Microsoft Gets Touch All Wrong
Microsoft Surface: Over-manufactured and well designed based on poorly thought-out goals. The company announced a $900 million dollar write-off after slashing Surface prices over the last month. It’s finally time to admit that the Surface is a bad idea, designed by a company that’s floundering to remain relevant. Read AppleInsider’s great article about the Mysterious Failure of Microsoft’s Surface RT (spoiler, it’s not all that mysterious).
As Frederic Lardinois points out, the failure with Microsoft goes beyond the Surface line. They designed Windows 8 in such a way that it runs best on a touch-screen, and they expect every laptop and desktop to have a touch-screen to use it properly. I get that ten years ago there was a dream that every computer would have a touch-screen, but that dream is dead. Laptops don’t need touch-screens, they need killer track-pads.
The tablet device is the touch-screen device, and it doesn’t need a keyboard. I’m not surprised that Microsoft can’t let go of a decade-long dream. I am surprised that anyone at Microsoft regularly uses a touch-screen interface on a laptop or desktop.
Somehow I don’t see Ballmer sitting in front of a computer touching the screen, but if he does, he’s severely hurting his productivity. Regardless, the Surface has no chance of recovery at this point (though I’m sure Microsoft will continue to blow money on it like it does on its BING business – check out this article trying to put a positive spin on this) and Windows 8 needs a redesign. The latter is happening with 8.1