by Jonathan Rothwell

Microsoft still doesn't get it

Superficially, Microsoft’s Surface1 looks like a very enticing device.

A tablet where I can do two things at once, and with a Smart Cover-style case that also acts as a tactile keyboard, is a very interesting prospect. The more expensive Pro version, with its full, un-fettered, run-anything-you-like-on-it Windows back-end, is nothing short of enticing.

However, there are two things that have put me off the idea, already. Specifically, the absence of two little details:

  • When can I get one?
  • How much will it cost?

One thing Microsoft hasn’t yet learned from Apple is not to announce something until it’s absolutely ready to go. The only case in the last fifteen years where Apple has announced a hardware product well in advance of its launch is with the first iPhone: even then, Jobs went to great lengths to point out that it was only being announced at 2007 Macworld Expo to ensure that it was Apple who announced it, rather than the FCC.

Without knowing when I can buy one, or how much it’ll cost, it’s impossible for me to decide whether or not I actually want one—and I suspect the same could be said for the majority of potential customers.

  1. Not to be confused with the table-computing platform formerly known as Microsoft Surface, now inexplicably re-branded as PixelSense.