Windows 10's tablet mode will be Surface Go's biggest weakness

Best microSD Cards for Surface Go
Best microSD Cards for Surface Go

The Surface Go is not a laptop. It's the first Surface in a long while that's built primarily as a tablet for consumption and entertainment purposes over being a straight up laptop replacement, and that's going to be the Go's biggest pain point due to Windows 10. A good tablet is about more than just good hardware, you need a good OS experience to go along with it. Unfortunately, Windows 10 doesn't have a good tablet experience to offer, not when compared to iOS on the iPad at least.

It wasn't always like this, though. Back in 2014, Microsoft had an excellent OS for tablets known as Windows 8.1 that was built from the ground up for touch-first experiences. It wasn't so great on desktops, but was an interesting new way of interacting with Windows on tablet based devices. The original Windows 8.x tablets were before their time, thanks to both design and software experiences that were fast and fluid, beautiful, and animation heavy; everything you'd want from a tablet experience for consumption.

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The tablet experience on Windows 10 is nothing like this. It's bare of any animations or gestures, and it most certainly isn't as beautiful as it used to be. Its biggest problem is that it's very obviously a desktop experience that has been poorly optimized for tablets. It still has a taskbar that's only there so that you can go back to Start, any animation it does have are just fade effects with no real flair to them, and many of the apps, such as Edge, aren't really optimized for tablets at all.

On the iPad, everything flows together. You tap on an app icon, and that app icon floats in to fill the entire screen. To go back, you just swipe up from the bottom of the screen and the animation follows your finger until you drop it back to the home screen. It's a beautiful experience and is all part of why the iPad is such a good tablet. On Windows 10, tapping an app icon on the Start Screen initiates a fade effect, which just isn't as nice. To close an app, you just tap on the Start button, and the app fades away again. Not intuitive at all.

And that's without evening mentioning the bugs. Windows 10's tablet mode is full of bugs, especially around the keyboard. It's not as reliable, and crashes way to often for a keyboard; an important part of the tablet experience. I often find myself having to tap things twice before they activate too, especially on the Start screen.

Microsoft has nailed it before

Back in the Windows 8 days, the tablet experience was super gesture based. On tablets, gestures are the best way to go about things because they're so easy to do. On Windows 8, you could swipe in from the right on any screen to open the Charms Bar, which would have different options for you that were contextual depending on the app you were in. To get to multitasking, you'd swipe from the left. You can still do this in Windows 10, but the experience has been severely mutilated.

For example, on Windows 8 you could swipe in from the left, and your previously opened app would follow your finger. It'd be stuck to it, making the user feel like they were in control with what they were doing. From here, you could quickly swipe back towards the bezel to see all your open apps or flick the app to the right to switch to it. On Windows 10, this experience is nothing like that. You swipe from the left, and a fade effect throws you into Task View.

There's no fluidity here. On Windows 8, the gesture interaction responded to your movement, but on Windows 10 it simply acts as a shortcut to Task View. There's no connected animation that connects the gesture to opening the Task View UI, you just swipe and then everything fades to Task View. It really sucks. The lack of connected animations is one of the biggest reasons why Windows 10's tablet experience feels so rough. It just feels unfinished.

On the Start Screen itself, there's just very little customization you can do now. Sure, you can still change your accent color and arrange your tiles, but there's no longer any awesome patterns or effects that you can apply to the background of Start. It just shows your desktop background, which is fine, but nothing like it used to be. What's more, the Start Screen sometimes does a terrible job of making use of space, leaving large gaps where tiles aren't allowed to be placed.

Now, don't get me wrong, Windows 10's tablet mode is good in some areas. For example, it's the best when it comes to pen input, but unfortunately, that isn't enough to call it a great tablet experience. It needs to go back to what it was with Windows 8.1; a much more beautiful and fuller experience than what it is today. Windows 10's tablet mode just feels unfinished, and it really shouldn't three years into its existence.

Four things to fix

To fix tablet mode on Windows 10, Microsoft needs to do four things. First, bring back the connected animations. Connected animations are the glue that makes a good tablet experience good; the iPad nails it, and Windows 8 nailed it. Windows 10 falls short in this area. Dragging from the left bezel should initiate an animation that follows the gesture you're performing, not just act as a shortcut that's disjointed with the action that I'm performing.

