back to article Despite Microsoft Surface RT debacle, second-gen model in the works

Nvidia's CEO says his company is working with Microsoft on a second-generation Surface RT, and that he believes it has a chance of success – even though the original Surface RT tablet was an utter flop – because it will include Microsoft Outlook. "It is the killer app for Windows," Jensen Huang told Cnet. "Now we're going to …


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  1. RaidOne


    Is someone REALLY believing that Outlook is the one killer application that will make or break the second gen RT? I have a bridge going cheap!

    1. Peter2 Silver badge

      Re: Really?

      Actually, they might have a point.

      Our company arguably runs more on Microsoft Outlook than Microsoft Windows. Assuming that Microsoft reduced the pricing for the new tablet to slightly under the ipad price then it would stand a good chance of making some traction in companies with exchange servers, and there are a lot of exchange servers out there.

      That's not a huge amount of the total tablet market, but I think Microsoft would be happy with a 5% market share of that market, because they'll probably get another couple of percent with the next version, and they'll likely keep it up until people stop laughing at them regardless of how much it costs them. Remember that every x-box microsoft sells costs them ~$150, I can see them pulling the same stunts with tablets.

      1. KyleFlynn

        Re: Really?

        Peter2, the one HUGE fallacy of your point is that you say "Our company". How many of your employees are forwarding all of their email to Gmail, and then managing it from their. I have also worked for large companies and universities, and people HATE outlook. They use it only when forced to. As soon as Microsoft realizes that the days of strong-arming people are gone, they'll start making something worthwhile. Why do people buy Apple products? Because they're attractive and they actually work in intuitive user-friendly ways. I cut my teeth on PC, but my iPad is a VERY nice product. It just doesn't do as much as I'd like.

        1. Eddy Ito

          Re: "It just doesn't do as much as I'd like."

          And there's one problem right there. It looks as if RT does even less.

          It doesn't help matters that MS makes their RT app store so obscure. If I want a finance app I can see the personal finance apps for windows phone but not for RT unless I'm on RT or W8. Apple makes it easy even with two stores since the iOS store has a nice big simple link to their Mac store. Google only has one store for their devices and there are others stores available also. Why can't MS have one place to find simple links to their store or even better one store where people can filter out what they don't want? Why is it such a hassle to develop apps and why do I need my credit card handy to register?

        2. Peter2 Silver badge

          Re: Really?

          Zero. I'd know, i'm the sysadmin. Personal email accounts might be popular for individuals, but it's not for businesses.

          The killer feature of outlook is delegation. In a business it is reasonably common for an assistant to open her bosses calendar, check he's free and book in a meeting and then send an email to the client from the bosses email address.

          No company who wants to stay in business is going to accept the use of Gmail, especially not if they happen to compete against American companies for contracts of any value or otherwise communicate about anything important.

          Hence, amongst businesses a tablet with outlook at a reasonable price might actually sell. Assuming that it's available from people who supply to us. Without it getting pushed by the channel Microsoft is going to struggle.

          That said, I suppose the Microsoft effort to assign every single small business with an account manager directly from Microsoft now actually makes a modicum of sense if they are planning on selling tablets to us, bypassing the established channel. I thought it seemed like a lot of effort to see if we wanted to buy a bunch of upgrade licenses, given that they were offering credit and long term repayment for buying licenses I would imagine that they would do similar for tablets, which might make the license effort part of an effort to establish relationships for the future to sell direct bypassing the channel.


          We might have underestimated our chair throwing friend.

          1. William 3 Bronze badge
            Thumb Up

            Re: Really?


            You say Outlook is a killer application for tablets. And I'd agree. I thought Microsoft was a software company and not a hardware company. Release Outlook for the iPad, and sure enough Microsoft would be onto a winner.

            But to hold Outlook back for it's own hardware solution. I doubt it.

            Who are you going to give these Microsoft Surface tablets to? The CEO, the boss? Doesn't he already have his own iPad that he has already asked you to give access to the network to? The executive directors? Don't they already have iPads?

            "But, this has Outlook on it", is you're reply.

            "Then bloody put Outlook on this", will be his reply as he throws his iPad at you, "isn't that what I pay you for?"

            I'd like to be in the room with the directors and executives when you do your pitch Peter, if you manage it, you're in the wrong profession and you most certainly should be in Sales.

            Speaking of Sales, they're your next likely targets, well, at least the road warriors. Don't they want iPads? Isn't the sales director going to say exactly the same thing as the CEO? "Bloody put Outlook on my iPad then!"

            I can't see any other division in an organisation that needs tablets? The front desk perhaps, if you're a flash company. But if you're a flash company, wouldn't you have iPads, what with them being the premium brand and everything.

            I'm sorry, I just don't buy it. You're assuming that your boss is going to simply cave in and go "Oooh, a shiny surface that I had to give my iPad up for because my cretin of a system admin can't install Outlook on it!!"

            As I say, tough sell, if you pull it off, change jobs.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Really?

              This. Seriously. MS wake up and smell the coffee. Outlook for ipad, I'd pay 50 - 60 quid for it in the app store.

              They'd probably make a killing overnight.

              1. Danny 14

                Re: Really?

                The RT was shit for many many reasons. you couldn't even install Silverlight on them - a Microsoft plugin FFS! Outlook wont save them. Most organisations that use outlook also use OWA. The new incarnation of OWA is pretty slick. That and aren't MS trying to wean people onto their cloudy web O365 anyway?

                It has even more fail written on it.

          2. Vociferous

            Re: Really?

            Is there any reason to think that Outlook DOESN'T have backdoors for the CIA/NSA?

            Any company which competes against US companies for contracts of any value, at least in the defense or energy businesses, should not discuss sensitive details in unencrypted mail or cellphones period, and if it's a major defense contract, for fighter jets say, it's probably wise to assume that the full force of US intelligence community is being used against them.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Really?

              "Is there any reason to think that Outlook DOESN'T have backdoors for the CIA/NSA?"

              I doubt that there are backdoors in the software. American laws allow for more direct access methods, meaning that it simply isn't needed.

              And even if there were, then I would expect pretty much all software originating or in anyway under the control of Americans to be in exactly the same boat.

          3. Joe Montana

            Re: Really?

            Delegation is not a feature of outlook, its a server side feature which outlook just happens to provide an interface for. There's no reason that many other clients can't do exactly the same thing (and indeed several do).

            As for "competing against american companies", remember microsoft were just as complicit in handing data over to the NSA as google, and by running exchange and outlook your data is once again held on systems controlled by a large american corporation which is beholden to the NSA. Sure it might physically reside on your premises, but do you honestly believe MS couldn't gain access to it and hand over all your data to the NSA should they wish to? And if you don't like it, read the licence agreement again.

            At the end of the day, people use outlook because both it and exchange are entrenched and neither work properly with anything else. Not because anyone likes it, not because anyone has done a proper analysis and found it to be the best tool for the job. People generally hate outlook, and use it because it's just what they were given at work. Given a proper choice, very few people would choose it.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Really?

              "which outlook just happens to provide an interface for"

              So it is a feature of Outlook as stated. The fact that you might be able to do the same via other software, and that some stuff happens on the server end doesn't change that fact.

        3. returnmyjedi

          They may be forwarding their emails from Outlook to gmail, but they still have to use the former for their diaries, arranging meetings etc. Outlook isn't a one trick pony, remember. It might not be a thoroughbred, but its value to many businesses is immense.

