Steve Ballmer Explains The Need for Surface

Status
Not open for further replies.

falchard

Distinguished
Jun 13, 2008
2,360
0
19,790
4
I think the great majority of people on this site buy Windows, not Windows PCs since we all assemble our own.
I think it was a mistake to implement the surface. First its just not a very good product as a lot more is expected of anything PC verse a console. The typical Microsoft manufacturers tend to produce cheap feeling devices and it shows in the Surface like it showed in the XBox360.
I think the bigger mistake Microsoft made was making Windows RT. As an OS exclusive to ARM based tablets, it has very little market presence and no real application development as a result. x86 based tablets on the other hand have a huge array of programs to install. If they just used the Windows Phone platform as an ARM based OS. It would have been fine as the developer only need to make 1 application to cover Windows ARM.
There is a lot of redundant programing involved in the current generation of Windows OSes, so it will be nice when that redundancy is done away with. When programming Windows 8 applications, you need to create a version for Core Window and Desktop. When creating something for ARM you need to create something for the phone and something else for the Tablet. A lot of that can be done away with.
 
the real reason microsoft needed surface is to make money. alone.
it's been shown that surface is built to make a sizable amount of profit from hardware alone, from teardown analyses.
those apple comparisons are moot.

and now oems are flocking to google's malware-magnet data miner... ahem, i mean android platform.
 

JeremyW

Honorable
Jan 4, 2014
1
0
10,510
0
I could understand and believe Ballmer's remarks *if* Microsoft actually created a tablet with hardware specs that pushed the hardware limits of what is already available today... lighter, brighter, higher resolution, more processing power, precise stylus for professionals, longer battery life, more modularity, better OS, more apps, less cost... like Apple has and continues to do. While I hate Apple's closed OS's, I can't deny and I even appreciate them pushing other manufacturers to make better OS's, PC's, tablets, media players, and phones. If Microsoft was serious about taking these markets they would create or enlist partners to create cutting edge hardware to showcase their platform. The hardware would get customers to pick up the product, but the software is also critical to get us to buy. I want a Windows OS that was based on and completely compatible with the PC Windows OS; allowing me to leverage the software investments I have already made. Microsoft should also go further with what has kept Windows relevant, not retreat like with Windows RT and the Windows Mobile Phone OS, to make the OS a platform that can centrally managed, licensed, and support for businesses, an OS that embraces developers to create new software, and the freedom for the users to customize their arsenal of software tools in any manner they would like.

Without the actual proof in the form of Microsoft’s offerings to back up Ballmer’s words… I take his comments as either evidence of his incompetence as a leader for missing their mark so badly or as lies to smooth over Microsoft trying to cut OEM partners out of hardware profits.
 

JD88

Honorable
Feb 25, 2013
1,424
0
11,660
110
The only reason Microsoft built the Surface was to make money on hardware. They know the business model of selling an operating system is obsolete thanks to the transition to cloud based computing combined with open source offerings from Google. They needed another revenue stream, so naturally they copied Apple's business model.
Sell a locked down device at a high markup and only offer the applications that run on it through a closed store controlled by them.

That plan failed because Microsoft underestimated the value placed on its own app ecosystem. The Surface only had Office which gave it an advantage over the iPad and Android but it turned out that Office didn't matter much to tablet buyers who primarily use these things for content consumption.
 

viliu24

Honorable
Mar 28, 2013
27
0
10,530
0
regardless of what microsoft want to do it is less likely to create a trend like aple. Aple already saturated the market with common devices with an high price tag .Microsoft must clean the fan after trowing the sh....t w8 in it , and stick to more professional product like used to do.Microsoft raised a standard in OS market and it should do it from now on , not to copy rival market, we don't need another ios/android or whatever look alike os. Everyone wants a piece of the mobile pie, but no one does anything to improve it , they just flex their muscles without any result, as u see for the last 5 years no major innovation in it, just faster and bigger..
 

tleavit

Distinguished
Jun 28, 2006
145
0
18,680
0
Simply put, Windows tablets sucked (Professional versions). the only early tablet that was worth anything for professional use early was the Asus. It took Dell until last month to come out with a decent professional tablet. Microsoft had to make the move and it was a good move.
 

LORD_ORION

Distinguished
Sep 12, 2007
814
0
18,980
0
<-- Happy Surface RT owner

Has word, and can connect to home network to share files.

100 times more useful to a Windows user than an iPad. People are dumb and susceptible to marketing I guess.
 

p05esto

Distinguished
Jun 11, 2001
876
1
18,980
0
The surface tablets are FAR more functional than any Apple offering. If you want to try and get actual work done on a tablet the Surface Pro is the ONLY tablet option on the market.
 

house70

Splendid
Not only a tablet problem, but a phone problem, as well: lack of dedicated apps. I really want to give them a try, but the few professional apps I use have zero presence on Windows marketplace. It's like Microsoft "forgot" to tell developers about their app ecosystem. There are still versions available for Windows Mobile 6.0, but NOT for Windows Phone (any of it). I can imagine people wanting to migrate, only to find a small percentage of familiar apps available.
 

JOSHSKORN

Distinguished
Oct 26, 2009
2,388
19
19,795
1
I was a bit PO'd at the specs of Surface devices in comparison to the iPads. The specs on an iPad are better, but then again, a Surface is a whole lot more user friendly since it doubles as a laptop. Unfortunately, tablet users judge a book by its cover. Not only does the iPad look better without turning it on, but the UI on the Surface is ugly. But then again, so is Windows 8.
 

FrankInKY

Honorable
Apr 19, 2012
23
0
10,510
0
Microsoft didn't need the Surface tablets, they needed the revenues the Apple and Google derived from tablets.