Second, it needs to figure out a better navigation system than relying on the taskbar. The taskbar is an old, unwelcome UI element on tablets. It's a bad way of showcasing relevant information to the user without building a new experience for it. I shouldn't have to tap the Start button to go home, I should be able to use a gesture to do that instead.

Third, and this ties in with the second point, apps should be tablet optimized and be able to operate in full screen. Microsoft Edge is a huge offender in this area, with no real tablet optimized UI unlike with Internet Explorer in Windows 8 or Safari on iPad. Also, the taskbar being on screen at all times takes up valuable screen estate, which could be put to better use showing app content.

Fourth, Microsoft needs to focus on improving overall performance and stability. I find there's lots of dropped frames when manipulating Windows 10 in tablet mode, even with the minimal animations already implemented. Microsoft also needs to improve stability of system elements such as the keyboard, which crash way too often on the latest release.

5 things Microsoft could do to improve tablet mode

Windows 10 does get some things right, including treating desktop apps like tablet apps when in Tablet Mode. Windows 8 was poorly received because Desktop and Tablet Mode were treated as two different things, which was very jarring when going back and forth between UIs. On Windows 10, desktop apps operate and behave just like UWP apps when in tablet mode, which is exactly how things should be.

I'll admit, when Windows 10's tablet mode first launched, I was excited about its future. In fact, I even liked it. But, nothing has really changed since its initial debut in 2015. It's still missing some of the magic that Windows 8.1 had, and that's a huge problem.

Overall, Windows 10's tablet experience isn't terrible, but it definitely isn't good. It's a basic experience that offers no real game-changing capabilities over what the iPad or other tablet platforms offer. Arguably, the other thing Windows 10 needs is better tablet apps from third-party developers, but that's an issue that's out of Microsoft's hands. For now, all they can and should be doing is focusing on the OS experience.

I'm told that with CShell, Microsoft is planning to improve tablet mode which is very reassuring. For now, though, we have to make do with the lackluster tablet mode we have today. What are your thought on Windows 10's tablet mode? Do you prefer it over Windows 8's or the iPads? Let us know!

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Zac Bowden
Senior Editor

Zac Bowden is a Senior Editor at Windows Central. Bringing you exclusive coverage into the world of Windows 10 on PCs, tablets, phones, and more. Also an avid collector of rare Microsoft prototype devices! Keep in touch on Twitter: @zacbowden.

