Here’s what I know about the Surface. It’s widescreen. It has colorful covers. Ballmer is excited.
Everything else is confusing.
Coverage on The Verge or Engadget quickly blurs into different pricing levels ($1,000?!), chip sets, operating system versions, keyboard-or-not covers blah blah. Tablets are at their best when the entire experience is intuitive. Instead of dissecting this more, here’s an example.
Scene: Windows store
Your mom walks into a Windows store and wants to buy a tablet. A salesperson introduces her to the device, begins to list the different models, the different colors and options. Your mom has horrible a flashback to the last time she walked into Verizon to buy her cell phone. Too many confusing choices. She calls you for advice but you don’t pick up because you’ve never let go of the fact she wouldn’t let you buy a pack of baseball cards that one time in Walmart. End scene.
Scene: Apple store
Your mom walks into an Apple store and wants to buy a tablet. A salesperson asks, “White or black?” Your mom pays the salesperson (no check-out counter!) and walks out.
Am I missing something?
Maybe the Surface will be an awesome product. More likely, it’s a new product occupying the same space – and no more – than the iPad.