The 2019 Event Was A Disaster


Why should I buy a Surface device? Why should any regular consumer go to best buy and instead of shopping around, instead of asking a Geek Squad for comparisons and input, instead go straight to the Microsoft section to buy their Surface device because they already knew before they entered the building that the Surface device was RIGHT FOR THEM.

Apple clearly defines what it means to buy an Apple product. You are trendy, tolerant, cool, intelligent …… you a special … so special that we even eloquently package your device because you deserve an “unboxing experience”.

What does it mean to own a Surface device?

If we were to use the 2019 event to figure this out …. it would be a disaster.

Panay came out, looking like a nerd that was trying to look hip, spoke like he was in Quaaludes with long awkard pauses. He was boring, so boring and lethargic that he had to remind us … multiple times … how pumped he was.

Then they send out a woman who is not important enough for me to even remember her name, who proceeded to cuck and insult her husband .. on stage .. live … TWICE. Is it sexist to bring up her vocal fry which is a highly irritating voice equivalent to nails on a blackboard to a lot of people?

Panay then acts super paranoid about revealing the weight of a device … while revealing the device itself. It was a bad look.

Videos and music was really out of place considering the nerd vibe going on. The whole setting looked like a seminar in a UFO convention at the Marriott. Kiss ass clapping at inappriopriate times, lasting too long. And they didnt even cast the screen of the devices to the big screen behind them when they were pointing out things like a new icon bar on the Neo. Panay brags that you can hold the Surface laptop for a long time in a way no normal person would hold it for a long time.

Is this what owning a Surface device means?

After viewing that event, this is what i associate with “Surface”: boring, monotonous, disrespectful, irritating, paranoid, lazy.

People don’t buy Apple because its better. They dont even buy it because it’s prettier (even though they will say that is a reason). People buy Apple TO MAKE A STATEMENT. Because have that Apple logo … says something about the person. It virute signals an image to other people.

The Surface lineup .. is just a lineup of devices … in a world of HP’s, Dells, Asus, Lenovas, and Razors. Nothing special about them. It says nothing when you buy one. It means nothing when you own one. It has no identity.

The 2019 event was horrible and it seems like nobody wants to admit it.

It failed to inspire.

It failed to make me want to wake up at 2 o’clock in the morning and wait in line for their product.

it failed to make me realize I needed their product.

and most importantly, It failed to define what it means to own what they were selling.

Comments (49)

49 responses to “The 2019 Event Was A Disaster”

  1. shameermulji

    My sentiments are in line with John Gruber's thinking regarding the Surface event

    "There’s certainly some original thinking here in both these devices. The various ways the hardware keyboard can attach to the larger one, the Neo, is pretty clever. But in very typical Microsoft fashion, the Neo and Duo are both just prototypes. They’re over a year from shipping according to the company, the software is so early days that the media weren’t allowed to play with them, there’s no word on pricing, and Panay admits they haven’t even decided fundamental aspects like how many cameras they’ll have.

    And in the meantime, they’ve completely overshadowed the real products Microsoft actually announced yesterday.

    Microsoft started yesterday’s event by banging the drum that they never have and never will compromise on the quality of their laptop keyboards — a clear and completely fair competitive dig at Apple. That’s the message they should have left the world with — that they, not Apple — now make the best laptop hardware in the world. Instead, they left everyone talking about two products that won’t be out for another year."

    http // / linked / 2019 / 10 / 03 /goode-panay-surface-duo-and-neo

    Also, Brad made a good point on one of his Friday podcasts that no case was made during the presentation on how a third device like the Neo would fit into someone's life and / or why one would buy that instead of a laptop. Hopefully over the next year MS can make that case otherwise it's a tough sell. The Duo, being a phone (regardless of how MS wants people to view that product), is a much easier sell.

    • Orin

      In reply to shameermulji:

      Great points. The fact that Surface Laptop 3 is able to be taken apart with replaceable parts is huge. Microsoft is a leader and if Microsoft can offer a device that can be taken apart, other manufacturers will likely continue to do so as well.

