You (Still) Can't Touch This

Ars Technica‘s Windows guy Peter Bright on the Microsoft Surface:

It may look like a tablet, but it comes with a keyboard and a touchpad. In a promotional site that is worryingly devoid of details and useful information, one of the few things that is confirmed is that the Surface will come with a combined keyboard/touchpad cover.

Microsoft is telling both users and hardware manufacturers alike that to get the most out of Windows 8, you’re going to need a keyboard and a pixel-perfect pointing device. Touch alone just doesn’t cut it.


When MS announced the Surface in June, I noticed the confusing marketing:

Look at how Microsoft has introduced its tablet: With a keyboard. They aren’t saying, “We’ve built a great tablet,” they’re saying, “We’ve built a tablet with a great keyboard.”

Well, if Bright is correct, the marketing isn’t confused — that keyboard is an absolute necessity, because Windows 8 isn’t a touch operating system. And MS has had more than two years since the iPad came out to get this simple crap right. More than five years, if you count the introduction of the iPhone.

The Surface is going to fail. That’s an easy call to make. And given that the profits in computing have gone to mobile, Surface could take a big chunk of Microsoft down with it.


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