Why the Surface Sucks

SurfaceThe Microsoft Surface came to market with much hype only to have its actual sales end up slower than expected. The concept was there, and I’m still convinced that the Surface will be a major player after the Surface Pro and second generation devices come out.

For now, pundits are pointing fingers and attempting to make sense of why exactly the Surface didn’t become the biggest seller this holiday season.

It’s not like Microsoft hasn’t been pushing promotion of the Surface harder than anything it’s pushed before. Just turn on network television and you’ll find an abundance of product placements on popular shows. You can’t really avoid someone going out of their way to use a Surface or Windows Phone on these shows. Microsoft’s budget is large and it just doesn’t seem to be making up for what pundits are calling a poorly executed product.

So, with all this promotion, why is the Surface having such a hard time taking off? Here are my theories. Feel free to leave yours in the comments section below.

Too Much Change

People hate change, and Windows 8 has it in abundance. It’s the most significant change to the operating system since Windows 3.x evolved into Windows 95 well over a decade ago. The Surface itself is another big adjustment users have to make. Its hardware is like a traditional tablet, but the operating environment and blending of laptop features makes it something a bit unique.

The Surface for Windows RT and Surface Pro are also going to present dramatically different experiences for users. This is a lot for someone to get adjusted to when they’re not specifically interested in a new experience.

Price

If you’re going to present something new and attempt to build a user base around it, then you shouldn’t come out of the gates with a high-priced item compared to established tablets already on the market. An iPad might not have the built-in kickstand or USB port, but it does have over 120,000 applications made for the platform. Windows 8 is still in a stage of attracting developers, and it isn’t quite ready for the majority of the consumers out there.

Uncertainty

When you look at tablet computers, you’re typically thinking either Android or iOS. Microsoft made a strong attempt to take on the tablet platform for years before lackluster sales basically killed the form factor. It wasn’t until Apple introduced the iPad that the tablet started to become a feasible fan favorite.

This left me, and a lot of other users, uncertain about whether or not Microsoft has what it takes to really excel in the tablet market. The fact that Microsoft opted to produce its own computer for this implementation was even more intriguing. This is a series of firsts for Microsoft. It’s the first time the company made its own computer, and the first time many users are coming in contact with Windows 8. This creates uncertainty.

In my experience, you don’t spend $400-800 on something you’re uncertain about.

What about you? Why do you think the Surface didn’t perform well this holiday season?

Article Written by

Ryan Matthew Pierson has worked as a broadcaster, writer, and producer for media outlets ranging from local radio stations to internationally syndicated programs. His experience includes every aspect of media production. He has over a decade of experience in terrestrial radio, Internet multimedia, and commercial video production.

  • Scrapper

    I purchased a Surface this holiday because a confluence of circumstances made my out of pocket purchase price roughly $80. I am not one to buy the first iteration of anything, because I am skeptic of how much substance I will receive versus the quantity of false starts and gimmicks. The price and my newly shattered laptop screen dissuaded me from both following my gut and acknowledging its impressive track record on matters of technology. Because of this I am regularly frustrated and disappointed. The stable of available apps is pathetic, the browsers, search engines, and programs I use every day on my various MS, Droid, and Mac devices are unsupported and the more I understand the operative design features (swiping, live tiles, etc.) the clunckier and more off-putting I find the whole experience.
    If you want an “internet machine” and want to spend no more than a couple hundred bucks; buy a net book. If you have deeper pockets and/or require more technological muscle and versatility, Android and Apple are the only real players. I have no vested interested or loyalties to any company, I buy it used or build it if at all possible, but I feel it is worth spending 5 minutes to say my piece into the depths of the web in the hopes that some other poor sap doesn’t fall victim to this dirty diaper of a tablet.