130 Comments
  • Just a little low-hanging fruit to check something off your list... Why not set the toggle in the Tablet Mode settings to have Windows 10 automatically hide the taskbar when in tablet mode in order to address the issue you are commenting on with the ever-present taskbar?
  • Yes, I always have the taskbar auto-hide, but that just brings up another problem: no gesture to open Start. I use TouchMe Gestures to create customized gestures for this sort of thing. But it's a hack - it should all be built into the OS.
  • Swipe to reveal the hidden taskbar - Tap Start. Not a hack.
  • Not a hack but it sure feels clumsy. Especially with Android and Apple moving more toward gesture navigation.
  • TouchMe is great
  • ?? You can already do that in both Taskbar settings, *and* in Tablet Mode settings.
  • Makes the Back button a real pain to use. We should be able to set the hardware Window button to Back instead.
  • If you have one. Surface devices don't have a hardware Windows button any more.
  • Really wish they still did. I can understand wanting to make the display bigger on the SP4 but using my Pro 2 in tablet mode I always rely on the button for the start screen and I imagine it would be inconvenient with out it
  • That no where near solves the problem. Usually it just makes things worse. 1. you can't even hide it in the one place you really want to hide it: the start menu. It's ironic that can't be hidden there where it serves no purpose (proof that "tablet mode" is just a start menu blown up to full screen - the taskbar is always visible in desktop mode when pressing the Windows button)
    2. When hidden it always pops up when you try to interact with an app at the bottom of the screen, covering the buttons you wanted to press and often refusing you to interact with the app again until frantically tapping several times further up the screen. Extremely frustrating during gameplay, as you might imagine.
  • I have personally not encounteredyour point 2, my hidden task bar does not do that, or maybe the apps I use do not have buttons at the very bottom, that would possibly cause the Taskbar to come up. Do you maybe use legacy x86 applications while in Tablet mode? That is the only way I can think this to be a problem. As for your point 1, that is purely subjective. I personally like, that the task bar stays up in the full screen start menu. Tastes are different I guess.
  • One thing they can check off the list for sure is the closing of apps. We can still drag down from the top of the screen like we used to do on 8.1
  • good video. I agree 100%.
  • You can optimize tablet mode of W10 in settings : always full screen apps | start screen in fullscreen like W8 | always hide task bar | task bar on left hand side -| bigger task bar | edge generally in fullscreen mode | enable preview of tabs That's Windows 10 in Windows 8 mode - for it's great to use..
  • I agree there is room to improve. I would point out timeline and open apps do have a gesture when you swipe right and notification center if you swipe left. I hate the all apps button. Mostly tablet mose is too busy. Simplify it
  • what bugs me....almost 10 years ago they came up with the concept for Courier and everyone loved the idea.. 10 years later Microsoft still can't deliver that vision even though prosumers are clamoring for it... That's a such a shame! Every time they have a lead they surrender it because of lack of foresight and risk avoidance of the decision makers :)
  • Pudhu: I think it may still be in the works, but is now called Andromeda:
    https://www.windowscentral.com/microsoft-andromeda-everything-we-know-so...
  • Dude, you from TN? Me too.
  • I think this about right. I am frustrated with tablet mode on Windows 10, and this is coming from someone who uses my Surface (and used his old Surface 3) as a tablet very often. I have installed TouchMe Gestures to supplement the nearly useless suite of gestures built into Windows 10.
  • I wondered how long it would take before people pined for the days of Windows 8.1. Apparently the answer is 4 years. I was very optimistic when Microsoft didn't openly address the widespread complaints about 8.1. I hoped they would do the Apple thing and push forward. Then Steve Sinofsky was gone and the rumours of a wholesale redo started to circulate and I knew all was lost. Instead of on option that basically said "I'm incapable of understanding this, because I'm resistant to change" they threw the baby out with the bathwater and we are stuck with Windows 10. Perhaps CoreOS will save the day.
  • Any idea when CoreOS will be ready?
  • RS6.
  • thanks. the answer to your previous question...yes.
  • Windows 8 was a disaster and needed to be replaced with a desktop OS on desktops, which they did. It wasn't about people resisting change, it was about Windows 8 being extremely unintuitive and frustrating.
  • I think, with Windows 8/8.1, Microsoft threw mouse users under the bus, but mice are Satan's I/O device, lol. It worked almost exactly like 7 with keyboard shortcuts but most users don't seem to bother with them much. It also was pretty bad on systems with three or more displays, a very small group. But with a single or two monitors it was pretty much Windows 7 with a really big, very useful, Start menu. I think what most users never figured out with 8 was that the desktop was an app.
  • I would go so far as to say that even with keyboard and mouse, Windows 8 was better than Windows 7 in many ways.
  • I had literally zero issue with Windows 8.1 as a desktop OS.
