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Microsoft Surface RT or Pro Compatibility


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#21 R. Mansfield

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 09:53 PM

The SurfaceRT will go the way of the Zune.

 

I really don't think you're correct this time, Joe. The Zune was a different animal because an Mp3 player wasn't Microsoft's core market. And not only did Apple have that market tied up, everyone eventually started moving away from dedicated music players like the iPod or Zune to listening to music on their phones. Yes, Apple still sells iPods, but not nearly the number of them that they once did. Most people, like me, listen to audio from their phones.

 

Apple's success with the iPad has scared the pants off Microsoft. In many ways, Windows 8 has been an overreaction to the situation, but Microsoft saw the writing on the wall in regard to the future, so they went all in. They are not really in a position to make big changes or corrections to their strategy. They can only keep moving forward and trying to improve what they have.

 

Nobody seems to like Windows 8 at first because it's such a radical change (nevertheless, I believe they should be given credit for not simply trying to copy Apple this time). But Windows 8 truly does make more sense on a tablet or touchscreen laptop. There will come a day, probably within a year or two, when you won't be able to buy a Windows-powered device that doesn't have a touchscreen. As I said, Microsoft is willing to play the long game here until they get both the software and the hardware right. And they have such a large installed base, especially in the business world, that they know there's not going to be a mass exodus in the personal computer space to the Mac or Linux or whatever else is out there.

 

Which brings us back to the Surface RT. The reason Microsoft won't abandon RT, even if it's not successful initially, has to do with the fact that they're now a hardware company, too. It's an interesting experiment on their part because they're acknowledging that Apple was on to something by creating a closed system of both hardware and software. At the same time, they can't afford to lose their partners, so they are walking a very tight rope between trying to promote their own products while not alienating the OEMs at the same time.

 

The Surface Pro is a full blown computer and competes with Windows-based ultrabooks and high end tablets. The Surface RT costs half as much and is designed to compete more with the iPad and similarly-priced Android tablets. If Microsoft gets rid of the Surface RT or Windows RT itself, they are completely ceding the $500 and under tablet field to Apple, Samsung, Amazon and the rest. There's no way they're going to do that.

 

Currently, the 7"-8" tablet space is the hot spot, but Windows RT won't run on a device that small. However, the "Blue" update coming later this year will. Here's what's going to happen: (1) Office 2013 will be re-designed to run strictly as a Modern UI app. Think of the iOS versions of Pages, Keynote and Numbers. They're capable, but not as powerful as their Mac counterparts. Microsoft's will probably try to keep the power in the Office apps, though, and make them way too bloated. They will probably keep a "traditional" version of Office around for businesses, but charge more for it. (2) Because the modified Office will no longer need the desktop, it (the desktop) will go away on RT devices, thus removing the schizophrenic feel to the current Windows RT tablets. And then, (3) before the end of the year, we will see 7"-8" Windows RT tablets that will also be pure Modern UI devices. (4) Microsoft will partner with (i.e. pay) big companies like Adobe to make "professional" apps to run in the Modern UI. (5) Within three to five years, the Windows desktop and all "legacy" Windows programs will be gone. If a program hasn't been updated to run in the Modern UI, it will be orphaned to run in an earlier version of Windows on older hardware.

 

And Microsoft will keep at this until they get things right (or at least much more usable) and people have had time to get used to the new interface.


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#22 Dan Francis

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 11:20 PM

I tend to think Joe is right, but MS may keep trying with the surface, but it was just poorly designed and over priced. Drop the prices and build a better keyboard and maybe you will have a product that can sell. I read 2 reviews talking about how the keyboard failed to respond properly to keep up to two different reviews who both claimed they were only average typists. Samsung has stopped selling their RT tablet in some markets due to lack of sales. Other manufacture have canceled plans to make their own previously announced versions. MS can exist as a single maker, but all in all those things do not inspire confidence and former MS programer, head of Logos has stopped all work on their RT software unless maker share increases dramatically. HP had a wonderful tablet but dropped out very quickly, obviously MS is not going to follow HP, but I wonder if it is really going to be any more successful than BlackBerry's Playbook. And at least with the playbook I am told with some fiddling around you can repackage android apps for it (though not always successfully ). And to add insult to injury those wanting to use Android apps, have an option to do it not on the RT but on the Pro (admittedly this is a third party's effort but the more natural fit in my mind would have been to create that software for the RT). I do think that there should be as many types of tablets out there, but I have not been impressed by what i have heard about it, and it's high return rate has not inspired confidence in it;s design or staying power. Even the ads on TV my spouse--an apple hater and MS user refers to as scary showing nothing but the ease one may juggle them and refers to them as the stupidest idea ever… having a DELL netbook tablet combo, has got windows 8 on it and can not imagine not being able to use any app owned. Although mostly iTunes and explorer are all that get used on it.

