back to article Surface 2 and iPad Air: Prepare to meet YOUR DOOM under a 'Landfill Android' AVALANCHE

Within just 24 hours, both Microsoft and Apple have refreshed their tablet lineups for Christmas. Microsoft tried to steal a march on Apple by launching Surface Pro 2 and the rebranded Surface RT, now called Surface 2. Dropping the RT from the outside, not the inside Apple dutifully followed suit on Tuesday night with two …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Cheap crap sells better than expensive quality stuff shocker.

    1. RISC OS

      I think you mean

      "Cheap crap" sells better than "cheap crap produced in sweatshops by children, and then marked up by 1000%" shocker.

      1. Lallabalalla

        Re: I think you mean

        What utter BS - these things are all made in the same places by the same people in the same circumstances. Are you seriously suggesting otherwise?

        1. RISC OS

          Re: I think you mean

          Yes

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Cheap crap sells better than expensive quality crap stuff shocker.

      Fixed it for you.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      iShit

      last Christmas we give one "cheap" tablet to each one of our children (we have 4) ... they were as happy as a child can be! the "cheap" Samsung piece has lasted almost year of fun, movies, music, games and books!

      the thing is not showing up any signs of aging! And all for the price of 1 iFruity thing...

      you should be mad to buy the overpriced iShit!

  2. Dan 55 Silver badge

    That headline...

    ... speaking of landfill, the Surface Pro 2 is virtually unfixable and based on previous form the iPad Air is probably not much better.

    I think I prefer a Landfill Android device because it can be repurposed (e.g. CyanogenMod on Nook HD) and its lifetime can be extended.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: That headline...

      If you are a geek - but most people are not and it ends up in a drawer gathering dust etc.

      I know plenty of people still using the original iPad / iPad 2 and iPhones like the 3GS - all still very functional which is a lot more than can be said for most older Android kit.

      1. At0micAndy

        Re: That headline...

        Yup, I still use my ipad original and iphone 3gs. I also still have my white plastic macbook, although to be fair since I bought my MBAir it gets little use !

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: That headline...

          Plus one - in same boat. Although my 2011 MBA got quickly nabbed by my wife who has claimed it as her own. Quite interested in the latest 13" MBPro with Retina as an upgrade to my 2010 MBPro though .. especially as they are already available online with EPP or Student discounts.

          If iphone 6 has a curved back then the 3GS might get retired over to the wife or as a dedicated satnav.

      2. NumptyScrub

        Re: That headline...

        quote: "I know plenty of people still using the original iPad / iPad 2 and iPhones like the 3GS - all still very functional which is a lot more than can be said for most older Android kit."

        Nope, people who like their old Android kit are just as likely to keep using it as people who like their old Apple kit. I still use my Archos 5 media player regularly, and that came with Android 1.2 (yes, it is that old). I know a few people who still use their old Galaxy S or S2, because they see no compelling reason to buy a new device.

        Keeping old kit that you like until it finally dies is not a function of brand, in my experience :)

        1. Clunking Fist Bronze badge
          Thumb Up

          Re: That headline...

          Yep, I'm still using my S (which was a hand-me-down) and all my PCs are built using 2nd hand cpus: Q6600 still runs media and most apps across 3 screens, excluding latest games.

    2. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: That headline...

      Cyanogen (even unofficial) is not available for most low cost tablets. I have been tempted to build it myself for some of them only to find out that most of the common low end socs (various Exynos, WonderMedia, etc) and their matching GPUs (WonderMedia and Mali) have support ranging from zero to zero.

      If you have a phone (even an ancient one like Xperia Mini Pro) or a mid-range tablet you are in luck. Once its factory OS is EOL-ed you can cyanogen it (EOL meaning anything from 15 minutes for Google Nexus 7 Gen 1/2 to a couple of years for Sony Xperia). If you have a real landfill sample like the ones sold by Gotab, Tesco, etc - you are out of luck.

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: That headline...

        If you have an western rebadge of a Chinese tablet then you need to find the original. If it's a Momo or a Pipo then you may very well find a version Android, even if it's not Cyanogen.

        I realise they're talking about hardware, but if you buy a non-MS or Apple tablets, you may find they use standard components and are fixable. If you upgrade a tablet from Android 2.x to 4.x or an e-reader to Android then you very well find it's good enough to keep you going for years more without needing to buy another device.

        I forgot to mention it depends on the owner too. Someone who's good with a soldering iron and knows to open something up to repair it is also probably more willing to sit down and work out how to reflash a tablet or know someone who can. Someone who knows how to reflash probably won't mind opening something up either or know someone who can. Both of those types of people will see the value in going for more fixable devices. But someone who's just buys bling will end up landfilling anything they buy.

    3. MattEvansC3

      Re: That headline...

      ....you do realise that they are referring to the hardware build right? CyanogenMod won't magically fix broken Android hardware so once most Android tablets are broke, they're broke and their lifetime can't be extended.

  3. hplasm Silver badge
    Devil

    Haha

    Cheap good quality crap sells better than expensive low quality crap. Wow.

    Apple still does well too with expensive high quality crap.

    What was that word- fragmentation? Looks like MS has that to worry about, more than Android.

    And landfill- another word that fits their disposable unloved slabs better than the competition.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So Microsoft manage to make a heavy tablet that has a battery life similar to Apple's market leading tablet - can't see many people going for it over the iPad Air. Getting a full size tablet down to weigh so little is a big deal for many people who find the older ones just a little heavy for reading etc. so buy a Kindle paperwhite etc.

    And now there is no reason not to buy an iPad Mini with it's retina screen - all the same apps, amazing screen and the smaller size some people prefer (and cheaper).

    1. Hellcat

      Get back to work

      Aren't there any customers waiting at your 'genius' bar?

      You can compare the Surface (2) Pro tablets with the iPad just as soon as the iPad runs full Mac OSX

    2. Cliff

      Apple's office suite is pretty ghastly compared with MS Office though, closer to MS Works, and free is the right price point for it in the first place. Surface runs MS Office without the VBA (not sure what the other limitations are?) but it's still the de facto standard.

      I'd personally look seriously at it for a device you could do real work on as opposed to largely consume content. Bundling office is a good idea.

    3. mark jacobs
      Coat

      Sorry, but it is too difficult adding a single mp3 file to the tablet if you have to use iTunes!

      iTunes is awful because they keep updating it, which means that, by the time you want to add something to your tablet, you load iTunes, and it has to struggle through an auto-update before you can even start using it. Annoying is an understatement!