  • “I wondered how long it would take before people pined for the days of Windows 8.1. ” For some of us, it was when the very first preview build of Windows 10 came. I was shocked at how they completely killed the 8.1 tablet mode. This is reason #17 why I still use 8.1. Windows 10 has very little that I like. It is a huge step backwards in many ways.
  • CoreOS and Cshell, let's hope so.
  • Here is the thing... the people who complained about Windows 8 were the people who didn't use it like a tablet. The problem is... when people want a tablet, they wanted Windows 8. But for desktop and laptop and just plain computer use, Windows 10 is better. And for hybrids, windows 10 is still better.... The issue is... when they took up Win10, they also abandoned the stuff that is actually good for a tablet. Win10 is much better for the tablet/laptop hybrid stuff... but it could be better... I mean, look at Apple. There is a reason that the OS for Mac and Ipad are different. As long as Microsoft didn't take away the start menu, and gave the option for a regular desktop mode without issues, Win 8 would not have gotten the backlash it did. Win 8 was the best tablet mode, Win7 was a great desktop mode, Win10 was a hybrid with a great desktop mode and a decent tablet mode. In truth, Microsoft could have EASILY solved all the issues of Windows 8 by just keeping the start menu and letting people have the option of which mode to use, making the Metro UI into a tablet mode instead of making it the default mode.
  • Personally, I don't care for gesture based navigation. Especially when things aren't spelled out for you, how are you supposed to know that you could even do those things? As long as they have a good intro program, it's not so bad. I still prefer looking at what I want to do and tapping it. Like navigating back on browsers. I absolutely HATE swiping left to go back in Chrome on my phone. Thumbs are attached to a joint, which means they travel naturally in an arc. If you go just slightly one way or the other, it misinterprets that as wanting to go back. And the way Facebook in particular, will automatically assume you want to go back if you scroll "past" the bottom of replies. I was just scrolling dammit, stop assuming things...
  • One of my complains is my tiles constantly go blank after exiting apps. In order to get them back, I have to change from tablet mode to desktop and then back.
  • This happens to me ALWAYS! And I thought it was specific to my hardware/setup!
  • From the masters of half baked products not surprising Microsoft thinks launching a small screen device without a small screened optimized UI is a good idea. Bravo! /S
  • It's not perfect, but I like 10's Tablet Mode better than 8/8.1's because of the always visible Task Bar, which I use to switch apps rather than Task View. To each their own, I guess. That said, improvements have been pretty much halted because of Windows Core OS's development, it really couldn't come soon enough.
  • I also love the always visible taskbar, I only wished I could force store apps that force themselves to full screen to not hide the taskbar. Love the Start and Back buttons on the left, but for the rest Windows 8.1 tablet mode was better.
  • Could not agree more. I LOVED Windows 8 and how its start menu and fluidity just worked. I just think Microsoft caved to people unwilling to "flick" to click "Start". I think that Windows 8's UI could be brought back as an option, rather than the norm.
  • It "just worked" if you had a touchscreen. Problem was that MS imposed the same interface on people who didn't have touchscreens, and then the experience was miserable. Pressing PgDn in a Metro App did nothing usually, and often the down arrow key didn't do anything either, because the app just assumed you would use touch. I had to resort to finding an often-hidden scrollbar and multiple-clicking the little down-arrow just to scroll content. People forge that Win8.1 was really, really miserable for desktop users.
  • What?! I have used Windows 8.1 on my desktop the first day it came out! DESKTOP! And I absolutely HAVE ZERO issues using the mouse and my keyboard. NONE! And I still use it to this day. Everyday! For the life of me I've been trying to figure out what is so difficult for some using 8.1 with a mouse or KB? Are they trying to use it blindfolded? I use Windows 10 on my laptop and I go back and forth using both my 8.1 desktop and my Win 10 laptop interchangeably without any issues. Point mouse and click. Use scrolling on mouse and click. Use keyboard shortcuts on either. The notion that windows 8.1 was or is difficult to use with mouse and or keyboard is such nonsense. It's just a bunch of bull.
  • Here is the issue Whodaboss... you're case is only your own case. For MOST people, Win 8 really was an issue for mouse and keyboard. Here is a general rule of thumb, everything has exceptions. For users of desktop mode, Windows 8 was crap. You are obviously an exception. Having a start menu and just switching between windows on a taskbar is MUCH better. And I used Windows 8 quite a bit. In fact, the real issue was the format. To use Win 8 without issue, I had to download a separate program and bring back the start menu and also needed it to make the desktop mode more of a desktop mode. And it should be noted that Windows 8 might have been crap, but 8.1 was actually pretty good. It fixed most of the issues people had with 8 (minus the lack of start menu).
  • I agree with this entire article. It's one of the reasons I decided to sell my Surface 3. Lacklustre performance combined with the poor tablet mode made it an unenjoyable experience. The Go should fix all the hardware issues of the 3. Now Microsoft needs to fix the software issues.
