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back to article Microsoft braces for Surface RT feedback storm

Kludgey, dull screen, audio problems, fraying cloth covers – whatever your beef with Microsoft’s Surface, now’s your chance to get if off your chest. Microsoft has launched a Surface Owner Feedback Program for new owners of the Redmond fondleslab. You’ll be asked to take part in a survey on your experiences with Surface. Happy/ …

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Windows

Not have had any hands on with the Surface RT I have no personal experience.......

"Hewlett-Packard’s chief of personal systems Todd Bradley, who called Surface RT “slow and kludgey”, expensive........"

...........with regard to whether it is a good device or whether it stinks. However, hearing one of the major Windows OEMs criticise the Surface in such terms when one thinks of the piles of slow, kludgey and expensive devices they have inflicted on us over the last couple of decades or so I cannot help thinking "pot, kettle and all that".

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Re: Not have had any hands on with the Surface RT I have no personal experience.......

The OEMs are clearly biassed observers. They passionately do not want Microsoft's own device to succeed, but Microsoft only made one because of the half-arsed, will-this-do efforts the OEMS made to compete with the iPad.

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Thumb Up

Re: Not have had any hands on with the Surface RT I have no personal experience.......

"I cannot help thinking "pot, kettle and all that".

Maybe. But my take is that any HP exec would be an expert in slowness, kludgability, and costliness, and (quite rarely for an HP'er) Bradley is ideally suited to express such opinions.

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Mushroom

Re: Not have had any hands on with the Surface RT I have no personal experience.......

My Surface did not arrive as promised on launch day. I complained and was told i would get a voucher in compensation - I never heard any more.

When it finally did arrive, it was in a mangled box and had a shattered screen. I reported that straight away - and despite over 2 hours on the phone via repeated calls to the Microsoft Store no help desk trying to get a replacement i got nowhere. Every question required the agent to put me on hold to talk to someone else and they claimed that this was something 'the warehouse' had to resolve who were apparently not contactable by phone, email, or anything else that actually involved getting a response.

I asked to speak to a supervisor - and was told that they were busy talking to another customer. I said i was happy to wait - after which i was told that no supervisor would be available - now or ever - and that they didnt have a complaints or escalation proceedure! I then gave up and requested to cancel the contract under the Distance Selling Regulations. (I note that their website and their refunds process does not comply with UK or EU law.)

Depite multiple chasing calls - they still havnt provide the promised label to return the item - and as 21 days have now lapsed, i have no longer any obligation to return it. As of today (30 days later) I still have not received a refund as required by law so i contacted my credit card company to raise a chargeback...

Microsoft Store have zero customer service and no contact other than the no help desk - not even an email address!

Avoid at All costs....Buy an Asus, an HP Envy, or anything that doesnt involve the Microsoft Store....

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Not have had any hands on with the Surface RT I have no personal experience.......

Mind it is a FACT that Microsoft don't give a damn !

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Re: Not have had any hands on with the Surface RT I have no personal experience.......

Our office put in an order for an RT to evaluate its usefulness. It should have been shipped for release day. So far no Surface and Microsoft can't tell us where the order is - only that they took the money. And yes, dealing with the Microsoft Store is just as bad as you describe.

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Happy

Re: UK & EU Compliance

If this is the case then your next call should be to Trading Standards. Make a formal complaint and follow it up.

Then off down to the small claims court and sue the blighters. You may have to contact companies house to find their registered office so that they can be properly served but they have clearly F<redacted>d you around so now it is your time to mess with them.

If this was Apple then the apple haters would be out in force but at least with their stuff, they do replace it in the majority of cases when it breaks like this. Microsoft clearly have a lot to learn about retail. Perhaps some of the soon to be 'ex' staff at Comet would like to help?

Perhaps a call to Watchdog might get your money back a little sooner? We all know how much the Beeb like MS...

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Joke

Re: Not have had any hands on with the Surface RT I have no personal experience.......

OMG! I have upvoted RICHTO - the is nigh I tell you!

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Coat

Re: Not have had any hands on with the Surface RT I have no personal experience.......

Porcupine Avian specimens all about indeed!

Credit to whomever came up with that phrase, I forgot the name but its been stuck in my head.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Not have had any hands on with the Surface RT I have no personal experience.......

Porcupine = Hedgehog like creature (well, it has spines)

Porcine = Pig

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Re: Not have had any hands on with the Surface RT I have no personal experience.......

"Avoid at All costs....Buy an Asus, an HP Envy, or anything that doesnt involve the Microsoft Store...."

