Poll: Should Microsoft build a Surface RT 2?

Microsoft announced yesterday that it took a massive $900 million charge against the Surface RT. Knowing this, should Microsoft build a Surface RT 2? Clearly, since the company took such a large hit on the first model, you would hedge that it might abandon plans for a second generation of the device; but rumors still persist that a 7-inch device is in the making (though it could be a Windows 8 device).

It’s not an easy question, as Microsoft needs to find a way to build a presence in the tablet market but with such a large hit to the bottom line, is it good business to keep pushing your own product or should Microsoft let its vendors roll the dice and see if they can take back the market from Apple?

Poll

Should Microsoft build a Surface RT 2?

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The only thing I feel MS did wrong was price Surface RT way too high. Surface RT2 can NOT be any higher than $399.99 for 32GBs WITH touch cover. This is a platform that's competing with iPads...in order to get marketshare you must come in at a lower price. We see were pricing it the same gets you...why not just discount it right off the bat while the hype is at its peak, then to wait 8 months once the thing hasn't sold as well as you'd hope due to not being priced low enough to begin with? If you're going to take a 900M hit, at least have a nice userbase to show for it...MS took the hit, yet still lacks the userbase/mindshare.

Yes, but they need to realize that they can't compete with Apple, and ought be targeting Android instead. Lower prices are needed, and honestly? If you're going to fudge on storage, 32g with a load taken up by the OS, say its 16g storage instead, and don't count the odd amount. Under-promise, over deliver.

Seriously - they need to challenge Samsung and the Galaxy Tabs. Surface RT simply doesn't have enough going for it to challenge Apple.

I voted no. Simply because Microsoft hardware is generally garbage. I've had bad experiences with the Surface, Zune, Zune HD and Microsoft Touch Mouse (Can't remember its official name).

The only thing they are good at after a few revisions is the Xbox.

DarkNet said,
I voted no. Simply because Microsoft hardware is generally garbage. I've had bad experiences with the Surface, Zune, Zune HD and Microsoft Touch Mouse (Can't remember its official name).

The only thing they are good at after a few revisions is the Xbox.

The Surface is very nicely built, although I think that fancy magnetic power plug is more trouble that it's worth.

The Zune HD was also very nice. I had nothing but good things to say about the Zune HD.

Scroogled said,

The Surface is very nicely built, although I think that fancy magnetic power plug is more trouble that it's worth.

The Zune HD was also very nice. I had nothing but good things to say about the Zune HD.


Surface: Lack of GPS to make it a decent field tablet, magnetic power plug (although I understand why they did it), touch keyboard and keyboard are really poorly designed, lack of apps.

Zune HD: Lack of apps, didn't support multiple album art, didn't support lyrics, poorly priced to compete. Bought an iPod Touch. Nothing but good things to say about the iPod Touch.

I think they should definitely do a Surface RT 2.

However they need to stop ****ing around with metro only and allow desktop applications. If they want to have very rigorous guidelines for it for battery life, that's fine, but it does need it. The fact office is available on the Desktop and no 3rd party apps is just stupid.

If they do that, I might be interested, but otherwise I'd be more interested in a 13" hybrid (a 13" surface pro would be the best thing ever, but that's another story).

ChristopherSmith said,
I think they should definitely do a Surface RT 2.However they need to stop ****ing around with metro only and allow desktop applications. If they want to have very rigorous guidelines for it for battery life, that's fine, but it does need it. The fact office is available on the Desktop and no 3rd party apps is just stupid.

If they do that, I might be interested, but otherwise I'd be more interested in a 13" hybrid (a 13" surface pro would be the best thing ever, but that's another story).

I've always wondered if they'd do a desktop app store. That's about the only way you're going to make that experience good. The average user won't know what ".net or arm compatible desktop applications" means.

Microsoft is paying the price for cheaping out on the processor. The poor performance of the device is what killed it in my eyes.

Scroogled said,
Microsoft is paying the price for cheaping out on the processor. The poor performance of the device is what killed it in my eyes.

Obviously you haven't tried it with the 8.1 preview on it!!!

neo158 said,

Obviously you haven't tried it with the 8.1 preview on it!!!

Do web pages load faster? It's great that it supports Flash, but sites like YouTube were frustrating to view. I ended up selling my Surface RT for an i5-based tablet.

Scroogled said,
Do web pages load faster? It's great that it supports Flash, but sites like YouTube were frustrating to view. I ended up selling my Surface RT for an i5-based tablet.
It's considerably better with 8.1. And while the Flash sites may have been a bit frustrating, it's nice to have that option.

the real problem w/ the surface rt was the price and explanation to non techies of no legacy support...they should've offered a $200 vers from the get go w/ no desktop and I bet things would be different

I think the device is fine, but it's the way they've presented it is the problem. It's a competitor to the iPad, but it's not really presented as one (instead it comes across more like a PC), and calling the OS it runs "Windows" RT just creates product confusion (not being able to run what people traditionally think of as Windows applications).

They will launch another. MS does not sell popcorn and i think they have, ate least, a middle term vision of the products they build.
I think they are learning with the mistakes made with the first RT generation and i´m sure they will learn from it.

