the astronomical numbers of windows users worldwide you can bet that developers will step up and get us to where we need to similar to how Microsoft Office was rewritten. But once again, you have the CHOICE to run legacy programs, or to run revamped touch friendly programs, or to treat it as a dumb tablet and just run apps. Feel free to stick your head in the sand and obtusely deny the value of the windows tablets, but I think a significant majority will find them useful.

Good morning spinedoc, hope all is well with you. I think your suggestion of iOS being a watered down desktop OS is like saying an apple is like a hard red orange. You're making a comparison that does not and should not be made. iOS and Android are extremely powerful and fully capable OSes. They may not be able to run a program designed to run on your pc, but that doesn't make them any less of an OS.

Further, you're question of why if iOS was so good, why isn't it running laptops now is also missing the point. Tablets are simply a new device that need a new OS that unfortunately for you is different than what you're used to. A laptop affords a different user interface that is just an extension of a desktop human to computer interface.

You just bought into MS's marketing push that the tablet should be a laptop.

I am right now typing on a new iPad 4 that I picked up yesterday. I'm still not convinced it will work for my particular needs, but I now can say for certain that what the tablet offers is so distinctly different, as far as user experience that I don't know why you'd want it to be more laptop like.

spinedoc77
Nov 17, 2012, 07:27 AM
Good morning spinedoc, hope all is well with you. I think your suggestion of iOS being a watered down desktop OS is like saying an apple is like a hard red orange. You're making a comparison that does not and should not be made. iOS and Android are extremely powerful and fully capable OSes. They may not be able to run a program designed to run on your pc, but that doesn't make them any less of an OS.

Further, you're question of why if iOS was so good, why isn't it running laptops now is also missing the point. Tablets are simply a new device that need a new OS that unfortunately for you is different than what you're used to. A laptop affords a different user interface that is just an extension of a desktop human to computer interface.

You just bought into MS's marketing push that the tablet should be a laptop.

I am right now typing on a new iPad 4 that I picked up yesterday. I'm still not convinced it will work for my particular needs, but I now can say for certain that what the tablet offers is so distinctly different, as far as user experience that I don't know why you'd want it to be more laptop like.

Certainly iOS works for many many users needs and they don't need any more than that, but it's still a watered down OS. If it wasn't then why wouldn't Apple put it on all their desktops and laptops? It is much more efficient, needs much less hardware and has all day battery life, a complete no brainer for their macbooks no? I don't mean watered down to sound disparaging and should find a more neutral term, but that's exactly what it is.

As for tablets needing a different OS, why? Once again you sound like someone in the 90s saying Laptops need a different OS, and let me tell you from personal experience the first laptops ran like crap, but hardware evolved like it always does. Certainly a tablet is an extension of the laptop and desktop experience, I don't see the difference ideally.

As for buying into MS marketing, simply no. The way I use my tablet fits my needs, I could care less about marketing. I understand my needs are not everyones needs, but I believe there are a lot of users who function this way, as opposed to some on here who think almost nobody does and MS will fail because of that. Buying into marketing is the job of Apple fans, look around you, myself included as I have purchased many iphones, ipads and laptops from Apple.

Night Spring
Nov 17, 2012, 07:51 AM
Feel free to stick your head in the sand and obtusely deny the value of the windows tablets, but I think a significant majority will find them useful.

I'm not saying there isn't value in being able to run the occasional legacy program on a tablet, but I do wonder how many people would find that ability significantly useful. For instance, I like to occasionary adjust the coding in a web page -- for this task, I currently use my desktop. I have some older HTML coding programs on my desktop that I like to use. Would I like to be able to code HTML on my iPad? Sometimes I find myself thinking about it. But do I want to run my desktop HTML program on the iPad? No, I would just find an HTML coding app written for the iPad. The number of people with tasks that require them to stick with a legacy desktop program instead of moving on to a tablet app can't be that many, relatively speaking. And desktop programs are easier to use on a desktop -- if I have to use a desktop program, then I prefer to do it sitting at a desktop. So the number of people who are stuck with a legacy desktop program AND who wants to use it on a tablet while mobile are even smaller.

