A $900 million “adjustment”, pointing at several million unsold units sitting in warehouses somewhere, is probably not the way Microsoft hoped to enter the hardware market. Sure, the company had built mice, keyboards, and game consoles before, but the Surface RT was different. It disrupted Microsoft’s traditional OEM model with Redmond for the first time building something that is more or less a PC, going head-to-head with devices from its OEM partners. When I reviewed it, Surface RT left me a bit nonplussed. It was not a bad device in the way that the Acer Iconia W3 was a bad device. Surface RT uses high quality materials, feels well-built, and certain aspects of its design—its keyboard covers, both the surprisingly effective Touch Cover, and the just plain good Type Cover; its aesthetics; the integrated kickstand—were smart and thoughtful. But as a complete package, it just didn’t make sense. It was a touch-based tablet, but it forced you to use the touch-hostile Windows desktop for some tasks. It ran Windows, but it couldn’t run any Windows apps, except the one built-in: Office. It ran Office, but it didn’t have Outlook, and you couldn’t use it for commercial purposes without a separate license…. Read full this story
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