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Is this Surface's biggest problem?


ksdixon

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#1
* Side note - this is the General Support board. For Windows/Microsoft related discussion, should there be a General Discussion board, or should I have posted this in the Win8 News board?*

Someone tell me if they agree or disagree if this is Surface's biggest issue:

"People are starting to realize how not very nice Windows computers are or outright blame Windows itself, when they are filled to the brim with manufacturer bloatware."


In my opinion these cheap net/notebooks from years past - which were 'good enough' for most casual users to get-by with but which came preloaded with this crap on them and eventually ground them down into slow messes - gave windows itself and windows netbooks/notebooks/laptops a bad reputation.

For example: Dad got a samsung win8 laptop earlier in the year, and the thing runs like absolute crap via all the pre-installed bloatware and extra system processes. Try removing certain things, and it starts nagging you that it can't find it's proprietory samsung software, or worse still it starts bugging-out, hard. It's almost as though Samsung intentionally make bad Windows devices so that people think ''well my phone is Samsung, and that is a much better user experience - it must be Windows' fault - i'll just double-down on the samsung ecosystem''. with microsoft's distrubution partners farting around with chromebooks or linx machines, it's no wonder microsoft went with the surface. a 'clean windows experience' is x1000 better, and my surface pro far out performs my dad's laptop, despite his machine having vastly superior specs inside. It's all about the presentation, and having a pleseant experience.

I just can't understand for the life of me why Microsoft have fallen at the last hurdle and priced this incredibly attractive laptop/table hybrid (SPro) so astronomically high. People wont pay the price of a Surface Pro. As it stands, those people would probably jump at a cheaper-priced Surface Pro, but they are simply picking up a Samsung Galaxy Note or Tab tablet to go alongside their already-owned Galaxy S2/3/4 phones. Case-in-point my brother recently started-in on me about his new Galaxy Tab. Asking why I haven't got a screen protector for my Surface Pro like he has for his Galaxy. I said I didn't need one. He asked how I kept the screen from being scratched. I showed him how the keyboard cover folds over the screen to protect it. So he said 'so you're telling me every time you place your surface down, you fold the screen cover over it?'. I said 'to be honest I usually just leave it like this *flips kickstand out and flash a rubbish eating grin*. He was speechless.

People go with what their friends have, whatever the new 'hot' item is, no matter how much it is limited, and may sit in a drawer after purchase. My dad and mum bought a DS each exclusively for Brain Training and Suduko. My dad has a kindle, despite any laptop or smartphone being able to read ebooks. He never uses either. These are the same 'casual' people that MS 'should' be going after with bargain-bin Surface(RT)'s, almost giving them away so that they gain traction a la Amazon's kindles. Let people have this inexpensive device so they can get used to Windows 8.1, and touch controls in general etc. And then if they do require more, like having compatability with legacy x86 apps, they can buy a Surface Pro, and all their files will be already be linked - hassell free - via their Microsoft Account syncing and SkyDrive cloud integration... but SPro's should only be something like £500 brand new... otherwise only tech geeks like me will know their true value and be willing to spend the money on them. Everyone else, the somewhat uninformed, will continue to splinter onto android devices and MS will find themselves without a customer-base.
 

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pparks1

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#2
"People are starting to realize how not very nice Windows computers are or outright blame Windows itself, when they are filled to the brim with manufacturer bloatware."
I think this can be an issue with Windows in general, but I don't think it really has anything specifically to do with Surface since the Surface doesn't come with this crap.

and my surface pro far out performs my dad's laptop, despite his machine having vastly superior specs inside.
His laptop has VASTLY better specs than your Surface Pro. The Surface Pro has a Core i5, it has an SSD, it has a 1920x1080 screen. What kind of laptop is your dad using that blows this hardware away.


People wont pay the price of a Surface Pro. As it stands, those people would probably jump at a cheaper-priced Surface Pro, but they are simply picking up a Samsung Galaxy Note or Tab tablet to go alongside their already-owned Galaxy S2/3/4 phones.
I THINK THIS IS THE BIGGEST PROBLEM FOR THE SURFACE

I think the point you are missing is that people don't "need" to pay the price of a Surface pro. NOT for what "THEY" do with a computer. They do email, facebook, pinterest, instagram, and surf the web. They can do these things just fine on a cell phone, a Kindle Fire, a cheap android tablet or even an iPad mini. They don't need a computer for these things, they have just historically owned a computer because that was the device that you used to access these things. Now that they have alternatives, and far cheaper ones, that is what they are going to use.


