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No VPN on the Surface RT?!

I was just catching up on our internal email and found David K bitching about his $600 Surface RT not letting him connect to his office’s virtual private network. Googled it, yup, no VPN client on this thing.

Meanwhile, on a $249 Chromebook, you’ve got OpenVPN, IPsec with PSK or certificate-based authentication out of the box, with a friendly RDP client free at the Chrome Web Store. Fifty bucks says you can do it on an iPad mini. Hell, an iPod I bet. I thought you were supposed to be able to work and play on this thing.

Sure, being able to run the Real McCoy Microsoft Office instead of Google Docs is fabulous, but not being able to save to your office shared folder and remoting to your computer or whatever it is you do with your VPN access, well that’s pretty weak, you’ve got to admit.

My only explanation is that just like depriving users of joining Windows domains, depriving them of a VPN client draws a deeper line between this and the Pro version and maybe nudge the power enterprise users over to that device. If that’s true, my mind’s blown that Microsoft would shoot themselves in the foot at any opportunity to climb in this tablet debut. They just don’t strike me as being in any position to do that, to swing around leverage between two products they don’t want to flop.

Isn’t the goal here to finally after all these failed attempts gain some traction in the mobile markets? Can any of you offer a better explanation? Perhaps I didn’t google hard enough? Is there any reason David K shouldn’t be able to fire up his VPN with this device?

Give David K his damn VPN client, Microsoft, don’t make him return it to get the Pro. And throw in some RDP too, I bet he likes that with his fruity tiles.

Doug Simmons