Surface attempts to be everything and succeeds at nothing

Travis Bloom is Microsoft fan and even he sees the flaws.

  • “Instead of lugging around a tablet and a laptop, why not converge the two? “

    I am the only one who completely disagrees with this notion?

    • JohnDoey

      No. The hundreds of millions of iOS users not only disagree with that notion, they voted against it with their feet and wallets. iOS is like a motorcycle based on a Mac OS car. A Windows combination motorcycle/car has been available since 2001 and has sold less than 1% of iPad, even with the head start.

      Also, compare a camping stove to a home stove. You want an entirely different kind of stove in each case, not a combo. The fact that they are both called “stoves” does not mean they are the same device.


    uh oh. he threatening to elop with macbook air.

    Little does he know that PC manufactures are having hard time copying the the touchpad software that Apple has written. not to talk about battery software. Microsoft may have license to the patents attached to it but the doesn’t mean they can reverse engineer it so easily.

    • JohnDoey

      The same goes for every other feature: core OS, graphics layer, security, audio video, everything. Microsoft is always making poor copies of something someone else made 5–10 years ago. That is their business model. It doesn’t work in a world where everybody sees the iPhone on the Internet amd in Apple Stores for years before Microsoft even begins shipping their clone. That is why Windows Phone has sold less than 1% of iPhone. In 1995, a mouse was still news to most of the computer users of the day, even though it was well over 10 years old at that point. And these days, Apple is the cheapest because of their iPod supply chain methods: make one great device, then get a 3rd party to duplicate it millions of times so that each unit costs the absolute minimum to produce, leaving room in the retail price for a healthy profit that sustains the platform’s future. A PC maker who is making $20 per unit shipping generic Intel parts is literally 15 years behind.

  • I don’t know, I get the feeling that this guy doesn’t get tablets. It seems that what he wants is a touchscreen laptop (with decent hardware/software). But, just like how the Android OEM’s (and Google’s, for that matter) biggest problem is that they treat tablets like they’re smartphones (that is, that they’re principally used in the same way as smartphones), Microsoft and its partners treat tablets like they’re laptops. They’re not! For instance, the whole idea of using a laptop while reclining was always a joke, we only put up with it because there wasn’t a better device for it.

    A tablet isn’t a laptop. Tablets do a subset of the jobs smartphones do, a subset of the jobs laptops do, and a set of their own jobs. The key to understanding tablets is that they’re the computer you grab when you don’t need to do that subset of smartphone or laptop/desktop jobs. The tablet becomes your default, your go-to device, unless you’re doing one of those smartphone or laptop/desktop jobs. No one says that you have to go one way or the other. You can have and use both. But some people, like this reviewer (and MS, for that matter), just can’t accept this notion.

    • JohnDoey

      He doesn’t get modern technology because he has been using antique computers from Microsoft. He doesn’t get that the Mac is a digital printing press and iPad is a digital book. He thinks they are both “computers.” Not seeing the forest for the trees.

  • JohnDoey

    It was crazy to think that Microsoft and its partners will suddenly turn into Apple. There is almost no profit in making Windows devices, except for $40 or so for Microsoft, while Apple is very profitable. The whole of Apple is focused on making a small range of iOS devices and a small range of Mac OS devices that work perfectly. Parts of Microsoft are focused on creating software for hardware makers, parts are focused on other things. But they are in every way different than Apple. It is literally not rational to expect the same results from both. Steve Jobs never stopped moving in the same straight line in the same direction, while Bill Gates always said Steve is wrong, the answer is in the opposite direction. Even if Microsoft had a sincere change of heart, they are at best like 1996 Apple — they need to be totally rebuilt. Adding Metro to Windows 8 and having a tiny Surface division to make boutique hardware is not totally rebuilding.

    Further, do you want a combination laptop and desktop? A laptop with a 20-inch display and 3.5 inch 2 terabyte hard disk? Sounds great until you find out it is 10 kilos and gets 2 hours of battery life. That is the same with a combination laptop and tablet: you get a tablet that weighs 2x of iPad, costs 3x of iPad, and has less than half the battery life of iPad, and has 1% of the touch apps of an iPad, and which requires desktop/laptop computing skills that 80% of humans DO NOT HAVE AND NEVER WILL HAVE.

    Even if you love Windows, get a cheap Windows notebook and an iPad and get to work. Stop fooling around. Me and hundreds of millions of others have been drinking your milkshake for years while you play Steve Ballmer’s flunky.

    And by the way, you need more than one device, more than one screen. Look at a TV editing setup: one screen is a Mac where you make edits, and the second screen is a TV, same as the viewer has. Today you can make an electronic book or website similarly, editing on Mac/Windows and viewing the final result as it develops on the same iPad your readers have. Or you can research on Mac/Windowd and write on an iPad. Or run Twitter/mail on iPad and work on Mac/Windows. Or write music on a Mac and lyrics on iPad. It is very, very productive. iPad mini weighs almost nothing and costs only $329. There is no excuse for missing it because you thought Microsoft would clone it right away. They failed to clone iPhone, failed to clone iPod, and the only reason yet had any success with Mac clones is the Scully-led late-eighties Apple let them. And even then, Windows has viruses, 30 year old firmware, and other signs of a total lack of quality. It costs thousands just to train people to use Windows. To still have a candle lit for Windows in 2013 is so self-destructive that I sincerely recommend psychological counseling. Admit you have a problem. Get help.

    People need to understand, you can’t get hired in Silicon Valley if you use Windows. When I am hiring, I pull out the resumes with “Windows” and no “Mac” into the trash. Windows users will write Web code into an ANSI file instead of Unicode, they will spend hours doing things that take 1 minute in Unix or Mac, they will suddenly have to stop working because they got a virus, and we don’t have time or money to train all that out of them. Plus, I just don’t know how to trust a computer nerd who was able to ignore Mac OS X for 12 years. Especially when the Mac is cheaper in TCO. That says the person prioritized building their own PC over building products with their PC. That is a different culture than Silicon Valley, where we build products and companies, not spend all day playing with our home brew PC’s.

    So the writer of this article needs to admit he was wrong, let it go, move on, get a MacBook Air and iPad mini (costs less than one Yoga PC) and get down to work. You are years behind. You are close to being unemployable as anything other than a Microsoft shill.

    • All praise for your description of a busy creative’s desktop setup.