IDC analyst slams the Surface Pro: "it's just not there yet"

In an interview with CNET, IDC analyst for tablets Tom Mainelli has said harsh things about the state of Microsoft's Surface Pro tablet in the market, saying that while the tablet is an "interesting product", "it's just not there yet" in terms of overall execution. This follows the news yesterday that, according to IDC's research, Microsoft shipped 900,000 Surface units for the first quarter of 2013.

Mainelli complained of the drawbacks associated with the Surface Pro: 

The battery life's not there. It's too heavy. [...] While it performs like a notebook, Surface Pro is always going to be compared to other tablets, and tablets really need to run 8 to 10 hours. [Surface Pro's] four hours is a nonstarter

He hopes that a second generation Surface Pro will address some of the issues with the current model, saying that with Intel's upcoming Haswell chip and "additional improvements", the Surface Pro "is still viable". Mainelli also believes the Surface Pro would be a lot more successful if it had the form factor and price of the Surface RT; a tough ask when Atom-powered tablets (as opposed to Ivy Bridge-powered, like the Surface Pro) occupy Surface RT price points.

Another point raised by Mainelli is Microsoft's flawed marketing strategy, highlighting how it's hard for Microsoft to recommend Windows RT over Windows 8 when the former lacks compatibility with x86 desktop applications. "Ultimately", he says, "Microsoft needs to decide on one operating system for tablets" so that Microsoft isn't "pitting [their] own operating systems against each other".

Microsoft may announce a second-generation Surface in June - potentially at BUILD - that addresses some of these issues, if a Digitimes report is to be believed. While Digitimes is known to be inaccurate, we'll be at BUILD just in case a new Surface is announced.

Source: CNET

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"the ipad - it's just not there yet. it seriously lacks precise input of a mouse. having no true multitasking and not being able to run serious business apps make it a non-starter. apple needs to decide on one operating system." (some analyst)

The main difference between an iPad and a Surface Pro is you can restore your broken down frozen iPad with a Surface Pro but you can't restore or fix anything with an iPad.
Is IDC seriously comparing international iPad sales to Surface sales in North America only? why would you not compare Surface sales for first quarter with iPad 1 sales in there first quarter when they were released and only North American sales.
Real sales figures will only be known when Surface goes on sale in all countries markets that iPad is currently sold, which is more than 3.
IDC specialising in Apples and Oranges comparisons (pun intended) again

It's a worldwide conspiracy. Everyone is against Microsoft, and lackluster sales are a grand conspiracy by EVERYONE! I get it now, we're all holding it wrong.

I actually agree that the near-laptop battery life makes it a non-starter for those hoping for an x86 tablet.

Once Haswell makes it into Surface Pro2, we'll have to revisit this assessment.

It is "there" as an expensive toy or as a "gee-whiz, look what I got" item. It is still "not there" as any kind of content creation item. As for adding any kind of usable keyboard, you now have a two-piece laptop--certainly not a tablet.

Wait, he's slamming the Surface Pro? Which is pretty much just like every single ultrabook out there? So intel's ultrabooks are "just not there yet" too?

People seem to just love bashing Microsoft.

FalseAgent said,
Wait, he's slamming the Surface Pro? Which is pretty much just like every single ultrabook out there? So intel's ultrabooks are "just not there yet" too?

People seem to just love bashing Microsoft.

Maybe, but there are ULV based laptops that get as much as 15hrs on a full charge. AKA Asus. Just look around.

They could have released the pro in 3 models...low end with ATOM...mid-range with a nice ULV and high-end with an i5. That way you get a choice based on your usage.

The other issue is tablet batteries wont be as big as those in laptops. What I would have suggested is an onboard battery that gets 4 hours and then a full 9 cell battery that you can carry to plug the Surface into if you need more time. I mean, take for example those 9 cells batts that come on most laptops...they aren't that big. An ACADAPTER that size that is actually a battery that can be plugged in as well would be a huge plus.

IDC, IDC - hmmm I think I have seen this company around somewhere? Where oh where....

Oh yeah the same company that continually slams MS for everything from 900K units shipped to "Surface Pro" is a non starter with a 4 hour battery life. Really 4 hours? I got more from mine so it must be that I used mine less than IDC does in their run down tests.

IDC - I DON'T COUNT - that's their new Acronym.

Analysts are like ARM Chair Psychologists. Both unqualified to give real advice.

The fact that they sold 900k in Q1 at $900-1000 price-point is very telling that this type of device is in high demand.

I am ok w/ Surface 1's weaknesses b/c it is in fact, their Gen 1 Device. I'm hoping that by Gen 2, they are able to get better battery life, hopefully thinner form factor, and cheaper starting price point.

