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Can Windows Tablets Break Out In 2014?
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melgross
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melgross,
User Rank: Ninja
2/2/2014 | 12:46:36 PM
Re: Microsoft needs to push an alternative vision of portable computing
The desktop isn't dead, and it isn't likely to die anytime soon. But, in the future, at some point, it might die. We really shouldn't be quick to think it will be here forever. As technologies advance, what we are used to may no longer be needed. How far in the future are we looking? Over the next five years, things won't change drastically, but in ten? Twenty? Sure, things won't be the same.
OilGeo
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OilGeo,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/27/2014 | 4:24:49 PM
Re: Poor horse for Microsoft
I wasn't comparing iPad 4 to the Air, I was comparing the A7 to Bay Trail Intel Atom processors. And Geekbench 3 runs on both the iPad Air (A7 chip) as well as the Surface Pro 2 (i5 Haswell) and shows a definite 2-3x performance lead in favour of the Surface pro 2. The UI is drastically different resulting in very little percieved difference but the numbers are accurate. The Surface 2 is simply capable of much faster computing, and using a true CISC x64 architecture can perform any task a computer or tablet will ever need to do.

By no means am I saying that an iPad is not a powerful computing device, but what I am saying is that value for versatility the Surface is in fact the market leader at this point. 

Just because you want to think the iPad is faster, better, more versatile doesn't make it so. When Apple adds an active digitizer, expandable storage and the ability to manage files without iTunes I will be impressed. However as it stands you simply cannot plug a USB drive into an iPad, copy the contents onto a local drive and then access that however you want at a later date.

Name one hardware feature the iPad has that a Surface does not. Screen resolution and thinness notwithstanding, even with a slightly lower resolution screen and thicker chassis you can still use the Surface. You simply can't expand the iPad, use a flash drive, manage files, or use a docking station to combine your iPad with a full size keyboard and monitor to replace your PC. This is something Surface owners do on a daily basis.

This is going to be my final reply, it has been fun sparring with you but at some point today I need to earn my salary and this has taken up way too much of my time.
DDURBIN1
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DDURBIN1,
User Rank: Ninja
1/27/2014 | 4:10:57 PM
Re: Poor horse for Microsoft
The A7 is a dual-core CPU/quad-core GPU SoC (System on Chip) and aside from the A7 there's another much smaller processor called the M7 dedcated to manage motion. The iPad Air performs 59% faster than the iPad 4 in the 3D Mark Ice Storm Unlimited CPU and GPU test and 91% faster in Geekbench 3 tests. 

There are 28 different versions of the i5 chip and 13 different verions of the i5 Haswell.  The Surface Pro 2 was released with the i5-4200U, a 1.6 GHz part that can hit 2.6 GHz in "Turbo" mode.  The newest Surface Pro 2 now come with a i5-4300U processor, which runs at 1.9 GHz, or 2.9 GHz in Turbo.  The graphics is done by Intel HD Graphics 4400 at 200 MHz.  These are nothing to write home to mom about but certainly much better than 2012 Surface products.

Comparisons are hard to make. 
OilGeo
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OilGeo,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/27/2014 | 2:22:11 PM
Re: Poor horse for Microsoft
I feel like you are a misinformed Apple fan. That's fine, buy your Apple products. I bought an Air today to see if what you are saying is true, I'll know more tomorrow.

However, the A7 chip in the iPad Air is roughly half as powerful as the i5 chip in the Surface Pro 2 and has be demonstrated via benchmarking tools numerous times. In fact the A7 is only about 8% faster than the new Intel Atom Bay Trail processors found in tablets ranging from $300-$400. Running 32-bit applications the outlook is even more grim for the A7 (nearly 100% of iPad apps are 32 bit) and it turns in a performance level roughly 30% of the Surface Pro 2 processor.

When I buy a car I look at the comfort, usablility and practicality as well as the fun factor and all the other features. However a tablet being 3mm thinner is not equivalent to my choosing a Ford Raptor as my primary vehicle over a normal F150 or my wife buying an Audi S6 over a car that costs half as much. 

Furthermore, a 128gb Pro 2 tops out at $1100 if you buy the keyboard and Office 2013 costs $100 for up to 5 computers per year. A permanent license is only $130. 

