Microsoft can fix Windows RT and Surface in three steps. I have a Surface tablet running Windows RT. I like the hardware and I like the 'metro' style (Windows Store Application) user interface. What I don't like is the jarring switch that happens when I have to use a desktop application like Office. I also don't like that it seems to be more designed for typing at a table or desk than the consumer use case that the price point and marketing effort targets. I know there are smarter people than I in Redmond. I've thought alot about how I would fix Surface and Windows RT if I could wave a magic wand.
- On Windows RT there should be no Windows desktop access. This requires the next step to be completed but by putting a desktop option on the device the user thinks this is regular Windows – which it isn’t.
- Make the relevant Microsoft applications Windows Store Applications. This means Microsoft Office and Control Panel. You have to turn off the desktop to stop confusing people and make this operating system truly targeted for the mobile tablets. If you turn off the desktop you have to have awesome, touch enabled, versions of your software that everyone still wants to use. Do you really mean that Microsoft is going touch first? If so we should see second to none touch versions of Office.
- Make the hardware mobile. Yes we want a keyboard but change the ergonomics on the Surface to not make us think we have to put it on a table or desk (loose the kickstand).
Leave the Surface Pro as it is. Because Surface Pro runs Windows 8 and is fully compatible with Windows applications there is no problem with what it promises to deliver. It is more of a ultrabook and less of a tablet. Completing these steps would make Surface and other Windows RT devices competitive in the tablet space. Completion of these steps means Microsoft would have a tablet that can truly compete against the iPad and Android tablets. It would have Office reimagined for touch. It would fulfill the promise of the Surface advertising campaign. It would make me use Surface as it was envisioned and intended to be used.