back to article HP PC chief: Microsoft's Surface is 'KLUDGEY'. There, I said it

HP's chief of personal systems has branded Microsoft's Surface "kludgey" in a broadside against the new laptop-cum-tablet hardware. Todd Bradley dismissed the fondletop in an interview with IDG's CITEworld, and said although the tech press is obsessed with it, the public couldn't care less about Microsoft's 10-inch offering. …


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  1. toadwarrior

    Ballmer's opinion is like a chair to the head. No one wants it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Ooh, venn diagram update

      I now include you in that same Venn digram intersection.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      He's right about the iPhone 5 though, it is overpriced for what it offers.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Ballmer's opinion is like a chair to the head. No one wants it."

      Apart from youtube viewers, who seem very keen on the more Neanderthal bits.

  2. LDS Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Tablet envy?

    Oh yes, HP Slate was better? And what about what they had to sell for $99? Sure, Surface is not a competitor of their offering...

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "wild and uncontrolled"

    Well he should know !

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What always surprises me...

    Is that when a company has made $awesome_hardware_which_everyone_should_have you hardly ever see one of their own staff working with it. This isn't only commenting on Microsoft, but other companies too. Its a given.

    Back in he Compaq days the iPaq was advertised as one of the greatest thing to have but you'd never see the CEO walking around with one. And there are dozens of examples like this.

    The moment where I see Ballmer carrying around a Surface and also actually /using/ it to, for example, take notes during a press conference or something then I maybe believe in some of Microsoft propaganda. But until that time first things first; like waiting for version 2 which doesn't start showing wirering in the keyboard after a few weeks of use.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What always surprises me...

      Don't keep us in suspense, what does Ballmer use instead?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: What always surprises me...

        He will have a minion to take notes for him. More importantly, does he surf the net on a surface when he's taking a dump or if he's standing in the queue at wal-mart?

        1. GitMeMyShootinIrons

          Re: What always surprises me...

          " ...does he surf the net on a surface when he's taking a dump..."

          Now that's really not a pleasant image.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Vomit Removal Service...

            Sorry to bother you again. As soon as you can, please. Yes, I'm afraid it is all over the keyboard. Again.

            1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

              Re: Vomit Removal Service...

              You better stop coming here. At least people don't upload images yet.

              1. Anonymous Coward

                Re: Vomit Removal Service...

                You could be right. McAffee's rectal bath salts, and now ...this!

                You know, I didn't even think I'd eaten that much. But then, one never does. Mine's the coat with the paper bag in the pocket.

    2. Armando 123

      Re: What always surprises me...

      Nothing new; when word got out that Studebaker employees weren't driving Studebakers, their sales plummeted.

      And if you are asking yourself "Who was Studebaker?", well, there y'are.

      1. Michael Kean

        Re: What always surprises me...

        "Gee Doc, all I see is a Bear and a Frog in a rainbow-coloured Studebaker."

        That's the only reason I know of Studebakers :) A Muppet Movie.

        Mind you, it's the same with Oldsmobiles - Blues Brothers, and DeLoreans - Back to the Future.

  5. Tim 11

    I've got one and it's kludgy

    only when you actually use it for a while do you fully appreciate that trying to make something that's a laptop and a tablet at the same time is just never going to work

    I think they've probably done as good a job in the execution as anyone could have done with the aims they set themselves, but the whole concept is pointless

    1. Lars Silver badge

      Re: I've got one and it's kludgy

      I haven't got one and I don't think I will get one, kludgy or not. But the concept is that Microsoft has to deliver regularly something "new" to get the money they want even if they don't need it. The concept is wrong. Compare that to Linux "who" has not forced a new, start from scratch kernel, every third year, but instead developed it from year to year to be better and better. Money is a devil. Nothing will change it and perhaps it's as well. When every retailer starts to push Windows 8, some will eat shit, some will feel disturbed but most consumers will just accept it, as it is, like before, because there is no choice. Microsoft knows and relies on that. Still I hope that the market share of Windows will suffer.