I voted no. Focus on the Surface Pro. The apps are great and all when it's feasible, but sometimes you just can't get away from a proper desktop style application. If I wanted to buy a cheap device with limited functionality I'd just get an Android.

Max Norris said,
I voted no. Focus on the Surface Pro. The apps are great and all when it's feasible, but sometimes you just can't get away from a proper desktop style application. If I wanted to buy a cheap device with limited functionality I'd just get an Android.

If I wanted to spend $900 on a device with a dire 4-5 hours battery life I would just buy a high end laptop!!!!

neo158 said,

If I wanted to spend $900 on a device with a dire 4-5 hours battery life I would just buy a high end laptop!!!!

But you probably wouldn't get a digitizer or the compactness of the Surface Pro. For me, having 7 or 8 hour battery life is not that important. I don't really care to hang out in coffee shops for longer than an hour, and besides, many public places now have free WiFi and outlets.

My hindsight observation:

Windows T is our tablet version of Windows. Our product is called the "Surface Tablet", it is available with keyboard for $399, beginning Oct. 29th, 2012.

I think they will continue. They don't give up right away. And also, it wasn't quite clear if this is a write down or a write off... I'm assuming the former, which isn't as big a deal for an inventory item as some other assets...

Absolutely not.

But they should make a "Surface Home", something cheaper but still "fully functional".
And yes, you know what I meant.

Also, I do not think that Microsoft should encourage its partners to build RT devices. This way, Microsoft could price the RT to compete and wouldn't have to step on the toes of its OEM partners. This is how they should've handled it from the beginning in my opinion.

I like this idea, without other OEMs involved in the RT game Microsoft doesn't have to walk on egg shells when it comes to aggressively selling the SurfaceRT... Not to mention I think its fairly obvious that WP and WinRT are on a collision course and will soon(ish) merge.

So just do a smaller 8" Surface RT at $299, would buy

The problem with this is that:
a) These same OEMs might as well be just making Android tablets
b) These same OEMs may worry that if Surface RT is too successful, it may cut away from their laptops/tablet lines.

At least the OEM has a chance to compete if they're offered RT.

They should build a Surface RT 2... but only if they're going to sell the hardware at cost (they can make their money off the cost of the OS). The reality is that most people don't see a need for RT unless it is "priced to move." There's just too much competition out there right now, and Windows is still playing catch-up in the apps department. That's not a criticism. It's reality.

I own a Surface RT & it's a beautiful device. It's great for web-browsing, social media, & games... and light productivity if you have the need. It'd be better if it had a cellular connection instead of just wi-fi though.

Anyway, I don't think Microsoft should ditch RT because I believe, eventually, RT will power Windows Phones.

cybersaurusrex said,
They should build a Surface RT 2... but only if they're going to sell the hardware at cost (they can make their money off the cost of the OS). The reality is that most people don't see a need for RT unless it is "priced to move." There's just too much competition out there right now, and Windows is still playing catch-up in the apps department. That's not a criticism. It's reality.

I own a Surface RT & it's a beautiful device. It's great for web-browsing, social media, & games... and light productivity if you have the need. It'd be better if it had a cellular connection instead of just wi-fi though.

Anyway, I don't think Microsoft should ditch RT because I believe, eventually, RT will power Windows Phones.

In a way RT already does power WP, both of them use the NT core.

Surface RT 2, with a better/faster CPU/GPU, 1080 screen, forget about 32Gb, go with 64 and 128.

And at the current RT price.

Chicken and egg : Build more/better Modern Apps and they will come.

I own a Surface RT tablet and I love it. Lightweight, excellent battery life and fulfills all my user needs, especially with Office. For any heavy lifting I simply remote onto my home server or desktop.

Why on EARTH should they create a Surface RT 2? I'm so shocked that the vote is so heavy in favor of it. I'm convinced they just need to focus on the Pro version. THAT is the reason I want a tablet. If I wanted similar limitations to the iPad then I'd BUY and iPad.

Scubadog2008 said,
Why on EARTH should they create a Surface RT 2? I'm so shocked that the vote is so heavy in favor of it. I'm convinced they just need to focus on the Pro version. THAT is the reason I want a tablet. If I wanted similar limitations to the iPad then I'd BUY and iPad.

True Surface RT is limited but it's not really aimed at the business user, is it. That's where the Surface Pro comes in as that's aimed at the business user.

neo158 said,

True Surface RT is limited but it's not really aimed at the business user, is it. That's where the Surface Pro comes in as that's aimed at the business user.

Which I think is kind of the problem. Windows should be Windows... I think consumers are confused as to why they would purchase a crippled version of Windows when the argument has been for years that the reason you buy Windows is because it's the OS that ISN'T crippled...

M_Lyons10 said,
Which I think is kind of the problem. Windows should be Windows... I think consumers are confused as to why they would purchase a crippled version of Windows when the argument has been for years that the reason you buy Windows is because it's the OS that ISN'T crippled...

I don't see it as a problem but more like Microsoft HAS to explain the differences and clearly explain the markets that each of them are aimed at, which is something they aren't doing!!!

Scubadog2008 said,
If I wanted similar limitations to the iPad then I'd BUY and iPad.

Because the RT is MUCH LESS limited than the iPad

majortom1981 said,
The Rt should be replaced with a surface atom based baytrail version.

