Fortune’s JP Mangalindan notes that Apple and Microsoft have been bitter rivals, vital partners — and even coolly indifferent. However, he suggests that Microsoft’s new Surface tablet could change things again. Apple’s iPad has some 55% of the global tablet market. Amazon and Google have largely offered cheaper alternatives to compete. But Microsoft is taking Apple on directly with its Surface tablet PC, which sells for a premium price, and according to analysis by firm IHS iSuppli has higher margins. If things go well, Microsoft could capture some 9% of sales by 2016, Gartner Research estimates. That’s still far behind Apple, but not bad for a latecomer. Mangalindan takes look at what goes into making the two devices.
Why One User Gave Up iPad for Microsoft Surface
BetaNews’s Ali Din says he’s used the iPad 2, and recently its successor, as well as having tried the Blackberry PlayBook, the HP TouchPad, and more recently Google’s Nexus 7. However, he says that for the first time in a long time he was very excited to get a tablet – the new Microsoft Surface. He says he thinks Windows RT had a lot to do with it, and the touchscreen aspect.
Din praises the Surface RT’s wide screen and its multi-user support (which the iPad doesn’t have). and says Microsoft has really taken the touch interface and made it better and more elegant, noting that the tiles are very cool, and the flow of everything is very clean with little features that just seem to make life easier.
Din says he’s completely stopped using his iPad 3 now that he has the Surface, but conceded that some apps he wants are not available on Surface, and misses the iPad’s voice recognition.
However, he says that one of his complaints with Apple is the proprietary nature of everything, and by contrast, Surface RT is very open in this respect, and it supports Office 2013.
He explains that his needs are work-oriented, while most tablets are consumption devices — good enough to read or consume information, but frustrating to create content. The Surface RT he says acts more like a laptop or ultrabook in this sense.
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