06-09-2013 07:48 PM
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  1. omniusovermind's Avatar
    We're all seeing a lot of tech writers still writing articles that claim MS "doesn't get it" when it comes to Windows 8 tablets vs. iPads. Their biggest argument usually revolves around a claim that iPads and iOS are designed better for mobile users ( Rene are you reading this?). But IMO they're completely missing the point.

    MS, well ahead of Google and Apple, have positioned themselves to take advantage of being able to be the first company to allow the increased power and functionality of full x86 applications (as opposed to apps) on a touch screen tablet form factor. This is one of the big reasons for Windows 8 folks - for MS to enter the mobile arena in a way nobody else has before. Think about this for a second. Which delivers the most functionality and powerful capabilities? An "app" or a full desktop OS application? Desktop browsers are more powerful than their smartphone/tablet counterparts. Would you choose to use an "app" for your imaging software, or a full OS version of Photoshop? The answer quickly becomes obvious for every single app out there. This is why all of us install programs on our PC or Mac, not "apps".

    Apple appears to have nothing on the horizon to allow you to do this. Google I suspect is looking hard at this with Chrome OS but are nowhere near as close as MS are nor do they have MS's OS experience.

    Getting back to my original point, why are MS positioned so well ahead of the others to bring the capabilities of a full x86 OS to tablets while at the same time allowing you to enjoy the same battery life and form factor as an iPad or Android tablet? The first as I've already mentioned is the touchscreen features in Windows 8. The second key to the equation is Intel's Silvermont CPU's. These are a drastic departure from their previous Atom processors meant for mobile devices. If their specs are to be believed, and everything so far indicates they are, these new processors will start appearing in devices by the end of 2013, will have processing power to rival the fan-cooled larger x86 CPU's while at the same time giving the fanless operation and battery life of ARM processors. What this means for MS is you'll soon be able to use Windows 8 full OS on a tablet with none of the disadvantages associated with it. You'll get the same battery life as an iPad, the same or better graphics, the same portability. Because this is a full OS with full driver libraries, you'll also be able to connect any peripheral imaginable to it.

    The iPad's biggest advantages will be completely trumped. Last but not least, iOS's app selection will be completely gone as an advantage as well because the user will have access to the entire selection of Windows programs available to them, which dwarfs Apple's App Store.

    Rene Ritchie, I have to ask you in light of your recent article, how can an iPad possibly offer anything that makes it better than that?

    Further reading:

    Intel Launches Low-Power, High-Performance Silvermont Microarchitecture

    Intel’s Silvermont Architecture Revealed: Getting Serious About Mobile
    05-30-2013 09:56 AM
  2. Par_T's Avatar
    Read the same article--on my Surface RT tablet too.

    I was thinking the same. Two tasks: I was using that just the day before. I loved it since I was entering some physician info onto my contacts and having BOTH tasks open was wonderful. Otherwise, I would have been flipping back and forth between the two open windows (web and contact app) just to enter some info!

    Powerpoint: Well, my son uses power point at school and I had to recruit him to make a Powerpoint presentation for me. Had I asked him to make a Keynote presentation for me, I think would have got a blank stare back!

    I love having Office on my Surface. I don't need to do fancy business type stuff and it works great for me.

    Heck, my brother borrowed my Dad's iPad for a while (and loves his iPhone) and now that he is looking to get a tablet for his family, he wants to buy the Surface Pro or other Windows Tab.

    I'm glad I have a Surface and not an iPad.

