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Can Windows Tablets Break Out In 2014?
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Brian.Dean
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Brian.Dean,
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1/19/2014 | 1:00:06 PM
Software and Hardware
I think a lot depends upon the software and app store of a mobile device to make it appealing to a customer. Hardware of a mobile device is slower than a PC because a trade-off between long battery life and performance exist. As these mobile processors keep getting faster, consumers might opt for a Windows based tablet with greater demand, in other words, if growth does happen it is going to be quite slow.
Kevin Levrone
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Kevin Levrone,
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1/19/2014 | 1:41:07 PM
The key to Microsoft coming on top this year is actually Intel
With the arrival of the new Intel Bay Trail tablets and convertibles (see Dell Venue 8/11 Pro, Asus T100, Lenovo Miix 2, etc) which are faster and more productive than the Apple's tablets or various Android tablets, the trend in the following months will heavily favor Microsoft.

"Full Windows" is the key here. Full Windows means "real computer" in people's minds. Whereas people look at tablets as crippled computers with very limited productivity capabilities, they are now beginning to realize that they can have full computers in a tablet-sized format, with no compromises whatsoever: same weight, same portability, same (or better) battery life, same (or better) speed. And at a lower price too, with included Office.

With its separation between OS X and iOS hardware, Apple asks each software publisher to essentially spend twice the resources in building productivity software for Apple platforms alone (not mentioning Android or Windows). This is quite an effort, and that's why you don't really see good productivity software for iPad. 

Microsoft's Windows 8 desktop/touch unification strategy will really pay off in the coming months.

 
jagibbons
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jagibbons,
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1/19/2014 | 4:38:21 PM
Re: The key to Microsoft coming on top this year is actually Intel
When your market share is as low as Windows 8, it's easy to say they have room for growth. You can only go up from the bottom. The new convertibles and tablets coming with Windows have potential, but so far I've seen and dabbled with a number of options. The statement that for some tasks, convergence is more compromise than convenience still holds true. Time will tell if that changes.
melgross
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melgross,
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1/19/2014 | 7:25:31 PM
Business sales?
I'm not too impressed with the examples given for surface Pro sales. Delta is an all Microsoft shop, that's well known. And the reason given for their moving to Surface Pro was that they didn't need to do much. But, I have a friend who is an executive in IBM's enterprise software sales division. Recently, they gave him a tablet. Which one? Surface Pro? No, it was an iPad air. As far as I can tell, enterprise wins for Surface anything, has been dismal. Consumer uptake if anything, has been worse. In talking about selling a $500 tablet for $199, one has to remember that that's well below their cost. And out of that $199, Best buy needs to take its own profit. So Microsoft likely sold them to Best Buy for around $150, no more. That's a bloodbath! Even $350 is not more than break even, if that, when sold direct by Microsoft. But if sold by a retailer, Microsoft is again losing a lot of cash per sale. Surface Pro tablets, as we know cost much more. Unless Microsoft gives sell through numbers, we should assume that sales are another disaster.
rradina
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rradina,
User Rank: Ninja
1/20/2014 | 12:03:33 PM
Re: Business sales?
What's the build cost of any given Surface?  Without it, your comments sound too subjective.

The reason I ask is tablet price points are all over the place.  Isn't this in some ways like disk drives?  It doesn't matter what capacity, there's a certain minimum price and that's pretty much what it costs to build one regardless of whether it offers 256GB or 3TB.  If we apply that logic to tablets, the SOC certainly can differentiate it but what's the real cost difference between a single core ARM and the latest quad?  When a touch screen is engineered, what's the real cost differnce between a 800x600 cheap display and something like a Retina display?

Apple never sells stuff at bad margins.  If the iPad mini is sold for $299 with what should be good margins for all, why would $350 be the break-even for a Surface RT?  Is it really a blood bath at $199?

Of I'm just providing opinion too but I'm trying to correlate what the real costs might be based on an assumption that everyone isn't selling tablets at a loss.  Personally, I bought a Dell Venue 8 Pro for $229 at Microcenter.  Microcenter is still selling them at that price which is pretty much the best price out there (even better than Amazon).  Did Microcenter buy truckloads of them and they are trying to dump them?  Is Dell bleeding money at that price since they'd have to give them to Microcenter for no more than $199 for even a Microcenter break-even?  What's the real cost difference between a Venue 8 Pro and a Surface?  Does the Haswell really add hundreds to the cost?