  • Windows needs a complete rewrite to properly support a tablet but that won't happen. Or they need an alternative OS for mobile. I don't know if CoreOS will ever be released.
  • Most of what you said is a red herring to me. Tablet mode on Windows 10 in my opinion is far superior to the iPad. Swiping down to close a window is great. Swiping left to select the app you want to open makes much more sense. In that Windows 10 has a menu system in the first place makes for a far superior experience. I use all three (Android as well) and prefer Windows 10 tablet mode to the iPad. Obviously this is only my opinion but to be quite frank, I find the iPad the least intuitive of the three operating systems that includes Android. The Surface Go will do great. You seem to be make a big deal about the small differences that you personally don't like. Sent from Mail for Windows 10
  • Windows 10 has now been out for 3 years and touch has been prominent for a decade. They really should have had a new UI ready to go for this device if they really want it to be anything more than another small laptop. Maybe there is too much bureacracy in Microsoft, they get stuck and cannot go in any direction. Maybe they need to break it up a bit. I am sure the Surface Go will be a great seller, but it won't push the boundaries of Windows.
  • Microsoft can't win, they had a tablet interface with Windows 8 and people hated it, granted that the criticism came from KB and Mouse users. Microsoft then redesign the Star Screen to be a larger version of the Start Menu to keep it consistent and to allow for KB and Mouse users, Surface users are also KB and Mouse users as well, to use it should they want to and people want the Windows 8 tablet interface. Personally I think that the Windows 10 tablet interface is a great compromise between a full tablet and full KB and Mouse interface.
  • Microsoft can win, but they need to make the right moves. Forcing a tablet interface when 99% of your userbase didn't have a tablet is not the right move. Hindsight is 20/20, but that should have been obvious. What was wrong with the focus groups for Windows 8 that they didn't catch that? Windows 10 is great with a keyboard and mouse. No issues there. It sucks without them. Period. I don't think Windows 8 was very good on a tablet either, I feel people romanticise it today. With Windows 10 and especially Windows 8, there are just too many tasks that are too complicated and not touch optimized. You quickly run into roadblock without a keyboard and mouse. The on-screen keyboard, although much better today, is still nearly unusable. They need a new version of Windows that is touch only and installed on appropriate hardware. It sounds like CShell or Core might bring that, but they needed it out years ago. I don't think it is too late, but it needs to be really good to gain any traction in 2019.
  • What they need to do it just port windows 8 into 10 as tablet mode. It would be killer then. But then apps. Not many for tablet, but a few need to be on 10 and working correctly.
  • Perhaps tablet UIs and desktop UIs are just inherently incompatible. You get either a great experience on one and poor on the other, or okish on both.
  • Yes, however, with the breed of devices now in convertibles and 2 in 1s, Microsoft should just make windows a little larger and put 8's tablet mode as tablet mode when you hit the button. They already have the code, and features already nailed.
  • Microsoft have had years to solve this problem but they screwed the pooch. Windows is a bloated mess of legacy code and perhaps trying to turn it into something that will work properly on desktops and tablets is impossible. They abandoned the mobile market and they're paying for their lack of vision and desire in this particular market.
  • This is something I've been complaining about for years.. I really need Microsoft to acknowledge this!!!
  • Despite the little shortcomings of the Surface Go, it will do what I need it to do. I'm sure that as the Go matures, the OS will mature right along with it.
  • As mentioned elsewhere. The windows based tablet suffers from not having texture app in a working state. I need this app for travel / magazine reading. I use it daily. One of the main reasons I got rid of my S3 was because this app was not working even though it was in the store.
  • Tablet mode is definitely a short-coming but I also think people will find that lack of apps on par to those available on both iOS and Google tablets will be another huge weakness of the Surface GO. Lack of app support was one of Windows Phones biggest crippling issues... and I see it being a deal breaker for what is being marketed as a possible educational tablet solution as well. To say there is no app gap or that Microsoft does not have an issue with available apps is insane when you take into account the availability of apps in just iOS. Add in services like Google Classrom and the problem gets bigger. If this tablet had the same options for apps and services that it’s competitors do when it came to things designed for children, especially apps designed for children with special needs, then it might be a No-Brainer in which one to choose, especially if Microsoft can get educators on the Microsoft train instead of iOS or Google Classroom. Without apps and good services.... the Go might become the No-Go of the tablet world, except maybe for business, which it seems is the basket where Microsoft puts most of its eggs... in my opinion. Allow me to add... I am not a troll, nor an iOS or Google fan boy. I LOVED my windows phone and preferred it over any other device, and would continue to prefer Windows based devices over any other... and prefer Windows devices for my kids thanks to the included family safety options. Unfortunately I was forced to move due to lack of support for devices and apps, and now iOS is honestly starting to catch up to the Microsoft based Family Safety options.... but I hope for the best when it comes to Microsoft for sure as they are my bread and butter when it comes to my employment.
