The Omnibus AFB Surface Topic

  • Posted: 25 June 2012 01:46 AM #271

    Drew Bear - 25 June 2012 03:20 AM
    FalKirk - 25 June 2012 01:03 AM

    A smart man who can be both insightful and yet so purposefully disingenuous all the in the span of a single paragraph.

    I just figured the link bait rhetoric is part of his shtick. He definitely plays to his audience by bashing Apple unfairly, but he also can look at Microsoft with a critical eye. With most proponents of a single system, he has blind spots. I scream aloud at many of the pundits that I force myself to read. Life would be more pleasant if I stuck to reading folks I agree with. For some reason I find him one of the least annoying of the Microsoft pundits. Mary Jo is even better, but she focuses on the Enterprise.

    I really do like listening to opinions that are different from my own but they have to be fair-minded. Gratuitous slaps and flat out falsehood drive me to distraction.

    Anyway, let me bring this back on topic. I listened to Thurrott and Mary Jo on their podcast on Thursday. Thurott was surprisingly low key although still irritatingly smug. Mary Jo was as excited as a school girl but, again, she seemed genuine. They went on for about an hour and I’m not sure that I got much out of it although I did enjoy it.

    I’m in the middle of listening to John Siricusa dissect the Surface on his “Hypercritical” podcast. I haven’t heard it all, but I highly recommend it.  I will soon be stealing his insights and pretending that they are my own.

    I’m sure that many would not be able to tolerate his style. He is so very thorough. But man, can he rip a subject down to it’s core and then dissect every little aspect. He comes at Apple from an extremely different angle than any of the other podcasters I’m aware of.

    I think the Surface falls into two spheres. There’s the physical questions such as whether it will be ready in time, battery life, price etc. All very important.

    But what interests me more is philosophical issues. Apple’s made it very clear that they think that the tablet and the notebook are separate devices. Microsoft is saying the exact opposite. One of them is right and one of them is wrong. There’s simply no way they can both be right.

    So who is it?

         
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    Posted: 25 June 2012 01:47 AM #272

    If microsoft is hoping that Surface will extend the lifespan of the Windows consumer market, I wonder if the opposite may actually happen.

    If Microsoft had instead had a promo event with ARM & Intel based tablets from its hardware Partners, Windows 8 may have sustained the PC market at its current tepid size for a few years yet.

    However by launching its own tablet, Microsofts Hardware partners may choose to abandon the consumer space altogether very soon. At the very least I dont see many producing low end tablets/PCs when they have to compete with the Windows RT based microsoft surface (and the iPad of course), especially when they have to shrink their margins by paying Microsoft for a Windows licence.

    I think we will see those PC manufactures that have a large Enterprise hardware & services base abandon the consumer sector very soon and consolidate around their profitable business units (think Siemens, Ericsson in smartphones) - and those OEMs who mostly only have desktop/laptop lines will proceed in a race to the bottom until they go bankrupt (think Nokia/Rim/HTC in smartphones).

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    Posted: 25 June 2012 01:54 AM #273

    FalKirk - 25 June 2012 04:32 AM
    Drew Bear - 25 June 2012 03:37 AM

    They’re making a big deal about these keyboard covers. They better live up to the hype. My guess is people who spend a lot of time on keyboards will not be happy with anything less than a full-size keyboard with full-travel keys.

    Microsoft has no confidence in the tablet. Think about their presentation. First, they show us a tablet. Then they try to turn the tablet into a notebook.

    - They make a big fuss about the integrated keyboards. Keyboards are great, but if they were essential, then people wouldn’t be buying tablets in the first place.

    - They have a kickstand. They think its important enough that they build it in and spend tremendous amounts of resources on it in order to make it feel and sound just right. A kickstand implies that that the device is sitting on a table. Tablets are occasionally propped on tables. But their primary purpose is to be held. The kickstand is trying to make the tablet into a desktop device.

    - The camera on the back of the Surface angles up an 22 degrees. This means that it works great when the Surface is on a table leaning back on its kickstand. But its pretty awkward to use when you’re holding the tablet in your hands. Again, Microsoft wants this to be sitting on a table, not held in your hands.

    Think what we’re talking about here. Microsoft has taken its focus off the tablet and they’ve put all their focus on making the tablet into a hybrid by adding a kickstand, a pen and a keyboard. These are peripherals, not the main product. They’re the garnish, not the meal. It would be like Apple creating a new iPod and then spending all of their presentation time on the the smart cover. Take a look at how Microsoft displays the Surface. You will never see it without it leaning back on its kickstand with the keyboard in front. They want you to think of it as a notebook resting on a flat surface first and foremost.

    Microsoft is not selling a tablet. They’re selling a light, portable notebook that you can use as a tablet, in a pinch.

    great post - the point about the camera angle not working unless on a table is rather obvious now that you have said it - what a rediculous decision to make for a tablet product (unless they are thinking exactly like you suggest - its really a laptop).

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    Posted: 25 June 2012 01:57 AM #274

    FalKirk - 25 June 2012 04:32 AM

    Microsoft has no confidence in the tablet…Microsoft is not selling a tablet. They’re selling a light, portable notebook that you can use as a tablet, in a pinch.

