“Microsoft has never had a good track record with consumer hardware. That’s why the company’s departure from its modus operandi with Surface is such a big deal. The new tablet is arguably Microsoft’s biggest and boldest attempt at first-party hardware. Considering Steve Ballmer’s proclamation of Microsoft’s future as a ‘devices-and-services’ company, Surface is of paramount strategic importance, even if its financial results are negligible right now,” Evan Niu reports for The Motley Fool. “However, one analyst is now making an unflattering comparison for Surface and also expressing skepticism about Microsoft’s bigger picture. Is Surface destined to be the next Zune or Kin?”
“Microsoft Zune was doomed from the get-go. Launched five years after Apple’s iPod, it only lived for five years before Microsoft killed it off. Meanwhile, the iPod lived on and is now approaching its 12th birthday. Apple’s iconic music player is still the market leader with over 70% share,” Niu reports. “Kin was even sadder. The poor thing will always go down in smartphone history as the worst launch for a consumer device. The phone was axed less than 50 days after launch.”
Niu reports, “The last thing that Microsoft wants is for Surface to stir up memories of these dearly departed products. MKM Partners’ analyst Israel Hernandez thinks Surface RT is ‘on track to join Zune and the Kin in the great consumer electronics discount rack in the sky.'”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: GWAK.
Microsoft’s ‘Surface Pro’ tablet slammed by negative reviews – February 7, 2013
9 out of 10 businesses support Apple iPhones and iPads – February 6, 2013
Apple’s iPad dominates tablets with 81% Web usage share; Amazon Kindle Fire distant 2nd with 7.7% – February 6, 2013
The Verge reviews Microsoft’s Surface Pro: Too big, too fat, frustratingly poor battery life; it just feels limiting – February 6, 2013
Microsoft’s Windows RT: Circling the bowl – February 5, 2013
Windows 8 bloat: Microsoft’s 64GB Surface Pro will offer users only 23GB of available storage space – January 29, 2013
Microsoft doesn’t reveal Surface sales, and probably never will – January 24, 2013
Microsoft blames PC makers for Windows 8 flop – January 24, 2013
Fujitsu President: Weak demand for Microsoft’s Windows 8 killing PC Sales – December 28, 2012
Philip Greenspun: Microsoft’s Windows 8 is a Christmas gift for someone you hate – December 7, 2012
MKM Partners cuts Microsoft price target, estimates on lower than expected Surface, Windows 8 sales – December 5, 2012
Why Microsoft’s Surface tablet is doomed – December 5, 2012
App developers shun Microsoft’s Surface tablet – December 4, 2012
Microsoft Surface Pro to offer only half the battery life of Apple’s latest iPad with Retina display – November 30, 2012
Microsoft’s Surface Pro iPad killer to start at $899 – November 29, 2012
Microsoft’s Surface tablet flops, orders reportedly cut in half – November 29, 2012
TechCrunch’s Siegler reviews Microsoft Surface RT: ‘It’s time for a drop test – right into the garbage can’ – November 19, 2012
Slate reviews Microsoft’s Surface tablet: Too slow, mercilessly buggy; why is it so bad? – November 6, 2012
InfoWorld reviews Microsoft Surface RT: A disappointment; you’re better off with Apple’s iPad – October 31, 2012
Gizmodo reviews Microsoft Surface RT: Do not buy; inferior to Apple’s iPad; the worst of both worlds – October 25, 2012
The Verge reviews Microsoft Surface RT tablet: ‘The whole thing is honestly perplexing; who is this for?’ – October 24, 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
They make pretty decent mice though
They should fall back to this core business. The world would be a better place.
I disagree as their core business is illegally leveraging an ill-gotten monopoly.
Everyone knows that evil fact, but it certainly keeps them profitable. So it would be smart for them to fall back on it, but not the rest of the world.
They did..until Apple bought out the Magic Mouse. I love my Magic Mouse and you can pry it from my cold dead hands.
Once you go Magic Trackpad you never go back…
I use ’em both – MagicMouse at work, Magic Trackpad at home.
Love ’em both. But I do find the MagicMouse to be better for precise graphic work.
@The Other Side,
I gave you five stars because you are right. But Microsoft also makes cheap mice. You can’t just grab a Microsoft mouse knowing you are getting a good one, you have to get the more expensive one.
If a client doesn’t want one of the Apple meeces or trackpad I always tell them to get a Kensington. I try to never hand Microsloth any business if I can help it.
Some of the best. And affordable too.
This is a surprise to anyone? Or atleast anyone outside of M$ upper management?
The only decent Microsoft product I’ve ever had – which I’ve not found a suitable replacement for – is the trackball explorer. I’ve actually worn the plastic down on it. Luckily I got one off eBay a few years ago, they go for an awful lot more now. They should focus on stuff like that, it’s all they’re good for.