My dad has a kindle, despite any laptop or smartphone being able to read ebooks. He never uses either.
I have a Samsung Galaxy S3, a laptop, I have a chromebook, I have an Asus Android tablet and I have a Surface Pro all at my disposal. But for book reading, I practically only use my Kindle (the standard kindle, not the tablet variety). I don't want to read books on a backlit tablet, I don't want to have to charge my kindle every 2 days...I prefer going a solid month without having to charge. I love being able to read in daylight without glare. I love my Kindle (Gen2), My wife loves her Kindle (gen 3), and my daughter loves her kindle (paperwhite). I've give up the Surface pro long before I gave up my Kindle. Perhaps those who don't use their Kindles were never avid book readers in the first place, but somehow thought that a piece of technology would turn them into one.
 

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ksdixon

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#3
"People are starting to realize how not very nice Windows computers are or outright blame Windows itself, when they are filled to the brim with manufacturer bloatware."
I think this can be an issue with Windows in general, but I don't think it really has anything specifically to do with Surface since the Surface doesn't come with this crap.
Oh I know, I was just trying to say that their is something of brand poisoning when it comes to Windows laptops due in part to Vista, but which hasn't subsided because Win7 and Win8 laptops still largely come filled with manufactorer's bloat. The later point I made about people thinking 'my samsung phone is much more pleasent to use, it must be windows' fault, i'll get a samsung galaxy tab/note tablet next time' kinda highlights this as well.

and my surface pro far out performs my dad's laptop, despite his machine having vastly superior specs inside.
His laptop has VASTLY better specs than your Surface Pro. The Surface Pro has a Core i5, it has an SSD, it has a 1920x1080 screen. What kind of laptop is your dad using that blows this hardware away.
Soluto lists dad's hardware as:
Samsung 350V5C/351V5C/3540VC/3440VC:
CPU - Intel Pentium(R) CPU B970 @ 2.30GHz
RAM - DDR3 SDRAM - 6 GB

MOTHERBOARD - SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO. NP350E7C-A04UK
GRAPHICS - Intel(R) HD Graphics

From what I understand, that machine should kick Surface Pro gen1's ass, but it doesn't, it's so slow to use and a horrible user experience by comparison to the SPro1.
Microsoft Surface Pro Gen 1:
CPU - 3rd generation Intel Core i5 Processor with Intel HD Graphics 4000
RAM - 4GB RAM--Dual Channel Memory



MOTHERBOARD -

People wont pay the price of a Surface Pro. As it stands, those people would probably jump at a cheaper-priced Surface Pro, but they are simply picking up a Samsung Galaxy Note or Tab tablet to go alongside their already-owned Galaxy S2/3/4 phones.
I THINK THIS IS THE BIGGEST PROBLEM FOR THE SURFACE

I think the point you are missing is that people don't "need" to pay the price of a Surface pro. NOT for what "THEY" do with a computer. They do email, facebook, pinterest, instagram, and surf the web. They can do these things just fine on a cell phone, a Kindle Fire, a cheap android tablet or even an iPad mini. They don't need a computer for these things, they have just historically owned a computer because that was the device that you used to access these things. Now that they have alternatives, and far cheaper ones, that is what they are going to use.
But my dad, and others, would be more inclined to stay within the Windows OS/Ecosystem on a cheaper priced Surface Pro since he uses a lot of legacy software. Instead of having a few different devices each used for limited functionality, he 'could' in theory have full windows on SPro, but still enjoy the portability and touchscreen of tablets. MS seem to have taken a half-step. The SPro addresses the manufactorer bloatware/presentation of windows problem, but it's priced so high that people just dismiss it because they see it as an extremely expensive laptop or tablet, and not based on what it actually is, a bit of both.
 

