How will Apple respond to the Microsoft Surface Studio?

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware
This is the first Microsoft product to inspire all-out Computer Greed for me:



Apple has to respond somehow, there is no way that they can let Microsoft take market share in the artistic and graphic design crowd that would use this to draw on.

Would they be able to make the next iMac work like this?  Are there any patents that would get in the way?
Gdolla
«1

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 21
    Far more likely than a direct iMac competitor is a larger iPad Pro. I mean, Wacom makes a 27" Cintiq pen-touch display for creative professionals. So a 20+" Retina iPad that integrates seamlessly with macOS is not a crazy idea, and it could work together with not just an iMac, but a MacBook Pro, and Mac Pro, and so on.

    Microsoft has hitched their wagon to all-in-ones, both in terms of hybrid laptops/tablets and now desktops/tablets. It's nice to see the post-Ballmer Microsoft not completely screwing it up. But Apple has gone the other direction, keeping tablets and computers apart. Time will tell, I suppose.
  • Reply 2 of 21
    Far more likely than a direct iMac competitor is a larger iPad Pro. I mean, Wacom makes a 27" Cintiq pen-touch display for creative professionals. So a 20+" Retina iPad that integrates seamlessly with macOS is not a crazy idea, and it could work together with not just an iMac, but a MacBook Pro, and Mac Pro, and so on.

    Microsoft has hitched their wagon to all-in-ones, both in terms of hybrid laptops/tablets and now desktops/tablets. It's nice to see the post-Ballmer Microsoft not completely screwing it up. But Apple has gone the other direction, keeping tablets and computers apart. Time will tell, I suppose.
    A direct Cintiq competitor from Apple in the form of a larger iPad would be great.
  • Reply 3 of 21
    Far more likely than a direct iMac competitor is a larger iPad Pro. I mean, Wacom makes a 27" Cintiq pen-touch display for creative professionals. So a 20+" Retina iPad that integrates seamlessly with macOS is not a crazy idea, and it could work together with not just an iMac, but a MacBook Pro, and Mac Pro, and so on.

    Microsoft has hitched their wagon to all-in-ones, both in terms of hybrid laptops/tablets and now desktops/tablets. It's nice to see the post-Ballmer Microsoft not completely screwing it up. But Apple has gone the other direction, keeping tablets and computers apart. Time will tell, I suppose.
    They already have a test bed for this with Watch extensions inside iPhone apps, so it would make sense take the same system and apply for iPad extensions inside macOS apps. In the first instance have a standard extension built-in to the OS's that allows projection of any interface on to an iOS device, however the API would encoarge mac developers to build more iOS centric interfaces.

    Going this way would give Apple a best of both worlds situation. Customers could mix and match Macs and Pads to build most suitable work platform for their work. Each device would have independent appeal and avoid the niche market problem that could limit the SurfaceStudio.
    tenthousandthings
  • Reply 4 of 21
    Apple lost it.  MBP with dongles.  How are Apple really going to respond to this? Mac Pro with dongles?
    VSzulc
  • Reply 5 of 21
    sphericspheric Posts: 1,163member
    mattinoz said:
    Far more likely than a direct iMac competitor is a larger iPad Pro. I mean, Wacom makes a 27" Cintiq pen-touch display for creative professionals. So a 20+" Retina iPad that integrates seamlessly with macOS is not a crazy idea, and it could work together with not just an iMac, but a MacBook Pro, and Mac Pro, and so on.

    Microsoft has hitched their wagon to all-in-ones, both in terms of hybrid laptops/tablets and now desktops/tablets. It's nice to see the post-Ballmer Microsoft not completely screwing it up. But Apple has gone the other direction, keeping tablets and computers apart. Time will tell, I suppose.
    They already have a test bed for this with Watch extensions inside iPhone apps, so it would make sense take the same system and apply for iPad extensions inside macOS apps. In the first instance have a standard extension built-in to the OS's that allows projection of any interface on to an iOS device, however the API would encoarge mac developers to build more iOS centric interfaces.

