Rebuttal: 10 Reasons To Not Buy A Windows Tablet

John Kirk / March 20th, 2014

ZDNet posted an article entitled: 10 Reasons To Buy A Windows Tablet Instead Of The iPad Or Android.

If you haven’t got anything good to say about anyone, come sit by me. ~ Alice Roosevelt Longworth

The ZDNet article proves to me you’re never too old to learn something stupid. The justifications used to support the proposition one should buy a Microsoft tablet are as stupid as they get.

Let’s review, shall we?

1) It’s all about choice

    “Having options available is always a good thing…”

That just ain’t so. Options don’t matter unless they’re GOOD options or, more specifically, unless they’re better than the options already available. Benedict Evans is fond of saying that some people suffer from “Technology Tourette’s” — a baffling disease that causes some technology enthusiasts to grow neck beards and shout out random tech memes like “Open!” and “Choice!” at inappropriate times. That seems to be what’s occurring here.

Choice is not an end, it’s a means and it’s the quality of one’s choices — not just the availability of choice — that matters. If you demonstrate Windows tablets are better, fine. But just claiming they’re different from what’s already available doesn’t cut it as an argument.

2) Plug it in

    “Windows tablets are full PCs. Most can do anything that their bigger siblings can do, and that includes letting owners plug peripherals in to do stuff.”

When it’s three o’clock in Cupertino, it’s still 1995 in Redmond.

That argument is like a marshmallow — easy to chew, but hard to swallow.1

First, most everything listed in the article can now be done wirelessly — no cables required.

Second, didn’t Microsoft just spend the last decade stirring up apathy about the wonders of having a full PC on a tablet? How’d that work out for them?

Third, didn’t the iPad become a computing phenomenon without all those cables?

160_F_31117682_7sZOFRNgAwbAjqfA4bMyMcFR9KPkmkekMicrosoft claiming their tablets are equipped with the full PC experience is like a hooker claiming she is equipped with a chastity belt. It’s neither a feature nor a benefit.

3) Keeps getting better

    “Windows 8 wasn’t that great on tablets when first introduced, but that’s a thing of the past.”

I think we can agree. The past is over. ~ George W. Bush

That reminds me of a joke:

Morty comes home to find his wife and his best friend, Lou, naked together in bed. Just as Morty is about to open his mouth, Lou jumps out of the bed and says, “Before you say anything, old pal, what are you going to believe, me or your lying eyes?”2

So who are you going to believe, ZDNet or your lying eyes?

Apparently the Windows 8 design team believe if two wrongs don’t make a right, try three…or four…or five…

  1. Saying Windows 8 is getting better on tablets is like saying one’s rash isn’t as noticeable anymore (although it still itches like crazy).
  2. Windows 8 is so bad that if it had been introduced 2,000 years ago, it would have been stoned.
  3. Windows 8 is so bad that if it were your lover it would give you an anticlimax.3

And Windows RT (also known as “I-have-no-idea-what-they’re-calling-it-now?”)? Well, that reminds me of another joke.

Q: What do you call a dog with no legs?
A: It doesn’t matter because it’s not going to come anyway.

It doesn’t matter what you call Windows RT because it’s a dog and its got no legs.

4) Double duty

    “Many tablets are available in hybrid form, a slate (screen) that plugs into a dock that turns it into a laptop. These are tablets when you want one and laptops when you need one, as Microsoft is fond of telling us.”

Double “doody” devices are a great problem, masquerading as a great good.

If you’re on a camping trip, you might want to use a Swiss Army knife. But if you’re at home, you won’t ever use it to carve the turkey, open a can or a bottle of wine. You’ll have better tools available.

Similarly, if you’re a road warrior, you may want a two-in-one. Like the Swiss Army knife, it’s a convenient, but compromised, tool. If sales totals mean anything to you — and they certainly mean something to the rest of the world — it appears that even most road warriors would prefer to carry both a tablet and a notebook rather than endure the compromises inherent in a hybrid computing device.

I think well-known-tech-reviewer, Abraham Lincoln, may have best summed up the problem with hybrids:

If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee. ~ Abraham Lincoln

5) Then there’s Office…

    “A lot has been said about the need for Microsoft Office on tablets, and while there are decent alternatives to Office on the other tablet platforms, there’s no solution as complete as the genuine article.”

First, many — nay most — do not need to use Office.

Second, there are numerous Office alternatives available.

Third, if you need to use Office, you’ll be much happier using a notebook than a tablet. Office is not optimized for touch.

Fourth, Microsoft is soon going to bring Office to the iPad.

So what was the point ZDNet was trying to make?

6) Do some real work

    “You hear a lot of discussion about what constitutes real work, and while I can do my work on any tablet, some need Windows.”