    Typing this on my Surface right now
    05-30-2013 10:52 AM
  3. mberdych's Avatar
    Microsoft may have something, but the key question is:" is MS way the way customers want to go?" Personally, I think, it isn't. Wishful thinking.
    05-30-2013 11:48 AM
  4. Laura Knotek's Avatar
    Microsoft may have something, but the key question is:" is MS way the way customers want to go?" Personally, I think, it isn't. Wishful thinking.
    I think it all depends on the customers. For example, the OP mentions Photoshop. Obviously not all customers use Photoshop, but a lot of customers do (and there is other software beside Photoshop that many customers would prefer, rather than mobile apps). Customers who do a lot of content creation, rather than content consumption, would have need to run desktop programs.
    05-30-2013 11:54 AM
  5. theefman's Avatar
    Microsoft may have something, but the key question is:" is MS way the way customers want to go?" Personally, I think, it isn't. Wishful thinking.
    The Xbox is a Microsoft product, people dont seem to have a problem going with that. If Microsoft creates a compelling OS people will use it, well apart from people from sites like imore and the like.
    05-30-2013 11:54 AM
  6. martinmc78's Avatar
    They aren't missing the point at all.

    The point is, always will be.

    But its Apple.

    Its the only point they and 75% of consumers out there need now or at any point in the future.
    theefman and xandros9 like this.
    05-30-2013 12:13 PM
  7. omniusovermind's Avatar
    But that's not the point they're making. The writers are claiming that the iPad is the best way to do a tablet. My counterpoint is that a tablet that can to both consumption AND creation without the handicaps normally associated with that ie. Battery life, lack of processing power and form factor, is going to be superior.

    A tablet running Intel's next gen chips with a full computer OS will have that capability. IPads don't.
    Laura Knotek likes this.
    05-30-2013 12:39 PM
  8. Par_T's Avatar
    Microsoft may have something, but the key question is:" is MS way the way customers want to go?" Personally, I think, it isn't. Wishful thinking.
    Last time I was at the Mall with both an Apple Store and Microsoft Store, there were more people in the Microsoft Store. People were walking out of the MS store with purchases, whereas, those coming out of the Apple Store did not have purchases. Guess they just went there to play with the electronics.
    05-30-2013 12:47 PM
  9. ag1986's Avatar
    I agree that the Surface variants are (even now) far more powerful than an iPad and that this will only get better as new chips come out and the bad things about the Surface go away (like you said, battery and size).

    However, the question is: do people want or need the increased power? Many people are finding that the iPad is more than enough for what they need/want from a personal computing device (which is check email, occasional web browsing and maybe a few other apps/games). I myself feel that I can't justify the cost of a Surface + Type Cover (hate the Touch cover) when my personal Mac Air (or even my corporate Retina Pro) are not that much bulkier/heavier than the Surface. I've played with some in Best Buy and it's quite nice; it's just the cost.

    Unless the Surface is priced equal to or closer to an iPad, it's not going to see much traction.
    05-30-2013 12:49 PM
  10. martinmc78's Avatar
    But that's not the point they're making. The writers are claiming that the iPad is the best way to do a tablet. My counterpoint is that a tablet that can to both consumption AND creation without the handicaps normally associated with that ie. Battery life, lack of processing power and form factor, is going to be superior.

    A tablet running Intel's next gen chips with a full computer OS will have that capability. IPads don't.
    My point was that it doesn't matter what point tech writers make when it comes to anything other than apple or what your counterpoints are. Bias prevails and the people that don't know any better will take their word as gospel. Until a day comes where apple aren't the most dominant tech company on the planet any other tablet isn't going to be as good because of that bit of fruit on the back
    theefman likes this.
    05-30-2013 12:57 PM
  11. ag1986's Avatar
    My point was that it doesn't matter what point tech writers make when it comes to anything other than apple or what your counterpoints are. Bias prevails and the people that don't know any better will take their word as gospel. Until a day comes where apple aren't the most dominant tech company on the planet any other tablet isn't going to be as good because of that bit of fruit on the back
    I think that's a rather extreme view. I would bet money that of all the people who purchase iPads on a given day (worldwide), at least 70% do not read and probably have never heard of Techcrunch, The Verge, Gizmodo or whatever. They buy it because it's a)shiny b)well marketed and c) does what they need.

    The average customer could not care less if it ran W8 or iOS; it just has to be cheap enough, reliable, fashionable and good enough

    edit: Add easy, no-fuss customer support on there. I recently ordered an iPad as a present for my cousin in California because I know that if she has any problems or finds manufacturing defects, she can walk into an Apple store and have it fixed. Don't know if MS' Surface support is similar.

