“If you can live with its tiny number of third-party apps, and somewhat disappointing battery life, it may give you the productivity some miss in other tablets.”
That’s typical of comments on the new PC from M$. The hardware is great. Moore’s Law and Chinese labour make great hardware. However, the software is buggy, as usual, M$ having released before it is ready, and the lack of compatibility with third-party apps for M$’s OS make the Surface a soggy mess. Then there’s the price… $499 will cause most consumers to reflect, “Maybe I should buy two Android or GNU/Linux tablets and USB keyboards…”. Some say salespeople will like the portability, keyboard and M$’s office suite in the package but will they love 7h battery life? Most tablets will give longer life.
Once again, M$ with its tens of thousands of employees have been unable to compete with FLOSS, a cooperative project of the world to produce software that works. When will they learn? When will markets realize the emperor has no clothes?
About the price, M$ does not have to pay licensing fees so they should have cut the price ~$100 or more if they wanted to compete on price/performance. This is once again proof the dinosaur has not realized it is in the tar-pit. OEMs would be wise not to follow in the footsteps of the monster. It took M$ years before they made the Xbox successful. I doubt any OEM or retailer on tight margins will wait that long this time. Further, all the energy M$ has put into ARM will harm the loyal OEMs who have slaved away for free all these years supporting Wintel in the manner to which it has become accustomed.
Those who guffaw that M$ will not allow Surface to fail may forget a lot of objects bearing M$’s brand that have fizzled: Zune, various mice and keyboards (I occasionally found these in schools, one at a time, never in a set…), their first tablet (2000), etc. Even in software, M$ never had success without a monopoly granted by IBM and extended illegally.
With Android/Linux a consumer could have 600K applications from which to choose and with GNU/Linux there are tens of thousands in Debian’s repositories installable in seconds. Why give up that kind of flexibility to stay locked into M$’s treadmill running on ARM? By the time many applications are available for Surface, the whole world will likely have a */Linux tablet. The world has finished two laps on the track before M$ starts. They won’t catch the wave.