I'm on the Word team in Office and I'm coming into this thread incredibly late, but FWIW the slow typing on ARM was something we couldn't fully address in time for the preview release. Word RTM (ARM and x86/x64) has much better performance.
One of the challenges we had was that for a large majority of the product cycle we didn't even know about the Surface. We were looking at ARM early on, but the hardware we had was prerelease hardware from MSFT partners that had varying levels of performance.
Even now we don't know a whole lot about the Surface. It's a little frustrating, since we (Office) hit RTM we're eagerly awaiting the point at which new Surface RTs will have Office RTM baked into them. The preview release is seriously many many months old from the RTM release, and it's painful to think that this is what customers are going to see from Office when they turn on their shiny new device.
This type of issue would be identical across NVIDIA based ARM PCs and large numbers of the reference platforms were available at the same time they have been available to external developers.
Developers on the Office team (and Word team) that needed to contribute to the ARM focused work had access to the tools and hardware needed, including Surface specific hardware. There was no shortage of knowledge, hardware, or communication.
I was also a little skeptical but I was pleasantly surprised by how natural and easy it felt.
by the way, it is even worse with Powerpoint. every few lines typed i had the screen go white to redraw the whole UI.
When there is no communication, then the users are left to imagine all kinds of wild theories of what went wrong and why. It is a waste of time for all involved.
Not sure where you're going with this, but given the amount of effort and ambition around the Surface, I would say that Microsoft is absolutely serious.
As for Word, there was a limited number of things we could do and fix in a finite amount of time. Trade-offs need to be made.
> there was a limited number of things we could do
No one is blaming you or your team. I'd blame the lowest person in the company who had the ability to install beta versions of Office on beta versions of Surface.
Effort and ambition, together with $4, will get you a double latte at Starbucks.
To beat Apple, you are going to have to take the next step: competence.
When the board fires Ballmer, that will be the signal that Microsoft is ready to get serious. Until then, it's all just talk.