        4. This post has been deleted by its author

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Really?@AC20:50

            Downvoted for not using a more imaginative word other than 'C**T'

            1. M Gale
              Paris Hilton

              Re: Really?@AC20:50

              Laughed at for filling a cunt with stars.

              You can read that sentence any way you wish.

              1. tony2heads


                To quote Dave Bowman: "MY GOD IT'S FULL OF STARS!"

        5. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Really?

          "How many of your employees are forwarding all of their email to Gmail"

          Pretty much zero in most enterprises. Users are not permitted to automatically forward email to external addresses without specific approval in 99% of large companies...also Gmail are loosing large volume of customers to now that people are starting to realise that The Borg reads all your emails and send you targeted SPAM based on the contents. And targets adverts across the internet at you based on your email contents...l

          "and people HATE outlook"

          Can't say that's my experience. Having worked in dozens of enterprises I would say most people actively want and prefer Outlook in preference to any other option including webmail.

        6. Shell

          Re: Really?

          I'm another of those users. Mac user, mind, but the Outlook client is godawful (the web client is even worse), so I bypass it completely and use Apple Mail (talking to Exchange). Undoubtedly, somewhere I'm still counted as having an Outlook license...

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Really?

        A firesale tablet that only useful for email, any company would be insane to buy it just for that.

      3. fzz

        Re: Really?

        What about the awkward detail that Office Home & Student has a noncommercial use license? NBD if everyone with a Surface RT also had a desktop or laptop with a commercial use Office license dedicated to their exclusive use. However, you can't REPLACE desktops and laptops with Windows RT tablets and use Office Home & Student for work.

        It seems constant reminders are needed whenever comparisons are drawn between Surface/Windows RT and Xbox. Xbox lost money its first few years, but it also sold out in its first 2 holiday seasons. It was clear Xbox would become profitable. Surface/Windows RT are no where close to that type of sales activity. Rather they're much closer to Zune.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Really?

          "What about the awkward detail that Office Home & Student has a noncommercial use license"

          It's easy to get the correct license if you want it, and not very expensive.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Really?

      Anyone want to buy some used toilet paper?

    3. fzz

      Re: Really?

      C'mon, don't you know the only reason people under 30 don't use e-mail like old folks is because they haven't had a nifty mobile device running Outlook?

      Who needs hundreds of thousands of apps when they can get MS Office?!

      Maybe Windows 8.2 will come with Project RT.

    4. Nick Ryan Silver badge

      Re: Really?


      Microsoft Outlook is an Application. What kind if fucktard marketing gimboid thinks that it should be restricted to a "second generation device". Why not release a full version of it for the current device?

      On the other hand as the core code (a.k.a. bugs that have been around for years and still not fixed) is doubtless a ghastly spaghetti mess of undocumented function calls and crafted insanity it may take them a few years to get it to compile on a different platform.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Really?

        Except they are giving it to 1st generation Surface devices, you can get it now with the Windows 8.1 preview or wait until 8.1 is released.

  2. Roger Greenwood

    Yes Outlook used to be great

    Until they screwed it up by changing the PST formats between versions. Nothing is a killer app. any more unless it is cross platform. Without that today you are toast.

    1. Vince

      Re: Yes Outlook used to be great

      Are you referring to the change in the 2007 version to allow files bigger than 2GB? It's not like the old ones don't work?

      Or are you referring to something else?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Yes Outlook used to be great

      "Nothing is a killer app. any more unless it is cross platform. Without that today you are toast."

      Outlook already runs on anything that has more than a 1% market share on the desktop - e.g. both Macs and PCs.

      1. Danny 14

        Re: Yes Outlook used to be great

        we went from 2003 ->10->13 and noticed no difference. Sure the PST changed format (so you cannot run older PST recovery) but functionality hasn't batted an eyelid.

        It was a minor pain running an extension to outlook to copy the old "autocomplete" over but that was a minor inconvenience for users to do once.

  3. Don Jefe


    "So now I'll be able to get that spreadsheet using my much liked Outlook, but I still won't be able to modify it or tweak the charts and embed it in the PowerPoint presentation I'm making this afternoon."

    - University Student

    Who the hell is this product aimed at? It certainly isn't the professional and it can't be for students, is it aimed at anyone? Does it have a purpose? I don't believe it does.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Fabulous

      As much as I like to hate on the Surface RT, I believe it has always come with Excel and PowerPoint so the student will definitely be able to tweak charts, etc.

    2. John Smith 19 Gold badge

      Re: Fabulous

      "Who the hell is this product aimed at? It certainly isn't the professional and it can't be for students, is it aimed at anyone? Does it have a purpose? I don't believe it does."

      Well being a bit paranoid for a moment...

      It appears to have the sole purpose of making ARM powered hardware look like crap. Few people realize that their cell phones are ARM powered as they are hidden inside others SoC so MS can start the "ARM powered mobile devices are crap" meme going.

      Keep in mind the last dodgy benchmark that showed Intel give brilliant power consumption next to ARM, and the fact that most of things people are complaining about are controlled directly by MS.

      The MS/Intel relationship goes back to the days when MS contracts charged PC makers for the number of processors they bought, not the number of MS licenses.

      Intel and MS are the Mickie & Mallory Knox of IT. The word "normal" does not apply to their business relationship.

  4. Michael Xion

    I work for a university in Australia and Microsoft are offering us Surface RT tablets for just over $200 apiece (without cover). I'm currently evaluating one running a preview version of the 8.1 version of the OS. It does have Outlook, but I can't get it to configure - I suspect it may be something to do with the corporate firewall. Anyway, if Outlook works on it, I'll probably get one as all other aspects of it seem fine. Speaking as an unabashed Apple user (iMac, Mac Mini, 2 Apple TVs, 2 iPhones, iPod and iPad in my house), the killer app for me would be the iOS remote app - then I'd sell my ipad ad buy a Surface RT.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      So you have all the Apple iDevices and now you want one of these?

      Just about sums you up doesn't it?

      Oh dear.

    2. Richard Plinston

      > offering us Surface RT tablets for just over $200

      > I'd sell my ipad ad buy a Surface RT.

      So, if it had iOS apps you would buy it for $200 after selling the iPad for more.

      That about sums up Surface RT's problems.

    3. Joe Montana


      That's hardly surprising, the protocols outlook uses to talk to exchange (and back again) are not the sort of thing you want to be opening up over the internet... Such protocols are usually restricted to LAN use, or possibly over a VPN... And good luck getting a vpn client installed on windows rt.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Firewall..

        "the protocols outlook uses to talk to exchange (and back again) are not the sort of thing you want to be opening up over the internet... "

        I think you would be in trouble even using the internet if HTTPS was not permitted - which is all that Outlook requires....

        1. Danny 14

          Re: Firewall..

          outlook uses RPC over HTTP(S forced of course). Cant see the issue in opening HTTPS up; which you probably did for OWA anyway.

  5. KyleFlynn

    Wow, it truly is amazing the mis-steps Microsoft is making.

