I predict the Surface will flop due to lack of software

Discussion in 'Alternatives to iOS and iOS Devices' started by cnev3, Oct 26, 2012.

  1. cnev3, Oct 26, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2012

    macrumors 6502

    Sep 13, 2012
    Software/Content is vital. You can have a tablet thats the thinnest, fastest, has the most storage space, most incredibly display, but if it doesn't have an equally good selection of quality software, it's doomed.

    The Zune HD was a sleek device with a handful of great features the iPod Touch didn't have, but it flopped due to a lack of apps. I thought Microsoft would have learned their lesson, but they seem to be taking the same "Build it, and they will come", approach.

    My main concern is that developers arent attracted to release their software on a platform that's not popular. At least compared to the millions of Android and iOS users who buy their apps.

    Maybe i'm wrong, and the device will succeed. Hopefully I am. Competition is good, and we need a fresh device to keep everyone else on their toes.

    But I just don't see the sense in buying a tablet that severely lacks software. I'll bump this thread in 1 year to see how right/wrong I was.

    I made a post in 2009 on ifans.com, 4 days after the Zune HD was released regarding my concern for it's lack of apps.


    Let's see if I can make my predictions 2 for 2.
  2. macrumors 6502a

    Sep 30, 2012
    Won't be just because of software, but a series of things.

    No upgrade path, technological advances such as x86 chips, pricing, and a lack of interest of RT.

    The Pro version however is a different story.
  3. macrumors regular

    Oct 26, 2012
    As of now, I think the basic apps are enough for a majority of people. Since Microsoft is now focused on combining Phone, Tablet, and PC markets I think in a few months time the app store will grow exponentially. They stressed the importance of using the same kernel in those devices so an app developed for tablets could easily be ported to windows phone/windows 8 and vice versa.

    They are bringing a lot of exciting features to the tablet game, especially with Pro, so I wouldnt immediately dismiss them just yet. For all the talk of the Apple ecosystem, the tablet market is still relatively young, and when most of the world still uses Windows PCs I think it makes a lot more sense when they're making the jump to consider a windows branded tablet as well.
  4. Moderator


    Staff Member

    Aug 16, 2005
    New England
    Difference here (vs. Zune) is that W8 RT on ARM will also be available from other MS partners.

    Still no guarantee it will succeed.

    I think OS X on ARM would have a better shot at it, especially since Apple has already dealt with fat binaries.

  5. macrumors 68020


    Apr 17, 2010
    Surface is up against a lot of things-

    -The lack of Windows 8 tablet/phone apps

    -The iPad (love it or hate it, it has never been dethroned in its market)

    -Third party manufacturers can and will build surface-style tablets and undercut the MS price while possibly offering a better (specs wise) product.

    I am rooting for the surface. I think it's up to developers to make Windows 8 really shine. It looks like a really cool mobile platform. Native MS office support is a huge plus. If MS really wants to do it right they should create as much awesome MS exclusive/surface only content as they can.
  6. macrumors 6502a

    Jan 23, 2010
    Zune was always an mp3 player . As for windows 8 projections are more users then android or ios within the year. That means a store that reaches just as much people for your app by 2014 . And as with android thats just official, unofficial the number of user will probably be more .
  7. macrumors 68020


    Aug 5, 2004
    Catskill Mountains
    Think I prefer aluminum to that magnesium-compound case, for openers. The Ars Tech reviewer wasn't thrilled with the power connector. Guess stuff like that could be ironed out in next iterations. I actually wish them success too, because competition keeps people from snoozing as product lines refresh.
  8. MRU
    macrumors demi-god


    Aug 23, 2005
    Too early to call it. Due to sheer volume of windows 8 pcs the App Store will undoubtably see a rapid expansion of applications. Now whether windows developers decide to make them available on RT devices is another thing, (not all apps available on Win 8 App Store will be available on RT App Store (those that require x86/64 hardware) so again its probably best to wait and see.
  9. macrumors 68000


    Apr 18, 2010
    Even if it has software, I still won't buy it. There is no protection and no guarantee with Microsoft at all.

