Microsoft to reportedly target iPad with cheaper Surface tablets

Posted:
in iPad edited May 16
Microsoft is reportedly looking to challenge Apple head-on in the tablet market by once again producing a cheaper Surface option, which would compete against Apple's $329 entry-level iPad.

The Surface Pro.
The Surface Pro.


The new Surface may ship as soon as the second half of 2018, and shrink from the 12.3 inches of the Surface Pro to about 10 inches, Bloomberg sources said. Microsoft is also claimed to be rounding off the edges of the chassis, and including USB-C -- something so far missing from both the Surface Pro and iPads.

The tablet should also be 20 percent lighter than the Pro, but sacrifice about four hours of battery life. That may not be a great hardship, as that would put the device around or slightly under the 10-hour span of iPads.

Configurations are expected to include 64 or 128 gigabytes of storage, and optional LTE. Less costly versions of the Type Cover, Surface Pen, and Surface Mouse may be available.

An entry-level tablet is anticipated to cost $400, making it more expensive than Apple's equivalent, but with standard advantages of the Surface line including a kickstand and a desktop-level OS, Windows 10 Pro.

Microsoft originally tried to take on the iPad with two Surface tablets, but switched focus to the Pro once it became clear the low-price Surface RT with its own operating system was unpopular. That device was both less powerful than the Pro and unable to run as many apps.

Apple's budget iPad has proven popular, and been heavily marketed towards schools as an alternative to Chromebooks and Windows laptops. Microsoft could be hoping to hold or expand its educational footprint.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 50
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 29,068member
    More competition would be better, but one would still have to deal with Windows... and that’s a dealbreaker.
    radarthekatrob53macxpresspalominejony0watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 50
    asciiascii Posts: 5,513member
    They don't want to make too many laptops because it will annoy their Windows OEM customers, but tablets they can make. It would actually be good to have a proper competitor to the iPad.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 50
    racerhomie3racerhomie3 Posts: 447member
    It’s dead on arrival.
    bkkcanuckandrewj5790mejsricDead_PoolericthehalfbeeSpamSandwichpalomineclaire1watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 50
    bkkcanuckbkkcanuck Posts: 720member
    Be interested to see which CPU would power it... the Core-M (Macbook 12") costs 65% the retail price of this new tablet.  One report said it would have an Intel processor, but I don't see many options in that price range that are great options... Maybe it will be the ARM hybrid, but on a higher price computer with that -- it is really sluggish (unusable) for any code that is not optimized for ARM rather than Intel.  For education (where basically Apple and Microsoft would be fighting over the higher end of the market - basically high-end crumbs) - they really need more than just a device - they need a device with a modern and well thought out educational curriculum that takes advantage of the device (and that is billions of dollars of investment needed...).
    palominewatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 50
    It’s dead on arrival.
    As much as I would likle competition this statement is true. Microsoft starts acting lilke with mobile phones. We stil remember what happened with Zune. Windows as much as it improved it is not OS to trust as Microsoft does not have any stable vision on the OS. They come up with way too much changing UI, "convenience features" by default that you need to fight to bring it to normal behavior, undocumented tricks and lack of regularity. It is all over place and badly organized OS (but it could be well organized if Microsoft paid attention to customers feedback and to details). Fancy animations, tiles and eye catchers is not making life more productive or entartaining (maintaining OS is not entertainment).
    muthuk_vanalingamwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 50
    bkkcanuckbkkcanuck Posts: 720member
    ascii said:
    They don't want to make too many laptops because it will annoy their Windows OEM customers, but tablets they can make. It would actually be good to have a proper competitor to the iPad.
    I don't think it matters at this point...  Windows is not the all mighty king within Microsoft it used to be (with the ability to wield power), and the OEMs really don't have good options other than Windows... They could try and push Chromebook option more, but for Windows laptops, they are really trading on the Windows brand of computer compatibles ... so they could yell and scream all they want... but that is all the power they have.  Besides, they are not really trying to be an HP or DELL, they are trying to push different paradigms for Windows in the marketplace.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 50
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,175member
    I wonder what are MS actually selling here in their own minds, Windows 10 Pro or a cheap computer?
    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 50
    bkkcanuck said:
    Be interested to see which CPU would power it... the Core-M (Macbook 12") costs 65% the retail price of this new tablet.  One report said it would have an Intel processor, but I don't see many options in that price range that are great options... Maybe it will be the ARM hybrid, but on a higher price computer with that -- it is really sluggish (unusable) for any code that is not optimized for ARM rather than Intel.  For education (where basically Apple and Microsoft would be fighting over the higher end of the market - basically high-end crumbs) - they really need more than just a device - they need a device with a modern and well thought out educational curriculum that takes advantage of the device (and that is billions of dollars of investment needed...).
    Probably a Celeron.  Begone Demon! 
  • Reply 9 of 50
    rob53rob53 Posts: 1,835member
    More competition would be better, but one would still have to deal with Windows... and that’s a dealbreaker.
    I understand the need/desire to discuss non-Apple products but this website is called AppleInsider not “let’s talk about everyone else’s product.” I only use Windows products when I’m helping a friend fix their dead computer. I really don’t care what Microsoft is doing to try and stay relevant. 
    Dead_PoolSpamSandwichwilliamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 50
    bkkcanuckbkkcanuck Posts: 720member
    MacPro said:
    I wonder what are MS actually selling here in their own minds, Windows 10 Pro or a cheap computer?
    I think they see the Surface Pro as a direct competitor to the iPad (pro) with the Microsoft vision.  They see the new iPad (jr) as potentially a huge hit - at a very reasonable price point... and they want a SKU to compete with it (along with the potential to be an educational computer).  I am primarily a Mac guy, and I was not going to replace my obsolete iPad with a new one - since it did not give me enough...  but the new iPad (jr) with pencil support -- really tipped it for me and I have bought the low end model with pencil support -- and it is great - well worth it.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 50
    irnchrizirnchriz Posts: 1,544member
    Cheaper Surface tablets, I can only imagine the failure rate on cheaper models, its already way too high on the current models.
    SpamSandwichpalominewatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 50
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,227member
    MacPro said:
    I wonder what are MS actually selling here in their own minds, Windows 10 Pro or a cheap computer?
    Yeah I thought the Surface Line was supposed to compete in the upper tier market to compete with Apple? Now all of a sudden they're in a race to the bottom? I also thought the Surface like was supposed to compete with the Mac, not the iPad? If recall, all. if not most of their ads reference a Mac, not necessarily an iPad. Maybe I haven't seen recent ones and things have changed. I don't watch a lot of TV so I'm not totally up to date with current things like that. 