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pparks1

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#4
Soluto lists dad's hardware as:
Samsung 350V5C/351V5C/3540VC/3440VC:
CPU - Intel Pentium(R) CPU B970 @ 2.30GHz
RAM - DDR3 SDRAM - 6 GB

MOTHERBOARD - SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO. NP350E7C-A04UK
GRAPHICS - Intel(R) HD Graphics

From what I understand, that machine should kick Surface Pro gen1's ass, but it doesn't, it's so slow to use and a horrible user experience by comparison to the SPro1.
Microsoft Surface Pro Gen 1:
CPU - 3rd generation Intel Core i5 Processor with Intel HD Graphics 4000
RAM - 4GB RAM--Dual Channel Memory
Oh god no. His laptop has an Intel Pentium B970 CPU, that's nowhere near a Core i5.

If you go here and look at the CPU benchmarks, you will find that his Pentium B970 scores a 1,999. The Surface Pro Intel Core i5-3317u scores a 3118.
PassMark - Intel Pentium B970 @ 2.30GHz - Price performance comparison

Then, the surface Pro has an SSD which is going to make any machine with a standard mechanical hard drive look silly.

You both have integrated Intel video, so that is a wash.

So, a much stronger CPU and substantially faster SSD should cause the Surface Pro 1 to run circles around that other laptop.


But my dad, and others, would be more inclined to stay within the Windows OS/Ecosystem on a cheaper priced Surface Pro since he uses a lot of legacy software. Instead of having a few different devices each used for limited functionality, he 'could' in theory have full windows on SPro, but still enjoy the portability and touchscreen of tablets. MS seem to have taken a half-step. The SPro addresses the manufactorer bloatware/presentation of windows problem, but it's priced so high that people just dismiss it because they see it as an extremely expensive laptop or tablet, and not based on what it actually is, a bit of both.
But would your dad want to run all of his software on a small tablet form factor machine? I for one, do NOT. I still use my laptop for almost everything...i'm responding to this post on my laptop while my Surface Pro is just sitting beside me. I want the larger screen size of the laptop, I want the larger touchpad than what is offered on my typecover, and I want the larger form factor keyboard of my laptop. My laptop has a Core i7 CPU, 16GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD...so it outperforms my Surface Pro. But it was also about $1,700 too, so it cost quite a bit more. (but gives me a fingerprint reader, more USB ports, an eSATA port, a gigabit network port, VGA and HDMI output. and a SecureCard reader, and ability to carry a secondary swappable battery)

The price point for most people is TOO high. The price is justifiable for what it is, but people don't need/want that much in terms of a portable tablet computer. This is obvious when one looks at which tablets are selling by the truckload. People can get a $500 laptop, and a $300 tablet and have 2 devices and still save money over the Surface Pro.
 

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revmike

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#5
If the surface pro is priced too high why are they so hard to find due to being sold out?
 

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ksdixon

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#6
But my dad, and others, would be more inclined to stay within the Windows OS/Ecosystem on a cheaper priced Surface Pro since he uses a lot of legacy software. Instead of having a few different devices each used for limited functionality, he 'could' in theory have full windows on SPro, but still enjoy the portability and touchscreen of tablets. MS seem to have taken a half-step. The SPro addresses the manufactorer bloatware/presentation of windows problem, but it's priced so high that people just dismiss it because they see it as an extremely expensive laptop or tablet, and not based on what it actually is, a bit of both.
But would your dad want to run all of his software on a small tablet form factor machine? I for one, do NOT. I still use my laptop for almost everything...i'm responding to this post on my laptop while my Surface Pro is just sitting beside me. I want the larger screen size of the laptop, I want the larger touchpad than what is offered on my typecover, and I want the larger form factor keyboard of my laptop. My laptop has a Core i7 CPU, 16GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD...so it outperforms my Surface Pro. But it was also about $1,700 too, so it cost quite a bit more. (but gives me a fingerprint reader, more USB ports, an eSATA port, a gigabit network port, VGA and HDMI output. and a SecureCard reader, and ability to carry a secondary swappable battery)

The price point for most people is TOO high. The price is justifiable for what it is, but people don't need/want that much in terms of a portable tablet computer. This is obvious when one looks at which tablets are selling by the truckload. People can get a $500 laptop, and a $300 tablet and have 2 devices and still save money over the Surface Pro.
I asked him the other day when we were talking about technology, and he literally uses his tablet (Galaxy Note 2 I believe) for internet access and three games (Tetris, a Bejewelled ripoff and Angry Birds), all of which are easy to do on his phone, which he carries around with him and uses a substantial amount more. For as little as he uses the thing, I cannot fathom why he bought it in the first place, other than it was a Samsung and 'went with' his phone. Contrast this to his Win8 Laptop which despite it being a slow piece of crap he uses on a day-to-day basis, and I don't understand why he isn't jumping at the chance to use a monster machine in the Surface Pro 1 or Pro 2, where he can access all his files via SkyDrive, have all his firefox bookmarks etc.