Noted, and very timely.

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Re: Not have had any hands on with the Surface RT I have no personal experience.......

Aww....I kinda liked the original idea. Was a bit more refreshing than the tiresome rewording of 'pigs might fly' that so many weirdos do these days.

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Angel

@Phillip Lewis Re: "OMG! I have upvoted RICHTO - the is nigh I tell you!"

Well if we are in the confessional here I have to admit that I upvoted Barry Shitpeas about six weeks ago - how bad is that?

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Joke

Re: @Phillip Lewis "OMG! I have upvoted RICHTO - the is nigh I tell you!"

Plus I'd say the quills on a flying pig add something to the overall mental image. Perhaps the evolutionary stage after their wings?

Either that or I'm too much in need of beer o'clock.

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Mushroom

Re: UK & EU Compliance

They are based in Ireland so the small claims court becomes more effort. It is easier just to point the finger at my credit card company. I have wasted enough of my time already to be bothered to complain to everyone and his dog.

If you wish to though, feel free - the T&C are on the website and as far as I can see they don't come close to meeting UK law: http://www.microsoftstore.com/store/msuk/en_GB/DisplayTermsOfUseAndSalePage/ThemeID.30273200/

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Mushroom

Re: UK & EU Compliance

FYI, here is the returns email you get. It says that you must return the goods to get a refund, which is not what the law says - it requires a refund to be made within 30 days of the request to cancel - reqgardless of if the return has been completed yet. I have never received a label or an address to ship to despite chasing many times. They can apparently see on their system that a label was never sent too - but dont seem to be able to get their 'warehouse' to actually do anything:

Thank you for ordering from Microsoft. At your request, a return has been initiated. Your request to return items ordered will expire in 30 days. You must follow the instructions below before your request expires. We cannot issue a refund before these instructions are followed.

Each product must be received at its correct corresponding address in order for us to process your refund.

Please read carefully to ensure that each product is returned to the correct location. Once the product is received, your refund should appear within 5-7 business days.

Return Request Details:

Order ID: xxxxxxxxxx

Order Date: 16 October 2012

Return Reference Number: xxxxxxxxx

Reply Due By: 06 December 2012

Product(s) to Return: Product: Surface wWinRT-64GB Bndl SC EngBrit Hdwr Single

Quantity: 1

• All returns must be sent to the address on the pre-paid shipping label you will receive in a separate email.

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Unhappy

Re: Not have had any hands on with the Surface RT I have no personal experience.......

"When it finally did arrive, it was in a mangled box and had a shattered screen."

No offence, but thats what you get when you buy stuff via mail order ... sorry , I mean "buy online" (note with self - must keep up with latest buzzphrases). You get some minimum wage monkey tossing it into the back of a van then tossed over your garden fence at midday so it can sit in the rain for 6 hours until you get home. Or they might not even bother and you have to go and pick it up at the delivery office which is only open from 10am to 3am mon - thursday. Every other month. During leap years. By which time you might just as well have bought it from a shop and saved yourself the hassle.

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Mushroom

Re: Not have had any hands on with the Surface RT I have no personal experience.......

Except that buying it from a shop isn't an option for the Surface tab - and when it does arrive broken it should be their problem, not mine....

Had they had an even barely useable customer service operation i woudl likely have bought a Surface Pro too, but now im going to get something else instead. Maybe the new HP Envy or the Dell with the detachable screen....

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WTF?

Mail order

No offence, but thats what you get when you buy stuff via mail order

Wow, someone tell Amazon their business model is a bust!

Seriously, I've ordered tons of stuff via mail order. Let's make a list of what I've personally mail ordered since 2005 has has a glass screen that could have been damaged but wasn't:

4 laptops

23 plasma TVs (no, not all for me :))

2 LCD monitors

2 iPhones

1 iPad 2 (xmas gift for the parents, don't tell them or you'll spoil the surprise!) To be fair, it is unopened so I can't say for sure it isn't shattered but the box is undamaged.

Here's a list of everything I've mail ordered since 2005 that has a glass screen that WAS damaged:

.

Maybe you live in an area with a psychotic package delivery man?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Not have had any hands on with the Surface RT I have no personal experience.......

"had an even barely useable customer service operation "

If their customer service is this bad imagine what their software is like !

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Re: Not have had any hands on with the Surface RT I have no personal experience.......

Microsoft will not return items. I got a scratched up disk from them, which i was silly enough to actually open, thereby "agreeing" to give up all my rights by breaking the red sticker they put on the case.

