The Verge reviews Microsoft Surface RT tablet: ‘The whole thing is honestly perplexing; who is this for?’

Microsoft’s US$499 (and up) Surface with Windows RT “is an interesting new addition to a crowded market. Though Windows RT touts a desktop environment which looks and feels very similar to Windows 7, the OS doesn’t allow for legacy Windows applications to be run or installed, save for the Office suite and a desktop version of Internet Explorer 10,” Joshua Topolsky writes for The Verge. “Furthermore, new apps must be written for the tiled environment of Windows 8 — the new Windows Phone-influenced interface which seemingly defines Microsoft’s future.”

“The kickstand is indeed a unique addition to a tablet of this size, and it’s sturdy and works reasonably well. I do have some niggles with it — particularly the fact that its position can’t be adjusted in any way, meaning you have to like the angle the screen is at and live with it (it was usually too upright in most scenarios I tried it in, but not unusable by any means),” Topolsky writes. “The kickstand also has extremely sharp metal edges, which caused it to scratch a couple of wooden surfaces I found myself placing the Surface on. It’s also not very useful on your lap — unless you like to struggle. You could use the kickstand to put the Surface upright in portrait, though it’s not terribly stable, and I wouldn’t trust it to not fall over with the wrong kind of touch.”

MacDailyNews Take: That dumbass kickstand is yet another ill-considered, misguided, corporate committee-driven “differentiation” squirted out of Microsoft’s back door unbidden onto the public.

Topolsky writes, “The Surface looks and feels pretty good when you’re holding it… but it is huge. At 10.81 inches across (in landscape) and 0.37 inches thick, it’s not really that comfortable to hold in landscape for extended periods, and in portrait it’s laughably tall. Trying to hold the device upright to read a book in the Kindle app felt about as ridiculous as taking a picture with a tablet. Maybe more ridiculous, actually… At the size of the Surface screen, 1366 x 768 resolution leaves much to be desired… The Surface seems to desperately want to be docked and on a desk or table rather than in your hands or on your lap. After using it for an extended period of time, it’s hard to imagine bedtime reading or casual throw-it-in-a-bag use for this device.”

MacDailyNews Take: Microsoft is staffed with stupid and/or lazy people. There’s no other explanation besides crippling narcissism – which is a very real possibility. Most people use iPads while lounging around. All Microsoft’s Surface “team” had to do was buy some real iPads and use them for a few weeks. Steve Jobs himself even demonstrated the iPad while reclining in a comfy leather chair, not sitting upright at a friggin’ desk. Microsoft was shown the way and, once again, they failed to properly follow Apple’s lead. By now, that’s just stupid and/or lazy.

Topolsky writes, Yes, for the Windows hardcore, this is also Windows. You have a full file explorer, control panels, media viewers, a command line (if you want it), access to USB devices, external storage, etc. This acts and feels like Windows — but a Windows with no apps. I believe Microsoft could have wrapped all of this functionality in a cleaner and more user-friendly interface, thus keeping the user from shifting between two extremes. Why the company chose to go the route it went is a mystery perhaps only Steve Ballmer himself could unravel.”

MacDailyNews Take: As soon as he figures out how to tie his shoelaces, we’re sure Ballmer T. Clown will get right on that one.

Topolsky writes, “The fact that the strongest and most useful (and notably, most responsive) applications are relegated to the old environment gives me pause. Add to that the fact that many of the new apps seem incomplete or buggy — and you’ve got a problem. Microsoft wants to compete with the iPad (and presumably any Android tablet that has any kind of foothold), but it’s not necessarily offering a better experience than other devices on the market… Let me put it this way: the Surface does not seem like a better tablet than the iPad or the Nexus 7.”

MacDailyNews Take: Not even better than the Nexus 7? Ouch.

Topolsky writes, “Is the interface so much easier to use or so much more powerful that it would tip the hand of an average buyer? Not in my opinion. Is the app selection better or more robust in some way? Not by a long shot, and there’s no clear sign it will be anytime soon. And I must ask — how is it possible that in launching a massively important device like this, Microsoft couldn’t muster up a single killer game title to pull in the Xbox fanbase? Halo: Surface Edition, anyone? The whole thing is honestly perplexing. If this device is not as good as (or better than) the best tablet, and not a complete alternative to a laptop — who is this for? What is it supposed to be?”