What’s a Microsoft trackball explorer? Is that something Ballmer would use to track his right nut with?
get 2, turn them into ben wa balls.
You should know who’s visiting next door, being the left nut!
I hope it succeeds, if only to take some market share from Google and Samsung but it’s priced to compete to iPad and MBA’s so it will probably just fail – MS’s failure almost seems hard to believe.
MS Surface will fail because MS was dragged kicking & screaming into this market by the Chair Thrower, who said “We must put Windows and Office on the tablet market.”
Then the CT makes the incredible decision not to put Office on the iPad or other devices which are selling by the millions per month. Down, down, down it goes.
Building & maintaining castles made of stacked stones today to repel the Huns who might come with ladders doesn’t work in the era of drones.
Ballmer thinks that making Office for the iPad will make it more of a runaway success than it currently is, so he denied Office to the iPad in order to install it on the Surface as an exclusive.
Turns out he made the right decision. Instead of the iPad running away with the market, the Surface is lagging behind it.
In Ballmerspeak, lagging behind is better than being left behind. He hates the word ‘left’ because he hates his left nut so much.
Good thing you’re here, you’re Ballmer’s only body part showing any common sense. No wonder you got rejected like a bad organ donation.
Right next to Pippin, Newton, and hockey puck mouse.
i legitimately loved that mouse. never used a pippin or newton though.
The hockey puck wasn’t bad – once they included the little notch, so you knew which way was “up”. Really simple UI change, but it made all the difference – prior to that, the Puck was utter crap.
Never used the Pippin or Newton, so I can’t really speak to those.
1) The Pippin wasn’t sold or marketed by Apple, but by licensees.
2) Contrary to popular belief, the Newton was a relatively successful product for the time, shipping for nearly five years. Compared to Zune, it was a huge success. The Newton was quite powerful and way ahead of its time, laying the groundwork (along with Palm) for the cultural shift toward the PDA “computer small enough to carry with you” concept that smartphones made practical and the iPhone made enjoyable.
3) The hockey puck mouse did suck, but it was actually around for two years.
Newton’s only problem was thst it was Scully’s pet project. Steve wouldn’t have killed it otherwise.
Now that’s a stretch MacFreek,
At least the Microsoft’s examples listed in the story are from this century.
Yeah, like nothing of significance occurred on the planet before the 21st century.
Great Mice and keyboards. That is why Apple moved to touch technology (iPads) and mousepads.
Microsoft is so 1980s!
And it eats its own children (competing directly with them).
They wanted to call it the Surface ZK at first but then settled for RT instead. ZK had too much of a ‘Zune Kin’ fail written all over it.
RT though is an acronym for ‘Right Turd’ which is where it’s at right now – with sales in the toilet.
So, where’s the plunge in the price of MSFT ???!!! If this were Apple, AAPL would be down in the $100s.
I own a 64GB Microsoft Surface RT and LOVE IT! I have had no troubles with mine and do not understand why the sales are poor??!! Love the hardware to boot…
If the Edsel is a great collector’s item, are we missing an opportunity? After all Microsoft has a great track record for great products to late to market. Another 10 year a Zune in the unopened box is going to be worth something to the MS fan boys. Surface RT could be the third product that Microsoft turns off. Unfortunately this WSJ article does not talk about Microsoft machines turning off, but it could have. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323628804578348572687608806.html
I actually saw an Edsel on the street the other day. It really was a striking car. Nice design – looked great.
But it was the wrong car at the wrong time.
Not really sure what this has to do with MS…
Hey MDN how about a contest for the fine folks who come here for the best photo of Microsoft’s surface sinking, you know to match that great Zune photo. You’d have to do it soon, cause I’ve never seen one….
Oh weight, I have….
I’ve waited for a while, and since you have not replied I gather you are using the singular word wait to mean a grammatical correction to one of the words in my post, more than likely the word “weight”.
Let me pull out my poetic license and point out the concept of a pun. A pun is a play on words, either on different senses of the same word or on the similar sense or sound of different words.
In this situation the grammatical sense of the word would indeed be as you pointed it out wait. However this discussion is about the Zune and the Surface so many disposal concepts are applicable. The “discount rack in the sky” referring the termination of a product the photo of the Zune making a big splash are playful concepts, at least for those who can understand such concepts and have a certain level of humor.
It is to this audience that I strived for with the post, and hence I decided to use the word “weight” in lieu of the word “wait” as a pun, since “weight” also has connections with disposable items (dead weight for example) and is often added to help things sink.
Knowing that a good portion of the fine community here would still find that obtuse I added a picture, to bring that portion of the community into the clarity of the comedy.
Then of course there is always the possibility of the heckler, who may be attempting sarcastic wit or is experiences some form of anal retentiveness or other fascinating behavior.
