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Apple CEO Likens Surface To Car That Flies, Floats 377

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the ceos-are-so-cute-when-they-fight dept.
theodp writes "Conceding that he hadn't actually played with one, Apple CEO Tim Cook told Wall Street that Microsoft's Surface tablet is 'a fairly compromised, confusing product' in the company's 4Q earnings call. Cook joked, 'I supposed you could design a car that flies and floats, but it wouldn't do those things very well.' In Apple's 2Q earnings call, Cook also mocked the idea of touch on a laptop or desktop, quipping, 'You can converge a toaster and a refrigerator, but those things are probably not going be pleasing to the user.' Cook added, 'We've done tons of user testing on this, and it turns out it doesn't work. Touch surfaces don't want to be vertical.' So, is Cook just pulling a page from Steve Jobs' people-don't-read-anymore playbook, or is he unaware that children happily used vertical touch screens forty years ago on UIUC's PLATO System (more PLATO History)?"
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Apple CEO Likens Surface To Car That Flies, Floats

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  • DOA.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by VMaN (164134) on Friday October 26, 2012 @08:06AM (#41776115) Homepage

    Sounds almost as DOA as a 7" tablet to me....

    • by Joce640k (829181)

      ...and why do all the articles about Windows 8 boil down to, "Small children can use it!!!"

    • Re:DOA.. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by rolfwind (528248) on Friday October 26, 2012 @08:41AM (#41776369)

      Apple/Jobs has a history of shitting on concepts that they are simultaneously developing.

      OTOH, MS/Ballmer has a history of mocking things as well while lagging behing in the market.

      Time will tell what type of CEO Cook will be. Hopefully his hubris is just a smokescreen to mask moves and not arrogance for its own sake.

    • Re:DOA.. (Score:5, Informative)

      by jellomizer (103300) on Friday October 26, 2012 @08:53AM (#41776487)

      Yea, I will accept the authority of your biggest competitor to make your decisions. What do you expect Tim Cook to say. "It actually looks like a good product, we are now shaking in our boots."?

      I have been using Windows 8 for a few months as my primary OS at home... Overall I have been quite please with it. I expect as more Windows UI aka Metro apps are made there will be less of an issue of arm vs. Intel.

      • Re:DOA.. (Score:5, Informative)

        by itof500 (239202) on Friday October 26, 2012 @09:46AM (#41777143)

        Interestingly it appears that Microsoft was quite complementary about the iPad during its presentation.
        http://www.anandtech.com/show/6385/microsoft-surface-review [anandtech.com]

          A Different Perspective

        A week ago, I sat in an auditorium and listened to Steve Sinofsky talk about the tablet market. He talked about how the iPad was a great device, and a logical extension of the iPhone. Give iOS a bigger screen and all of the sudden you could do some things better on this new device. He talked about Android tablets, and Google’s learning process there, going from a phone OS on a tablet to eventually building Holo and creating a tablet-specific experience. He had nothing but good things to say about both competitors. I couldn’t tell just how sincere he was being, I don’t know Mr. Sinofsky all that well, but his thoughts were genuine, his analysis spot-on. Both Apple and Google tablets were good, in their own ways. What Steve said next didn’t really resonate with me until I had spent a few days with Surface. He called Surface and Windows RT Microsoft’s “perspective” on tablets. I don’t know if he even specifically called it a tablet, what stuck out was his emphasis on perspective.

    • Re:DOA.. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by slashmydots (2189826) on Friday October 26, 2012 @09:01AM (#41776585)
      But their extensive user testing shows that people love reading tiny text that they can barely see.

      By the way, I hate Apple but I hate vertical touch screens for everyday PC use because it's a stupid gimmick that makes people feel all futuristic when in reality it's 1/3 the speed of a mouse. What a paradox!
      • Re:DOA.. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Psyborgue (699890) on Friday October 26, 2012 @10:41AM (#41777953) Homepage Journal
        The real issue for me would be having to clean the damn display of fingerprints every 5 minutes. I like a clean screen.
      • Why can't people think past today? Think forward. Yesterday, as I was doing some iPad app development, I accidentally touched my laptop screen to scroll, thinking it was a touch screen for a second.

