Microsoft’s Surface-level Event

by jscariati

Danny Sullivan on Microsoft’s “hands-on” Surface tablet event:

I asked one of the Microsoft guys if we could try the keyboard with the Surface he was holding, one that wasn’t on. Nope. Why not? He just kind of shrugged and said he didn’t know.

What the hell? You’ve dragged 100 journalists out in the middle of Los Angeles in the afternoon (with LA traffic, imagine crawling slowly on broken glass), made a big deal about this keyboard on stage and no one can actually try it? To see for ourselves how well it works? Yeah, that wasn’t encouraging.

So, at this “hands-on” event, there were no specific announcements regarding price, release date, or battery life – and no one was permitted to test the Surface’s detachable keyboard, its headlining feature. Put another way: we have no definitive information on any aspect of the device that would actually let us determine how it stacks up against the competition.

Now, I understand why Microsoft does this: it creates the appearance that they’re competitive before they actually have a shipping product. But it also just makes them look desperate: the Surface clearly isn’t ready yet (it crashed or otherwise misbehaved multiple times on stage), and they haven’t even made basic decisions about it (like how much it will cost).