"Gotta say love that SURFACE!" Oprah told her legions of fans on Twitter (14,870,825 as of this writing). How much does she love that Microsoft Surface? So much that she carves out time to tell us about it when using her iPad.
Gotta say I love Surface, but I gotta type it on iPad
Screenshot by Zagg
Oprah named Microsoft's new Surface Windows 8 tablet one of her "Favorite Things," an annual blessing that can often result in the sale of millions of units for those Favorite Things. The problem, however, is that she needed her iPad to tweet about it.
First noticed by Zagg, the issue came to light when someone saw the client ID that went with the posts. Gizmodo noted that most Twitter clients no longer identify themselves when posting, a product of tightening restrictions from Twitter itself on third party apps.
Twitter for iOS, however, does identify itself, which is where this faux pas put the funny in Teh Interwebs. Ms. Winfrey may or may not truly love the Surface, but there aren't any Twitter clients for the Surface RT just yet, so she (or her production team) had to use something to tweet the good news about the Surface.
And, well, there was the iPad, and it just worked. It was pretty, and one thing led to another. You know how it can be, and it just happened! It didn't mean anything, though, really!
Then again, Internet Explorer works just fine on Surface RT, so they could have used that, and that means we're kind of back to square one.
In the meanwhile, why aren't there any Twitter clients for Surface RT? BusinessInsider reported that there was a third party app for Surface called Tweetro (a play on Metro, the old marketing name for the Windows 8 tablet interface).
Twitter shut Tweetro down, however, when it exceeded the number of users that Twitter inexplicably limits the third party apps that made it a success. More importantly, Twitter hasn't launched its own official Surface RT app.
Which really means that the real question is why in the heck didn't Microsoft shell out whatever it would have taken to get an official Twitter app ready for Surface on launch day? More importantly, why didn't someone at Microsoft work with Oprah's machine to make sure they tweeted about it from the Surface's browser?
This has the makings of product placement in the first place—Oprah loves to mention key Microsoft bullet points such as Skype, the kickstand, the keyboard, and its weight—but even if she genuinely loves the Surface, once it was named a Favorite Thing, Microsoft should have reached out with some proactive tender loving care.
Big Redmond continues to blunder from one hamfisted mistake to another, but now they don't have Steven Sinofsky to blame for it. Will Steve Ballmer step up to the plate and take responsibility? Fat chance.
One thing is for certain, this development is certainly one of our Favorite Things.