      As mentioned, the Duo is a much easier sell. I'm very interested in the Duo and I'm considering it for my next phone. As for the Neo, I'm not sure what I would use it for ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

      • robincapper

        In reply to Orin:

        Re your last Neo point, I think that is the point of the form factors. I have no use for the Laptop (but need the Book form factor) but would have considered a Neo for the role I got a Go for, on the go editing where carrying the Book is too much. However, I suspect (presuming they have decent camera) Duo + Book would about cover it all for me as sometimes just use my phone + Microsoft bluetooth keyboard.

  2. matthewitt

    The products seem interesting but man, that presentation was rough. Panos's presentation style just grates on me. I'm not sure if it's because I've watched too many Apple keynotes and been brainwashed that all events should follow that format, but I found this Microsoft presentation to be hard to watch.

    I'm sure he's a great guy and super smart, but something about his style just turns me off. It's weird how Apple is a company has such hubris but their presenters seem down to earth genuinely excited about their products. Microsoft's presentation comes off as fake and rehearsed, not enough facts, and way too much fluffy orchestra talk.

    To me it's the difference between writing / presenting in conversational tone and having your presentation written by someone who took a creative writing class once and feels the need to let people know in everything he writes.

    • Daekar

      In reply to MattHewitt:

      It's really funny that you feel that way, because I feel the exact opposite. Apple's events usually nauseate me with what I feel is rehearsed inauthentic nonsense, and the fact that Panos wasn't spitshined and perfect was appealing to me. The fact that he was clearly very excited and also nervous about some of the reveals was engaging and humanizing, in the same way that DJ Koh is for Samsung. DJ is my favorite tech presenter, hands down. That said, anybody who wants to criticize the part where Panos went on forever about his daughter and her music won't get any disagreement from me. I don't feel that it made that big a difference, though, particularly because that whole thing was tied into the rest of the presentation.

      Of course, I didn't like Steve Jobs' presenting style (I seemed to be mostly immune to his reality distortion field), so maybe I just like different presenters than a lot of people.

    • curtisspendlove

      In reply to MattHewitt:

      I think that's kinda humorous, as I'm hearing from several regular Apple-centric podcasts I regularly listen to that they were impressed with Panos and how solidly he can present, market, and engage an audience with any given device.

      :: shrug ::

  3. jules_wombat

    "People buy Apple TO MAKE A STATEMENT. Because have that Apple logo … says something about the person."

    Well yeah, I guess if you really want to be that type of person.

  4. mmcpher

    I never cared much for Panos as Pitchman, but then, I primarily have attended or streamed Microsoft events to learn about the PRODUCTS and SERVICES and what they might allow me to do, in terms of productivity, including the production of content. To the extent that any device I carry says anything about me, what other people think about me is none of my business. Who gives a spit about the energy level, hair-comb, hipster-wear, mood-lighting, or the embarrassing musical scoring? I understand, of course, the benefit of having an energized hawker-barker on stage, as it generally is preferable to a somnolent, strained, awkward and false presentation. But at the end of my day, at least, I continue to have interest in Panos mainly for his reliability as a telltale of where the company is heading in terms of product-line in the future. He is the public face, to my way of thinking, of Microsoft hardware and the Surface brand in particular. I don't care if he is as animated as Ron Popeil or as coolly, smugly insufferable as Saint Jobs. It's what he and the others are saying (and not saying) that matters to me. And with Microsoft, points should always be awarded if the presenter avoids repeatedly punching himself in the face.

    Sure, it's fun to speculate as to what might account for Panos having an "off day" (Room to small and intimate? Is he losing his corporate grip? Does he have issues with what's on the board and in the pipeline?). What matters in every run accept the immediate, passing media coverage of the event, are the products, services, alliances, etc. Sure, MS could do better on marketing. Remember Bryan Roper? With the hat? He seemed a nice enough guy, with a sense of humor and the ability to project what seemed like genuine enthusiasm. Bring him back if you like. I liked his spiel. But when he was promoting a dying quail, he seemed desperate and Satya clueless and out of his depth without knowing it. But with an appealing inventory on hand and a release plan and a vision, all the flash, glitter and polish are forgotten before they dissipate. I think October 2, 2019 was a good day for Microsoft. Maybe Panos was off on stage, but he probably had a lot to do with the take-away, which was generally favorable, and objectively successful if you judge by the amount of attention and interest generated.

  5. wp7mango

    If I want to buy a high-end high-spec laptop with a touch screen and 3:2 aspect ratio, what choice do I have? Apple certainly doesn't have anything to offer me.