      Android wins every time, because the tablets are cheaper (£129 for a new Lenovo one with dual SIM ...) and they can have files copied to them using micro-SD cards. Easy-peasy and very versatile! Android will win. Apple and Microsoft will lose. Google will run the world! Look at their Chrome browser - you can drag an image to the search bar and it will search for that picture and similar ones using pixel matching! Definitely cool.

      1. Steve Todd

        At least get your facts straight

        You haven't needed to use iTunes with iOS since version 5. Two years later and we still have folks like you claiming otherwise.

        1. sabroni Silver badge

          Re: At least get your facts straight

          Yeah, the thing is half of those folks have i devices.

          If the only people who know how to copy mp3s without iTunes are register readers it's not really comparable to the experience on android or windows devices.

      2. x3mxs

        "they can have files copied to them using micro-SD cards"...unless you have a Google branded device,, in that case you're stuffed!!

        In my particular case this has been a deal breaker so far ...

        1. Cliff

          >>>"they can have files copied to them using micro-SD cards"...unless you have a Google branded device,, in that case you're stuffed!!<<<

          If it helps, syncing over the air is dead easy. I don't even use an SD card on my Samsung android device, but make good use of Google drive, skydrive and/or drop box. The music player (pretty much whichever one you like to use) picks mp3 files up from wherever anyway. Phones and tablets are most useful when online anyway I find so it turned out to be less of a big deal than I thought it was going to be. You might find likewise, worth a try!

        2. Kunari

          That's why I love my Asus Transformer, with the keyboard I have both a full size SD and a microSD slots, and a full size USB port too.

          1. Clunking Fist Bronze badge
            Happy

            My wife loves her transformer, too, as she is a touch typist. probably only detaches the keyboard about 50% of the time: when not typing, it is a good "stand". Also, it was great having a touch pad when she cracked the screen and touch screen no longer worked: she could continue to use the machine until the parts arrived. Plus the extra battery in the keyboard is useful when using the machine as GPS in the car or on long flights.

  5. James 51 Silver badge

    Until someone makes a tablet with the same easy to read screen and week long battery life, going to have my ereader and tablet when I go on holiday. And as for the tablet, don't see anything in these to make me want to get rid of my playbook and buy one of them. The Pro is interesting but never at that price.

    1. Kunari

      It's not just battery life, my epaper Kindle is the best for reading books. No eyestrain and it's readable in funn sun light.

  6. A n o n y m o u s

    A lot of people have been waiting for iPad Mini Retina and a new iPad so expect demand to be strong. The 64 bit A7 processor is going to be a significant feature as more people use these for higher-end gaming etc.

    1. Andy 73

      I don't think that's the case. The vast majority of consumers use tablets for casual browsing and gaming and are happy to cut down on their demands to fit a form factor and user experience that is more convenient and instantly to hand.

      Gamers and pro-sumers are more likely to get their speed-fix by getting a new Playstation or XBox this Christmas, and there are some bargain retina-display laptops around in the wake of Intel's Ultrabook push.

      The bottom line is there are very few apps demanding enough to warrant a high-end processor and display. I've never heard anyone complaining "My tablet isn't powerful enough" - expectations have been managed, and so price becomes a factor. Bargain Android tablets should do well, and the big boost to the ecosystem will help the high end devices sell as the platform is seen as increasingly ubiquitous.

    2. Kunari

      Until there is a controller for iPad, you're not going to get "high end" gaming on a iPad.

  7. RDW

    No matter how many times you use the phrase 'Landfill Android', it's never going to catch on.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Ah, but it already has.

    2. hplasm Silver badge
      Unhappy

      I hope that-

      is true for "pro-sumer" too.

  8. Geoff Johnson

    Surface 2 runs between £359 and 3439.

    Dodgy shift key, or very expensive tablet.

    1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge

      Re: Surface 2 runs between £359 and 3439.

      Not to mention the dodgy key repeat, which has up'd the Hudl price from £119 to £199...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Surface 2 runs between £359 and 3439.

        why are they using a Surface to type the article?

    2. Joseph Lord
      FAIL

      Typos and inconsistent units too

      "Apple’s iPad Air is 7.5mm thick, weighs 478g, and packs the ARM-based dual-core Cortex-based A7 chip from the iPhone 5S. Microsoft’s Surface Pro 2 runs Intel’s multi-core i5 Haswell chip is 1.3cm thick and weighs 2lb."

      Lets choose metric and tidy that up a bit:

      "Apple’s iPad Air is 7.5mm thick, weighs 478g, and packs the ARM-based dual-core Cortex-based A7 chip from the iPhone 5S. Microsoft’s Surface Pro 2 runs Intel’s multi-core i5 Haswell chip is 13mm thick and weighs 907g."

      Surface 2 Pro mass courtesy of http://www.techstumps.com/2013/09/microsoft-launched-surface-2-tablets-with-10.6-hd-display.html.

      1. andycp666

        Re: Typos and inconsistent units too

        Thank you

      2. Kunari

        Re: Typos and inconsistent units too

        I find it odd the author compared the iPad Air to the Surface Pro 2 instead of the Surface 2 (RT). The Surface Pro 2 is more like a Macbook Air...

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A Surface to Air (miss Aisle) thing?

  10. nematoad Silver badge

    A quick correction

    As far as I know the Tesco Hudl, awful name, goes for £119 not £199. You can also use Club Card vouchers to the value of £60 as part of the purcahse price so, if you chose to you can have a Hudl for £59.

    I'm looking at getting one so that I can root it and fiddle around and try out Cyanogenmod or one of the alternative such as Replicant.

    1. The BigYin

      Re: A quick correction

      Will Cyanogenmod run on the Hudl? If so, for £60 it could be worth a punt.

      1. nematoad Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: A quick correction

        "Will Cyanogenmod run on the Hudl? If so, for £60 it could be worth a punt."

        I'm not sure, that's why I'm going to get one and see if I can get it to run. Should be interesting and a nice way of finding out what the little box can do.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: A quick correction

      Yeah I imagine the average Joe will be doing that as well - not.

      1. nematoad Silver badge

        Re: A quick correction

        "Yeah I imagine the average Joe will be doing that as well - not."

        What anyone else does with a Hudl is their affair, what I was saying was that in my case I'm going to use it as a test piece and fiddle around with various alternatives to Android.

        I know what I'm doing and if I brick it ,at that price, no great loss.

    3. Richard Wharram

      Re: A quick correction

      You can get a Hudl for less than £59. I used £45 quid's worth of vouchers which they doubled up and got it for £29 of real money. That's why they're selling. They're no iPad but for a few quid you can buy one and not worry about the kids covering it in snot.