        Why not enable touch on that screen as well to simply supplement current input methods? Let people use either depending on the moment and context of what they are working on.

        All day vertical touch screen use would be tiring, of course, but there are plenty of plausible short term use cases, including the one I

      • Have you tried using a touch screen for PC use? I've been using a Cintiq 24 HD Touch for a couple of months now and I love it to death.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by crazyjj (2598719) *

      Sounds almost as DOA as a 7" tablet to me

      Much as I am loathe to agree with Steve Jobs, I have to agree with him on that. To me personally, I don't see much use for a tablet that's less than 10". Smaller than that, and I can just use my smartphone instead. I want something big enough to read magazines and comic books on, and 7" don't cut it.

      • by 0123456 (636235)

        Much as I am loathe to agree with Steve Jobs, I have to agree with him on that. To me personally, I don't see much use for a tablet that's less than 10". Smaller than that, and I can just use my smartphone instead. I want something big enough to read magazines and comic books on, and 7" don't cut it.

        Owning a 10" tablet, I very much wish I'd bought a smaller one. It's too big and too heavy to comfortably carry around and most web sites switch to mobile versions designed for a 3" phone screen anyway (Slashdot is one of the exceptions as it randomly switches between desktop and mobile versions regardless of whether I'm using a desktop, laptop or tablet).

        A 7" tablet seems about the right size to me.

  • Nice (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MyLongNickName (822545) on Friday October 26, 2012 @08:06AM (#41776117) Journal

    So, not only do we display such stories as the shocking revleation that Apple was going to live stream its product announcement (only to Apple owners), but now we get stories about what Apple thinks about other products. Is anyone shocked that Apple is less-than-impressed with a Microsoft product? Next we'll have a story about how Mitt Romney thinks Obama has made policy mistakes.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by OffaMyLawn (1885682)

      My thought exactly.

      Competitor bashes Microsoft product. Film at 11.

      What exactly is news worthy about this?

      • Re:Nice (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Savage-Rabbit (308260) on Friday October 26, 2012 @09:12AM (#41776723)

        My thought exactly.

        Competitor bashes Microsoft product. Film at 11.

        What exactly is news worthy about this?

        Geeks/nerds are not generally considered to be terribly 'macho', at least not when compared to testicle-thinking, grunting and chest beating high-school jocks, but geeks do label some things as 'women's work' and usability research has to be near the top of that list. To be fair to Apple (unpopular as that may be at the moment) they do conduct A LOT of usability research and it has gotten them quite far in terms of product design, development and sales figures so I'm betting that Tim Cook isn't just venting hot air when he talks about what does and does not work when it comes to tablets, laptops and fusions of the two. I'll admit that I'd really like to see some sort of fusion device. There are times I wish I could comfortably do things like rotate my laptop through 90 degrees to read PDF's in landscape mode or sketch a diagram by hand with a stylus while taking notes. Typing notes is usually way more efficient but occasionally one wants to be able to sketch by hand because it's way faster. At other times though find myself wishing that iPad had an OS and apps that allows me to efficiently do sophisticated word-processing/graphics/programming work etc. Neither the iPad nor the Android tablets do that very well but from what I have seen so far Windows 8 tablets aren't terribly impressive either. In a perfect universe I'd like to see some totally new and innovative type of fusion device that makes way more radical changes that Windows 8 does and that would make both laptops and tablets obsolete (Hey... one can hope...)

        • I can't argue with a single point you are making here. And I do agree, Apple has had to do a lot of research to build such consumer (not geek/nerd, consumer) friendly devices. I have an iPhone 4 currently, and an iPad, and they are friendly to the majority of the populace that just wants to pick up a device, play a simple game here and there, maybe watch some videos on Youtube or something. They are good for consumption of media, which is all most people care about.

          My issue was with this getting such att

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Paradise Pete (33184)

        What exactly is news worthy about this?

        You didn't see the part about flying cars?