Which defeats the point of Windows RT in the first place, it was designed to be run on ARM processors. Why recompile for x86 when they could just bog the Baytrail Atom down with Windows 8 Pro.

este said,
No. A Pro 2 device that is more reasonably priced is all we need.

With a dire 4-5 hour battery life, no thanks!!!!

este said,
That's fine. If anything just beef up the battery specs.

Problem is larger battery = larger device which isn't good for portability.

Eh. How much bigger are we actually talkin' here ? I would sacrifice having a slightly thinner device for a beefier battery.
And is battery tech still so far behind?

Yes... but the first Surface RT was the wrong product to compete with the market. The product is too complex and the desktop sets an expectation that it can do more than it can.

It should offer more differentiation from the Surface Pro besides better battery life. Everything about the Surface RT seems like a sacrifice instead of a positive. It should be optimized for the advantages of it's ARM architecture.

So... To avoid confusion and complexity, Surface RT 2 should be a truly simpler product and do away with the desktop and has Metro Office Apps. (Obviously it should have a faster processor as well and a host of other hardware upgrades.)

To summarize...

Simplicity; Mobility.

1. A Surface RT 2 will have a more powerful ARM processor.
2. Windows 8.1 will improve performance.

So in other words, the tablet will actually be usable (hopefully).

Meph said,
1. A Surface RT 2 will have a more powerful ARM processor.
2. Windows 8.1 will improve performance.

So in other words, the tablet will actually be usable (hopefully).

I'm using the 8.1 review on Surface RT and I can vouch for the speed increase.

Sarcasm... because the guy claimed the Surface RT isn't usable, I however use it all the time, while my iPad owning friends rarely can tell me where theirs is without having to search for it.

SteveyAyo said,
Sarcasm... because the guy claimed the Surface RT isn't usable, I however use it all the time, while my iPad owning friends rarely can tell me where theirs is without having to search for it.

Well, I'm exaggerating, of course. I'm just saying it's slower compared to even Atom devices at the moment. But that will change.

Nothing can change the fact that Windows RT is less capable than x86 Windows and that's the problem. Build the next "RT" as is lower powered Surface on the Bat Trail platform (which will give the same benefits) and it will be much more competitive. RT has already shown it has very limited market appeal, continuing with it is just stupidity.

efjay said,
Nothing can change the fact that Windows RT is less capable than x86 Windows and that's the problem. Build the next "RT" as is lower powered Surface on the Bat Trail platform (which will give the same benefits) and it will be much more competitive. RT has already shown it has very limited market appeal, continuing with it is just stupidity.

I have to disagree, look at the iPad and tell me if that has "limited appeal" based on it having an ARM processor?

ARM is the way forward for Windows RT as it allows for tablets with great battery life, at least compared with the Surface Pro with a dire 4-5 hours battery life. Don't even get me started on the Bat Trail Atom, it's crap no matter how Intel market it as it's still an Atom processor!!!!

I don't think he's saying that the ARM processor has limited appeal - I think he's saying that Windows RT does because of the way they've implemented it, and restricted it so heavily.

Chicane-UK said,
I don't think he's saying that the ARM processor has limited appeal - I think he's saying that Windows RT does because of the way they've implemented it, and restricted it so heavily.

The problem is that Bat Trail is x86 based and not ARM based which negates the need for Windows RT as one of the features of RT is that it's designed for ARM!!!

The library of desktop applications that makes Windows appealing is almost entirely x86-based and unfortunately the Store comes nowhere near matching the iPad, yet.

The iPad gets along just fine being ARM-based, because so are all the apps.

neo158 said,

The problem is that Bat Trail is x86 based and not ARM based which negates the need for Windows RT as one of the features of RT is that it's designed for ARM!!!

Negates the need for Windows RT? That's a feature. x86 means compatibility with x86 hardware... a huge huge feature.

rfirth said,
Negates the need for Windows RT? That's a feature. x86 means compatibility with x86 hardware... a huge huge feature.

You do know that Windows RT was created specifically for ARM processors, don't you?
You do know that ARM is a completely different architecture to x86, don't you?

Sticking an Atom processor into Surface RT would effectively make it a Surface Pro with an Atom processor. That also means a price hike for Surface RT not a price drop.

Love my Surface, I wish they would allow a select few Desktop mode programs though. Namely Chrome and Winamp.

I miss these sorely.

Yes, I know exe's won't run on the Surface, but Google and Nullsoft seem to cater for many operating systems.

The aesthetics are fantastic on the Surface, looking forward to the second one

bledd said,
Love my Surface, I wish they would allow a select few Desktop mode programs though. Namely Chrome and Winamp.

I miss these sorely.

Yes, I know exe's won't run on the Surface, but Google and Nullsoft seem to cater for many operating systems.

The aesthetics are fantastic on the Surface, looking forward to the second one

The .exe files do run on RT but they have to be recompiled for ARM and have Microsoft approval.

One thing that really confuses me, is that on the one hand they are still trying to push Windows RT tablets and I'd be surprised not to see a new Surface RT, yet at the same time we are seeing a wave of new Windows 8.x x86 8-inch tablets incoming.

The 8-inch tablet form factor ought to be a far better fit still, if one exists, for RT than the 10-inch one. Perhaps we will see a smaller form factor version of the Surface RT from Microsoft in the next generation?

