Surface is a triumph of Microsoft usability and design. It's a multitouch table computer. Minority Report! And so on. Setting it up, however? Ominous foreshadowing: It comes with a keyboard and mouse.

Gordon recounts the entire painful process in excruciating detail. Like, I got a headache reading it. It took 30 minutes to figure out where it plugged in—the most basic of all setup maneuvers—which required reading three manuals and calling tech support, who didn't know where to plug it in either.

Okay, it's up and running. Time to configure it. Logically, you can set everything up on the touch screen, right? I mean, it's a touch computer. After five minutes of fruitless poking, Gordon's crew realized maybe the mouse and keyboard were included for a reason—you need them to do the initial Surface set up. And after getting it to the point they could interact with it, another hour still was needed to finish setup.


At last, they finally got to the "truly dynamic and stunning user experience on the Surface." Philosophical question: Is an incredibly usable and fantastic product really those things if the process of getting it to that point is a nightmare? Sub-question: Is setting up a Surface really that hard? Or were Gordon and his people just horribly deficient human beings? [Kinesis Momentum]