    • There's nothing quite like computer bigotry or Mac Bashing as we called it in my day :)
      • by ByOhTek (1181381)

        Heh, Mac users engaged in PC bashing as much as PC users engaged in Mac bashing, only reason I particularly bothered with Mac bashing... I got sick of all the idiotic fanaticism.

    • by gutnor (872759)

      And really, what other answer could they give ? They would not want to hint that their client should have a look at their competitor product, especially if they do not have a product that goes directly against it ready to be shipped next week. That like asking your CEO in a general meeting if he has any outsourcing plan, the answer is 'no' folk, even there is an announcement scheduled to take place right after the meeting.

      The only "interest" of those questions in interviews is to gauge the stage performa

    • The way I see it, the value in having this statement mentioned here is that we're all aware of it for later.

      As an Apple fan, I get a chuckle whenever someone brings up some of the things Ballmer said about the iPhone prior to its launch. They were clearly shortsighted statements and shouldn't have been made. But, despite being an Apple fan, I can't help but get the same sense here. Maybe Cook is right and the Surface will flop. If that happens, no one will care that he was right. But if it doesn't flop, he

  • Seriously - don't talk about them, don't mention them, don't respond to reporters about them, and DONT COMPARE YOURSELVES TO THEM. Once you let them into the conversation about a product, you're granting them an equivalence in many people's eyes. Don't give them the sanction.

    • by CohibaVancouver (864662) on Friday October 26, 2012 @08:15AM (#41776171)

      don't talk about them, don't mention them, don't respond to reporters about them, and DONT COMPARE YOURSELVES TO THEM

      Are you joking? I'm a product manager - I constantly field questions from customers, sales, the media asking how our product compares to X. WTF do you think the "I'm a Mac I'm a PC" ads were all about? Companies that refuse to acknowledge competition do so at their peril. BlackBerry, anyone?

      • by digitalchinky (650880) <dtchky@gmail.com> on Friday October 26, 2012 @09:15AM (#41776763)

        Acknowledgement is one thing, any company that outright slags off another is walking in dangerous territory, I think Apple are doing themselves a lot more harm than good lately.

        • by jbolden (176878)

          Lately? Since the day the Mac was introduced the core of the marketing campaign has been comparison. Whether it be IBM or Microsoft or Google their ad campaigns emphasize how they are better.

      • A true professional should be recommending the technology that best fits the needs of your customer. Choosing technology based solely on who made is short sighted. Most hardcore geeks suffer from a sever case of tunnel vision when it comes to pushing their pet technologies. They usually pay no attention to how much work it would take to actually implement their favorite technology platform.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by PopeRatzo (965947)

      Once you let them into the conversation about a product, you're granting them an equivalence in many people's eyes.

      Especially don't mention a company that pummeled you in the OS wars for a decade.

      But Apple shouldn't worry about Microsoft, because technology companies never have resurgences.

    • You don't compare yourself to your competition only when they have a serious advantage over you. The iPad vs Surface. They are actually very similar devices. The key difference is in different approach to the UI. Apple will happily compare themselves to the Surface because they have the First Mover Advantage, also they have a large user base, and made common many of the touch UI elements.

    • by gtirloni (1531285)
      Samsung agrees.
  • by jkrise (535370) on Friday October 26, 2012 @08:11AM (#41776147) Journal

    Apple's walled garden has early mover advantage and gazillion apps.

    Android's open nature has attracted dozens of OEMs to make the hardware, and also has gazillion apps now.

    The Surface is neither open, nor are developers flocking to i since Microsoft is now screwing over developers like they have done OEMs.

    So it is neither open nor low-cost; and bound to be a colossal failure. No need for Cook to break into sweat...

    • by firex726 (1188453) <firex726@@@yahoo...com> on Friday October 26, 2012 @08:19AM (#41776207)

      I think MS is hedging on their install base and businesses.
      By getting them all on this Walled Garden they are thinking they will become the Apple of the business world; of course this does not take into account that if businesses will have to retain their staff, why would they stick to MS?

    • by ByOhTek (1181381)

      I'm not sure of any product MS had done well or right in their earlier releases, but they at least tend* to improve things, over time.
      This release is no threat to Apple, but future releases might be, if MS tends to figure things out.