    God, I hate defending Apple...
    Last edited by ag1986; 05-30-2013 at 01:47 PM. Reason: Addenda
    05-30-2013 01:44 PM
  12. Made in flanders's Avatar
    But that's not the point they're making. The writers are claiming that the iPad is the best way to do a tablet. My counterpoint is that a tablet that can to both consumption AND creation without the handicaps normally associated with that ie. Battery life, lack of processing power and form factor, is going to be superior.

    A tablet running Intel's next gen chips with a full computer OS will have that capability. IPads don't.
    I disagree. I'm not saying ipad is better surface. But I see what Rene is getting at.
    I have owned an ipad an a playbook. And tablets, the way they are now aren't meant to do much work on. They aren't meant to do hardcore photoshoping. They are meant to watch a movie on, watch some pictures, browse the internet. It's for consuming data, not to produce it.
    I haven't seen anyone yet working on a tablet in the train, they read an ebook on it, or watch a movie. Even when you would have a keyboard with you, it would be a hustle to really work on. And I think that's how most people see tablets. They just most be easy to use and being good at showing media. The ability to photoshop a picture means next to nothing. Having Windows apps is cool, but it requires a mouse (touchpad) and a keyboard, so you can as well use a laptop, or a pc for that.
    edoug likes this.
    05-30-2013 02:53 PM
  13. Laura Knotek's Avatar
    I disagree. I'm not saying ipad is better surface. But I see what Rene is getting at.
    I have owned an ipad an a playbook. And tablets, the way they are now aren't meant to do much work on. They aren't meant to do hardcore photoshoping. They are meant to watch a movie on, watch some pictures, browse the internet. It's for consuming data, not to produce it.
    I haven't seen anyone yet working on a tablet in the train, they read an ebook on it, or watch a movie. Even when you would have a keyboard with you, it would be a hustle to really work on. And I think that's how most people see tablets. They just most be easy to use and being good at showing media. The ability to photoshop a picture means next to nothing. Having Windows apps is cool, but it requires a mouse (touchpad) and a keyboard, so you can as well use a laptop, or a pc for that.
    But the tablets like the Surface will be preferable to laptops due to portability and long battery life. Why lug a 6# laptop with 3-4 hr battery life when a new Surface or other Windows 8.1 tablet is just as powerful but weighs only 2# and has a battery that lasts all day?
    05-30-2013 03:46 PM
  14. edoug's Avatar
    I have the trifecta: Surface RT,Pro & iPad (mini right now but have had the larger ones). The problem is still apps that are user friendly on a tablet -and Apple is still winning here. Even office on the RT isn't really all that touch friendly when compared to Pages on the iPad. FileMaker on iPad is a huge opportunity where we miss on the Surface. (Though I will say OneNote in the Windows store shows great promise if I could sync from more than my SkyDrive)

    Having the power of a PC in a light package is still an Ultrabook before a tablet when it comes to doing serious work and will be until more Metro apps are available.

    Oh, and let me get built in, pay as you go 3g/LTE, please!
    05-30-2013 04:15 PM
  15. vdroide's Avatar
    I find the Surface a very compelling product. RIght now I don´t have a tablet. I had an iPad, but sold it and ended up buying a MacBook Air. Now, I needed computer power (in terms of software) and ultra portability (I bought an 11 inch). My heart was set on a Surface Pro which for the same price as my Air would have given me the best of two worlds, soft of at least, as it wouldn´t have given me the battery life of the iPad. In my country, the Surface Pro is not for sale though. So I bought a MacBook Air. It fills the void almost perfectly, but I miss my iPad for relaxing purposes.

    But I am not the majority of typical consumers, and neither are most people on Mobile Nations. I am doing a PhD and I do a lot of typing, a lot of simulations and a lot of multitasking. I wanted the machine that I do that on, the one I take notes, and the one I relax with the be the same. I hope MSFT knows and sees that, if they are catering to my needs or most people on here, they probably wouldn´t have great market success.