The only thing I agree w/ the Analyst about, is RT vs Pro. I think MS should scrap Surface RT, and do the next gen Surface w/ 2 models. The first being Surface w/ Atom (maybe have 7in & 10in), and starting it at $300. Then Surface Pro, w/ beefier iCore, etc specs, starting at $700-800.

I think if they are able to do that, they are going to sell like hot-cakes.

Also, I wouldn't mind if they would come out w/ more 'dock' type accessories. Like maybe, a home dock that has connections to monitor/mouse/kb at your desk. And another laptop-type dock that would be like the Asus Transformer Dock (w/ extra battery, ports, etc).

its pathetic that the only thing these people can knock about this product is that it only gets 6 hours battery life and not 8 or 9. forget the fact that it is a core i5 that can run powerful applications and is so mobile in a sleek form factor. I mean,**** physics. places like the verge creamed themselves about the chromebook pixel that gets 2 hours battery life and runs nothing but a browser, yet costs 1.5x a surface pro. sometimes you just gotta shake your head.

The only thing lacking int he Surface Pro is 8+ battery life. I use mine so much and it is so useful that battery becomes an issue. If it were a useless toy like other tablets I certainly would not use it enough to worry about the battery.

Gee, someone who can spout crap that tech people in-the-know already know or know is utter BS, making pronouncements as if they were some kind of definitive authority on something they clearly don't have a solid grasp of, while making money off of it.

I'm in the wrong profession.

Surface is ok and not bad for the first gen. I dont like the fact that you cannot use the system on your laptop with the KB attached like a normal laptop. And the battery life could be better for those who use it all day long.

I thought I would mind that, but I've ended up using it in tablet mode on my lap mostly. It's amazing how much easier typing on a widescreen touchscreen keyboard is compard to iPad.

It's not a tablet, so lets get that out of the way. It is a laptop that is ultra portable.

Second, love the sensationalist headline; "person SLAMS Surface Pro: Insert very mild quote after!"

If your talking about a desktop replacement, the Surface Pro never will be.

I think Microsoft have a good strategy. Hoping to see Surface Pros with 13+" screens soon...

Yes, it is very important to realize Surface RT can meet battery life, performance, and security guarantees by only running aps from the app store. As soon as you start installing apps on Surface Pro or any Windows 8 device that have free reign to run in the background, you're back in the wild west of computing that consumers are rejecting en masse by buying tablets over laptops and desktops.

People are such bashers..
The Surface Pro is not a notebook or a tablet.. it is a Hybrid.. small and powerful, designed for business use.. the Battery isn't suppose to last much long, the only reason it has a battery is for incase a company's has a electricity outage, same with the Sony products, people would label it as a tablet, but it is not, its a PC designed to be moved around in work stations, and to such as operate the touchscreens for work purposes, or even artisticness activity. the Surface RT is now a tablet, but the Surface Pro is mostly for work stations. these New Products can save your life if there was a blip electricity outage, preserving your data, and giving you a chance to shut down or go on standby mode till electricity comes online...

instead of being narrowminded about these Products.. try to be open minded..
oh FYI before windows 8 came to existence... back in 2005 I used to go to the hospitals.. and the Doctors and nurses always has these Tablets based on windows XP, it has a touch screen, and therefore very useful in workfields, even now in the present tablets with Cameras and stuff will do wonders for company, such as Bing* new offering as Translation via Camera viewing..and stuff.. seriously..Bing and Windows 8 is the future.. its the best for productivity...
cheers.

jp.vdvyver said,
People are such bashers..
instead of being narrowminded about these Products.. try to be open minded..

This is so true...when you look at very popular sites like THE VERGE, they drive opinions, and you can see their reviews being echoed over and over in the forums. when they reviewed the surface, one of the things they said was...(paraphrased) "we dont know who this is designed for...is it a crappy tablet or a crappy laptop, that you cant use on your lap". Then you heard these things stated over and over in their comments. Its as if the surface pro can only fit into specific uses. They were not very open minded at all.

"we dont know who to recommend this to..."

plain stupid and very close minded.

Vu Nguyen said,

"we dont know who to recommend this to..." plain stupid and very close minded.

Yes, very close minded. Surface Pro does not fit into a nice square little box like many of these bloggers and analysts want it to. No, it's not a simple laptop. No it's not a simple tablet. If you want just a tablet, the Surface Pro is not for you. Likewise if you want a simple laptop. It is very clearly for someone who wants to replace both devices with a single one, and having owned the Surface Pro since release I can say it doesn't this brilliantly; I haven't picked up my laptop since february and sold my old iPad. Completely replaced.

jp.vdvyver said,
People are such bashers..
The Surface Pro is not a notebook or a tablet.. it is a Hybrid.. small and powerful, designed for business use.

Exactly.