      Oh my god, how pleased and proud people can become when they have something new, good or bad, does not matter. On the server side, I am sure, they will be more cautious, or they have lost the sense of reality completely, perhaps as well too. And I might be wrong, of course.

    2. Michael Kean

      Re: I've got one and it's kludgy

      "... but the whole concept is pointless"

      After seeing I am not so sure it's pointless. Think also about the Asus transformer for example - an Android 'Laptop.' Think about how many non-computer and semi-computer literate people now have smartphones. And how many of those phones run Android. Perhaps it makes sense that those people can grab an Android-based Laptop or 'PC' and already know how to get around it.

      I think Microsoft might be thinking that way and hence trying desperately to make this synergy happen so that Win8 phone buyers would also have that same 'familiarity' experience. But have they left it too late? I guess give them a year and see. Maybe Windows 8-and-a-bit will be what they need.

    3. Tom 13

      Re: I've got one and it's kludgy

      I wouldn't say "only when you use it for a while". It was obvious to some of us without even trying it. I am inclined to believe that if you actually do the testing yourself it is impossible to avoid the conclusion that it fails miserably.

  6. Robert E A Harvey


    I thought HP were going to have a whole comet-full of windows 8 stuff on sale by now. Instead they are slagging it off (or at least the ginger stepbrother of it) Weird gets wieridererer.

    Oh, and wasn't WebOs going to rise zombie-like from the grave too? what news on that, lads?

    I think HP will be next through the magic curtains to the afterlife.

  7. hitmouse

    It can't be awesome until an HP-branded machine full of crapware is on the shelves.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ne'er a truer word spoken in jest

    Being a Merkin, he probably wont be familiar with our fine Glaswegian patois; the "kludgey" being the far earthier word in the Glasgow of my youth for what the Septics so delicately call the "bathroom". Descriptive nevertheless, and the shoe probably fits.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Ne'er a truer word spoken in jest

      > the "kludgey" being the far earthier word in the Glasgow of my youth for what the Septics so delicately call the "bathroom".

      According to the Jargon file, that is the etymology of "kludge".

      Not to be confused with "kluge" which is roughly the same thing but is not necessarily a pejorative term.

  9. W. Anderson

    Tech Media always in awe of Microsoft new products - for money?

    It is no news that much of the technology media are and can be overly impressed with Microsoft technology.

    Take Ed Bott of ZDNet, who would find it harder to criticize Microsoft even for egregiously - and admittedly - violating their anti-trust agreement and mandate with the European Union than it would for Bott to fly by simply flapping his arms about. He prefers to flap his mouth about in aid of his heroes in Redmond.

    Buying support and popular commentary will only work for so long, since most of the populace here in USA and elsewhere have become accustomed to receiving crappy products and services from Microsoft for too long.

    1. Fatman

      Re: Tech Media .....Ed Bott of ZDNet

      Anytime I see one of his "articles" I have to remind myself that it is just paid advertising.

      I route its contents to /dev/null.

  10. mhoneywell

    Go Balmer

    It irks me to say it, but Balmer's right. iPhone is too expensive and Android is like the wlld west. The Surface is too expensive too. And I'm as yet unqualified to talk about Kludgeyness.

    That said, if I were Bradley I wouldn't be criticising MS, or anyone else. HP more than any tech firm out there needs all of the allies it can get at the moment.

    1. JeffyPooh

      Re: Go Balmer

      "...Android is like the wlld west..."

      My Google Nexus 7 (Android du jour, 4.2 today) seems pretty calm and tranquil.

      (Posted from my iPhone)

    2. Blitterbug

      Re: Android is like the wlld west

      Thar's truth in them thar hills, but my Nexus 7 has honestly surprised the living spoink out of me. I messed around with a cheapie Gingerbread StorageSystems Scroll 7" jobbie a year ago, had some fun, but boy was it crappy compared to my iPhone. A month ago I dithered over waiting for an iPad Mini or getting a shiny Nexus 7 there-and-then.

      £200 quid later and I'm a happy bunny. The £15 free Market (sorry, Play) credit was the icing on the cake; very quickly I was banging out customer invoices (MobileBiz) and enjoying full-fat Chrome browsing.

