After I’ve read many reviews and negative comments about Surface RT, a thought came to my mind – is it really that bad? When I started working on it, I clearly saw what others have been trying to convince me. This Windows-based Surface RT tablet has been released in 2012 and Microsoft has decided to cut the price of this tablet by $150 few days ago. The earnings of the previous quarter weren’t good for Microsoft and this company has announced $900 million charge related to this device. We can officially call it a failure and here is why.
The name and OS are confusing every single person. This Surface RT and Windows RT as a whole continue to be confusing device for the customers. It’s not only the name, but the fact that Windows RT still has really boring interface. Microsoft needed to be more stylish and use the Microsoft design language which involves only interface distancing itself of the regular desktop version. This could have been great differentiator between its Surface Pro and Surface RT. Instead, Microsoft has gone with 2 different devices which are running on the same OSs and run exactly the same applications.
Only the ones who have used this Windows RT experienced a significant barrier from it. It’s interesting how some apps were working but older ones didn’t. I’m trying to stay optimistic and to think that these problems could go away with the new Windows 8.1. However, Microsoft already has other concerns than Windows 8.1. They need to do lots of covering and try to convince tablet seekers to try out this Surface RT.
Has someone noticed the Apps? – The apps have been the biggest problem for this tablet. It’s simple, there aren’t any great apps built for this Surface RT in the Windows Store. This store has more than 60,000 available apps and just for comparison Apple’s App Store has 400,000 specific applications for the iPad. Can you see the difference? Microsoft even tried to make fun of the iPad saying that the Surface RT is better than the iPad because its device had the ability to work with Office docs. When you think about it carefully, you will see that Office 365 is making its way through coming to iPad. Putting this aside the main problem was Microsoft highlighted the app gap in these ads.
Last but not the least, Microsoft has built its Surface RT without Outlook access. They have learned their mistake and remedied this problem with the upcoming Windows 8.1, but building a tablet aimed at business without native email client is awful.
When you look at it you will agree with me and everyone else that there are plenty better alternatives. The Surface RT is a product that lost its pace and can’t find its proper market. You don’t know if it’s aiming at laptop market or tablet market. Its biggest problem was running alongside Surface Pro which can run all the apps that Surface RT can. Surface Pro has better additions, more memory and faster processor. Ask yourself – which one you will buy?
Microsoft isn’t the only company making Windows-based tablets. Lenovo, Samsung and Asus are all in the business offering their own Windows 8 based tablet or convertible notebook. Asus and Samsung are also trying to introduce tablets that can run on Android or Windows 8. You can use the full advantage of your Windows 8 at work and use Android while you are playing with your kids or friends.
As we are heading towards the post-PC era or should I say towards the tablet era, Microsoft must put itself together and make something that we could really use. The Surface RT is clearly a disaster product and no one could take advantage with it. We already saw some analysts predicting that by 2017 we will all use tablets leaving our computers aside. Maybe Microsoft has other plans in near future for distancing of the tablet market and trying something else. We need to wait and see what experience will bring Windows 8.1 when will start performing under our hands. Just to remind you that Windows 8.1 was previewed and released for developers and its official launch for the public is expected by the fall.
Do you think that Microsoft has the power to do something with its Surface RT or it needs to rebrand it and start over again?