I'm not entirely sure Microsoft's left hand knows what it's right hand is doing here.

Yes!
And this time, it must be properly powered by a more potent CPU. A Snapdragon 800 would be very nice.

Also, they must avoid the pricing mistake they did. Trying to copy the Apple pricing playbook was a catastrophic mistake. They (may have) irreversibly damaged the product reputation with the much too high sticker price.
The recent 150$ price cut will give us some clues about the damages extent.

Now, with Windows 8.1 going further into the proper UX separation (that is removing the desktop experience), the Surface RT is better positioned to take a more significant market share.

majortom1981 said,
No. they should make the lower spec surface use the new atom chip coming out.

The Atom is a terrible processor, I don't care how Intel market it!!!!!

neo158 said,

The Atom is a terrible processor, I don't care how Intel market it!!!!!

Come out of your cave and get up to date news once in a while. Then you'd know the Atom currently inside many Win 8 tablets is faster than the Tegra 3 in the Surface RT, and that was already "good enough" for most consumer needs. The upcoming Bay Trail Atom's will be faster than any ARM powered tablet/phone/notebook.

NoClipMode said,
Come out of your cave and get up to date news once in a while. Then you'd know the Atom currently inside many Win 8 tablets is faster than the Tegra 3 in the Surface RT, and that was already "good enough" for most consumer needs. The upcoming Bay Trail Atom's will be faster than any ARM powered tablet/phone/notebook.

The Atom processor is a slow POS that needs to die, ARM is the way forward for low power consumption. That's why ARM processors are used in the majority of phones, I can only name one phone that uses an Atom processor!!!!!

neo158 said,

The Atom processor is a slow POS that needs to die, ARM is the way forward for low power consumption. That's why ARM processors are used in the majority of phones, I can only name one phone that uses an Atom processor!!!!!

I'm not a big fan of Atoms either. I just don't think it has the performance needed over ARM for working with multiple apps, and data.

neo158 said,

The Atom processor is a slow POS that needs to die, ARM is the way forward for low power consumption. That's why ARM processors are used in the majority of phones, I can only name one phone that uses an Atom processor!!!!!

I am gathering you do not keep up with the latest tech news. the baytrail atoms will be quad core and have their gpus switched with the current gpus of haswell . Currently it has been shown that bayrail will offer DOUBLE the performance of current atom processors while reducing power consumption by a lot.

Keep in mind atom processors will allow you to run all your current windows programs. There is no need to keep arm processors around for the surface rt.

majortom1981 said,

I am gathering you do not keep up with the latest tech news. the baytrail atoms will be quad core and have their gpus switched with the current gpus of haswell . Currently it has been shown that bayrail will offer DOUBLE the performance of current atom processors while reducing power consumption by a lot.

Keep in mind atom processors will allow you to run all your current windows programs. There is no need to keep arm processors around for the surface rt.

Actually there is a need to keep ARM processors around for Windows RT as you're missing one crucial factor, RT was designed specifically for ARM not x86!!!!

I don't care what people say the Atom processors are still crap. Show me real world performance that matches lab tests and I'll believe you!!!!

neo158 said,

The Atom is a terrible processor, I don't care how Intel market it!!!!!

The Problem is when they designed the new CPU they kept the Atom name which has been destroyed by netbooks. Which is why by the near mention of the word Atom you are already yelling "terrible processor". They should have distanced themselves FAR FAR away from the name Atom.

warwagon said,
The Problem is when they designed the new CPU they kept the Atom name which has been destroyed by netbooks. Which is why by the near mention of the word Atom you are already yelling "terrible processor". They should have distanced themselves FAR FAR away from the name Atom.

The real problem is that Intel lied about performance and power consumption, which is nowhere near desktops or ARM based devices in terms of real world performance.

Atom processors would be better utilised in Surface Pro not Surface RT.

Dot Matrix said,
Um. YES. Did this even need asked? We already know Microsoft has a firm committal to ARM.

And according to reports Nvidia have a firm commitment to Windows RT, that makes me happy

This is a tough one. I voted no, but only lean that way by a hair. I'm having flashbacks of the Zune and Zune HD. Nobody seems to want this stuff. And lately it is even worse with companies dragging their feet on wanting to build apps for these platforms. Not sure what exactly the way forward is for Microsoft. It always seems like we are just waiting for the next processor generation too - that is something I've heard both on the ARM side of the house and Intel - everyone stating - just wait until the next gen comes - that will really boost Microsoft. Never does though. The next few years will be interesting.

What they need is make them available for purchase W-O-R-L-D-W-I-D-E damn it. This is their single point of failure here. There's more to the world than just the USA you know.

To this day, there's some 50-ish stores in America, and not a single one anywhere else on the globe. This is some serious FAIL.

bviktor said,
What they need is make them available for purchase W-O-R-L-D-W-I-D-E damn it. This is their single point of failure here. There's more to the world than just the USA you know.

To this day, there's some 50-ish stores in America, and not a single one anywhere else on the globe. This is some serious FAIL.

They wanted to go slow from the start, let their OEM partners lead. Now that they first batch of Surface devices has been out for some time I think MS will ramp up the release of newer versions quicker. Remember that they're new products, they don't have a existing supply and retail chain other than their own MS stores. Those take time to bring up to speed which is why we saw a slow rollout of it to other parts of the world. I think much of that is now in place, and where a chunk of the $900million went as well.