ZDNet conflates two arguments here. If you need to use Windows, then by all means, buy a Windows machine. (Although some contend “The Best Windows PC Is An Apple Mac.”) However, Windows desktop programs aren’t optimized for touch, so a notebook would probably be more appropriate than a tablet.

If you really need to know if your computer is doing “real work,” then first you have to know what the definition of “work” is and even before that, you need to know what the definition of “definition” is.

“Definition” is “an exact statement or description of the nature, scope, or meaning of something.”

You use a definition to define an object. You do not use an object to define a definition.

Defining “real work” by comparing it to what one can do on a PC or Windows tablet is the same argument — and the same erroneous argument — PC aficionado’s used to make when they contended tablets weren’t “real” computers. They looked at their PCs, listed all of its attributes and then excluded from the definition of computing anything that didn’t have all of those attributes. This is akin to looking at a cow and claiming anything that doesn’t have all of the characteristics of a cow isn’t a mammal.

“Work” is an “activity involving mental or physical effort done in order to achieve a purpose or result.”

The “purpose or result” is defined by the user, not by the tool. It’s the user, not Microsoft, who gets to define whether the tool does the “real work” or not and the fact 95% of all Enterprise software on tablets runs on iOS should put to rest Microsoft’s pompous contention that non-Window’s tablets don’t do “real work.”

Unbelievably, here’s the screenshot that ZDNet used as support for their claim one can do “real work” on a Windows tablet.

06-real-work

Yikes! If that’s what ZDNet means by “real work”, you can keep it. ZDNet couldn’t have parodied their argument better if they’d tried.

PedalSkatesI suspect if Microsoft had been in the bicycle business at the turn of the last century, they would have offered “pedal skates” as their alternative to Apple’s roller skates, all the while claiming their pedal skates were “real” bicycles because they had “real” tires.

Sigh. It’s a “tired” argument that falls flat.4

7) Lots of apps

Well, that’s just a damn lie. App support for Windows 8 is third of three, so it’s a reason NOT to buy a Windows tablet, not a reason TO buy a Windows Tablet.

One could contend Windows apps are “good enough.” One could contend it, but it still wouldn’t make it so. There are not only huge holes in the Windows lineup, but the apps that are available are often mere shadows of the originals – unoptimized for touch or poorly implemented copycats.

Windows 8 has less apps, the apps it has are less useful and Microsoft is porting its own apps to Apple devices. So how exactly are “apps” a reason to buy Windows tablets?

Microsoft app not only in the Mac App Store, but featured as Editor’s Choice. Different era, I know. Still weird. ~ MG Siegler (@parislemon)

BjB-ZruIEAE-DCu

The above ad came out yesterday. Notice anything missing? (Hint: It’s Windows 8.)

8) Run any browser you want

Geez, that’s some awfully weak sauce. Let’s tease out the reality.

First, most users don’t care about multiple browsers on their mobile devices.

Second, most browsers are optimized for their mobile devices. (Tip o’ the hat to @jseths)

Third, the browsers available on Window 8 are not touch enabled. Which kind of puts a serious crimp in the entire contention Windows 8 tablets come with multiple browsers.

Fourth, even the browser users are pulling out of Windows 8.

Fifth, if multiple non-touch optimized browsers are what you really want on your tablet then by all means the two of you should go out and buy a Windows tablet.

Regarding Firefox Metro, you can complain when devs don’t support Metro, but when they do and see no usage, hard to complain if they kill it. ~ Paul Thurrott (@thurrott)

9) Multi-tasking on the screen

    “Those who do two things at once on an iPad or most Android tablets are all too familiar with having to swap between the two app screens. Bouncing back and forth is OK, but it would be much better to have the two apps displayed side-by-side on the tablet screen. Windows tablets have you covered in this regard, as snap view lets you put two apps up at once.”

Well, on the one hand, many apps do not work with snap view. On the other hand, I really like snap view and if it’s a big plus for you, have at it on your Windows tablet. However, I strongly suspect that design-wise, mobile is made for full screen use. As the world-famous designer, Dieter Rams put it: “Less, but better.”

I’m comfortable letting the market act as the judge and jury on this one.

10) Long-term viability

    “Companies come, and companies go, and that’s especially true in the mobile space. Buying into a mobile platform with any device is making a leap of faith that the platform and the company behind it will be around for the long haul.That’s not a concern with a Windows tablet, as Microsoft is certain to be around for a long time.”

He’s a very competitive competitor, that’s the sort of competitor he is. ~ Dorian Williams, horse show commentator

Whoa, whoa and whoa!

What a bizarre argument. First, saying Microsoft will be around in the long run is not the same thing as saying Windows 8 will be around in the long run.

