• Microsoft Windows 8 Surface tablet vs. Apple iPad – 6 points to challenge the dominance of iPad

    Posted on June 25th, 2012 David Brooks | No comments

    On the Los Angeles event a week ago, Microsoft released the Windows 8 Surface tablet PC, which is their first tablet and operates on the upcoming Windows 8 operating system. Microsoft spent a lot of time introducing the wonderful features of Surface tablet PC, which actually includes two versions. Even though there’ve been many Windows tablets in the market to compete with Apple’s iPads, Surface is the first tablet from Microsoft to full exploit the capabilities of its own new Windows 8 operating system. This also means Microsoft is officially taking part in the tablet market to compete with Apple iPads to take a share of spoils. But, can Microsoft’s strategy with the Surface, and all Windows 8 tablets, for that matter, succeed in not just being a No. 2 to the iPad, but in being a true iPad rival? If Microsoft is going to take on Apple in the tablet wars, the following key questions should be ironed out and improved to win the competition.

    Microsoft Surface VS new ipadKeyboard/touch-pad productivity: On the Surface event, Steve Ballmer spent a large amount of time on the Touch Cover and Type Cover. These are innovative Smart Cover-like accessories that have a soft or physical keyboard and, in the case of the Type Cover, a touch pad bonded to one side. On the contrast, the iPad can support a wide variety of Bluetooth keyboards and cases like the similar Ultrathin Keyboard Cover, but no touch pad or mouse. That hampers the iPad’s utility as a true laptop replacement, but would Microsoft’s product make for a vastly improved experience? There’s a big difference between a good keyboard and touch pad and a bad one. As the Surface tablets are still on the way, we have to wait and see this.

    The screen: The RT version Windows 8 Surface tablet PC support 720P while the Windows 8 Surface Pro version tablets could play 1080p, with various video formats supported. This makes it quite easily for users to watch HD videos on Surface, like to watch AVCHD videos on Surface. But compared to the third-gen iPad, which has a far crisper Retina Display, Surface is still inferior to the new iPad, although the iPad 2 has a 720p-level screen as well. Not even to say the excellent video experience provided by Apple for users to watch HD videos on new iPad, which has been iPad’s strong point since it’s introduced. So, the screen of Surface is another option for Microsoft to improve.

    Apps: Quite obviously, Apple iPads get more scores on apps. Apple’s App Store gives access to the latest iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad app, a catalog that leads the tablet pack. There’re also a number of iPad-optimized Web sites and Web apps for iPads. While the Windows RT version Surface only run Metro apps and the Windows 8 tablets run older Windows applications as well. Microsoft has to build a convincing catalog of apps for RT and ensure the smooth going of updated older apps on newer touch-driven software.

    Microsoft Surface TabletOS: Apple’s iPads run iOS while MacBooks run OS X, and the two approach each other without meeting or sharing apps. The disadvantage is that an iPad can’t be a true Mac replacement. Windows 8 tablets are full-fledged computers capable of running both tablet apps and full computer applications. It remains to be seen whether Microsoft is ahead of the game or muddying the waters. Meanwhile, the Surface RT only runs apps, like the iPad.

    Consumer/Pro split: Apple’s been successful at making one line of iPads, which differ from 4G and storage. Microsoft’s twin set of tablets — one with beefier specs and full Windows compatibility, the other more like an iPad — could fracture the decision-making process. Apple has MacBook Pros at higher prices and with more capabilities, but all MacBooks run the same type of OS; they don’t split it like the Surface does. Could this be better than Apple iPad?

    Price:The stable price has also been a great reason of iPads’ popularity. To compete with Apple iPad, the Windows Surface tablet needs to be affordable, and cheaper than an iPad, or better for the same price, if that can be accomplished.

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