Lot's of speculation but we need facts to determine whether or not we really have a bloodbath at $199 and break even at $350.
Brian.Dean
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Brian.Dean,
User Rank: Ninja
1/20/2014 | 3:14:55 PM
Re: Business sales?
You make an interesting point about determining the price of individual components. It would be nice to have a breakdown of different types of screens at per unit cost, etc.

The prices of processors are readily available, so it is a good place to start. The Venue 8 Pro has an Atom Z3740D that has a tray value of $32. And the Surface pro 2 has an i5-4300U that has a tray value of $281. It does sound extremely strange that a product having a $281 processor alone is selling for $199...

Another point to take into consideration concerning the need for performance in a Windows based tablet is that Microsoft has recently started placing the i5-4300u processor in the Surface pro 2, instead of i5-4200u. 

 
rradina
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rradina,
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1/20/2014 | 6:08:31 PM
Re: Business sales?
I don't think it was the Surface 2 Pro selling for $199.  I think it was the first generation Surface (i.e. the Surface RT which I believe is now just called Surface 2).  I believe that version had the Nvidia Tegra or something like that.  It was an ARM processor, not an Intel.
SaneIT
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SaneIT,
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1/21/2014 | 7:38:08 AM
Re: Business sales?
I haven't seen a Surface Pro 2 at that price but I don't think that's what he was getting at.

I think one of the things holding back the Surface tablet line is the confusion between the Surface and the Surface Pro.  I will be replacing my laptop with a Surface Pro 2 shortly, but I would not buy a Surface with an ARM processor.  Part of the draw for me is having a full desktop OS and not having to juggle applications between devices.  I think in the future mobile OSes and desktop OSes are going to merge, Microsoft is the company closest to making this happen and the hardware is finally good enough for me to take the plunge.
Brian.Dean
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Brian.Dean,
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1/21/2014 | 12:53:52 PM
Re: Business sales?
Yes you are right. I was searching online and the average prices for the surface pro 2 that I found was $850. I do recall that before the holidays an article was up here about a $199 surface, I guess it was also the surface 2 and not the surface pro 2. 

Yes Microsoft should not be keeping such similar names considering that anyone who is writing off tablets as not being productive might assume that the pro 2 is also the same. The surface 2 does fit the criteria of a consumption device. Firstly, like you said about the weak processor and secondly, it does not support legacy application.

 
rradina
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rradina,
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1/21/2014 | 6:30:02 PM
Re: Business sales?
I think it was the Surface "1" RT for $199 (i.e. the debut model running on ARM).
melgross
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melgross,
User Rank: Ninja
1/21/2014 | 11:52:02 AM
Re: Business sales?
Never said it was the Pro. The article isn't about the Pro, it's about Windows tablets in general.
Brian.Dean
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Brian.Dean,
User Rank: Ninja
1/21/2014 | 1:07:14 PM
Re: Business sales?
The windows aspect of a tablet is a bit more confusion because not only has Windows RT done badly but Windows 8 has also not performed well on the desktop. If windows 8 was as good as win 7 then it would have been a bit easier to gauge the value of a windows tablet based on its OS.
concrete
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concrete,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/23/2014 | 5:44:23 AM
Re: Business sales?
The latest generation of Windows ads for tablets make a big deal out of being able to use MS Office fully. This should have been the main thing they pushed on launch and there should have been a finger friendly version of office ready at launch
DDURBIN1
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DDURBIN1,
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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.
melgross
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melgross,
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1/21/2014 | 11:50:55 AM
Re: Business sales?
The article here is "Windows tablets". It's not just about Surface Pro. The costs I was referring to aren't for the Pro, obviously. The photo in the article is for a Surface 2, which isn't a Pro model, but the new RT version. But, let's face it, the Pro tablets aren't selling well either. I've read that 7 million Windows tablets sold in 2013, but I don't believe a word of it. Most everyone I know has an iPad, some have Android models, and one person has a Surface Pro. In fact, I'm skeptical about every number except that of Apple. No one else mentions sell through, some don't even tell what their shipped numbers are, and it's all a matter of guesswork by the Microsoft friendly duo of Gardner and IDC. Microsoft is losing massive amounts of money on their tablets, and third parties aren't having a ball either. Now, there's talk of an 8" Pro, or equivelant from third parties. Are they kidding? The Pro is so difficult to use in the classic desktop mode already. And for RT, well, let's just say that there's no need for that in the eye of the consumer. Both Android and iOS already fill all the ecological slots for tablets, and RT offers nothing extra of note. That will be true no matter what Microsoft does about integrating the versions.
SaneIT
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SaneIT,
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1/22/2014 | 8:38:27 AM
Re: Business sales?
I think the confusion is one of the reasons the Surface Pro isn't selling well. I know a handful of people who have them and they love them.  I just purchased one and I'm waiting for it to be delivered.  The difference between RT and Pro haven't been presented well and when I try to describe the difference to people the first comment I get is "so the RT version is a stripped down version"  I know that wasn't Microsoft's intention but RT versions are being seen as Windows lite or as limited use devices.  I think in their push to get a homogeneous feel across every device they fired some shots at their own feet.  Time will tell if any of those shots hit home.
Stratustician
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Stratustician,
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1/20/2014 | 1:45:00 PM
It's all about the marketing
I deal with the iOS vs Windows debate daily, and one of the biggest reasons I hear from customers and partners about why they still push iPads really comes down to messaging and simplicity. Microsoft and the hardware OEMs (in my opinion) still don't really push a strong value proposition to businesses.  We aren't being surrounded with the messaging that most organizations do indeed have a Microsoft infrastructure (Office, Windows, Exchange, SharePoint), and so working with technology that natively can allow workers to work productively across devices is a compelling message.  The problem is that there are so many devices out there, and just too much market noise in general.  iPads sadly sell more since there are few models to choose from, have a consistent experience and (sadly), they have good marketing.  

