I’m typing this out on my Surface RT. Not my Surface Pro 2. We all know how I fell about windows 10 as it stands right now. My Surface RT has been my on the go work horse. No matter how much it has been lambasted by the press or the short comings of its app store, I’ve absolutely loved it. But then again, I am the patron saint of lost causes. I love this tablet about as much as I loved my Lumia 900. Which got it EOL notice before it could get dirty or scratched. I got that as a replacement for my HTC HD2. As you know my Microsoft fandom started with the Zune devices. My last one being a Zune HD 32 GB in black. I think an iPod touch released the same year has seem more updates than the Zune HD ever did. The Zune desktop software is now defunct. I still use it for streaming podcast and music. It looks a lot better on a large screen TV than XBox music. Especially at parties. Know what all these things have in common? I loved them so Microsoft HAD to kill them.
We live in a time where nothing can stand on its own. We only care about speeds and feeds as Steve Jobs once called it. Be #1, a very close #2 or fail fast. The Surface RT devices didn’t set the world on fire nut they weren’t spectacular failure either. Any device maker that made a Windows RT didn’t sell nearly as many as the Surface RT. Many bowed out before Microsoft released the sequel to it. Now it seems that Microsoft is giving up on the RT models. No mini! No slated surface 3 on its way. Another EOL! The title of this piece is called “An epically DUMB idea”. The DUMB idea wasn’t me buying any of these devices. The dumb idea is Microsoft killing the Surface RT and half assing an update for the people who bought the Surface on good faith that Microsoft would continue to treat it as the premium device it was sold as.
Killing off Surface RT:
The problem with Surface RT and Windows RT as a whole is the app gap. When people get something with the windows name they think about the 5 million programs available to it. Not less than 200,000 apps you’re limited to acquiring through the app store. This will be moot if the windows phone & windows app store are really going to merge. Having the desktop available while handy for using office was more of a tease. But killing off the Surface RT isn’t going to fix anything either. You may have read the complaining about there not being a new, high end Lumia on the horizon from everyone? When my Surface RT breaks, what do I replace it with? I want a tablet with a display that’s about 10 inches. I want about 10 hrs. of battery life. You’re probably saying to yourself “Quit you’re bitching and get a Surface Pro 3”.Wait for it. I don’t want to pay more than around $500 for a 32 GB model. Without a Surface RT option I’m forced to pick 2 of those 3. And so are a lot of people. You know what those people are going to get? An iPad! Microsoft has effectively given up on making its own affordable tablets. The Surface Pro 3 is too expensive and heavy to compete against the iPad. Hence why it’s always advertised against the MacBook Air and MacBook pro.
Not really updating the Surface RT:
With my Lumia 900 I could understand why it wasn’t going to see windows phone 8. It was a kernel switch from 7.5’s CE (compact embedded or seeing as it was already a decade old, Clinton era. Take your pick) to Windows phone shared NT kernel. Getting an update for a windows phone is harder than finding a virgin in a delivery room. Everything was against that Lumia 900 getting a decent upgrade. So I took 7.8 until I could get a Lumia 920. Windows RT doesn’t have those problems. It is the NT kernel right? And there’s no AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint or Verizon standing between my surface and a full update right? And Microsoft is making a version of Windows that runs on ARM processors right? So why am I getting some of windows 10 features? Why am I not getting Windows 10 mobile? It’s bad enough that my Surface pro is getting a tablet-ish experience. Why is my tablet getting the shaft? So I’ll get some of the features of windows 10 but none of the apps?
It’s about trust:
I’ve asked a lot of questions. I’ve got one more. How do I trust Microsoft again? Why should I buy ANYTHING with the Microsoft Brand on it? I was looking at and drooling over the Hololens. Now I’m not so sure. People buy Apple products because they can count on them getting updated and being replaceable with a newer version. They trust Apple to not fuck them over. How many people bought a Surface and Surface 2? Does Microsoft really want that many people spreading doubt about Hololens when Google is about to release a Google Glass 2, Apple is about to get into the VR space, HTC and Samsung about to sell their own VR/AR headsets and Oculus rift still a major player? Stand by your customers Microsoft and don’t give up on challenging the iPad. Because looking at Google it seems like you’re the only ones that can challenge Apple. Don’t just hand it over to them.