Innovation is a process. Innovativeness as an attribute of a company is a measure of its processes not its assets. ~ Horace Dediu (@asymco)

Second, saying Microsoft is committed to Windows 8 tablets is not the same as saying Windows 8 tablets will be around in the long run. I’m pretty sure IBM was committed to OS/2, Palm was committed to WebOS, and RIM was committed to Blackberry. The crucial question is not whether Microsoft is committed to Windows 8 but whether the developers are committed and the answer to that question is a resounding “no.”

Guardian: Firefox on Windows 8 Metro only had 1,000 daily users. ~ Charles Arthur (@charlesarthur)

(Perhaps it’s not so much developers are rats deserting a sinking ship as they are ships deserting a sinking rat.)

Microsoft is like the guy at the party who gives everybody cocaine and still nobody likes him.5

Firefox says Windows 8 is a black hole, kills its Metro app ~ Sameer Singh (@sameer_singh17)

Mozilla pulls the plug on ‘Metro’ mode Firefox browser for Windows 8. Windows 8 isn’t a failure? You’re kidding right? ~ Bhaskar Bhat (@bhaskarsb)

Windows Tablets have long-term viability? Au contraire. Windows 8 has the life expectancy of a small boy about to look into a gas tank with a lighted match.6

Conclusion

There are two kinds of writer: those that make you think, and those that make you wonder. ~ Brian Aldiss

This article makes me wonder what the writer was thinking. Let me put it this way. If this author had been the Captain of the Titanic, he’d deny the ship had hit an iceberg and say they were only stopping to pick up some ice.

Everything happens for a reason. Sometimes the reason is that you’re stupid and make bad decisions. ~ Parody Bill Murray (@BiIIMurray)

The fundamental problem with Windows 8 hasn’t changed: you’re still working in two operating systems at once. And it can’t be “fixed,” it can only be undone.

If you board the wrong train, it is no use running along the corridor in the other direction. ~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer

This is the ultimate strategy tax. The visionary starts with a clean sheet of paper, and re-imagines the world.7. The last thing Microsoft wanted to do was to start anew. They wanted to leverage their existing desktop Windows monopoly. Instead, Windows 8 is an anchor so big it’s sinking not only Microsoft’s mobile hopes but their desktop franchise as well.

Which reminds me of one last joke:

      A magician is working on a cruise ship, but there is one problem. The captain’s parrot watches every show he does, and after figuring out the tricks, the parrot has started yelling out the secrets of how the tricks are done.
The bird says, “Look, it’s not the same hat!” or “Hey! He’s hiding the flowers under the table!”
The magician is enraged. But it’s the captain’s parrot, so he can’t do anything about it.

One day on a long cruise, there is an accident. The boat crashes and sinks. The magician and the parrot find them themselves clinging to the same plank of wood in the middle of the ocean. For days neither says anything. Finally, after a week, with no hope in sight, the parrot says, “Okay, I give up. Where’s the boat?”

Anyone can win, unless there happens to be a second entry. ~ George Ade

There is no boat. And there is no salvaging of Windows 8 either. You can “parrot” Microsoft’s PR all you want, but it’s like they say:

Those who get too big for their britches will be exposed in the end.

  1. Inspired by Alberto Nikas []
  2. Plato and a Platypus Walk Into a Bar, Thomas Cathcart & Daniel Klein []
  3. Inspired by Scott Roeben []
  4. There’s probably a RIM joke in there somewhere too. []
  5. Inspired by Jim Samuels []
  6. Inspired by Fred Allen []
  7. Malcolm Gladwell []

John Kirk

John R. Kirk is a recovering attorney. He has also worked as a financial advisor and a business coach. His love affair with computing started with his purchase of the original Mac in 1985. His primary interest is the field of personal computing (which includes phones, tablets, notebooks and desktops) and his primary focus is on long-term business strategies: What makes a company unique; How do those unique qualities aid or inhibit the success of the company; and why don’t (or can’t) other companies adopt the successful attributes of their competitors?
  • shivraj

    Really good one. The one thing I miss on ipad is access to file system. Apple should do something about it.

    • Brian M. Monroe

      Ahh, NO! As a default it was brilliant to not expose the file system on iOS devices. I have worked with enough users to know that they just do not get where their files are and how a file system works. There are apps that can let you get access if you really need to but it is much better as a whole that the default experience that iOS users have is an easy one where they do not get lost looking for their files. While there are a number of us who have been using computers for decades and understand how standard file systems work with all of their issues most users just do not the majority of users do not. Apple has built iOS for the next Billion users who are now coming online that have not used computers before so it is much better for them to have them start on a clean slate and not be burdened by legacy concepts that are intimidating to them.

      • jfutral

        Metaphors are good. Metaphors help us grasp things that are otherwise unapproachable. The whole file/desktop metaphor is built on an understanding that those who use a real desk and filing cabinets regularly should have been able to understand. But that also assumed that filing in a real office was all that understandable to begin with, which it isn’t. It is still one of the most difficult things to grasp in any office. Even the notion of a “doc” is tied to that thinking.