    Going this way would give Apple a best of both worlds situation. Customers could mix and match Macs and Pads to build most suitable work platform for their work. Each device would have independent appeal and avoid the niche market problem that could limit the SurfaceStudio.
    This makes the most sense.
  • Reply 6 of 21
    crowleycrowley Posts: 5,098member
    I have a small suspicion that iMacs might have been intended for the event last week, but were pulled when the Surface took so much of the spotlight.  I don't really think that, since there had been no rumours about the iMac in the run up, and because shelving a product already in production would cost Apple dear, but since the event felt stretched out and lightweight, a little seed of doubt is there.
    edited October 2016
  • Reply 7 of 21
    hmmhmm Posts: 3,399member

    Far more likely than a direct iMac competitor is a larger iPad Pro. I mean, Wacom makes a 27" Cintiq pen-touch display for creative professionals. So a 20+" Retina iPad that integrates seamlessly with macOS is not a crazy idea, and it could work together with not just an iMac, but a MacBook Pro, and Mac Pro, and so on.

    Microsoft has hitched their wagon to all-in-ones, both in terms of hybrid laptops/tablets and now desktops/tablets. It's nice to see the post-Ballmer Microsoft not completely screwing it up. But Apple has gone the other direction, keeping tablets and computers apart. Time will tell, I suppose.
    I'm not sure I would call that an iPad. You would need a stand or something for it. The 27" cintiqs have fairly heavy stands, whereas the older ones were not that great. It's much easier to draw at an angle, especially when most desk space wasn't really designed to accommodate drawing.
  • Reply 8 of 21
    crowley said:
    I have a small suspicion that iMacs might have been intended for the event last week, but were pulled when the Surface took so much of the spotlight.  I don't really think that, since there had been no rumours about the iMac in the run up, and because shelving a product already in production would cost Apple dear, but since the event felt stretched out and lightweight, a little seed of doubt is there.
    I don't know. Think about the tech required for a new touch-bar external bluetooth keyboard. I mean, it's basically a little iPad built into the keyboard, using a "T1" chip built by Apple with an ARMv7 core and running an offshoot of watchOS. Apparently it works together with the computer's CPU -- can that even work with bluetooth? or would it have to be wired? -- so it's a technical challenge on a different level from building it into a MBP.

    See Ars Technica, here.
    edited November 2016
  • Reply 9 of 21
    irelandireland Posts: 16,465member
    crowley said:
    I have a small suspicion that iMacs might have been intended for the event last week, but were pulled when the Surface took so much of the spotlight.
    No way.
    SpamSandwich
  • Reply 10 of 21
    iMac was ashamed and locked itself to the attic. Where is mac pro?
  • Reply 11 of 21
    crowley said:
    I have a small suspicion that iMacs might have been intended for the event last week, but were pulled when the Surface took so much of the spotlight.  I don't really think that, since there had been no rumours about the iMac in the run up, and because shelving a product already in production would cost Apple dear, but since the event felt stretched out and lightweight, a little seed of doubt is there.
    I don't know. Think about the tech required for a new touch-bar external bluetooth keyboard. I mean, it's basically a little iPad built into the keyboard, using a "T1" chip built by Apple with an ARMv7 core and running an offshoot of watchOS. Apparently it works together with the computer's CPU -- can that even work with bluetooth? or would it have to be wired? -- so it's a technical challenge on a different level from building it into a MBP.

    See Ars Technica, here.
    It's a little watch not an iPad. It sure seems to work the same way the first watch kit extensions worked. They worked over bluetooth to a iPhone as the CPU. Add 18months of development on all fronts why wouldn't it work over bluetooth.

    tenthousandthings
  • Reply 12 of 21
    crowleycrowley Posts: 5,098member
    crowley said:
    I have a small suspicion that iMacs might have been intended for the event last week, but were pulled when the Surface took so much of the spotlight.  I don't really think that, since there had been no rumours about the iMac in the run up, and because shelving a product already in production would cost Apple dear, but since the event felt stretched out and lightweight, a little seed of doubt is there.
    I don't know. Think about the tech required for a new touch-bar external bluetooth keyboard. I mean, it's basically a little iPad built into the keyboard, using a "T1" chip built by Apple with an ARMv7 core and running an offshoot of watchOS. Apparently it works together with the computer's CPU -- can that even work with bluetooth? or would it have to be wired? -- so it's a technical challenge on a different level from building it into a MBP.

    See Ars Technica, here.
    Not sure what you're suggesting - that Apple aren't ever going to make a TouchBar equipped standalone keyboard, or that they were unable to make it in time for the event, or that Apple would never ship a new iMac without a new TouchBar enabled keyboard.

