The new Surface is selling. Microsoft has rolled out the Surface 2, Surface 2 Pro and new accessories for the tablets. But how will the devices fare in a competitive tablet market that’s probably going to be hyper-focused on the new iPads this week?
Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 both promise "significant updates." Those updates include more processing power, longer battery life, better display and camera resolution.
Plus, the differentiating Kickstand now offers dual angles that aim to make it more comfortable to use on your lap or at your desk. And enhancements to Windows RT 8.1 and Windows 8.1 Pro make Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 more customizable.
“I sometimes get asked what the difference is between Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2, so I’ll summarize the basic difference between the two devices,” said Panos Panay, corporate vice president for Microsoft Surface. “Surface 2 is the most productive tablet for personal use, and Surface Pro 2 is a laptop in the body of a tablet, capable of running all Windows software and Windows Store apps.”
The Most Productive on the Planet
Panay boldly declared that Surface is the most productive tablet on the planet. It’s not just a laptop, he said, as laptops aren’t as thin or light and don’t have a battery that lasts an entire day. And it’s not just a tablet, he said, because tablets don’t have click-in keyboards and Microsoft Office that allow real work to get done.
“It’s not like any device you’ve ever seen,” Panay said. “Surface lets you run your favorite apps right alongside your favorite apps -- Xbox Music next to the document you’re working on in Word, News next to Facebook, or a Web page next to a Web page for a quick view of two things. . . .”
Microsoft is also offering some perks to customers who buy the new tablets. For example, customers who purchase the Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 will receive free Skype calling to landlines in more than 60 countries for one year, unlimited Skype Wi-Fi on the Surface 2s or Surface Pro 2s at more than 2 million hot spots worldwide for one year, and 200 GB of free SkyDrive for two years.
And Then There’s the iPad
Tablet shipments are expected to grow 53.4 percent this year, with shipments reaching 184 million units, according to market research firm Gartner Inc. But Michael Disabato, managing vice president of Network and Telecom at Gartner, told us he doesn’t expect the new Surface Pros to make a major impact on the market share of Apple and Android devices.
“The Surface Pro 2 is a really good machine. I have no doubt that it’s well built and it can do all the stuff Microsoft says it can do and that all the IT departments on the planet will love to see. If they can’t sell this tablet to consumers it’s not gong to be successful,” Disabato said.
“If the iPad 5 lives up to all the rumors -- which means it has the A7 chip and the Retina display -- the Surface is not going to go any further than it is already. I am not sure if the consumers will want it. The ecosystem is just not there yet. The consumers are winning this war,” he added.
Posted: 2013-10-27 @ 2:11am PT
What will retina display do for me in the office?