After an hour on the phone saying I can't install Windows from this piece of shit scratched disk you sent me, they made it pretty damn clear that I would have to just pirate it off the internet.

Now I do that first without buying Windows. Treat your customers like shit and they'll return the favour innit

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WTF?

Re: Mail order

"Wow, someone tell Amazon their business model is a bust!"

I never said there was anything wrong with the business model. While there are idiots in the world there will always be people around to exploit them. Look how well Bookies are doing.

"Let's make a list of what I've personally mail ordered since 2005 has has a glass screen that could have been damaged but wasn't:"

Well apart from the fact that you're obviously have nothing useful to spend your money on you've been lucky. I know a number of colleagues who've had damaged stuff arrive and thats when it eventually turns up. Late.

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Re: Mail order

In over 15 years dealing with mail order on behalf of myself and clients, thousands of items, I'm struggling to remember if I ever had to deal with goods broken in transit. Not even with goods bought via ebay...

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Re: Mail order

"In over 15 years dealing with mail order on behalf of myself and clients, thousands of items, I'm struggling to remember if I ever had to deal with goods broken in transit. "

Yeah , right. If you're going to lie at least make it vaguely convincing.

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Anonymous Coward

Looks nice, but horrible to use

Typical Windows 8 / Windows Phone 8 / Windows RT experience.

On the surface (pun) everything looks nice, but after 10 minutes, you realise everything is very wrong.

The massively cut down (and comparable with £10 Android office apps) Microsoft Office was so laggy it had trouble keeping up with my typing. Other inclued apps were not much better.

The App Store was a total joke, the keyboard like I was in 1981 again on a Sinclair device. It had really bad audio problems

And all for the premium £500 price.

No thanks....

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JDX
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Re: Looks nice, but horrible to use

On the other hand:

http://encosia.com/a-month-with-my-surface-rt/

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Re: Looks nice, but horrible to use

I've actually been using one for the last month, and I mostly quite like it. The out-of-box experience with Office was pretty awful as you note, except that I found it was actually losing my keystrokes rather than just buffering them and being laggy. Following one of the many updates that have happened since, it got fixed and works well now.

I find Word to be the perfect fit for the device, and have used the Surface RT as a second screen for leafing through requirements docs, etc. reasonably often. The mail client still sucks like a vacuum, however - this needs sorting out next, given what I imagine their target market is.

IE works well, as do a few of the other apps. There's much work to be done still on the app front, and it obviously remains to be seen how well-adopted the platform will become with developers. I've yet to write anything for it, but it doesn't look particularly complicated.

I do like the idea of the slimline detachable keyboards. I have both the Touch and Type covers, but only really use the Type one as I can't cope with the zero-travel of the Touch. The left shift key is painfully small, but at least the nearby backslash could be remapped to operate as shift too, I suppose (regedit is still there).

My personal opinion is that it's not horrible to use, and I haven't experienced any audio problems. I'd agree that it's too expensive for what it is, however - would have wanted a built-in 3G radio at the very least.

People I've shown it to have been impressed with the screen (despite not having an insane pixel density) and keyboards. One was particularly taken with the ability to shoot a high-def video on an RX100, whip the SD card out and connect to the Surface with a normal cheap USB -> SD adapter, then just play it straight-off with no issues or faffing about - it just worked. The same can't be said of some other platforms at the moment.

I have several Android tablets and a 1st gen iPad, and understand the merits of each platform. I do think Microsoft is offering something a bit new with this, and admire the effort (if not always the execution).

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Looks nice, but horrible to use

I can only assume that you are on some fantastic drugs. I've used Word on RT and have yet to find much functionality that isn't in the full desktop product. It works with templates, macros, commenting and other workflow tools.

Then again neckbeard, you'd know that if you'd actually used one, rather than reading about it on Slashdot using Lynx on your "hipster than thou" Linux distribution

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Linux

Re: Looks nice, but horrible to use

Lynx? It sucks.

I think you meant "links".

(Yay,! Text browser flamewar!)

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Re: Looks nice, but horrible to use

> http://encosia.com/a-month-with-my-surface-rt/

About the touch interface:

"...Not necessarily discoverable for novices, but powerful, efficient, and intuitive if you put some effort into learning how to use it effectively...."

So it's intuitive after you have learned it, and it's not discoverable.... so you need to learn it, but you can't since there is no way to find out about the gestures?

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Anonymous Coward

@Critical

You deserve a +10 upvote for a genuinely useful and balanced comment. If there was a vote for GUCOTW that would be a contender.