    I don't think the answers to any of those are clear.
  • Reply 13 of 21
    crowley said:
    crowley said:
    I have a small suspicion that iMacs might have been intended for the event last week, but were pulled when the Surface took so much of the spotlight.  I don't really think that, since there had been no rumours about the iMac in the run up, and because shelving a product already in production would cost Apple dear, but since the event felt stretched out and lightweight, a little seed of doubt is there.
    I don't know. Think about the tech required for a new touch-bar external bluetooth keyboard. I mean, it's basically a little iPad built into the keyboard, using a "T1" chip built by Apple with an ARMv7 core and running an offshoot of watchOS. Apparently it works together with the computer's CPU -- can that even work with bluetooth? or would it have to be wired? -- so it's a technical challenge on a different level from building it into a MBP.

    See Ars Technica, here.
    Not sure what you're suggesting - that Apple aren't ever going to make a TouchBar equipped standalone keyboard, or that they were unable to make it in time for the event, or that Apple would never ship a new iMac without a new TouchBar enabled keyboard.

    I don't think the answers to any of those are clear.
    Mainly I was just saying that the answer to the question posed -- can it work via bluetooth or would it need to be wired? -- would tell us whether it is remotely possible that they could have had a new iMac ready that they pulled back, as you had mused.

    Others have answered that question here and elsewhere, and it is clear now that bluetooth isn't an issue at all, and really pretty much all the issues have already been solved in development by watchOS. So yes, Thunderbolt 3 iMacs with Touch Bar keyboard are coming -- it's just a question of when.

    I even think now that it's likely to be backward-compatible with the current Retina iMacs. I mean, the T1 and the Touch Bar were likely always part of the Apple Watch development picture, so a firmware update and they will be good to go?
    edited November 2016
  • Reply 14 of 21
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 761member
    Microsoft has thrown its hat into the ring and caught Apple with its trousers down. First they stole the spotlight and now every potential MBP buyer now knows there is someone else in town making a direct pitch to creative professionals. The negative reaction to the MBP contrasts with the positive comments on the Surface Studio.

    Time will tell if the Studio idea is comfortable and viable. What has proven to be of help to Apple is that both systems are very expensive. If the Surface Studio were cheaper I fear many existing Mac creative professionals would be evaluating it seriously. Further down the line we will see if either company can reduce prices or improve their offerings. Apple really needs to be listening to what its users want on a massive scale and making products to satisfy them. The same goes for non-pro users. Apple is looking inward right now and we have a completely stale iMac, Mini, Pro lineup.

    The good news is that Apple only ever reacts when things go really wrong. This year has been a disaster and we are entering the Christmas season with virtually nothing new on offer and prices remain too high. It's time to shake things up, offer bang for buck on machines people want to own and continue pushing for more market share.
    edited November 2016
  • Reply 15 of 21
    Apple will respond by making another commercial with Jony Ive talking about how the latest Apple product is the best thing they've ever made.  
    koban4max81
  • Reply 16 of 21
    sphericspheric Posts: 1,163member
    The irony is that the response to the MBP among Internet dweebs without a life is hugely negative, and those same internet dweebs are hugely positive on the Surface Studio - but the actual customers couldn't care less about those Internet dweebs. 

    Apple doesn't need to "respond" to the Surface Studio. Customers are. 
    They're buying MacBooks. 
  • Reply 17 of 21
    nhtnht Posts: 3,393member
    avon b7 said:
    Microsoft has thrown its hat into the ring and caught Apple with its trousers down. First they stole the spotlight and now every potential MBP buyer now knows there is someone else in town making a direct pitch to creative professionals. The negative reaction to the MBP contrasts with the positive comments on the Surface Studio.
    Yes, because creatives that need a laptop will replace it with a Surface Studio...what?  Or more likely they already have a Cintiq in their office paired with a Mac...

    I really do like my SurfaceBook and wish Apple made an equivalent but MacOS is still hands above Windows 10 in my opinion...one very noticeable area is how it handles High DPI displays (like on my aforementioned SurfaceBook).

    Handling HighDPI is perfectly seamless on the Mac.  A royal pain in my ass to get one of the apps we use working correctly in Windows 10/Surface Book because of a bug in the JDK.  Fortunately I had access to the source code and could fix it, resign it and redeploy it for everyone else in my group with a Surface (all three of us). On the mac it really did just work.

    The ad is nicely done and the Surface Studio seems nice.  The pen is likely the weak link.  Microsoft may be making a pitch for creatives but it really does so at the expense of Dell, Lenovo, etc rather than Apple.
  • Reply 18 of 21
    I'm starting to see "windows experience" as part of job requirements in the entertainment design industry.  If anyone thinks the pendulum isn't starting to swing towards PCs is living with their head in the ground.  A recent Greyscalegorilla podcast talked a lot about the industry switching.  

