Just below the Surface of Windows RT

I went to the Seattle Microsoft Store this weekend to check out the Surface RT. I was already skeptical that anyone should buy the Surface RT. After using it, I no longer have any doubt: Buying a surface RT would be foolish.

The Surface RT is a Windows product from Microsoft. I think people will expect it to be like an iPad that runs Windows applications, and they are going to be disappointed to find that it really isn’t. Even so, I assumed it would well executed.

I was surprised then, when I actually used a Surface RT, is that even the Metro/Modern UI experience was sub par. The hardware was very nice. Many things were smooth and speedy with the UI, but many things were not. Lots of the built-in apps took a lonnng time to launch. Rotating the screen involved a considerable delay, made more apparent by jerky animation. In the 10 minutes I was using it, I had (built in) apps exit unexpectedly more than once.

Microsoft makes a big deal about the keyboard cover. I found it harder to type on than an on-screen keyboard –I constantly had to check to make sure my fingers were over the right keys. I tried to rely on the autocorrect, as I do with the iPad’s on-screen keyboard, but it was not up to the job.

People should see for themselves if they have the chance. I did, and learned that Microsoft’s execution was worse than I expected. I really don’t know what they were thinking. They needed to bring their “A-game.” Maybe they did, if so, their A-game is a lot of flash, and not much substance. It feels like demo-quality, rather than a finished product from one of the largest software companies in the world.

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