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Headmaster

Re: Looks nice, but horrible to use

Intuitive after you've learnt it?

Isn't that a contradiction in terms? I always thought being intuitive meant you didn't need to learn it - it just was a natural progression?

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Mushroom

Re: Looks nice, but horrible to use

HTML5Test.com results...

* Chrome/23 = 448

* Safari/iPad = 386

* Opera/12 = 374

* Firefox/15 = 353

* IE10/rt = 320

* IE10/wait = 320

Question: which browser is at the bottom of the list...

As ever, it's the browser that's always at the bottom of the list and the browser that's least likely to be updated...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Looks nice, but horrible to use

@Wibble... I'm using Opera 12 and HTML5Test claims 404 points plus 9 bonus, are all your numbers similarly accurate?

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MIc

Don't be a troll

That typing lag issue was fixed ages ago. The update was already out by launch. I have a surface and its really fast and smooth. And my Lumia 920 is just as pleasant to use. You clearly are just like the HP exec. Just regurgitating crap you have skimmed from the equally uninform tech blog community.

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Re: Looks nice, but horrible to use

Blackberry Playbook - 411 +9 bonus points.

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Devil

Re: Looks nice, but horrible to use

I wouldn't worry. 95% of statistics are made up, 76% of those with an agenda, and 104% of those with a margin of error of at least 3%.

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Meh

Re: Looks nice, but horrible to use

> Opera 12 and HTML5Test claims 404 points plus 9 bonus != my results

Proves the point nicely; ALL other browsers will be moving upwards. Microsoft will remain static as they're never updated.

As I was putting those numbers together, I realised that my Firefox was out of date (15 --> 17), so trying that again shows Firefox/17 as 392. So IE10 languishes as ever.

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JDX
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Re: Looks nice, but horrible to use

Love the bedroom trolls who looked at my link precisely long enough to see it was pro-Surface, closed the page and hit "downvote" without either reading the article or ever having used the device for themselves.

And these are the people who call others "sheep". The irony of trying to be cool by hating 'the right things' is wonderful.

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Mushroom

Re: Looks nice, but horrible to use

Surface wipes the floor with all of them in the Sun Spider benchmark though: http://media.bestofmicro.com/B/V/359419/original/sunspider.png

And it has a much better contrast screen than any other tablet: http://media.bestofmicro.com/6/K/359228/original/maxcontrast.png

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Re: Looks nice, but horrible to use

> Surface wipes the floor with all of them in the Sun Spider benchmark

It is noted that you pick out one graph from the page that have several tests. The other tests show Surface getting soundly beaten.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/surface-benchmarks-windows-rt,3335-4.html

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Re: Looks nice, but horrible to use

> Surface wipes the floor with all of them

Surface RT gets crushed in Peacekeeper browser benchmark

http://www.neowin.net/news/surface-rt-gets-crushed-in-peacekeeper-browser-benchmark

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Holmes

Here's an idea ...

"NPD also reported that sales of PCs had fallen in spite of the Windows 8 launch."

I wonder if they have considered whether sales of PCs might have fallen because of the Windows 8 launch?

Windows 8 is supposed to work quite well on tablets, but rather confusing on PCs. Now if only 1% of Windows 8 buyers are choosing tablets, that means 99% somewhat disappointed PC buyers. That would hit PC sales surely?

(It's not statistically significant, but the only 2 people I know who have recently bought a Windows PC, both chose to have Windows 7 rather than 8.)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Here's an idea ...

Just bought 4 laptops for the company (small biz) and deliberately avoided W8 and chose W7 64bit pro. How loudly do we have to shout at MS before they get the fact Metro is crap.

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FAIL

Re: Here's an idea ...

Well that is jolly short sighted of you... Given a choice between a licence for a current OS or a licence for an old OS Id take the new one every day. there are always foibles with a new OS and a learning curve but this is silly nose cutting sensationalist madness!

or do you not a) realise that your Win8 Pro licence is downgradeable to Win7 pro or b) deploy an oem shipping image on your devices?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Here's an idea ... Matt_payne666

7 years out of 4 laptops is just fine and besides the discounts on the stock was quite nice thanks.

PS why waste valuable time having to muck about with downgrade WHEN WE DON'T FUCKING WANT OR NEED WINDOWS 8.

Idiot.

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Windows

So, despite all the hype, all the guff, Windows 8 really has had much of an impact at all. Is it too early to call it the next Vista?

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Anonymous Coward

Surely not!

They are all disastrous but unlike Vista, from now on we'll all be stuck with Windows8 for a long time.

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