Two months ago Microsoft came out with the Surface Book aiming to gun down Apple’s MacBook Pro. Joanna Stern of the Wall Street Journal noted in her in-depth review that while she really liked it, she couldn’t recommend getting the new Surface Book because of problems. Stern noted: “Yet I can’t recommend you get the new Surfaces, no matter how much I really loved using the Book when it was working correctly. While Microsoft assures me that the issues are being addressed, I’ll need to test the fixed versions myself before I give it a thumbs-up.” Yet here we are two months later and Microsoft is still apologizing about the ongoing problems with their new Surface Book.
So while Microsoft’s Panos Panay, Corporate VP for Surface, pranced around the stage in October showing-off their thought-to-be MacBook Pro killer, the complaints are at a point that they’ve lost any momentum or credibility with this new product.
Last week Microsoft’s Surface Team officially apologized for the ongoing Surface Book Problems. The post states that “First, a big thanks to all of our customers for your open and candid feedback on Surface Book and Surface Pro 4. For those of you who’ve had a less-than-perfect experience, we’re sorry for any frustration this has caused. Please know that we’re reading your comments and hearing you loud and clear.”
While Microsoft is experiencing problems, I think It could be a problem throughout the Windows 10 tablet ecosystem.
Last week I received my new HP hybrid unit, the Pavilion x2 Detachable. I’ve been wanting to try one of these units out for some time now. So I was psyched up to give it a spin. I opened the box last Friday and am already in the process of returning it to HP if I can ever get some tech support in finalizing its return. Scrolling at times just wouldn’t work and I had to reconnect to my WiFi network 3 times in one day. The internet explorer browser didn’t make it easy to save a favorite, it would freeze or choke when clicking on a link in a story. And when I tried to talk to tech support … Ha! …. What tech support? I was shoved into a library and basically told good luck finding a solution to my problems. The experience was a disaster.
So while the ‘Hybrid” notebook still sounds like a great idea, Microsoft and partners don’t seem to be all too concerned about angering new customers willing to try out their new devices. Burning bridges this early on could sink confidence in Microsoft’s move into hardware. And if they actually think they have a prayer against Apple, they’ll have to completely reinvent customer service. With Apple, even when being frustrated getting through to them quickly at times, they have always had a professional service rep walk me through a problem until I was satisfied. Additionally, every visit to the Genius Bar was another win for Apple. Apple’s gets service right and that’s why loyal customers don’t mind paying higher prices for their products.
So far, Microsoft’s entry into hardware has shown us that copycats just can’t find the original magic that Apple still has. While their products might look cool in photos or in person, when it’s time to trying them out at home, it turns out to be it’s a very different matter altogether. And while apologies may sound nice for the press, it’s not much for those who actually put hard earned dollars on the table. Apologies just don’t cut it.