    4. Synonymous Howard

      Re: A quick correction

      Actually you can buy a hudl OUTRIGHT using £60 of Tesco clubcard vouchers - no cash required ... http://www.tesco.com/direct/clubcard-boost/

      I bought one for £69 cash + £25 in vouchers. Plus got 238 more clubcard points (double points voucher) and a whole 35p cashback via credit card 8-)

      The only downside is the battery life which, although is ~9 hours, like most 7" Androids gets nowhere near the life an ipad mini gives (real world experience).

    5. tiger99

      Re: A quick correction

      Just to clarify the price of the HUDL, I got mine for ZERO cash, as they do indeed accept Clubcard points up to £60, but are giving double value for them!

      I also use a larger, older, Android tablet, Motorola Xoom. The HUDL does not equal the battery life of the Xoom, which is hardly surprising, as the latter has a HUGE battery and much slower processor.

      I don't yet know about Cyanogenmod for the HUDL, but I had it rooted within a week of it becoming available, and it does look as if the usual level of support from third parties such as the Cyanogenmod developers will be there. It is certainly not the "best" tablet around in the UK, but at the price, it is likely to be the "best value", which matters to many people.

      I don't see why anyone would want something that is locked down tight for ever such as the ARM-based with secure boot M$, or indeed any Apple product. If the manufacturer loses interest, you are well and truly stuck as far as updates are concerned. In any case, if I pay good money (or in this case, Clubcard points) for something, I feel that it is only reasonable to be able to install anything that I want, at my own risk of course, not just things that some abusive corporation decide that I can install. It is not just the cost differential, which in some cases is negligible, that is causing Android to outsell the total output of Apple, M$ and their new subsidiary Nokia. It is the freedom to own your own equipment, and not be dictated to by someone else.

    6. Andalou

      Re: A quick correction

      Quick correction - if you spend £6,000 or maybe £3,000 in Tesco they will bundle a tablet for an extra £59.

    7. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: A quick correction

      I "bought" a Tesco Hudl 3 weeks ago, and took £60 worth of Tesco clubcard vouchers to my local Tesco, and they were doubled for me to £120 because that is the offer on Hudl, so I got my Hudl free as the clubcard vouchers were due to run out shortly anyway.

      And it is a very nice tablet - its only drawback is the cameras are allegedly slightly weedy - but as I never use the cameras I could n't really say how true that is, and it doesn't matter to me.

      I like the MicroSD card, and the HDscreen which I have also connected to my tv.

      Caveat - I haven't owned a tablet or a smart phone before, so what do I know...

    8. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      Re: A quick correction

      the Tesco Hudl, awful name

      This comment worries me, as our marketing people have just branded our new tablet the Infantil. Oh, well - seemed a bit on the nose to anyway.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    MS will win

    Maybe not this Christmas, but they will win. Why? Simples.

    Android is shit for enterprise. Totally shit. The hardware is low-value crap and the integration with corporate systems (e.g. Exchange, Office, custom Windows services) is vomit of the highest order. The thorough lack of device standards makes integrating multiple flavours of the same thing a nightmare.

    Apple is slightly less bad and certainly has the branch caché, but once again its ability to integrate seamlessly with deployed enterprise systems (which are almost all Windows-based) is lacking.

    This leaves MS as the only game in town for the serious user. It's a shame that MS is a late to the party, but I guess that's the price of doing things right. Tablets running Window 8 are going to plug straight into existing corporate systems without much headache. MS also has good relations with all the major OEMs and own the patents that Android infringes.

    Thus MS will win out once the enterprise starts to shift to tablets. Just like MS dominated on the desktop and are now starting to make major gains in "The Cloud" (Azure is by far the best cloud system in terms of raw performance and TCO); then they will dominate on tablets.

    Also, Google will take a regulator to the knee when the anti-competitive pricing of Android is stamped on by the regulators.

    The game is won, the losers just don't know it yet.

    1. hammarbtyp Silver badge

      Re: MS will win

      I'm sure the same arguments were used for why OS/2, Unix etc was better than windows. In the meantime MS just kept on grabbing market share and eventually people couldn't see the reason to support two systems.

      The irony on MS now should not be lost on anyone...

      1. At0micAndy
        Unhappy

        Re: MS will win

        thanks. I had just about managed to forget the joy of installing OS/2 from the 43 supplied floppy disks. It has all come flooding back. Thanks.

    2. Tom7

      Re: MS will win

      That, of course, assumes that the enterprise market for tablets will be significant. That's still an open bet, to my mind. Certainly tablets are cannibalising the PC market at an alarming rate right now, and almost entirely on consumer sales. Tablets make sense for consumers, who are mostly either consuming content or creating very small scale content (think Facebook statuses and photos). It's not at all clear that they make sense for the majority of enterprise users who sit at a desk all day and have to produce any serious volume of work.

      Right now My 5k-10k employee organisation has just been bought out and the new owner is buying everyone a new machine to conform to their security model. Guess how many of them will be tablets? Exactly zero. Laptop is the default, and you can have a desktop tower if you really want the 1990s experience.

      1. Kunari

        Re: MS will win

        We have our shop managers on tablets, but they're on Android tablets. Our ERP web apps run just fine on Android and so does the mail server web interface.

        1. mmeier

          Re: MS will win

          If that works for you - good. Quite a few companies have software that won't run on an Android. Some because it depends on Windows and other because it is a full featured JAVA client and requires stuff like SWING while offering features that would at least be more difficult/costly to do in a Webapp. For those a tablet pc needs to run Windows. So they go i,e Latitude10

    3. I like noodles

      Re: MS will win

      Maybe my memory is longer than yours, but people said exactly the same thing way back when Microsoft was the new kid in town and nobody got sacked for buying Big Blue.

      IBM was everything for business, and MS was shit for enterprise. Windows was for the toy-shop, not serious, no security, no scalability, etc etc.

      But who knew? - The toy-shop trinket won the day.

      Now MS *is* the Big Blue that they beat the last time. Android will adapt, security will come, enterprise will start to look at it more favourably. Meanwhile MS will burn cash trying to get their foot further in the door. It *has* to make Surface a success as the desktop and laptop markets shrivel up, but it might just burn up all the cash trying.

      1. At0micAndy

        Re: MS will win

        and for really serious stuff you used your Apple IIe :-)

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: MS will win

      I can actually see a lot of SMBs and corporates making the move to (free) office apps - i.e. Pages and Numbers - for probably 95% of their users it would be fine and although it's not a huge cost I can see a corporate subscription to Office 365 x lots of people x every year as being a big deterrent.

