Microsoft’s Surface Pro 3: The toaster-fridge makes its formal debut

“Microsoft didn’t do well selling the first and second generation Surface tablets. Those tablets were not pure, mainstream tablets,” John Martellaro writes for The Mac Observer. “So Microsoft has altered its strategy with the Surface Pro 3 to go after notebook computers. The result? The true toaster-fridge makes its debut.”

“First, some background. The origin of this phrase, toaster-fridge, seen in several variations (FridgeToaster) stems from a statement Apple CEO Tim Cook made in April 2012. An analyst at Apple’s earnings report asked about whether Apple might pursue a tablet-laptop hybrid. Mr. Cook responded. ‘You can merge a toaster and a refrigerator, but that’s probably not going to be pleasing to anyone,'” Martellaro writes. “Ever since then, the legendary term toaster-fridge has come to suggest an inadvisable, force-fit merging of the two platforms, to no good end, and to no good understanding of the market.”

“There are a multitude of reasons why the Surface Pro is a bad idea,” Martellaro writes. “But before I get into that, it’s worth noting that companies tend to have a certain momentum in their thinking and manufacturing. There’s a mentality that if only a few tweaks are made, the company can be saved the embarrassment and effort of changing gears. I believe this is what happened to Microsoft with the Surface Pro 3.”

Much more in the full article – recommended – here.

MacDailyNews Take: Microsoft is trying to force a market to exist that simply does not – and that is as sure a recipe for failure as anything. Microsoft is as delusional, or even more so, than ever. 🙂

Sleep tight, Satya.

Related articles:
Surface Pro 3: Microsoft seems more confused about the future than ever – May 21, 2014
Microsoft shows 12-inch ‘Surface Pro 3′ tablet, starts at $800 – May 20, 2014

23 Comments

      1. I largely agree, Zeke, and especially so for John Martellaro. I once complained in the TMO forum that one of his pieces was a regurgitation of old news without any new analysis. I was promptly slammed – by Martellaro! Despite MDN’s recommendation, I don’t think I will be clicking.

  1. If MS wants to compete with tablets, it really has to swallow it’s pride and create a touch specific tablet UI. Whether it be the Windows Phone UI scaled up, it doesn’t matter, but Windows 8 is not in any way shape or form touch optimized for tablets. At least not as a pleasing consumer experience. Nor is it optimized for the desktop. It’s truly a strange beast.

  2. This is hardly the debut of the “toaster-fridge.” There are already laptops running Windows 8 that have detachable keyboards. And even before Windows 8, there were “convertible” laptops that became stylus-based tablets by “flipping” the display.

    If you think about it, EVERY Windows 8 PC with a touchscreen is a “toaster-fridge.” Most laptop and desktop PC users want nothing to do with touching the screen as an integral part of the UI. Every PC running Windows 8 is a forced “kludge.”

    1. Windows 8 is a flawed product, but to say “users want nothing to do with touching the screen” is complete nonsense. It done right, which Windows 8 is not, there is the benefit of ease of use in certain laptop application. I find it easier to touch the screen many times than to use the scroll pad.

      1. Well, I said “most,” not “every.” 🙂 So what I said is certainly NOT “complete nonsense.” And “most” is accurate, because there may be “some” users of desktop and laptop PCs (obviously some in Microsoft leadership positions) who like the concept of touching their PC screens, “most” do not.

        If there was even a modest interest in doing so among Microsoft’s general Windows customer base (a significant percentage who still use XP), Windows 8 would have been at least modestly successful. Instead, Windows 8 is the CAUSE of the current malaise in PC sales (everywhere except for Apple’s Mac business); all of those Windows users hobbled by ancient hardware running XP (that’s what you call HUGE “pent up demand”), and Microsoft can’t drive interest in new PCs with Windows 8? Why not…?

        “Most” would rather not upgrade to a new PC that comes with Windows 8; they would rather keep using 13-year-old Windows XP, or get one with Windows 7 (which itself is approaching FIVE years old). Or get a Mac.

        > Windows 8 is a flawed product…

        Actually, no… Windows 8 is NOT a flawed product, as a showcase of touch-based desktop and laptop computing. The concept that (most) users of desktop and laptop PCs actually WANT to touch their screens to run their PCs – THAT is the FLAW.

          1. Actually, it is NOT “slapped on top.” If it was, Windows 8 would have been more successful, because “most” Windows users (who have no interest in touching the screen) could just ignore that feature, and PC makers can ignore that feature and sell less expensive PCs that do not have touch screens.

            Instead, Windows 8 makes touching the screen an integral part of the UI. Windows 8 is not “flawed” in the same way Windows Vista was flawed. It is unsuccessful because the concept behind its design (the assumption that laptop and desktop PC users want to touch their screen) is flawed.

  3. Actually, I don’t think the Surface 3 is a terrible device. MS fixed (mostly) the size/weight/power/battery life issues. (Not the OS issues.)

    But my gosh, the price is insane for most PC-buyers who are used to spending $600 – $700 on a PC. And $799 gets you 64 GB to run Windows? Seriously?

    If you REALLY need the “full PC” experience, (Core i7 & 512 GB) you’ll have to spend $2000–$200 more than the comparable MBA–and without the keyboard.

    And that model isn’t shipping till August.

  4. That Panos Pants guy sounds like a dangerous nut. I’m glad he’s working for Microsoft and all that but probably best to steer well clear of that idiot if you value your sanity, health and financial wellbeing.

  5. “…the first and second generation Surface tablets. Those tablets were not pure, mainstream tablets,” John Martellaro writes for The Mac Observer. “So Microsoft has altered its strategy with the Surface Pro 3 to go after notebook computers.”

    Only the marketing strategy has changed. It is still the tweener it was at release.

    BTW, this is Surface “3”? Didn’t realize the 2 even existed.

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