Microsoft Surface RT – Should you preorder or hold off?

It seems that the entry-level Microsoft Surface might have already sold out its first batch, as the shipping time has been pushed back a bit. This is a great sign that there is a very real and active interest in the Surface. The big question though is if you should pre-order a Surface or wait a bit longer.

Honestly, there are reasons to wait off, and reasons to jump in.

Okay, so why wait?

  • Few ‘real people’, outside of Microsoft PR reps, have gotten their hands on the Surface. Until we see real reactions and reviews, you might want to hold off.
  • Microsoft hardware has been known to have issues with early versions, such as the Xbox 360 and the “Red Ring of Death”.
  • You want a Surface Pro. Why spend the money now when you really want x86 legacy support? This won’t apply to everyone, but some of us would rather get the new UI and the old desktop support in one sleek package.
  • It might be a good idea to see what other Windows 8 and RT devices ship in the next few months. You might find a device that you like better.
  • You aren’t an early adopter. Plain and simple, some folks want products that are already established in the marketplace. If you are this type of user, you probably aren’t reading this techie-oriented site– but there are many consumers that clearly fit in this category.

Alright, with that out of the way: Why should you jump right in?

  • You are a gadget trendsetter that likes the newest stuff. Some of us like to have gear that is the latest, greatest and is full of bragging rights we can show off to our friends, family and co-workers. I’ll admit I often fit into this group.
  • You have faith that Microsoft has learned from past hardware mistakes and understands that creating a quality product is key if they want to do well in the tablet world.
  • You don’t want to risk missing out on a chance to get the Surface this holiday season if it sells out early.

I think Microsoft Surface is going to be great. I personally think it is one of the few Windows RT devices that is going to be “big”. Yes, other RT tablets exist, but I think that most users who don’t want x86 legacy support will simply go with Microsoft.

The main concern about a Microsoft hardware product is probably their lack of experience and their past hardware problems with the Xbox 360. I want to address that briefly. WHY did the Xbox 360 have issues? Honestly, it has been said before: They rushed it to the market to beat out competition – mainly the Playstation 3.

In the tablet market, Microsoft is coming in late. Android devices and the iPad are already here and are established competition. The iPad 3 has been out for a while now. There has been no rush on Microsoft’s part. They finally get that “Slow and steady wins the race”.

Just looking at the original Xbox 360 versus later slim-line models you see a clear product revolution. Look back even further to the original Xbox and you see not only technological innovation (which is expected considering how old the original Xbox is), but design and quality evolution as well.

Personally, I am waiting- but it is not because I don’t have faith in Microsoft’s ability to deliver the goods this time around. I’m waiting because I already have a few tablets and have no immediate need. Another MAJOR reason I’m holding off is because I want to see what other tablets come to the market and I am curious about the Windows Pro model of Surface.

What about you?

Did you pre-order, or have you yet to decide which Windows RT/8 tablet is the right fit for you?

Once again, you can preorder the Surface here.

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