        It was abstract (think of the painting “This is not a pipe” by Magritte, it isn’t a pipe, it is a painting, a painting of a pipe, which may or may not look like a pipe you have seen or used), but now we are beyond abstract. How do we think now? I agree change is needed. I just don’t know what the thinking needs to be now.

        Joe

        • Brian M. Monroe

          Yes. I agree. It was a good Metaphor that made sense in 1980 when the 1st GUI systems started to get popular. The thing is that the world has moved on and we now have a better way to handle files for more users that is much more scalable and reliable. This whole idea that each user has to be their own IT department is nuts and really does not work for most people. The car analogy works well here too. Most people just want a car or truck to get them around or haul stuff. They do not care about how the car or truck was built or want to be bothered with the ongoing maintenance issues. Of course there are always going to be gear heads just like there are going to always be nerds that like to build and or fix their own stuff but for most people that is not what they want or even have time for.

          When I think of all the drama related to owning a desktop or laptop computer I am shocked they have stuck around for so long. The security, upgrades, backups and installation of software. Lots of things that most users do not care to know about or deal with. This is why we needed to pivot and start from a blank slate. We need new and better ways to do the tasks that we want our devices to do.

          • jfutral

            “The thing is that the world has moved on and we now have a better way to handle files for more users that is much more scalable and reliable.”

            What has the world moved on to? What is this better way? Explain to me what this way is? I honestly don’t know, so that is a real question. Not trying to be contentious. I agree that the current form of desktop/laptop computing has really outlived its usefulness. It is a necessary evil we are putting up with. I just can’t figure out what comes next.

            Joe

          • Brian M. Monroe

            I was referring to storing our data online as for most normal users they do not want to have to deal with managing their data. Now I know there are concerns about this but for the new users that are coming online now it is going to be the way they work with their files in an app and web centric world and not in files and folders.

            Of course this model is not for everyone and it is not an either/or situation either as you can do all online, some online or none online. It depends on your needs of course.

      • klahanas

        The people who are intimidated by the file system, or don’t even know about the file system, won’t use the file system. Why impede the one’s that do? Keep it in a discreet setting…

        • Brian M. Monroe

          Thats fine in theory but in practice you have to choose if you are going to make an operating system built on a file centric or application centric. Defaults matter as to how users, developers and support deals with the operating system. Sure, Apple could expose the file system on iOS by making a Finder app for iOS but it would cause more issues than it would solve. Security being one of them. One of the nice things about iOS that is unique to iOS is that by sandboxing users data in to each app you keep malware at bay. Security has tradeoffs and for the majority of users who are using iOS how it currently is designed works better for them than the alternatives. For those users who want total control over their devices, Android is a much better fit. It has most of the same apps and is “open”.

    • FalKirk

      Apple is not going to expose the file system in iOS. They’re trying to go the in the very opposite direction.

      Geeks (like you and I) may miss it but normals never understood the file system in the first place.

      • klahanas

        Normals don’t understand calculus either. Should we throw it out?

        • art hackett

          Touché. Got us again. Lets throw out calculus. Don’t forget the baby. Or the bath water. And don’t you mean muggles?

        • jfutral

          If it gets in the way of being able to use a tablet, then yes, it should not be part of using a tablet.

          Joe

          • klahanas

            Unless you want to do calculus on a tablet.

          • jfutral

            Then find the appropriate tool. If are trying to do calculus on a tool that doesn’t do calculus, maybe you aren’t smart enough to be doing calculus to begin with.

            Joe

          • klahanas

            Or if my device won’t do it to fill other agenda’s, maybe it isn’t smart enough.

          • jfutral

            Agenda? What agenda? If you can’t figure out the right tool for the right job, that ain’t Apple’s fault.

            Joe

          • klahanas

            All the restrictions Apple places on their devices (relative to competitors of the same price range) serve Apple’s interests exclusively. I could go through the whole litany yet again, but let’s stick to this. A `$530 iPhone with only 8 GB of non-expandable storage! There’s no way around this, it’s built in obsolescence. That is an agenda.

          • jfutral

            “There’s no way around this, it’s built in obsolescence. That is an agenda.”

            Right! Don’t people know those things will stop working at midnight, January 1, 2000 (or 2001, depending on when you start counting millennia) !? Then everyone will have to run out and buy new ones, just like they had to do with all those crippled iPod Shuffles with only 2gigs of music storage! This message will self-destruct in 10 seconds, making it obsolete.

            Joe

    • Space Gorilla

      They will. Managing files will improve, but the file system is a thing of the past. Get used to it.

    • art hackett

      I agree. There should be a pro mode that nerds should be able to access somehow that non nerds will never stumble across.

      • klahanas

        Amen!