All cool, except now the perception of the product is SERIOUSLY damaged because of the lacking sales. If they didn't have the resources to ship it, they should've either built the supply chain BEFORE shipping the product or allowed worldwide retailers to sell it, WORLDWIDE and RIGHT FROM THE START. It's not exactly rocket science.

This "modest approach" bullsh*t is only telling people that "we have absolutely no confidence in this product". Again, the worst way to introduce something.

Edited by bviktor, Jul 19 2013, 1:25pm :

bviktor said,
What they need is make them available for purchase W-O-R-L-D-W-I-D-E damn it. This is their single point of failure here. There's more to the world than just the USA you know.

To this day, there's some 50-ish stores in America, and not a single one anywhere else on the globe. This is some serious FAIL.


Where do you get your info from? There are more than 6 different store companies in Belgium, for example, that sell the Surface RT... And each of these companies has lots of different stores.

I love my Surface RT, actually I'm sat in a pub having a drink while typing this on it, and I would certainly buy a Surface RT 2. I like it as it's light and has the features I need in a tablet.

I say yes, but Microsoft needs to quit pussyfooting around. If they want to do an ARM device right, they need to abandon the desktop (it serves almost no point on Windows RT, and with a Metro Office coming it will be essentially worthless) and need to give it good hardware from the get-go.

When the current Surface RT was released, it launched with already dated hardware. Conversely, when Apple launches its iPad, it always has a new SoC it developed specifically for the tablet. The display was also dated at the time of release as well.

I know some people think Windows RT has no purpose, but I think it serves as a media consumption device. Windows 8 tablets can continue to be content-creation devices, but not everyone wants that. A lot -- perhaps even most -- consumers just want a tablet they can play games, watch movies, read books, and do some light web browsing and emailing on. Right now, ARM is the best option for that (especially in terms of the graphical components -- Atom still isn't there for even light gaming).

Anthony Tosie said,
snip

No, if they removed the desktop from Windows RT my small interest in in it would go completely. The desktop is where the productivity happens, without its barely (if at all) than Android or iOS.

Anthony Tosie said,
I say yes, but Microsoft needs to quit pussyfooting around. If they want to do an ARM device right, they need to abandon the desktop (it serves almost no point on Windows RT, and with a Metro Office coming it will be essentially worthless) and need to give it good hardware from the get-go.

When the current Surface RT was released, it launched with already dated hardware. Conversely, when Apple launches its iPad, it always has a new SoC it developed specifically for the tablet. The display was also dated at the time of release as well.

I know some people think Windows RT has no purpose, but I think it serves as a media consumption device. Windows 8 tablets can continue to be content-creation devices, but not everyone wants that. A lot -- perhaps even most -- consumers just want a tablet they can play games, watch movies, read books, and do some light web browsing and emailing on. Right now, ARM is the best option for that (especially in terms of the graphical components -- Atom still isn't there for even light gaming).

That's the problem though, Metro Office doesn't exist yet. All we have is a Metro version of OneNote. That aside I think that Microsoft have done a great job with Windows RT and Surface, while the initial release had issues the 8.1 update will make some major changes to the way the OS is used.

Anthony Tosie said,
I say yes, but Microsoft needs to quit pussyfooting around. If they want to do an ARM device right, they need to abandon the desktop (it serves almost no point on Windows RT, and with a Metro Office coming it will be essentially worthless) and need to give it good hardware from the get-go.

When the current Surface RT was released, it launched with already dated hardware. Conversely, when Apple launches its iPad, it always has a new SoC it developed specifically for the tablet. The display was also dated at the time of release as well.

I know some people think Windows RT has no purpose, but I think it serves as a media consumption device. Windows 8 tablets can continue to be content-creation devices, but not everyone wants that. A lot -- perhaps even most -- consumers just want a tablet they can play games, watch movies, read books, and do some light web browsing and emailing on. Right now, ARM is the best option for that (especially in terms of the graphical components -- Atom still isn't there for even light gaming).

They'd have dropped the desktop from RT right away if they didn't need it for some core things, file management and accessing a number of settings, not to mention the office apps are desktop apps in the end.

That said, with 8.1, most of the settings anyone will need to access when on a RT device are now in the PC Settings section. We now have file management in metro as well with the updated skydrive app which does online and local management. And as you said, the metro version of Office apps should be on the way to. Once all of this comes together then they can turn off/hide/deactivate the desktop on RT devices fully. That's the goal and why I expect a Surface RT 2 and a Surface Mini and so on. Let the Surface Pro be the hybrid with desktop access for those who want it.

I agree with almost everything there, except the need of removing the desktop. Of course, with Office MX and a good Metro style file manager the classic desktop will be almost dead, but the complete Office as it is right now will always offer much more functionality and I love the classic file explorer as it is.

With the classic desktop, I can easily manage my files on my Surface AND on my computer via my homegroup share. I like the ability to work on my Surface in a more traditional way.

