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No, Microsoft’s $400 Surface Tablet does not need to compete against the Apple iPad

No, Microsoft’s $400 Surface Tablet does not need to compete against the Apple iPad

The war between Apple and Microsoft ended in the mid-90s, but for some who lack the mental flexibility to consider technological superiority a relative concept, as opposite to the absolute paradigm new generations find themselves fortunate enough to be more into nowadays, Microsoft and Apple are not only at odds with each other’s operating systems and software. They are also still at each other’s throats as device manufacturers.

Yes, Microsoft makes hardware devices, and they are darn good too. They are also tailored around those who feel comfortable within the Windows ecosystem, and it’s perfectly fine, except for those who consider themselves Apple “purists”. In that sense, Apple is home. Mac OS, iOS, tvOS, the one-button / one-touch / one-slide / one-word-does it all solution that drives the simple and ultra-efficient narrative of those who simply want to use computing devices, without needing to understand them, or worrying about fixing it.

This is the Mac way, and it’s great, except for those who are comfortable within the Windows ecosystem, and the loop keeps looping, but the narrative stays the same: Microsoft makes a tablet, and the Internet goes wild with tales of Redmond taking on the iPad, as if it’s some kind of quest, but the truth is that Microsoft makes a tablet because sometimes a tablet is better than a laptop. Even better if the tablet can be a laptop, and if that puts it in direct market competition with the iPad,where it’s good enough to cause Apple users to consider it as a worthy alternative,maybe that’s because it is.

The latest is that Microsoft is about to introduce a cheaper edition of Surface, supposedly priced at $400. The new device will have a 10-inch screen, and will run Windows 10 in “S” mode, a slimmed-down Windows 10 configuration available at a cheaper price, with the option to upgrade to Pro, and designed to work exclusively with Microsoft Store apps.

According to TechCrunch, the device competes directly with Apple’s cheapest iPad, but that assumption is purely based on price point. Also there is mention of Windows 10 “S”, which is unlikely to happen, as the company is quickly shifting towards a model where Windows 10 stays the same, but can be upgraded to higher tiers from within Windows 10 itself, by purchasing the required licenses. This practice is far more flexible and nimble, for that matter, and allows consumers to switch directly, without the need to reinstall. It just makes much more sense.

By logic alone, to say that an S-mode Surface device like the one Microsoft is about to announce, is meant to compete against the cheapest Apple iPad, is tantamount to saying that Microsoft Surface Studio is meant to compete against the upcoming 2019 Apple Mac Pro. Both are very powerful devices, but they are significantly different in what they are able, and what they are meant to do.

A more reasonable comparison would be with a similarly priced Samsung Chromebook, as both devices are limited by store-bought apps, they both have laptop-like characteristics without the bulk of desktop software, and they both benefit from extended battery life. The only key difference of course, is that Chromebooks come with a keyboard, whether it’s built-in on attached, and the upcoming Surface, just like any other Surface tablet with the exception of the Surface Book, will require consumers to buy the Surface keyboard separately. In addition, the new 10-inch tablet is considerably smaller than the pro, which means that it will most likely require its own Surface Keyboard.

It’s also possible that Microsoft will include only one USB-C port for charging and communication, a-la 12-inch Apple MacBook.

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