∞ Tue, 19 Jun 2012 · Comments

Can’t tell if MG Siegler is just trolling again or really behind on facts, but hey, let’s break this down, just for fun:

This Surface doesn’t have to just match the price of the iPad, it has to be cheaper. Again, they’re playing catchup. Apple’s margins on the iPad are worse than their other products, but still good. There is some room to undercut them, but that’s assuming Microsoft is able to negotiate the same killer deals that Apple has on components. And this is one of their first forays into hardware. And it is their first foray into hardware of this kind.

The Surface starts with 32GB of storage, and the equivalent iPad is priced at $599. Now, Apple’s higher-capacity models have stupid high margins – the 32GB iPad costs $100 more than the 16GB version, even though the additional flash storage is less than $20 more (according to iSuppli), so there’s definitely lots of room for Microsoft to price the Surface competitively.

But – the Surface doesn’t even have to be cheap. Since it will only be sold through Microsoft’s online store and its less than 30 retail stores, it seems possible that it isn’t intended to be a mass-market device at all. Instead, it could just serve as a wake-up call to OEMs to build better hardware, similar to Google’s Nexus program. Don’t forget that the Nexus One back then really pushed Android hardware forward – it directly led to the much-praised HTC Desire.

Also, undercutting Apple here also means undercutting their own OEM partners. Those guys must already be pissed off at the prospect of this device. And getting into a price war with Microsoft will only piss them off even more. Maybe this drives more of them to Android in the tablet space.

Wait… in case that Microsoft succeeds with the Surface by undercutting everyone, it should suddenly worry about OEMs jumping ship to Android? Sure, they definitely don’t like Microsoft entering their turf, but what options do they have?

By the way, who was that guy again who always shits on Android OEMs for not making any money?

At least Android is free (sort of — coincidentally, most OEMs pay Microsoft to use it). Windows is not free. OEMs will be paying Microsoft to directly compete with — wait for it — Microsoft.

Cluster, meet fuck.

Still the same point, just worded more, ahem, nicely. As he points out correctly, most OEMs also pay Microsoft license fees to use Android, so what’s the difference? And again, what other choice do they have? Oh right, these issues are to hard to explore, let’s just assume it’s all fucked up and throw in some swearing.

And a number of people have remarked about how good this new Surface looks. I don’t know, I look at it and still see the same mistakes that other OEMs that aren’t Apple make. It looks like a big Playbook. Dark. Lots of ports. Blocky. Vents.

So being dark means it looks bad? Lots of ports is bad (are you kidding me?). Blocky, and like a big Playbook. Seriously?

Oh and by the way, those vents are on the Pro version. With Intel Core i5 processor. I heard the iPad is running an ARM processor, like the Surface RT, which doesn’t have any vents.

Warning: Now it gets really interesting, if you will.

Then you add the keyboard and it looks like… a goddamn PC.

I heard Apple sells a keyboard for the iPad too.

While, again, I think the keyboard thing is a smart thing to try to sell units, I have a feeling that in the long run, it will be a burden.

Of course, Apple’s keyboard is no burden.

Does typing on software keyboards suck? Compared to physical keyboards, yes. But the idea should be to reinvent the method of input (see: Siri, for example), not tack on an old one. It’s a crutch. It’s baggage. The only way to move forward is to throw it away.

So, because physical keyboards are much better than software keyboards, they are somehow crutch and baggage?

And yeah, Siri is so much better at text-input than typing.

Again, it looks like a goddamn PC. It’s a keyboard and a screen.

Again, I heard Apple sells a keyboard for the iPad too.

The real problem is with “Surface for Windows RT” and “Surface for Windows 8 Pro”. These sounds like fake names I came up with while drunk last night. But they’re real. I double-checked.

Obviously, “the new iPad” and “MacBook Pro with Retina display” are much better.

But they’re also different sizes, different weights, have different displays, different inputs, different release dates, and run different OSes — and thus, different apps.

Cluster, meet double fuck.

Again, some issues worth exploring, but no, let’s just throw everything together, conveniently ignore some facts (Metro-style apps run on both Surfaces, while legacy apps are obviously only compatible with the Pro version with x86 processor) and assume it’s all fucked up.

But hey, at least Surface for Windows 8 Pro comes with a pen. To quote a guy I once met, “If you see a stylus, they blew it.”

Like, you can throw away the stylus if you want. But it’s actually useful, you know, and even more accurate than those for the iPad.

(This is a link post, so click the title to view the original source)

  • Tom

    “Again, I heard Apple sells a keyboard for the iPad too.”
    You heard wrong, sir.
    Sure, they sell external bluetooth keyboards… but those are for desktops. There are plenty of third party keyboards for sale with iPad though. :)

    • If you go to the Apple website and order an iPad there, the wireless keyboard will show up as an accessory. The fact that it’s designed for the Mac only makes it worse, not better.

  • yura sonofovich

    insignificant. not to apple or microsoft but you mr author. your opinion does not matter to me. sad.

  • Howard

    thank you for pointing out these logical inconsistencies (not sarcastic), besides more competition is always good for the market and for consumers. to see whether the surface is actually good or not we’ll have to wait but i’m quite excited and so should everyone else. competition drives innovation and technology. even if the slate bombs, it will show other companies what to and to not do. thanks for your insight. and seriously, what’s wrong with a pen/stylus? people use them for the wacom tablets and etc. there are indeed people that don’t want to fingerpaint like a child.

    • Thanks. You’re right, styluses are very useful and have a dedicated (if niche) audience of designers, artists etc. Arguing that a tablet is doomed just because it includes a stylus, even if you can use it perfectly with touch only, is irrational. I’m also very much looking forward to the Surface, it has some great ideas that will undoubtedly push the tablet market forward.

      Sadly there are always fanboys who will make these dumb arguments. I just felt like I had respond to that post ;)

  • Thanks

    Sorry dude! I’ve only read this today and I have to tell you this:
    Your article is fu**ing awesome :D
    It’s this kind of opinion (the “Massive Greatness” one) that makes me hate Apple so much…
    Google also acts like God and considers itself better than anyone else acting like if there were no laws like copyright and antitrust.
    That leaves me with Microsoft. The old good Microsoft! I use Windows since the 95 and consider it better than any other operating system (except Vista but it was not completely Microsoft fault – search for Windows Codename Longhorn), not because it is perfect but because the alternatives are much worst. And MS hardware is always awesome to: Mouses with Bluetrack are the best; MS Curve Keyboard is also one of the best for your hands; their 1080p webcams are also revolutionary; I regret getting a PlayStation 3 instead of a Xbox 360; and I’m also very happy with my Lumia 800. I only believe they could make a better version of Windows 8 for non touchscreen PCs because the actual Windows 8 Pro version simply doesn’t work for that.
    So I really hope they sell the Surface in Europe so I can get the Surface for Windows 8 Pro!
    Thanks for your article!

  • Asif

    “The Surface starts with 32GB of storage, and the equivalent iPad is priced at $599.”

    Of 32GB, only 16GB is free on a Surface at $499, the rest are taken by Windows, Office and space reserved for recovery tools. The “equivalent” iPad at $599 has 30.5GB of usable space.

    So now you see, the reason Surface starts with 32GB at $499 isn’t because it’s a better deal, it’s because Windows RT is huge and a Surface with 16GB flash memory wouldn’t even boot up.