      * Office 2003->2007 is an obvious counter example, so is the Zune. However most other products have tended to improve over them. This does not bean they have gotten to be best on the market, or even good (which is a more subjective measure anyway), just improved.

      • by ByOhTek (1181381)

        Damn. Forgot 98->ME, or XP to Vista, and possible Win 7->8.

        Still, that's 3 releases and a product line, out of how many product lines and releases?

    • Developers don't have to flock to windows 8, there are already boat loads of .net devs.
    • nor are developers flocking to i since Microsoft is now screwing over developers

      What, by designing WinRT to use the same languages and devtools as WPF and Silverlight? By providing one of the best IDEs on the market today? By providing whole SDKs for free?

  • by tokencode (1952944) on Friday October 26, 2012 @08:14AM (#41776169)
    The only compromised and confusing thing is Tim Cook.
  • Fatigue (Score:3, Insightful)

    by CMU_Ken (574499) on Friday October 26, 2012 @08:16AM (#41776181) Journal
    I suspect Apple's dismissal of vertical touch screen usage has to do with muscle fatigue. Try holding your arms out in front of you without resting your hands on anything for 5-10 minutes, and I think you'll see what he's getting at. People want to love Minority Report-style interfaces, but the truth is that there are reasons for not using them. Is it a well-founded argument against vertical screens? I guess we'll see!
    • by dkleinsc (563838)

      Eric S Raymond had an interesting take on the gorilla arm problem. They key is the position of the screen [ibiblio.org].

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by tylikcat (1578365)

        I can't be the only person who, after working with tablets / netbooks with touch screens (in my case primarily an Asus Transformer) finds that I now have a deep seated expectation that all screens should have touch interfaces, and not infrequently find myself poking at my laptop. Not for all uses, of course. For heavy use I'm far more likely to use another point controller (by preference either a clit mouse or wacom tablet) but as another option? I'd use it all the time on any screen that's fairly close to

      • by ceoyoyo (59147)

        But his solution is... put the touch screen on a tablet (or smartphone). He specifically points out that the touch screen has to be low, and for long term use you have to be able to position it wherever you want, with your other hand. You can't do that with a notebook form factor.

    • Re:Fatigue (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Chrisq (894406) on Friday October 26, 2012 @08:21AM (#41776241)

      I suspect Apple's dismissal of vertical touch screen usage has to do with muscle fatigue. Try holding your arms out in front of you without resting your hands on anything for 5-10 minutes, and I think you'll see what he's getting at. People want to love Minority Report-style interfaces, but the truth is that there are reasons for not using them. Is it a well-founded argument against vertical screens? I guess we'll see!

      I agree that this won't be used much, but most users will just use touch-screen in tablet mode and keyboard/mousepad in other modes

      • I suspect windows 8 is more about the kinect device than they are letting on right now. Moving windows around in the air and then going down to the keyboard to do real typing would be amazing.
    • by Megane (129182)

      This is why I thought back in the '80s that computers would eventually become a drafting desk configuration. Take a monster-sized flat-panel iMac, set it to about 20 degrees from horizontal, add a capacitive touch screen, and add the ability to filter out signals from non-touch objects on the screen. (cap touch should already be mostly immune to that) But what if you put papers over the screen and cover stuff up? If the screen big enough it's still just a window management problem. (Unless you're one of tho

      • by gbjbaanb (229885)

        (Unless you're one of those idiots who always runs Windows apps maximized to full screen no matter how big it is.)

        you mean Windows 8 users who cannot get Metro apps to run in anything other than full-screen (ok, except for a little 2nd window)

        I don't think an interactive table is much good for a desktop replacement - where would I put my coffee mug? If anything, it will be a flat-screen, slightly angled for view that you get like some news anchors have in their desks.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 26, 2012 @08:18AM (#41776191)

    A car that flies and floats? Sign me up.

    • by jedidiah (1196)

      Yes. I too thought that this was a rather retarded sort of criticism.

      It makes it sound like Microsoft is selling something out of a James Bond movie.

