Microsoft’s ‘Surface’ ARM tablet is a terrible mistake

“There’s no nice way to say it: Google’s Fire-fighting Nexus 7 aside, the mobile market’s various Android slates simply aren’t cutting it,” A.T. Faust III writes for AppAdvice. “When it comes to iPad, there just doesn’t seem to be a true king-of-the-hill contender anywhere in sight.”

“Unfortunately, that reality extends far beyond Android, settling now more than ever into the entire realm of consumer electronics,” Faust III writes. “When Microsoft unveiled its Surface with Windows RT tablet last month, I reveled in the idea that Apple’s illustrious iPad would finally see some real competition. The notion was short-lived.”

MacDailyNews Take: The notion that Apple needs competition is a popular fallacy. Apple’s competition is Apple. As we’ve said many times: Competition is only good when the competition is any good.

The rest of the dreck only confuses the market and results in people wasting their time, money, and potential productivity on inferior wares.

Faust III writes, “Microsoft has not only undermined all their Windows RT partners, they’ve completely alienated their largest Windows RT partner! Unhappy with Microsoft’s intended release of a direct hardware competitor, HP has reportedly withdrawn its support for the Windows on ARM RT (or ‘WART’) platform.”

Read more in the full article here.

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Jason Schwarz: Top 10 reasons why Microsoft’s Surface is DOA – June 22, 2012
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  1. At least now we all won’t be getting any yucky WART’s on our fingers. MS couldnt catch Apple when it had one hand tied behind its back yet alone now with Apple firing on all cylinders. I’m with MDN, PLEASE make a superior product somebody! Hmmm, I thought so. It’s now Apple’s turn to rule tech as whatever fire was in Ballmer’s substantial belly flames out.

  2. What I think Google will try to do is gain marketshare in the low end market and take it over and then attack the iPad. I am against the 7″ iPad, but Apple has to come out with a cheaper 7″ model to compete and smack them down in the low end market as well.

  3. While I am one of the largest Mac/Apple fanboys around and utterly believe that no one can compete with the iPad, I would like to remind you all that everyone said basically the same thing about the iPad (and, for that matter, the iPhone) when it first came out.

    Why is it that we so gleefully agree with those who say what we want to hear and ignore those who don’t? I actually think that the Intel Surface tablet will find traction where the iPad can’t go: industrial applications that need a full-fledged PC. I agree that the WART is DOA, but then I WANT to believe that.

    Theoretically, the same SHOULD have been true about Android phones- I STILL can’t understand why they’re outselling iPhones (can’t be price, can it?). I would have thought that Apple should have locked up both the tablet and smart phone markets. Go know…

    1. The iPad revolutionized the tablet market. These wanna-bes are only huffing the exhaust of the iPad’s sales. And Apple in 2012 isn’t like Apple in 1992 – they’re not content with success.

      People who want a full-fledged PC aren’t going to buy a $1,000 Surface. They’re going to buy into the market that M$ created with their asinine race-to-the bottom marketing, thinking that people bought their kit while considering Apple’s. I actually think the ARM version, if they can make the pricing competitive, will have more success.

      Android was allowed to propagate freely while the iPhone was stuck on fewer carriers. That process is starting to reverse itself in terms of volume, even though Apple is far more profitable. This viral proliferation has also created Android’s biggest problems: fragmentation and an ass app market. Google’s been failing miserably to rein either of those problems in.

    2. and when Jobs was done debuting the iPad, you knew what it could do, why you might want it, how much it cost and when you could buy it. Microsoft’s Surface was a shotgun-at-the-wall mess of conflicting priorities and messages, we know nothing about it. Without any demo of its imagined strengths, no one in their right mind should be considering the intel Surface when ultra books exist, and no one is going to hold off on an iPad purchase when it’s a given the RT Surface will have no apps.

    3. Advertising dollars, salesperson spiffs, offsetting the subsidizing price of iPhone, personal taste, large screens, small screens, (we all screens for ice screens). A plethora of reasons, none of which have to do with device to device comparisons.

    4. the iPhone is dependent on CARRIERS (unlike the iPad) who do NOT want the iPhone to dominate. It serves them better to have multiple suppliers of phones so that not one massive OEM can control price or policy (like loading crapware) .

      Carrier executives including CEOs in their financial conference calls have been candid in explaining their policy of having 3 or 4 big suppliers. I’ve read articles written by carrier insiders including sales trainers where they said they teach their salesmen to push Android or WP phones to ‘even out’ sales .

      Some android OEMS also offer larger payouts to carriers i.e bigger commissions to sales dudes .

      even iPhones sold by Apple or electronics retailers can be manipulated by carrier contracts (Android etc phones can have better contract offers).

      In short because phones are dependent on carriers (whose objective really isn’t to sell the BEST phone but to make the most money and to control their suppliers) the iPhone has been slowed.

      even so as iPhone gets more carriers (the iPhone is still NOT on Asias biggest carriers like China Mobile) and as users abandon android (78% of smartphones sold by AT&T last quarter were iPhones) because of update issues, bugs etc iPhone will gain.

      1. Truth – Money Talks …..

        iPhone has set the bar and that bar is high …. Both in terms of price and quality ……

        The Consumer is fooled by the lookalike features and responds to the sales-pressure and the price only helps justify the consumer’s decision and validate the salesperson and their bs rap …..

        The Consumer realizes he purchased an inferior product and vows not to make same mistake again when next contract is due ….. And some savoy consumers get a refund or replacement as soon as they can and switch to the iPhone …….

