Windows RT – Stands For “Rather Terrible”

I wanted to love it. I was a strong advocate for it. Yet, the Microsoft Surface is losing favor with me. To be more specific, I am referring to the Surface’s OS, Windows RT. Many say this is surprising because software is what Microsoft’s does. But have we already forgotten the Vista fiasco? I can safely say, and many will agree, that the design and hardware quality far exceeds the software.

I like the gestures and ways to navigate my way around the RT. And having MS Office is pretty cool. Other than that, it’s awful. Enough is enough and it’s time for me to pull back the self-imposed veil and see clearly what is in front of me. What Microsoft has released is a rushed and unfinished product, much like Vista (some may argue that Windows 7 is simply a finished version of Vista). What is Windows RT? What does RT even stand for? Most say it means RunTime, but what does that even mean? There’s already a WinRT out there, and Microsoft already had a “Surface” which was basically huge tablet with four legs…you know what, I’m not even going to bother, it’s too confusing.

I am annoyed that Microsoft sold me me this beautiful tablet with an OS that is incompatible with regular Windows apps and software. Incompatibility within Windows’ own products is simply unforgivable. Imagine needing to switch shoes between the sidewalk and crossing a street because the sidewalk shoes weren’t “compatible” with the street. Total compatibility with Microsoft products would really set it apart against the competition. It’s going to take more than a fancy keyboard cover to set it apart because keyboard covers for iPad are popping up like whack-a-moles. I am also annoyed with myself. I knew about this before buying, but I thought it wouldn’t be a big deal. How wrong I was.

Windows RT is dressed almost identically like Windows 8, therefore you’d think it would function like Windows 8. But no. For example, we’re told RT supports flash *for Microsoft approved sites* which feels like 3 sites. On about 99.9% of flash sites I visit, I am told I have an outdated version of flash and the site graciously offers me to update to the latest version. But I can’t install the latest version. So what’s the point of directing me to the regular websites? That should be RT’s tag line – “RT. What’s The Point?” I’d rather be directed to the mobile version of the site. So, realistically, it doesn’t really have flash. I might as well just use my laptop to roam the internet. And can someone explain to me why Outlook or Media Player is not supported?

You feel so restricted with RT, so so restricted. RT is so barren and app-less. Again, what’s the point? The Surface is my first tablet (yes, I know, late to the tablet game) and I wanted a tablet to do the stuff I do on my iPhone like casual web browsing, reading news, games, calendar management, emails etc, just on a bigger screen without having to carry around a fragile laptop. But RT just feels like I’m doing all those things on a ten year old computer. Apps are slow to open and slow to refresh (news and mail to name a couple).

Microsoft should have used its resources to encourage app developers to make apps for RT. It actually looks like RT has many of the  most-used iPad apps found on a few “official lists.” But once I’m done with Skype and the various news apps at home, I’m pretty much done and I have no further reason to keep the Surface in my hands. It hardly has any games at all and therefore lacks entertainment value. For example, let’s take travel. Sure, I can watch movies or listen to music, but what if I want to speed up time by playing games on the subway or on a flight? With interest in films and music exhausted, I have no games to play as I jealously watch iPad owners play “The Walking Dead” or “Need for Speed.” Instead, I’m stuck with Solitaire, Pong or Pinball (to be fair, these are free games offered in the Windows store, but these are the only ones that remotely entice me). Yes, I know, boo hoo, read a book says you. But I didn’t pay $600 to watch iPad owners have all the fun! Of course, games aren’t what everyone use their iPads for. This is merely one example of Windows RT and Surface’s lack of, well, use.

I’d say wait  while for more apps to become available, but Windows/RT is in  a cacth 22. App developers don’t want to waste resources on building apps for tiny number of RT users. At the same time, users don’t want to buy a machine with an OS where the app store looks like Utah’s Great Salt Lake.

Went to the Apple store today and played around with the iPad mini. Replacement in progress.

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