What in the name of god is Microsoft doing?
I decided to buy a Surface. I, like most of you, liked the hardware so I bought one and I wasn't disappointed...with the hardware.Windows itself has been a complete and utter nightmare from beginning to end and I do not understand why so many of you Windows fans can so vehemently defend it.
I bought a Surface RT. I assumed that because it's "RT" and specifically created for the Surface hardware that it would be a huge improvement over the Windows of past years that I absolutely hated and fueled my reasoning for switching to the Mac in 2008. I knew there were problems with Windows 8 but I really thought that Microsoft would think logically and put its best foot forward with the Surface RT - a product they aim, not at professionals, but at the mass market that finds iPads and Android tablets fascinating. You know...people who don't want drama from a device.
Here's where the problems started.
I set up the device. It took much longer than an iPad or Android device but it didn't bother me much. The first thing I wanted to do when I had it set up was to download the 8.1 update. I knew it offered several improvements and I wanted my experience with my Surface to be a good one out the gate. I clicked on the update ad in the store and it started to download. At this point I was enjoying the multitasking that I've never had with my iPad in the past by watching a John Green video on YouTube and reading the news in Internet Explorer at the same time. I thought "this could actually turn out to be quite good!"
Then the update started to install.
It said it needed to restart the Surface in order to install. Fair enough. I let it restart. 40 minutes later it was still loading from its restart. I let it do its thing. Then, out of nowhere, something went wrong and it told me it needed to re-restart. I let it.
No response except the Windows button could still buzz when touched.
After 15 minutes my patience ran out and I held down the power button until it turned off and then turned it back on again. Then it decided it needed to repair the install it had tried. Another 20 minutes waiting.
Eventually it started up. Back into Windows 8.0 with no sign of the downloaded 8.1 anywhere. I tried to redownload it and surprise, surprise the "Update" advert in the store was unresponsive. I clicked and clicked...and clicked. Nothing happened. I quit the app and went back in. No hope. I restarted the device. Still no response. Then I decided to refresh the whole device or completely wipe it using the options in settings...
"Windows is missing files and you need your recovery or install media blah. blah blah"
So I couldn't wipe the thing and start afresh because it wanted me to reinstall the software using files it knew didn't come with the machine.
My question is this: (toss aside brand loyalty, the idea that the hardware design is impeccable or whatever other reasons the Windows fanboys can come up with to worship this company) How the hell does Microsoft expect to gain any ground in the consumer market by building their own hardware if they fail completely to understand why consumers actually like companies that already do? If I buy a machine that's made by the same company that created its software then it should feel like that company made the hardware and software together! It's not that difficult!
I'm a consumer who abandoned Microsoft during its most miserable phase because Apple had a better offering. It did. Just a fact. Let's not revisit it. I wanted to give Microsoft another chance because of the heaps of praise I see all of you throwing at them and they completely let me down and, as a result, are making me miss my iPad more than ever and less likely to experiment with Windows again.
Call me a fanboy. Say that I'm "not the type of user Microsoft wants/needs." Say I'm deluded and that "ONCE I actually make the update, 8.1 makes up for it." Even with all those response in mind, experiences like mine are exactly why Microsoft is dying in the consumer space.
I like tech. I have patience for it. I like to try devices from different companies. I love my HTC One and my MacBook Pro. One could argue that I should be more than equipped to deal with a simple incremental software update than the average consumer. The fact that I can't deal with it and the fact that Microsoft is letting the consumer market experience this catastrophe of a tablet operating system is exactly why they are going to utterly fail in the consumer space if the new CEO doesn't take a drastically different approach.
How about instead of rushing out with products to compete with Apple and Android that are going to fail, Microsoft spends a bit more time creating the perfect user experience in its own hardware products and slowly gains its ground back by subtly surprising people with how well it works? Maybe if they did that instead of tricking consumers into believing the products they create are comprehendible by the guy on the street.
I'm keeping the Surface. I'm determined to make it work because the hardware is so nice but Microsoft is completely deluded if they think this is the way you run a company that needs to compete with Google and Apple.