    That’s it in a nutshell. You at least have to acknowledge that they are not putting out another Windows PC tablet. After a decade of failure and the iPad, they at least have changed the price, weight and UI.

    Things are packages of emphasis. Some things are emphasized in a product, some things are not done as well, some things are chosen not to be done at all in a product…They’re paying us to make those choices. That’s what a lot of customers pay us to do. Is to try and make the best products we can. And if we succeed, they’ll buy them. And if we don’t, they won’t. ?Steve Jobs

    Microsoft has presented their “package of emphasis”. If they succeed in making great choices, people will buy this product. They vote with their wallets. Polls open later this year.

         
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    Posted: 25 June 2012 02:00 AM #275

    These two Surface threads need to be smooshed together somehow.

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    Posted: 25 June 2012 02:04 AM #276

    They can both be right.  A bit like Android and iOS and any multi-party competition market.

    The megatrend, however - and it’s a mega-megatrend - strongly suggests otherwise.

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  • Posted: 25 June 2012 02:09 AM #277

    Drew Bear - 25 June 2012 04:57 AM

    Things are packages of emphasis. Some things are emphasized in a product, some things are not done as well, some things are chosen not to be done at all in a product…They’re paying us to make those choices. That’s what a lot of customers pay us to do. Is to try and make the best products we can. And if we succeed, they’ll buy them. And if we don’t, they won’t. ?Steve Jobs

    Microsoft has presented their “package of emphasis”. If they succeed in making great choices, people will buy this product. They vote with their wallets. Polls open later this year.

    Where’s the “thumbs up” button? I’m trying to find a way to “like” your post.

         
  • Posted: 25 June 2012 02:11 AM #278

    Burgess - 25 June 2012 05:00 AM

    These two Surface threads need to be smooshed together somehow.

    Dawntreader can do that. I’ll send him a PM.

         
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    Posted: 25 June 2012 02:14 AM #279

    FalKirk - 25 June 2012 04:46 AM

    I’m in the middle of listening to John Siricusa dissect the Surface on his “Hypercritical” podcast.

    Thanks for the reminder. I had to re-load my podcast list after jailbreaking my iPhone and somehow missed Hypercritical. I knew something was missing!

    But what interests me more is philosophical issues. Apple’s made it very clear that they think that the tablet and the notebook are separate devices. Microsoft is saying the exact opposite. One of them is right and one of them is wrong. There’s simply no way they can both be right.

    So who is it?

    Well, most of us here know the answer. Consumers across the globe have been voting with their wallets. The polls opened April 4, 2010. Surface is Microsoft’s candidate, but it’s still a no-show.

    To be completely fair, there probably are people who honestly will prefer the Surface over the iPad. So for them Microsoft will be right.

         
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    Posted: 25 June 2012 02:19 AM #280

    As I’ve said, look at the Surface about page on Microsoft’s website.

    First photo says it all.

    http://www.microsoft.com/surface/en/us/about.aspx

    And those keyboard covers - shoulda stuck with Type Cover only.  But that there’s a greater and lesser keyboard to pair with a greater or lesser tablet…

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  • Posted: 25 June 2012 02:26 AM #281

    Drew Bear - 25 June 2012 05:14 AM
    FalKirk - 25 June 2012 04:46 AM

    But what interests me more is philosophical issues. Apple’s made it very clear that they think that the tablet and the notebook are separate devices. Microsoft is saying the exact opposite. One of them is right and one of them is wrong. There’s simply no way they can both be right.

    So who is it?

    Well, most of us here know the answer. Consumers across the globe have been voting with their wallets. The polls opened April 4, 2010. Surface is Microsoft’s candidate, but it’s still a no-show.

    To be completely fair, there probably are people who honestly will prefer the Surface over the iPad. So for them Microsoft will be right.

    Hybrids are useful. Boy Scout knives are useful when you’re camping and “sporks” are useful when you’re on a picnic but, given our druthers, we’d druther be using fool sized tools and real utensils. And given our druthers, I suspect that people would rather be using an excellent tablet or an excellent notebook rather than a device that can be neither because it aspires to be both.

    (To be fair, I think that the Surface with Metro could be an excellent tablet computer, but I think that it’s too late to market - unless Google tablets utterly collapse under their own weight. We may find out the answer to that as early as later today (Monday)).

         
  • Posted: 25 June 2012 02:36 AM #282

    Mr. FalKirk has asked that we merge this topic with the other Surface topic to consolidate the discussions. All in favor?

         
  • Posted: 25 June 2012 02:38 AM #283

    Mr. Falkirk has asked that we consolidate this topic with the Appomattox topic. All in favor?

         
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    Posted: 25 June 2012 02:42 AM #284

    DawnTreader - 25 June 2012 05:36 AM

    Mr. FalKirk has asked that we merge this topic with the other Surface topic to consolidate the discussions. All in favor?

    Good idea.

    I wonder why we are spending so much time discussing a product none of us has touched?

         
  • Posted: 25 June 2012 02:54 AM #285

    omacvi - 25 June 2012 05:42 AM
    DawnTreader - 25 June 2012 05:36 AM

    Mr. FalKirk has asked that we merge this topic with the other Surface topic to consolidate the discussions. All in favor?

    Good idea.

    I wonder why we are spending so much time discussing a product none of us has touched?

    You touch it first!  :wink:  LOL