    This is truly unbelievable. I've been around PC's and Windows (and DOS) for a long time, and, if they think Outlook is going to save them, they TRULY do have their heads stuck in the sand. As it is, they have to twist people's arms to use Outlook in any form. Even then, those who are forced to use it just forward all their email to their Gmail account. Regarding the Surface, it's not a bad idea, but the standard keyboard was the pits from the get-go. I'm a good typist and I couldn't use it. Microsoft must have not done one iota of focus group testing on this thing. If I don't have the tactile response of the keys, I'm all over the place. Heck, I can't even find the backspace key to correct all my mistakes on the Surface keyboard. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE Microsoft operating systems, and I also like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Access. (They can keep Outlook.) And I also like the idea of a tablet that will run a version of Word and Excel. I'm also a programmer and wouldn't mind a tablet style computer for writing and test-compiling Microsoft's languages. I currently carry a high-powered laptop AND an iPad. If I could combine these in a reasonable tablet-with-keyboard, I'd be delighted. What kinds of things to I typically do? Lots of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint; browse (with Firefox, NOT IE) which also doubles for checking my email; perform SPSS analyses; play a few games; get on SecondLife; do some programming. Give me something small I can grab, go to lunch, and still easily do all these things and I'll buy it. Get a clue, Microsoft. The days are gone when you can cram things down people's throats. Apple figured this out LONG ago. Also, quit trying to sell your software through your hardware.

    1. Leathal73

      Re: Wow, it truly is amazing the mis-steps Microsoft is making.

      I can't help but think that this comment is purely Apple fanboism, with a bit of "I love Word" thrown in to make yourself sound like less of a fanboi. I don't know anybody who "loves" Word... we use it because it's still the most powerful word processor on the market and has global acceptance. Excel is still the best spread sheet. PowerPoint just has global acceptance, but Apple have an excellent alternative, but we aren't going to run a single Apple presentation suite that isn't compatible with the rest of the world when PowerPoint will "do".

      You truly do seem to have no idea how big corporations and big Government departments work... Very, very few of large scale business/government use anything but Outlook, not just because of it's email - it's everything else it does... meeting organisation, task management, seamless integration with our SharePoint servers, high level of customizability, and so on. Gmail simply is not a serious, big business email application... we trialled it, and staff found it harder to do basic stuff such as Filters on email, and when you have a massive amount of email you need to do things quickly and easily... Gmail CAN do what they need, it's just whether it does it better and more quickly, and in that respect, it doesn't.

      Don't underestimate the power of Outlook in big business. I don't expect it to help Microsoft to sell a lot of RT's as that is a consumer oriented product, but I DO think Microsoft will try very hard to maintain their Corporate presence, and I think the RT is designed to be the easy, "go-to" device that will be used by Corporations on the move due to things such as battery life.

      Firefox is bloated and suffers just as many issues as IE10 does, they are just different issues. I find Chrome to be the best browser on the market, but I have to regularly test using FF, IE (8+), Chrome & Safari (for the Fanboi's) at work... and what sort of programmer does SPSS analysis these days? I stopped doing that when I stopped doing spatial and statistical analysis... :-)

      Also, one last thing, if your really a programmer, you wouldn't really be serious about doing stuff on a tablet. I certainly am not interested, which is why I have dual 2560x1440 27" monitors at home and dual 30" DELL's at work... I would never, ever try and do any kind of serious development on ANY kind of tablet... that's just horribly inefficient.

      Apple didn't figure out Jack long ago... they had a great fibber, thieving leader who helped designed some really nice products (iPod, iPhone 1, then on to a big 9.7" iPhone)... but that's pretty much it. Apple can't innovate to save themselves anymore, and no serious corporation will ever pick up Apple in a big way... in other words, from a corporate point of view, Microsoft don't NEED to sell their software through their hardware, but they WANT to have a hardware presence, and they will keep trying. They have the resources, now they just need some talent to make it work.

      1. Don Jefe

        Re: Wow, it truly is amazing the mis-steps Microsoft is making.

        Outlook is a key component in many, many operations, big and small. Our operation would be greatly hobbled if we didn't have Outlook.

        1. Levente Szileszky

          Re: Wow, it truly is amazing the mis-steps Microsoft is making.

          "Outlook is a key component in many, many operations, big and small."

          Which has NOTHING to do with being the "killer app" for Windows - it is clearly not.

          Also many-many MORE operations, small and big, STOPPED using email clients completely and switched to Google Apps/Gmail (or even O365) or other web-based emails.

          "Our operation would be greatly hobbled if we didn't have Outlook."

          Yeah, aside of the negligible statistical significance of "but but but me, me, me" or your empirical evidence let me ask you this: just how many Surface RT you have bought...?

          Thought so.

      2. Tufty Squirrel

        Re: Wow, it truly is amazing the mis-steps Microsoft is making.

        >> Excel is still the best spread sheet.

        No, Excel is the most commonly used spreadsheet. It was left in the dust in terms of features by Improv and Quantrix, and still hasn't reached where they were 20 years ago. Excel is probably the number one example of a market leader stifling innovation to the point of holding the market back.

        As for Windows RT, I' sure MS will manage to improve on that $900M writeoff.

      3. Richard 12 Silver badge

        Outlook filters? Hah!

        Outlook's mail filters and rules are hideous, though did get slightly better with recent versions because "and stop" is finally turned on by default when making new rules.

        - I still can't figure out why my rules behave differently from what the order and content seems to say, and there is no way to test a rule other than to run it, then you can't revert it to try again...

        Gmail does it much better - if only because it shows you example emails that will get picked up by the filter.

        Editing rules is horrible on them both because their interfaces are really poor once you have more than 10 or so, but at least gmail helps you more when making them.

        Plus the whole concept of email "folders" is flawed. Many emails fit in many folders - which one do I put it in? Labels make far more sense because it can go in all appropriate labels.

        1. El Andy

          Re: Outlook filters? Hah!

          Outlook has had "search folders" which work exactly like GMail's labels for years now, it's not like you lose functionality by going from GMail to Outlook. The same most definitely can't be said of the other way around. I use GMail for my personal email account, but in all honestly that's only because I know that 99% of what ends up in there is incredibly transitory and I don't ever expect to have to worry about much in there that's older than about a week. I really can't say the same about work emails, which contain important conversations that span months at a time.

          I still don't think that Outlook alone is going to save Surface RT, though it was definitely perceived as the "missing" component from Office, so having it there is definitely a plus. A better screen resolution, allowing you to actually take advantage of the side-by-side multitasking in RT would make for a much easier sell if you ask me. And the Store needs major improvements to help you actually find useful apps (I know this is supposedly coming in 8,1 too)

          1. Danny 14

            Re: Outlook filters? Hah!

            outlook strengths are in the calendars and scheduling. Works lists are meh but all under one roof. The ability for multiple people to have shared calendars and tasks with different levels of control is the ONLY reason we use outlook.

            Zimbra would be my second choice over exchange and thus ditching outlook if people didn't use this functionality.

            1. Levente Szileszky

              Re: Outlook filters? Hah!

              "The ability for multiple people to have shared calendars and tasks with different levels of control is the ONLY reason we use outlook."

              The ability to have shared ONLINE calendars with different levels of control, IN THE CLOUD, accessible from anywhere is the main reason we switched to Google Apps 3+ years ago. SOme business-type kept Outlookout of habit but even they use Google Apps web UI when they are offsite.

          2. Richard 12 Silver badge

            Re: Outlook filters? Hah!

            So where are these "search folders"?

