Microsoft Executive Says iPad Pro Was Apple's Response to Surface

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Microsoft executive Ryan Gavin this week suggested Apple released the iPad Pro in response to its Surface devices, per Business Insider.


"When Surface initially launched, everyone was skeptical, including them," said Gavin, general manager of Surface commercial devices at Microsoft. "And then they followed, and the iPad Pro is a clear example of that."

Microsoft positions the latest Surface Pro, released on Thursday, as a "best-in-class laptop" with the "versatility of a studio and tablet."

The new Surface Pro features Intel's latest Kaby Lake processors and up to 13.5 hours of battery life on a single charge. The tablet-notebook hybrid can be configured with up to a 1TB SSD, up to 16GB RAM, and up to Intel Iris Plus 640 graphics, with a USB 3.0 port, microSD card reader, and Mini DisplayPort.

During a 2012 earnings call, when asked to comment on why the MacBook Air and iPad would not eventually converge, Apple CEO Tim Cook argued that combining the products would result in compromises.

"You can converge a toaster and a refrigerator but those won't be pleasing to the user," said Cook, a comment that Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella poked fun at four years later, alluding to the iPad Pro.

"I mean, take even Surface," said Nadella, speaking to The Australian Financial Review. "Three years ago, the two-in-one as a form factor was questioned. Does anybody need one? And now guess what, even our competition has decided that it's not a refrigerator and a toaster but it's actually a two-in-one."

While the iPad and Mac remain two fundamentally different products, the iPad Pro is Apple's closest attempt at a two-in-one hybrid device.

Apple released the original iPad Pro with a large 12.9-inch display and Smart Keyboard in November 2015, over three years after Microsoft launched its first Surface tablet with a 10.6-inch display and detachable keyboard.

In contrast, the Surface was arguably Microsoft's response to the iPad as a whole. Apple's tablet launched in early 2010, and the Surface arrived in late 2012.


Cook has said the iPad Pro is a notebook or desktop computer replacement for "many, many people," adding that "they will start using it and conclude they no longer need to use anything else, other than their phones."

As for Microsoft following Apple? "We don't really look at Apple," said Gavin.

Article Link: Microsoft Executive Says iPad Pro Was Apple's Response to Surface
 
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keysofanxiety

macrumors G3
Nov 23, 2011
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Lol they are utterly deluded if they think that. It's closer that the Surface was the answer to Apple's iPad, after years and years of failed attempts into the touchscreen market since at least Windows XP. Then Apple reminded people that tablets will sell, providing you make something that isn't a piece of junk, so MS doubled their efforts and eventually made something that was worth purchasing.

XP tablets were crap. Win 7 touchscreen/tablets were rubbish, Windows 8 was a confused joke. Windows RT was a pathetic attempt at iOS, which was almost immediately discontinued as a final FU to those unlucky enough to have purchased one. Good thing they conveniently forgot about all that before nursing their ego about their fabulous foresight.

Look at them touting themselves as visionary market leaders. What an absolute crock. Even on its best day, the Surface Pro is the epitome of "Jack of all trades". You can't use it just with the touchscreen because the interface is abysmal. Windows wasn't designed to be used with a finger, it was designed for a mouse and keyboard.

They haven't addressed any of the fundamental UI flaws with Windows 10; adding touchscreen elements as they currently have just makes a further confused and Frankensteined operating system.
 
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I7guy

macrumors Core
Nov 30, 2013
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Gotta be in it to win it
the surface pro and the surface book in particular is a much better corporate device. there are people switching to them over laptops. an ipad pro is still a complimentary device. that's the truth. iOS is very limiting. great for an iPad but i wish they had gone mac os for the pro version.
Agreed, to an extent. Many companies however, a making it easier for mobile warrior to access assets within the corporate network without a windows box. And, for non-corporate use, my own preference is an ipad.
 

paul4339

macrumors 65816
Sep 14, 2009
1,404
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iPad Pro and IOS is great for tablet and meh for as a laptop.
Surface meh for tablet and meh for as a laptop. Just kidding...

Surface is actually pretty good, but IMO making Windows behave like a tablet OS is not quite there yet, no more than iOS is not quite there yet as a laptop OS. Really depends if you want your device to be more PC-ish or more tablet-like.

.
 
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Fall Under Cerulean Kites

macrumors 6502
May 12, 2016
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As for Microsoft following Apple? "We don't really look at Apple," said Gavin.
This is disingenuous at best.

MS would be foolish and misguided to not keep abreast of their competition. Perhaps what he intended to say, and did so quite inelegantly, was “We don’t look to apple for inspiration or follow their paths. We forge our own.”

And even then, I don’t believe that.
 

DaveOP

macrumors 68000
May 29, 2011
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the surface pro and the surface book in particular is a much better corporate device. there are people switching to them over laptops. an ipad pro is still a complimentary device. that's the truth. iOS is very limiting. great for an iPad but i wish they had gone mac os for the pro version.
I don't know. We have sales guys returning Surface Pro in droves, because they work poorly compared to a Thinkpad. The same sales guys are all asking for the 12.9" iPad Pro, since it's easier in meetings and presentations than a Surface, and the Pencil works much better than the Surface Pen.
 

lincolntran

macrumors 6502a
Jan 18, 2010
843
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Surface a best-in-class laptop? Sheesh they have low standards in Redmond, don't they…
The Microsoft ecosystem generally has pretty low standard on quality.

I’ve moved away from Windows many years ago and just recently came back bc of works and my goodness the quality of windows is still low, all the clunkiness and awkward user experience are still there. I feel like windows is still in beta condition after so many years.

Hardware and software integration is still bad. It’s way far behind when comparing the quality and usability of a windows machine and a MacBook Pro.
 

Rocketman

macrumors 603
Isn't the iPad Pro just an iPad + a bigger screen, a user facing port, and more CPU capacity? iPads already had keyboard options. The iPen is a standalone product you can buy or not. Apple had a stylus with the failed Newton so when smart pens became possible they waited until they could do it "great". Bluetooth finally caught up to iPen.

When the iPhone came out it was because several technologies became barely mature enough to do it in volume. You may recall it was released at one price and shortly thereafter reduced $100 due to consumer feedback. 2G EDGE too.
 
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Mousse

macrumors 68020
Apr 7, 2008
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Flea Bottom, King's Landing
I wouldn't say it's a response to Surface; more a natural evolution of the product. Microsoft just beat Apple to the punch is all.

Why would anyone use the keyboard and iPad Pro/MS Surface in the configuration in the photo? They should put the keyboard at comfortable typing level and the iPad at eye level. Ergonomics is a big thing for me now, since I'm old no longer young. Someone my age shouldn't do contortions to use a computer.
 
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