Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 24th Oct 2012 23:09 UTC
Windows "The Surface is a nice tablet. The design and aesthetic are pleasing, the feel in the hands, particularly of the kickstand and magnetic cover connection is excellent. But is it worth buying on the day of release?" After these three reviews, I still want a Surface RT. As much as I think Metro - and especially its applications - has a long way to go, I feel like I should reward the fact that Microsoft dares to be different. Too bad Microsoft doesn't want me to buy one.
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I'm not going to...
by thavith_osn on Thu 25th Oct 2012 00:14 UTC
thavith_osn
Member since:
2005-07-11

...reward MS for being daring, though I give them credit for it!!!

I will reward MS if the product is a good one and is sustainable, does what I want and so forth...

I rewarded Google earlier this year by buying a Nexus 7 (rewarding is such the wrong term, LOL). Now I have had the Nexus for a while, I wonder if I wasn't a bit too hasty with my praise, but it's a good tablet all the same.

Reply Score: 6

RE: I'm not going to...
by kwan_e on Thu 25th Oct 2012 07:41 UTC in reply to "I'm not going to..."
kwan_e Member since:
2007-02-18

...reward MS for being daring, though I give them credit for it!!!


That's the difference between MS customers and Apple customers. Apple customers will more than happily reward Apple for being daring and will blatantly overlook any flaw that would be deal breaking for an MS/non-Apple product.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: I'm not going to...
by tylerdurden on Thu 25th Oct 2012 19:30 UTC in reply to "RE: I'm not going to..."
tylerdurden Member since:
2009-03-17

No that is the simplistic childish view, not everything is based around the silly dramatic dynamics of a grade school playground.

First off, Apple's stock has been down almost $100 in the past 6 weeks, which means that Apple's customers are not returning/growing at the same rate since their product offering is stagnating. So they have to come up with something big and new soon, if they want to keep being at the top.

But Apple's initial success in the mobile markets, at least in the US, is due to the fact that Apple understood that these devices would be used as media/content consumption devices mostly. And they provided an ecosystem that could give customers a very very convenient way of addressing most media needs: Apple has a very large selection of music, video, books, etc. And it is very easy for people to access and consume all that content. And yes, some people seem to really like the design and style of Apple's products. But the reason why people bought the iPhone/iPad/iPod in droves is not because they just looked good, but also because those products did exactly what they wanted and they could access the media they craved. So there is more than just style and fashion sense.

Microsoft does not seem to understand that. They think people chose apple because of stylistic concerns, but that is only a part of it. MS has a monopoly on the Desktop, so they assumed they can leverage Office, once again, as the value proposition for their nice and shiny tablet. Which is ironic, because MS does have a good strategy with the Xbox as a content consuming device for the living room, but they do not know how to execute it in the mobile space (e.g. Zune). The irony is that Apple has not been able to execute a good strategy on the living room with their AppleTV.

I can see windows RT and Windows Phone to be a success with the business crowd, not in the consumer space. Probably RIM, and to a lesser extent Google, are the ones in trouble with the new MS strategy, not Apple.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: I'm not going to...
by kwan_e on Fri 26th Oct 2012 01:15 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: I'm not going to..."
kwan_e Member since:
2007-02-18

No that is the simplistic childish view, not everything is based around the silly dramatic dynamics of a grade school playground.


Except that's exactly what this kind of consumerism is. Like it or not, most people who buy these things are acting on impulse. The ones who make informed decisions are few and far between, even among the readership of OSNews.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: I'm not going to...
by wocowboy on Fri 26th Oct 2012 10:49 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: I'm not going to..."
wocowboy Member since:
2006-06-01

Evidently you didn't see Apple's earnings report yesterday, it kinda blows your whole anti-Apple argument out of the water.

Reply Score: 0

RE[3]: I'm not going to...
by mistersoft on Fri 26th Oct 2012 21:53 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: I'm not going to..."
mistersoft Member since:
2011-01-05

I don't think Microsoft are so naive/simplistic as to think people really choose iPads for stylistic reasons alone at all!

They absolutely are (now) getting that the simplicity of the devices (to the end user), the multitouch interfaces and yes, you're right .....all the applications that simply and gratifyingly present all that media to the consumer IS KEY alongside the 'nice design' to selling the tablet as a desirable object.

Why else would they be go totally gung-ho with Metro and refining they're touch interface, and their own walled garden app store...........etc

I think they're flaw if there one is this:
Office(specifically on winRT)is only of verrrry limited added value. No-one (i exaggerate a little), but seriously, No-one that doesn't already have a bonafide lap-top or desktop PC already is going to invest in a tablet of ANY persuasion even a pretend-PC winRT one!!

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: I'm not going to...
by zima on Wed 31st Oct 2012 04:29 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: I'm not going to..."
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

No-one (i exaggerate a little), but seriously, No-one that doesn't already have a bonafide lap-top or desktop PC already is going to invest in a tablet of ANY persuasion even a pretend-PC winRT one!!