      Try as I might I can't even get the interface to stutter. Now if they could just do something about the crappy black backgrounds on most of the 'system' screens - it's not as if Apple have patented grey! Oh, wait...

  11. This post has been deleted by its author

  12. N2

    Ballmer said...

    "People have their "Ooh" moment when they first experience the tablet"

    Mine was - Ooh, it took seven goes to close that dialogue box.

    1. TheOtherHobbes

      Re: Ballmer said...

      He prolly mipselled 'Ook'.

    2. Adam 1

      Re: Ballmer said...

      You're holding it wrong

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Yeah well..

    two weeks into Windows 8 on my laptop with a new drive and I am going back to Windows 7. 8 won't activate with the key that came with the software and keeps giving me "the warning" in the middle of my work - very annoying. And now IE is showing me blank white pages very frequently for no good reason - again, annoying. And web Hotmail locks up more frequently now too - very annoying.

    I guess Windows 8 can be christened "the annoying one" .

    Sinofsky got out just in time because the crew behind him has a huge mess to clean up. Why taint a good fantasy legend with pesky factual details?

  14. P. Lee


    Having your touchscreen dissed by HP?


    /70's show

  15. Nate Amsden Silver badge

    will HP's be any different?

    from what I've read/heard the klunky-ness of the Surface is mostly the software, the mix-mash of Metro and desktop etc. Which I'd imagine every Windows 8 tablet will have to mess with even HP's.

    I haven't noticed anyone complaining about the hardware of the tablet itself..

    1. Confuciousmobil

      Re: will HP's be any different?

      Not noticed anyone complaining about the hardware? Apart from the keyboards falling to pieces.....

  16. Martin

    Can't believe that no-one has commented on the irony here...

    ...of an HP person accusing someone else's software of being kludgy.

    HP printers are excellent, but the Windows drivers are 90% bloatware, which take ages to install and complain loudly and bitterly about the slightest problem.

    (To be fair, though, the Linux drivers just work beautifully...)

    1. Robert E A Harvey

      Re: Can't believe that no-one has commented on the irony here...

      >(To be fair, though, the Linux drivers just work beautifully...)

      without the supposed higher-definition features

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Windows 8 and surface

    After 2 months on Windows 8 I still find it an uninviting and weird experience. You try and close the metro start screen to get back to the desktop and realise this OS is stuck in reverse and treats the desktop as an app. The live tiles scroll continuously, cycling irrelevant distractions while the start menu is now impossible to keep organised and find things on. People who rely on the mouse are actively discriminated against. Was Rentokil responsible for their UX strategy? Everything about this product is half finished.

    So you get a surface RT, expecting it to be cut-down but at least a consistent experience. Well, it turns out it is 0.6 finished. And the device is noticeably less snappy to use -- all the little details like key presses, clicks and selection -- than your old ipad 2.

    HP's boss is right, but unless he switches to some other OS I fare their fate will be no better.

    ps. just my real life user opinion, yours may vary

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Windows 8 and surface

      Personally speaking, I don't find the desktop PC experience very different with 8, I'm not using touch monitors yet but hoping the monitor manufacturers getting their act together on resolution, touch etc. one day. Most of the time at present I've no reason to visit the start screen or run Windows store apps. Likewise on my notebook devices. I guess it all depends what you use the computer for.

      I borrowed a Surface RT this week for evaluation and seemed fine to me for everyday apps, I didn't find it less snappy than an iPad but unlikely I'd buy one for personal use until graphic resolution and SoC are upgraded as I'm into graphics intensive software. As you say opinions will vary, users have different requirements and expectations.

      1. Blitterbug

        Re: Windows 8 and surface

        Well-measured post, Sir (or ma'am). I actually would like a Surface, the build qual is supposedly 'legendary' and despite all I've said about the Start screen, that's mainly 'cos it's an unholy carbunkle on the face of my lovely PC and laptop. On a tablet I could live with it, as a kind of quickie 'do stuff' mode. Though might wait for the 'pro' version (sadly no office for free though)...

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