    If Apple cares about the professional users (which I'm convinced they don't), they really have a lot of work ahead of them.
    HunterSThompson
  • Reply 19 of 21
    No comment about the idea that Apple doesn't care about professional users in general and and Cinema 4D artists specifically. But the idea implied in the cover shot for that podcast is lightweight -- the Touch Bar and the Surface Studio are not in competition.

    The Surface Studio doesn't compete with iMacs or MacBook Pros. It competes with the Wacom Cintiq 27" line. Right now, the Surface Studio's 4.5K display is superior, but how long will that last? Two years at best? And how good is the pen, really? Can Wacom make a better pen for it? If so, why not just buy a Wacom? The fact the Surface Studio is also a computer is a minor point at best. 

    If Apple were to launch a 27" iPad Pro+, it would face the same problems Microsoft faces in trying to complete with Wacom. Namely, Wacom is far more agile and experienced in this space -- this is what they do, and they have done it well for a long time. They know what their customers want. They can produce a whole line tailored to different needs, not just a single product. Critically, they are not tied to one OS -- their products work with both Macs and PCs.

    Apple could, of course, make their iPad Pro+ just as Windows-friendly as Wacom's units, but I'm not sure why they would want to do that -- the point would be for it to work seamlessly with macOS.
    edited December 2016
  • Reply 20 of 21
    No comment about the idea that Apple doesn't care about professional users in general and and Cinema 4D artists specifically. But the idea implied in the cover shot for that podcast is lightweight -- the Touch Bar and the Surface Studio are not in competition.

    The Surface Studio doesn't compete with iMacs or MacBook Pros. It competes with the Wacom Cintiq 27" line. Right now, the Surface Studio's 4.5K display is superior, but how long will that last? Two years at best? And how good is the pen, really? Can Wacom make a better pen for it? If so, why not just buy a Wacom? The fact the Surface Studio is also a computer is a minor point at best. 

    If Apple were to launch a 27" iPad Pro+, it would face the same problems Microsoft faces in trying to complete with Wacom. Namely, Wacom is far more agile and experienced in this space -- this is what they do, and they have done it well for a long time. They know what their customers want. They can produce a whole line tailored to different needs, not just a single product. Critically, they are not tied to one OS -- their products work with both Macs and PCs.

    Apple could, of course, make their iPad Pro+ just as Windows-friendly as Wacom's units, but I'm not sure why they would want to do that -- the point would be for it to work seamlessly with macOS.
    I would say that the Surface Studio definitely does compete with the iMac but only with a subset of its users (although if you wanted to target potential iMac switchers you would clearly want that particular subset in your crosshairs). The Studio is a niche product - at the moment.

    If the design actually works and people like it (and can afford it), the logical next step will be to get prices down and perhaps even consider a smaller version.

    It clearly competes with the Cintiq 27" line too. Yes, Wacom has the know-how of decades of product development but the product really isn't that difficult to replicate if you have the resources. Having the board separate to the computer also has its advantages. As you say, Wacom will have far more agility to bring newer products to market and they have a full spread of options. It also has its Mac user base to play to. At the moment, they are safe. The problem is the future. If the Studio takes off and prices begin to come down, there might be a slight swing to surface type machines (it's hard to imagine that there isn't at least be another Surface Studio already in development - independently of sales of this first product). Microsoft seems to be a different beast in some respects now. If the product does find its niche, there is a risk that Wacom will begin to lose out but Apple might start to lose out too, by losing some of those high end iMac 27" users. If traditional PC manufacturers think they can pull off their own Surface Studio type ideas we might see prices evolve downwards even faster. That would spell trouble for Wacom, who I can't see melding a computer onto their devices and competing head to head with Microsoft. I'm sure Wacom management is revising the case studies on Nokia just in case.

    So, what should Apple do? Stick to its current gameplan and wait for the Studio to fizzle away? Build a 17" MBP with detachable Touchscreen? A giant iPad Pro? Produce a Cintiq-like device, or just buy Wacom? Or just ignore everything and continue to focus on the iPhone?

    If you are a Cintiq 27" user the outlay is something you consider very carefully before setting up your work station. If you throw in a new MBP, you consider it even more before deciding. Even at current pricing, I'm sure some users can see the appeal.

    Before I write off the Surface Studio I will wait and see just how it is received. As I said in a previous post, Microsoft has thrown its hat into the ring, and with its new direction, I don't think the idea is to dip a toe into the water or treat the adventure as a 'hobby'.
    edited December 2016
Sign In or Register to comment.