MacDailyNews Take: Perhaps it’s for morbidly obese losers who tattoo logos onto their fat-laden, thigh-like upper arms? Zune.

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Microsoft suffers from delusions of grandeur. They think they matter and that people will buy their pretend iPad over other pretend iPads because it’s from Microsoft. Microsoft does not matter. Microsoft no longer has the power to sell superfluous products. The world already has iPad. The thinking world finally woke up and moved on from Microsoft’s soul-sapping dreck. That clueless Microsoft haven’t figured this out years ago (Zune, Kin, how many total face-plants do they need?) is illustrative of the depths of their delusions.

As with Zune, Kin, and Surface, Microsoft is unnecessary in today’s world. Their rapidly retiring/expiring IT Doofus firewall is the only thing keeping them around today.

Related articles:
Analyst: Microsoft’s Surface RT tablet priced too high, could be the next Zune – October 18, 2012
Dvorak: ‘Microsoft’s Surface tablet isn’t the Apple iPad, so it shouldn’t be priced like one’ – October 18, 2012
Microsoft inexplicably claims Surface RT tablet lower resolution screen beats iPad with Retina display – October 17, 2012
Microsoft Surface RT tablet Wi-Fi-only; 32GB for $599 with, $499 without keyboard, $699 for 64GB – October 16, 2012
Microsoft airs first TV ad for Surface tablet (with video) – October 15, 2012
Apple’s ‘iPad mini’ to obliterate Microsoft’s Windows 8, Surface RT tablet launches – October 13, 2012
Acer CEO to Microsoft: ‘Think twice’ about Surface tablets – August 7, 2012
Microsoft Surface tablet pricing leaked; US$1,000 for ‘cheapest’ Windows RT model – July 26, 2012
Ballmer: Uh, yeah, ‘Surface is just a design point,’ you know – July 10, 2012
Microsoft’s Buffoon, er… Ballmer throws down gauntlet against Apple – July 10, 2012
Microsoft reportedly dumps ‘VaporMg’ chassis, will use ‘VaporMg’ only as ‘surface treatment’ – July 9, 2012
Microsoft’s downfall: Inside the executive e-mails and cannibalistic culture that fueled Microsoft’s lost decade – July 7, 2012
HP said to dump Microsoft over Surface; to cozy up to Google Android for tablet efforts – July 2, 2012
Bad news for Microsoft’s iPad killer? – July 2, 2012
Dear Microsoft, Steve Balmer and Bill Gates: What is up with your obsession with keyboards? – June 28, 2012
Jason Schwarz: Top 10 reasons why Microsoft’s Surface is DOA – June 22, 2012
Why I love Microsoft’s vaporware Surface tablet – June 22, 2012
Microsoft’s Surface tablet said to be Wi-Fi only at launch; no 4G, no 3G, no 2G, not even 1G – June 22, 2012
Microsoft outsources Surface assembly to Pegatron; prices above $799 for Windows 8, above $599 for Windows RT expected – June 21, 2012
Acer founder: Microsoft will quit making tablets soon – June 21, 2012
Devastating video shows Microsoft’s Surface event aping Steve Jobs’ iPad unveiling (with video) – June 20, 2012
Thanks to Apple, Microsoft is doomed in the era of mobile computing – June 20, 2012
Why wouldn’t Microsoft let anyone touch its Surface tablets’ keyboard cover? – June 20, 2012
The cost of Microsoft’s Surface tablets – June 20, 2012
Apple’s revolutionary iPad vs. Microsoft’s anti-tablet ‘Surface’ – June 20, 2012
Microsoft’s Surface tablets provokes ‘sense of betrayal’ among Windows PC assemblers – June 20, 2012
Fox News: Copier Microsoft is doomed to fail with Surface tablet – June 19, 2012
Microsoft’s Surface tablet destined to be as successful as the Zune – June 19, 2012
Surface: Why Microsoft’s big mystery turns out to be a big mistake – June 19, 2012
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. Before we laugh at Microsoft’s plight, consider how the dumb fucks in Cupertino copied the worst aspects of Windows 8 – the hideous flat icons for iOS 7. I hope Apple fails hard at selling the iPhone 5S.

