How does the animation feel like after an hour of use?
Video of the effect here
Somewhat reminds me of the following story. Not exactly, but it is an interesting read anyway:
That's just piss-poor quality.
1. The office on surface is not the final version of software. It has RTM'ed so it should get updated with the final version pretty soon.
2. The fact that you have an ability to run a program like office on a tablet class hardware and ARM architecture is in itself a feat of engineering and Microsoft should get some credit for that here. I was dying to put this louis CK piece in the comments: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KpUNA2nutbk
This is an extremely misleading statement. "Tablet class hardware" today is vastly more powerful than PC's several years ago which were quite happily running the Office of their day.
Furthermore, there is plenty of Office-like equivalents happily running on Android and iOS tablets today so the suggestion that "Office on a tablet" is some kind of revolution seems to lack substance.
To give you an idea, the system requirements of Office XP was "a Pentium processor with a clock speed of at least 133 megahertz (MHz)".
Besides, tablets are doing amazing things today, are we really saying an Office suite represents the pinnacle of computing power?
Surprise, if you copy an old mac app on your iPhone it won't run!
It seems like if something could run on a ~166 MHz Pentium, it shouldn't be a surprise that a Tegra 3 (probably 1.5 Ghz or more) can run something similar. And older versions of Office ran on much less.
Even then, Apple put Pages on the iPad 3 years ago, so that should prove word processor like software could run acceptably on an ARM. The Surface is clearly much more powerful than an iPad 1.
> The fact that you have an ability to run a program like office on a tablet class hardware
Well, current ARM platforms vastly outstrip the performance requirements of, say, OfficeXP so "tablet class hardware" means nothing.
So the question is why do you find it impressive that MS got Office working on SurfacePro? In fact, it would be surprising if they couldn't. Sure, if they were emulating x86 code on ARM then it would truly be impressive for it to perform as well as it does. But this should be a straightforward port.
In fact, here's Win95 running on an N900 (5 year old ARM hardware emulating an x86)
At what point exactly do you believe office stopped being a toy?
Besides the version that was tested with was a beta. The final version of office runs smoothly on the device. So what is your point? RTFA!
However, porting a userland application to a new architecture of roughly equal capability is not a major engineering accomplishment. There is significant work to be done in the compiler, in the OS kernel and libraries, and I don't mean to detract from that at all. Well-written application code (especially code for productivity apps that generally doesn't make heavy use of processor-specific features like vector ISAs) should require minimal change.
My point is simply that office should not tax the capabilities of the SoC at all, and that getting it to run isn't a major feat of engineering in itself; no limits are being pushed here. I'm not saying that Microsoft hasn't done a good job, or that Office sucks on the Surface. I'm just trying to have some perspective.
Mythbuster's argument just isn't making sense to me.
The idea of shipping a new platform, where Office is included and a core feature, with an unfinished copy of Office is crazy to me.
Bugs will be found, and I would fully expect that patches would come out in short order to address those issues. Bit allowing the device to ship with something labeled "preview" (Microsoft for beta) is a very odd decision.
I agree with other commenters that running office on ARM isn't an amazing feat. I ran Office 95 on a ~33Mhz 386DX. Office has have advanced since then, but still.
It seems quite probable the original article's author ran into some odd bug since I haven't seen that type-ahead compliant elsewhere. But the fact that bits of the out of the box experience seem to suffer so much on day one tells you a lot about where Surface was in its development cycle.
Why is Office (and some system settings) the only things that need/use the desktop in RT? Since 3rd party apps can't use it why not jut eliminate it? It's so odd that the flagship software doesn't it in with the Metro environment, often using classic controls like the touch unfriendly save dialog.
Surface needed to be Microsoft putting their best foot forward. It sounds more like it was rushed to meet some kind of ship target when it could have used at least a bit more polish.
I've got a Surface box in front of me, and it definitely says "Includes Office Home and Student 2013 RT PREVIEW", with a footnote saying a final version of Office will be available to download in the future for free.
