Most reviewers and commentators don't get the "Microsoft Way"
I'm increasingly convinced that most reviews of Surface, Surface Pro, Windows 8, Windows Phone, and other Microsoft services are useless.
Because the reviewers don't get what makes them work.
The big story of the Microsoft ecosystem is integration. Once you've got a Surface and a Windows Phone, it starts to make more sense. Then, your PC is connected, you bring it together with the Outlook.com services (and SkyDrive), and add an XBox, and you've got the best digital ecosystem experience out there today.
But since the vast majority of reviewers out there are Apple people (with a smattering of Google people), they "take a vacation" from their ecosystem to do a point review of a particular Microsoft product or service, conclude that it "sucks" because it isn't an Apple or Google service, and never experience any of the "real features" of today's Windows that make it so compelling.
That's why we get Surface RT reviews that complain it's not a PC, Surface Pro reviews that complain it's not an iPad, and Windows Phone reviews that complain it's not an Android or iOS device.
That's why we read article after article "explaining" that Google integration is "critical."
That's why we read articles dismissing Office and Live Directory and XBox Live and Skydrive, while praising Google Apps, iCloud, and Gmail as the best things since sliced bread.
And that's why so many authors (and commenters alike) start much of their commentary on Microsoft products with "I don't understand why..." They should just make their entire review "I don't understand," and leave it at that.
Having MG Seigler or Josh Topolsky review Surface or Windows Phone is like having Paul Thurott give his "in-depth review" of Mac OS X and Mary Jo Foley give her take on the Galaxy S III. They'd be filled with notes about the poor level of integration Mac OS X and Android have with Microsoft-centric services, they'd get lousy ecosystem scores, and they'd get poor usability scores as well.
Review sites need to invest in actual columnists who have Microsoft experience, who can bring a Microsoft-centric view into the mix along with the Apple-centric and Google-centric views that crowd out everything else. (They could probably also use a BlackBerry-centric person or two). (And no, saying "I run Windows 7 on my MacBook Pro from time-to-time" doesn't cut it).