            I haven't found any indication of them in the years I've been using Outlook, so they must be very well hidden.

            If they really are like Gmail labels (an item can be un/assigned to one or many both manually and automatically) and show up like that on my mobile device, then I'd love to use them.

            If they're anything like Outlook's abysmal search function, I don't think I will!

            Outlook's real killer feature is the shared and status-only-shared calendars. Unfortunately for Microsoft, those are also the thing most easily copied into cloud services.

            These days a lot of my friends organise their private lives using Google's online calendar.

      4. h3

        Re: Wow, it truly is amazing the mis-steps Microsoft is making.

        If you look at the output of Word and compare it to the output of LaTex it still looks awful. (Even for normal text you know when you use LaTex it is going to look great).

        Presentation and content should be kept separate I know that much. Better to not be messing about with formatting whilst you are trying to do something.

        Dunno about Excel really it is far too much effort to do most things. (When compared to Matlab or Mathematica).

        People rarely choose the best of anything though.

        1. Vociferous

          Re: Wow, it truly is amazing the mis-steps Microsoft is making.

          If I wanted to program my reports instead of typing them, I'd use LaTex.

          1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

            Re: Wow, it truly is amazing the mis-steps Microsoft is making.

            At least in Word you can amuse yourself countless hours to get the layout just right, then you add a character ... and you need to start over again.

            Seriously, the basic concepts of Word are pretty ass. WYSIWYG might work, if someone actually knew how to give the user actual control about what's he's trying to do.

    2. phr0g

      Re: Wow, it truly is amazing the mis-steps Microsoft is making.

      What a load of cock.

      Gmail sucks. Really sucks. And I say that as someone who has his main email on Gmail. Business uses Outlook. We do, many others do, and the chasmistic difference in usefulness Outlook has over Gmail (or any other third rate webmail service) is like saying I would forward my pint of Guiness to a glass of cat piss.

      Jesus H on a bike.

  6. Gary F

    Microsoft do stupid things

    What's one of the best features about Windows? There's a shed load of software for it and your favourite programs are likely to run on it. What what nincompoop thought it would be a good idea to create a new OS that looks like Windows except it doesn't run Windows software? That's pretty much what happened.

    If you want a cheap, portable device that runs lots of software and has a good battery life you'd do well to buy one of the many different types of Android tablet. It has 100's X more software available for it than Windows RT and is much cheaper too.

    There are some good Windows compatible tablets out there but are expensive and could do with shedding a few pounds in weight. Windows RT will continue to fail, the concept is all wrong. Windows 8.1 for Intel/AMD CPUs makes a very good tablet and laptop but it's the hardware that still needs development, not necessarily the OS. When I need Windows on the move I'll carry my 11.6" laptop, when I need nothing more than web, email and office I'll take a lightweight Android device. (Office is covered by a cloud app or even Polaris.)

    1. Leathal73

      Re: Microsoft do stupid things

      All Microsoft have to do is remove the really stupid limitation of not being able to run Desktop software on the RT. If they allowed recompilation of existing applications to the ARM architecture, they would have a much larger impact IMO...

      1. Tom 35

        Re: Microsoft do stupid things

        "All Microsoft have to do is remove the really stupid limitation of not being able to run Desktop software on the RT."

        That was likely the number 1 stupid thing. If you jailbreak your surface there are a few ported apps, but there would be tons of them if you didn't need to jailbreak. But I think the odds of that are worse then adding the start menu back in.

        I've played with the 8.1 preview and at least with Exchange it's way better then the current mail app (not saying much, the android mail app is better with Exchange then the Surface mail app). I think Outlook is the biggest upgrade in 8.1 but it's not going to make me start using the surface and let my nexus 7 sit on my desk in it's old spot. I can see ways they can make the surface better, but I can't see any way they can make it good.

      2. xehpuk

        Re: Microsoft do stupid things

        Microsoft wanted to make money like Apple does. So they decided that Windows RT users shall only get SW via the MS app store. They could have just ported old windows to ARM but that had no potential for increased revenue.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Microsoft do stupid things

        But how fast would they run? Office is optimised to hell and back for x86- right down to using GPUs for Excel calculations, I believe. I assume it would need far more than just recompilation for other serious applications.

        1. h3

          Re: Microsoft do stupid things

          Fast enough if it was done right. (Transistive managed to run anything on anything else at 95% speed pretty much).

          As long as there is not loads of assembler it will be fine. .

          The ones I want are not serious ones though.

          (Putty / 7zip).

          There is loads of hardware. (Compare to something like RiscOS that needs basically nothing and is properly written for arm).

      4. Vociferous

        Re: Microsoft do stupid things

        Yeah... The idea was that the Desktop should go the way of the dodo and the Dos-prompt. Metro was going to be the new interface for windows, and microsoft referred to the desktop as "a bundled app" with the "legacy UI" which allowed users to run "legacy software" (no joke, they really did).

        The future was Metro, all windows devices would have the same codebase and run the same Metro interface, regardless of hardware.

        The slight flaw in the plan was that Metro sucks flea-infested goat balls on computers with keyboard and mouse, the Windows developers didn't get on the bandwagon and develop Metro apps (because Metro sucks), and the different versions of Windows doesn't yet have the same code base as they're supposed to.

        Clusterfuck ensued, and instead of being just a clean break with the past, RT and Metro became just broken.

      5. John Smith 19 Gold badge

        Re: Microsoft do stupid things

        "All Microsoft have to do is remove the really stupid limitation of not being able to run Desktop software on the RT. If they allowed recompilation of existing applications to the ARM architecture, they would have a much larger impact IMO..."

        What makes you think that is MS's goal?

  7. Colin Ritchie

    I seem to be suffering from Deja Moo

    The Sex Pistols had a compilation album released just after they broke up, now what was it called?

    "Hey lads! Get the jump leads quick I swear I saw one of its hooves moving!"

  8. asdf

    >Nvidia CEO: 'We're working really hard' on follow-up to $900m disaster

    Byline of the month. You owe me a new keyboard.

  9. Steven Raith

    FAO Nvidia/MS

    There are cheaper things you can use as the content of a bonfire, don't you know?

  10. Ross K Silver badge

    Outlook Is The Killer App On Surface RT?

    Forget that. They need to get The Simpsons: Tapped Out ported to the Surface RT.

    You know you're holding a sack of shit if you're pinning your hopes on a mail client/calendar.

    Some of the stuff you can't do with Outlook RT?

    *No support for Online Archive or Personal Archive mailboxes

    *No ability to apply Messaging Records Management (MRM) retention policies

    *No Site Mailboxes

    *No support for Data Loss Prevention (DLP) policy tips

    *No Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) and COM Add-in support, no support for macros, add-ins or other custom programs

    *No ability to set information rights management (IRM) on new email messages

    *No integration between Outlook 2013 RT and Lync (or any other of the Office Home & Student 2013 apps, for that matter

    *No integration with SharePoint, as the Outlook Contact Card does not display an active link to users' SharePoint My Site pages

    *No ability to add a fax account to Outlook 2013 RT

    *No ability to configure Outlook 2013 RT using Group Policy (same limitation as other Office Home & Student 2013 apps face)

    1. Don Jefe

      Re: Outlook Is The Killer App On Surface RT?

      Good lord, that's just stupid. That isn't Outlook at all then is it? Why even call it Outlook if all the good stuff is not available?