If some don't like the classic desktop, I'm fine with this. Just remove your desktop tile from your start screen and use the (future) Office MX, but it has to stay available, please

Maxime Tremblay said,
I agree with almost everything there, except the need of removing the desktop. Of course, with Office MX and a good Metro style file manager the classic desktop will be almost dead, but the complete Office as it is right now will always offer much more functionality and I love the classic file explorer as it is.

With the classic desktop, I can easily manage my files on my Surface AND on my computer via my homegroup share. I like the ability to work on my Surface in a more traditional way.

If some don't like the classic desktop, I'm fine with this. Just remove your desktop tile from your start screen and use the (future) Office MX, but it has to stay available, please

There should still be a way to bring the desktop back on RT devices if you really need it, but OOTB it should be off/hidden. Those who really need the desktop as well should be opting for the Surface Pro more than the RT though, IMO.

thealexweb said,

No, if they removed the desktop from Windows RT my small interest in in it would go completely. The desktop is where the productivity happens, without its barely (if at all) than Android or iOS.


Which is why there'd still be Windows 8. I'd view it as an option people have: Windows RT for media consumption, Windows 8 for content creation. Obviously you can still do both things with either operating system, but their focuses would be different.

And I still think Windows RT needs to be rebranded to avoid confusion with running desktop apps (plus Windows RT 8.1 -- which it was labeled as in many preview links by Microsoft thing -- is absurd).

Anthony Tosie said,

Which is why there'd still be Windows 8. I'd view it as an option people have: Windows RT for media consumption, Windows 8 for content creation. Obviously you can still do both things with either operating system, but their focuses would be different.

And I still think Windows RT needs to be rebranded to avoid confusion with running desktop apps (plus Windows RT 8.1 -- which it was labeled as in many preview links by Microsoft thing -- is absurd).

Well, if the desktop isn't there in Windows RT like you asked then there can't be much confusion. I think it comes when people see the desktop first and then think to try and install their desktop apps on it. If it's just metro and the start screen then you should know just from that that there is no "desktop" to run desktop apps on.

I mean we have "Windows" Phone and no ones thought of installing desktop apps on that have they?

thealexweb said,

No, if they removed the desktop from Windows RT my small interest in in it would go completely. The desktop is where the productivity happens, without its barely (if at all) than Android or iOS.

What productivity are you referring to on a desktop where you can't run any software? The only thing that runs there is Office, and a Metro version of Office doesn't have to be dumbed down. It can be just as powerful running as a Metro app.

With Microsoft vastly expanding the settings app in Metro, even the Control panel is becoming redundant now. A little push further to get all the other mmc based stuff into Metro, and the desktop really would be pointless on an RT machine.

thealexweb said,
When an app gets metroed it always loses functionality, for whatever reason it happens consistently.

I guess you don't own a Surface RT or have never used the Metro version of OneNote!!!

neo158 said,

I guess you don't own a Surface RT or have never used the Metro version of OneNote!!!

I have used a Surface RT rather extensively but I myself do not own one. Thats a single app, I was talking much more broadly about Metro as a whole. Look Adobe's offerings for Metro, Microsoft's other offerings like Skype, etc. Metro apps are almost worthless compared to their desktop companions (where available). This may improve in the long term but for now its a major problem for Metro ecosystem.

thealexweb said,

I have used a Surface RT rather extensively but I myself do not own one. Thats a single app, I was talking much more broadly about Metro as a whole. Look Adobe's offerings for Metro, Microsoft's other offerings like Skype, etc. Metro apps are almost worthless compared to their desktop companions (where available). This may improve in the long term but for now its a major problem for Metro ecosystem.

Ah, right. I don't think that's necessarily the case though, more like those features more hidden and that's not a good thing.

thealexweb said,
When an app gets metroed it always loses functionality, for whatever reason it happens consistently.

It's no different than Android apps and such being much less productive.. but I agree. If it just runs Metro apps, I'd probably just go Android as there's a lot more apps out there. I do like the Metro version of a few things, but they can keep the Surface RT. For me, it's Surface Pro or nothing.

neo158 said,
I guess you don't own a Surface RT or have never used the Metro version of OneNote!!!
Actually, the modern version of OneNote is the perfect example. The Onenote in Modern is a solid well done app. It's useful. It's amazing. But, the desktop version is much more feature deep and built for speed. OneNote is great for touch in Modern. OneNote on the desktop is amazing if you have a mouse and keyboard.

Again, you proved his point.

The Desktop in RT is there just for Office 2013, and the suite was added to lure the consumers that they can have work and play. However, having the Desktop there also confused the consumers - thinking that they can install x86 applications.

Once MS delivers modern Office, then they can drop the desktop in RT, and really push "work hard and play on a single device" motto. Students and executives (as long modern Outlook it can open encrypted emails) will go for it.

As for regular machines, hybrid, netbooks, desktops, you will still have the desktop and regular Office.

RommelS said,
The Desktop in RT is there just for Office 2013, and the suite was added to lure the consumers that they can have work and play. However, having the Desktop there also confused the consumers - thinking that they can install x86 applications.

Once MS delivers modern Office, then they can drop the desktop in RT, and really push "work hard and play on a single device" motto. Students and executives (as long modern Outlook it can open encrypted emails) will go for it.

As for regular machines, hybrid, netbooks, desktops, you will still have the desktop and regular Office.

They'll never have a modern office as feature rich as Desktop Office.