My company is pretty excited about the new Surface Pros and they've started allowing us to order them and use them on the network. The main appeal being for sales in my opinion.

It's capable of being put on our Windows domain via USB docking station with a second and even third monitor if you get crazy with the USB attachments. Then BAM, sales and management can pick up their workstation just like they were using their laptops and go see a customer with no problem and wow them with some new shiny toys.

It's clearly designed to try and bring consumer flair and business efficiency closer together.

"Ultimately", he says, "Microsoft needs to decide on one operating system for tablets" so that Microsoft isn't "pitting [their] own operating systems against each other".

lolwut an analyst I can agree with!?

windows RT is designed for a tablet..
Cnet and ZDnet are known to be Microsoft bashers.. they are Pro-Apple and Linux... kinda sad that the world are like using technologies as a political view.. always biased and false information... facts and honesty is important..but then its always about scorring the highest points.

Neobond said,

lolwut an analyst I can agree with!?

Why? Why only one? That's like saying Apple need to choose between the iPod Touch and iPhone so that Apple isn't pitting their own identical devices against each other.

Both Windows RT and Windows 8 have their place. And if Windows RT didn't exist, Intel would never be forced to bring something power efficient enough to make Windows RT unnecessary.

There is a reason why some people want $199 Android tablets, and the iPad is ARM. There is a reason why people want ARM devices. And there are reasons why people want x86-based devices. It's nice to be able to make that decision yourself, and not have Microsoft force that decision down your throat. Windows should exist on ARM and x86. Let us decide.

Tigurinn said,

He's doing his best to make it look bad. Probably opened every app he could in the background to make it lag as much as possible. Then he plays around with the desktop and Word 2013 and intentional taps everywhere but the buttons. He's obviously missing the targets by a lot.

Surface RT is a Product of Microsoft with the Tablet Version of the OS. Windows RT is a OS in a different OEM product, such as Asus and Samsung has products with Windows RT aswell. Windows RT is very useful for studying and and School stuff and some other stuff...

rfirth said,

Why? Why only one? That's like saying Apple need to choose between the iPod Touch and iPhone so that Apple isn't pitting their own identical devices against each other.

Both Windows RT and Windows 8 have their place. And if Windows RT didn't exist, Intel would never be forced to bring something power efficient enough to make Windows RT unnecessary.

There is a reason why some people want $199 Android tablets, and the iPad is ARM. There is a reason why people want ARM devices. And there are reasons why people want x86-based devices. It's nice to be able to make that decision yourself, and not have Microsoft force that decision down your throat. Windows should exist on ARM and x86. Let us decide.

Well said. No one seems to mind that the iPad cannibalizes MBA sales either.

Why do we give a **** what analysts say..

It's the same as quoting any dick head on the street, just with less chance of an honest opinion -_-

Then why did you bother commenting?

I see no problem hearing points of view from different sources. Besides, much of what he said is spot on, imho.

-_-

COKid said,
Then why did you bother commenting?

Because someone wrote mean things about precious Microsoft and he had to spring to their defense.

Chicane-UK said,

Because someone wrote mean things about precious Microsoft and he had to spring to their defense.

You fanboys spring to Apple/Google's defense when something by an analyst is said so I think you are being very hypocritical. They are not tech people, they are people employed to look at numbers not me what products are good, for all we know this unknown is a high school drop out living at his parents house.

Either that or I think the source of information is important..

I commented for the same reason that you think listening to the analyst is worthy..

Also, tear into Microsoft for all I care, just do it for reasonable stuff. This guy is just giving his opinion with his companies name scrawled on it..

Lastly, quote me when they criticise Google/Apple et all. Then I can agree with me some more..

articuno1au said,
Why do we give a **** what analysts say..

It's the same as quoting any dick head on the street, just with less chance of an honest opinion -_-

So if the title of this story was IDC analyst slams Chrome OS: "it's just not there yet", your comment would be totally different. Of that I am sure.

No, I'd still say the same thing..

Whether I agree with the statement is neither here nor there.

Regardless of whether I have chocolate or strawberry ice cream, vanilla still sucks.

articuno1au said,
Why do we give a **** what analysts say..

It's the same as quoting any dick head on the street, just with less chance of an honest opinion -_-

I'd sooner the madman from the street ranting about the end of the world being given air time because at least no sucker is paying the guy to do so. I had a look at the analysts comments and quite frankly there is nothing he is saying which is of any value nor does he even listen to Microsoft regarding how the Surface Pro is positioned when compared to Surface RT.

Btw, I don't own any Microsoft produces so it isn't as though I'm 'cheering' for 'my team'.

ingramator said,

You fanboys spring to Apple/Google's defense when something by an analyst is said so I think you are being very hypocritical. They are not tech people, they are people employed to look at numbers not me what products are good, for all we know this unknown is a high school drop out living at his parents house.