I asked him, and it's simply an issue of price. He absolutely will not part with that much money no matter what on a singular device, despite it's benefits. I personally still think it's silly that he has a tablet he barely uses nor needs, and a bad laptop he uses daily. For whatever reason, a lot of people seem to share this sentiment. It's as though the old £200ish not very nice netbooks that everyone used to get have set the price for a Windows branded laptop/tablet device, and people don't expect to pay any more, no matter how much more advanced the devices may be. I still say that if Surface Pro was slashed in price that many people would pick one up immediately. Outside of the Surface Pro 1 or 2 getting a massive price cut, I'm hoping the 8inch 'surface mini' makes people look twice.
 

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strollin

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#7
I'm one that really likes the idea of the Surface Pro but always felt it was way too expensive which is why I bought a Dell Venue 8 Pro instead.
 

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Coke Robot

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#8
I agree, this is why Microsoft built the Surface tablets, their OEM partners CONSTANTLY drop the ball on execution and in some cases point the blame at Windows and Microsoft when it's really THEIR own fault.

Every time someone tells me they got a new laptop, I always offer to do a clean install of Windows because it'll LITERALLY be more tedious and time consuming to uninstall all that crap and set it up right. I have a custom image of Windows 8.1 Core going with the software I normally install and have it properly configured, as well as a dummy Microsoft account used to update and install the WinRT apps. But the reason generally for the crapware is to reduce costs as much as possible, which is why you see a TON of crapware on sucky PCs and usually less on higher end ones.

Having said that, you need to take into consideration WHY the Surface Pro's cost is literally double the cost of the RT. Firstly, it's that Wacom touch digitizer, that ALONE probably is a considerable chunk of change as Wacom's touch technology is NOT cheap. The ability to have palm rejection while using the pressure sensitive stylus just doesn't come cheap. It's a very high end touch technology for sure. The second is that the Surface Pro and RT tablets have SO many custom designed parts, the economics aren't in favor. Intel and AMD both make design templates for their CPUs, so usually you'll see similar laptop and tablet motherboard layouts from PC to PC. That in turn makes production less expensive because there is a mass produced template. The Surface tablets on the other hand are custom designed, Microsoft tried to use already mass produced parts but they didn't as they couldn't design all what they wanted with current templates. Those prices you see for the Surfaces aren't like apple's high markups, they're like that because the parts in them are so custom, there isn't another device out there like it.
 

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ksdixon

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#9
But the average person doesn't know anything about Wacom's premium status, nor even need a styluss pen in most instances on iOS and Android UI (not like Windows Desktop where things are tinier and one is needed). All they see is that their tablet (my dad's Galaxy Note 2 in this case) has a pen too, and it half/3 times cheaper.

Why are we only dealing with two SKUs? It seems like MS have covered the absolute premium and the absolute casual ends of the spectrum with no middle ground:

- SurfaceRT - not backwards compatibe with x86.
- SurfacePro 'something' - middle tier - backwards compatibe with x86, has no pen, or has a 'dumb' pen which isn't as premium as a wacom.
- SurfacePro - the current surface pro, premium branding - backwards compatibe with x86, has wacom pen.
 

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Coke Robot

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#10
That's why they need to be aware of that. The Galaxy Note 2 I believe also uses Wacom technology but it's half the size of the Surface tablets and costs straight up the price of the Surface RT.

Two different models are OK, the problem is that they need to amp up Windows RT first before anything as they seem to want RT used as "everyone's" PC. Yeah, that will NEVER happen with current issues of Windows RT, like for me it's the lack of proper File Explorer app that isn't on the Desktop. If they added a "dumb" pen to RT that at least has palm rejection technology, I would actually buy it.

The Pro is obviously intended to use Desktop apps, hence regarded more for "pro" users.

Basically, if they made RT better, fixed its shortcomings and renamed it to something less clunky, and allowed its use outside of just tablets; that platform would do a LOT better than it did.
 

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