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No, but you might expect Paul Thurrott and Peter Bright to, if you were judging it on the basis of their general opinion of Microsoft.

I mention Thurrott as an exception. Peter Bright covers Microsoft, but certainly not someone who typically likes MS products. He tends to strongly dislike as often as he likes MS products (if not moreso).

People who like one Apple product tend to like most Apple products because there is a clear thread of simplicity and elegance that runs through them.

Really? Like the simplicity that is iTunes? The elegance that is AppleTV? The simplicity/elegance of OSX? Apple has been consistently elegant in hardware, but their software has been as jumbled a mess as anything from Microsoft or Google. It's just been coupled with much superior hardware -- and maybe that's enough, but it certainly not a thread that runs through all their products.

So in conclusion it's a big mess and old biases don't necessarily apply.

Yet old biases still seem to apply. Odd isn't it. And IMO the biases come out so clearly when you read what they write -- whether about the Surface or not, but especially about the Surface.

How is it possible that so many find it a joy to use, and so many can find no use for it at all. And it seems to fall completely along party lines?

Apple's software has plenty of problems, but it's successes are numerous and outshine the competition from other heavyweights. Safari, Preview, iMovie, the panorama feature in iOS 6, Mail on iPad, the App Store model (though not all of its UI), Pages, and Keynote, are just a few random examples of simplicity and elegance in their software, and there's plenty more examples.

Even its power user apps, like Aperture and Final Cut Pro X (controversies notwithstanding) show a thoughtfulness and polish that I just don't see in the products of other large software companies, let alone a company that is also a first-class hardware manufacturer.

I think it would be fair to end this by just saying that we hold the list of Apple software you gave at very different levels of esteem. :-)

"How is it possible that so many find it a joy to use, and so many can find no use for it at all. And it seems to fall completely along party lines?"

I think it's just because not that many people actually have the Surface yet.

So as another commenter pointed out, it's probably either going to be early adopters who want it to be good anyway or the tech review sites which everyone seems to accuse both of having an Apple bias anyway.

Not saying either camp is correct, but it's not like we're talking about a big sample size here, in either case it's probably the vocal minority contributing to the initial impressions.

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