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Microsoft Explains Why to Buy Surface Instead of iPad

By - Source: Microsoft | B 49 comments

Now that both Microsoft and Apple have exposed their 10-inch cards, both are currently working their magic to earn your hard earned (or stolen/borrowed) cash. In today's corner we have Microsoft explaining why you, the dear valued consumer, should sink money into the Surface 2 or Surface Pro 2 instead of the iPad Air. This installment is written by Frank Shaw, Corporate Vice President of Communications at Microsoft.

"Surface and Surface 2 both include Office, the world's most popular, most powerful productivity software for free and are priced below both the iPad 2 and iPad Air respectively," he writes. "Making Apple's decision to build the price of their less popular and less powerful iWork into their tablets [is] not a very big (or very good) deal."

He points out that the new Surface tablets are a terrific blend of productivity and entertainment in one lightweight, affordable package. The team had this goal in mind after seeing too many people walking around with two devices: one for work and one for play. Surface, he claims, is a tablet built to offer great touch-based entertainment activities combined with a productivity powerhouse. Users essentially have one screen for writing reports and flinging birds.

"The good news is that Microsoft understands how people work better than anyone else on the planet. We created the personal computing revolution by giving people around the world a low-cost, powerful, easy-to-use device that helped them accomplish an unbelievable array of tasks. And together, Windows and Office ended up reaching every corner of the globe and powering every academic institution, industry and profession. Of course both Windows and Office are evolving all the time – to reflect the way people work today – more social, more mobile and connected through the cloud."

He goes on to poke fun at iWork, stating that it was originally priced like an afterthought before Apple announced the lower fees on Tuesday. "It's hardly that surprising or significant a move," he adds. "And it doesn't change the fact that it's much harder to get work done on a device that lacks precision input and a desktop for true side-by-side multitasking."

To read the full entertaining post, head here.

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Top Comments
  • 11 Hide
    Shankovich , October 26, 2013 7:05 PM
    Honestly, the only thing keeping me from getting it is games. I wouldn't mind playing some Sim City or something when taking a break from work/ school. Would it hurt to make one with an AMD APU? They do have tablet versions now.
Other Comments
  • 11 Hide
    Shankovich , October 26, 2013 7:05 PM
    Honestly, the only thing keeping me from getting it is games. I wouldn't mind playing some Sim City or something when taking a break from work/ school. Would it hurt to make one with an AMD APU? They do have tablet versions now.
  • -7 Hide
    jhansonxi , October 26, 2013 7:30 PM
    False dichotomy. If only the world was so simple as to have only two vendors to choose from.
  • Display all 49 comments.
  • -4 Hide
    JD88 , October 26, 2013 7:46 PM
    I'll take a Nexus 7 and a Chromebook and pocket what's left over.
  • -2 Hide
    colson79 , October 26, 2013 7:59 PM
    microsoft makes such a big deal about the surface having office but they put a ton of restrictions on it. I wanted to get a few surfaces for my business until I found out Microsoft doesn't allow the Office that comes on the surface to be used for business. At least Apples iWork doesn't have the restrictions.
  • -2 Hide
    morstern , October 26, 2013 9:25 PM
    I would want one to be a mini computer away from home. Microsoft is my work environment, so the Surface would be nice.

    That said I find it more expensive. I want the bigger one with keyboard and that should be about 1100-1150. The office it includes (unless I have misread it) is 365 so you get to rent it at 100 dollars a year. If this thing were priced like the ARM one I'd by one even with the separate keyboard.

    I just see a simple cheap laptop as a perfect fit for a mini computer away from home and at a price point far below what a surface costs.
  • 5 Hide
    stevejnb , October 26, 2013 9:35 PM
    The Surface 2 actually includes a non-subscription Office, so it has no further fee. The Skydrive, on the other hand, requires you to pay after the two years.

    That being said, $450 ain't cheap for a tablet in that range of hardware by anything but iPad standards. A lot of Android tablets cost less for an equivalent package.
  • 9 Hide
    jimmysmitty , October 26, 2013 10:00 PM
    Quote:
    Honestly, the only thing keeping me from getting it is games. I wouldn't mind playing some Sim City or something when taking a break from work/ school. Would it hurt to make one with an AMD APU? They do have tablet versions now.


    If they were smart and put in an i5 with a Iris Pro IGP, it would be fine.

    And I don't know if AMDs APUs are powerful enough at that power point.
  • 1 Hide
    bystander , October 26, 2013 10:14 PM
    Quote:
    If they were smart and put in an i5 with a Iris Pro IGP, it would be fine.

    And I don't know if AMDs APUs are powerful enough at that power point.


    Yah, Iris pro is quite impressive. It is almost as fast as a GTX 650m and faster than any of AMD APU's that I've seen compared.