      So an upgrade to Windows 8 = expensive and Office 365 = expensive and installing and maintaining it = expensive.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: MS will win

        "I can actually see a lot of SMBs and corporates making the move to (free) office apps"

        I can't. Most of these companies will be using other software that only works with MS Office. Then you have to deal with the expense of retraining and issues with the free software not correctly implementing the OOXML (an ISO standard no less). In many cases perfect reproduction will be required, and that means using the original software. Support - that's still a cost and a major headache with free office apps.

        May as well stick with MS Office; as the Germans found out when they tried the switch. Epic fail.

        Free office apps are probably OK for light personal use; nothing more.

        1. hplasm Silver badge
          Gimp

          Re: MS will win

          "OOXML (an ISO standard no less)"

          Don't make me laugh, Fanboi.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: MS will win

            "Don't make me laugh, Fanboi."

            If a simple statement of fact reduces you to nothing more than a personal attack, you clearly have no argument.

            Stating facts does not make anyone a "Fanboi", it makes them someone who uses facts and evidence to make a decision.

            A person who make a decision based on ideology or dogma is zealot aka "Fanboi".

            1. hplasm Silver badge
              Gimp

              Fanboi is as fanboi does

              "...as the Germans found out when they tried the switch. Epic fail."

              "A person who make a decision based on ideology or dogma is zealot aka "Fanboi"."

              Yes, you do seem to fit the criteria of your own argument.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Fanboi is as fanboi does

                "Yes, you do seem to fit the criteria of your own argument."

                Here's some facts for you: http://www.channelregister.co.uk/2011/02/22/germany_rejects_linux_in_favour_of_windows_xp/

                1. hplasm Silver badge
                  Meh

                  Re: Fanboi is as fanboi does

                  FTA-

                  "Somewhat surprisingly, one problem highlighted by McKinsey was interoperability with some office documents. But it was clearly noted that a simple update on all Linux desktops to the latest versions of OpenOffice could fix that particular issue.

                  A second study last year by the consultancy group found that a shift to a pure Windows environment on the German Foreign Office's desktop computers would be costly and work-intensive"

                  Facts, eh. Just as inconvenient as 'OOXML is a Standard' Standards...

              2. mmeier

                Re: Fanboi is as fanboi does

                Just lokking at the official figures from Munich shows that LiMux is a politically motivated fail. The city is using double the permanent IT staff per workplace than comparable cities. Not contractors etc. but almost impossible to get rid of permanent! staff. Because a large part of the business critical software does not run on Linux and needs Citrix terminal server. And re-programming the stuff is extremly costly, costs that could not be hidden in personal.

        2. Tim Parker

          Re: MS will win

          '"I can actually see a lot of SMBs and corporates making the move to (free) office apps"

          I can't. Most of these companies will be using other software that only works with MS Office. '

          Ahh - but which versions of MS Office ? I've seen as much issue with compatibility problems between different versions of MS Office as between FOSS office suites and MS Office, usually resulting in the escalation of MS Office versions as the recipients scrabble to upgrade so they can read the latest document they've received. Admittedly we don't have a huge amount of 'office' documents circulating, the complexity probably isn't very high (actually that's even more worrying) and things have improved in the last few years - but even so, it's hardly ideal even when only using Microsoft products.

          'Then you have to deal with the expense of retraining and issues with the free software not correctly implementing the OOXML (an ISO standard no less). '

          OOXML was a knee-jerk reaction to ODF, which was wedged through the approval process using a great deal of, being overly kind to it, 'lobbying'. IIRC the first implementations of OOXML (as ECMA 376) were third-party vendors, and Microsoft themselves only managed a ISO/IEC 29500 compliant (non-transitional) reader and writer last year - and how is a competitor supposed to ensure that they 'correctly implement' something like footnoteLayoutLikeWW8 or useWord2002TableStyleRules ?

          "Standard" - yeah, right, great - albeit unwanted, unpopular, ill-defined and impossible to implement 'correctly' unless you happen to be the author vendor.

    5. kmac499

      Re: MS will win

      OK; so you're arguing something is a pile of poo if it doesn't fit in with the existing corporate eco-system. Well get ready for the second wave of a disruptive change.

      What if the existing corporate stuff is uneccesarily overblown and complex. If rather than aping MS-Office we get a suite of apps that do what people actually need, and we get back to the content being important rather than the presentation. Yes we'll still need a common server or cloud but that could host anything.

      The big problem with tablets is they're currently poor at content creation because of a lack of decent input devices.

      Keyboards in other words. I'm using a a Galaxy Note and the stylus and Handwriting recognition is very impressive, but it still uses screen real estate. The speech to text does work but you don't half feel a dick in public.

      Now imagine an AERO style transparent keyboard floating over the underlying app, or a bluetooth pen that writes on paper and echoes it's movements to a tablet for handwriting recognition. or a Tablet lid with a flexible e-ink touch screen in it which can throw up the keyboard of your choice. Qwerty\Azerty \Chording \Swipe or whatever..

      Another point maybe that as the Tablets outsell Desktops the next gen office workers might not have used Desktop PCs, In the same way that for some people landlines are dead.

    6. James Cooke

      Re: MS will win

      But what will they win? I can't see them winning the consumer side largely because the public have never warmed to their online services and stores the way they have with Apple and Google.

      The risk to MS is that someone like Blackberry or any other over the top vendor can do the integration with MS infrastructure on Android and iOS. Its not like these products don't exist already.

      As has been said before Office is their biggest draw - if I wanted a tablet for business use where I was dealing with a lot of Office documents Surface would be the only real option. For everything else its last in the lineup.

    7. mark jacobs
      Megaphone

      Re: MS will win

      Hey! Mr. Corporate Face! The majority of prospective customers out there do not work for enterprises. They want some simple home entertainment to consume. Android will suit them better than any of the other solutions available.

    8. Jess

      Re: MS will win

      I see your logic. However I don't see it is as clear cut as you think.

      Windows 8 is a fragmented platform. It is also awful to use. (For 9 out of 10 people, by the looks of things)

      It is pure stubbornness on the part of Microsoft causing the usability problem. All they need to do is make metro programs able to work like widgets, and not seize the whole screen, and make the metro UI an option.

      However, I think they still have the business desktop and laptop PC market sewn up. However, this market, probably is somewhat a tad smaller than they would like.

      I think they have lost their hold on the home market. I think their legacy will mean they won't drop to trivial proportions, but I don't think they will dominate it any more. Tablets have achieved what the Netbook concept was supposed to. A simple low end computer, that does what people actually want with a minimum of fuss. (i.e. without the trouble of Windows).