  • Brian M. Monroe

    Great article. I think I know what James Kendrick was thinking when he wrote the article. He was thinking of all the great times in the 1990’s when Windows was king and no one could touch Microsoft. He was hoping that history could repeat itself again. But the sales and usage numbers do not back that up. The Ad from London Midland is a perfect example to prove that the computing landscape has changed. Developers and Users are done with Windows and have moved on.

    The whole long term viability thing is nonsense. No one can predict the future so trying to say that Windows 8 (Not just Windows) is going to be around for the long haul is silly. If history is a guide and we are to look at versions of Windows that users and IT did not like (ME and Vista) the next version of Windows will be the one that gets the existing users who have to run Windows to upgrade. But that confuses the issue as Windows (desktop) will be around for some time to come but the real issue is Windows Metro and if James Kendrick thinks that he is going to be shown that he is wrong.

  • Mayson

    Oh, Lordy! Your similes, snark, sarcasm, metaphors, and apposite quotes and jokes keep gettng better and better. Some might consider them over the top, but I love them.

    • FalKirk

      What do you mean they’re getting better? They were ALWAYS great!

      Seriously, thank you for the kind words. I’ll read them over and over again when the insults start to flow….

      🙂

  • Don’t know about Windows Tablets but those pedal skates look quite fun. 🙂

  • stefnagel

    Ha! Answers the question How hot is it?

  • krabbie

    Upton Sinclair so rightly put it:
    “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.”
    this says it all about Win8 “frivolous asshattery” articles.

  • ZDNet has been skating to where the puck came from, for years…

  • Bah Humbug

    Yikes. What a worthless article. I am no microsoft fan, but geeze, if you want to seem like a professional then write something of substance. Saying “Yikes! If that’s what ZDNet means by “real work”, you can keep it. ” is just childish, and not well-rounded criticism. I would expect a professional to compare capabilities side-by-side, not spread FUD.

    • FalKirk

      Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary.
It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body.
It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things. ~ Winston Churchill

      • I’d like to go on record as saying, I think @Bah Humbug is an obvious plant. His identity went dark just before I was able to verify, but I think s/he set up this account just to make this comment. Call me out, if you dare, Bah, I’ve been wrong before. But you will have to go public, like the rest of us, to prove your intentions.

      • JamesSB

        Yes, Windows 8 is being used for real work. In usage stats, Windows 8.x beats iOS and Android in market share.

        • Stig Bull

          Source?

          • JamesSB
          • JamesSB

            Mobile is for phones. I included desktops and tablets.

          • …but you said iOS and Android.

          • JamesSB

            I was referring to the article….on Windows tablets

          • …and your including Windows desktops and laptop? Please…

          • Here’s tablets number:

            http://gs.statcounter.com/#tablet-os-ww-monthly-201401-201403

            Windows doesn’t hardly register.

          • JamesSB

            That number does not include Windows 8.1 tablets, only tablets with Windows RT. Unfortunately, StatConter does not break Windows out that way.

          • So, how is your original source relevant?

          • JamesSB

            Here is my beef with the original argument. “ZDNet conflates two arguments here. If you need to use Windows, then by all means, buy a Windows machine. However, Windows desktop programs aren’t optimized for touch, so a notebook would probably be more appropriate than a tablet.”
            Here is my take, regardless if it is on a desktop, laptop, or tablet Windows 8 will still hold a big lead and keep increasing its market share. Now that the selection of Windows 8.1 tablets has improved, sales will increase. On Amazon, the Dell Venue Pro with Windows consistently sells better than the Android version. Currently on Amazon:
            5. Dell Venue 8 Pro 32GB/Windows
            14. Dell Venue 8 Pro 64GB/Windows
            17. Dell Venue 7 16GB/Android
            25. Dell Venue 8 16GB/Android

          • Still don’t see how your original source is relevant.

            Here’s my beef, you’re not facing reality. Dell Venue 8 Pro is a great product, but the fact remains, Windows is but a blip on the tablet radar. Get Venue 8 numbers together, we’ll compare them to iPad numbers (readily available) and I won’t even ask for Android numbers. Your original point is categorically wrong.

          • JamesSB

            Apple has 33.8% market share of tablets.

            http://www.businessinsider.com/tablet-market-share-chart-2014-2

          • How much does Microsoft have? Considerably less, and I’m being kind.

          • JamesSB

            Doesn’t matter.
            edit: read my reply above.

          • Maybe not to you, but Microsoft is concerned. Once again, I’m being extremely kind.

          • JamesSB

            Read my reply above.

          • JamesSB

            In the long run, either Windows or Android will end up with largest market share, like the desktop and like the mobile phone market. The main reason? People like choice. Windows won the desktop because consumers had a choice between desktops that were only a few hundred dollars for a basic PC to thousands for gaming machine.
            People like choice – in price points, design, specs, etc. The OS that can provide a solid experience (doesn’t have to be the best, Windows proved that) and can provide a vast array of choices will win.