By including flatly false information in your rebuttle you really discredit any correct statements you make. Please, if you reply to me again get your facts straight, buy a Surface Pro 2 and an iPad Air and try to use both for real work. Even graphically the Surface Pro 2 blows the iPad out of the water.
DDURBIN1
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DDURBIN1,
User Rank: Ninja
1/27/2014 | 11:19:10 AM
Re: Poor horse for Microsoft
When you buy a car, don't you car about its features? Do you dismiss comfort, fit, price, and finish as they are not that noticeable?

You need to get more familiar with the iPad Air.  Its chip runs circles around an i5 chip.

OfficeSuite Pro 7 from mobi for iPad or Android

MS blew the Xbox1 launch too and only changed because customers used that billy club I was talking about.
DDURBIN1
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DDURBIN1,
User Rank: Ninja
1/27/2014 | 11:05:31 AM
Re: Business sales?
Office 2013 is suppose to be finger friendly but I haven't tried it and yes it should have been available at the launce of Surface. I still use Office 2003 with really no need to keep upgrading versions. Maybe when Office 2013 is bundled free with a Surface Pro 2 I might try it but at $2000 plus itís out of my budget. I think Microsoft would be better off offering a version of Office 2013 on an iPad or Android as there's about 500 million of these in the market and only a few thousand Surfaces.
OilGeo
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OilGeo,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/27/2014 | 10:50:28 AM
Re: Poor horse for Microsoft
Well, you are correct that it doesn't have the same thickness or screen resolution as the iPad but it is really not that noticeable. However I've never thought that an ultra thin 10" tablet is really that important. Lighter would be nice though. 

The surface 2 non pro is the iPad competitor and it is half the price of the iPad. The surface Pro 2 is orders of magnitude faster than the fastest iPad. A full Core i5 processor is a far more powerful solution than Apple's ARM chips. Combined with an active digitizer the Surface Pro has the potential to win the hearts and minds of students and casual users that want to eliminate paper. You can't rest your arm on an iPad and write with a stylus to take notes or sketch an idea out, you can with almost all of the new MS based tablets. Combined with expandable storage, the ability to manage files, and use a real USB flash drive the surface line really starts to show some value. 

And as for the Office suite alternatives, if you can find one that will open, edit, save and preserve the necessary functionality in one of the spreadsheets I work with on a daily basis I will pay you $100. I've tried them all on iPad, Android, and so far Office is the only one that really works. Even PowerPoint presentations with mildly advanced features barely worked. Coupled with a lack of HDMI output and no USB port the iPad is really just a media consumption toy. 

The market won't turn around this or even next year, but as people decide to replace their laptops the surface is going to look like a bargain. Combined with a keyboard it has the same screen size and capabilities as an 11" Mac book Air plus can be used as a tablet like an iPad. Not to mention it can share media to XBOX consoles, any smart TV, PS3 and soon PS4 consoles, Apple products require Apple specific peripherals. Even if iPad continues to outsell MS powered tablets for the foreseeable future it isn't because they are superior but because they were first to market. 
OilGeo
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OilGeo,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/27/2014 | 10:50:28 AM
Re: Poor horse for Microsoft
Well, you are correct that it doesn't have the same thickness or screen resolution as the iPad but it is really not that noticeable. However I've never thought that an ultra thin 10" tablet is really that important. Lighter would be nice though. 

The surface 2 non pro is the iPad competitor and it is half the price of the iPad. The surface Pro 2 is orders of magnitude faster than the fastest iPad. A full Core i5 processor is a far more powerful solution than Apple's ARM chips. Combined with an active digitizer the Surface Pro has the potential to win the hearts and minds of students and casual users that want to eliminate paper. You can't rest your arm on an iPad and write with a stylus to take notes or sketch an idea out, you can with almost all of the new MS based tablets. Combined with expandable storage, the ability to manage files, and use a real USB flash drive the surface line really starts to show some value. 

And as for the Office suite alternatives, if you can find one that will open, edit, save and preserve the necessary functionality in one of the spreadsheets I work with on a daily basis I will pay you $100. I've tried them all on iPad, Android, and so far Office is the only one that really works. Even PowerPoint presentations with mildly advanced features barely worked. Coupled with a lack of HDMI output and no USB port the iPad is really just a media consumption toy. 

