Microsoft, I’m hanging my boxing gloves
Something in this company is extremely wrong and you do not have to be an expert to notice it. The scariest thing is that those with the power to do something do nothing. It’s like they are blind.
A month ago Microsoft released the Surface RT to the world, according to the company the reason to start selling its own Tablet was the lack of quality of the Tablets and other devices that the hardware partners were selling loaded with Windows. If you want something well done you have to do it yourself.
For those that follow the life and changes of this technology world this sounded like an awakening of a huge monster that was sleeping perhaps for a very long time. This was what everybody was waiting to see. The beginning of a real competition between this company and Apple. Without competition there is not a source for innovation. Part of us were tired of seeing iPads released with the same old iOS full of restrictions and without big changes since it was released for the first time. Windows 8 and Surface RT was the change that we were hoping to see. A hardware well made with an Operating System that finally was bringing something new and different since Windows 95 was released, an OS with a new user interface capable of handling touch and mouse. Simple and easy to use.
And what did we get? A Surface RT with a hardware that you could only dream about it with a keyboard of amazing characteristics that under heavy use lasts few weeks, no reaching even a month. The first fiasco. What failed? The lack of experience of the company picked for this project? The poor quality control from a company – Microsoft- with little experience as PC manufacturer?
And if the keyboard fiasco was not enough with have hundreds of users complaining about WiFi disconnecting or connecting with limited functionality, we have little problems with the OS and some of the programs included in the Surface RT and we had to deal with a preview version of Office 2013 that generated a lot of bad press in the blogosphere from people testing it without having upgraded first to the full version.
I cannot imagine a scenario where nobody at MS did not notice the WiFi issue. Yes, I’m not suffering from this issue but I have played around with my AP and Surface RT up to a point where I got it working. SOMETHING THAT THE AVERAGE USER SHOULD NOT BE DOING. What the average user wants is something that finds an AP and connects EVERY SINGLE TIME. Like an iPad. If Microsoft did not find this issue was because they rushed this device to the market without testing it enough. And I’m talking about real life tests. No Labs tests. I do not know how many 1000s of MVPs Microsoft has, why you don’t use them for these tests, you do not trust them and NDA, then use your own employees. DO SOMETHING, THINK OUT OF THE BOX! But do not release a product in this condition if you are thinking about set an example to be followed by your hardware partners.
A Mail software without POP3 support. I do not care if this is an obsolete technology. I do not use it. But there is a lot of users using it. You were open minded to support Flash, another obsolete technology, so why exclude POP3? The Mail program has many other problems, it stops working from time to time, crashes, it does not report correctly the number of new messages in the home screen tile, etc.
I was reading yesterday an article from one of the news sites I follow where the conclusion was that the Surface was not ready for the average user and just for IT professionals and I hate to say it but I agree. I won’t recommend this device to anybody that is an average user. I have been defending this device that to me is a lot better than any Tablet in the market including the iPads. But it’s not for everybody. It’s not ready to compete against the iPad.
But wait, this is not all. This week the prices and official specs for the Surface PRO was unveiled. A battery life of about 4 hours! That’s all you read everywhere! 4 hours of battery life was what the best UMPC were getting. And the whole UMPC concept was dropped and one of the reason was that. It’s time for manufacturers to comprehend that if they do not release a Tablet with at least 8 hours of battery life is better to no release it.
Another point that scares me is that may be somebody at Microsoft is thinking that by releasing the Surface PRO as soon as possible they can generate more sales. You are wrong! With that battery life users are looking at Surface Pro like this one is just an UMPC or TabletPC and those two concepts are not working any more. They love the simplicity and mobility of Tablets. They do not want to carry a Tablet and a charger. You will get more revenue by fixing the Surface RT issues before Christmas and staying with RT than wasting your time and money with the PRO version.
Surface PRO is a TabletPC and the market will act like it has been doing it all these years with TabletPCs and UMPC. None of these two concepts were popular and have not been able to compete against Apple’s iPad.
I believe that Surface RT is a winner product. But for this to become that we need to see changes at Microsoft. The responsible for all these mistakes and bad decisions have to pay for them. I wouldn’t like to see the Surface following the path of the Zune, the UMPC and Windows Mobile.