    Last weekend we bought an iPad for my mother - in - law. She was ecstatic. She just needs it for Netflix, web browsing, online shopping, the light games, her music, emails, Skype, FaceTime, iMessage etc. You see the point? Now she does a lot of work, but at her desk, with her large monitor. Her iPad is her home device. The thing she picks up in the evening or on the weekend.

    The iPad is being used in a lot of industries like aviation and medicine, but they do not represent the bulk of iPad customers. My mother-in-law comes closer to that. My father - in -law now retired has a 2008 MacBook he uses from time to time when he messes with iMovie, but most of his time including his light blogging is done on his iPad.

    My wife and my brother use their iPads at work because they don´t need to do extensive typing, but it syncs great with what they do, and they do a lot of conference calls which apparently can be done well with the iPad.

    Microsoft is missing the point, and you guys are also missing the point. The Surface is a great computer, but not such a great tablet. It does serious work rather well for its form factor but that is not what most people would have liked it to do well.

    If MSFT is trying to get the casual (majority) customer, they have it wrong. If they are trying to get the busy Office using multitasker with the need for portability (like myself) they are on the right track.

    Office is the best thing about the Surface but it was is probably used less on a tablet. They ended a commercial showing the person playing on the piano app, that is probably among the things a someone who wants a tablet would probably want it to do. See where the problem is?
    05-30-2013 09:22 PM
  16. stephen_az's Avatar
    Personally I do not see why people care what one or another tech writer says. Does it affect your use of your tablet? I would expect that is not the case. Opinions in certain circles also do not seem to be affecting sales very much. Most of the Windows 8 and RT tablets have rather premium prices but are still showing market share growth in line with industry projections set before the release of Windows 8.

    As for anything Intel is promising though, I would keep in mind that they have been saying that the next processor will solve the problems of power usage and performance for years. It has never proved to be true and I expect people will be just as disappointed after the latest processors hit the market. The low power Atoms remain the "red headed step child" of the processors and I expect that any claims they make about the next ones (or any other low power line) bringing real performance will prove to be more marketing hype than anything else. I also expect the reality of Haswell will be the same with respect to long battery life. I have heard all the lines for years and while expect the next generation will bring improvements it will not be anywhere close to current claims.
    05-31-2013 02:10 AM
  17. xandros9's Avatar
    but will the new Atom's meet the iPad's price point?
    05-31-2013 09:29 AM
  18. AccentAE86's Avatar
    I think they are going after two different markets. People with ipads also have a traditional computer, be it a desktop or laptop. Windows 8 users can actually have a tablet and ditch their other computer completely. And there are many options, from the casual user (using an atom based machine) to the power user.

    I find it unbelievable that I am actually considering replacing my full photo/video editing workstation (I am a full time pro photographer) and powerful laptop (Lenovo x220t i7) with ONE tiny tablet, the Lenovo Helix. I can simplify by reducing to ONE device so, I always have my documents on the go, and the port options allow me to hook up external monitors and drive caddies for as much storage as I need. And this tablet is only a little bigger than an iPad. Seriously, its unreal!

    I mean, I have been showing the helix to my fellow photographers (almost all of them are iSheep) and their jaws drop at the capabilities of the windows 8 options.

    So from a power users perspective, I think windows 8 absolutely annihilates any apple or android tablet. But from the ***** user, its all about marketing.

    I think more people would go for windows 8 pro tablets if they realized that this means they can move from a computer + tablet setup to a single device. I'll bet if MS pushed this idea, it would really move.
    GreenScrew likes this.
    05-31-2013 10:04 AM
  19. Rico's Avatar
    I think the gist of Rene's article deals with the fact that most people don't want complexity, and for that reason the iPad is a better choice than a Windows tablet. That's true to an extent. But Rene is simplifying that idea far too much and is missing two very important points.

    First, there is no such thing as a "post-PC world". People, myself included for a time, took that those words and ran with them, failing to really think how valid they were. Sure, we have tablets which remove a lot of the cruft of full desktop OSes and make things easier to use. But as tablet OSes get more complex, they bring their own complexity. They become the new PCs.

