- 03-09-2013, 04:33 PM #1
So I've decided to take Microsoft to task on their Surface Twitter page. It's @surface and I've created the hashtag of #saveRT. Windows Blue sounds great but we shouldn't have to wait mounts for an update to core apps. I looked at the task manager when you start Xbox Music. I've seen it reach as high as 39% CPU usage. That's beyond excessive. Xbox Music is so sluggish because it's bloated, never mind all the missing features. So it's time they get an ear full. I recommend everyone with a Twitter page let Microsoft know that bloated software and slow updates are unacceptable. If core apps don't work then RT is doomed to fail."Engineering is more than just the number of megapixels." - Stephen Elop
- 03-09-2013, 06:41 PM #2
Congratulations on identifying yourself as the savior of the platform and having some unique expertise because you looked at a number. Here is a thought: before deciding that something is a failure, ask around a bit. Oh, here is another one: if you think there are missing features name them. I have yet to find any missing features and on the OS level they are more robust (not more bloated) than the garbage loaded on Android. As for CPU usage, some comparative data might help you since media apps run Android 4.x pretty dry and the skin(s) to make the OS somewhat more useful on a tablet also come at a cost. To put my own observations clear, I don't consider RT to be bloated and I have no issues with system performance. It matches or is better than that for the quad core Asus tablet running Android 4.1, which I sold. The biggest issue for Windows RT is the fact people insist on establishing unreasonable expectations by conflating those for an ARM powered device and OS with those of the Intel powered Windows world. I am sorry but I am also just really tired of these "I am an expert because I don't like something" posts that always finish with here's is my solution that will solve everyone's alleged problems because it fixes mine.
I spent almost the entire past week on my back in a hospital bed after spinal surgery and used my Surface RT for both entertainment and even occasional light work when between painkiller doses. The device fulfilled all of my needs and didn't require a recharge until Thursday. It never lagged, let me read documents in Office, and offered familiar interface elements of Windows plus an essential touch interface that I could operate with one hand. This constitutes an unqualified success on all fronts. When I was laid up pre-Surface last year, neither my Transformer Prime nor BlackBerry Playbook were up to any tasks. They were shoved to the side in favor of an HP laptop, unless I just wanted to watch a video.
03-09-2013, 08:07 PM #3
- 163 Posts
Last time I checked my storage on my 32GB surface, it has 12.3GB used + 12.6GB free = 24.9GB, where did else go? I copied a MP4 video file to it and tried to play it on my TV. Downloaded a 3 star rated app. That small app plays way better than the stock app. e-mail stock app is bad. calendar app is worse. so you have it.
03-09-2013, 08:08 PM #4
- 247 Posts
Microsoft should have optimized the Nook app for Windows 8/RT and Windows Phone and highlighted it as a designated premium reading app backed by Barnes and Nobles' huge library. I was playing with iPad Mini and Nexus 7 today and their reading apps make Windows8/RT Nook and Kindle apps look embarrassing. Nook app on Windows 8/RT is pretty but painfully slow and is missing basic features such as a dictionary-- honestly, a reading app without a dictionary is like a word processing program without spell check. Kindle app for Windows RT is skeletal-- it offers one font and the store doesn't even work. Windows Phone still doesn't even have a Nook app. This was a missed opportunity.
The big disappointment is Xbox Music. Xbox Music should have been awesome. Zune was an underappreciated gem, so much better than anything offered by Apple or Android, and Microsoft had the opportunity to make its music service a killer, must-have feature. What we got is a slow app that is poorly organized, offers fewer options, has no social features and doesn't properly synch between devices. Honestly if they had just copied Spotify's software, which needs updating, they would have had a better app. When everything is focused on social networking they extract Zune's social networking features. I would love to know what on earth the team that designed Xbox Music was thinking.
I love Windows 8 and I love Surface. I think both versions of Surface were exactly what Microsoft needed; they didn't just make a "me too" tablet but created a new kind of device. I understand that the clock is always ticking in this extremely fast paced technological race and not everything could be perfected. Now that the product is out the gate they need to quickly polish their core apps, except for Xbox Music which needs to be completely redesigned.