The market won't turn around this or even next year, but as people decide to replace their laptops the surface is going to look like a bargain. Combined with a keyboard it has the same screen size and capabilities as an 11" Mac book Air plus can be used as a tablet like an iPad. Not to mention it can share media to XBOX consoles, any smart TV, PS3 and soon PS4 consoles, Apple products require Apple specific peripherals. Even if iPad continues to outsell MS powered tablets for the foreseeable future it isn't because they are superior but because they were first to market. 
DDURBIN1
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DDURBIN1,
User Rank: Ninja
1/27/2014 | 10:23:05 AM
Re: Poor horse for Microsoft
@OilGeo, you are pretty much mistaken on all accounts.  The Surface Pro 2 doesn't NOT compete with the MacBook, its a slate (tablet) not an ultrabook plus it (surface Pro 2) doesn't compete period with ANY Apple product.  The Surface Pro doesn't have the features to compete with the iPad Air, or even the iPad 1 or 2 for that matter.  Not the same weight, thickness, screen resolution, processor speed, memory, you name the feature and the Surface or Surface Pro don't even come close.  The Surface Pro 2 is the only Microsoft product to compete head to head with the iPad (any model).  The RT is a failure from a sales point of view.  Even at $300 nobody wants it.  It's an Edsel.  Can you say "Zune"?

There is a reason there are over 200 million iPads in the market.  There are alternatives to Window's based software particularly Office.   Most of the iPads used by businesses use specialty applications designed for the iPad because windows slates sucked.  As far as I know nobody wants to run AutoCAD, Pro Engineer or any other high powered graphic intense software on a touch tablet or slate.  It they did the iPad Air could handle the work much better than any Surface product.  

Here's what's going to happen.  Microsoft will continue to dominate in the corporate market while Google and Apple continue to hand Microsoft its hat in the consumer market.  Eventually Microsoft will begin to loose in the corporate market as well.   MS has lost its customer focus.  Test marketing of Win8 provided MS early signs their OS wasn't liked but continued unchanged anyway. Everything MS tries to do is about maximizing profit (which is the capitalist way) however not listening to customers is a formula for disaster.  So far MS has one disaster after another because they want to sell what they want to sell not what customers want to buy.  GM and Ford learned this lesson very late allowing their 91% market share to fall to barely 40% between the two now.  Same is happening to Microsoft unless they start listening to customers but so far a billy club is needed to get MS to pay attention to customers.
OilGeo
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OilGeo,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/26/2014 | 8:04:56 PM
Re: Poor horse for Microsoft
What you are saying would make sense if you were comparing products that are actually competing. However the Surface Pro 2 is actually more directly comparable to a Macbook Air than an iPad of any sort as the Surface Pro 2 (128gb) runs a full desktop OS with a touch-screen optimized UI. This means you can run the full-blown versions of any desktop application (Photoshop, Premiere Pro, AutoCAD, MS Office etc.). The iPad may have a lot of apps, but none of them are as powerful as the ones avaliable on Windows.

That being said, the iPad compares directly to the Surface 2 (no "Pro") which can be had for as little as $450. You might point out that this is only a 32gb version, however since all Surface devices can accept microSD card expansion you can expand this to 96gb for roughly an extra $30. This is a far cry from the extra $400 Apple charges to purchase an iPad with more storage. In this situation the iPad does out-do the Surface 2 in terms of application support, however if productivity is your primary concern the Surface 2's built in complete version of Office 2013 shames any Office suite on iPad.

iPad may be a better seller and it is much simpler to use initially, however it is severely limited by the very nature of iOS. For anyone willing to spend a couple of hours really learning Windows 8.1 it becomes apparent that Windows tablets are in fact the superior product in many (but not all) cases. I currently do not own a Surface branded tablet, but I have a Dell Venue 8 Pro tablet, my wife has a Sony Duo 13 convertable PC and a 4th gen iPad. I also have owned an iPad mini and currently my primary PC is a Macbook Pro. I am not brand loyal, but I do appreciate the vision behind Microsoft's new products. They are a large enough company to weather a few bumpy years pushing a new product out, and eventually I do believe they will once again succeed in dominating the computing market.
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