      1. Mephistro

        Re: Outlook Is The Killer App On Surface RT? (@ Don Jefe)

        "Why even call it Outlook if all the good stuff is not available?"

        They're playing the same trick they did with Windows and Windows RT, as it worked so well the first time.

        Microsoft: learning from their own errors FAIL! :0)

      2. John Smith 19 Gold badge

        Re: Outlook Is The Killer App On Surface RT?

        "Good lord, that's just stupid. That isn't Outlook at all then is it? Why even call it Outlook if all the good stuff is not available?"

        Because that's what MS have always done with mobile devices.

        "Yes your HP palmtop can run Excel & Word just like your desktop."

        "What can you download copies of your files to it and work on them? Well no, and the desktop version can't read your laptop written files either. But the commands are just the same, mostly"

        And let's not forget Windows NT. It's just like Windows but supports proper multitasking and is "brand compatible" with Windows.

        *That is it's written by MS and called Windows but is actually completely different inside.

      3. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: Outlook Is The Killer App On Surface RT?

        "Good lord, that's just stupid. That isn't Outlook at all then is it? Why even call it Outlook if all the good stuff is not available?"

        More to the point, why even call Windows RT Windows...

    2. Byz

      Re: Outlook Is The Killer App On Surface RT?

      It reminds me of Windows mobile devices.

      I bought one in 2001 (as we had a ban on bringing our personal laptops into work) I was thinking it would be great to port some of my programs on to a mobile device, but the OS was a pile of sh*t and a nightmare to program as the os was horribly nobbled.

      Apart from the MS orange phone which was also a pile of sh*t (as it was locked down), I never bought another MS mobile product as they never understood what makes a good mobile product (whereas companies like Psion did but they sadly failed).

      At work in 2006 I was given a tablet PC (which I thought would be great for drawing diagrams) I used it for a few days and when back to using the mouse as it was easier.

      Again they don't understand that email doesn't set the world alight, a mobile product must give you things that are useful on the move and work well without a mouse, plus some mobile apps work better than desktop programs. They should have totally rewritten office, but instead the put you in desktop mode :(

      Windows doesn't work on mobile devices - that's why the only Surface RT our company bought now sits rotting in the cupboard :o

  11. stucs201

    No, no, no

    Concentrate on the Pro version, that would probably have done better without the RT version tarnishing the surface name and creating customer confusion.

    As for what to do with RT? Is there any more space in that landfil site where they burried the ET cartridges for the Atari?

    1. LarsG

      Re: No, no, no

      Concentrate on the Pro?

      Why? You might as well get yourself a laptop and enjoy longer battery life.

      It's as flawed as the RT but in different ways.

  12. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

    For what?

    I see a lot of tech makes being oblivious to their customers. Apple rules at information appliances and new-tech office appliance products. Android targets geeks while still doing a good job at being information appliances and new-tech office appliances. Microsoft dominates the old-tech office appliances.

    So now why are big companies screwing the best customers? Apple is dumbing down their products so much that they're becoming too incompatible with new-tech offices. Android champions HTC, Motorola, and Nexus are sealing in the batteries and eliminating microSD slots to piss off geeks. And what exactly is Microsoft's Surface RT? Commercials show them being tossed around picnic benches, laughed at in coffee shops, and clicked in and out of a tiny exercise mat. I have no idea what a Surface RT is, and memories of old Windows problems makes me not even care.

  13. Anonymous Coward

    If there's one thing Microsoft is good at...

    It's turning something totally bug ridden into a decent or maybe even high-quality product. Just look at some of their software products and their history.

    The main problem here, especially in a market where you actually need to compete, is that by the time you actually fixed all the mess it remains to be seen if you also managed to undo yourself of the (negative) legacy opinions which the product has gained so far.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Re: If there's one thing Microsoft is good at...

      In other words, they polish their turds so long until everyone has taken a good bite at it and declares it "the best" and "the market leader" while getting dysenteria.

  14. Christian Berger

    The killer feature would be x86 emulation

    Since then you can run your old legacy Windows software on it, too. You could run whatever VPN solution you already bought, etc.

    Windows RT essentially forces companies to ditch their old legacy products moving to, for example, something web-based with perhaps the ability to have multiple different VPN setups. In essence a company would need to make itself less dependent on Windows to use Windows RT.

    1. Byz

      Re: The killer feature would be x86 emulation

      Unfortunately this doesn't work well on Arm devices as they are 32 bit and the different chip architectures really get in the way :(

      Acorn for many years tried this and in the end (with the RiscPC) allowed you to put a 486 processor as a second processor, this gave a dramatic speed increase but there were still were huge problems with anything built on Windows NT's foundations.

      1. Byz

        Re: The killer feature would be x86 emulation

        I can't see why this got a thumbs down when I was telling the truth?

        I used to test software and hardware for a company that produced a second processor boards.

        There were real problems with the NT kernel as it was not trivial to get it working, if you don't like the truth your living in cloud cuckoo land.

        If you want to explain why you don't agree please post, but voting down a fact is just silly!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The killer feature would be x86 emulation@ Byz

          Downvoted because you are hysterical with indignation.

          1. Byz

            Re: The killer feature would be x86 emulation@ Byz


            That sounds like a quote from a manager on a "Balanced Score Card" when they can't give any reason not to give you met or exceeded. So they come up with a comment like that so that you got "not met" so that they don't have to give a pay rise and try to frighten you about your job long term.

            I notice still an anonymous coward, so let me guess as that was not a real reason your either:

            - a senior manager (with no technical knowledge or you programmed in VB1);

            - a project manager (went on a one week Prince2 training course);

            - horror of horrors a system architect (someone who blocks anyone trying to build a real system because "It's doesn't run on a Microsoft platform" even though for the problem your solving no software you can buy will run on a Microsoft platform and has no technical knowledge at all - had that for ten years while the system rotted);

            - Fat unemployed bloke who lives in their parents spare bedroom.


            Anyone else can add to the list of job title held by the anonymous coward :)

            1. Horridbloke

              Re: The killer feature would be x86 emulation@ Byz

              That's the entirety of the Reg readship isn't it?

      2. John Smith 19 Gold badge

        Re: The killer feature would be x86 emulation

        "Unfortunately this doesn't work well on Arm devices as they are 32 bit and the different chip architectures really get in the way :("

        And that's kind of why you were voted town.

        Which means your experience is long out of date.

        As for ARM not running it well modern OS's (and that includes anything influenced by Unix) are about 90-95% written in a high level language. So the porting process is just a case of switching the compile option from x86 to ARM. Since ARM is the most common embedded architecture in the modern world, finding a bunch of good assembler programmers to build the underlying support (which they already have a template for) would be fairly straightforward also.

        And of course the Common Runtime Environment, IE the VM that supports a lot of the interpreted systems that MS (EG Visual BASIC) and other 3rd party languages support is AFAIK also written in C or C++, as is the core of Office. MS are not stupid enough to write those things in anything interpreted.

        In fact the only way MS can make such a clusterf**k of it was to develop a separate (or highly crippled) version of the code base.

        So no, your view does not really hold up.

        1. Bod

          Re: The killer feature would be x86 emulation

          "So the porting process is just a case of switching the compile option from x86 to ARM"

          Lol! I really wish it was that simple. I really do.