 

-Dan



#23 DavidDoyle

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Posted 29 March 2013 - 06:39 AM

I've got to side with Rick in this discussion.  I bought a Surface RT on a lark because I thought it was well made and I wanted a tablet that could do full MS Word (been using it since 2.0).  I moved to the Surface Pro because I wanted to be able to use the pen, and I've come to really appreciate the usability of the Surface design.

The main point I'd like to throw in here is this: if you've not used a Surface - either RT or Pro - and are relying on the "pundits" or tech columnists you are being steered in the wrong direction.  They just don't understand how good the Surface is.  Look at a website like gdgt.com.  They say professional critics rate it a a 7.2 while the users who write their own review rate it at an 8.8.  That's a huge difference between them, far greater than most products get.  My conclusion is that it takes more than the few days the critics give a product to understand the Surface.

I also agree that Windows 8 is better on a touch screen.  It's really a great touch interface.  Sure, it takes a few days or a week to get used to swiping from the sides and top of the screen.  Sure there isn't a start button (I'm amazed at how much frustration this has generated) so you take a few more days to generate the different mindset needed to run the Surface easily, but I think Microsoft has done a great job with it.  Then combine this with the quality of the hardware - it's as good as anything Apple makes.  The screen is amazing, the fit and finish is perfect on my Pro, and the keyboard is brilliant (I use the type not the touch keyboard).  For my money, this is a best of all worlds device.  I find that I'm using it more and more of the time.  When Accordance arrives it will only add to my enjoyment in using it.



#24 Dan Francis

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Posted 29 March 2013 - 12:27 PM

I will be happy to be wrong and to all the users of the Surface RT. I do believe many tablets spur on creativity by all the hardware developers. I hope you have a good experience with it. And development goes well with it but I believe you will have to wait in line behind android for an accordance APP which we have been told isn't even on the planing books for the moment.

 

-Dan



#25 craigminah

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Posted 29 March 2013 - 06:17 PM

I think Microsoft will kill the RT as we know it with a version that uses an Atom CPU so it can run a full Windows 8 OS.  People buying them don't all realize you can't run any Windows 8-compatible apps on it and an Atom should be good for basic tablet use.  They can keep the Pro because it's really fast.  



#26 R. Mansfield

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 10:44 PM

Well, I finally got Accordance on my Surface RT :-)

 

Check out the custom skins for my RT from an image I took from the Accordance Bible Art module. 

 

The image is Angels Destroy the Armies of Sennacherib (2 Kings 19:35-36) by Peter Paul Reubens. 

 

Attached File  IMG_3629.jpg   123.74KB   73 downloads

 

Attached File  IMG_3631.jpg   161.01KB   70 downloads


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#27 craigminah

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 10:29 AM

Wow.  Fantastic images...makes me want to buy the Accordance Bible Art module.  How you like your RT?



#28 R. Mansfield

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 10:56 AM

You should definitely get the Bible Art module :-)

 

I have surprised myself and a few other folks in that I actually like the RT. See my review here: 

http://thislamp.com/...d-likes-it.html


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#29 Dan Francis

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 12:50 PM

I still can't recommend the Surface RT, but prices have been dropped on the RT… BTW that is a very cool Skin.

 

-Dan



#30 craigminah

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 01:03 PM

I still can't recommend the Surface RT, but prices have been dropped on the RT… BTW that is a very cool Skin.

 

-Dan

Depends on the use...I think the RT is much more useful compared to the Pro version due to battery life but the Pro version is more capable due to full blown Windows 8.  Have you seen the benchmarks of the Pro vs everything else out there, faster than anything tablet out there by a mile.



#31 Dan Francis

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 01:35 PM

I am not saying the pro is a bad thing… or even that the RT is useless, indeed for many the RT may be a good choice, and despite the pros seeming limited battery life, I will admit I am envious of a tablet running full OS (no way I will ever afford a modbook). It is rumoured that the RT price drop is because MS is trying to clear out a failed product, my main concern for those purchasing an RT is it's long term viability. Like I said before I hope I am wrong… I know the Androids will be around for a long time… if the RT were capable of running android APPS i would be more hopeful for it. I see people here and in Logos requesting APP support, Logos provided the most basic APP and announced it was  ceasing work until the RT had a larger user base. Accordance will not be offering anything beyond iOS for the foreseeable future (although i would suspect in a few years an android APP might appear).

 

-Dan 

 

PS:Reading the wikipedia page on the RT isn't the most inspiring thing.



#32 R. Mansfield

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 01:50 PM

Well, I don't even know that I'd recommend the Surface RT :-)

 

Like Craig said, it would depend upon the use. I simply like playing with tech. I like the device for what it is. I do think Windows RT will be around longterm unless MS makes a major change to their plan. 

 

I do wish the app store was a bit more robust, but it probably will be over time.

 

By the way, Microsoft is the only RT tablet maker that has not dropped their prices yet, so I don't believe they're "trying to clear out a failed product." Having said that, any Windows RT tablet priced at $499 is too high in my opinion; they need to be lower regardless.


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