    You cannot download and backup the installation files. You cannot redownload apps that have been taken down for some reason... recently a developer decided it was not worth their time to develop their app for Windows Phone. They took it down and people who paid for it got nothing in return, no refunds, nothing.
  10. macrumors 65816

    Mar 7, 2008
    So a developer abandoned his app? This happens all the time with iOS too. What is the difference?
  11. macrumors member

    Oct 25, 2012
    Personally I don't feel Microsoft have a place in the tablet or phone market, their OS just doesn't offer anything that hasn't already been done and is extremely lacklustre.

    It just seems like Microsoft is trying to play catch up with Android & iOS, maybe they'll succeed, maybe they won't. But right now, the mobile & tablet market belong to Android & iOS so Microsoft need to bring something really special to the table to start being a true competitor. Windows 8 does look promising on the Surface, hopefully it'll take off.
  12. macrumors 68000


    Apr 18, 2010
    The difference is that with iOS, I'd have the ipa file backup and if I wanted to later, I'd go ahead and reinstall the app anytime I wanted. I own the installation file.

    And even if I hadn't had the ipa file backed up, in iTunes whatever you bought, you can download later on, even if it was taken down for whatever reason. If you paid for it, you won't lose it.

    You know that Firefox Home app that Mozilla took down recently from the iTunes? Yea, I can go ahead and reinstall it if I wanted to, cause I downloaded it before and it's on my account. People who have downloaded the first Tetris clones that got taken down? Can redownload them again.

    That's awesome and inspires trust and security.

    With Microsoft, poof, it's gone, nothing you can do, you paid for it and the developer decided - "Meh, I don't want to do this anymore" the next day the app is gone from the store, from your account, and if you ever want to reinstall it on your phone you cannot. Your money got wasted, Microsoft has TOTAL control.

    There, I explained as clearly as I could, if you still cannot understand the difference between Apple's and Microsoft's practices, sorry, but I cannot help you.
  13. macrumors regular

    Oct 5, 2012
    I bet the Xbox will flop because of the lack of exclusive games. :rolleyes:
  14. macrumors 6502a

    Sep 30, 2012
    Please don't use the Xbox crutch. That is the only consumer product that Microsoft has ever seen success with. Everything else that has a consumer choice, MS flops.
  15. macrumors G3


    Aug 3, 2011
    It's Never A Good Night To Have A Curse
    Using the "Xbox crutch" is the equal opposite of saying "MIKROCRAP WILL FAIL CUZ ZUUUNNNNEEEE".
  16. macrumors 6502a

    Sep 30, 2012
    No, not at all. The Xbox was needed, Sega was already failing, and Sony didn't have a direct competitor.

    Zune failed because it was five years late, and didn't offer anything but a different UI, and crazy colors.

    People only mention Xbox because it is the only successful consumer product that Microsoft has ever had. Not mentioning the over 60% failure rate either.
  17. macrumors G3


    Aug 3, 2011
    It's Never A Good Night To Have A Curse
    They had Nintendo, who was doing...eh, alright with the Gamecube.

    I'd say the Zune failed because it was too focused a device, and didn't get much marketing beyond a few kiosks in a few stores. The iPod by that point was a household name, and had morphed into some that was less just an MP3 player, and more a simplified PDA.

    You mean besides Windows and Office? Microsoft's Mice, keyboards, and accessories have always sold solidly. The Xbox was their only consumer product outside the Windows environment that sold well, but considering that list only includes the Zune, I wouldn't say they've outright failed in all their attempts in the consumer space.

    ...oh, yeah. And the Kin. But I always got the impression that was them whipping up something just to see how it did. it wasn't well supported, and they probably dumped all of $10,000 into R&D on the thing. If it succeeded for them, bonus. If not, oh well.
  18. macrumors 65816

    Mar 7, 2008
    So you would have the opportunity to re-install software (that I happened to delete) that will never be upgraded or improved up ever again. I'm sorry, but how many people (besides yourself obviously) is this really going to affect?
  19. macrumors 6502a

    Sep 30, 2012
    I didn't mention Nintendo because they focus on an entirely different market then Sony.

    I said consumer products with a choice. The only choice you have with computers is Dell, Sony, Samsung etc...all running Windows.