    Secondly, there exists a number of people for whom the iPad is really not a good choice. It's a great consumption device and even has a lot of very useful apps for productivity and practically anything in between. This can't and shouldn't be denied. But overall, in several ways it doesn't work out of the box as you'd expect a PC, Mac or Windows-based, to work. You can't plug a flash drive or memory card into it to transfer files. It won't view Office documents unless you've got an app that recognizes them (save for Powerpoint IIRC), nevermind editing them. Printing is limited to a much smaller number of printers than the Surface. Don't get me started on the lack of even a simple file system, something Windows 8 provides. In Rene's view, these things aren't valid because the iPad is selling a bazillion units in a market they reinvigorated and made theirs. Apple must be right. That's possible, but I find it much more likely that their haven't been real competitors that advertised their strengths against the iPad, which these ads do.

    Rene seems to think people would have no use for multitasking, or dropping a microSD card from a camera into their tablet, etc. Again, simplicity has it's place. There's also a place for more complex solutions that offer more options; a market we don't know the size of but I'm willing to bet it would rival the iPad's.

    Personally I do not see why people care what one or another tech writer says. Does it affect your use of your tablet? I would expect that is not the case. Opinions in certain circles also do not seem to be affecting sales very much. Most of the Windows 8 and RT tablets have rather premium prices but are still showing market share growth in line with industry projections set before the release of Windows 8.
    Because the views of tech writers influence others outside the sphere of geeks, especially if they're featured in a newspaper or on tv. To the public that knows nothing about tech, these are the resources that they go to to make an informed decision on things. A biased opinion by a tech writer can lead to poor buying choice which doesn't meet their needs.
    Last edited by Rico; 05-31-2013 at 06:53 PM. Reason: Accidentally a word
    05-31-2013 02:03 PM
  20. tungha's Avatar
    Windows RT is the perfect OS for the tablets, when the 7" comes out with the longer battery life, it'll take the marketshare from Android tablets first then the iPad, but only if it comes with the cheaper price.
    05-31-2013 07:10 PM
  21. WavingReds's Avatar
    Just like the original cell phone, it was merely to make calls but look at it now, it has replaced our walkman, discman, mp3 players, calculator, watch, calender, notepad, tv guide, gaming, dictionary books, photo albums and of course slowly but surely point and shoot cameras too, the list goes on, you can even use some as a weapon.

    As technology evolves so do the OSs that governs them. I get where MS is going the Surface Pro and other Windows 8 Tablet. The ones that dismiss it really do miss the point in it's true end game purpose.

    The real question is how many devices do you want to own / carry around / use / can afford? (Not everyone is rich to afford 2-5 devices, the poor / middle class out number the rich in every country)

    If one device can do all then why not get that.

    One device to rule them. One device to find them. One device to bring them all and in the darkness bind them! (lol sorry couldn't help it)

    I do have an iPad 2, it's sitting on the coffee table as a paper weight. Saving up for Surface Pro 2, 3 or 4 since my laptop is a power house at this time.
    HeyCori and Laura Knotek like this.
    06-01-2013 01:45 AM
  22. HeyCori's Avatar
    The only point of a tablet is to make it more versatile, more powerful and more useful. I have a Surface RT as well as several other computers. The Surface RT has become my main device for everyday computer use. Thanks to expandable memory, USB slot, HDMI out and peripheral support (e.g. printers) I can use my Surface RT just like my other computers, even outputting to a second monitor when I want to. And when I'm not using it like a traditional desktop I can still use it like a tablet. There's only a handful of things that I still need my other computers for like photo and video editing. However, a Surface Pro would allow me to do all those things and more. I simply chose to go the RT route because it better suited my need. As already mentioned, smartphones helped to cure multi-device syndrome. Tablets are headed in that same direction. Heck, thanks to Windows 8, tablets are already there. For the first time people can buy a tablet and use it as their only computer, not just their media consumption device.
    stmav, Laura Knotek and WavingReds like this.
    06-01-2013 04:20 PM
  23. TechBlogTv's Avatar
    Tech writers embrace the iPad because consumers do. iPads make up 40% of all tablets shipped, twice as many as any other manufacturer. While Android leads iOS in market share, those numbers include the "subsidized" Amazon Kindle, plus a lot of cheap Android tablets. Samsung, Asus, and Amazon make up 27%, btw...

