Take this for what it's worth, but I find it relevant. I, too, laughed at Microsoft's Surface tablet, and it's dismal sales figures. I was the happy owner of a personal iPad and a work iPad, and I figured that was what the tablet experience was, and what it needed to be.
I was wrong. At least for me, I was wrong.
I have the strange situation of working at a Microsoft shop, as a manager of a development team (though I am an open source guy, by background). The local Microsoft sales office invited several of us to an Azure educational session. Part sales, part hands-on training. I am a big user of Amazon Web Services, and my team uses it as well. So I figured instead of just being an Azure hater, I would come along and do the hands-on walk-through, because it's some dedicated time for some busy people to really dive in and see what all the fuss is about.
But this comment is not about Azure. Azure was fine. I'm still AWS fan, and Azure was just similar enough, and just different enough, that I'm not chomping at the bit to start using lots of Azure.
But here's the thing: They had a door prize. And I won it. It was a Surface with Windows RT. And I love it.
Would I love it as much if it had not been free? We will never know. But all I can tell you is my story.
One might argue that it's stupid for this thing to have a "Desktop mode." But it also has a USB port (shocker!) and supports Bluetooth. I already have a Bluetooth keyboard for my iPad (which I never use), and a USB mouse that I use for my laptop. I put my Surface on it's kickstand, pair the keyboard, and plug in the mouse tongle, and the dang thing is transformed. It's a little laptop. It has Office installed. It has the full Windows version of IE. Yes, I hate IE, and it sucks that there's no Chrome or Firefox for this platform. But the point is that, in a jam, this makes a damn fine little PC.
And then it's NOT a PC. You pick it back up and it's a tablet. And a NICE tablet. The apps are nice. The Reddit app is my favorite Reddit experience, in fact. Netflix, Facebook, etc.
Oh, and the best part... the Surface team designed it to be used with mouse, or a finger. It behaves differently in each case. And it behaves generally the way you expect (want) it to.
So, call me a fanboy. I did not expect to really like it. But I do. I really like it. Anybody slamming Windows 8, and particularly Windows 8 on a table, isn't really giving it a chance. It's really nice.