          • FalKirk

            People like BETTER choices. Saying people like choice without content is meaningless. We don’t want choice when we don’t know what we want. That just causes consumer confusion.

            There’s a difference between choice and decision. Choice is an option. Decision is a burden. Good choices by designers lead to less decisions by us, the users.

            The best products demonstrate choice rather than offering it. Wise choices made on your behalf before you were even aware of them. Good compromises, made so that you wouldn’t ever have to make bad ones.

            What you don’t want is blurry boundaries, and overlapping choices. Eight options that differ only in one or two factors. Conflicting choices that are each worse at several things. Multiple options that you’d prefer to have none of. And above all, you don’t want products that justify a phalanx of terminal compromises by just being cheap. That can only end in one way: with dissatisfaction.

          • I’m going to watch Ratatouille, again, tonight.

            Perhaps a bit obtuse, but…

            Wishing you better luck than I had. Good night!

          • klahanas

            Yeah, the 8 GB iPhone 5C is a good compromise. Riiight!
            Actually, I would venture a guess it would be extremely successful if it had a memory slot. Then most would buy the least expensive phone and add memory themselves.
            But hey, that’s just me. All hail the wise and benevolent dictator who has nothing but our best interests in mind and protects us from ourselves. 🙂

          • jfutral

            I don’t think anyone but geeks would even know there was, much less use, a memory slot on an iPhone. And to those geeks who think a memory slot is somehow important, I doubt they would use an iPhone anyway.

            Again, the 5c is regularly the number 2 selling smartphone behind the 5s. I don’t understand this “fail” mentality except as a snarky narrative.

            Joe

          • klahanas

            The first sentence refers to the newly announced 8! GB iPhone 5C, which still costs $500+. There’s only one word for that. Lame.
            Yes, the rest was snarky, and directly addressed our author’s position.

          • jfutral

            “8! GB iPhone 5C”

            Personally, IMO, this is moving the 5c into what I think it should have been to begin with , the bottom tier 4s replacement, which is also still selling very well.

            Joe

          • klahanas

            This product looks like it was designed by Apple’s accounting department, and contrary to anything they ever said. Never mind that it’s too easily and irreversibly rendered inadequate. Oops I bought too many songs, now I have to shuffle them, or buy a new phone. Could be forgivable at half the price. Maybe.
            Just make sure to keep the magic. Must have magic! 🙂

          • jfutral

            “now I have to shuffle them, ”

            Oh, like an iPod Shuffle?

            Joe

          • klahanas

            More like a $500+ iPod shuffle! 🙂

          • jfutral

            Yeah, an iPod Shuffle with a cell phone, wifi, LTE, retina screen…

            Joe

          • klahanas

            And only 8 gigs of Non-upgradable storage. What’s out of place here?

          • jfutral

            Nothing out of place. That is exactly how Apple operates across all their product lines, including iPods.

            Joe

          • pawhite524

            Good day,
            At the risk of picking on too small a point, this non-sequiter is clearly not you at your best. As I understand it the 8GB 5C is not a product for the US market. I feel fairly safe in assuming someone did market research to support this effort for those markets.

            But what does a “head scratcher” of a move by Apple have to do with John Kirk deconstructing what looks like a piece right of Microsoft’s Marketing department?

            And if I recall correctly from your previous posts you are an articulate critic of the Windows RT tablet in favor of the decidedly superior Pro model, no?

            Can John be accused of “chewing the scenery” to use a stage actor metaphor? No argument from me there but he is gifted at it and highly entertaining to my tastes.

            Wishing you and yours all the best…

            Peter

          • klahanas

            Always good to hear from you. Even if it’s a friendly scolding. I hope you’re well.

            Binary positions like “Choice is an option, decision is a burden” but especially
            “The best products demonstrate choice rather than offering it. Wise choices made on your behalf before you were even aware of them. Good compromises, made so that you wouldn’t ever have to make bad ones.” are logical fallacies. A choice made on my behalf, is not my choice, especially if I’m not aware of it. How can I possibly choose one thing over another if I’m not aware?

            There’s also the matter of post purchase choice. Choice within one’s chosen ecosystem. That will never go away. Here in the good ‘ol YewEssofAy there are those that insist we accept everything, as is, and like it (especially if it harkens back to the ’50’s). Positions like this remind me of that crowd.

          • pawhite524

            Thanks for taking the time to respond.

            Your “Binary positions…” paragraph is not one I can not argue with in the name of edifying it in any way. You are, once again, true to your long held position, a position I respect even when I see it from a somewhat different point of view.

            Your closing paragraph is one in which I am pleased to say I see in much the same way as you.

