Microsoft Surface vs iPad: Advantages and Disadvantages
The Apple iPad is currently dominating the Tablet PC market. A recently release report says the iPad outsells Android Tablets 2 to 1. With the announcement of a new line of Windows Tablets, The Microsoft Surface Tablets, Microsoft is throwing its hat into an already highly competitive market. Will the new Microsoft Surface Tablet be able to compete with the already successful iPad? What side are you o in the Microsoft Surface vs iPad debate? Check out our thoughts on the Microsoft Surface vs iPad below:
[ Also Read: Windows Tablet Comparison Chart ]
Microsoft Surface Advantages over the iPad
There are several advantages that favor the Microsoft Surface vs iPad. Here are a few of them:
- Windows 8 Compatibility: The Windows 8 Pro version of the MS Surface will be able to run the same OS and applications as a desktop PC. Thus you will be able to run full versions of Microsoft Office. You may also be able to run more resource demanding applications such as Adobe Photoshop.
- Expansion slots and Ports: The RT version of the MS Surface will ship with a microSD slot and full size USB 2.0 port. The Pro version will ship with a microSD slot, a USB 3.0 port, and a mini display port for external video. The iPad can fill some of these gaps with costly add-ons which does not compare with the MS Surface’s built-in capability. [See Microsoft Surface Specs]
- Touch Cover: One of the most clever pieces of tech I’ve seen in a long time is the Microsoft Surface Touch Cover. It doubles a both a cover for protecting the device’s screen, and as a keyboard with multi-touch trackpad support! While it’s true that there are plenty of options for adding a keyboard to an iPad, not everyone will want to carry around these pricey add-ons. The MS Surface provides keyboard functionality with no compromises.
- Flash Support: While it hasn’t been officially announced yet, we suspect that both versions of the Microsoft Surface will be compatible with Flash. As we all know, the iPad is not natively Flash compatible.
iPad Advantages over the Microsoft Surface Tablet
While the Microsoft Surface Tablet will have great advantages, the iPad does have some of their own:
- iTunes: Whether you love it or hate it, iTunes is the best market place for buying apps, music, and other content. Itunes has the largest library of music available in one online store.
- Apps: Speaking of Apps, the Ipad has the largest number of available tablet apps. Developer support for iOS remains magnitudes higher than that of other mobile platforms, including Android. While the Pro version of the Microsoft Surface will be able to run an even large number of available Windows Apps, the Windows RT version of MS Surface is another story. It remains to be seen how many Windows RT apps will be available at launch, how well they will compare to iPad and Android apps, or how well developers will embrace the platform.
- Seamless Integration of Product: Apple’s suite of technology products are already seamlessly integrated. This includes the elegant integration of Apple’s iPhone, iPad, Mac computers, and Apple TV. Users of iOS products can seamlessly share their media files across devices without hassle. While we anticipate that Microsoft’s will do a great job of integrating the desktop, Windows Tablet, Xbox and more, it remains to be seen.
- Mind Share: While fan boys can debate how well the iPad compares to similar devices, what is not in debate is the mind share Apple’s products have over other products. The average consumer thinks that Apple products are easier to use and are of high quality than competing products. This is why Apple makes a lot of money selling products that are more expensive that similar products. Even if the Microsoft Surface Tablet is a compelling device, Microsoft will still have the task of convince consumer to buy it instead of the iPad.
- Price: One of the critical factors that will determine the success or failure of the new Windows Tablets is Price. We have yet to see an official word on what the Microsoft Surface price will be. Many have speculated that the RT version should be priced near the iPad while the MS Surface Pro should sell for a few hundred dollars more. At the same price as the iPad, Microsoft would have to make a good case for why consumers should choose the Microsoft Surface Tablet instead. If the Microsoft Surface price comes in much higher than a brand new iPad, the MS Surface may be dead on arrival. Considering that previous versions of the iPad can be had for less than $400, Microsoft and its OEM partners face a tough battle in the PC Tablet market.
Can the Microsoft Surface beat iPad?
The success or failure of the Microsoft Surface Tablet and other Windows Tablets depends on two things: 1) Will the pricing be competitive and 2) will Windows RT Apps be as good as other mobile platforms. Without these tow things, the Surface Pro maybe become a viable niche product while the Surface RT will go the ways of the Microsoft Zune and Windows Mobile.