    Consumers have yet to demand a more powerful tablet. To date, a $500 iPad or a $200 Android tablet does what most consumers want. Microsoft has failed to demonstrate any advantage a Windows Tablet offers to the consumer. All a consumer knows is that many of their favorite apps, and almost none of their niche apps are available on Windows Tablets. The consumers also known that the cheap Windows Tablets are slow-ish and the fast Windows Tablets are too expensive.

    I'm not a Windows Tablet hater. I blog about Windows Tablets so I want the platform the succeed. Up to now, the combination of developer support, performance, and price of Windows Tablets just isn't where it needs to be in order for the mainstream to embrace the platform. Hopefully the next crop of tablets will change that.
    06-06-2013 07:16 PM
  24. falconrap's Avatar
    I'll throw my 2 cents in. What will eventually happen, as Windows tablets become smaller, more powerful, and get the battery life up, they will start to take share away from iPads, and the move will exponentially accelerate. Why? Because Windows tablets have the ability to become a smaller, lighter, more portable, yet still as capable, laptop replacement for most consumers. Once these tablets are as powerful as most consumer laptops, people will buy these and hook them up to a dock so they can have the full desktop PC experience when they need it, and the ability to pull it off the dock and go read a book on the couch, or head out the door and get info on the go. For the foreseeable future iPads won't be able to do that.

    Essentially, once Windows tablets no longer have any compromises - i.e. they can replace desktops and laptops for most people - they will quickly dominate. This is the direction MS is headed in, and they have a solid plan. There will still be a large contingent of people, such as myself, that will need power that can't fit into a tablet, so a PC will continue to sit at their desks, but the rest just need a tablet on par with what is on their desks right now and this will become the thing to get.
    06-07-2013 09:53 PM
  25. CHIP72's Avatar
    But that's not the point they're making. The writers are claiming that the iPad is the best way to do a tablet. My counterpoint is that a tablet that can to both consumption AND creation without the handicaps normally associated with that ie. Battery life, lack of processing power and form factor, is going to be superior.

    A tablet running Intel's next gen chips with a full computer OS will have that capability. IPads don't.
    Maybe future applications won't need as much power or need Intel chips.

    I do agree with your first part though - IMO, a tablet is a niche device, and niche devices, if they are going to have broader adoption long-term, need to either 1) broaden their niche or 2) have low costs. I think what we'll see and in fact are already starting to see is tablets split into two categories - those that are convertible tablets/laptops, have larger screens, and potentially could replace a laptop on the high end (i.e. the tablets that are broadening their niche) and those that are smaller, cheaper, and allow quick internet access on the low end. IMO, most people don't want to pay $500 for a niche device when another device can do the job almost as well and the niche device is heavily compromised when performing certain tasks.

    I think Apple's thinking is based on the fact that the U.S. and global demographic is getting older and will want and need a larger screen device that is simple to use. On the flip side, older people, many of whom are retired, don't have as much income, so price still remains a critical factor in purchasing decisions.

    The one wild-card here is chromebooks. The non-Pixel chromebooks combine most of the functionality of a laptop (i.e. a physical keyboard for easier content entry) with the low cost of a small tablet. It is also very easy to use and isn't excessively large or heavy. I have multiple tablets (among Android OS, Blackberry Tablet OS, and webOS; two are 10" and one is 7") and also a chromebook, and I strongly, strongly prefer the chromebook. The chromebook is also the most convenient computer device I have for quickly getting on the internet. I'm not going to lie - I really like my Samsung Chromebook XE303 (Series 3), and the device only cost $250.
    06-09-2013 01:47 PM
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