    Office is a business standard. Again not consumer choice.

    When given a choice, people don't choose Microsoft. Well known fact.
  20. macrumors G3


    Aug 3, 2011
    It's Never A Good Night To Have A Curse
    In the console scene? The PS2 was a direct competitor to the Gamecube. They were in the exact same market. Sony might do more than Nintendo, but then again, so does MS.

    No choice, yet you list off 3 companies consumers have to choose between. Beyond the Windows scene, they also have Macs to choose from.

    ...that has a strong presence in homes. It isn't an enterprise exclusive product like Server, Exchange, and all that other stuff.

    Apparently they do. The MS stores being packed due to the Surface's release (which honestly surprised even me) is proof enough of that.

    From the looks of things, The Surface might not be the much fabled iPad killer, but it's gonna be a little success nonetheless.
  21. macrumors 6502a

    Sep 30, 2012

    Nintendo= children, casual gamers
    Sony = teenage,hardcore gamers

    Read it again, they all run windows. Macs cost a lot more than PCs. If Mac and PC had the exact same prices, then that would be a choice, but it's not.

    You can't walk into BestBuy and exactly choose a Linux computer can you?

    Due to business standards, and every computer running Windows. Again not a choice.

    This is basic business stuff btw.

    Not exactly that many Microsoft stores, and you forgot to mention a ton of people were actually buying Windows. Not a RT device.
  22. macrumors 68000


    Apr 18, 2010
    YES! I still use Firefox Home, it works beautifully, does not need any improvements.

    With Microsoft, this app would've been completely wiped away. If I did a fresh restore, I would not be able to do anything about it.
  23. macrumors G3


    Aug 3, 2011
    It's Never A Good Night To Have A Curse
    Kiddie is the generic consensus on game forums, and the casual market only became a thing with them after the introduction of the Wii. We're talking about the Gamecube here.

    The two are in the same market, aiming at the same demographics.

    Mac Mini's have been available for years, and offer more than enough for the average consumer. They are a choice.

    No one would buy it. Dell had offered Linux PCs in the past. They didn't sell. Hence why it's not more widely available these days.

    Though you could argue MS made a name for itself as the standard during their heavy handed monopoly days, but still...the option was at least out there at one point.

    Yeah, I know. Saying I know a guy who knows a guy and this is why you're wrong is never a good way to prove usage.


    I do know 4 people who use Office for home use. So it does have usage outside of enterprise.

    So they were making a choice to upgrade their version of Windows instead of getting it on a new PC? Isn't that...a choice?

    Even if there aren't that many MS stores, people do apparently visit them. Which is somewhat proof that people are going in there because they want to see what they're offering, not because they don't have any other choice.

    Really, the only abject failure MS has produced is the Zune. You can word and reword your argument all you want, but that is the simple fact of the matter.
  24. macrumors 603


    May 21, 2012
    I want the Surface to succeed but I think RT could be a problem for many reasons.
  25. macrumors 6502a

    Sep 30, 2012
    No, go read a case study or do a basic google search. At the specific time, they weren't.

    That doesn't make any sense, when you can buy a full blown PC with all the peripherals, you know screen, mouse, keyboard? Are you even being serious?

    No, they offered a gimped version on crappy hardware and was still sued. Ever heard of MS war on Linux? No OEM can sell Linux computers without a lawsuit, and higher prices from MS. This is some of the first stuff you learn about Microsoft in any respectable business school or basic research.

    Comprehension? I sad by choice, people don't go buy Office for fun especially when there are free alternatives. Consumers only use office because it's format is widely accepted. Again not by choice. It's business standard, and people usually stick to what they know, and most just don't know about the free alternatives.

    Again this is basic information.

    I'm specifically arguing Windows RT failure, what does this statement or any of the other stuff has to do with that?

    Every consumer product that MS has, has been a failure. Not just the Zune, but MS smart watch, windows phone, windows mobile 5,6, 6.5x, 7,7.5. Kin, Bing, DVD players with Media Center etc... The list goes on.

    Any reasonable person knows exactly what I'm talking about. Consumer products that offer a choice.

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