» Another Surface impression

Further afield from Microsoft territory, Marco Arment had a Surface encounter today, too. The title of his post — “An alternate universe” — is quite apropos because being in the Microsoft Store is like being in a place that seems familiar but is just not quite right. There are even rows and rows of thin, silver laptops with black keys… with tell-tale “Intel inside” stickers on them.

I found this part amusing:

They had set up a table and an Xbox demo in the hallway and were giving away “Microsoft Surface”-branded disposable rain ponchos (this entire mall is indoors, including the parking, and it didn’t rain today)…

Too bad they didn’t have those on hand in Seattle as we stood in line for more than two hours in intermittent rain. Admittedly, it could be because people in the Northwest either come prepared for rain or just deal with it.

Contrary to Marco’s experience, the salespeople at the store I was in were pretty good. They gave me plenty of room — possibly because it was somewhat busy — and I found my interactions with them to be positive. When I asked a question, they answered it and then left me alone. The one exception was the salesperson working the line with a sample Surface to try to get us excited. When we’re already in line in the rain, expecting us to be pumped about it is adding insult to injury.

After leaving the Microsoft Store I walked across the parking lot to the Apple Store. I think it might be a little bigger than the Microsoft Store, but it had just as many people in it on a Friday at lunchtime.

Toward the end, Marco pretty well sums up the difference between the Surface and the iPad:

Apple’s products say, “You can’t do that because we think it would suck.” Microsoft’s products say, “We’ll let you try to do anything on anything if you really want to, even if it sucks.”