I do dream of a day when a device as small as the iPad runs all my desktop AND tablet apps, and I only need that one device to do everything I want, and when I'm at home or the office, it docks into a desktop setup with full monitor, keyboard and pointing device, and when undocked it is a touch screen tablet. But I do not want to have to run desktop programs while my device is in a tablet mode. Or run tablet apps when I'm in desktop mode. I think this is where Win8 is off on the wrong foot, because it tries to run tablet apps (Metro apps) on the desktop. I much prefer Apple's approach of having separate OS for the desktop and the tablet, and gradually cross-pollinating features from one to the other. So every year, OS X gets a little more iOS-like, while iOS gets more productivity features. In the meanwhile, Pages on the desktop is still Pages for the desktop. I'm not staring at a version of Office that is more optimized for a tablet than a desktop.

spinedoc77
Nov 17, 2012, 08:06 AM
I'm not saying there isn't value in being able to run the occasional legacy program on a tablet, but I do wonder how many people would find that ability significantly useful. For instance, I like to occasionary adjust the coding in a web page -- for this task, I currently use my desktop. I have some older HTML coding programs on my desktop that I like to use. Would I like to be able to code HTML on my iPad? Sometimes I find myself thinking about it. But do I want to run my desktop HTML program on the iPad? No, I would just find an HTML coding app written for the iPad. The number of people with tasks that require them to stick with a legacy desktop program instead of moving on to a tablet app can't be that many, relatively speaking. And desktop programs are easier to use on a desktop -- if I have to use a desktop program, then I prefer to do it sitting at a desktop. So the number of people who are stuck with a legacy desktop program AND who wants to use it on a tablet while mobile are even smaller.

I do dream of a day when a device as small as the iPad runs all my desktop AND tablet apps, and I only need that one device to do everything I want, and when I'm at home or the office, it docks into a desktop setup with full monitor, keyboard and pointing device, and when undocked it is a touch screen tablet. But I do not want to have to run desktop programs while my device is in a tablet mode. Or run tablet apps when I'm in desktop mode. I think this is where Win8 is off on the wrong foot, because it tries to run tablet apps (Metro apps) on the desktop. I much prefer Apple's approach of having separate OS for the desktop and the tablet, and gradually cross-pollinating features from one to the other. So every year, OS X gets a little more iOS-like, while iOS gets more productivity features. In the meanwhile, Pages on the desktop is still Pages for the desktop. I'm not staring at a version of Office that is more optimized for a tablet than a desktop.

But don't you at least want the choice to do those things? Your scenario is perfectly viable TODAY, you can do all those things currently.

Night Spring
Nov 17, 2012, 08:30 AM
Certainly a tablet is an extension of the laptop and desktop experience, I don't see the difference ideally.

Have you used an iPad extensively? IMO, there is a huge difference between iOS touch interface and desktop/laptop interface. One is definitely not an extension of the other. This is THE huge philosophical difference between Microsoft and Apple. Microsoft sees the tablet as just another form of PC, while Apple thinks of it as a new category of device.

And after using iPads since the original was first released, I have to say I agree with Apple. Touching a device to interact with it is a very different experience to interacting with a device using mouse and keyboard. For instance, something as simple as pinch to zoom -- it's a gesture that makes sense on a touch device. Now that it's been retroactively brought back to the desktop so you can use the gesture on a desktop via a trackpad, it might seem like the gesture makes perfect sense on a desktop too, and one might think that the desktop experience and tablet experience are an extension of one another. But in all the decades we've been using desktops, nobody thought to do pinch to zoom. Because that is something that was born out of a touch experience, and is not an extension of the desktop experience, even if it has retroactively been brought back to the desktop.

But don't you at least want the choice to do those things? *Your scenario is perfectly viable TODAY, you can do all those things currently.

Are you referring to all the Win8 hybrids and convertibles coming out now? So far, everything I've seen make a less than ideal tablet. The ones with keyboards that don't come off, well keyboards necessarily add bulk and weight. Surface's keyboard cover might solve the problem, but the Pro will be thicker and heavier than the iPad, and RT only offers a crippled desktop. As for Win8 devices with detachable keyboards, I know i'd always be second-guessing myself over whether to bring the keyboard with me or not, and often making the wrong choices.

But the crucial thing is I don't trust Win8 to provide either the best desktop experience or the best tablet experience. Microsoft might eventually get it right with Win9 or 10, but right now, it's a strange mix of desktop and tablet that's unsatisfying in either mode.

spinedoc77
Nov 17, 2012, 08:47 AM
Have you used an iPad extensively? IMO, there is a huge difference between iOS touch interface and desktop/laptop interface. One is definitely not an extension of the other. This is THE huge philosophical difference between Microsoft and Apple. Microsoft sees the tablet as just another form of PC, while Apple thinks of it as a new category of device.