        Bottom line, quality sells above all, especially when it is oh so personal like an ” phone” can be ……

    5. “Why is it that we so gleefully agree..”
      Several reasons: Clippy; Red Ring of Death; MS Bob; Zune; Blue Screen of Death; viruses; Surface; sweaty monkey boy dancers; Microsoft Stores; iPhone funeral; Tablet PC; Big Ass Table… ad infinitum.

    6. Android phones sell in large numbers because there are large numbers of them to sell; multiple models from multiple manufacturers, and many buyers only want a phone that’s just a step up from a feature phone, not a fully-fledged computer like the iPhone.

    7. It was obvious the iPhone and iPad would be a hits, which is why we mocked and derided the pundits who said they would fail.

      It’s obvious the Surface is going to be a failure, which is why we’re nodding our heads(while shocked that they stopped drinking the Microsoft kool-aid) along with the pundits who see it.

      No version of Surface is going to find traction in industrial applications that need a full fledged PC – industrial applications that need a full fledged PC are going to use a full fledged PC. Not some crippled tablet/laptop Frankenstein’s monster.

      1. Good take—the Kool-Aid argument has clearly been exposed as a polemic of the Microsoft camp, not the Apple camp; and industry observers who understand the handwriting on the wall—which, at this late date, consists of numbers from the bottom line, not just biased prognostications—are defecting in numbers as large as those that saw the overpowering strength and skill of Alexander the Great’s conquering armies, and capitulated, to save their sorry asses before it was too late. The rest became, literally, history.

  4. You don’t think it has anything to do with the Slate, do you? Ballmer groped that thing at CES in 2010 like it was his precious – right before HP decided to buy Palm and do tablets themselves. Did anyone really think they were going back to Windows after that?

  5. MDN, your take is of course right. But there’s so much more there. Apple created the iPad not as a competitive response, but because existing products didn’t meet a huge need. Therefore, all Apple needs in order to innovate well is for other companies to continue doing their lame best. I believe Steve Job’s actual brilliance was in his ability to see the path of technology advancement and where it would be in the two or three years it was headed, when the Apple R&D process could produce an amazing product based on that future. It’s as if his and Jony Ive’s visions were met by engineers saying things like “we can’t fit all that into that size package” and Steve’s response would simply be, “Yet.” And while technology continued to march along shrinking things, etc, Steve had the software teams working away so that when the hardware did “get there” the software was ready.

    1. Actually, the iPad was created as Apple’s answer to “netbooks.” At the time, netbooks (aka cheap-ass laptop computer) were extremely popular. The so-called “experts” were saying Apple MUST release a cheap MacBook to avoid missing that boat. Instead, Apple released iPad and created a whole NEW boat. And now, everyone else is desperately scrambling NOT to miss THAT boat.

      1. They started working on what became the iPad in 2000. There were crappy Windows laptops and tablets back then but crappy netbooks came a lot later.

        1. Maybe, but iPad was release (and priced) as Apple’s answer to netbooks. It was not meant to address any existing (stylus-based) “tablet” market, because there really was no such market to speak of… Apple wanted to steal sales from netbooks, and that’s exactly what iPad did.

          It was only later, when everyone else wanted IN, that there was a new “tablet” (or “iPad”) market that was separate from iPad versus netbooks. You folks sure forget history quickly… 🙂

  6. The ARM Surface is not the terrible mistake. The intel Surface is the mistake. Microsoft had a chance to force it’s developers to break with legacy crap and help drive Windows into a true mobile domain on a new code base. Instead, Microsoft does what Microsoft does and again tries to leverage its creaky, near obselete legacy code, which will only ensure lazy ports and a horrific experience as now Microsoft will learn the hard way that what it has promised is a fantasy.

  7. “Microsoft just unveiled one of the largest and most unethical industrial espionage campaigns of the last few decades, so it is no surprise that everyone is jumping ship.”

    sounds like what they did to Apple.
    Apple trusted Bill Gates and allowed Msft open access to Apple when they were writing Apple apps like MS Word and Gates used the info to create Windows.

  8. “the Surface has no depth”. A couple different kinds of chuckles in that.
    I believe MDN is mistaken in thinking Apple doesn’t “need” competition. Apple needs at least competent “competition”, as does every life form. Even Windows, when it was near the top of its market, could fill the bill – and few (if any) of us think much of MSFT or its OS as competition.

    1. Competition can drive one to greatness, and a professional can leverage competition as a means to improvement. But a true professional does not *require* external competition to excel – that drive is found within. A true professional competes with herself/himself to continue improving, even if she/he is already generally acknowledged as the best, because being the best just isn’t good enough if you can be even better.

      Michael Jordan is a prime example of a true professional in his craft of basketball. Apple is a true professional in computers and consumer electronics that change the world for the better. Apple can handle competition, but it does not need it to continue pursuing its corporate vision of insanely great excellence.

  9. > Unhappy with Microsoft’s intended release of a direct hardware competitor, HP has reportedly withdrawn its support for the Windows on ARM RT (or ‘WART’) platform.

    I don’t get how Google is any different. Google just release their own Android tablet “direct hardware competitor.” Not only that, but the Nexus 7’s pricing completely block off the low end of the market for any other hardware maker who wants to attack iPad’s dominance from the low end.

      1. I already said, “for any other hardware maker who wants to attack iPad’s dominance from the low end.” A low(er) end iPad will reinforce Apple’s iPad dominance, not “attack” it. No fixing required… 🙂

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