Surface: Why Microsoft’s big mystery turns out to be a big mistake

“Following several days of hype after journalists from around the world were invited to a mysterious ‘major Microsoft announcement’ that they were promised, ‘you will not want to miss,’ Microsoft unveils a… tablet,” Adrian Kingsley-Hughes writes for ZDNet. “Oh Microsoft, what were you thinking?”

“They’re just tablets. They’re shaped like tablets and have stuff inside them that we’ve come to expect tablets to have,” Kingsley-Hughes writes. “There’s no word on price beyond a statement from Microsoft saying that they are ‘expected to be competitive with a comparable ARM tablet or Intel ultrabook-class PC.’ This puts the ARM version in the $600 price bracket and the x86 in at around $1,000 — give or take. Throw away the kickstand, the keyboard and the trackpad and they’re like every other ARM tablet or Intel Ultrabook-class PC we’ve seen so far.”

Kingsley-Hughes writes, “Then there’s the mistake of releasing two near-identical tablets powered by two different operating systems and with two very different set of capabilities. Which one should buyers — consumers and enterprise alike — go for? For the uninformed, price might be the deciding factor, and that could lead them to buy something completely inappropriate for their needs. But if you’re trying to make an informed decision then it’s tough to know which to go for. And at this stage, that decision is made even harder by the information vacuum surrounding these two devices, especially regarding battery life, and more crucially: price… When I do my usual end of year ‘tech flops’ roundup, I fully expect Microsoft Surface tablets to make their way onto the list.”

Read more in the full article here.

Related articles:
Microsoft’s Suicide, er… ‘Surface’ – June 19, 2012
ZDNet Sr. Tech Editor Perlow: Microsoft’s Surface has catastrophe written all over it – June 19, 2012
Microsoft previews own ‘Surface’ tablet – June 18, 2012
Microsoft touts ‘major’ June 18 event said to showcase Windows RT tablets – June 15, 2012
ZDNet’s Kingsley-Hughes: Microsoft’s Windows 8 is an awful, horrible, painful design disaster – June 8, 2012
Analyst meets with big computer maker, finds ‘general lack of enthusiasm’ for Windows 8 – June 8, 2012
Dvorak: Windows 8 an unmitigated disaster; unusable and annoying; it makes your teeth itch – June 3, 2012
The Guardian: Microsoft’s Windows 8 is confusing as hell; an appalling user experience – March 5, 2012
More good news for Apple: Microsoft previews Windows 8 (with video) – June 1, 2011


  1. No price.
    “Coming soon.”
    “Images are design renderings and not photographs.”

    They should at least have prototypes to photograph! Are they expecting “IT doofuses” (as MDN puts it) to halt iPad orders b/c MS now has a tablet? “MS has a tablet; surely, that will be better than some Apple product. Let’s wait for that!”

  2. Well, with more free concert tickets at Microsoft disposal, I fully expect a line to form at their stores. Well, until the tablets purchase on day one are returned on day two…

  3. Today, everyone’s talking about the new ‘Surface’, but I watched a live-stream of MS’ ‘big announcement’ and the thing that struck me was how much like Apple’s presentations it was:

    No screaming, jumping, sweaty Uncle Fester.

    Ballmer presenting heads of various ‘teams’ to show different aspects of new product.

    Video presentation with still-shots on a big screen to show more detail of the products.

    Music before and after the presentation. Etc., etc., etc…

    I suppose MS is so incapable of coming up with an original idea that they even have to copy the ‘new product reveal’ format of Apple.


    1. And what was with the big slide with “Steve Ballmer” printed on it for? Just in case some stray cat crashed the party and had no idea who that guy with the extreme duck-footed stance was? And speaking of duck feet, Ballmer looked seriously deformed with his feet pointing 180° apart. Was he on a skateboard or something?

  4. let’s see…MS “pinched” Apple’s magnetic hinge smart cover design, then “swiped” a few of their colors as well. But, alas, they still couldn’t avoid beinging a boring box slablet enclosure to the party.

    1. It’s just that their technique worked so well in the 80s and 90s: “We’re going to have better widget soon, so wait for it.” Moe and more people can see Ballmer’s new clothes… Ew, strike that image!

  5. All these so called tech pros talk about Microsoft’s hit and miss seem to forget Apple has more miss than hits, when u compare Microsoft vs. Apple, but off course the past seven years been good to Apple right. and if u disagree who has the most miss Steve Jobs got kicked out his own company for a reason Uhhh!!!.

    1. Wow dude, that was really sad…
      Reading your post was like watching the “slow kid” in grade school eat paste so people would pay attention him. We are embarrassed for you.
      And try to keep in mind; not all attention is good attention.

