Should You Get the Microsoft Surface Pro?

Matthew Kelbie asks:

I watched your videos weeks before committing to making a purchase and, despite your advice against buying a Microsoft Surface, I wanted to give it a try. It didn’t work for you, but I thought it might work for me; I couldn’t have been more wrong. One hour is how long I had my Surface before packing it back in the box, ready to send it right back to Microsoft.

You prepared me for the disappointment and lowered my expectations, so this email is to thank you for making things easier. Please continue to do this as it helps me completely avoid products, purchase them with excitement, or prepare for disappointment — exactly like I did today.

Will you be getting a Surface Pro? I’m just curious why you didn’t just accept the Microsoft gift card when returning your original Surface if you intend to get the Pro.

Surface ProMatthew,

Your situation is not at all uncommon. Microsoft has to hit a home run with the Surface Pro in order to maintain appeal for what has surely been the most overhyped device of the past year. I tried warning you — and not because I hate Microsoft.

The Surface for Windows RT was interesting in concept, but the execution is where things went wrong. Windows 8’s schizophrenic interface takes a lot of getting used to. When you limit the desktop experience and introduce a half-baked new UI, things are bound to go wrong.

I believe I’ll be getting the Pro — but only if I get it sponsored. There are too many Windows PCs for me to buy with a single wallet. I expect it to be different, but not radically different. I’d also plan on getting one of the keyboards with it.

Like any first-generation technology, the Surface suffered from not having enough time or thought being put into how real users would react to its nuances. Microsoft spent a lot of time packing features into the device that look great on paper, but failed to deliver when it comes to actual user experience.

This is the great Achilles’ heel shared by many technology companies these days. You have to adapt to the customer, not the other way around.

Image: Microsoft

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Chris has consistently expressed his convictions and visions outright, supplying practical information to targeted audiences: media agencies, business owners, technology consumers, software and hardware professionals, et al. He remains a passionate personality in the tech community-at-large. He's a geek.