Why Surface RT returns might be high

I don't think that Surface RT returns are high because of any one major flaw, especially what most people often put down to performance.

  • I made three returns because of quality control. The first was used, and had a dead fly on it. The second had a faulty kickstand and the third had a faulty touch cover connector. My personal return rate, although in itself not indicative of a wider trend, is four devices, three returned.
  • Windows RT/ Eight can be confusing. The problem with Windows 8 is that it does take a lot of getting used to. Small things are usually worked out pretty quickly, but the whole idea of having two Windows Update applications, two separate control panels and so on can be quite a strange thing. This really, is not a flaw of the Surface as hardware, but Windows RT running on the Surface.
  • Perception meets real world use. You can only get so much out of a review, video and in store demo. I had many, many things I thought would be a dream to do on the Surface, but because of form factor, I'd rather do them on my laptop. This is where both Windows RT and the Surface's form factor might become a let down, and an expensive one at that. I've not found a way to upload files from the Surface RT using the metro Skydrive app - which I think is a little bit odd. Likewise, syncing a Windows Phone is really limited.
  • You don't have a lot of time to make your mind up. Return Windows aren't unlimited and therefore if you find it frustrating from first use, you're probably going to envy the device and the hole it's caused in your bank balance.
  • Applications. I don't think there's been a mass of confusion over running legacy applications, but I think the App Store really needs some work, as we all do. For me, it's not a problem but many people know about the iPad and Android tablets, which are cheaper and are well known for large app stores. The lack of Spotify for instance - you know, the application you've enjoyed for so long on Windows is no longer available and therefore you see this as a step backwards.
  • Majority were online orders, no doubt. Many people couldn't even see or try out the Surface before purchase. I delayed mine until they hit retail stores here, but for quite a long period of time the device was only available online.
I don't personally think there's anything wrong with the Surface RT. But I do think that there are many things which can present frustration, and I think it basically comes down to:
Microsoft presented the vast majority of people with almost new everything with this device. It wasn't a small change in one area, it's a radical shift from what people are used to, in every area. I think that's really what it comes down to.