Watching the Microsoft Surface event video, I sensed uneasiness. Not panic, but discomfort. Some will argue that I’m simply spoiled by Apple’s on-stage polish, but Monday’s Microsoft event struck me as rushed and severely under-rehearsed. Ballmer offered nothing but blustering bromides, and nothing even vaguely resembling a coherent answer to the big question: Why? Steven Sinofsky was nervous and hurried. It didn’t help that his first Surface RT unit crashed before he’d done anything other than wake it up. There was a moment where he said Surface was perfect for sitting down, relaxing in a chair, and watching a movie. He sat in that chair for about three seconds before rushing into the next segment.
I was starting to forget that Microsoft was still in business. Much of my work is now completed on my iPhone, iPad or using platform independent web resources. My desktop machine is mainly used for manipulating graphics (InDesign) and database development (FileMaker).
A client recently sent me a report in some old version of Word and I was reminded of Microsoft's version hell. The same document opens up with knackered formatting depending on your current platform or version of Word.
I'm not disppointed that Microsoft has decided to release their own tablet - it will hopefully give Apple some incentive to continue to improve the iPad and ios. But announcing products (apparently there are two tablets) without any indication of how much they will cost or a real world demo of a key selling point (the innovative cover keyboard) reeks of rushed desperation.
I only hope that Google's Android tablet offering receives a much needed boost next week as well.