"A little"? I'm fairly certain most tablet buyers do have PCs, as of yet...

Reply Score: 2

I'm desiring one, too
by sj87 on Thu 25th Oct 2012 04:36 UTC
sj87
Member since:
2007-12-16

Although I am a devoted Linux / Unix lover, I'm still pondering about buying a Surface RT device. Just to see how well the Metro interface actually works on such a device.

I'm just overly worried my new tech toy would end up on the shelf and be left there for the lack of any apps worthwhile using.

Too bad they really are too expensive.

Reply Score: 4

RE: I'm desiring one, too
by Alfman on Thu 25th Oct 2012 05:57 UTC in reply to "I'm desiring one, too"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

SJ87,

+1

I wouldn't mind having one myself to use metro as it was meant to be used, on a *real* tablet. But in the end I know I'd be frustrated by the restrictions imposed on my device and not being able to run the software I wrote and being able to distribute it to friends & colleagues without microsoft's approval. I really hate that a walled garden overshadows the platform, since otherwise I'd be able to get behind it as an alternative to the apple walled garden. They can paint it any color they want, but it's always going to stink.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: I'm desiring one, too
by Nelson on Thu 25th Oct 2012 07:21 UTC in reply to "RE: I'm desiring one, too"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

I believe Acer has a Windows 8 tablet for $499 (same price as Surface) which can run traditional x86 applications and where the garden door is left open.

And I am almost certain some enterprising hacker will make it so Windows RT tablets can run ARM compiled programs.

At least, that's my hope.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: I'm desiring one, too
by Alfman on Thu 25th Oct 2012 14:49 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: I'm desiring one, too"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

Nelson,

"I believe Acer has a Windows 8 tablet for $499 (same price as Surface) which can run traditional x86 applications and where the garden door is left open."

That's only the case for desktop apps, but people are obviously buying a tablet in the first place because they want to use it as a *tablet*. Otherwise they would just get a laptop. Being able to do both with one device is a nice value-added feature, but it doesn't excuse the walled garden on tablet applications.

And to be honest, I kind of want an ARM device anyways to be able to dual boot android and have one device running both, but we know MS is banning that as well.


"And I am almost certain some enterprising hacker will make it so Windows RT tablets can run ARM compiled programs.
At least, that's my hope."

We've heard plenty of excuses for walled gardens coming from the other big camp, due we really need to have apologists repeating these for microsoft? Today maybe one's iphone can be rooted, but that's only because apple bugs exist in the various models. An unintentional privilege escalation vulnerability permits the owner to compromise the device's security on demand to gain root access, thereby overriding apple's mandatory app policies.

Is this really the model of open computing that we want to stand behind? Do we really want to applaud these closed devices because they have security vulnerabilities? Microsoft's walled garden security may be stronger than apple's, probably in part because they learned from apple's mistakes. This is old news now, but microsoft made sure the UEFI firmware's secure boot feature was designed to enable them to lockout owners from the chain of trust. Microsoft even requires manufacturers to disable any override capability on ARM devices carrying windows. Even if a temporary root exploit is found, it won't be able to modify the system to remain rooted for long. I don't want to loose access to my unapproved sideload apps because I lost root when I rebooted my tablet on vacation, but with secure boot that's a very real possibility.

I predicted this whole shenanigan, that secure boot was just a disguised way of protecting walled gardens from owner tampering rather than simply protecting owners from malware tampering. I wish I were wrong about it.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: I'm desiring one, too
by StephenBeDoper on Thu 25th Oct 2012 15:40 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: I'm desiring one, too"
StephenBeDoper Member since:
2005-07-06

Wholeheartedly agreed, especially this par:

I predicted this whole shenanigan, that secure boot was just a disguised way of protecting walled gardens from owner tampering rather than simply protecting owners from malware tampering. I wish I were wrong about it.


There's no doubt in my mind that curated computing is not done for the benefit of the curated, but for the benefit of the curators.

I also think "curated computing" should be a cause for alarm because the biggest players (Apple, Google, Microsoft) all have aspirations to be part of "big media". I see them as the equivalent of social climbers trying to marry their way into big media, with their "dowries" being promises to lock down/restrict anything that could be a threat to big media interests.

And longer-term, I think it will have a stifling effect on technological innovation. In the history of computers, many advances (arguably the most important ones) were the direct result of someone taking an existing technology, and finding a clever way to misuse it. But if curated computing becomes the norm, that will become impossible (or at least much more difficult).

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: I'm desiring one, too
by bornagainenguin on Thu 25th Oct 2012 20:41 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: I'm desiring one, too"
bornagainenguin Member since:
2005-08-07

Alfman posted...