This was also pointed out to me in person by the assistant at the Microsoft Store when I bought it. On the one hand it would be quite nice to have a finished version of Office, but I certainly didn't feel misled when I bought it. Not that I disagree with you that Microsoft should have released a final version, but I guess the priority was to get something out ASAP.
To pose what will surely be a controversial question here: if Apple can get away with selling Siri as a core feature whilst it's in beta, why can't Microsoft do the same with Office?
I heard the Siri comparison brought up on a podcast I listen to (something on 5by5, don't remember which show). The theory they mentioned was that while Siri was certainly the feature they really marketed for that revision, it wasn't the core feature.
So a more apt comparison may be if the iPhone shipped with a buggy phone app that got updated day one, but that's not quite an apples to apples comparison. And Siri was a big reason people bought the 4S, just like Offixe is a big reason to buy Surface.
With Google, that's just their MO. They release early and often, that's just part of their experience. Apple (to my memory) hasn't done that historically, but seems to be going it more lately. Siri is the obvious example. OS X 10.0 could be considered a beta, but it didn't even boot by default on the computers it was pre-installed on. The new maps and Final Cut Pro x could be argued to be beta too.
I guess it's becoming more common, which is kinda sad.
This update is already available and will be pushed out automatically in November.
What was even more depressing was to see the resulting product. Apart from the speed issues, which seem to be resolved, should we really be cheered to see this bloated abomination run on yet another platform, to crank out more documents only readable by installing the same bloated abomination on your own machine?
The image that came to my mind on seeing word running in all its desktoppy glory was "a boot stomping on a human face, forever".
Too bad, because he had already fallen in love with the software, going so far as to opine that the Surface RT "doesn’t just compete with the iPad – it bypasses the iPad in many ways that are significant and valuable for me."
Nitpick: He fell in love with the hardware, the software is the part he didn't like. That was his complaint.
And: No matter if an update was available on the first day. For a major release like that it shouldn't have come to this in the first place.
Note: Is HN being mentioned and linked on ZDNet such a big thing that it should be the title of the entry rather than what it's about? -> (referring to old title - title has been changed)
I'm somewhat confused by this statement. I've rarely heard it applied to other companies. Siri being in Beta at launch was largely forgiven on HN. Even a substantial portion of HN made excuses for the new Apple Maps (which if it wasn't listed as a beta, clearly was).
Google's second most popular product, GMail, came out of beta in just mid-2009.
Lets be real. The update was available on the FIRST day. The freakin' first day and you're complaining that it shouldn't have come to this?
On a site where the near pillar of virtually every company is to ship something that, for all intents and purposes, is barely usable on day one and iterate like crazy, it seems like an odd statement.
I have to admit that I'm probably an odd beast in that when I get a new device, I actually install the latest software. Whether its a BluRay player or a computer. I get that most mainstream users won't do that, and I get that it was likely a mainstream blog, but I'd expect better of HN readers.
In fact I'd argue if you buy a device and it does not update out the box that's probably NOT a good sign of active development on it.
My comment does not necessarily reflect the opinion of all individuals that gather here on HN.
Yes, i was a critic of Siri when it first came out and also of Apple Maps.
You might, and things like this happen with written text, over emphasize my statement. It was by no means meant as harsh criticism, but you can't deny the fact that it shouldn't have happened and that was basically all i said.
-) why do updates not appear for some users (it was not just him)
-) when it's being marketed with running Office and then comes along in this condition, then it certainly isn't perfect
When also keeping in mind, that:
-) the Hardware seems to be astonishing
-) Design, Input methods, everything gets positive reviews
-) this a big milestone for Microsoft, showing off not only a Microsoft branded device (not just some device where their OS is running), but also a completely new direction in which they are heading
then this was not at all a perfect start, no matter how you put it.
It takes time after Win8 RTM to get the image created and the hardware manufactured for the launch, and the Windows and Office teams obviously have different schedules.
If the schedules are different, you plan for that. Shipping with a buggy core feature is not a good sign.