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Old Nov 5, 2012, 02:04 PM   #1
smoledman
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Why the Surface is a terrible tablet right now and forever.

#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.
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Old Nov 5, 2012, 02:11 PM   #2
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#2 makes no sense
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Old Nov 5, 2012, 02:13 PM   #3
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#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!
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Old Nov 5, 2012, 02:34 PM   #4
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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.
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Old Nov 5, 2012, 02:37 PM   #5
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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
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Old Nov 5, 2012, 02:40 PM   #6
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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/unmo...-from-finland/

You will never ever see top accessory OEMs making this kind of thing for Windows!
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Old Nov 5, 2012, 03:34 PM   #7
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Microsoft Surface Review (with Windows RT)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gQhh...layer_embedded
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Old Nov 5, 2012, 03:36 PM   #8
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Apple announced the sold 3 million iPad Minis in the first weekend.
Thereby contradicting your point.
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Old Nov 5, 2012, 04:51 PM   #9
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[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.
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Old Nov 5, 2012, 04:59 PM   #10
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Holy crap! Windows RT actually takes up 12 GB more than iOS?!
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Old Nov 5, 2012, 05:16 PM   #11
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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.
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Old Nov 5, 2012, 06:55 PM   #12
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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!
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Old Nov 5, 2012, 07:02 PM   #13
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OP, have you used the surface or were you just visiting CNET?
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Old Nov 5, 2012, 07:07 PM   #14
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That's a very dramatic title.

"...right now and FOREVER."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1Y73sPHKxw
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Old Nov 5, 2012, 07:13 PM   #15
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That explanation did not change my reaction at all!
Yeaaahh, it's still pretty fat. Just not as fat as people think.

It's got big bones. :P
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Old Nov 5, 2012, 07:22 PM   #16
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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...
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Old Nov 5, 2012, 08:02 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DJTaurus View Post
Microsoft Surface Review (with Windows RT)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gQhh...layer_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.

Quote:
Originally Posted by smoledman View Post
#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.
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Old Nov 5, 2012, 08:16 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BaldiMac View Post
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.

Quote:
Originally Posted by smoledman View Post
#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?
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Old Nov 6, 2012, 07:56 AM   #19
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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.
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Old Nov 6, 2012, 11:02 AM   #20
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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.
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Old Nov 6, 2012, 11:58 AM   #21
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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
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Old Nov 6, 2012, 12:38 PM   #22
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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.
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Old Nov 6, 2012, 12:49 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by smoledman View Post
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?
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Old Nov 6, 2012, 03:29 PM   #24
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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.
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Old Nov 6, 2012, 04:39 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BaldiMac View Post
Maybe if you are grading on a curve. It's crazy compared to other tablet OS's.
Quote:
Originally Posted by smoledman View Post
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.
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