What Do You Think of the Microsoft Surface? [You Told Us]

Dave Parrack 25-10-2012

What Do You Think of the Microsoft Surface? [You Told Us] You Told UsMicrosoft took its time getting into the tablet market, primarily because it had to work on building an operating system that would offer a positive experience on the touchscreen form factor, which Windows 7 most certainly doesn’t. With Windows 8 just around the corner, so is Surface, the new Microsoft-branded tablet.


Microsoft Surface RT is arriving on the same day as Windows 8 (Oct. 26) with Surface Pro following early in 2013. RT offers a pared-down version of the operating system for ARM processors, and only apps officially released through Windows Store will be compatible. Thankfully a version of Office 2013 is included, which prevents this model from being a total disaster.

What Do You Think Of The Microsoft Surface?

What Do You Think of the Microsoft Surface? [You Told Us] microsoft surface tablet keyboards

We asked you, What Do You Think Of The Microsoft Surface? The response was great, with dozens of people offering their insights into the Microsoft Surface.

There are a surprising number of people excited about the device and seemingly eager to buy one. There are others who want nothing to do with the Surface and feel it’s a case of ‘too little, too late’ for Microsoft when the iPad and Android tablets have established themselves so well in the market.

I’d suggest that the biggest group of commenters on the original article were those who remain undecided; who feel they need to actually get their hands on a Surface before they can give an honest and unbiased opinion. And they could have a point. After all, how many of us have visited an Apple Store to try an iPad before deciding whether it’s worth buying one or not?


Comment Of The Week

I was very tempted to award the prize to John Robie for his wry, “This looks like the hottest thing since the Zune,” but that would have been cruel. There were also great responses from Rajaa Chowdhury, Peter Lydon, and Bruce Thomas, amongst others. Comment of the week goes to Sanat Puri, who won with this comment:

The price does seem to be a touch on the “no way I’m gonna pay that much for a tablet/skateboard hybrid” side. But there’s no denying its biggest advantage; Office. For people using services like Excel, PowerPoint and so on, it’s a no-brainer. Its biggest disadvantage; having Windows RT. The only way you can get apps is through the Marketplace, which can be a deciding factor for some. For those who were expecting it to be an ultrabook, this may be disappointing. It looks more similar to an overgrown Windows phone than a laptop. But maybe I’m wrong. I would love to see Microsoft prove me wrong.

The mention of Office is a good one, as is the suggestion that Windows RT and its Marketplace apps is going to turn some people off. It’s also prudent to remind people the Surface RT isn’t meant to be an ultrabook alternative, and anyone buying it with such a comparison in mind will be disappointed. Perhaps the Surface Pro will better fit the bill.

We will be asking a new question tomorrow, so please join us then. We Ask You is a weekly column dedicated to finding out the opinions of MakeUseOf readers. We ask you a question and you tell us what you think. The question is open-ended and is usually open to debate. Some questions will be purely opinion-based, while others will see you sharing tips and advice, or advocating tools and apps for your fellow MakeUseOf readers. This column is nothing without your input, all of which is valued.

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  1. Andrei Bogdan
    December 12, 2012 at 7:04 pm

    After all windows 8 is made for tablets and I think that's really wrong but the concept seems great , also this tablet looks really good and I would rather buy this than an Ipad .

  2. Yiz Borol
    October 26, 2012 at 3:10 am

    Pretty good assessment.

  3. Achraf Almouloudi
    October 26, 2012 at 1:01 am

    As we watched Microsoft prepared a wide range of 1.000 certified Windows 8 devices, which immediately changed my mind about it, there is Desktop, Laptop, All In One, Smartphone, Tablet and Ultrabook devices already certified, so I can choose whatever my taste wants and still get the standard quality Microsoft defined to it's partners .

    • Thomas Slaughter
      November 28, 2012 at 7:28 pm

      To that I agree heartily. The wide range on which Windows 8 can be used. I'm holding out for the Surface Pro in January. I use MS Office too much, including Outlook, plus the Surface Pro will be able to run pretty much any program.

      Cannot figure why they released the RT version first. Almost like they are trying to shoot themselves in the foot.

      • Achraf Almouloudi
        November 29, 2012 at 12:32 am

        If they released Surface Pro first, it would success but leave no place for Surface RT to succeed and get their "tablet" initiative up. So look now, people bought Surface RT once it became available AND they will buy Surface Pro once it'll come, just to experience Windows 8 Pro on an "official" tablet, this is how consumers works .

  4. RickZ
    October 25, 2012 at 10:50 pm

    I didn't know Microsoft teamed up with Milton Bradley to update the children's toy Simon from the 80'. Wow, something for ages 3 - 11. On top of that there are different versions for teenagers.

    I am running Windows 8 Release preview on an extra computer. While I don't mind a learning curve I do find it very annoying to use. I am very tech savvy but if I am struggling to find things I can't imagine regular consumers grasping some of the simple tasks. When I first boot up I have to go through too many screens just to get back to the Desktop where I do most of the time doing things. The (Metro) screen is barely ever used for anything. I added a bunch of apps but still find that I go right back to my regular desktop. I know the tabs will be customizable but as it is all those tabs running different "live" apps are very distracting. Maybe if I was utilizing mind altering substances I would enjoy all the things going on.

    With that said on a tablet or phone I am sure it is much more enjoyable but I still cant get past the fact that it looks like an 80's childs toy.

    Android is great for people who want full customization and the latest OS Jellybean has some awesome options.

    IOS 6 is even better and it's synch capabilities make it a cut above everything else. Siri just keeps getting better and if things keep improving with Apple's Icloud and Siri I can't see where this will fit in.