I believe Acer has a Windows 8 tablet for $499 (same price as Surface) which can run traditional x86 applications and where the garden door is left open.

That's only the case for desktop apps, but people are obviously buying a tablet in the first place because they want to use it as a *tablet*. Otherwise they would just get a laptop. Being able to do both with one device is a nice value-added feature, but it doesn't excuse the walled garden on tablet applications.

[...]

I kind of want an ARM device anyways to be able to dual boot android and have one device running both, but we know MS is banning that as well.


I'm the last guy recommending people buy into Windows 8, but that's not entirely accurate.

See: http://www.android-x86.org/

Granted it doesn't work 100% on all hardware yet and you have to futz with grub to dualboot, but it is possible to run both on the ACER unlike on the Surface tablet. Plus should you decide to tire of Windows 8, you could always wipe it and install Linux on it...

--bornagainpenguin

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: I'm desiring one, too
by Alfman on Fri 26th Oct 2012 02:44 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: I'm desiring one, too"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

bornagaineguin,

That's a good point, I don't really know much about the x86 port of android. I was actually using "android" as an umbrella term for all android flavors including cyanogenmod, which is what I'd want to install, but never less you are right about android-x86.

Their website didn't answer many of my basic questions: Will it run all off the shelf (ARM) android applications? I certainly don't want to be limited to a handful of apps which have been ported back to x86. It needs to be able to run the ARM packages found in the app store with good performance. However my experience with the android emulation tools used for development under x86 linux has been extremely poor even on a high end machine.

If you've had any actual experience with the android-x86 port, I'd love to hear back!

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: I'm desiring one, too
by bornagainenguin on Fri 26th Oct 2012 03:38 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: I'm desiring one, too"
bornagainenguin Member since:
2005-08-07

Alfman replied...

Their website didn't answer many of my basic questions: Will it run all off the shelf (ARM) android applications? I certainly don't want to be limited to a handful of apps which have been ported back to x86. It needs to be able to run the ARM packages found in the app store with good performance. However my experience with the android emulation tools used for development under x86 linux has been extremely poor even on a high end machine.

If you've had any actual experience with the android-x86 port, I'd love to hear back!


Well the website needs work. A lot of the activity takes place on the email list and doesn't get shown on the site.

I've used it on my eeepc before and can't remember having any issues with the apps not running--but it's been a while.I remember being more annoyed with the way certain games rotated the screen (Game Dev Story) making game play all but impossible. I'd just bought the game and at that time was addicted beyond belief and all reason.

I recall being able to simply install most apps though. It could be that I sideloaded any apps that were marked incompatible and moved on--like I said, it's been awhile. If you have specific needs for certain apps, the best advice I can give you is to simply download the ISO that best matches your testing hardware, use the live-cd functionality and test out those apps to see if they'll work.

IMHO it's best to throw out any preconcieved notions of emulated performance because Android-x86 is nothing like the emulators you may have used in the past.

--bornagainpenguin

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: I'm desiring one, too
by Alfman on Fri 26th Oct 2012 04:54 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: I'm desiring one, too"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

bornagainenguin,

"IMHO it's best to throw out any preconcieved notions of emulated performance because Android-x86 is nothing like the emulators you may have used in the past."

That's good to hear, I'm reading posts now that talk about it being an x86 port of dalvik whereas the dev tools are emulating the ARM version.

If I have some time, I may try to compare the performance running the same apps on my desktop and the galaxy tab 2 (1GHz ARM Cortex A9 dual core). I don't really know what to expect.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: I'm desiring one, too
by jgfenix on Fri 26th Oct 2012 11:45 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: I'm desiring one, too"
jgfenix Member since:
2006-05-25

And to be honest, I kind of want an ARM device anyways to be able to dual boot android and have one device running both, but we know MS is banning that as well.

What you want is an Asus Transformer AiO.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: I'm desiring one, too
by Alfman on Fri 26th Oct 2012 15:17 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: I'm desiring one, too"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

jgfenix,

"What you want is an Asus Transformer AiO."

All I found were news articles about them having demoed the concept at a show over the summer.

http://www.androidauthority.com/asus-aio-all-in-one-pc-dual-boot-an...

I couldn't find anything like it for sale, do you have any more recent information? I wonder if bootloaders are genuinely unlocked (which goes against microsoft's requirements)? Can you install anything other than the manufacture's build of android? Do you know if the manufacturer build supports sideloading? Please send links if you've got them.

It's the right idea, even if the device was more of a desktop computer than a portable tablet one.

Edited 2012-10-26 15:25 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: I'm desiring one, too
by zima on Mon 29th Oct 2012 04:46 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: I'm desiring one, too"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

I predicted this whole shenanigan, that secure boot was just a disguised way of protecting walled gardens from owner tampering rather than simply protecting owners from malware tampering. I wish I were wrong about it.

