I went to the Apple store today to pick up a “Magic Trackpad.” I’m intrigued by it so I’m trying it out to see how I like it.

That’s not what I’m writing about. My first impression of that is that it’s very Apple and it has a good chance of finding a permanent home on my desk. But that’s later.

Across from the Apple store is the Microsoft store. It had around the same number of people per square foot as the Apple store and was similarly decorated. (It’s smaller, so fewer people isn’t shocking) I wanted to see one of the new Suface tablets they’ve been pushing.

I went to the first one in front of the opened door and poked the screen to life. It pained me a bit to push the Internet Explorer button from all of my past experiences with it. It pained me more when it took four to five seconds to get off the big blue splash screen. The first thing that came up was an error message. Oh, and the new-fangled keyboard / cover didn’t work either.

I tried a second one and at least that one’s keyboard worked. The third one I tried also took forever to launch IE.

So, the score is: Out of three tries: one non-functional keyboard, two piss-poor IE launches that went to an error page. I didn’t like the interface either, but I’m chalking that up to not being used to it so I’m not going to hold it against it for now.

First impressions last. My first impression of this is that it’s a stinking pile of crap. My first impression is that all of them ought to be put into a giant pile and melted for scrap. It could be a good machine but it’s likely that I’ll never find out with the V1 turd that sits in the Microsoft store.

The frickin’ Microsoft store.

This is the place that they put their best foot forward. The place they ensure that I get the absolutely best experience they can possibly do. The place where they fell flat on their face. The place they need to manage better if they want to win customers.