    If I want to buy a high-end high-spec 2-in-1 tablet PC with 3:2 aspect ratio, detachable keyboard with trackpad, and pen support, what options do I have? Not many options to be honest - a Surface Pro or Surface Book is probably the only such offering. Apple certainly has nothing to offer.

    If I don't restrict my choice to 3:2 aspect ratio, I have more options available, but still nothing from Apple.

    I personally disagree with your opinion that Surface has no identity. I think it's simply a case of you not identifying with it, which is fair enough.

  6. minke

    IMHO the biggest problem Microsoft has is Windows and its broken update problem. I support a fair number of individuals who need to own and use computers, but are not capable of dealing with constant updates that break things, require rollbacks, and change the way the system operates. The people I know who use Apple laptops, desktops, and phones do so because they find them easier to use and maintain. Part of it is that all their friends also use Apple laptops and phones at least, so when something goes wrong they have lots of instant and local support. But, things rarely go wrong. My wife is a perfect example. She is not a technical person, yet she has utilized iPhones and a Macbook without my intervention for years. When I recently worked in an all Windows office we did not go a single day without at least a few Microsoft and Windows-related issues cropping up. Some of them were beyond my solving and the professionals we hired to maintain our network, so instead we had permanent workarounds that we hit every single day.

  7. shameermulji

    In reply to L Gilles:

    In hindsight, I think introducing the Neo & the Duo at the BUILD keynote in 2020 would have been a better. It would allow MS the opportunity to focus on the two products & tell the developer surrounding the products. And then at the end of the keynote they could announce a one more thing: New Duo and / or Neo devices for all developers in attendance.

    • maethorechannen

      In reply to shameermulji:

      Had they not talked about the Neo and Duo (especially the phone) then I think the event would have mostly gone unnoticed.

      I think the world is moving on from hardware reveals. Even the Apple ones seem mostly propped up by Apple's phalanx of tame journalists.

      • shameermulji

        In reply to maethorechannen:

        I don't agree. I think the Surface Laptop 3 & Surface Pro X are really nice products in their own right. Now what has happened is that everyone is talking about the Neo / Duo & no one is talking about the great products that are available for purchase right now.

        • Tony Barrett

          In reply to shameermulji:

          Sorry, I don't believe that's true. The Surface Pro X is yet another attempt at WoA, which has already fallen flat more times than I can remember. The Laptop 3, other than USB-C, and a CPU bump is barely any different. They're expensive, limited and buggy as hell. All Microsoft's design attempts seem to be focused on copying Apple. MS want Surface to be about the badge and the design, not about the functionality or reliability.

          I didn't see this 'event', because I have better things to do than wasting an hour of my life on them, but even the Neo/Duo, which may or may not ever be released anyway, seemed to just be on display because MS didn't have anything else to talk about, and they're trying to stoke the hype machine early to get interest up. As the original poster said, it was boring, frigid and utterly forgettable.

  8. saint4eva

    Why should you buy it?

  9. lvthunder

    Most people don't watch these announcements. So as terrible as you think the presentation is it really doesn't matter as much. They just need to make sure the reviewers talk good about the product itself. Some of those Samsung events were cringe worthy yet the products still did well in the marketplace.

  10. vernonlvincent

    Posts like this always grate on me because it seems like they are trying to quantify style and preference, and equate reaction to that style with the quality of the product. Whether or not I like the Surface line is independent of the style of the presenter. Presentation helps makes the case - but at the end of the day, I'm going to look at the devices in question, determine if their capabilities match my needs or wants, and go from there. There is plenty there to consider - and if your lack of imagination and vision prevent you from seeing a use for any product they announced, that's your failing - not theirs.

    With that said - I'll take Panos on an off-day than any mainstay Apple presenter any day of the week. Panos' energy (even subdued) and passion and clear joy far outweigh the subtle tone of arrogance and condescension that I regularly feel from Apple's events.

    As for the lady, her name is Robin Seiler and your enlightening commentary will be given all due consideration.