  1. Come on – seriously? They could not even figure that out? Scratches wooden surfaces – SURFACEGATE anyone? We should all go out and buy one, fix up a weekend, and all go out and buy one, wait a week (keeping it wrapped in its proper original cover), then go and return it for a full refund. Give the dopes in Washington a 3-4 day hope their POS product actually sold, wait for them to get point of sale data they can use to shoot up the ladder, then have to retract it a week later and sell it as refurb. I despise that crap company.

    1. “The type cover is mildly interesting.”
      – The Surface’s laptop “cover” that magically transforms into a physical keyboard?
      You mean, like what every laptop made by every company has ever had, for as long as laptop computers have been in existence?

  2. Unlike the iPad which was introduced to a collective yawn because people didn’t understand it’s potential as a tool the MS Surface is simply another me-too product that only solves problems very few people have. In other words the problem of wanting Windows on a quasi-tablet like device.

      1. Microsoft’s board has to get rid of Ballmer based on the image comparison above.

        Balmer looks to be 80, overweight and toothless. You can’t inspire workers and customers with appearance this bad. Then when you couple it with his chair throwing reputation, I can’t see SB keeps his job.

  3. The last MDN take is exactly Microsoft’s problem. They are delusional in believing that the words “Microsoft” and “Windows” are positives for their marketing. Somehow (they believe), because it says “Microsoft” on the case and it runs “Windows,” the product will sell, even through it cost more and does less (a lot less).

    In the real world, the opposite is true. Customers (especially consumers) are more likely to avoid a product from “Microsoft,” doubly so if it runs “Windows.”

    This problem will not go away until new leadership steps in at Microsoft; someone who does not suffer from this delusion.

    1. The real problem with Microsoft is that they believe that hardware quality and software quality are irrelevant. They think Apple is succeeding because of salesmanship (hype), just as they believe salesmanship (hype) is all they need to sell products. Ballmer is the “sales guy”, after all, and when your only tool is hammer, every problem looks like a nail.

    1. Agreed!


      I was surprised no one commented on a comment I made about the Surface a few days ago.

      I remembered an old sketch from the 60’s on Rowan and Martin’s laugh in that absolutely reflects this lame-ass tablet. A hippie chick presents a solution for people losing their contact lenses (new and very expensive at the time.) The solution was to mount your contacts in a tiny glasses frame and wear them like glasses.

      Kinda defeats the purpose of contacts, just like this pile o crap wants to defeat the purpose of a tablet, right?

  4. If only Joshua Topolsky from the Verve knew the tragic and touching side of this story he might have written it a bit more differently. He may have gone to the lengths of investigative reporting and taken that trip to that insane asylum to visit the patient from room 667, the neighbor of the beast. He probably would not have been able to enter the room but no doubt the screams would have made his blood curdle. He would not understand the twisted deformed words of course, the only sign that someone, or something was in there. Only the nurses, after attending him day and night could start to make out what he was saying. “I luv ma Zune Thang, I huv two white aboot it at emdeenn.”

    If Joshua Topolsky had stayed outside the room long enough he might have been able to meet up with Steve Ballmurr, the only visitor allowed to see the patient. I’m sure Steve would have talked about him… “He was our biggest Zune fan that’s for sure, and it wasn’t just the tattoo.” Joshua might have even gotten a recap of the accident, how the patient tried to shove two pairs of Zune buds into his ears at once so he could squirt himself. Yes, Joshua would have found out the real reason they canceled the Zune. Some things are just never meant to be put together, that’s why James Bond, licensed to kill will never meet a man like Steve Ballmurr, who needs a license to breed.

    The mystery of the patient’s real name will probably never be known, but Joshua might have found out that his nickname “Scarface” given by the nurses in attendance was to be the source of inspiration for Microsoft’s new device and that the keyboard is not adjustable because that is where Microsoft wants you to go to today. If Joshua had probed deeper into Steve Ballmurr he may have even been privy to the only other bit of information they had been able to make from the patient who was off his face. Everyone believed that he was a toll booth operator, somewhere on high weigh emdeenn.

    Who troll’s the bell, it trolls for thee….

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