re: iPad Air vs. Surface 2: 9 Considerations
Yeah, I've heard some gripes about the new iWork too. Haven't had a chance to check it out yet, since I've been spending time with a Surface 2 and Windows 8.1. But it sounds like not everyone is happy, even if it's free. Apple makes great hardware and operating systems, but some of their individual software applications can be hit and miss.
The train comment is interesting. I agree with some of the broad strokes you've observed-- if someone is using an iPad, they are probably reading/gaming/watching, and if someone is working on a spreadsheet, you can bet it's on a Windows machine. But at least in San Francisco, I see relatively few Windows machines being used for more than work--e.g. for games. I carry my Surface around because it's often easier than carrying a full laptop, and I certainly think Win 8.1 touch devices are fine for reading/gaming/watching-- but inside the city, I've only seen one other person with a Surface. I actually see a ton of people working (writing, coding, spreadsheets, graphics, etc) on MacBook Airs and MacBook Pros; if you're going by SF-area cafe patrons, the Apple laptops command about half the market. And based on my observations at conferences and events, tech journalists and analysts seem to carry around Apple devices about 4:1 versus Windows devices.
Just goes to show that the device market is hard to read, and that anecdotal experience is tricky to apply. I think the explosion of device types, workflows and use cases is why some people under-appreciate how productive iPads can be, and why others underestimate both how dominant a product like Office really is, and how important Windows will continue to be for years to come.