  • EzMonger, I think you are indisputably correct that lack of apps is a negative. But that also seems pretty much irrelevant. Microsoft is clearly interested in regaining momentum on tablet form factor devices and their core OS. They can't just snap their fingers and make the app gap go away. The best they can do is make hardware and an OS that users want, encourage users to want to get touch apps in the store to make it an attractive platform for developers, and then provide some direct incentives to developers to help build the apps.
  • Honestly after switching to Android, because my 950 had a fatal accident, I've found that my app load is pretty much the same as my 950. I've never felt the "app gap" on my SP at all.
  • Because the Surface Pro is a laptop. It has a laptop UI and likely is rarely used without the keyboard for any meaningful amount of time. The keyboard doesn't take up much space, so there really isn't many reasons to remove it. There are big reasons to not remove it though, namely all the things this article mentions about the tablet UI and lack of one.
  • Can you list the types of apps that Windows is lacking on their tablet that will end up impacting users negatively, or as you said: cripple the computer?
  • They had it mostly right in 8/8.1. Maybe they'll get it right in Win11? Or would that be "Windows 10, summer 2020 Edition"?
  • I strongly disagree with the premise of this article. It's NOT the OS that is the problem, it's the lack of tablet only software the consumers are hooked on (from FaceBook to Kindle to Texture to you name it). The grid of awful aligned icons that is iOS is an abomination ten years in the making - even the lame tablet mode of Windows 10 looks better than that. There is NOTHING inherently better in iOS or Android that merits this level of ansgt - just give us larger touch targets and your mobile Office apps and get out of the way. EVERY Windows user know the UI that they have lived with for decades - just upscale with a good display algorithm and all will be fine. WE DO NOT NEED TO MIMIC THE FRUIT NINJA'S.
  • I don't agree. I have an iPad, and I rarely use it. I have a Surface Book, and I routinely think about getting a Surface Pro to markup documents and do work. The only "apps" that I need are Evernote, OneNote, Spotify, and Wunderlist. I only really use Instagram anymore, and it works way better on the Surface than the iPad. Otherwise, I need Microsoft Office, Box, Cisco VPN, and Citrix. I used Google Photos a ton, but now I use Lightroom CC. I guess you don't have apps like Waze, but I don't use that on a tablet anyway. One thing Microsoft does have to do is make a deal with Amazon. Amazon has ZERO apps for Windows, which is just bizarre. I'm increasingly integrated into their ecosystem, and it seems like MS and Amazon should be natural allies. Even Alexa support is bad. How hard is it to make a skill for Wunderlist?
  • Please read the article again. He's talking about bringing back the features that made Win 8.x great on a tablet. That has nothing to do with antiquated jumble of icons on a desktop that is iOS or Android. He's simply refering to the gestures and animations that iOS supports and Win 8.x used to have.
    I still see Android and iOS as touch 1.0 OS'. Still locked in the old PC convention that devices should have a desktop with icons on it. Win 8.1 and Windows Phone were in my mind touch 2.0 OS'. They did away with the pointless desktop with icons, instead MS filled the entire screen with tiles.
    Great for touch devices, but not very good for traditional PC's. Sadly in their effort to fix the OS for PC's MS ruined the touch part in Win 10.
  • In tablet mode, with application running, swipe down from the top the application will close, to get to task bar, swipe up, swipe in from right for action center, swipe in from left for running applications, really frustrating when I try this on iPad or Android and nothing happens
  • Totally agree. And for other commenters telling us that we can make things better by changing settings, well, that's just the problem though. They had an excellent vision in Windows 8, but now you have to dive into the settings to recreate it, when they are still trying to accomplish the same things re: tablet mode. The average user is going to try it either in store or out of the box and just not be wowed. Unlike the iPad. Yeah, my surface pro 2017 is more to me than just a tablet, but it could be excellent at that too right out of the box with a few tweaks - it could do more than an iPad *and* compete with it at its own game. Right now it's not, even with some setting changes. Edge really needs some work to be more tablet-friendly, especially with the keyboard bugs too. I still use it from time to time, but I can't imagine my wife (much more the average user than I am) having patience to put up with it, and I can't blame her a bit.
  • Good points but to me what's even more problematic in tablet mode, is the how many websites -- including Microsoft sites -- are unusable with touch. I find myself having to go to the onscreen trackpad far too often just to accomplish basic navigation (drop down menus are huge offender). I dont know if this an Edge issue or what (I definitely miss the touch-based IE in Win8.1) but to me, web browsing the biggest challenge to Win 10 as a tablet.