Tablets didn't really fit well in the MS eco-system, there was no lead up to tablets from other MS products, there was no hole in the MS lineup that tablets would fill. MS revenue generators were primarily desktops, servers and Office software, none of which fits well with tablets or supports tablets. But MS was watching revenues drop from their product line up while Apple and Google watched profits soar from tablet markets.
So MS force fit their desktop products into a tablet with very poor results. From the MS perspective everybody needs a desktop experience even if they're using a tablet. And as we've all seen that approach produced a major marketing fail with the Surface tablets.

A company doesn't need a product outside of their area of competency, switching to produce products a company can only produce poorly will lead to failure. Let's hope Microsoft gets back on track before it's too late.
 

JOSHSKORN

Distinguished
Oct 26, 2009
2,388
19
19,795
1


There's nothing wrong with the Surface except for the fact that that it underperforms in comparison to the iPad and is overpriced. If they can produce a Surface tablet that matches the picture quality, specs and price, that's half the battle right there. The other half, is re-doing the operating system. Windows Metro UI or whatever you want to call it now, is ugly, therefore dead in the water. It would be really inconvenient to use your standard Windows 95->7 interface on a tablet unless they made a few tweaks. Mainly, large icons/text making it finger friendly, and and easy way (for dumb people, even) to customize what's (what programs are shown) on the Start Menu. That, and finding a way to include Kinect into their Surface devices.
 

g-unit1111

Titan
Moderator


I got a Dell Venue for Christmas and I love this thing, it's a full PC in an 8" tablet. If it had 4G access it would be the ultimate - a real tablet without all the apps.
 

qlum

Honorable
Aug 13, 2013
195
0
10,690
1
I like to keep away from microsoft tablets as far as possible, I'd rather just have full access to my system like you can with android on root and I do hate it that you can't just sideload or install another rom on it, on the pc side of thinks regular windows isn't so bad even if I much rather used linux if software let me.
 

tobalaz

Honorable
Jun 26, 2012
276
0
10,780
0
So MS decided in order to make more money by selling their own tablets, they would try to convert us desktop users by forcing a touchscreen interface that doesn't work worth a crap on mouse and keyboard users so we'd be more familiar with their product and more likely to buy it after it infuriated our desktop experience?
Nice.
Hint: mouse and keyboard need a desktop like phones and tablets need touch screen interfaces, whats good for one isn't good for another.
What MS is doing is like saying mayo and pickles works great on a hamburger and in potato salad so let's throw it on a steak!
 

Lee-m

Distinguished
Jan 27, 2009
866
0
19,160
94
I think MS are finally starting to loose their grip on the desktop market, and maybe their grip on reality. They made mistakes that no company on the 8th iteration of an os, be it win 8 or RT for surface should be making. They seem obsessed with this touch screen stuff, like its the only thing that matters.

The lack of choice for gaming and business desktop machines really is the only thing keeping them in the position they are in, and why they cant make a dent in the mobile and tablet markets (as there is more choice).

'People have short memories and assume that like Hula Hoops Microsoft has been around forever, and will stay around forever' - CU Amiga may 1998
 

Zach Baker

Honorable
Jan 5, 2014
4
0
10,510
0
We've purchased two windows tablets:
- Original surface @$200
- Dell Venue Pro 11 (the atom variant) @$500

So far the surface has been a stellar tablet in that it works as advertised, and is well-made. The argument that the surface is not quality hardware is frankly silly. It's well-built, regardless of it not being all that fast. Additionally, it being windows RT was, I thought, going to be a real big negative. So far it has proven not to be a big deal, in that besides not being able to use other browsers, pretty much everything I want has some representation in the app store. If only google would compile chrome for arm :( Otherwise I can use it like a laptop - office on a big display with keyboard mouse if I want, although I haven't done that much yet. My use case is 95% consumption of media and pecking out emails occasionally. It lasts forever on a battery.

In contrast, the Dell, for a higher res screen and faster hardware, is 2.5 times more expensive, is cheaply-built (plastic case with removable back plate in case I want to tinker with it's guts for some reason) and has crap firmware/drivers. My first impression was "why didn't they make it 2mm thinner by not making it serviceable like this?" Well good thing the back cover is removable because that's the only way to turn the screen on after it's turned itself off - it has serious driver issues, in that you have to remove the battery to get it to cold boot to get the screen to light up again! Okay if you have the power cable plugged in you can hold the power button for 11 seconds then press the power and up keys again and if you are fortunate get it to reset that way...

The dell's screen has major light bleed issues. The powered keyboard accessory is:
- also buggy - it will stop working (registry hack available to work around that, which prevents any USB devices from going to sleep)
- needed to make the battery life comparable.
- needed to make the tablet stand up (no kick stand)
- NOT lighted, unlike the much thinner surface type covers.

So tell me again why the surface is so bad? It at least works. And at the $200 price point, it was a steal.

 

Zach Baker

Honorable
Jan 5, 2014
4
0
10,510
0
And I will add that dell doesn't have a fix for the screen power issue. Nor for the fact that the auto brightness adjustment on it sets it too dim for the ambient light. We'll see if replacement hardware changes these things, but I'm doubtful.

Again, the surface at least got all these things right!
 

bee144

Distinguished
Jul 20, 2009
87
0
18,640
1
Work gave me a Surface Pro and I was shocked how much I used it more than my iPad 3. I went ahead and switched to the Nokia 1520 WP8 and got a great deal on the Nokia 2520 tablet. Love all 3 devices!
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

ASK THE COMMUNITY

TRENDING THREADS