What to do with ten million Surface RT Tablets?

I’m a big fan of Windows RT – I’m not sure if that makes me a fanboy, a tragic, someone who recognizes something that’s not a bad effort or some weird mélange of the above.

I’m a big fan of Windows RT – I have 2 devices, a Vivo Tab and a Surface.

I’m not sure if that makes me a fanboy, a tragic, someone who recognizes something that’s not a bad effort or some weird mélange of the above.

My defining experience of Windows RT was flying from Melbourne to Copenhagen in Economy class – running my Windows RT device off the USB port in the seat and still, after more than a day in transit, being able to still watch videos and use Microsoft word to type stuff. As someone who finds the tedium of long distance flight (and lets face it, if you’re Australian, it’s almost always long distance) akin to some form of mildly irritating torture, this was a pretty big plus.

Soon we’ll see a Surface 2 RT (or RT 2 or R2D2 or whatever they call it). We’ll probably see a bump in the pixel density and that a change in pixel density will be the main obvious difference between it and the earlier model. And with the new model on the horizon, the already less than popular original model becomes even less alluring to the general public.

What happens to all those Surface I tablets sitting in a warehouse somewhere, perfectly functional, but unloved by a heartless public who just doesn’t grok that it’s device with a long battery life that runs Microsoft Office?

It would be nice if those rumored 10 million tablets ended up with a nice home, but unless the price got into the “too good to miss” range, I can’t see the majority of them leaving their warehouse. Everyone remembers what happened with the HP Touchpads when they went on sale for the right price – nerds stampeding retail outlets to get them.

And, tragic as I am, I do believe that if enough people actually had a Surface, if they just gave it a shot, they’d become as fond of it as I’ve become.

Discuss this Blog Entry 6

on Jul 23, 2013

Indeed. If you read the reviews of actual users, not tech writers, you'll generally find people love their RTs (if not the name).

on Jul 23, 2013

Personally, I still love the RT more than the Pro. My original comparison still holds true...


on Jul 23, 2013

I sometimes suspect that many tech writers, living in and covering the activities that occur in a valley, aren't able to glimpse what's happening beyond in the wider world.

on Jul 23, 2013

I don't hate my RT, but without the apps, I'm just waiting for someone at XDA to figure our how to put Android on it. That, and IE, mail, and other apps crash daily. Also, IE is really slow. Stupid things are missing, like today I found that the print option in IE won't let you print a page range; it's all or nothing. The screen is too wide in landscape orientation to type comfortably. The at symbol is in a really dumb location, it should be opposite the hand used to switch to the symbol/number mode. I could go on.

on Jul 24, 2013

I've got an ASUS Transformer Infinity - a high end premium Android tablet. As a work computer, its rubbish. Even as a browser it's pretty rubbish. I've honestly tried to find good uses for it. Prior to IRC Explorer coming out for Surface I used it for that.

If you want to play games on a tablet, get an iPad. If you want to do work on a tablet, get a Surface. I spent a lot on the Infinity to see what Android on a tablet was capable of. I love my gadgets, but there's not a use case for my Android tablet when I've got my iPad and my Surface. Even Google+ is better on the iPad.

on Jul 30, 2013

I've had both a Surface RT and a Surface Pro since each became available and strongly prefer the RT. The Pro is too heavy, too thick and has way too little battery life. If I need Photoshop, AutoCAD or SQL, I have my workstation. RT, especially at the newest price point, is value for money. Now, if Microsoft had a Marketing Dept but...

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Orin Thomas

Orin Thomas is a contributing editor for Windows IT Pro and a Windows Security MVP. He has authored or coauthored more than thirty books for Microsoft Press, founded the Melbourne System Center,...
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