      WIndows RT is a dead duck. Why would anyone buy into it? Especially given Microsoft's precedents of abandoned non x86 platforms.

      I think the original concept of Windows 8 was a tablet that, when at a desk, you plugged into a screen, and used in place of a keyboard. But I don't think the person who thought of this ever bothered to tell the rest of the team.

      The problems with this concept are that x86 doesn't make a very good processor for a tablet. And that an ARM based tablet won't run the desktop programs. However the former doesn't have to be a show stopper, so it has fair chance, but is by no means guaranteed.

      (I think the only way (current) windows 8 would be nice on a portable is in a form like a giant Nintendo DS).

      I suspect MS will realize that pride plus an empty sack equals an empty sack, and backtrack.

  12. Arctic fox
    Headmaster

    You are comparing apples with oranges.

    "With the iPad Air here, the weight of the Surface Pro underscores how lightness is a major factor for considering in a tablet."

    By all means compare the iPad Air with the Surface 2 (ie iOS device against RT device) but the only comparison with the Surface 2 Pro and kit from Apple is the MBA. People who are looking for a media consumption table are not the market for a Surface Pro 2 or a "Mac Pad Air" * (ie a tablet running a touch friendly version of OS X).

    *As yet an imaginary device but it would not astonish me if Apple's skunk works in the Great Doughnut From Outer Space had such a prototype device on the test-bench.

    1. Tom7

      Re: You are comparing apples with oranges.

      Indeed. This could be a real problem for Microsoft. What exactly is stopping Apple from replacing the ARM with x86 and installing OSX on it? And, oh look, it supports Office...

      1. LDS Silver badge

        Re: You are comparing apples with oranges.

        Installing an x86 chip requires a big redesign of the motherboard and everything around. One reason the Surface Pro is thicker and heavier it's because it needs to cool down the CPU appropriately. Until Intel delivers something different I guess Apple won't follow the road of a "MacPad" but will stick to MacBooks - unless for some reason the Surface Pro gets enough market share to worry it.

        1. NumptyScrub

          Re: You are comparing apples with oranges.

          quote: "Installing an x86 chip requires a big redesign of the motherboard and everything around. One reason the Surface Pro is thicker and heavier it's because it needs to cool down the CPU appropriately."

          The Intel NUC thingy has 2 passive cooled options, an i3 and a Celeron 847.

          Not tablet capable out of the box, obviously, but unless I miss my guess Intel has decided to investigate making passive cooled CPUs again, and an x86 CPU that can be passive cooled, can end up in a tablet. This may even have been kickstarted by Microsoft deciding they wanted to make a tabletop lapblet Surface Pro which would require an x86 compatible chip with a minimal thermal envelope.

          Apparently I fail at making a portmanteau with laptop and tablet. That's possibly why only MS has bothered manufacturing one... nobody has come up with a trendy descriptor like "phablet" for one yet?

          1. Steve Knox

            Re: You are comparing apples with oranges.

            The Intel NUC thingy has 2 passive cooled options, an i3 and a Celeron 847.

            So the options for passively cooled Intel kit are slow and slower. I think you just proved LDS's point.

            nobody has come up with a trendy descriptor like "phablet" for one yet?

            Nobody has come up with a trendy descriptor like "phablet" period. The latter is the antithesis of the former.

            1. NumptyScrub

              Re: You are comparing apples with oranges.

              quote: "So the options for passively cooled Intel kit are slow and slower. I think you just proved LDS's point."

              Not their point about redesign; if the NUC already comes with a 4" by 4" motherboard, then the reference designs are already there for customisation into a tablet shell. MS managed to do it already with the Pro, so it obviously wasn't considered insurmountable.

              Also, the options for passively cooled Intel kit are "slow and slower" compared to what? Desktop processors, yes, but we're talking about mobile devices now, specifically tablets. The ARM options tend to run 2-4 cores at 1GHz to 1.9GHz, and the Core i3-4010U is dual core with hyperthreading at 1.7GHz. Sits inside the performance envelope fine from my viewpoint, they just need to do some work on the heat output.

              As I mentioned before, I can see what MS were thinking when they came up with the Pro, I just don't think it's anything more than a niche at this point; it's the "laptop replacement" tablet, in the sense that the old Dell XPS monster laptops were considered "desktop replacement" laptops. They were heavy (some hit 5kg), had rubbish battery life compared to the smaller competition (an hour or less running the latest games full tilt), but had enough grunt to match most desktops head to head.

              Still, it's surprising to see MS being the one to "innovate" in the tablet space in that regard. Trying to shoehorn a device in between laptop and tablet performance (like the gaming laptops slide in between the desktop and "normal" laptops) is not the sort of staid, approved-by-committee approach I'd have expected. It'll probably still bomb though, if the original Pro is anything to go by.

              Hopefully there'll be some end-of-line sale stock available at the end of next year, I'd honestly think of getting one if they were half the price ^^;

            2. mmeier

              Re: You are comparing apples with oranges.

              I would not call the Atoms or i3 slow. Compared to a i5/i7 yes. Compared to an ARM - no. Even CTrail can hold it's own against the current ARM CPUs and BayTrail has a lot more processing power.

          2. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

            Re: You are comparing apples with oranges.

            The NUC thingy is also (IMHO) very expensive.

      2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        Re: You are comparing apples with oranges.

        Indeed. This could be a real problem for Microsoft. What exactly is stopping Apple from replacing the ARM with x86 and installing OSX on it? And, oh look, it supports Office...

        A question many of us have been asking for a while. My guess is probably that they want devices with comparable oomph to x86 machines. The A7 is getting close but you might need more cores to be okay. But MS Office wouldn't run out of the box on such a machine, it would still need compiling for ARM and it's not certain that Microsoft would be keen to do that.

        Oh, and you shouldn't discount the incentives Apple still get from Intel not to ditch x86 entirely.

    2. hammarbtyp Silver badge

      Re: You are comparing apples with oranges.

      My tablet is an old Asus transformer. I'm sure the iPad Air beats it hands down in terms of weight however I cannot remember ever thinking wow I wish my tablet was lighter so I could use it.

      Don't get me wrong. You cannot help to be impressed by Apple's attention to detail and design skills, but at the end of the day things eventually become just good enough. After that people are looking for best value. I think we reached that stage sometime ago.

      As for MS, I'm pretty sure they will have some niche applications, but I think they are overselling people's desire to use MS office on the move. For most of us, it really is not that important.