And after using iPads since the original was first released, I have to say I agree with Apple. Touching a device to interact with it is a very different experience to interacting with a device using mouse and keyboard. For instance, something as simple as pinch to zoom -- it's a gesture that makes sense on a touch device. Now that it's been retroactively brought back to the desktop so you can use the gesture on a desktop via a trackpad, it might seem like the gesture makes perfect sense on a desktop too, and one might think that the desktop experience and tablet experience are an extension of one another. But in all the decades we've been using desktops, nobody thought to do pinch to zoom. Because that is something that was born out of a touch experience, and is not an extension of the desktop experience, even if it has retroactively been brought back to the desktop.



Are you referring to all the Win8 hybrids and convertibles coming out now? So far, everything I've seen make a less than ideal tablet. The ones with keyboards that don't come off, well keyboards necessarily add bulk and weight. Surface's keyboard cover might solve the problem, but the Pro will be thicker and heavier than the iPad, and RT only offers a crippled desktop. As for Win8 devices with detachable keyboards, I know i'd always be second-guessing myself over whether to bring the keyboard with me or not, and often making the wrong choices.

But the crucial thing is I don't trust Win8 to provide either the best desktop experience or the best tablet experience. Microsoft might eventually get it right with Win9 or 10, but right now, it's a strange mix of desktop and tablet that's unsatisfying in either mode.

Yes I've owned the first 3 ipads, I agree fully, there is a HUGE difference between ios and a full OS, in fact that's pretty much the entire basis of my argument. I agree on the difference in philosophy as well between apple and MS. But that's where we part ways, why have a different device you have to learn, find programs for, worry about interoptability, carry around, etc etc? There is just both a redundancy without the benefit of interoptability that hamstrings ios.

As for touch functions on the desktop, I think they work incredibly well, MS has done a great job and certainly they will continue to refine, invent and yes, even copy to improve it. I'm currently replying to you on a win8 tablet on the desktop in desktop IE10, I'm certainly not having any difficulty navigating and functioning on my desktop only using touch. This difficulty is highly overblown.

My tablet is as thin as your iPad, it has the same battery life, it costs the same, so besides the ecosystem which can be countered with windows ecosystem, you haven't shown me a single reason why ios is superior, but have just reinforced why its inferior.

On your analysis of window 8 as an OS I don't disagree, if MS doesn't fix the slapped together half and half OS it will hurt them. Personally I love it and have no issue, bit I'm a power user, its the average consumer they need to worry about. Apple was genius in marketing to the grandmas of the world with ios, now MS needs to do the same while also marketing the strength of having a real OS and the choices that opens up.

jsw
Nov 17, 2012, 08:58 AM
I just saw a touchscreen capable Ultrabook at Best Buy the other day, running Windows 8.

Your problem has been solved.

Windows 8 for Surface Pro has no reason for existing, according to your above use cases!
Well, except for everyone who wants to use a tablet as a tablet when they're not actually using legacy apps, which would be a very large segment of the population.

Just as I think on-screen keyboards on a touchscreen are a pain, I think keyboards permanently attached to touchscreens are a pain.

Night Spring
Nov 17, 2012, 09:50 AM
Yes I've owned the first 3 ipads, I agree fully, there is a HUGE difference between ios and a full OS, in fact that's pretty much the entire basis of my argument. *I agree on the difference in philosophy as well between apple and MS. *But that's where we part ways, why have a different device you have to learn, find programs for, worry about interoptability, carry around, etc etc? *There is just both a redundancy without the benefit of interoptability that hamstrings ios.

Hmmmm. Part of this may be that you and I have different requirements in terms of our mobile computing. That is, I get the feeling I don't need to do as much as you on my mobile devices. I'm content with what the iPad can do, and I wait until I'm on my desktop or notebook to do "real" work. I certainly don't feel like I'm hamstrung by iOS, or having to search for separate apps for each platform. I guess in effect that is what I did (Pages on my iPad, Word on my desktop, etc.), but it only happened once, and now that I have an established workflow between iOS and my desktop, I don't think about it any more.