  • I agree with you about websites! It's web devs who should face the firing squad. HOVER behavior for menus is a MOUSE ONLY thing. You'd think they would have a clue from their own web browsing on touch devices.
  • Zac, do you hear anything from within Microsoft about their thinking on this subject? Do they agree that the tablet experience in Windows 10 could benefit from restoring some of the features (especially gestures and animation) of Windows 8? I suspect most of us here generally agree with that. Does Microsoft? My concern is that the market beat them up so badly over 8 that internally they can't accept that anything about it was any good. I hope that's not the case, but that's how it looks from the outside.
  • The author misses the mark completely. This is Surface RT but with a much less functional GUI in W10 tablet mode. I fear this model has too small a screen and likely will be hobbled by lack of apps. Will it at least come with free, full Office like the RT? At least on Skype you can hold it to your ear and use it as a Windows Phone!
  • Well said Zac! To me it feels like someone, during the final meeting of windows 10 development, suddenly remembered that people used Windows on tablets as well. Since there was no time to develop a decent UI, they just decided to add a button to blow up the Start menu to full screen, and called it "Tablet Mode".
    The sadest part is that 3 years have passed, and they have hardly changed that. There used to be a plethora of Win 8.x tablets available, now there are hardly any non-hybrid Windows tablets.
  • They have to work on a better tablet mode for sure.
  • I must be unusual. I've never had major issues with the tablet mode. W8 was better in some respects, but lacked folders (which should be live in W10 like they are in mobile, but that is a small issue), and the easy shortcuts to major features (settings, timeline, etc.). I actually like it more than W8
  • You spend the entire article whining about the lack of animations and at the very end mention that what animations they have suffer from dropouts... Do you see the problem? Do you? Somehow, I doubt you do... You're an obvious Apple user that values Pretty over performance.
  • Agree. Seems a strange choice to bring out what is mostly a Tablet, but you've completely neglected the tablet experience (and even made it worse) since Windows 10 launched. Although, it is a little amusing that Zac made a video a couple years ago saying why the Win 10 tablet experience wasn't all that bad and why were people moaning about it lol.
  • To me, the important point in this article is that the limiting factor with Windows mobile is not the hardware, but the fact that software is far from touch-perfected. I agree with that completely. While Zac does a nice job pointing out Windows 8-like tweaks that would improve the touch side of the OS, I think the bigger problem is that Windows software is not as touch friendly as it needs to be. But the way to motivate the developers (internal and external) to improve the touch-friendly nature of the software is for MS to make a commitment mobile devices. Abandoning Windows Phone, teasing but cancelling the mini, teasing but endlessly delaying Andromeda -- none of this inspires developers to invest their limited resources into improving the touch experiences on their apps. The only reliable "mobile" experience is the larger Surface line, which to date works just fine with keyboard and pen and which does not depend on a touch experience. Make a commitment to mobile, and the developers will come. Perhaps the Surface Go will mark the start of a true commitment to mobile. Or perhaps MS will abandon it in a couple years too. But I suspect that a lot of developers are wary given MS's inconsistent dedication to mobile in the past, so it may take a while before you see major developers across the board really getting behind a great touch experience. When that happens, the app gap goes away by itself.
  • What a bizzare article. Windows 8 was hated by almost everyone, so many articles were written hating the charms bar and start screen. Windows 10 fixed all the complaints, and now you are comapring Windows 10 to Windows 8. I have a Surface 3 tablet, which started on Windows 8 and is now on Windows 10, and I really cannot say that tablet usability has changed much at all. You have also completely missed all the things that actually make it rubbish to use on a tablet, which is everything is too small. Scrollbars, window buttons, controls, all are so tiny, they are often impossible to click with your finger.
    When watching videos, it takes multiple attempts to pause and result or move to another point in the video. None of this improved with Windows 10.
    Which is ironic since it was mean tto be primarily for mobile devices since Windows 8.
  • I remember MS mentioned it's leaving windows 10 as is meaning, desktop or tablet with legacy compatibility. MS also getting into cshell, one core etc for next windows 10. I suspect that next windows can be implemented per form factor. Telephony, fingerprint, scanner, can be added to Andromeda including tablet only form factor. 100% Tablet focus is coming, I guess we have to wait for MS to confirm this. Remember, people down voted windows 8.1 and forced MS to implement start button back. I don't know why this always happen, just like digital games was a BOO.. during E3 but now everyone embrace it. Jeez..
  • I have to say, I really don't see the issue with W10 in tablet mode. Sure, it can be a bit buggy, particularly the keyboard