Microsoft's Surface Book 'tries too hard,' Tim Cook says

Posted:
in iPad edited November 2015
Apple chief Tim Cook had some harsh words for Microsoft during a stop in Ireland on Wednesday, saying that the Redmond firm's latest Surface Book -- which competes with both the iPad and the MacBook lineup -- "really succeeds at being neither" a tablet nor notebook.




"It's a product that tries too hard to do too much," Cook said, according to the Independent. "It's trying to be a tablet and a notebook and it really succeeds at being neither. It's sort of deluded."

Microsoft unveiled the Surface Book, a tablet-laptop hybrid device running Windows 10, early last month. The $1,499 device functions like an ultraportable with the technical specifications of a laptop.

The Surface Book ships with Intel's Core i5 and i7 line of processors, for instance, the same found in Apple's MacBook Pro lineup. It's also available with a discrete GPU in its 13.5-inch form factor, something Apple's smaller Pro does not offer.

Most of that hardware is packed into the display, which can be removed from the keyboard base and used as a standalone tablet.

Apple has repeatedly bashed the idea of touchscreen computers and hybrids, throwing the company wholesale behind the idea that mobile devices should be treated distinctly from PCs. Microsoft has taken the opposite approach, championing a convergence strategy which says that mobile devices are merely a different form factor of traditional personal computers.

This split manifests itself primarily in the companies' approaches to software. Apple maintains separate mobile and desktop operating systems with unique design and interaction paradigms, while Microsoft is attempting to make Windows adapt itself to the device it runs on.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 71
    Cool! Tim is being possessed by Steve's ghost.
  • Reply 2 of 71
    The shortcomings of Microsoft's ecosystem for its tablet make the Surface Book superfluous. Too, enterprise customers of Microsoft have much cheaper alternatives for an ultrabook than Surface Book. This product will gain little traction due to price, weight, and the compromise of converging a PC with a neutered tablet.
  • Reply 3 of 71
    nagrommenagromme Posts: 2,834member
    I think it's pretty COOL that it tries too hard.

    It's not for me, and not for most people--but it has a niche, and I'm not at all sorry to see that niche filled.

    For most people, the frankenOS and frankenTablet are not the way to go. Awkward compromises that make a worse laptop coupled with a worse tablet. Weight, battery life, thickness, performance, and UI are all compromised with one another, bound up in the legacy of the past that iOS managed to shake.

    BUT... for some subset of the (still large) Windows market, that set of compromises is acceptable and even useful--or they'll just enjoy the novelty for a while and then accept the drawbacks. As a gadget freak, I know that novelty IS fun! (Look at people who drive less practical cars but love the fun of them all the same.) And if the thing turns out to be well-built, it gets some respect from me. Not recommendations to buy it, just appreciation that MS made the experiment and it exists.
  • Reply 4 of 71
    There's a lot of features of the SB that just don't make sense. The hinge is a mess, the dGPU option is largely pointless (it's not like Windows is good with OpenCL), and it just keeps coming back to "why didn't they just make the keyboard dock for the SP4?" I know there are some technical reasons, but the Surface Book seems even more niche than people claim the iPad Pro is.
  • Reply 5 of 71
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    So I guess Cook wants tech sites talking about Surface Book today? This comment is perfect click bait fodder for the media.
  • Reply 6 of 71
    Sure he didn't say "diluted"?
  • Reply 7 of 71
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TheWhiteFalcon View Post

    There's a lot of features of the SB that just don't make sense. The hinge is a mess, the dGPU option is largely pointless (it's not like Windows is good with OpenCL), and it just keeps coming back to "why didn't they just make the keyboard dock for the SP4?" I know there are some technical reasons, but the Surface Book seems even more niche than people claim the iPad Pro is.

     

    I thought the whole point of Surface Pro was its a no compromises device. So what is the Surface Book for then? Other than a Panos Panay ego trip and Microsoft wanting so badly to be like Apple. Honestly I think the device is over engineered and seems designed just to impress the tech press.
  • Reply 8 of 71
    I went to a Microsoft store yesterday to try out the new Sureface Book. The hardware is very good, nice detach trick and the big screen is very light too. I just cannot stand the software. The UI is too busy, the stylus just not responding quick enough etc.
  • Reply 9 of 71
    esoomesoom Posts: 155member
    I have a few friends who's company bought them one, they're buggy as hell and crashing constantly. No ports on the tablet portion either, have ti use the keyboard to connect to anything.
  • Reply 10 of 71
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Esoom View Post



    I have a few friends who's company bought them one, they're buggy as hell and crashing constantly. No ports on the tablet portion either, have ti use the keyboard to connect to anything.

