With little fan-fare, Microsoft released the Surface Pro to market this past weekend. Did you trip over the people in line at the mall? Oh that's right, there are very few Microsoft Stores & my area doesn't have a rumored 'pop-up' store. Did you happen to see the long lines at Best Buy? Oh that's right each store only received a handful of Surface tablets to sell.
Come on Microsoft! This is it, your big product launch. We have been waiting over TWO YEARS! Your fans will pay the full-retail price and they will line up for the privilege. But, when you aren't there to deliver, you make us not want to like you.
Why is the Surface Pro such a big deal?
Because, this is THE TABLET that will change the Enterprise dramatically. Right now, iPad is awesome and great for consumers and consumption. Just about everyone on the planet agrees--even Walt Mossberg of the Wall Street Journal, that the iPad is a terrible creation device. You want to draft a letter, take a memo, edit the latest version of the contract or PowerPoint? Right, not an easy task on an iPad. Sure, there are a dozen or more capable Apps like Documents-To-Go that do a decent job at these tasks. But, none of the Apps are native. No native Word, Excel, PowerPoint or Outlook.
There in lies the magic of the Windows Surface Pro tablet. True Microsoft programs in the palm of your hand in a mobile tablet form factor. The Surface RT is like the Jar Jar Binks of Microsoft. It should have never happened and hopefully it goes away as quickly as it appeared.
The other underrated feature of the Surface Pro is the pen-input and digital ink software that is tied into One Note. Think of the possibilities of an unlimited unlimited digital notepad that automatically indexes and text-searches all of your hand written notes. In many professions, that is worth its weight in gold.
So, what is one to do--order one online? Well, that process is no joy either. You can't even approach a Microsoft shopping cart online without logging in with a "Windows Live" account. Good thing you can cross reference your Gmail.com email address and you don't have to live in the dark ages with a hotmail account. But, even after buying a Surface Pro on the MSFT site, I have yet to receive a confirmation email or estimated shipping date. Really, what is this 1998 and the first time MSFT has tried to sell something on a website?
Balmer, Gates & Company, please get it together. Your biggest fans want to love you, but you are making it SOOO hard.