Monday night, Microsoft announced it is developing a tablet, called “Surface”. Wednesday, I sit here thinking to myself, “Wow, I really don’t have much to say about anything today, so be it.” Mike then asks me if I had seen Surface, and thus, a new post was born.
Let’s not miss the real message in my words, though. Wednesday, two days after a major technology announcement, I had nothing to say about said announcement. And still, had I not been sparked into actively thinking about the Surface, I wouldn’t have. And why should I? I had one question that would decide the fate (in my mind) of this new piece of equipment:
What will it do that my iPad won’t?
I can already see the “fanboy” comments pour in, but I am not only speaking as my Apple-loving self here. I am acting as the voice of the general community. Yes, I love my Apple products. Yes, I often criticize Windows platforms. I don’t hide from who I am, but I also won’t let it get in the way of what I feel will be the general consensus on this news.
Of course, it looks gorgeous. And of course I love the attached keyboard (also a cover) and USB functionality. But after those features, it still seems like an iPad running a new Windows operating system – which is not something to be overlooked.
Say what you will about Apple products, but one thing remains overwhelmingly clear: their software is intuitive and generally flawless. One of the reasons is that Apple is very restrictive of user customization – a combination that has forced the company to cater to the needs of its customers without allowing them to tweak the software to their own desires. This would normally be considered a bad thing had Apple not created the very products that we would have, had we been able to customize them ourselves. Regardless, this is not an Apple discussion, anyway.
Still, I know I am not alone on a major hurdle for the Windows tablet: it runs… Windows. There are much more tech-savvy people out there than me, but, honestly, I’m not talking about them. They can argue the specs of any piece of “superior” equipment, but I will counter with one thought: Windows has a stigma that Apple doesn’t.
It is, with that reasoning, that I can’t see the Surface ever dominating the iPad, just like I can’t see the Windows phone doing the same over an iPhone. Windows will have its niche following – those that swear it’s just “so much better” – but they will be in the minority.
It also appears that the Surface is being marketed at businesses. So what? Businesses have iPads now. I ask again, “Why would a business want this over an iPad?” The reasons lead me to believe that it will different from an iPad (okay, what does that get you?) but not necessarily better in any way. The focus seems to be solely on the Windows 8 operating system, but as I said earlier, that doesn’t necessarily inspire confidence for me.
We also shouldn’t forget that Apple is rumored to soon be unveiling their next iPad. Who’s to say the iPad 3 (or iPad HD2? iPadz? IDK?) won’t blow the Surface away in specs? I’d surely take the established, successful, fan favorite device about to announce its next generation over the new kid on the block who hasn’t had the “hot item” in over a decade.
Then there’s the price, which is still largely a mystery. Amazon’s Kindle Fire (a clear iPad competitor) is priced at $199.99. You want a cheap iPad? There you go, half the price. But rumors are pretty apparent that Surface will be around the price of an iPad, with some sources saying even higher. Let’s play it safe, and say that it is exactly the same as an iPad. Once again, I ask the same question: why would anybody choose this instead?
Speaking of choosing iPads, just look at how the internet has catered to Apple. The standard of web applications was clearly Adobe Flash for years. Until Apple comes along, decides they don’t like Flash, and supports HTML5. HTML5, a language that no one spoke, is now quickly becoming a must-have programming function. All of this just for one company: Apple.
I won’t be getting the Microsoft Surface – I think that’s clear at this point. I know that I am being totally biased when I take this stance, but I am certain that my subjective opinion is not alone. I predict with confidence that one year from now, we won’t be talking about the Surface as the “new standard” for anything, business or personal. Instead, the Surface will be “just another tablet” and the iPad will continue to dominate the marketplace.
I know this article is pure opinion and conjecture, but do you agree? Are you buying the Surface? If so, what feature sold you on it? Let me know in the comment section below.