The Macalope Daily: Surface impressions

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New rule: No one ever gets to talk about Apple’s “reality distortion field” anymore.


Let’s take a look at some of the fawning reaction to the announcement of Microsoft’s Surface on Monday. You might want to have a barf bag ready.

By the way, it turns out the Macalope was right back in January of 2010.

[Microsoft has] already used up surface, tablet and slate. They’re running out of flat things.

So it had to repurpose one of them.

Now, the Macalope actually thinks the Surface looks interesting and could be a very smart move by Microsoft (although reaction from its OEM partners is going to be Thanksgiving-at-John-Edwards’s-house kind of interesting). The problem is that there’s so much we still don’t know about the Surface—price, battery life, keyboard functionality, etc.—that it’s kind of hard to judge the device on its merits (or flaws).

Unless you have the rose-colored glasses of these folks, that is! For them, everything’s comin’ up Ballmer!

For Slate’s Farhad Manjoo, it was love at first sight:

I love the Surface. And that’s true even though I know very little about it.

…I was allowed to spend only about 90 seconds with Microsoft’s new tablet device. Even that brief time was circumscribed. I was only permitted to touch the device while the machine was powered off. Microsoft representatives were happy to show off the device, but they didn’t let me actually use the new tablet.

And yet you love it. So much for the critical mind of the technology pundit.

That should be embarrassing to you.

At long last, the PC industry has some real hardware competition. And whether the Surface wins or loses, Microsoft is finally in the game.

Uh … will be in the game. In the fall. Theoretically. You do know Microsoft didn’t actually ship these things yet, right?

Did the future tense up and die and no one told the Macalope?

Then we have Gizmodo’s Jesus Diaz (no link because Gizmodo, but tip o’ the antlers to HK) who says “Microsoft Surface Just Made the MacBook Air and the iPad Look Obsolete.”

It was four years ago that the Macalope said this but it still holds true:

It’s amazing how future Microsoft products beat current Apple products time and time again, isn’t it?

Gizmodo’s Diaz proves the point:

That weapon is Microsoft Surface. And it is beautiful. Beautiful and functional and simple and honest.

Boy, you can tell a lot from 90 seconds with a product you haven’t actually used, can’t you?

[Microsoft’s VaporMG] also allows for a built-in kickstand, which is invisible when using the product in tablet mode.

No, it’s not “invisible.” That would be impressive. It’s just flush against the back.

If Microsoft doesn’t fumble the execution…

To quote Han Solo, “Well, that’s the real trick now, isn’t it?” And Microsoft’s track record of late has been less than spectacular.

VentureBeat’s John Koetsier piece is so over-the-top that he feels he has to give his Apple street cred—yeah, he’s “a bit of an Apple fan boy”—right at the top (tip o’ the antlers to Matthew Panzarino).

But Microsoft knocked one out of the park yesterday. Completely. Hit. A. Home. Run.

To continue the baseball metaphor, it’s almost three months into the season and Microsoft has yet to actually field a player, but Koetsier thinks the company is winning the game.

Microsoft needed this for Microsoft.


This one is for them.


And Microsoft is bold with it.


Even if it does work as advertised—home run? Maybe a double into the gap. Now the only question is if the runner will score or if Microsoft will go one-two-three from here, as is traditional for baseball teams from the Pacific Northwest.

[Editors’ Note: In addition to being a mythical beast, the Macalope is not an employee of Macworld. As a result, the Macalope is always free to criticize any media organization. Even ours.]

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