The other problem that I think is really keeping the platform from really taking off is that it's confusing for folks to configure.  I am still learning how to tweak my Windows 8 tablet.  It's the hybrid between having an application-based tablet and a traditional desktop that while powerful, can intimidate some folks.
Mekon
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Mekon,
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1/20/2014 | 2:54:02 PM
Microsoft needs to push an alternative vision of portable computing

This article is great, really explains the challenges ahead for MS in the tablet market. 

First, the survey you mentioned where people view their laptop and tablet as separate things, this implies that they WANT to keep them as separate things. 

The fact is, the iPad is a terrible productivity device; next time you go to an airport, check out the people trying to use the iPad with a keyboard to do actual work, it will make your eyes water at how bad this experience is.  For these folks, it would be interesting to introduce them to a Surface 2 with a type cover, miles ahead of anything available on the iPad. 

Second, you are taking BYOD as a done deal in the enterprise. I have talked to several CTOs of large organizations, and they, to the person, _hate_ BYOD as a device strategy. The problem is, up to now they simply did not have much to offer as alternative. When your CEO comes to you with an iPad and says "get this on the network", this is a hard request to refuse if you don't present any workable alternative. This is just beginning to change with some of the newer Windows tablets, too early to tell if a real shift will take place or not. 

I do, however, agree that this productivity tablets will probably ultimately only appeal to a limited set of users, but I do think in the long run, this could be a perfectly decent market for MS and its partners. Maybe ultimately 10% of the tablet market? That would be just fine for MS, selling, as you say in the article, millions of units. 

I also agree MS is misguided in trying to compete directly against the iPad and low-cost Android devices.  It is hard to imagine someone going into Best Buy, looking over an iPad, Android tablet, and Windows tablet, and ultimately choosing the Windows tablet for a consumption device. 

Microsoft will lose if they continue to attack the "front gates" of the iPad and Android markets by trying to convince consumers to buy a Windows tablet for its entertainment/ media consumption chops. This is a losing game.  

MS needs to offer an alternative vision of what these portable device can be, and the only game left in town is to push a vision of a real productivity device you can hold in your hand, connect to keyboard, and also dock with your 24" monitor at your desk. The good news is that the iPad and Android simply cannot do this, they cannot compete here; MS and its partners have this, admittedly niche, market to themselves

Brian.Dean
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Brian.Dean,
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1/20/2014 | 3:35:11 PM
Re: Microsoft needs to push an alternative vision of portable computing
I agree, as time goes by and PC sales continues to decline the need for a device that is productive (mobile or otherwise) will only increase. Mobile devices have experienced a lot of growth in recent times but to the most part they are only devices that can be used for consumption.

I think it would not require a very big leap for Android or ipad to start offering keyboards and display ports however, the advantage that Microsoft has is that Windows is accepted in the enterprise world. If performance is an issue then maybe DaaS becomes an offering. 
Mekon
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Mekon,
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1/20/2014 | 4:52:10 PM
Re: Microsoft needs to push an alternative vision of portable computing

The issue with iPad and Android isn't just the keyboards; if you plug a mouse, keyboard, and large screen into your tablet, you expect a desktop experience (something Microsoft has learned the hard way with Windows 8.x). 