          The only things that will in theory be easy are those in byte compiled languages such as Java and .NET, but on the RT the underlying framework is just not there. .NET is only a small subset implemented and Java is non existent.

          Runtime environments for C/C++ etc - again just not there. Microsoft didn't implement full Windows on RT. They implemented a subset of it, or rather an approximation of something looking like Windows that just runs Windows Store Apps, and nothing more.

          No point in high level languages if the low level is not there.

          And at the lower levels - the APIs are still not there, and then you're getting into major architecture differences even between ARM and x86.

          1. Danny 14

            Re: The killer feature would be x86 emulation

            I downvoted you for reminding me of Acorns. I thought I had burned my knowledge of those things (except zarch, zarch was good) with lots of whiskey. Seems Johnny walker lied to me.

          2. John Smith 19 Gold badge

            Re: The killer feature would be x86 emulation

            "The only things that will in theory be easy are those in byte compiled languages such as Java and .NET, but on the RT the underlying framework is just not there. .NET is only a small subset implemented and Java is non existent.

            Runtime environments for C/C++ etc - again just not there. Microsoft didn't implement full Windows on RT. They implemented a subset of it, or rather an approximation of something looking like Windows that just runs Windows Store Apps, and nothing more."

            And that is exactly my point.

            What I was describing is what MS could have done and why it would have been fairly easy to do.

            What you have described (very succinctly) is what they actually did

            Which is to gut Windows and barely leave the name in tact.

            That is deliberately making it more or less useless by stripping out core functionality. It's crap by design not accident, and you have to ask why?

            The only sensible justification is to make ARM look bad. The equally likely explanation is MS is internally deeply dysfunctional as an organization and at some level people were convinced this was the right thing to do.

            No I cannot devise a scenario where that makes any logical sense, but just being barking mad does not mean it did not happen.

    2. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: The killer feature would be x86 emulation

      "Windows RT essentially forces companies to ditch their old legacy products moving to, for example, something web-based with perhaps the ability to have multiple different VPN setups. In essence a company would need to make itself less dependent on Windows to use Windows RT."

      Interesting strategy.

      Not good for MS of course.

      No I don't have a problem with that.

  15. PaulR79

    Tegra 3 was awesome... really..

    Seeing how poorly the Tegra 3 chip performed compared to the Qualcomm S4 and more so the S4 Pro I wonder how many will believe any of the Tegra 4 spiel. I own an HTC One X which comes stuck with the Tegra 3 and while it may be decent for gaming the idea behind it never held much weight. The low powered core never seemed to do much of the low powered stuff despite that being its purpose for existing and the four main cores were only as powerful as a dual-core S4 device.

    What a match made in hell this is for RT. First you have the underperforming, app lacking RT and then you couple it with an already aging chipset in Tegra 3 that can't perform as well as it was supposed to, ever. How can you rectify that? I know! Let's use...... Tegra 4 for more of the same but at least we can add Outlook now!

    It's terrifying that people in such high powered jobs believe this to the point they'll risk a repeat of an almost $1 billion loss without learning anything.

  16. Nya

    Well it will be a huge success...

    for nVidia atleast, who are selling the parts to MS. As for MS, well only time will tell on that one :P

  17. Michael Habel

    1) How was this a disaster for nVidia? I would have thought win, lose or draw MicroSoft... nVidias' Costomer, still had to pay for the goods. So why isn't this "MicroSofts'" loss?

    2) Just how much perfectly good Cash do you have to chuck out of a Window, before someone points this out to you? I don't doubt that MicroSoft can source and engineer good Hardware. I loved all my MicroSoft Keyboards, Mice and Sidwinder-Gamepads & Joysticks. My WinPhone 2003 was pretty nice back in the Day too.

    But, MicroSoft need to realize that the majority have spoken and judged that, TIFKAM just plain sucks rass. And is uglier then sin. Worst of all. MicroSoft are so deluded (...and, full of themselves), to think that this is good enough for their Mainline OS... (e.g. Windows 8).

    But, hay MicroSoft shipped over 10^8 units so they must know something I don't. /sarcasm

    Shame that Units shipped do NOT =/= units sold though....

  18. Andy P 2

    Just bought an RT

    I think Microsoft are pitching RT all wrong. It's a tablet operating system that has some great benefits. Can't run x86 code so no viruses, malware etc. Included apps are really good if you use them (news, finance, photo). You can get other apps from the store (Photo manipulation, Skype, The Register!!). I like it having the desktop - it's great for file manipulation - moving files around, connecting to shares etc. USB is great for plugging a camera in. All the things you'd use a tablet and I haven't mentioned Office yet.

    Microsoft should be pushing this product on it's own merit. The Surface RT is a great bit of kit, solid and well made, fast (try the latest version with 8.1 preview), long battery life. It's not a PC so don't push it as one. It competes with iPad's and Android - not with x86 Windows (but having the same interface is great). At £279, it's £10 more than an iPad mini! If you are in the market for a tablet (and not a PC), then give it a try.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Just bought an RT

      Unfortunately, no matter how good it is as a tablet it doesn't run a mainstream tablet OS. The BlackBerry playbook has exactly the same problem, but at least it is a cheap, pocketable e-reader with benefits. I am not about to blow £280 on something that's about to go obsolete.

      Microsoft forgot that in the tablet market they are an also-ran, and that nobody buys their products for any reason other than compatibility.

    2. RetroTom
      Thumb Down

      Re: Just bought an RT

      You said apps.

      I don't want it to run apps, I want it to run software.

      I want users to be able to freely create and distribute software through their own channels, with no Microsoft involvement.

      A proper ARM based computing platform running Windows would be an interesting alternative at that point, you'd end up with a second potentially very competitive computing ecostructure running under a familiar OS, just different underlying processor.

      Instead we got a crippled marketing drone in the palm of our hands and are expected to pay over the odds for that 'privilege'. The device is a product of anti-competitive greed, not innovation. It could have been SO much more with a few simple policy changes. It has been rightly shunned.

      1. El Andy

        Re: Just bought an RT

        @RetroTom "I want users to be able to freely create and distribute software through their own channels, with no Microsoft involvement."

        You do, but the average man on the street doesn't care. He want's something that'll work without being hassled by viruses and other forms of malware. That's why the iPad was so successful.

        What Microsoft should be doing in their ads is focusing on the stuff Surface does better than anything else. Like being able to Skype and websurf at the same time. That's a massive benefit over every other tablet out there. Instead they show people dancing around clicking keyboards to something without anyone being sure what exactly they're trying to sell. And that is why they failed.

    3. Michael Habel
      Thumb Up

      Re: Just bought an RT

      Thanks... But, no thanks I'll just stick to something I know... Like Jelly Bean Android.

  19. Justin Stringfellow


    For us microsoft dislikers, this is pure entertainment. Pull up a chair, open a beer and watch.

    To paraphrase Clarkson: more fun than watching the entire french air force crash into a fireworks factory

  20. N2


    "It is the killer app for Windows,"

    Just what kind of strong hemp are they smoking?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Outlook

      Sadly, for many office workers, the use of Outlook is indeed confused with doing actual work. It facilitates the roles of people who describe their role as being facilitators, enabling them to schedule work prevention activities like meetings and conference calls.