      If you are the kind of person who thinks a reasonable bottle of wine costs about £100, then no doubt you will be waiting in line for Apple's latest toys. If you are like the majority who consider any bottle of wine over £5 is 'pricey' you will be getting a android tablet. Like the wine, you understand the advantages of quality but at the end of the day you will achieve largely the same effect for a lot less money with the lower cost product

    3. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: You are comparing apples with oranges.

      I agree that the Surface Pro is competing with MacBook Air devices and losing. Adding a keyboard adds another 255 g to the Microsoft bundle.

      I've previously used "Ipad Pro" to refer to the same kind of device you're referring to whether it will be ARM or x86 will probably be the decider for the name. Touch is not really a requirement for a fully-fledged machine, especially when you're likely to have a high-end smartphone for use on the go. At least that's my take as someone who is looking to for such a device.

      I can still see a market for high-end Windows tablets as notebook replacements but these need to be compatible with docking stations and Microsoft won't have any of those until 2014.

      1. Arctic fox
        Happy

        @Charlie Clark Re: "need to be compatible with docking stations and Microsoft........

        ..........won't have any of those until 2014".

        Interesting that you should say that as I just spotted the following at a Norwegian site (I live in North Norway):

        http://www.dustinhome.no/product/5010755618/microsoft-surface-pro-2-docking-station/

        The site indicates that they are expecting delivery at the beginning of November. From the site:

        3,5 mm audio

        3,5 mm out

        DisplayPort

        USB 2.0 port x 3

        USB 3.0 port x 1

        RJ-45 Fast Ethernet 10/100 Mbit/s

        If this is correct then MS have taken that point on board, although I have to say that I do not remotely understand why they did not release such a peripheral with the first Surface Pro.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Microsoft are selling tablets no-one wants (most want iPads) and trying to justify it with the dangle of their Office suite (when Apple have just made it free). Free is a big word and I can hear a lot of people saying why are we paying for all these Windows 8 upgrades and Office subscriptions - perhaps OSX and IWork is worth a more serious look - especially since many users already have / want iPads / iPhones anyway (certainly a lot more than are asking for Windows Mobile devices).

    1. LDS Silver badge

      For someone full Office compatibility *is* important. More important than the "free" word. Same is true for other applications on other platforms, true professionals have no problem to pay for software that helps them to work faster without compatibility issues. Sure, if after you buy an expensive device you're left with little money then the word free is much more appealing.

    2. Hellcat

      My upgrade to 8.1 was free. As was the RT version of Office 2013.

      I'm not sure where you heard of these upgrade and subscription costs.

  14. Vociferous

    Proof-reading...

    ...was not done on this article.

  15. Sil

    A few remarks

    - It's really too soon to burry Apple. Apple is in for the money and makes tons of it. It could probably survive one or two disastrous products. Sure margins will decrease but they are beyond superhealthy.

    - It's really to soon to doom Microsoft, it's a boring trend that has been going on for more than 10 years and MS still earns more money than most companies in the world. Tablets are all about compromises and Msft offers 2 very interesting sets of these. Will they find their public is anybody's guess -I think they will- but at least they have unique properties properties that gives it at shot at success. Copying apple or battling on price with Android wouldn't have. The biggest enemy will be production: if the Surfaces are successful I highly doubt MS will be able to produce enough to satisfy demand in a timely matter for Christmas.

    - Most journalists & analysts doomed Windows phones and the fact is they are very good products finding their public. Is it anywhere Microsoft would like it to be in terms of market share? Certainly not. Will it grow to be a substantial 3rd actor of the market? I think it will. The same could happen for tablets.

    - Android is only interesting for Google. Most producers make ultra tiny profits or make losses and this is fundamentally unsound and won't go on forever.

    - Android tablets really are me-too products that's why you see Tesco or whomever doing these. And it will make it even more difficult to earn money.

    - The exception is Samsung but I would argue that the success has very little to do with Android. It makes tons of money because it is the only producer in the world that controls so many parts of smartphones and tablets. In addition it was pushed by a well deserved reputation for great pre-android phones. I would bet that they have people working days and nights to find android alternatives as it is not without risk to be so reliant on a single partner.

  16. Big_Ted
    FAIL

    Surface 2 vs ipad air

    OK for the same aprrox money I could have the Surface 2 or the iPad Air.....

    No thanks don't want either, ok your paying for it, then I will have the iPad because its lighter to hole and has more apps.

    What do I want ? I would take a surface 2 with keboard cover for £300-400 instead of a converteble laptop, but then again I would buy a laptop anyway for the gigger screen.

    I'm afraid the surface is looking for a market thats not there.

    Enterprise IMHO would only look if they were at least 17 inch and lightish with docks etc for the same price range as a laptop they already buy. No point otherwise.....

    The future is for as far as I can see Apple for those who love their kit and android for the rest.

    After all I could buy a Nexus 7 and Nexus 5 (if rumured price right) for the same as one of these......

    1. Big_Ted

      Re: Surface 2 vs ipad air

      Oh and this was typed on a windows 7 machine, at least my android phone would have picked up spelling and grammer better than this......

      1. dogged

        Re: Surface 2 vs ipad air

        "Are you illiterate? Buy Android!"

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Size matters

    The 'Android Avalanche' is happening in the pocket/handbag sized 7/8" device at present, not the iPad Air/Surface 2 or MBA/Surface Pro spaces.

    Microsoft has missed 2013 entirely with no 8" Surface, reminiscent of the original late arrival of the Surface Pro fiasco

    Apple continues to charge the earth for SSD on the new iPad Mini which makes it an extremely poor value proposition compared with Android alternatives.

    Incidentally Microsoft also decided on crazy pricing for SSD although at least we can buy 256GB external drives at sub £150 to connect via USB 3 rather than pay the £400 for 256GB internal upgrade from 256 to 512.

  18. bex

    On the Hudi

    It's £119, for that price it's very well built is somewhat chunky.

    It seems fast enough and is mostly uncluttered apart for the understandable tesco soft key.

    It is hard to work out which way up it is and so find the power and volume controls.

    It seems perfectly fast enough and nnlike my new nexus 7 the touch screen is responsive

    If you want something reasonably cheap that is not an expensive disaster when the kids bugger it up

    the Hudi will do nicely

  19. Charlie Clark Silver badge
    Happy

    Is Andrew back

    Having become increasingly disillusioned by Mr Orlowski's PR pieces for Nokia & Windows Phone it's nice to read something a little more critical.