    • Tony Barrett

      In reply to vernonlvincent:

      These 'events' are clearly very important to companies. They all do it, and they want maximum focus and coverage. Yes, they are ultimately about the products, but come on, if you want to sell a product, or even the idea of a product, you need charismatic presenters who can relate to a wide audience to push the message. The only presenter who could really hold the audience in their hand was Steve Jobs. Tim Cook definitely doesn't have it, nor do any of the MS presenters. Cook doesn't have the ideas, and is just the figure-head, so he's expected to be rolled out at every event now. Panos may have the enthusiasm behind closed doors, but on stage he falls flat. Everyone else MS roll out, I have not a clue who they are, so I've nothing to relate to.

      If the person on stage cannot get people drooling over these products and messages, most will forget everything within a couple of hours. The Neo/Duo was a pointless hype exercise, and Microsoft's message was muddled with different OS's on different products. From what I've now seen of the event, it didn't stand up to much.

  11. joloriquelme

    Don't care about Microsoft Hardware anymore. Seven generations of Surface devices were released and we are still ignored in Latin America. No Surface availability in Chile at all. We are NOT some kind of older civilization without competence for using a computer, or a poor continent without money to spend like Microsoft apparently thinks.

    Actually, Apple has their entire lineup and services available here with full support and warranty. As a matter of fact, I am buying a MacBook Pro and an iPhone 11 Pro Max next week, in a store 15 minutes walking from my home.

    PCs OEMs tired me with their stability issues, crappy drivers and Windows faulty updates. We are back in 2006 when Macs 'just worked', maybe less than before in some cases, but still better than an a Windows PC.

    A VM inside a Mac with Parallels works better.


    P.S.: Surface Duo without a Watch companion is condemned to failure. Headphones are not enough nowadays. Also, Surface Pro X is in right direction to lay seven feet underground like their brother Surface RT. People buy Surfaces because their Full x86 compatibility. Everything else is a new Microsoft experiment. Good luck with that (or you can learn from the past!).

  12. Daekar

    So... I'm going to say you're 100% wrong, but you're most of the way there from my perspective.

    I'm not sure why you're focusing so much on identity and what buying a given brand says about you. You know what it says to most normal people? Nothing. We might engage in significant navel gazing over this stuff, but nobody else cares. Be careful that you don't apply your own reasoning too much, because it will lead you to completely incorrect judgements about people.

  13. wp7mango

    If you buy Apple to make a statement, you are truly sad.

    • jimchamplin

      In reply to WP7Mango:

      What I love is the statement that nobody buys Apple because they feel the product is better.

      That’s totally not insulting people. Oh wait it is.

      • curtisspendlove

        In reply to jimchamplin:

        There are certainly some people who want an Apple logo on all their stuff. They have to have the latest color to show that they have the latest phone. It's definitely a thing.

        Insinuating that *all* people who buy Apple stuff feel that way is quite humorous.

        (Quite honestly, I'd love for Microsoft to be able to give me that confidence and pleasure of knowing if I buy nearly any Microsoft product, I'll be getting a solid, reliable, fun device that is nearly guaranteed to make my life better. And I'm fortunate enough to have the money to spend for those premium devices.)


      In reply to WP7Mango:

      That is what you say about Apple users... It is nothing but a feeble attack to belittle people who have chosen technology that you have not. It's childish, and immature. There is a sad reality that Microsoft fans are unwilling to accept.. that another company has created products that are better at serving a users needs.

      I have converted several people to the Apple ecosystem with the promise of less "friction" and less "hassle." In every case Apple delivered the experience I promised. Easier product upgrades, better interoperation with their iPhones, fewer cryptic error messages, and when you get that odd error message, you can simply select he text in the message box, right click, and select "Search with Google". A simple and elegant feature that, to this day, Microsoft seems wholly incapable of providing.

      You keep trying to brand us as posers and hipsters ... but the sad reality for you ... is that we have actually found something better. Microsoft's day has come and gone... They are over.

      • ErichK

        In reply to TEAMSWITCHER:

        Then why have I seen comments in Surface videos on YouTube stating, "Why would anybody buy a Surface ANYTHING?" That seems equally immature.

        And yeah, there are no arrogant Linux users either. /eyeroll

        Hey, I have a MacBook Air and love it, a Windows 10 gaming rig and love it, and an Xbox One X and love it.

        Weird huh?

        Edit: Spelling.

        • Greg Green

          In reply to ErichK:

          Because many people find Windows frustrating. I think now most people who use Windows use it at work, where they have no choice. Once given a choice many leave desktops and Windows for android or iOS.

          That’s why MS and it’s products aren’t popular. Too many associate it with work and frustrations.