      1. Off your meds? Please refrain from quoting stock prices as you clearly know nothing about the history of both companies. Apple has not paid a dividend to it’s shareholders since 1995 and the stock has never split. Microsoft has always paid dividends and the stock has split 21 times since 1992. Microsoft stock would be worth almost $10,000,00 per share had they followed suit with Apple.

        1. AAPL “Never Split” really…. SERIOUSLY?
          The old saying still goes….
          Some people don’t know their ASS! From their elbow…
          You happen to one of those people. Some people you just can’t reach. Do your homework before you spew from your piehole

          1. You are correct.

            From Wikipedia:

            The stock (Apple) has split 2 for 1 three different times on June 15, 1987, June 21, 2000 and February 28, 2005.

        2. Wish in one hand and crap in the other. See which one fills up first. BTW, thankfully, I don’t take meds.

          As of 2:00 p.m.

          Apple is trading at $589.00.

          Microsoft is trading at $30.93.

    2. Is English your first language, Jexhu? How about thinking? Your first time?

      Reading your “post” reminds me of Bugs Bunny’s most famous quotation: “What a maroon!”

    3. You know, in all these years, I have never once felt the urge to go over to a Microsoft related site and post an inane comment about how great Apple is. I wonder why these delusional misguided MS trolls feel the need to do so on Apple related sites?

  6. So let me get this straight… Everything apple does is perfect but anyone else isn’t? MDN you will swallow your own words in due time… Apple will hit rock bottom in the future. It’s only a matter of time.

    1. Couldn’t agree with you more. In fact, Ballmer and all the micorsoft fans too agree that in somewhere in time Apple will fail. The hugely successful ipod will be no more, the iphone will be history and the ipad what?.

      I used to have this competitive thing going with a friend in school. He could out run me ever single time. I vowed to beat him. I finally did, I showed everyone he sucked and always will, of course it was all due to him having an accident and being paralyzed from the waist down, but by god did I win. Go Micorsoft!

    2. I’m pretty sure people here will agree Apple messes some things up, like the Puck Mouse, and Microsoft got some things right, like Excel.

      But given the extended history of the companies, Apple trends toward exceptional innovation (user friendly GUI, user friendly mouse computing, typographic font displays, desktop publishing, user friendly legal music downloading, user friendly portable multi-touch computing)

      Microsoft trends on user hostile follies (missing DLL errors, endless viruses / spyware / new patches / new vulnerabilities, plague of spam from computers turned into zombie bot-nets, separate 32-bit 64-bit operating systems, windows update breaking other software, driver update causing blue screen of deaths, Zune, X-Box red circle of death, Vista being 10x slower at local network file browsing, Vista making computers much slower if their specs are near its unrealistic minimum requirements, creating a new PlaysForSure music platform incompatible with the PlaysForSure music platform so anyone who bought music would have to buy it again, clicking Start to shut down, pressing Control+Alt+Delete to login, pattern of abusing its monopolies, pattern of betraying business partners, pattern of copying everything Apple does but upside and backwards and color pallet swapped enough to be safe from lawsuits but less user-friendly and more ugly, and making a new word format incompatible with all older versions of word, Internet Explorer 7 still doing double margin CSS bug, Internet 8 still not supporting rounded corners, Internet 9 still not supporting DOM3 methods correctly, big ass tables, and blurry screened iPad ripoff vaporware press conference.)

      1. Kayan, you DO KNOW that “Excel” was written for the Mac in its original iteration, right? (Microsoft released the first version of Excel for the Macintosh in 30 September 1985, and the first Windows version was 2.05 (to synchronize with the Macintosh version 2.2) in November 1987.)

    3. Yeah, it’s so mystifying that MacDailyNews is pro Apple and anti-MS. So very mystifying.

      Let’s see: iPod, iTunes, iPhone, iPad. All were innovative, creating a new market segment and transforming of three
      Zune, the social, Windows Vista, and Windows phones. Copy, icky, rejected, and copy.

      Also, your prognostication is fantastic. I will make an even bigger one: everyone now living will eventually die. It’s only a matter of time.

  7. Courier, anyone? With the attached keyboard, you would be better off with a MacBook Air. Seems to be more of a laptop than a tablet. Too much hot air and no substance in true Microsoft style.

    1. And don’t forget, it was not seen running any programs. The screens were digital images not live… Its a great …… er …..
      box. Oh yeah and a keyboard…. that did not work either.

      Just a thought,

  8. This is the hardware embodiment of Windows 8 schizophrenia, released upon the world in Redmond’s classic Longhorn vaporware fashion. It’s funny that the timing of this event was clearly targeted at Google IO’s Nexus tablet announcement. Way to keep the bar low, guys.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.