    I'm not sure if cheap Androids really will dominate this christmas: the cheap MP3 players did little to loosen Apple's grip on the market. Apple probably has no chance in the 7" segment and is giving it a wide berth but there is still a market for premium devices. But here they are right to be more worried by high-end Androids like the Samsung Note 10 than by Microsoft's ginger-headed Surface RT. Office with Outlook will no doubt persuade more buyers than the original Surface but I'm not sure if Outlook is really that appealing to consumers who are either Gmail, Facebook or WhatsApp addicts.

    Skydrive is irrelevant to consumers - deals with Watchever, Netflix, et al. will be more important. I expect a lot of devices may be offered as part of 4-play deals from telephone and cable operators. Imagine a media tablet plus all-you-can-eat films and series for say £ 20 a month on top of existing subscription.

  20. FartingHippo
    Boffin

    Units!!!

    From the article:

    Apple’s iPad Air is 7.5mm thick, weighs 478g

    Microsoft’s Surface Pro 2...is 1.3cm thick and weighs 2lb

    Surface 2 is 676g and 8.89mm thick.

    Sheesh. As you clearly don't know: 10mm = 1cm and 454g = 1lb. Pick one of each and stick to it. Also, put the weight and thickness in the same order. You know, to help the reader.

    1. poopypants

      Re: Units!!!

      I agree with FartingHippo.

  21. qwarty

    the keyboard conundrum

    The snag Microsoft faces with Surface 2 is nobody uses them without having a keyboard cover to hand. Even their own advertising emphasises the point. The cheapest 'touch cover 2' option adds £99.99.

    So for many consumers faced with iPA vs S2, its an easy choice to take the well known established iPad over a more expensive and unfamiliar Surface package.

    Microsoft need to cost reduce the key covers (if expensive to manufacture) or accept lower margins so the Surface 3 with keyboard can compete with iPad without, price to be paid to challenge an incumbent I'm afraid.

    Less of a problem with a Surface Mini which should stand as a viable product without keyboard.

    1. druck Silver badge

      Re: the keyboard conundrum

      The snag Microsoft faces with Surface 2 is nobody uses them without having a keyboard cover to hand.

      Meaning what they really wanted was a notebook rather than a tablet.

      Perhaps something like an Asus S200, 11.6" touch screen display, proper keyboard, runs Windows 8.1, all for a lot less than £400 these days.

      1. qwarty

        Re: the keyboard conundrum

        No, presumably they wanted both tablet and notebook functionality without having to buy and carry around two devices as is the case with older style mobile PCs.

        Remember the days when Apple enthusiasts used to lug around an iPad and a MacBook Air?

  22. DrXym Silver badge

    Asked why things went wrong...

    ... Epstein said: “There’s no silver bullet answer, devices and services is an exciting adventure for us, and you have to get a lot of parts right.”

    Actually there is a silver bullet answer:

    * Cost. Surface was and still is ridiculously expensive. The price should be lowered, or the keyboard should be bundled with the tablet.

    * RT. People want either a proper Windows in a tablet form, or they want a tablet OS which has lots of apps. They don't want something which pretends to be but is neither of those things.

  23. Robert Grant

    Microsoft are insane

    They should be selling their tablet at cost or a loss, a la Nexus. This is the only reason Surface RT didn't work, and it's going to continue to be a problem. They want to make money out of everything (dev licences, app sales, device sales) when they don't realise that the more they charge for the latter, the less the other two will pay them.

    They also don't seem to realise that this isn't a little market segment; they're fighting for their lives, and they would rather price high and then write off $900 million than just make the damn thing high quality yet cheap, and sell it. THIS will create the market, the apps, everything.

    1. Steve Todd

      Re: Microsoft are insane

      Rock and a hard place. If they sell at cost then they will annoy the OEMs who license Windows, and that's a large part of their income.

      1. Robert Grant

        Re: Microsoft are insane

        Then just make RT licence-free for two years while it picks up. If their strategy is to unify codebases etc then they can take the knock in the short term for doing it. Because when people make RT apps, they're basically making W8 apps as well, so their app store would thrive nicely.

        Anyway, who cares. They'll do what they'll do, and because Ballmer's not there, they've got a chance :)

  24. Fenton

    ipad2 upgrades

    Hi can see alot of people upgrading from ipad 2 after installing IOS7.

    Mine has become very laggy after the update alas I don't have £500+ to shell out

    for a new slap, no matter which brand.

    1. Random Coolzip

      Re: ipad2 upgrades

      Ah, the old iPhone 3G strategy -- give the OS more features until the older devices can't run it. By the time I was able to upgrade my 3G, it had become quicker to walk outside to check the weather than wait for the app to launch and connect.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Windows RT, less chance of being a success

    than the chances of Gary Numan having a top 20 album, in a top hat.

  26. At0micAndy

    The enterprise will move away from PCs, be they slim or fat, and move to diskless, thin devices on the desk that run all approved apps in the central server farm, this will reduce risk of attack by virus/worm etc at the user interface, and will reduce cost. Enterprises will stay with MS products, too much historic real estate is written in Office 97 or 2003 format and the cost of retraining and re tooling is prohibitive. MS Office is the big pull here for enterprises, nothing else fits the bill, certainly not the free stuff from Sun.

    Home users fall into two camps, IMO, those that use computers at work, and those that don't. Those that use computers at work tend to gravitate to something that runs familiar software at home, and in that many enterprises still have not migrated from WinXP, Win8 or RT etc is not hugely attractive for home use. Those that don't use computers at work tend to go for what ever is used by mates, word of mouth seems to be the key here. Often they buy Android kit.

    There is a third group, the Apple Orchard. They tend to like that everything works together, then can synch their iTunes library across devices easily, push all their contacts from their old iPhone to their shiny new one, and they like a degree of 'exclusivity' with possibly most of their friends/colleagues in the Msoft or Android camps.

    iWorks, be it free or not, is essentially pants. It is feature stark and anyone who has tried to write technical or commercial documents knows that it is not fit for purpose. The same writers of these documents also discover quite quickly that trying to write anything other than a quick text by dabbing fingers on the screen is a non starter. MS know this also and wisely provided a version of MSOffice complete with VBA for Apple OSX systems.

    I cannot see, after the Win8 debacle, MS gaining back the large percentage of the market that they once enjoyed in terms of PC hardware and OS, but if they are canny they will move Office ahead and ensure it has cross platform functionality and is the must have productivity tool regardless of platform. I think that Apple has about the maximum penetration in terms of H/w that it will get, and I think Android will continue to bring out varieties and flavours every few months to fill the gap left over. Consumers of such items are, IMO, likely to replace their android kit on a more frequent basis than MS or Apple users.