*edit: I won't say never, but I'll say not in the next 3-4 years.

Edited by MrHumpty, Jul 19 2013, 3:54pm :

MrHumpty said,
They'll never have a modern office as feature rich as Desktop Office.

But when you're using it on a tablet device, and it's free with that device, do you actually care if it's, say, only 80% as feature rich as the desktop version you actually have to pay for? Look at the free OWA as an example, just that level of features in a metro app would cover the needs of lots of people.

GP007 said,

But when you're using it on a tablet device, and it's free with that device, do you actually care if it's, say, only 80% as feature rich as the desktop version you actually have to pay for? Look at the free OWA as an example, just that level of features in a metro app would cover the needs of lots of people.

My main problem with the remove the deskop and your reasoning is... why? The desktop is a tile, that is the significance of the desktop on RT. It's bits are insignificant. In 8.1 they remove the *need* to go to the desktop for nearly every configuration option. I say leave the Desktop, Leave Desktop Office, bring in Modern Office and let the User decide. It's not like MS has to engineer the desktop to get it on there, it already exists.

On my surface RT I have removed the desktop tile. I"m using 8.1 so I rarely see it. But when I want full outlook/word/excel/onenote I just type desktop and pop into it and I'm not using a fisher price version of a productivity application. It does nothing to the UX.

I COMPLETELY Agree. dump that ****ing desktop. keep it a 100% metro experience. If you want a desktop get a Surface pro.

On a ARM device when you get to the desktop it completely destroys the tablet experence.

warwagon said,
I COMPLETELY Agree. dump that ****ing desktop. keep it a 100% metro experience. If you want a desktop get a Surface pro.

On a ARM device when you get to the desktop it completely destroys the tablet experence.

I don't know, I only use the desktop when I have to and even then I make sure I have the keyboard attached. Maybe it should have been unpinned by default and only loaded when needed.

why should they dump the desktop when they could make a store for desktop apps on ARM? imagine how many apps could be ported effortless and enhance the experience on the win RT (because the metro store miss some important apps)

cristian.dan said,
why should they dump the desktop when they could make a store for desktop apps on ARM? imagine how many apps could be ported effortless and enhance the experience on the win RT (because the metro store miss some important apps)

Because Desktop Apps are not designed for touch. It is still cumbersome to use touch when in desktop.

In addition, it is the appeal of having a device that doesn't feel like a computer. Why do you think tons of executives are carrying iPad? iPad gives them the feeling that they can get what they want with a single touch of swipe, but not carrying a laptop.

What Microsoft did was give the device both work and play on a tablet. However, if you still have that notion that you have to do everything within desktop, consumers will not go for it. Consumers wants something that they can carry around easily, functional interface and apps and enticing to look at. Apple knows this, and Microsoft is still learning it.

RommelS said,
Because Desktop Apps are not designed for touch. It is still cumbersome to use touch when in desktop.

Not entirely true; I've been using desktop apps on a touch based system since the XP days (and still do), if the program doesn't actually support touch it just acts as a mouse. The only thing that's possibly "cumbersome" would be smallish controls that would be better suited to using a stylus than somebody's fat fingers, otherwise zero difference. And some desktop programs do natively support touch.

RommelS said,
Because Desktop Apps are not designed for touch. It is still cumbersome to use touch when in desktop.

When not using touch with a keyboard and mouse that argument is irrelevant.
RommelS said,
In addition, it is the appeal of having a device that doesn't feel like a computer. Why do you think tons of executives are carrying iPad? iPad gives them the feeling that they can get what they want with a single touch of swipe, but not carrying a laptop.

So does a Surface RT that still has the Desktop bits on board.
RommelS said,
What Microsoft did was give the device both work and play on a tablet. However, if you still have that notion that you have to do everything within desktop, consumers will not go for it. Consumers wants something that they can carry around easily, functional interface and apps and enticing to look at. Apple knows this, and Microsoft is still learning it.

The Surface RT still qualifies for the experience you are describing.

The presence of the Desktop does not diminish the touch experience. It enhances the precision experience when precision is desired.

Executives carry around iPads because it's an iPad with a developed store. Surface RT's lacking in a fully tablified interface (Win8.1 fixes that almost completely) and a filled out Application store which is coming along nicely.

Max Norris said,

The only thing that's possibly "cumbersome" would be smallish controls that would be better suited to using a stylus than somebody's fat fingers, otherwise zero difference. And some desktop programs do natively support touch.

Thank you for verifying my point.

MrHumpty said,

When not using touch with a keyboard and mouse that argument is irrelevant.

So does a Surface RT that still has the Desktop bits on board.

The Surface RT still qualifies for the experience you are describing.

The presence of the Desktop does not diminish the touch experience. It enhances the precision experience when precision is desired.

Executives carry around iPads because it's an iPad with a developed store. Surface RT's lacking in a fully tablified interface (Win8.1 fixes that almost completely) and a filled out Application store which is coming along nicely.

MrHumpty, you have to look at these at the perspective of consumers, not what you and I know about Surface RT.

Email is the most important thing for executives, and NOT the store and how much apps it carries.

Again, you and I know what Surface RT is capable off, and don't get me wrong, I love my Surface RT. I carry it with me all the time. However, the biggest issue that MS had to deal with is perception. The iPad has gone to consumers mind that it is the easiest, the most sexiest technological device that they can have; although the majority of us here knows that iPad and even Android devices are more for entertainment and infotainment use only.

