Earlier today I read an article by Tom Warren at The Verge entitled Apple finally admits Microsoft was right about tablets. I wasn’t especially surprised considering that Warren has always been completely MS-centric. He’s a good writer and does his job well, but I he’s not the guy I look to for even-handed reporting.
As a full-time Windows user myself and someone who certainly doesn’t dislike the platform, I still heartily disagree with his take in this article.
Apple is all about the services lately. Apple Music has been growing fast, but we already know that there’s a lot more on tap in the near future. Apple’s video streaming service is coming as soon as next month or so, and their new News service powered by the Texture acquisition should also be here by Summer. However, Apple may not be stopping there.
Apple loves to tell us that the iPad is a computer and Microsoft loves to make fun of them for it. At least they are both reliable. Microsoft has ribbed Apple in commercials before, but this Christmas season brings a fresh dig in the form of an ad for the Microsoft Surface Go. Check it out here, or below:
I know what some of you are thinking. Why am I reviewing an accessory for the Surface Go on an Apple and iPad-centric site? Well, in case you haven’t seen, I have already written about the fact that I own a Surface Go on a couple of occasions. I picked one up right after the new device launched, and I liked it enough that I held onto it, and I still use it today. In fact, since I sold my iPad Pro in preparation for the coming new model over a month ago, I use my Go pretty often these days.
As I mentioned in a previous post, I picked up the higher end of the two Surface Go models right after release, along with a Type Cover and a Surface Pen. I’ve taken my time with the device, and used it in different situations to try to get a feel for it. Being that I am already a Windows user at work who’s had a Lenovo Yoga (original), Yoga 2, and Yoga 720 spanning the last five years, the experience certainly isn’t unfamiliar. The Yoga has been a very good touchscreen ultrabook line since the original, and I have no complaints with it as a laptop.
The Yogas can also be used as tablets, although that experience certainly leaves something to be desired. Frankly, a LOT to be desired. Ultimately, my ambivalence toward touch on Windows based on my experience with what is a good, high-end touchscreen convertible device kept my interest in Microsoft’s Surface products low over the years.
I may be the editor for a site that got its start exclusively covering the iPad, but I am also a lifelong Windows user. It is the only platform I can use for work, because all of the software in my field of expertise is Windows-based. The only path I have to using a Mac at work is via virtual machines, and that just isn’t attractive to me. That isn’t the only reason, though. I have always used Microsoft Windows, going back to my student days. That familiarity is hard to shake, especially when I’ve never been faced with a convincing reason to leave the platform for unfamiliar waters.
Photo Source: Loup Ventures
So Siri looks like it’s a little bit smarter this year than in April of 2017. At least that’s what Loup Ventures’ Annual Digital Assistant IQ Test tells us. Does this mean that Siri really is quantifiably better now than a few months ago? Probably? Maybe? Who knows? More to the point- does this test actually matter?
Before Apple’s stock price soared to even greater heights this week thanks to strong iPhone sales, growing services revenues, and rumors of spectacular devices to come, we got the bad news about iPad sales. During Apple’s quarterly sales call two weeks ago, we learned that sales were down 19% percent and revenue down 22% over last Q1, meaning not even the impressive iPad Pros have been able to overcome the forces of market saturation, slow upgrade cycles, and the encroachment of large screen smartphones.
Tim Cook keeps telling us that Apple remains committed to the platform, and to their credit, Apple has kept adding form factors and features to the lineup (and we hear more are on the way). However, the iPad’s glory days seem a distant memory, and it is now clearly a secondary device to the company’s true money maker- the iPhone.
I imagine most of you have seen the recent Microsoft TV ads for Windows tablets by now, as they’ve been getting some heavy airtime lately. The latest one, shown above, features a Siri-like voice that points out a number of supposed limitations of the iPad when compared to a Windows tablet. Those limitations include the lack of an official Powerpoint app on the iPad.
That’s pretty rich given that …
— There’s no iPad Powerpoint app only because Microsoft themselves have decided not to release MS Office on iOS, which likely means they’ve lost out on billions of dollars worth of app sales.
— There are a number of very capable replacement apps for Powerpoint on iPad, from Apple’s excellent Keynote app to Quick Office, Documents to Go, and others.
It’s also striking that in its two new ads attacking the iPad Microsoft has chosen to feature an Asus-made Windows tablet for its head-to-head (some would say apples to oranges) comparisons. They don’t use their own Surface tablets, which were originally hailed as the state-of-the-art in Windows tablets.It’s also interesting that the strapline for this ad is ‘Less talking, more doing’. Pretty bold stuff from the platform that has a tiny fraction of the available productivity apps actually designed for use on a tablet.
I don’t think these latest Microsoft ads are terrible by any means. They may well be effective with a lot of hardcore Windows fans and some corporate users who still believe the nonsense about the iPad being a consumption-only device. I can’t see them winning over many iPad or even Android users though, or any of us who have no need for MS Office apps.
What do you all think of these Microsoft ads? Have they swayed you towards a Windows tablet?
Even though Microsoft’s public stance, when asked about the impact of Apple’s slate is “iPad? What iPad?”, the Redmondians are preparing the company’s partners for battle in 2011.
That’s the opening line from Mary-Jo Foley’s article on how Microsoft plans to ‘market against the iPad’ at her All About Microsoft blog. Here’s the thing though – they’re not planning on ‘battling’ them by actually being on the field of battle in any meaningful way; instead they’ll be ‘doing battle’ by arming their partners with Powerpoint slide shows.
Microsoft is making available to its reseller partners marketing collateral to help them defend against the iPad’s encroachment into the enterprise market. I had a chance to check out a PowerPoint dated December 2010 on “Microsoft Commercial Slate PCs” that the company is offering to its partners to help them explain Microsoft’s slate strategy to business users.
At the big CES event last week there was lots of tablet and iPad rival talk from numerous vendors. One company we heard very little from though is Microsoft. Nearly all the tablets that got any press coverage at CES run (or will run when released) one version or other of the Android OS; with only very few that I heard of offering some sort of dual-boot scenario with Android and Windows 7.
And honestly, the whole idea of running Windows 7 on a tablet, or any mobile device, is just a loser right from the off in my book. My experience is that even on PCs there has been a great need for many years for a much more lightweight version of Windows – so why on earth would anyone think full-blown Windows is suitable for tablets?