Microsoft CEO Bill Gates has said that its Surface tablets are competitors to Apple’s iPad. Surface evens best the iPad in terms of productivity, some may say.
Microsoft Surface isn’t out yet, but the tablets are definitely going against the iPad. Can they succeed?
Ballmer said no space is going to be uncovered and left for Apple and mentioned the advantages in productivity, which come from the fact that the desktop half of Windows can be used along with ports such as USB. It makes one wonder why Apple isn’t including USB ports considering Surface – running Windows 8 RT, especially – rivals the iPad in terms of thinness. I want to copy photos from my USB stick across my laptop and iPad – it’s not going to ruin the experience.
He also said the company has advantages in enterprise management. Ballmer added Microsoft is just as competitive in areas such as the cloud, hardware and software. Windows 8 integrates SkyDrive into the operating system, while Metro is the first unique approach to software design. Android copies iOS, and Google differentiated by making the operating system open source. iOS is a closed operating system, meaning Apple has control over the software.
Co-Develop Smartphone With Nokia?
On whether the company will follow up on Surface by releasing a first-party smartphone, it wasn’t ruled out but Ballmer said the focus is on Surface. He mentioned partners such as Nokia and HTC. Both companies have built Windows Phone devices; Nokia’s Lumia 900 smartphone has been praised for its distinct design.
On whether Surface would be available online from Microsoft and at Microsoft Stores exclusively, Ballmer said the company wouldn’t be against a partner buying Surface products and putting them in front of consumers somewhere else. It’s a shame Microsoft isn’t offering cellular plans, because carrier could have exposed the tablet in their stores.
Microsoft did announce earlier this year, though, that 75 Microsoft Stores are to be in the U.S. Apple runs around 300 worldwide, and manages to get people lining up outside – before the product is on sale – in mass numbers. Microsoft needs to create a similar awareness of Surface (and Windows 8 to a much lesser extent).
Microsoft Surface launches around the general availability of Windows 8.