You seem to dismiss the importance of those initial marketing choices made by Microsoft. It set the stage for all of the confusion that followed. To this day Microsoft continues to keep confusion alive.Yes and no. MS obviously bears a lot of blame with the initial release due to idiotic marketing choices, and then we also got idiotic middle-men muddling the waters by comparing the products against the wrong competition for the wrong reasons; however, I follow a fairly narrow and cynical school of caveat emptor. Especially with products expected to last several years, as the price of a product increases (e.g. $$$ electronics and $$$$ computers and then cars/houses), the responsibility of consumers to properly research grows exponentially IMO.
On the Microsoft Store, Under "Surface Accessories" is listed a "Surface Pen". It is only when reading the description does one discover that "for Surface Pro 3 only". Yet they have a "Surface Pro Type Cover" Again with a disclaimer, "Surface Pro 3 only"... that's a LITTLE better but still not good enough since this cover would not be used by those who own a Surface Pro, or Surface Pro 2.
That's the website... and while it isn't earth-shattering, it is still a bit confusing. Now move these to the local Best Buy. The sales drones will need to know how to keep things straight. There's a Surface Pen that only works with the Surface Pro 3, but there is another pen that works only with the Surface Pro and Surface Pro 2. And although it is called a "Surface Pen" it doesn't work with a "Surface". And it is THE CUSTOMERS that are stupid?!
Microsoft has made the confusion worse with the Surface Pro 3.
It is this disdain for the customer that causes people to go to Apple. And then these "stupid customers" are then derided for being "iSheeple". If Microsoft fails with the Surface, I believe this (lack of care for the customer, in marketing, sales, and support) will be the cause... not the Apple-loving media, not the "stupidity" of the consumers.