Microsoft Priced the Surface to Be Competitive
There are hundreds of small touches like this, from perimeter cooling to a built-in stylus, to support for a local-area network (LAN) client and network-based printing. In other words, this is the iPad alternative for the enterprise. Because it runs Windows, its something the IT department is used to managing, security for Windows is a known quantity, and while the iPad learning curve isnt exactly steep, neither is the learning curve for Windows 8. What this really means is that the Microsoft Surface, designed by Microsoft hardware engineers to be the ideal tablet for Windows 8, isnt really intended to be an iPad killer. Instead, its an iPad alternative. The iPad is a device for consuming content, originally designed for consumer use, but adapted to the enterprise. The Surface is designed for creating, as well as consuming content, and is designed to work within the enterprise as well as for consumers.But what will catch the attention of the iPad fanciers is that the Surface is a brilliant piece of industrial design. The Surface was clearly manufactured to very tight tolerances, and it looks it. This is a device that is intended to feel good in your hands, to be as ergonomically perfect as a tablet device can be, and to make both the hardware and software work properly together. Of course, Apple does the same things with the iPad, and that means that were seeing a form of competition where the race isnt to the bottom as it is in some areas of technology, but rather its a race to excellence. It will improve the breed on both sides. Its pretty hard to argue with that.
The differences may seem slight, but they are very real. While the Surface will vie for market share in some parts of their respective shared markets, its not a direct iPad rival. Instead, the Surface is designed to operate on a different level from the iPad. There will be buyers for the Surface who would never consider an iPad, and buyers for the iPad for whom the Surface is not the answer.