      Yes, this is indeed weary cynicism. The other day I listened in on a meeting that eventually decided a customer problem would not be fixed. The total man hours in the decision making process could easily have fixed the problem. This is not an atypical experience.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Outlook

        I'm guessing you're one of those that doesn't get to manage their own schedule and have no useful input at meetings aren't you?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Outlook

          I am a self employed consultant. I've held several director level posts. And all my experience teaches me that most meeting activity is CMA.

      2. Solmyr ibn Wali Barad

        Re: Outlook

        "enabling them to schedule work prevention activities like meetings and conference calls."

        Well met. Well met indeed.

  21. A Butler

    They might retail it now

    Having used the Surface RT the past few months its a good product that has a lot of strong points, full size USB, micro HDMI (VGA & HDMI easy out), Office 2013, skydrive, expandable SD memory, Onenote, full flash support, true multitasking. 8.1 will improve on that with Outlook and full offline skydrive.

    Anyway with Asus and Acer leaving the Windows RT OS, now is the time to launch the Surface 2 in retail from the start and take on the other tablets for xmas. They are not offending OEM's anymore.

    1. M Gale

      Re: They might retail it now

      Sounds nice, but the only thing you quoted there that my years-old Asus TF201 doesn't have out of the box is Outlook and Onenote. Skydrive really is a "so what" app, since you can get to that service from anything with a web browser, and there are a million and one online storage providers out there that aren't maintained by a corporation whose entire business model revolves around lock-in.

      1. Danny 14

        Re: They might retail it now

        skydrive is marmite and OWA does pretty much all of outlook (minus the offline of course). The TF201 can run XBMC too now, that's a big plus due to the sheer enormity of scripts that comes with it (sportsdevil etc)

        The RT is just crap.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ah the old Microsoft adage

    If at first you don't succeed, throw money at it and try again. If it fails after that, just give up for a decade.

  23. A Butler

    The xBox was an initial loss making disaster that took years to develop, now look at it.....

  24. IGnatius T Foobar

    Outlook is old news

    During the heyday of the Wintel duopoly, the biggest point of lock-in was that if you had Microsoft Office you had Outlook, and if you had Outlook you pretty much had to have Exchange to make it work properly.

    Those days are over. Outlook, for those who still use it, can be made to work with lots of different groupware systems (not only cloudy ones like Google et al, but also open source ones like Citadel and Kolab). Furthermore, in the post-PC era, no one really wants or needs Outlook anyway, so putting it onto Windows RT is really not going to move the needle.

    Let them continue down this road, though. The more time and resources they throw into this albatross, the faster we will complete the transition away from Microsoft lock-in. The tech world will be better without them.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Microsoft is too late

    If they had done it right last fall, Surface RT had a chance. Back then the iPad still accounted for 2/3 of tablet sales. There were a lot of people interested in trying a tablet, but didn't want to pay that much. There where cheaper Android tablets back then, but they were mostly crap. If Microsoft could have moved in with a compelling product, a lot of people who purchased tablets in the past year would have considered Surface. Now Android tablets are not crap, sell faster than iPads, and have blocked off any chance for Microsoft to compete via price.

    Microsoft's first mistake with Surface RT was thinking they could charge Apple prices for a product that wasn't nearly as useful or polished as an iPad. Perhaps it could have competed with the original iPad had it came out within six months of it, but they competed with the FOURTH generation iPad, and iPad Mini. Microsoft's second mistake was trying to highlight the keyboard cover as its killer feature. They just ignored the fact that such covers had been available for iPad for a couple years from third parties and never sold well - because people don't want to turn their tablet into a laptop. Microsoft has always had that blind spot and that's why their previous tablet efforts had always failed. They saw it as a different form of laptop, where Apple saw it as a different class of device, which is why the iPad succeeded because it was targeted primarily at content consumption, with little regard for content creation.

    Microsoft now thinks that adding Outlook will make people want to choose Surface RT as the tablet they use at work, but the people who have BYOD options at work and want a tablet mostly already have iPads or Androids by now. Why are they going to dump a perfectly functional tablet to switch to Surface RT? Outlook is not a sufficient reason, especially since companies with BYOD already allow tablets to access their Outlook via IMAP. That half functionality is good enough for most.

    The name Surface and "Windows RT" have become tarnished by all this, and Microsoft would almost do better by rebranding. I know they won't, because that would mean admitting failure, but that's where they're clearly headed. It is amazing that after so many failed attempts to sell tablets Microsoft still fails even when tablets now outsell laptops!

    1. Solmyr ibn Wali Barad

      Re: Microsoft is too late

      On a positive note - Windows RG is still good. Really Good.

      /ok, ok, going already/

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Microsoft is too late

        On a positive note - Windows RG is still good. Really Good.

        And Windows RT is Really TerribleTerrific!

    2. A Butler

      Re: Microsoft is too late

      iPad is still a toy for the guy in finance or sales to play with, that should not be taken seriously in business, or the useless director drawing the big bucks that just wants the boardroom synopses and can return to the game of golf while laughing at the fools doing real work.

      Yes I accept productive employees are the real fools in all this, however no self respecting company employee that claims any engineering excellence or long term addition to their prospective companies future in their job will use their iPad as their primary technology tool of choice; artists and the creative types go for the MAC, hard workers for the laptop / PC and engineering wants the biggest most powerful workstation.

      The surface RT could pick a niche where a productive tablet is required, provided MS does not f**K it up as its doing now.

      Do not get me wrong at the end of the day for pricking around on the couch the iPad is the winner.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Microsoft is too late

        Who said anything about anyone using an iPad, or any other tablet, as their "primary technology tool of choice". It could be used as the device they bring with them to meetings and take home with them, while they still use a laptop/desktop of some sort as their "primary" tool.

        Tablets are only a toy if you don't know what they can do, or are a software developer, tech writer or similar who can't do any work that doesn't involve a ton of typing.

  26. Mikel

    The second one is gonna be great

    They should probably make a launch batch of 20 million this time. No, 30 million. They will sell like hotcakes. They should probably make 40 million on the first run just to make sure they don't miss any potential sales over the holidays.Yeah, that's the ticket.

  27. Brian Gannon

    Should have used Win phone 8

    The Surface and other ARM based tablets should have just used a version of Windows Phone 8

    x64 tablets, utlrabboks, laptops and desktops should use windows 8.1

    it's not like Apple hadn't already shown the whole world how to do phones, tablets, laptops and desktops.

  28. Zot

    Too many mistakes?

    I starting to look forward to MSs next mistake! As horrendous as that sounds, it does seem fun to wonder what they're going to fuck up next. Holy crap, even their adverts are hilariously bad, and far too cheesey for the UK.

  29. This post has been deleted by its author

  30. Chris Reynolds


    Does anyone know what the software development community thinks of the WinRT runtime that underlies RT and the TIFKAM part of Windows 8?

    I have a Surface RT and its lack of software is made up for by the form factor which I favour over my old Asus Transformer. It seems to me that Microsoft have a chicken and egg problem and I wonder whether their support for Windows RT will give developers some heart and encourage them to use the newer runtime. In time, I would expect most software to have been recoded and for Windows RT to be the default OS, with Win 8 being the bloated version for those running legacy apps and 9 being the OS to unite the two (but you'll have to install it on x86 hardware to run legacy apps by which time most people won't mind).

    Anyway: insight from the software companies such as SAP, Reckon, Adobe, Electronic Arts and others would paint a better picture of the future of RT than by looking to the past. The world has turned.