          • ErichK

            In reply to Greg Green:

            Well, iPhones are popular, Android phones are popular. Can't argue that.

            But when it comes to heavy lifting, content creation, stuff like that, I still don't understand why Windows is inherently inferior in that regard. I can't imagine typing a long e-mail on an Android phone is easier than on, say, a Surface Laptop (or any Windows laptop for that matter).

            I guess I can't deny that some people take their work-related Windows ire home with them. I'm just not one of them. (We could solve a lot of problems if we could just teach Joe Consumer not to click "Click Here For Free Money.exe" in his e-mail.)

      • minke

        In reply to TEAMSWITCHER:

        I agree. The people I know that use Apple stuff do so because they prefer the Apple experience. I personally use both, and Linux and Chrome OS too! Each has its merits and issues. Apple is by far the easiest to just use and get stuff done every day without technical knowledge and jumping through hoops.

      • jean

        In reply to TEAMSWITCHER:
        either not read and certainly not understood:
        WP7Mango refers to the following statements
        a) "buy Apple to make a statement"
        b) from the OP "You are trendy, tolerant, cool, intelligent …… you a special …"
        so if you buy that stuff just to make that statement - then that is indeed very sad - there is not statement from WP7Mango that puts everyone that buys Apple stuff into that category

      • wp7mango

        In reply to TEAMSWITCHER:

        Sadly you completely misunderstood my point. Also interesting is that you talk about it in the collective context, using words like "we" and "us", and you feel offended as a group.

        If you buy Apple stuff because you feel it's a better product, fair enough. Speaking objectively, many Apple products are not better, but that's beside the point.

        The main point I'm trying to make is with reference to the opening post about making a statement, which alludes that people buy Apple to make a statement. If you are trying to make a statement by buying an Apple product, well it means that the brand comes before anything else. It's about perception and nothing else. Basically it's a fashion statement, which I personally think is a bit sad.

        I have an iPad at home and I enjoy using it for casual stuff. I bought it because it's a great product. I also have a Huawei Android phone, because it's a great product and works great for me. And I also have a Surface Pro 3 because it's a great product and works great for me. But I'd happily switch to other brands if they worked better for me. However, currently that's the best combination for me.

        I will probably never buy an iPhone or a Macbook, because neither work very well for me. So why on earth would I buy Apple just to make a statement? In fact, what statement would I be making? Buying Apple doesn't make me feel good. Actually, for some reason, I feel better that the Apple logo on my iPad is not visible.

        One thing for sure, Apple products are way too common for it to be a statement about exclusivity, assuming that is the OP's intention. If anything, I think a Surface Laptop or Surface Pro is more likely to achieve that perception than a Macbook.

  14. curtisspendlove

    I ... really don't have words to speak to any point in the original post ... just ... wow.


    I actually think that Microsoft *should* be the Apple of the rest of the technology space. They *should* have premium, desirable products showing off Windows and Android (I would have preferred Windows Phone have taken off, but we are where we are). They *need* that if they want to be back in the consumer talking points. When I hear any group of what I consider normal people; the discussion is about Apple / Google / Samsung.

    (They should want to make that discussion be about Apple / Google / Microsoft.)

    Microsoft is being left behind; and it has been going on for a while now.

    Geeks *should* want to buy a Surface to show it off to other geeks. They should *want* to be happy about the Surface logo on their device while it's sitting on the Starbucks table while they check their email or whatever.

    You can make fun of the Apple "cult" or whatever as much as you want; but Apple is laughing all the way to the bank about it. (Microsoft *could* have a piece of that pie back, they just have to execute properly and re-incentivize the core evangelists of their products again. Is it too late? Have most Microsoft enthusiasts been burned a few too many times? :: shrug :: )

    • Greg Green

      In reply to curtisspendlove:

      I think the marketing again is to blame. They introduced the surface line years ago with the dancing millennials and said nearly nothing about the product. Even this surface neo seems to be badly advertised. All the stock photos show what looks like a laptop with emojis replacing the f keys. I had no idea it was two tablets hinged together until I saw the MS video on YouTube.

      Speaking of that video, it spent the first 45 seconds showing silicon parts coming together. Artistically beautiful but it wasted my time and told me nothing, much like the dancing millennials. And I like engineering. It’s as if the marketing department went from being run by dancers to being run by chip engineers.

