Surface RT has Frustrating UI Says Early Users

Image Credit: Microsoft Surface RT | Wikipedia

After the announcement and availability of Microsoft’s Surface RT, some early users complained that the device’s touch interface is confusing. As a result, users rely on the tablet’s attachable keyboard because of its more conventional track pad and arrow keys.

There were also claims that long-time Windows users will have to make an adjustment to use the Surface RT efficiently. Analysts also speculate that users will need to attend training classes from makers of all types on Windows 8 devices. As one users posted in an AnandTech Forum:

It does take a bit of time to learn your way around the OS. A lot of touch gestures and operations are different than what you’d expect if coming from iOS or Android. But once you get used to them they work really, really well!

The forum user also added that while it’s tricky to navigate around the Windows 8 in desktop mode, there is a Touch Cover that could alleviate the frustration of using it.

Words from the Analysts

This sentiment was echoed by several analysts, also raising their concerns about Windows 8’s navigation issues.

There were also speculations that businesses will need to shell out some cash to train traditional Windows desktop users to use the latest OS’ touch interface. As stated by Karl Volkman, chief technology officer of SRV Network:

Plenty of people who are Windows lovers… will say ‘Oh, this is just Windows on tablet’ and will be frustrated. I myself have a lot of frustrations with the interface. There’s a lot of swiping through to find tiles.

Volkman also added that users must remember where a particular tile is located, as well as the file’s name to easily find it. On the other hand, he pointed out that adding the Touch Cover could also add into the confusion, as users might start treating the Surface RT as a laptop instead of a tablet.

Learning to Use the Microsoft Surface RT

Because of this, Volkman advises users to learn using the Surface RT without the Touch Cover first.

The best way to learn the Windows tablet is not to use the [physical] keyboard for a while, and just use the touchscreen.

Once familiar, they can easily use the onscreen keyboard for typing short messages like Facebook status update, while the attached keyboard can be used to type in long documents and messages.


Microsoft started selling the Surface RT last Friday, and its 32 GB model costs $499. An additional $100 could bring in a black Touch Cover, while it is also available in five different colors for $120 each.

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