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.