- 03-09-2013, 08:40 PM #5
Last edited by HeyCori; 03-09-2013 at 09:10 PM."Engineering is more than just the number of megapixels." - Stephen Elop
- 03-11-2013, 12:57 PM #7
Oh, and here's another one: congratulations on sounding like a fanboy blind to obvious issues with a platform. You don't need to defend the purchase of your Surface with Windows RT. If you are happy with it and it's performance, that's great for you. Others demand more and rightfully so.
- 03-11-2013, 01:52 PM #8
Buying the first version of anything is always a risk. If I have to wait for "Blue" this summer for significant improvement I'm fine with that. Most all of the issues with Microsoft and RT are well-known. If it doesn't work for you out of the box you probably shouldn't have bought it. They also offered a fairly generous return program.
I don't mean to sound like a jerk, I just don't understand the mentality of "I don't like it, so I am owed an upgrade ASAP". It is what it is for now, for better and worse.
As far as slow updates go, you evidently haven't had much experience with Android. At least my RT's OS is up to date. My flagship HTC took almost a year to get ICS, by which time JB was out, which it will never see. And it uses 75-80% of its memory with no apps running.
So while I agree with many of your complaints and I think Microsoft should have done a better job with the initial release, I also think your expectations are unrealistic and you are not giving credit where credit is due.
- 03-11-2013, 04:12 PM #10
When there is an update to iOS, all devices get updated, new and old. Are there some things an iPhone 3G won't get? Sure. But for the most part, everyone gets the same version OS on the same day for any device.
- 03-11-2013, 04:56 PM #11
It confuses me that this kind of schedule is deemed acceptable and even desireable by Apple but when Microsoft doesn't do a major update within 5 months it's horrible?
And by the way, if you want the latest Android updates, Google offers Nexus devices. That's the best part about Android and Windows. Choices. Anything will have compromises of some sort.
03-11-2013, 05:18 PM #12
- 63 Posts
I agree that MS is still issuing updates a bit slower than consumers are expecting. My entire theory is that Windows 8 was released a year too soon anyway. I knew that in February 2012 when first getting the developer download. This Fall we will see what should be the first official release when the Blue products are released. To be fair they are intergrating and consolidating many platforms around the world in many languages. Part of the Blue update is rumored to be footprint and speed and we will see the newer quad core ARMs end of year and the transition ot 64-bit Atoms.
If Surface was their only product I'd call it a failure. In context of a strategy moving forward it's not really that way. To be sure when XBox 720 is released if the store is still a mess then something's not right in Redmond. Have they effectively headed off Android at the $400 and above mark? Enterprise may look at Apple tablets but Blackberry, HP, and Android are non-starters for many. Apple is cannibalizing its own with the mini and MS is rumored to have a mini with the Blue release.
I understand the early adopter blues. I waited for a Lumia 920 and it might get me by for two years before I look for an Atom phone. Surely they will appear :).
- 03-12-2013, 12:13 AM #14
03-12-2013, 02:39 AM #15
- 33 Posts
39% CPU usage when using an app does NOT mean it is bloated. It has to do with the relatively weak ARM architecture necessary for low heat output and low power draw on mobile devices. If you could check the CPU usage on similar tablets and smartphones you would see the same thing. Its just that no other device has as detailed of a task manager and resource monitor as WinRT.
- 03-12-2013, 08:59 AM #16
I would love to recommend a Surface RT to my friends, but (aside from price) I don't want to sell them on something with broken core functionality. I know I'm picking on Xbox Music a lot, probably because it's the worst offender, but if it's slow on the T3 then Microsoft needs to work within those restrictions. Even the Video app needs a bit of sprucing up. I recorded a video on my 920 then transferred it to my Surface via mass storage mode, but the Video app freezes every single time.
I agree with other comments, it's a gen-1 device and some updates can wait. For example, (IMO) the mail app lacking features isn't that big of a deal. After all, there's still IE10 for additional options. A split second delay between menus under Change PC Settings won't kill anyone. The News app having too much dead space? Meh. But videos/music are crucial to the core experience and shouldn't require a year+ to fix.
There's still no word on when Blue is officially dropping and summer-fall is a long time to wait for someone looking to buy a tablet now. And given Microsoft's track record, I doubt we'd see Blue before fall. Remember, the Surface launched last year. At least the music experience should be solid by now.
Last edited by HeyCori; 03-12-2013 at 09:17 AM."Engineering is more than just the number of megapixels." - Stephen Elop
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