  • Must be unbiased (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hessian (467078) on Friday October 26, 2012 @08:18AM (#41776203) Homepage Journal

    After all, he has no dog in this fight.

    Oh wait, he's from a competitor.

    Wonder if he has incentive to twist the truth a little bit?

    Apple seems desperate these days.

    • by FatAlb3rt (533682)
      Desperate might not be the right word as they're still bringing in truck loads of money. How about ... misguided?
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Kupfernigk (1190345)
        The share price is currently in the deepest fall for a while. The load of new announcements did nothing to change this. They have apparently issued a 13Q1 income warning. Remember the claims they would soon hit $1000? If the hype ever starts to be doubted, a lot of people will lose money even if the company is very profitable, and those people will express their displeasure. The fact that they are gamblers doesn't make things any better for them.
        • by jbolden (176878)

          The key issue with Apple is their operating margin. They aren't a bubble company
          PE past 14, forward 10 with is low for growing company. The market already has priced in stagnant earnings growth. Even with Apple's current 22.6 yoy growth. The only thing that is likely to bring the stock down would be:

          a) shrinking revenue, i.e. an iPhone that customers hated or serious manufacturing problems
          b) margin collapse rather than a gradual fall

          The stock price is not based on hype. If anything Apple is underp

          • by gtall (79522)

            I think there may be a problem in the future with smartphone saturation. Once everyone and their brother's dog has the smartphone of their choice, the market will stagnate and Apple will need another horse to ride.

    • by phayes (202222)

      The fact that MS & followers tried & failed for years to deliver a tablet that interested more than a few thousand people whereas Apple has sold millions seems more relevant as to who is correct. If Apple thought that a tablet with keyboard was needed they could have brought one out. They didn't & believing that this is because they believe that they could have made money off of it but chose not to do so shows an absence of insight.

    • by tuppe666 (904118)

      After all, he has no dog in this fight.
      Oh wait, he's from a competitor.
      Wonder if he has incentive to twist the truth a little bit?
      Apple seems desperate these days.

      Not really convinced Apple is desperate, or that having successful products with overlapping markets excludes you from having an opinion. Now Microsoft with a new product having crippled your Desktop experience to gain a foothold in Mobile market after being overtaken in Market value by Apple and Google, could be labelled desperate.

      • by gtirloni (1531285)
        Of course Tim can have an opinion. Not just an option you can't count on for writing /. comments (or buying competing products).
  • by Chrisq (894406) on Friday October 26, 2012 @08:19AM (#41776211)
    I really like the look of the surface hardware. I suspect that most users will end up using the touch screen only in "tablet mode" but so what! This is sour grapes from apple.
  • PLATO (Score:5, Interesting)

    by DingerX (847589) on Friday October 26, 2012 @08:21AM (#41776243) Journal
    I happily used PLATO thirty years ago. The thing had a touch screen, but very few of the programs used it. Those that did I recall as being made for kids for whom it was assumed the keyboard-screen relationship would be too complex. Outside of those programs, touch screens just didn't make sense for desktop work. They still don't.
    • There are a lot of useful purposes for a touch screen. The fact that you don't use them is indicative of nothing but your preference and software habits.

      I beg to differ. There are literally HUNREDS of Point-of-Sale programs, all of which work faster with touch screens than with a keyboard and mouse. There is also the learning industry, where disabled or young children can interact with relatively advanced digital technology.

      There are fields like testing, interactive advertising, surveying(polling), etc wher

  • by wonkey_monkey (2592601) on Friday October 26, 2012 @08:22AM (#41776247) Homepage

    'I supposed you could design a car that flies and floats, but it wouldn't do those things very well

    So the headline should read:

    Apple CEO Likens Surface To Car That Flies, Floats And Does Neither Very Well.

    A car that flew and floated, lacking other qualifiers, would be awesome.

    • by tuppe666 (904118)

      A car that flew and floated, lacking other qualifiers, would be awesome.

      That is a hovercraft...and yes they are awesome...but they make piss poor cars.

  • by accessbob (962147) on Friday October 26, 2012 @08:25AM (#41776273)
    "Conceding that he hadn't actually played with one..." He was too busy trying to navigate from home using Apple Maps perhaps?
  • Can someone explain this comparison to me with a tablet analogy?