You have no clear idea of what an "analyst" could be. While I do not know what are this guy qualifications are I can tell you that analysts, meant in general terms, do not just look at numbers.
https://www.cia.gov/careers/op...ia-jobs/index.html#Analysis

Mr Nom Nom's said,

I'd sooner the madman from the street ranting about the end of the world being given air time because at least no sucker is paying the guy to do so. I had a look at the analysts comments and quite frankly there is nothing he is saying which is of any value nor does he even listen to Microsoft regarding how the Surface Pro is positioned when compared to Surface RT.

Btw, I don't own any Microsoft produces so it isn't as though I'm 'cheering' for 'my team'.

Not that I agree with either side but to have a look at the comments of an analyst on one article/statement is not justification of judging one's abilities, intentions, or biases toward anything. If you took a look at maybe 3 or more of their articles/statements and input examples, then your opinion might have more credibility. This goes for anyone; I'm not aiming this at only yourself. I dont mean to offend anyone either. It's easier to do a little research ahead of time and be a little more thorough than the rest of us having 50+ extra comments to read. Most of the comments are people only complaining about someone's comment; the a posting war starts.

Lets just be friends and hrlp each other, not hate because of what we said.

Sorry, got a little off topic.

Chicane-UK said,

Because someone wrote mean things about precious Microsoft and he had to spring to their defense.

Careful, I actually had some Microsft loyalist here send me a nasty message. I just laughed my ass off!

articuno1au said,
Why do we give a **** what analysts say..

It's the same as quoting any dick head on the street, just with less chance of an honest opinion -_-

I think people should take note that IDC is doing some really questionable things in their reporting. They are not counting hybrid or tablet PCs as PCs and recorded an exaggerated 14% drop in PC sales which sent MSFT stock price temporarily tumbling. (MSFT ended up rebounding after earnings to a 5 yr high). IDC has also made it clear they desire to count iPads along with Macs as PCs to increase Apples share of the PC market. I also believe IDC doesn't count convertible or portable AiO PCs in their accounting of Windows 8 tablet sales. This is institutional bias that says a tablet is something that is the size and shape of an iPad. In reality a Sony Tap 20 or Dell XPS 18 are tablets and can be used as tablets even if they are a much different size than iPad. The same is true of a Lenovo Yoga or Asus Taichi.

In the end I believe the Windows Store will win out with the proliferation of these touch devices that IDC is trying to pretend don't exist.

JHBrown said,
Careful, I actually had some Microsft loyalist here send me a nasty message. I just laughed my ass off!

Yes, simple people tend to laugh a lot. You must be laughing non-stop.

articuno1au said
Why do we give a **** what analysts say..
Well as much as I'd like to tell him "You're wrong!", he is right.

The Surface Pro is a great product, and I wish I had one, don't get me wrong. But Microsoft executed poorly and they're paying for it now. If they really wanted this to be widly successful, they would've tried harder.

My issue is that I find they're trying to be like Apple. They threw this into the market expecting it to be a huge sucess. The problem is that you can't just expect something that's new to be widly sucessful without executing the task properly. You see, with Apple, lots of people are already well-aware of the iPhone, iPad and their PC/laptops. Because many people know about it already, they can easily push out another product and people will want to see what it is, because when you make a great product, people will come back wanting more. Microsoft isn't at that level yet, so they can't just release something thinking that everyone will jump onboard just like that

That means they have to work hard when it comes to things like:

1. marketing (how many average users know about the Surface Pro)
2. distribution (making sure that there's enough for everyone, and then some)
3. Ads (80% dancing and 20% demonstration of the product does not work well)
4. Retail (making sure that it's available to buy in as many places as possible)

What I'm trying to say is that, the Surface Pro is new, so they need to work hard at (1) getting the word out, (2) making sure there's enough of it for everyone, (3) making ads that demonstrate the product (and not how to dance), and (4) making sure that it's available in as many locations around the world as possible.

If they do that, then they're sure to be successful.

Edited by dtourond, May 2 2013, 7:50pm :

ingramator said,

You fanboys spring to Apple/Google's defense when something by an analyst is said so I think you are being very hypocritical. They are not tech people, they are people employed to look at numbers not me what products are good, for all we know this unknown is a high school drop out living at his parents house.

Oh for the love of god. I am not an Apple / Google fanboy. I use loads of Microsoft products.. I just enjoy poking fun or making jokes at the expense who are clearly a bit more infatuated with any one company, though clearly people are starting to get a bit 'sensitive' around here. I use and own Microsoft, Apple, and Google devices.. I am totally indifferent to which vendors product I buy so long as it does the job.