No, what they need to do is extend the WinRT API to allow you to create Desktop-based apps and install them through the store, so you can have cross-CPU Desktop apps based on a modern app architecture. Microsoft has admitted the Desktop will never go away completely, so they might as well go in this direction.

There's generally a reason for this - if a company offers both ModernUI and Win32 (desktop) versions of an application, which will get the most focus - the one with the widest userbase (Win32) or the newer version with the still small userbase (ModernUI). While ModernUI and RT are mostly compatible, they are not completely cross-compatible due to CPU differences; meanwhile, Win32 is backward-compatible with Vista and 7, and in a lot of cases even XP. If a developer has a Win32 application, you can best believe that most of their resources are going to be devoted to that application, simply because that is where most of the userbase is. UNfortunately, that also leads to "lick and a promise" applications (and ModernUI apps) because these same companies don't want to kill what they see as the Win32 golden goose. (My favorite example is the Amazon Kindle ModernUI app, compared to Kindle for Win32.)

brianshapiro said,
No, what they need to do is extend the WinRT API to allow you to create Desktop-based apps and install them through the store, so you can have cross-CPU Desktop apps based on a modern app architecture. Microsoft has admitted the Desktop will never go away completely, so they might as well go in this direction.

I like this idea.

The Surface RT is a convertible, not strictly a tablet, and so having the productivity user interface (Desktop) is something I want to see opened up, not gotten rid of. Contrary to the opinion of the original poster of this particular thread, the Desktop for ARM devices should NOT go away! And I word it this way as if Microsoft wants to release a mobile tablet OS that lacks the desktop (i.e. Windows Phone), that's fine, but give us a full Windows 8 experience for ARM as well.

I'm not going to vote as in my view the problem with Surface RT isn't the device. The device is brilliant. The RT OS is the problem. As I just said, it should have been no different from Windows 8 other than compiled for ARM. I love my Surface RT, but the longer I've had it the more I realize Windows RT could have been so much more. If it weren't for the "jailbreak" developed by the XDA developers site I wouldn't have bought it to begin with honestly.

Anthony Tosie said,
I say yes, but Microsoft needs to quit pussyfooting around. If they want to do an ARM device right, they need to abandon the desktop (it serves almost no point on Windows RT, and with a Metro Office coming it will be essentially worthless) and need to give it good hardware from the get-go.

When the current Surface RT was released, it launched with already dated hardware. Conversely, when Apple launches its iPad, it always has a new SoC it developed specifically for the tablet. The display was also dated at the time of release as well.

I know some people think Windows RT has no purpose, but I think it serves as a media consumption device. Windows 8 tablets can continue to be content-creation devices, but not everyone wants that. A lot -- perhaps even most -- consumers just want a tablet they can play games, watch movies, read books, and do some light web browsing and emailing on. Right now, ARM is the best option for that (especially in terms of the graphical components -- Atom still isn't there for even light gaming).

I agree that they should continue Windows RT development and devices, but I suspect that they may end up going it alone until it becomes more successful.

I have both a Surface RT and a Surface Pro. As a developer, I adore my Surface Pro. It has completely replaced my 15" MacBook Pro (2010 or 2011, starting to forget) with the only thing missing being the 15" screen. The portability, ultrabook performance, ease of use, and even the battery life easily make the Surface Pro my favorite computer to use when my much more powerful desktop is unavailable.

As for the Surface RT, the only thing that I have been disappointed about is the relatively slow performance. I think you hit the nail on the head with dated hardware. The Tegra 3 was a disappointingly slow chip. They should have waited for the Tegra 4, or perhaps some other, beefier ARM chip, and launched the RT with that. With that said, my fiancee uses the Surface RT on an almost daily basis, and--as a law student--she takes it to class as her main computer for note taking and availability. She has mentioned that the battery is not as good as her iPad's, but it's a price to pay for actually being usable as more than just a media consumption device. Apple is great with their battery technology, in no small part due to the fact that they make the rest of the hardware too, but that is an area that the rest of the industry needs to catch up (and, in the interest of competition, hopefully surpass).

Running Office is an understated benefit of the Surface RT, and it's Microsoft's fault that they have done such a horrible job marketing the device. I do think that $350 is probably a more appropriate price point for the Surface RT, given that it was more expensive than many fully capable, x86-based laptops. It's on the desktop, and I think it benefits from being there because of how Office tends to work. Most importantly though, I think that when Microsoft finally starts to see more powerful ARM processors in their tablets, then they can finally enable desktop compilation for other ARM applications. I completely believe that Microsoft disabled desktop compilation because of poor performance on ARM with the added benefit that it would force some developers to add new apps to the MS Store. I'd definitely argue that that is the direction that it needs to move toward rather than away by stripping RT of the desktop.

I'm assuming being the name of the account in the screenshot is the same as the author of the article....

Edited by primortal, Jul 19 2013, 1:18pm :

Thanks! I gutted my kitchen 3 years ago, took it down to the studs and then re-did it from the ground up including new wiring, plumbing, etc etc etc...took about 13 weeks to do, but saved a boatload by doing it myself.