  31. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    So wait till it comes up cheap on eBay and install a proper OS?

    I keep hearing either a)Great hardware, not good OS or b) OS is not really Windows compatible as you'd expect from such a device.

    So blank the software and install a better OS.

    Tricky for anyone but a hard core techie but what a challenge and what kudos for pulling it off?

    As for the Outlook thing that could work given the high penetration of it into companies.

    But are companies who bought WinRT tablets in the first place?

  32. dmcq

    The killer app is the API

    The problem for Microsoft with Intel based machines is that Intel get a load of money, so the extra cost to a customer for Windows compared to other systems is greater than just the Microsoft licence. However they seem to have thought that competing with Android on Apps was the way forward. Well it is to some extent but they didn't push and exploit their greatest strength - that many important programs only run on Windows and the developers want an easy time. The interface to Windows is their strength there, There is a ready market for people to buy Windows RT so they can run packages from the Microsoft ecosystem. That is also a strength of Intel in that people can run Android on Intel machines and switch back and forth to Windows but that isn't a sure way to grow the market for Microsoft or get a bigger part of the money.

  33. Dropper

    Yeah.. right..

    No one uses Outlook because they want to.. they use it because they have to. Unless they're deranged. It has absolutely no redeeming features over any other mail/calendar product. Even the original hotmail was a better, more useful email client than Outlook.

    The largest mistake MS made was thinking that they could break into the tablet market without something to offer that Android and IOS don't already provide. An updated version of Quick Office is something that could have made a serious impact. Unfortunately the half-assed decision to tie any such app to a MS Office 360 subscription killed any chance of acceptance.

    1. Bod

      Re: Yeah.. right..

      I used Thunderbird for years as a substitute for Outlook when I was too cheap to have Office at home (and you need the premium versions to get Outlook usually these days anyway).

      I liked Thunderbird but it was never quite all what Outlook was. And it didn't even have a calendar out of the box! You had to use a plug in, and even then it didn't integrate well. Thunderbird always needed some fiddling to get it working the way you wanted or worked I found.

      Contacts, calendars, scheduling meetings and general office type features that go beyond just email is where Outlook excels, and in the latest versions it's pretty good now, hooking up with Lync in office environments, and Hotmail/Facebook/Linkedin and a whole load of others generally.

      I get the whole Office suite now as part of a subscription I use for my contracting work, and wasn't going to bother with Outlook, but tried it and it does everything I want with ease and can't say I miss Thunderbird or feel it would be better.

      That said, a cut down Outlook for RT is fairly pointless.

      Who's the market?

      Home users - Outlook is no killer app for them.

      Business users - Outlook is only an option if it's the full Outlook.

      And are they adding back in domain support? If not then what's the point of Outlook for business use if it won't hook up with an AD domain? And on a tablet you want Lync support too especially for meetings.

  34. Phil Atkin

    Are you sure the platform is WIndows?

    Because I don't see many - sorry, any - Tegra Android design wins out there right now. There seems to be the sound of tumbleweed blowing through empty streets compared to 12 or 18 months ago. Let's see how much better they fare when there is a good GPU in there with CUDA / OpenCL capability.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I had such high hopes for Win RT

    But in the end it turned out to be a cut-down pretend Windows O/S a la Windows CE.

    Shame really.

  36. Mark Allread

    Another day, another surface hater story on the reg

    The Surface RT was great, but the apps weren't there. No-one thinks their iPad should run OSX software.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Re: Another day, another surface hater story on the reg

      No-one thinks their iPad should run OSX software.

      And Apple didn't call it MacOSX RT either.

      Expectation management, my friend, expectation management.

  37. meridius

    Let's hope this one does better for them!

  38. Steve Kerr

    Spot the MS Tablet

    For all the advertising by MS with their tablets, I've been looking at what people are using on the trains whilst going to and from work.

    I've seen the grand total of zero Win Tablets, not one, nada, zilch. In fact I think I saw someone with a winphone a couple of months ago.

    MS are failing miserably by missing one key point, find out what people want not what you think they should have.

    It's a shame - the original MS Surface (built into desks, walls etc...) were pretty funky things to play with, banality wins again!

    1. Getriebe

      Re: Spot the MS Tablet

      You are right. On my commute in London I see phones of all types, a few Kindles, a few iPad minis, very few iPads but no in Tablets. Form factor wins

  39. druck Silver badge

    "The definition of insanity is doing something over and over again and expecting a different result."

    The definitions of Windows is doing something over and over again and getting a different result.

    Microsoft - banishing determinism since 1975.

  40. Mike Brown

    CPU's have come a long way

    why didnt they get intel to make them a low heat version of x86 and stick it in the RT? It would have given them full compatability. They had a real opertunity to make windows compatable over tablets and phones and desk tops but blew it by going ARM.

    They were changing windows anyway, they should have gone the whole hog, and ensured that win 8 could work on high powered stuff, and the above imiganairy intel chip. they would have cleared up.

  41. Herby

    A retail observation...

    Two days ago (Saturday) I went to the local mail to go to the Apple store to ask a question (which was answered quite quickly). Just to do this we (wife accompanied me) had to bump our way into the smallish Apple store which was crowded beyond belief. Lots of customers in the smallish (60' by 20') space. Lots of "energy".

    Contrast that with the Microsoft store just a few doors away. It was about 2.5 times as large, and appeared to be mostly empty. Yes there were some sales droids there, but not much else in the way of customers. Sure, there were lots of displays for various products, but not much else. It was a marked contrast.

    Given this observation, I have strong doubts that Microsoft has the ability to get its product into the hands of the buying public. It must rely upon OEMs to force feed its various products to the end consumer. A sad tale indeed.

    As for outlook: I use the web access on my Linux machine. It seems to be OK. Yes, I would prefer something else, but the effort involved would be excessive for the results obtained.

  42. Levente Szileszky

    Clearly shows the sheer level of incompetency, the incredible cluelessness... the highest echelons of MSFT:

    "Microsoft Outlook.

    "It is the killer app for Windows"

    There, you said it, we have it on record, forever.

  43. This post has been deleted by its author

  44. Levente Szileszky

    Surface RT, a tablet designed and built by MSFT, that lacks even the ability to manage...

    Surface RT, a tabelt by MSFT, lacking even the ability to manage...

    ..their own Microsoft infrastructure - comedy gold, I swear.

    The closest thing they have ever released was some R(e)T(arded) mule of a server manager and a WMP:

    Truly hilarious - because the easiest, most obvious sell would be a cheap RT tablet that runs SERVER 2012 RSAT, I mean ALL TOOLS including Server Manager, Failover Cluster Manager plus MSTSC/RDP, a Powershell console etc so I imagine Dell and HP would develop their own management apps and both throw in one or two RT gratis when I am making my decision about our next full rack worth of storage & server equipment upgrade...

    ...stupid, stupid, STUPID idiots at the top - I really feel sorry for those poor talented MSFT devs, indeed.

  45. Sil

    Underwhelming tegra

    If the Tegra was any good we would have heard of it and it would have many designs wins.

    Fact is NVIDIA can't. N+1 architecture doesn't seem to be of advantage. The new Tegra is so good that NVIDIA has to produce a CE device itself to use the production. It doesn't seem that hot.

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    the ultimate frontier in hardware design

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