    Unfortunately, these would have to be put on the Surface Pro as they aren't ARM chips.
  • -2 Hide
    stephenpate , October 26, 2013 10:23 PM
    The above comment "microsoft makes such a big deal about the surface having office but they put a ton of restrictions on it." Either Frank Shaw is about to announce that people are going to get full versions of Office on the Surface 2 or he's lying. I checked with their media contacts, who were hired by Shaw's department, on Friday and they won't say which it is. They referred me to a year old post of gibber jabber about why a restricted home use of Office was important. Buyers of the Surface 2 will be in for a surprise if they read the fine print of Microsoft’s conditions on their license. Surface 2 owners can’t use Office for anything that makes money or even in a nonprofit unless they pay another $200 plus to Microsoft for a full license to Office.

    That little stroke of the MS Office pen takes away $220 from the price of a Surface 2 effectively killing the re-launch of last year’s least popular tablet. We are checking with people in power at Microsoft but no positive word yet. Stay tuned. http://njnnetwork.com/2013/10/surface-2-buyers-in-for-an-ugly-surprise/
  • 8 Hide
    greghome , October 26, 2013 10:36 PM
    If I wanted Productivity, I would have gotten an actual notebook, instead of a Tablet hybrid
  • 0 Hide
    sonofliberty08 , October 27, 2013 12:43 AM
    i don't see tablet are productivity, it was only a toy for spoiled kids
  • 0 Hide
    w8gaming , October 27, 2013 12:48 AM
    Quote:
    The only thing that matters with tablets that don't run a full OS is the apps. Apple wins hands down. The only reason why MS hasn't released full Office versions for iOS is because it would render it's Surface tablets irrelevant. Knock a few hundred off the Surface Pro 2 and I'm sold. Until then iPad Airs and Mini 2's will be in the household soon.


    How could MS released Office for iOS while they don't even have a Metro UI version for its own Windows OS? The so called "Gemini" version of Office is still in development. And I am sure all Apple fans, having already decided Windows desktop is fated to disappear, would not want MS to release an Office version that runs in desktop for iOS, which is what they did for Surface. And it is not like iOS cannot access Office 365 using web browser. So where is the proof that MS intentionally withold Office from iOS? There is none.
  • -1 Hide
    abbadon_34 , October 27, 2013 3:33 AM
    I guess for those actually BUY office they are right, is it a good deal.
  • 2 Hide
    ZolaIII , October 27, 2013 3:54 AM
    The one more reason to backup Ubuntu touch development!
    Come on guys you really think that you can comfortably do the real work with 10" keyboard or that the 10" tablet is comfortable to carry around?
    We need phablet that can connect to everything & transform in full OS & all of that with open & free software that have commit behind.
  • -1 Hide
    Vladimir83 , October 27, 2013 5:09 AM
    I wouldn't get any surface 2,coz of RT.But i would love to get Pro 2 because is running Win8.1 pro.
    Catch is as is always the price :/ 
    128Gb model cost 899$ but that just not acceptable to me.Get a version with more memory and the price is starting to go way to high...and that's even without smartcover!?!
    For that amount of money i could get decent laptop/notebook and decent android tablet.
    But i guess we have to wait generation or two,or even Win9 for something to start to change :( 
    P.S.come on big guys step the game,and let end this BS of phone-ish OS for good!
  • -1 Hide
    Fredrik Aldhagen , October 27, 2013 5:57 AM
    What are you looking for?

    Productivity: An actual laptop does much better.
    Entertainment: While the Surface DOES support Flash, the competing products have much better native app support.

    Also, Windows RT is just about the only modern OS that doesn't support Chrome, so if you use that to sync your bookmarks then you're out of luck.
  • 1 Hide
    schultzter , October 27, 2013 6:18 AM
    So it's for work AND play? Does that mean when I'm playing I won't be subject to my employer's restrictions on what we can use work provided equipment for? Or if I tell my boss "I bought a Surface to bring to work" will the IT dept suddenly let me use my own device on their network?

    The reason people have two computers, one for work and one for play, has nothing to do with the technology.
  • 1 Hide
    keath , October 27, 2013 6:21 AM
    Now they just have to explain why I should buy a Surface rather than a laptop. The Surface's top-heavy form factor make little sense for productivity applications.
  • 1 Hide
    razor512 , October 27, 2013 7:11 AM
    The surface pro is the only remotely useful tablet they have, but is it outrageously overpriced for the hardware it offers.

    The surface RT offers nothing to the user.

    very few apps and most of the remotely decent ones, are paid apps where iOS and android have similar or better free alternatives. It has a crappy UI in comparison.

    With the surface pro 1 and the recent price drop, it is a much better deal than the ipad as it is actually running a proper desktop OS, but the surface pro 2 is overpriced.

    furthermore, for the price of the current surface pro, you can just buy a laptop with a proper keyboard and much better hardware for the same or less money.

    Microsoft needs to price the surface pro in a way where it will not be matching the price of laptops with better hardware.

    after that, they need to kill off the surface RT (firesale it for $100 and release the source code for the drivers to the cyanogen mod team)
  • 0 Hide
    nuvon , October 27, 2013 8:01 AM
    I use my iPad for work. What can you play on iPad, games, with fingers? I play games on PC and console
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