Windows 8 surfaces without me

The October 26, 2012 launch came and went unspectacularly and I'm disappointed to say the least.
Written by Ken Hess, Contributor
Tulsa's Surface Store

A product like Windows 8 only comes along once every 15 years or so--Windows 95 was the last such product--and it's disappointing to think that the whole thing left me a little underwhelmed. One possible reason for my disappointment might be because I missed the launch entirely*. I visited the Microsoft Popup Store the day of the launch a few hours after the initial grand opening due to some very bad advice. I regret the decision to listen to a third party and I accept responsibility for missing the launch.

Tulsa, Oklahoma was one of the few cities where Microsoft decided to build one of its so-called "Popup" stores. I think partly it is because our Woodland Hills Mall has an Apple store in it. Whatever the reason for it, I was very excited that just two miles from my house, I could go and witness this awesome event and report back to you almost live with video, pictures and opinions from users.

It didn't quite go the way I'd planned or hoped.

I showed up at noon, based on that bad advice from the PR person handling the local store only to see two or three people looking at the display. It was my hope to join in the frenzy of the initial opening and get some video reactions of people seeing the Surface for the very first time. Didn't happen. I'd missed my window of opportunity.

In fact, more disappointing than the bad advice was the fact that our store was really little more than a flea market booth with six Surface stations setup for people to look at. Sure, I understand that Microsoft had to make a showing here because of the Apple store but no laptops, no desktops, no netbooks and no specialty computing devices with Windows 8. Shocking. Really shocking. I also understand that Tulsa, Oklahoma is no tech hotspot but this was a pretty lame excuse for something this big.

I had higher hopes for what could have been. Instead, we got a token effort and I got nothing from the experience--except a missed experience.

After waiting for my security escort** for 15 minutes, I snapped a few quick pictures of the store and then bailed. Even the security people were taken aback at my late showing. All of the other media shmucks had been there and left two hours before I arrived.

Still, it wasn't a totally bad experience. I got to see the store. I got to look at a Surface from about ten feet away. I got to see a few Microsoft employees. I got to speak to the store manager. And, I got some pictures for my effort.

I also got to see the Apple store as I passed by. Full.

It's too bad that I'll probably never see another product launch that's half as exciting as this one was--at least for some of my colleagues it was. Maybe the next time around, I'll go to where the real excitement is, show up when I want to and get to do the job I want to do for you.


For me, I'm bummed. For you, I'm sorry.

I had a much different idea of how things were going to go on Windows 8 Launch Day. My wife even told me, "Wow, I've never seen you this excited about any product launch." She's right. I never have been. I usually watch these things unfold with a "Who cares?" attitude. This one was worth being excited about. I'm not excited anymore. Windows 8 is cool but it's just another operating system, when you get down to it. And, the Surface is just another tablet. Next.

*Hence the need to change my personal policies on such interactions. Any PR people reading this, you'll soon know what I'm talking about.

**Still not exactly sure why I needed that escort but hey, since I was playing by the rules, I thought I'd see it through to the bitter end.

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