Pre-orders are a tough decision no matter how severe you gadget addiction is. On one hand, you know that if you pre-order, you’ll be among the first to show-off a new gadget. On the other hand, if you don’t, you’ll know your decision will be a bit more informed.
When Microsoft announced the pre-orders for their Microsoft Surface, I simply felt that they did too many things wrong for me to be impulsive about it. On one hand, Microsoft and I have a history of love and hate. I owned Windows PCs since Windows wasn’t even bundled in the PC, back in the days of DOS 4.2. My first-ever mobile device was a PDA powered by Microsoft’s Pocket PC 2000. I was a true Microsoft loyalist since 1992, and I’m sure that if Microsoft would’ve launched the Surface three years ago, I would’ve pre-ordered on the spot.
The problem is when we consider the hate part of the relationship. I believed in eBooks almost five years before Amazon even thought of the Kindle. I decided that a true Microsoft loyalist remains in the ecosystem, and even though I had the option of buying .pdb ebooks for a Palm app called eReader that worked on Pocket PC, I decided to stick to Microsoft Reader. Big mistake. I decided to give the Zune Pass a try. Big mistake. I decided to purchase an insane amount of apps for Windows Mobile. Big mistake. I decided to purchase two Windows Phones (Dell Venue Pro and HTC Titan) to give Microsoft a final chance of trust when they promised upgrades without excuses. You guessed it, big mistake.
The fact of the matter is, I no longer trust Microsoft. At times, I have the feeling that they’re trying to do everything and push everywhere, but they don’t really believe in what they’re doing. It seems as if they’re there to compete, and not because they understand what needs to be done any more. Yeah, I’ll say it again, I miss the old Bill Gates days.
Moving back to the Microsoft Surface, I’ll admit I gave it a lot of thought. I mean hey, even if they totally ignored my loyalty, they’ve done a great job with the Xbox. There’s still a 50/50 chance that all my disappointment will disappear with such a beautiful tablet. Here are the reasons why I’m still thinking about it though:
The Amazon Kindle and the Nexus 7 are two great examples of no-brainer products. We knew nothing about them, but hey, for the same amount of cash that we’d spend on a night-out with the family, we could unwrap a new tablet. Now don’t get me wrong, I do think that Microsoft is doing the right thing in pricing this tablet close to the iPad. Whenever products are too cheap, people think of them as cheap even if they aren’t. This tells the market that the Surface is a premium product that deserves respect, and that’s a smart way to approach the market.
The problem with this approach is that it’s not attractive for pre-orders. Many of you may not remember the launch of the iPad, but people felt the iPad was a bargain back in 2010. Back then, Tablet PCs were priced at no less than $1,200, and Apple’s cheapest computer cost $999. Apple actually did something similar to Amazon and Google when they launched the first iPad, even if Amazon later diluted that mentality with the Kindle Fire. This is why the price point on the Surface is difficult. No longer do consumers have that same feeling that this pre-order is a no-brainer.
Nobody has even touched a Surface yet!
When Microsoft announced the Surface, I’ll admit it was extremely annoying that no one was allowed some hands-on time with the product. It was set behind a glass counter and nobody could even touch it. It’s already been weeks since that happened, and to this day, nobody has ever touched, held or even used one. Surely some articles are now public about the making of the Surface, but those sort of controlled hands-ons are exactly that, controlled.
That’s just weird in this day and age. OEMs are always so eager to greet us at press events and they go above and beyond for us to get a feel for their products after they’re announced, so that our impressions are well fed and educated before we write or film about them. Sadly, I still can’t understand the mystery behind the Surface. If Windows RT wasn’t finished, then fine, they should’ve least let us hold the tablet and get an impression for how well it feels, but the didn’t.
So if you ask anybody in the tech world if it’s worth to purchase the touch cover along with the Surface, or to rather get the Type Cover for just an additional $10, we don’t know. How well is the weight distribution compared to the already heave New iPad? We don’t know. Is it sturdy? We don’t know. Which one should you get, the 32GB or 64GB? We don’t know. Is the screen good enough, even if it has low-resolution compared to the iPad? You guessed it, we can’t help you decide yet.
The bottom line
We definitely purchase a Surface on pre-order for our Review, but I personally didn’t get one. Not yet at least. I do want to wait for Brandon to get it and send me the usual email titled: “It’s awesome” or “refund”. Obviously I can’t tell you what to do with your money, but I for one, will wait and see. I find it too weird for Microsoft to have so much mystery behind Windows RT or even Windows Phone 8. Either Microsoft has one last trick under their sleeve that they want to hide before the launch so that everybody else pushes their events, or they simply haven’t finished. If I let history handle this scenario, I’ll go for the later.
What about you? Did you pre-order a surface? Please share your thoughts in the comments.
Image source: Reuters