  • by tgd (2822)

    I'm shocked... during an earnings call reporting a second quarter of missed earnings estimates, a stock price down 20% in a month, and an overall media reaction to your last two rounds of product updates that can be summed up as "meh", and the CEO decides he needs to talk smack about a competitor product?

    I. Can't. Believe. It.

    Frankly, I think Cook and company needs focus a little bit more on what they can do well in their products, post-Jobs, and a focus a little less on the competition. As someone who woul

    • They didn't miss their earnings estimates. As usual, they beat their own estimates. As usual, they missed the absurdly inflated estimates of stock analysts that have never gotten an Apple earnings call right in the history of earnings calls. (The large institutions were largely correct, however.)

      The CEO ALWAYS has to talk smack about the competitor's product. The REAL proof is whether or not he does nothing about it while he's talking smack, a la Ballmer. But I greatly suspect that he's already got a team o

  • "So, is Cook just pulling a page from Steve Jobs' people-don't-read-anymore playbook, or is he unaware that children happily used vertical touch screens forty years ago on UIUC's PLATO System (more PLATO History)?"

    This sentence should have been left at the bottom of the barrel where it was scraped from. And please for-the-love-of-god how the fuck does an article from 40 years ago about a bunch of kids playing on an early touchscreen evidence in favor of vertical touch screens? They're kids! They will pay wi

  • Where Apple is the British:

    First they ignore you
    Then they laugh at you (we've reached this stage)
    Then they fight you
    Then you win.

  • Stop right there (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jamesl (106902) on Friday October 26, 2012 @08:41AM (#41776371)

    "Conceding that he hadn't actually played with one ...

    Stop right there.

  • by Big Hairy Ian (1155547) on Friday October 26, 2012 @08:44AM (#41776399)
    Sues Tim Cook for defamation. :)
  • Why vertical? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by MadCow42 (243108) on Friday October 26, 2012 @08:51AM (#41776455) Homepage

    "Touch screens don't want to be vertical"...

    So, you're saying that a desktop HAS to be vertical? What happened to thinking out of the box? Disappointing, Tim!~

    I can fully imagine a 20-24" touch screen lying on my desktop, facing up (maybe angled 10-15 degrees towards me), where my keyboard is right now. That'd be a pretty natural interface. If it had finger touch, plus a more accurate stylus for finer work, it'd be very useful.

    MadCow.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      UCK! My neck is sore just thinking about that. You don't work for a chiropractor do you?

  • 'I supposed you could design a car that flies and floats, but it wouldn't do those things very well.'

    Or you could design a smart-phone that cannot make phone calls, but it wouldn't make phone calls very well.

  • by Rexdude (747457) on Friday October 26, 2012 @09:00AM (#41776567)

    ..so that in a couple of years when Apple announces its competing product we see what he has to say. Apple has a history of dissing other products and then quietly incorporating those very features into their own ones later.

    2007 - iPhone launches without the ability to install apps. According to Jobs, web apps should be more than sufficient. Same goes for cut n paste - 'Who needs it anyway?' until it appeared on the next model.
    And most recently, 'Who needs a 7" tablet?' Voila - the iPad Mini.

  • Materials (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Kupfernigk (1190345)
    Microsoft does have to be congratulated on a better choice of materials than Apple. Using a magnesium alloy chassis with vapor deposited coating makes a lot of sense. It is lighter than aluminum and the chipping problem on the iPhone 5 should not happen. Having seen the demos, I might even buy one, and I am a serial Microsoft avoider. It looks as if it has some real advantages over the Asus Transformer line, and avoids most of the bad features of the iPad.
  • Voice recognition is less and less of a joke every year. If they don't achieve it, then keyboards will remain more important than vertical-ness, and the laptops will outlive the pads fads. If they do achieve 99.9% voice (and I'm blown away at how good my Android voice recognition is compared to a few years ago), then I doubt vertical-ness will matter. Who would have predicted the longevity of QWERTY? QWERTY will probably die when China passes USA in device demand, which is very soon, because the Chine
    • by 0123456 (636235)

      Yeah, because when we're working in an office we really want everyone to be talking to their computers all the time. That will really make for a good working environment.