    I'm gonna assume that those issues can probably be fixed, mostly through software updates

  • Reply 11 of 71
    Microsoft's attempt at relevance in an industry that's passing them by. They're just another app/software company among many. Nothing really exciting, nothing to see, with whatever that actually *can* capture the imagination, destined for vaporware, or the portfolio of the faster, leaner and meaner competition that can do it better and actually SHIP.
  • Reply 12 of 71
    esoom wrote: »
    I have a few friends who's company bought them one, they're buggy as hell and crashing constantly. No ports on the tablet portion either, have ti use the keyboard to connect to anything.

    Yeah, MS really missed the boat on the SW for these. I mean, the iPad Pro isn't perfect but the 'issues' are something you fix in iOS X.
  • Reply 13 of 71
    Yea, whatever Cook, I haven't tried one, but it looks awesome. If someone figures out to install OS X on this thing, I'de be in line to buy one, the only reason I did not pull the trigger is even though I like using Windows 10, I hate the problems that os brings, the malware, the viruses. OS X just works, and that's how I like my OS, no interest in battling viruses, backing up, or restoring.
  • Reply 14 of 71
    notscott wrote: »
    Sure he didn't say "diluted"?

    Of coarse he did.
  • Reply 15 of 71
    nagromme wrote: »
    I think it's pretty COOL that it tries too hard.

    It's not for me, and not for most people--but it has a niche, and I'm not at all sorry to see that niche filled.

    For most people, the frankenOS and frankenTablet are not the way to go. Awkward compromises that make a worse laptop coupled with a worse tablet. Weight, battery life, thickness, performance, and UI are all compromised with one another, bound up in the legacy of the past that iOS managed to shake.

    BUT... for some subset of the (still large) Windows market, that set of compromises is acceptable and even useful--or they'll just enjoy the novelty for a while and then accept the drawbacks. As a gadget freak, I know that novelty IS fun! (Look at people who drive less practical cars but love the fun of them all the same.) And if the thing turns out to be well-built, it gets some respect from me. Not recommendations to buy it, just appreciation that MS made the experiment and it exists.

    I think it's that "tries too hard" that wil get a large enough portion of the MS base that still wants to prove that you can have booth at the same time (read: customers that are "trying to hard" to prove Apple sucks).
  • Reply 16 of 71
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by NotScott View Post



    Sure he didn't say "diluted"?

     

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by NotScott View Post



    Sure he didn't say "diluted"?



    Yes. Pretty sure AI heard that wrong. (i.e., heard what they wanted to hear)

  • Reply 17 of 71

    I do think it is a bad sign when Apple gives Microsoft free ad space like this, they must be at least a little concerned.

  • Reply 18 of 71

    I want a tablet with a touch screen that runs OS X. As has been pointed out in another article at this site, the potential of the iPad Pro is limited by iOS. The iPad Pro looks great. But I think it didn't try hard enough.

  • Reply 19 of 71
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,746member
    bobschlob wrote: »


    Yes. Pretty sure AI heard that wrong. (i.e., heard what they wanted to hear)
    The quote didn't come from AI.
  • Reply 20 of 71
    haggarhaggar Posts: 1,568member

    When I see the Launchpad on a MacBook Pro screen, I feel like swiping the icons with my finger.

     

    When I see the OS X Dock at the bottom of the laptop screen, I feel like tapping an icon with my finger.

     

    When I am sitting with a MacBook Pro in my lap while reading and holding the lower edges of the screen with my hands, I feel like swiping my thumbs on the screen to scroll the page.

     

    When I see 20 inch or larger touchscreen displays used as POS terminals, library self-checkout, customer registration systems, or company directories in lobbies, the thought of replacing those screens with a 10 inch iPad on a stand looks ridiculous.  Even more ridiculous when some of those large multitouch displays are being run by Mac Minis with Boot Camp rather than native OS X.  Perhaps people really do see Macs as just empty shells for running Windows.

     

    If Apple implemented Cocoa Touch API and supported external multitouch displays on OS X, developers could create full screen touch applications running on OS X so companies would not have to use PCs or emasculate Macs by running Boot Camp.  And they would be able to choose from a greater selection of screen sizes.  Makes more sense than asking Apple to make a 40 inch iPad.  But I guess it's easier just to blame people for not having better eyesight.

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