I suspect the idea might be to enable subsidised hardware ecosystem - OEMs selling tablets & laptops below cost, but getting a slice from software sales in the marketplace made on their devices.

Of course, that would be feasible only if MS & the hw+sw platform can fairly reliably assure non-tempering of the installed OS - that would be what the OEMs want in such scenario. And a relatively acceptable scenario overall.

Reply Score: 2

RE: I'm desiring one, too
by Radio on Thu 25th Oct 2012 07:23 UTC in reply to "I'm desiring one, too"
Radio Member since:
2009-06-20

The bootloader is completely locked, isn't it?

Reply Score: 2

Comment by frood
by frood on Thu 25th Oct 2012 08:35 UTC
frood
Member since:
2005-07-06

What's holding me back is that I know there will be those little things that it can't do which will annoy the hell out of me. Like the inability to install browser plugins like Lastpass.

Edited 2012-10-25 08:36 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Reward MS for a walled garden?
by sluggy on Thu 25th Oct 2012 08:51 UTC
sluggy
Member since:
2012-05-05

Why would you want to reward MS for releasing something that can only run approved apps?

Yes, it sounds paranoid, but this is the future of personal computing on the line. If Windows RT is successful, maybe this spreads to the desktop. If it works on the desktop, Apple might look at MS and ask themselves why they even bother with OS X being more open than Windows. And Gatekeeper gets turned on permanently.

And soon, Linux might be the only OS left where you can do what you want. Like install a torrent client. If, by then, you can find hardware it is allowed to run on.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Reward MS for a walled garden?
by zima on Mon 29th Oct 2012 05:11 UTC in reply to "Reward MS for a walled garden?"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Why would you want to reward MS for releasing something that can only run approved apps?
[...] soon, Linux might be the only OS left where you can do what you want. Like install a torrent client. If, by then, you can find hardware it is allowed to run on.

He has no qualms rewarding Apple for that, so...

And it shouldn't be that bad - at worst, the Chinese should be able to provide fairly open hardware, they supposedly strive for technology independence with Loongson and such (and BTW, CoCom embargos didn't do much to stop the flow of PC tech into CCCP from... China: http://www.inc.com/magazine/19960615/1967.html )

Reply Score: 2

can't wait
by ezraz on Thu 25th Oct 2012 14:03 UTC
ezraz
Member since:
2012-06-20

can't wait to see the surface users out in the wild, bragging and showing off how amazing this new tablet thing is... how great it is to be portable... how the build quality is so nice... how people notice they have a nice device and not a piece of garbage. nothing like MS users with a pink device, could be scary.

and the millions with iOS devices who have been saying this for years are all of a sudden the old crusty followers, not the modern trendsetter with the pink plastic keyboards.

surface is looking like more than a 'yeah right' product but i'm still not convinced that thing works correctly in your hands, your bed, your couch, or while sitting on your toilet. my ipad has a kickstand on the case, and many i see have soft-touch keyboards, so we'll see if that's really a differentiator.

in microsoft's world people might dance and click for giggles, but they have to sit down at a flat desk to "work". on a busy day i work from probably 20 places, including out of my pocket while walking/standing in line. all my apple devices are finally syncing everything properly, so i just move from device to device and keep working. sure my laptop is the only place i develop or complete large documents, but everything else needed for a modern worker just moves between my pad and phone and mac. I go wherever i need to be at that moment and 'keep working'.

makes me crazy as a lifestyle, but being a consultant/entrepreneur type, you have to be nimble and mobile. surface seems clumsy and overpriced, but we'll have to see if anyone agrees with me.

Reply Score: 1

Wot, yet another RT review makes news
by quackalist on Thu 25th Oct 2012 16:15 UTC
quackalist
Member since:
2007-08-27

Thanks, one review or a bunch linked might be news but enough's enough.

Oh, I find "As much as I think Metro - and especially its applications - has a long way to go, I feel like I should reward the fact that Microsoft dares to be different." kinda weird. Wish I had the spare cash to throw away on the half-baked, dare to be different. As I don't, I'll just await the dare to be functional and working version before deciding on supporting Microsoft or not.

Reply Score: 2

v MS has no strategy
by benali72 on Thu 25th Oct 2012 18:10 UTC
RE: MS has no strategy
by BluenoseJake on Thu 25th Oct 2012 19:23 UTC in reply to "MS has no strategy"
BluenoseJake Member since:
2005-08-11

NBC News is such a noted tech journal, I'll be sure to base my next purchase on it.

Reply Score: 6

ALL CRAP
by earksiinni on Thu 25th Oct 2012 19:35 UTC
earksiinni
Member since:
2009-03-27

UNTIL THEY RELEASE A VIOPSYS PORT UNCLE BILL AIN'T SEEIN' A DIME

(WILL SETTLE FOR KASPERSKY)

Reply Score: 2