  • by kurt555gs (309278) <kurt555gs@@@ovi...com> on Friday October 26, 2012 @09:10AM (#41776703) Homepage

    The ARM Surface isn't really designed to be a real product. In true Microsoft style it's job is two fold. First, to waste time and keep the M$ faithful from buying an iPad or Android tablet unti the Intel Version of the Surface is ready for production. Secondly, and even more importantly it will allow Microsoft to force ARM tablet manufacturers into paying the famous Microsoft Tax on all tablets they produce or face the wrath ans usual sanctions.

    The developers, and "consumers" that buy Windows RT are just cannon fodder.

  • It's needless bashing of the competition from CEOs (not just Apple, Microsoft and a shit-ton of other tech companies are guilty as well) that gives me such a headache. It does nothing but rile up the fanboys and push out crap "stories" for the media to get giddy over.

    Seems like everyone is trying to out-do each other in terms of being negative, and it's very off-putting. Plus it's dangerous - you might find yourself trying to sell something later which is curiously familiar to the very thing you bashed in t

  • by rjejr (921275)
    Apple is currently working on a 10" tablet that runs on MacOS with a touch screen overlay.
  • Do you mean to tell me that an organization, even a for-profit business, might not be completely unbiased in criticizing its competition if doing so suited its best interests? I find this deeply troubling.

  • Chalkboard?
    In other words, change the ergonomic equation and it could work.

    Frankly I'd like to try the surface to make my own decision, but I don't want to use Windows. I prefer my 2009 MacBook Pro.
    However if the display converted to a drawable surface with pressure-sensitive pen like a wacom tablet I would seriously consider it. It might be okay if you can pick the display up off the stand easily, but for everyday use and anything harder than pushing a play button will scream for a mouse, or a horizontal s

    • by mattr (78516)

      p.s. I hereby bequeath to the world this maybe new idea for a wall computer. Display is big and long like a chalkboard or wall sized screen. Has a keyboard like a counter top at the bottom of the chalkboard where erasers normally go. Other possible pointer / input devices like a standard modern planetarium control booth setup, and remote operation from a plurality of networked computers, also okay. Can network with an unlimited of similar devices like a CAVE or CAVERN system, and can display them tiled, or

  • Honestly, Microsoft is placing the product for the people like me who won't buy a tablet because I already have a laptop and the iPad keyboard is complete shit for anything I want to do. For typing a complete keyboard (not some crappy slow screen thing) is necessary and I type a lot, and I type fast... I can't stand the interface. Thus, it is a more hybrid device close to what I want that will do a little more than iPad but much much lighter and more portable than said laptop. They made a product for a mark
  • Actually... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by hazydave (96747) on Friday October 26, 2012 @11:39AM (#41778853)

    Nice to hear Cook pointing out the fact that vertical touchscreens really don't work. Not just in their testing -- this was a thing, pre-PC, in many of the 70s and 80s CAD workstations. There were touchscreens, light pens, and other "directly interacting with the monitor" input devices. They all failed. It wasn't expense (not in dedicated CAD, prices were so high, paying $1000+ for an interface device would have been lost in the noise), it wasn't functionality (they worked fine)... it was people. We don't like repetitive stress, but particularly on large motor functions. Reaching up, away from your normal comfortable seating position, to touch a large monitor -- just not something that's good for you.

    Of course, they wouldn't be Microsoft if they didn't entirely not learn from the past, and actually do it worse. Touch-with-finger screens are inherently a compromise. You wouldn't choose to smear greasy fingers over your viewing device if you could help it.... it's a compromise some are willing to make in order to have an easy to use pocket computer. On the desktop, we use off-screen, horizontally mounted control devices.

    But it's clear Microsoft didn't have any cognitive psychologists working on any part of the mess that is The-UI-Formerly-Known-As-Metro, either. This will make one hell of a cautionary tale, though -- hopefully we can stop trying these same kind of stupid ideas on mainstream Linux distros...

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