  27. MattEvansC3

    Surface Market share =/= Microsoft Tablet marketshare

    Reading the article and it seems that the Reg is making the assumption that the Surface has to succeed for Microsoft to succeed which isn't the case.

    The Surface range are essentially reference models and headline grabbers, they are an additional business model and not a replacement for the existing business model of OEM licensing. Microsoft could not sell a single Surface2 and still profit if news articles led to people buying other Win8 tablets, laptops or hybrids.

    Apple has to sell iPads to consumers to make money and a drop in sales is a drop in profit. Google has to have the largest market share to be profitable. Microsoft doesn't need to do either, they just need a steady stream of OEMs using Windows8 to break even, Surface sales are a nice extra.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Surface Market share =/= Microsoft Tablet marketshare

      True but Microsoft themselves can't seem to decide if Surface models are reference devices or an actual business which is why the situation with the on the face of it attractive Surface 2 and Surface 2 Pro hardware is such a mess.

      As a reference device, the first priority would be to get Surface in the hands of app developers and people with influence. Instead first generation was priced for the top end of the tablet market for the iPad demographic and same seems true with Surface 2.

      Speaking as a developer its not that I couldn't afford £1500 for the top end Surface 2 Pro and £500 for a Surface 2 its the fact that Android, iOS, Win7, web apps are all competing for my time against WinRT. I refuse to pay over £700 for the 8GB / 512GB Surface upgrade which would enable me to run my Visual Studio development setup on a surface because I don't like to feel I'm being ripped off.

      Like many developers, given the underdeveloped Windows store market, to release a WinRT app would be doing Microsoft a favour and the message from Surface pricing is they seem to think they are doing me a favour. That arrogance may work once they have 100 million ARM tablets out there but for now Surface really just gives me another reason to pass on WinRT and wait to see if Microsoft get their act together in 2014.

      1. MattEvansC3

        Re: Surface Market share =/= Microsoft Tablet marketshare

        Sorry, by reference I meant reference for OEMs. The Surface was pricey because it was over-engineered compared to its specs and was clerely there as a message to OEMS to up their game and stop putting Windows on rubbish hardware and making Microsoft look bad (like the Vista incident).

        It seems to have worked because the tablets, hybrids and ultrabooks now being released by Sony, Asus and Lenevo are some of the best and most innovative the PC market has seen in over a decade.

        1. mmeier

          Re: Surface Market share =/= Microsoft Tablet marketshare

          The S/P2 is a nice "middle of the road" system that shows what can be done with a modern core-i tablet pc and at what price. Ultimately it will set an upper price cap for most Baytrail Atoms (that of the 64 GB model) since it is very hard to build a Atom that is worth more (Rugged and semi-rugged units like Q584 are an exception)

          Also a price check for the "mass market" guys like Samsung or Acer (similar price for compareable core-i units). Again why pay more for a cheap plastic unit so prices and models of stuff like the Ativ <Whatever> and the R7bis will likely match the S/P2 or S/P2+dock+keyboard for an Ativ700t follow-up. Again to sell for a highter price would need "something better" like more configurability etc.

          If the LTE version comes out at a decend price it will also be an interesting unit in itself offering more memory than the Sony units announced and lower weight than the R7.

  28. Bod
    FAIL

    multitasking

    "He claimed Pro now offers up to 10 hours battery life and the ability to multi-task, switching between Outlook, OneNote, PowerPoint and Excel."

    Pro runs full Windows and Windows has had multitasking almost since day 1, and in pre-emptive form since 95/NT days.

  29. Rupert Stubbs

    El Reg, the Straw Man of tech journalism...

    Really - you're setting up contentious arguments as fact (All That Matters Is Market Share, for example) and then drawing resounding conclusions from that.

    There are any number of reasons why market share in these sorts of markets is not the be all and end all - user experience being one of the major ones. Suppose loads of people buy cheap 'n' nasty Argos tablets for £79 this Christmas - who are they (or more likely, the unfortunate recipients) going to blame when they find the experience of using them to be equally nasty? I suspect that "You should have bought me an iPad" will be the most common response.

    I'd suggest you look at the number of people who switch from Apple to Android tablets vs the number who go from Android to Apple. That will tell you where the future profits lie.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: El Reg, the Straw Man of tech journalism...

      If I bought someone a tablet for Christmas and they started bitching because it wasn't a more expensive iPad, they wouldn't be getting anything from me next year.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Comparing iPAD Air and Surface Pro 2

    I am sorry but I do not understand why you are comparing Surface Pro 2 with and Ipad Air. That is like comparing Surface RT with a Mac Book but in reverse.

    Surface Pro runs a full desktop OS whereas iPad runs a cut down mobile OS. A better comparison would have been the Surface 2 (mobile OS for ARM) and the iPad Air (mobile OS for ARM).

    1. mmeier

      Re: Comparing iPAD Air and Surface Pro 2

      Because that is the only way to service the "MS tablets to heavy / costly" crowd. Leaving out some features the S/P2 has over Apple and the S2 helps nicely as well

  31. This post has been deleted by its author

  32. nanchatte

    Jayzus, look at the cost of the thing!!!!

    People say the Mac Pro is expensive, but it's looking better value than a $1700 Surface Pro 2. WTF?

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Unrealistic comparison

    "He reckoned it's for somebody in the Apple world who'd have bought a MacBook Pro.

    It might be lighter than a MacBook pro but lugging a Surface Pro across London, I can vouch for the fact it's heavier than any slab machine I've handled."

    Typical fanboi (the clone army). If the surface is "for someone in the Apple world who'd have bought a MacBook Pro" then why are you comparing it to iPad?

    Surely your comment should read "It might be lighter than a MacBook pro but lugging a Surface Pro across London, I can vouch for the fact it's LIGHTER than any notebook I've handled"

  34. Mr. Peterson

    devices and services is an exciting adventure for us

    how utterly inane

    & what a complete turnoff

    any developer or product hustler using the word "exciting" when touting their latest and greatest needs to be put up against a brick wall and shot dead

  35. Andy Baird
    FAIL

    "There can be only one winner"

    Of course. That's why we're all driving Chevrolets, and all the other carmakers went out of business long ago. Right?

  36. briesmith

    Tpyos

    Too many; spoiled my raed.

    Must do butter.

  37. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    Not that bad....

    The thing with the "landfill android" tablets is they are comparable in spec to a nice tablet from a year or two ago. A few of my relatives got some a year or two ago that had like a 500mhz MIPS... they were like $90, they were pretty slow but my relatives got lots of use out of them. Now? The Hudl, for instance, has 1GB of RAM and a *quad core* 1.5ghz processor. That is not shabby!

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