            Again, all the best…

          • jfutral

            “‘The best products demonstrate choice rather than offering it. Wise choices made on your behalf before you were even aware of them. Good compromises, made so that you wouldn’t ever have to make bad ones.’ are logical fallacies. A choice made on my behalf, is not my choice, especially if I’m not aware of it. How can I possibly choose one thing over another if I’m not aware?”

            I know it sounds antithetical to your beliefs, but that is how design works, even bad design. And everything is designed. It is just sometimes done more aware than other times. Kind of like that line in the Rush song, even if you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice. Try taking some industrial design courses.

            Joe

          • klahanas

            Love Rush! In that vein…

            “All this machinery making modern music
            Can still be open-hearted.
            Not so coldly charted, it’s really just a question
            Of your honesty, yeah, your honesty.

            One likes to believe in the freedom of music,
            But glittering prizes and endless compromises
            Shatter the illusion of integrity.”

            Or…

            “Living on a lighted stage
            Approaches the unreal
            For those who think and feel
            In touch with some reality
            Beyond the gilded cage.”
            I’ll save Subdivisions for when it’s more pertinent to the article. 😉

          • art hackett

            I look forward to more revelations about the failure(s) of Apple and how you are building a successful enterprise by including memory slots.

            Only joking. Enjoy your memory slot(s).

          • klahanas

            Point being, if you don’t want them, don’t use them. They can extend the life of your device and make it’s user experience better by having less shuffling (or no shuffling) of stuff in and out.

          • jfutral

            Other point being, if you want a memory slot, buy something else. Whether or not having a slot makes the experience better is arguable—more moving parts and all that rot.

            Joe

          • jfutral

            “end up with largest market share”

            Largest market share in what? The context of the article is about tablets and your point was originally “In usage stats, Windows 8.x beats iOS and Android in market share” and later “clarified” as “In the long run, either Windows or Android will end up with largest market share, like the desktop and like the mobile phone market”. The relevance of this statement to using a Windows tablet as the only way to do “real work”. that clearly is not the case.

            As you quoted John “ZDNet conflates two arguments here. If you need to use Windows, then by all means, buy a Windows machine. However, Windows desktop programs aren’t optimized for touch, so a notebook would probably be more appropriate than a tablet.” You clearly are conflating the same issue.

            “People like choice – in price points, design, specs, etc. The OS that can provide a solid experience (doesn’t have to be the best, Windows proved that) and can provide a vast array of choices will win.”

            Assumes facts about the Windows PC market share not in evidence. A majority of the people I knew who had Windows had it because that was what they had at work. Some didn’t even know they had a choice of using a Mac.

            Joe

          • Joe_Winfield_IL

            Choice of hardware or choice of software? Android admirably is achieving both, yet is still flailing in the usage statistics (despite dubious activation metrics). Windows offers diverse hardware specifications, but without the software, there is ZERO choice for consumers. Windows tablet selection without accompanying touch-optimized software will do nothing to spur sales. It’s a bit like designing dozens of controllers for a video game system without any games.

            I can imagine a scenario where Android reaches a critical mass in tablets to garner enterprise developers’ collective attention. Enough tablets are finding their way into users’ homes, and some of them are very good hardware. Google seems to finally be acknowledging that tablets are a different category than phones, and have segregated tablet apps in the Play store.

            However, there is no new catalyst in the market to drive sales of Windows 8 tablets or hybrids. The market for Windows tablets today has to contend with a few key hurdles:

            -They are inferior and more expensive than basic desktops/laptops for most traditional “business” functions.
            -Any attempt to run legacy Windows applications requires larger batteries and heavier form factors.
            -Despite all the company’s best efforts, Microsoft has not been able to compel the developer community into writing enough code to compete with Android, let alone iOS.

            Users aren’t clamoring for Windows tablets today, developers are chasing users, and iPad keeps improving with each iteration. Business users are getting accustomed to life on iOS, and have accepted the tradeoffs. What event do you see triggering a change to these trends?

          • Stig Bull

            What kind of a stat is that???
            OS X is is actually larger than Win 8, and you claim Win 8 outshines iOS and Android – everybody and their grandmother knows the iOS to OS X ratio is like 200 to 1

        • FalKirk

          Windows 8 is being used for real work ~ JamesSB

          So are iOS and, perhaps, Android tablets.

          Measuring Windows 8 market share has nothing to do with measuring whether the tablet is being done for “real work”.

          However, measuring apps created by Enterprise does. iOS is on 95% of Enterprise Apps. Windows? A rounding error.

          • bloodygripen

            Well you can use actual programmes on win8 instead of its little brother called “app”, which makes an enourmous difference eg. Blender and other real modeling programmes. Also win8 lets you also download steam so you can play pc games. “Why not simply buy a laptop?” you may ask yourself: Because a good win8 tablet with a keyboard IS a laptop! Because of that you can’t simply say that iOS is better than win8 just because there are more apps for it.
            I know my comment is 9 months late, but I hope people see why many apps aren’t even necessary on win8.