OEMs might be able to do some devices like this using Android as the OS, but now the situation that Microsoft finds themselves in the consumption tablet market has exactly flipped; why on earth would anyone buy an Android device with a desktop-like experinece when you can get a Windows tablet that provides the full Windows desktop experience? The only advantage such Android devices would have would be price, but not by much.

You also want access to your desktop software, and only Windows can give you that. Granted, even with Intel's excellent BayTrail processors, the current crop of hybrid tablets isn't quite up to full desktop performance standards. But you can imagine in one more generation of SOCs from Intel, this will probably not be an issue. 

Full disclosure here:  I do NOT think the desktop is dead in any way; the desktop will be with us for information workers for the foreseeable future; obviously, the desktop/laptop computer market is pretty mature, so no big growth can be expected, but PC/Hybrid makers will continue to sell 100s of millions of units.

DDURBIN1
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DDURBIN1,
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1/21/2014 | 2:03:05 PM
Re: Microsoft needs to push an alternative vision of portable computing
Why on earth would you buy a tablet expecting a desktop experience?  Do you travel by air expecting a train experience?  (although that may be what you get these days with air travel) This is the mistake Microsoft is making with their tablets, the same experience reguardless of the "windows" device with a UI that's best for none (touch or point and click)
anon0466204498
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anon0466204498,
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1/22/2014 | 3:12:20 PM
Re: Microsoft needs to push an alternative vision of portable computing
>Why on earth would you buy a tablet expecting a desktop experience?  Do you travel by air expecting >a train experience?  (although that may be what you get these days with air travel) This is the >mistake Microsoft is making with their tablets, the same experience reguardless of the "windows" >device with a UI that's best for none (touch or point and click)

 

Exactly, the experience should not be the same, that is one of my points; when you plug in a big screen, mouse and keyboard, you should get a desktop experience, not the touch expeirence; trying to combine the two experiences into one UI is the mistake MS made with Windows 8.x;

When in touch mode, you get a touch-optimized UI, when in desktop mode, you get a desktop-optimized UI.

BUT it would be quite handy to not have to carry around multiple devices. Once device to rule them all?

Incidently, take a look at this, maybe not quite there yet, but you can see a glimmer of what the future might look like, people really love this device:

http://www.amazon.com/Dell-Venue-Pro-Tablet-Windows/dp/B00FFVYV4K

 

 
Thomas Claburn
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Thomas Claburn,
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1/21/2014 | 4:29:53 PM
Re: Microsoft needs to push an alternative vision of portable computing
> I do NOT think the desktop is dead in any way

The desktop isn't dead, but it's not likely to be a growing market.
melgross
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melgross,
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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.
melgross
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melgross,
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1/21/2014 | 11:39:14 AM
Re: Microsoft needs to push an alternative vision of portable computing
You're not correct. The iPad is an excellent productivity device. I'm not the fastest typist, but I can manage 60 WMP on my iPad's virtual keyboard, and others tell me they can do better. That's fast enough for most anything other than for secretarial work. As companies are issuing iPads, they must feel as though they fit their needs just fine. Of course, iPads won't meet every need. But then, neither do notebooks.
DDURBIN1
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DDURBIN1,
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1/21/2014 | 1:17:31 PM
Poor horse for Microsoft
iPad Air 128GB is 799.  A Surface Pro 2 128GB is $999.  The iPad is one pound and 7.5 millimeters thick with a 10 hour battery life.  The Surface Pro 2 is 0.52 inches thick, is two pounds with a 6 hour battery life.  iOS 7 is as intuitive as it can get.  Windows 8.1 is as un-intuitive as it gets.  Poor and out dated technical features built on an UI nobody likes at a price few want to pay. These are Microsoft's biggest problems. 
rradina
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rradina,
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1/21/2014 | 6:53:48 PM
Re: Poor horse for Microsoft
Check the SP2 battery specs.  The reviews I read claimed 6 hours w/constant video playback.  Typical use cases exceed 8 hours.  It's better to express dimensions in common terms.  There are 25.4mm/inch.  Based on your inch figure, the SP2 roughly half that at ~13mm.
OilGeo
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OilGeo,
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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.
DDURBIN1
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DDURBIN1,
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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,
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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,
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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,
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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.
OilGeo
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OilGeo,
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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 | 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.
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.


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