As for touch functions on the desktop, I think they work incredibly well, MS has done a great job and certainly they will continue to refine, invent and yes, even copy to improve it. I'm currently replying to you on a win8 tablet on the desktop in desktop IE10, I'm certainly not having any difficulty navigating and functioning on my desktop only using touch. This difficulty is highly overblown.

I probably should give Win8 more of a chance, but right now, I don't see much reason to bother. I'm happy with iOS. Supposing everything else is equal, the only "advantage" to Win8 is the ability to run legacy desktop programs, which I personally don't need. I understand that some people do need/want that option, but I just don't happen to be one of those people.

And I may be biased, but I suspect that the "average" user is more like me than like you. And to the grandmas of the world, "You can run desktop legacy programs" is not a selling point. The more this discussion goes on, the more it seems to me that Win8 is aimed at niche markets of power users and people with very specific computing requirements, like needing to run that legacy desktop program your company wrote 10 years ago. iOS may be underpowered compared to Win8 (which could be debatable, but I'm not ready to argue that right now), but it is sufficient for the needs of the average user -- and Microsoft has a tremendous disadvantage to overcome because they are so late to the tablet scene.

spinedoc77
Nov 17, 2012, 10:07 AM
Hmmmm. Part of this may be that you and I have different requirements in terms of our mobile computing. That is, I get the feeling I don't need to do as much as you on my mobile devices. I'm content with what the iPad can do, and I wait until I'm on my desktop or notebook to do "real" work. I certainly don't feel like I'm hamstrung by iOS, or having to search for separate apps for each platform. I guess in effect that is what I did (Pages on my iPad, Word on my desktop, etc.), but it only happened once, and now that I have an established workflow between iOS and my desktop, I don't think about it any more.



I probably should give Win8 more of a chance, but right now, I don't see much reason to bother. I'm happy with iOS. Supposing everything else is equal, the only "advantage" to Win8 is the ability to run legacy desktop programs, which I personally don't need. I understand that some people do need/want that option, but I just don't happen to be one of those people.

And I may be biased, but I suspect that the "average" user is more like me than like you. And to the grandmas of the world, "You can run desktop legacy programs" is not a selling point. The more this discussion goes on, the more it seems to me that Win8 is aimed at niche markets of power users and people with very specific computing requirements, like needing to run that legacy desktop program your company wrote 10 years ago. iOS may be underpowered compared to Win8 (which could be debatable, but I'm not ready to argue that right now), but it is sufficient for the needs of the average user -- and Microsoft has a tremendous disadvantage to overcome because they are so late to the tablet scene.

Yeah I don't blame you, if you are happy with iOS, have purchased their ecosystem and are invested in it then you have little reason to switch. You definitely have good points and it's not that I totally disagree with you at all on a lot of them. iOS is a good OS for some people, no doubt about that, but it doesn't fulfill everyone, but then what does?

As for being niche and for power users, the thing is that the Atom powered windows 8 pro tablets are as thin as ipads, have the same battery life, have the same price, and have the capability to run "apps" where you can ignore the desktop even exists, but you still have the choice to use the desktop if you are a power user. You can use it only as a tablet, but using it docked as a laptop provides a full 100% laptop experience which the ipad doesn't. That's why I think the average consumer may find themselves considering it over an ipad.

Microsoft has a lot of disadvantages to overcome, including its own botched windows 8 release, the betrayal of hardware OEMs who left MS hanging on release with no hardware, the existence of RT which is a huge consumer confuser, and Windows 8 itself which hasn't meshed touch and desktop successfully.

Irishman
Nov 17, 2012, 11:03 AM
Feel free to stick your head in the sand and obtusely deny the value of the windows tablets, but I think a significant majority will find them useful.

A significant majority of what part of the computer or tablet buying market? And how many of those who find them useful will purchase one?

spinedoc77
Nov 17, 2012, 11:41 AM
A significant majority of what part of the computer or tablet buying market? And how many of those who find them useful will purchase one?

How the hell would I know? ;) I'm just a nobody having a friendly discussion on an internet forum, I'm not an analyst providing information to a multi billion dollar company.

Irishman
Nov 17, 2012, 11:45 AM
How the hell would I know? ;) I'm just a nobody having a friendly discussion on an internet forum, I'm not an analyst providing information to a multi billion dollar company.

Mmmm, I was afraid of that.