Since it is you 3l3c7ro, I’ll point out that the use of the word “weight” as a pun is perfectly acceptable. I know it is more appropriate to MDN’s concept of making a splash instead of the ANAList’s comment about a “discount rack in the sky”, but if that perturbs you…well you can do like an angel or a bird and flock off.
Delivery of humorous lines often are subject to timing. I guess that I read your pun at the wrong time and the joke was ruined for me.
Well I’m glad you eventually got it. If it’s a question of timing, then the new iWatch might help.
Oh, I thought you meant weight as in Windows W8…
The problem here for Microsoft are the connections, real and perceived. Surface RT is an obviously failed product that runs Windows RT. Windows RT is essentially the same design as Windows 8, which runs on Surface Pro. And Windows 8 is now the default OS for non-Apple PCs.
Surface RT failing causes a domino effect that ultimately leads to Windows 8 failing, because no one wants to buy a failure (or something that looks like that failure).
Earlier today, I saw the first MS Surface in real life. In a parents meeting at my daughter’s school, one of the parents had it (he also had the iPhone). Before the meeting began, we were asked to complete some online survey. They were handing out MBAs to the parents who didn’t have a device on them (or wouldn’t bother doing it on their iPhones — almost every single parent had one). This guy was filling out his survey on the Surface. Simple, web-based “SurveyMonkey” site. He kept struggling to select the desired responses; the browser kept snapping back to some default response. He then struggled to scroll down on the page; as he kept swiping up/down, nothing moved, and the scroll bar appeared on the right side of the page. He went to touch the scroll bar and as he moved it up/down by dragging the finger on it, the page started scrolling in the reverse direction of the scroll bar (i.e. the way it behaves in the desktop environment). It was obvious that he was getting confused by the scrolling direction; every time he wanted to scroll, he’d first swipe the wrong way, realise he got it wrong, then swipe in the desired direction. I could simply not believe how needlessly counter-intuitive and complex this was. What was the purpose of the existence of that scrollbar to begin with, if you should be able to swipe to scroll, like on all other (multi)touch-based devices???
Not to mention that the device was a fairly thick slab of plastic, very much resembling those ultra-cheap COBY tablets (9″ Android device for $120). Even though I’ve heard stories about Surface before, I was still surprised to see the person struggling with it.
I have a feeling MS will continue sinking money into it until it turns profit, the way they sank money into X-Box (for almost a decade, mind you), before it stopped losing money.
I’d say it works just fine. keep it up MS slut heads!
It’s not made of plastic dummy.
It’s not made of ultra cheap plastic, it just looks like it!
Yeah, that’s a stellar endorsement right there.
Most of you have probably never even touched a surface rt. It wouldn’t make a difference anyway as whatever ever you look at is through apple tainted i’s.
Chuck, your lack of civility is noted. It is clear that since you can’t win an argument with decency and facts, then you resorted to personal attack. Poor form, old chap.
The Surface RT, at its price, is a poor value for most users:
1) It has fewer applications available, and
2) its interface is far less intuitive and efficient than the competition
Those are facts. If you prefer the Surface, then by all means go and buy it. Predrag merely recounted a situation where the typical user struggled with the terrible Win8 interface. A quick search of Youtube would uncover thousands more people struggling to understand or work with Win8.
Like I said….tainted i’s
You don’t know the Apple fanboi community at all, do you? You’ll find we’re the least rabid, KoolAid drinking, hypnotized of the tech fanatics. When Apple pulls a Zune move, WE TELL THEM. When MS pulls a Zune move, WE TELL THEM. We are easily the most DEMANDING and DISCERNING of the tech fanatics. Don’t believe me. Just watch and verify.
Or if you’d rather just be an anonymous coward troll, expect our i i i i ire. 😆
I full well know what to expect….you just proved my point.
No. Kind of a desperate reply.
I have. I went to a 2 hr presentation with one-on-one training by MS staff here in Portland at the MS office. It was directed to business professionals. I have used an iPad for a couple of years and had never used a Surface (RT). I thought it was OK, but there was nothing that would make me want to give up my iPad. Nothing. I did find the interface and gestures to be completely unintuitive and even counter-intuitive. I would not pay the kind of money MS wants for this product and I just don’t see any problem it solves.
I took a good look at the Surface at Best Buy. The cover that every reviewer said you need would not stay closed; it kept flapping. That is a big problem. The lack of cell connectivity and GPS is crazy. A big market for tablets is for people who work out in the field, or on the road. They have ignored those people. Apple has been slammed for their Maps app, MS does not have on. No reviewer brings that up, even those slamming it. Lack of a rear camera is a big problem for those who do not work in a office. Being able to shoot, edit, share a photo and video on one device is very useful. Not to mention barcode reading. The Surface is just a bad laptop, nothing more.