It's Your Morning Fail for Microsoft

(I know these posts are getting to be routine, but Microsoft is having a very bad time of it in mobile.)

Speaking of Windows RT being a big, fat dud, Ars Technica’s Microsoft guy, Peter Bright, has a good look at where Microsoft went wrong:


Windows RT is an odd mix of features. Under the hood, it’s a near complete copy of Windows 8. In spite of having all the working parts of Windows 8, however, it can’t (officially) be used to run desktop applications, even if the developers of those applications are willing to recompile for the ARM processor. Instead, all applications must come through the Windows Store, and be built using the WinRT API.

It does, however, support a handful of built-in desktop applications. Specifically, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote are all included. These versions are almost, but not quite, exact equivalents to their x86 counterparts. They are, however, lacking extensibility. There’s no macro support, no add-in support. Screen recording in PowerPoint and OneNote is removed, so too is the ability to search audio and video recordings in OneNote.

Um… no. I mean, he’s right about all these thing, but they aren’t why RT has failed to take off. The points Bright makes are all why IT departments don’t want RT — but the Surface RT is Microsoft’s consumer tablet. Unlike the Surface Pro with Windows 8 for Fingers and Mice and Keyboards and Styli, RT was never meant for business.


(The Surface Pro is underperforming because it’s the tablet you can’t work with your finger and the laptop you can’t use on your lap. But that’s another story.)

Why have consumers rejected the RT? Because Microsoft has given them no compelling reason to buy it. It’s priced on par with Apple’s iPad, but has a worse screen, a middling-at-best user experience, and practically zero apps. It has marginally more memory than similarly-priced iPads — but what good is storage when there’s nothing to fill it with?

Bright has a lot of suggestions for how Microsoft can fix RT — to make it more attractive to IT managers. He has nothing to say on how to make it more attractive to consumers. And I suppose he’s right.


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