        • art hackett

          Are you looking at those graphs upside down, or are you interpreting “real work” as digging holes or hammering nails?

    • Shawn Eastman

      I do not see how his criticism is F.U.D. (Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt), a tactic heavily used my Microsoft. He simply commented his point of view on an example of work given by the article, it is actually far more legit then zdnet’s entire article, and they did no side by side comparisons either. The difference is one is far more accurate, I have and to this day still do, real work on my tablet.

      In my classroom is the perfect example, one of us has a Microsoft surface, I have an android, and one has a windows 8 laptop. The windows 8 laptop is always out but, almost never used. The Windows laptop cannot take handwritten notes while the teacher is talking, is rather large and takes up a lot of space on the table. The student usually hits up facebook because the teacher cannot see his screen. The person with a windows tablet never has theirs out at all, they had it on the first day and that was it. The screen is too small for them to read, office is too much of a hassle on the tiny screen because it was not made for tablet screens. They might use it for hand written notes except they don’t, it just did not appeal to them, so they consider it a waste of money. My android is always out, I take hand written notes, look stuff up while the teacher is talking, and use office (both polaris and android office). I also have dictionaries, thesauruses, encyclopedias, citation apps, flashcard making apps, links to scholarly articles, etc. Now I also have tons of 3d HD games as well as many other useful apps. Windows may have some of these but again, they are not designed for tablet screens, also mine has a higher resolution

  • mscritic

    John, I am *definitely* no fan of Microsoft, but reading this article I was thinking that you don’t need to dump on them so hard; actually, you don’t have to say anything at all. Microsoft is doing a very good job of destroying their reputation all by themselves.

    • FalKirk

      Today’s unchallenged falsehoods become tomorrow’s unassailable truisms.

      • Sorry for littering the comments today; just trying to challenge the falsehoods. I should know better…

        • FalKirk

          Always good to get your input, Dave.

      • klahanas

        Especially when they’re the other guy’s unchallenged falsehoods! 😉

    • art hackett

      I’m pretty sure John was pointing (taking) out the garbage that was the zdnet contention that windows ate tablets are the bees knees, not dumping on Microsoft per se. As you say, they are doing that all by themselves.

  • There is no use arguing John Kirk, the best thing is to have Windows 8.2 (or Windows 9) that is dual-boot one Windows 8.2 Desktop and the other Windows 8.2 Modern UI and let the market decide.

    The advantages of Modern UI are overshadowed by the raw (in many ways the first being the freedom to muck up the operating system anyway you want, which still lives in Android) power of the desktop UI.

    Once you take away the raw power to go the desktop UI, all the advantages of Modern UI comes to surface. At present many developers are not doing anything with Windows 8 Modern UI because there is a strong desktop alternative available. As an example, I use 7-zip and because of the desktop 7-zip being available I have not even surveyed the Modern UI counterpart or tried to see if Modern UI counterpart is even available.

    Another very pertinent example as long as I have an option to use desktop VLC media player I will not use a Modern UI VLC media player. I will go to the desktop UI even if I know that in Desktop UI I am more prone to malware and I have more complicated user interface than Modern UI VLC media player user interface.

    The answer is not to have TWO UIs in ONE OS. It is to give a SEPARATE BOOT OPTION TO EACH UI.

    • FalKirk

      The answer is … to give a SEPARATE BOOT OPTION TO EACH UI. ~ Samir Sha

      This is an appealing proposition. It seems to make eminent sense. However, ask yourself this question: “Has there ever been a dual book OS that worked in practice?”

      I can recall not a single example of a dual book OS working well in practice.

      I think that we misunderstand context. When we go to the Microwave, our brains switch into microwave mode and remember how to operate it. When we go to the oven, our brains switch into oven mode and remember how to operate it. When we combine an oven with a microwave, our brains become confused. It places a cognitive burden on us. While this burden CAN be overcome, the object of good design is to REMOVE such unnecessary burdens.

      When we pick up a tablet, we know how a tablet works. When we pick up a notebook, we know how notebooks work. When we pick up a tablet notebook, our brains are always in a state of uncomfortable tension as we try to tease out which user interface controls go with each device.

      Even with a dual boot option, out minds would prefer ONE interface per form factor. It’s the way we prefer to think.

      Please let me know your thoughts. 🙂

  • Shawn Eastman

    Excellent article! I have seen a lot of the F.U.D. articles lately and it just makes me sick that these tactics are used, even worse it lowers my confidence in humanity that F.U.D. tactics are used because it means that they are successful. Honesty in those type of reviews is non existent because it is a “you scratch my back, I will scratch yours” arrangement. They do not have their readers interest at heart, but the fulfilling of a contract.

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