    The selling point seems to be that it runs full Office and your can do anything on it. I am confused as I can do Word, Powerpoint, Excel on my tablet now. Maybe for Business travelers it would combine the best of both but I still see MS having a long way to go to catch up to the rest.

    Who knows maybe it will sell like crazy but I just don't see the wow factor like Apple and Android has established. I went with Android initially because it supported Mobile flash and now I have an Ipad and see how things are "supposed" to run. But thats my 1/2 cents. It would be great to try a Win 8 tablet just to see hoe it compares having used Android, Palm OS and IOS.

    • Dave Parrack
      November 5, 2012 at 2:42 pm

      I'm sure Microsoft would love for you to visit one of its stores to try out the Surface. Sadly those stores are few and far between compared to Apple's stores.

      Perhaps they should have renamed Metro as Simon... it's certainly catchier than whatever it's called now.

  5. Mac Witty
    October 25, 2012 at 6:02 pm

    Nice with one more company doing tablets. If all survive I think it will keep them all on top

  6. Scott Pickett
    October 25, 2012 at 5:48 pm

    The clearly have a price issue to overcome. I just can't see them making major market share with a price point that is the same as Apple with only a few hundred apps available. And since they already announced that they are working on Office apps for Apple i think that advantage might not be enough. That said, I can clearly see them working towards a future of computing (especially business) where you can walk in with your "device", place it in a docking station and use a full screen/keyboard/mouse all day. Then undock and take it home with you and keep working while you watch TV or use it to consume media while responding to a few emails. This is clearly the overall direction. Even the new server versions show some signs of this mobile push with regards to AD/Group policy and such.

    I likely will not buy an RT version but I will give the Pro version a hard look as a laptop replacement for my 5 year old Dell.

    • Dave Parrack
      November 5, 2012 at 2:40 pm

      I'd say the Pro version is going to be of more interest to more people. I just fear the price will immediately put everyone but corporate customers off.

  7. Gravity Dead
    October 25, 2012 at 5:21 pm

    this looks really good
    don't kno whether I am becoming gayish :P
    or what

    but I fell in love with "surface" when I first saw it

    but will only buy it, if it comes under a price of 25-30 thousand rs. (thats like 500-600$)

  8. Timothy Liem
    October 25, 2012 at 3:36 pm

    well.. since I hate the windows 8 interface, I'm going to buy an Android rather than this whatever-you-call-it thing.

    • Gravity Dead
      October 25, 2012 at 5:23 pm

      yeah I thought the same
      but deep inside I know that windows 8 is very good for tablets and hyrbid-laptops

    • Dave Parrack
      November 5, 2012 at 2:38 pm

      Have you tried Windows 8 on a touchscreen tablet though? Using it on a laptop or desktop was never going to be as smooth an experience.

  9. Alex Perkins
    October 25, 2012 at 1:43 pm

    Microsoft might be late in coming into the market but they have the advantage if all the people using (and loving) windows 8.

  10. Ben
    October 25, 2012 at 12:45 pm

    At some level, I think the pricing determines where a tablet will stand in the tablet hierarchy of androids, ipads, and all the rest. Pricing at or around the iPad, if you can deliver an experience to match, puts you on (nearly) the same level as the iPad. When people decide to buy a tablet for under $300, they're not looking for "the best" tablet, I would think. So pricing above $500 gives customers an expectation of high quality.

    • Dave Parrack
      November 5, 2012 at 2:38 pm

      It's a gamble though, as it's going to be tough to beat Apple at its own premium pricing game. Google seems to have hit the spot in terms of quality with a reasonable price tag.

  11. shaurya gupta
    October 25, 2012 at 9:23 am

    the keyboard is coool!

  12. Ken Gaming
    October 25, 2012 at 9:07 am

    The only problem is that it doesn't have enough apps in its appstore. ._.

    • Gravity Dead
      October 25, 2012 at 5:22 pm

      I agree

    • Dave Parrack
      November 5, 2012 at 2:36 pm

      They should come with time. And certainly the more people who are using Windows 8 the more reason developers have for building apps.

  13. Rajaa Chowdhury
    October 25, 2012 at 8:29 am

    Google Nexus 7 now seems a steal at $200 entry point against the Microsoft Surface RT entry price at $499 and iPAD Mini at $329. Besides, it packs a decent punch at that price point. I am now eagerly awaiting the Google Nexus 7 launch in India this November, 2012. Unfortunately, it is still not available in India officially. :(

    • Harish Jonnalagadda
      October 25, 2012 at 12:44 pm

      I know! Just waiting for the Nexus to launch.

    • Tan Nguyen Nhat
      October 25, 2012 at 12:45 pm

      But Surface bring us a new look, simple and convenient way to use Windows 8.

    • Dave Parrack
      November 5, 2012 at 2:36 pm

      Google could make a killing in countries where the average person couldn't even dream of owning an Apple product such as an iPad. They need to get their act together.

      • Andrei Bogdan
        December 12, 2012 at 7:05 pm

        Yea , like Romania = )

  14. Anonymous
    October 25, 2012 at 5:07 am

    The device looks decent & Legit, It may be true that iPad and Android tablets have established themselves so well in the market but I'm sure Microsoft has kept that in mind.

    It looks really cool though, :)

  15. Burt Philp
    October 25, 2012 at 3:46 am

    Looks very impressive, if a bit pricey for a device with netbook-type power.

    • Dave Parrack
      November 5, 2012 at 2:35 pm

      You're one of many who wishes it was cheaper. Myself included.

  16. Nguy?n Tân
    October 25, 2012 at 3:46 am

    Nice, clear and smooth tablet!