      Marketing needs to realize everyone now can easily swipe away boring. Even boomers watch Netflix with their phones at the ready for when the stream gets boring. MS advertising need to get in, provide the information rather than emote a dance or engineering feeling, then close out.

      The memorable apple ads (2013 and 14) require only a little patience and may seem kitschy to some, but they demonstrate what can be done with the product and do it in the time it takes MS to finish it’s silicon simulation introduction.

      PC devices are now a commodity and sparkle and shine alone won’t sell. People want to know how their tasks and lives will be improved by these products. MS marketing continues to be oblivious to this. Maybe they need to watch some Samsung refrigerator ads for a while to get it.

      • curtisspendlove

        In reply to Greg Green:

        While I don't feel I can lay it straight on the hands of marketing, Microsoft Marketing has been pretty rough overall of late. They've had a couple of great "hit you in the feels" ads (the holiday accessibility controller one still stands out to me); but overall it's pretty lackluster.

        I agree about the emoji thing. My first thought was "oh, that keyboard's cool"... Then I read that the emoji area isn't necessarily intended to be an emoji area. It's just a display that can do cool stuff. Then I found out it could be a trackpad. THEN I found out you could slide the keyboard upward to lock it to the top and have the trackpad area at the bottom.

        I found that out from this site. The ads should show me that kind of thing, and do it in 10-20 seconds. Fight back. Not meanly, not lamely. But fight back at the Apple, Google, and Samsung ads.

        These Surface devices are awesome. Show what they can do. Show me a device that I can pull out of my bag, open up, slide the keyboard into a couple various positions and *do* crap with it.

        It's hilarious, I still hear from a few (well known in the Apple community) commentators who praise the Surface hardware and Microsoft's innovation in hardware. But, ultimately, they just want Apple to do something similar. And have some typical "it doesn't sell well" snark.

        I'm sure Surface is a respectable business on its own; but I feel it could be so much better.

        I want Microsoft to be that premium brand. I will pay the freaking money for better stuff. And I'll lead others to it (I've done so for Apple stuff for quite a long time). I WANT to be able to recommend the Microsoft stuff. And I feel like I'm getting closer.

  15. Paul Thurrott


    Feel free to disagree. I happen to, with at least some of this.

    But I feel very strongly that personal attacks are unwarranted and grounds for account removal. He is a person, not a corporation, product or a public representative of either, all of which are absolutely open to criticism and debate. It is not OK to do what you're doing.

    • Orin

      In reply to paul-thurrott:

      Paul thanks for weighing in on this. I appreciate seeing unpopular opinions. It makes me look at things like this recent event in a different light. If people are attacking rather than providing true counter-arguments, then people will be less likely to share unpopular opinions.

      While I'm very excited about the announced lineup of updates and new products, @THOM77 did make me realize that there were aspects of the presentation itself that I could have done without.

    • yaddamaster

      In reply to paul-thurrott:

      It was perhaps a bit strong but I wasn't really bothered by the comments about Panay. He did a dismal job (in my opinion) and deserves the criticism. He's a big boy getting paid the big bucks. I'm sure he can handle it.

      It was more the criticism on the female presenter that bothered me. She wasn't great but jeeez - what's with the cuck comments? You didn't appreciate the humor she was trying. So what? Just leave it alone.

      • Paul Thurrott

        In reply to yaddamaster:

        He was definitely off. Something was clearly wrong.

        I did find the "dumb husband" stuff to be pretty terrible. But I'd separate the "she's a woman" bit from the "she was terrible" bit. She either was or was not terrible. Her being a woman shouldn't play into it.

        I think it was notable that Panos shared the stage at all, honestly. Wasn't that unusual?

        • ngc224

          In reply to paul-thurrott:

          Panos was off, but I don’t think it was his fault. They had committed to a date, then software issues arose at the last minute. They were clearly scrambling.

          Dona moving on to a new role in the company is not a coincidence.

        • vernonlvincent

          In reply to paul-thurrott:

          The 'dumb' husband stuff didn't bother me that much. It was certainly no worse than having Tim Cook's daughter on a surf board demonstrating the cellular Apple Watch functions. And while contrived - I think it made the point of demonstrating the Your Phone integrations regarding notifications, which is what I assume the goal was.