I’ve spent a day full of second thoughts. Back when Microsoft announced the Surface in two flavors, both an RT and a Pro version, I immediately jumped the gun and said I’d wait for the Pro. I’ve always been frustrated by the fact that the iPad is not a work machine, and I seriously find it annoying to have to haul my laptop everywhere.
I borrowed Brandon’s RT Surface in Vegas back when we were covering CES just to make sure I was doing the right thing, and as it turned out I was, since going RT would’ve just been adoption another iPad when it came to usability. There was really no point in risking it when I could just go Pro and enjoy the design elements of the Surface without compromise.
Well, after months and (pardon the caps lock) MONTHS of waiting, Microsoft has finally unwrapped the date and price of the Surface Pro, and sadly I don’t think I’ll buy it any more. And before you come to me with the usual fanboyistic rant of why I hate Microsoft and their products, it really has nothing to do with either. The Surface Pro is really the product I expected it to be, and I’m certain it’ll do well in satisfying those that have waited for it, but that “wow” effect that I felt when I saw the original announcement has faded away.
The reasons why are actually not complex at all, so I’ll try to sum them up by the three main reasons why I’m jumping ship.
1. It’s too late
You know, if this was a month after the original announcement, I’d be standing in line somewhere trying to get this computer today even if launch day is two days from now. There were so many things going for it that I’d seriously be willing to sacrifice to get one. The problem is when you mix a long wait with the devastating effects of events like IFA and CES in my palate. We saw so many different variants, flavors and design solutions for a usable Windows 8 Pro computer that I now question if the Surface is right for me.
Microsoft really sucks when it comes to being timely with their products. It doesn’t matter what they launch, they take so long that competitors have enough time to crank-up something superior. A simple example is the Samsung ATIV Smart PC Pro. I’ve always been a fan of how Asus innovated with a true laptop keyboard dock with their Android tablet line-up. The ATIV Smart PC Pro and a ton of other Windows 8 Pro solutions have this design. Why is it better than the Surface Pro? Well, for one it’ll truly feel like a laptop when you want to, but you can carry it as a tablet when you don’t need hard-core computing. The dock also carries an extra battery to power your computer while on-the-go which sadly you can’t get with the $120 touch covers you have to buy with the Surface Pro.
At the end of the day, being late has its price, and I have a strong feeling Microsoft will end-up paying for it on February 9th.
2. This stupid ad
Now why is a keyboard dock that also provides a battery something you really want to have with a Windows 8 Pro tablet? Well because Intel Core i5 processors aren’t as efficient as their ARM competitors. It’s clear that you won’t get 10 hours of battery life like you can on conventional tablets. I had some high hopes that probably Microsoft could figure this out better than their competitors since hey, they make the software, right? Well this ad just completely sunk those thoughts when you skip to 53 seconds:
What computer company in their right mind would promote a battery charger in their ads? I don’t care if the purpose of showing the charger is to let customers know that they can also charge an extra accessory with it, but seriously, showing me a charger in the ad of a tablet is the worse message you could ever send to a customer. Having a cool charger is not my idea of what I want to look forward to for a mobile device. Microsoft seriously needs to change their ad agency, and hopefully they can also ditch the funny music along with them.
3. Windows 8
I’m still trying to understand what people find wrong with Windows 8, but 5 out of 10 of my friends have already uninstalled it and returned to Windows 7. I remember the day when Windows 7 was launched and how many of us went crazy trying to get it, but the adoption of Windows 8 has been more a “cheap price” thing and not really a “yes I want it because it’s better” thing. Surely I can most likely just install Windows 7 on the Surface Pro, but since 7 isn’t as good a tablet OS as 8, I’d definitely prefer to find a computer that feels like a laptop and offers the added functionality of a touch screen, and not the other way around.
The bottom line
I could give you a ton of cases of companies that have arrived second to a market and have disrupted it so well that they’re now kings of their respective categories. The iPad is a clear example of how you can be ten years late and win. What Apple didn’t do wrong was announce the iPad with enough time for their competition to change everything and adapt. This is where Microsoft fails. They come up with some awesome ideas, but they take six to ten months to actually launch a finished product to the market, and in this day and age, this is a mistake. Once you mix some terrible marketing with it and it’s a disaster waiting to happen.
I do hope that the Surface Pro succeeds. I honestly wouldn’t mind being proven wrong with this product. Sadly the fact that other Windows 8 competitors have figured out smarter solutions in so little time is what kills the edge for an idea as good as the Surface Pro.
What about you? Are you getting one on February 9th, or have you already gotten another one after being tired of waiting? Leave us a comment down bellow.