Official debut of Surface (and Windows RT) is tonight, but it seems that this game may have already been lost by Microsoft. They did it again, they had a good product, but they didn’t know what to do with that… First reviews seem to confirm all my fears:

It’s not that there are only negative impressions - most of the reviewers actually appreciate the hardware (except Touch Cover, that seems to be an absolute failure - slow to type and very inaccurate), but the software side seems to be a major problem. Microsoft once again has failed to deliver actual application selection for OS start-up. WinRT is not traditional Windows that can run all the legacy stuff for DOS/Win -  WinRT is able to execute only dedicated applications, straight from WinStore. The problem is that …
  1. … there’s nothing interesting in WinStore.
  2. … nothing unique, no true distinguisher ("platform seller""exclusive").
  3. … and many, crucial applications (users of other platforms are accustomed to) are missing.
In that case why would anyone switch to WinRT if they have iPad or Nexus 7? Because of the price? Quite unlikely - Surface’s price is more like iPad’s one than Kindle Fire’s one. Because of its coolness? Desktop may have a cool feeling but what’s cool in a tablet that doesn’t have anything interesting to run on? Of course the situation may change with time (Rome wasn’t built in a day …), but we’ve experienced the same feeling after Windows Phone 7 and Mango (WP7.5) were released and situation hasn’t changed at all - Marketplace for Windows Phone is full of trash of disputable quality and usefulness. Microsoft failed to convince developers to make WP apps and failed to create any on their own as well. They were not able to use the potential of joined services (like XBox Live or Zune) - nice OS without apps is dead.
Are WinRT and Surface already doomed? It’s not 100% sure yet, but it’s very hard to be optimistic about them. Of course full-fledged Windows 8 will be a completely different story - it will run on PCs & laptops (Surface Pro is more a laptop than a tablet and it’s price won’t make it too popular, I presume) and it will run legacy apps. People will get used to different desktop and tiles, but Microsoft’s another attempt to take a share of mobile market (again …) may end like all the previous ones.
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