    I really can't see how their going to get the price of the Surface any lower without sacrificing quality. Even at their current price points, they still aren't known for their quality. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 50
    KITAKITA Posts: 46member
    I'd be curious to see what will become of this. The Surface team's hardware design has been improving considerably lately. They just announced this yesterday:


  • Reply 14 of 50
    supadav03supadav03 Posts: 338member
    So they are basically making Surface RT again? Cool...
  • Reply 15 of 50
    bkkcanuckbkkcanuck Posts: 720member
    macxpress said:
    MacPro said:
    I wonder what are MS actually selling here in their own minds, Windows 10 Pro or a cheap computer?
    Yeah I thought the Surface Line was supposed to compete in the upper tier market to compete with Apple? Now all of a sudden they're in a race to the bottom? I also thought the Surface like was supposed to compete with the Mac, not the iPad? If recall, all. if not most of their ads reference a Mac, not necessarily an iPad. Maybe I haven't seen recent ones and things have changed. I don't watch a lot of TV so I'm not totally up to date with current things like that. 

    I really can't see how their going to get the price of the Surface any lower without sacrificing quality. Even at their current price points, they still aren't known for their quality. 
    I think the Surface Book was aimed at the laptop market, the Surface Pro more as a tablet but giving you the full functionality of a computer (i.e. iPad but useful). 
  • Reply 16 of 50
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 2,727member
    Who is the Surface for other than hipsters that read The Verge? If Surface was an Apple product it would be considered a failure.  Heck the tech press considers iPad a failure yet it does 9x the revenue of Surface. This product is hyped way more than it deserves to be.
    StrangeDays
  • Reply 17 of 50
    KITAKITA Posts: 46member
    supadav03 said:
    So they are basically making Surface RT again? Cool...
    The Surface RT ran Windows RT, had a 16:9 aspect ratio, used an ARM processor and no pen.

    This runs Windows 10 Pro, has a 3:2 aspect ratio, uses an Intel processor and can use a pen.

    They're essentially making a successor to the Surface 3.
  • Reply 18 of 50
    KITAKITA Posts: 46member
    Who is the Surface for other than hipsters that read The Verge? If Surface was an Apple product it would be considered a failure.  Heck the tech press considers iPad a failure yet it does 9x the revenue of Surface. This product is hyped way more than it deserves to be.
    Only ~3.7x the revenue in the last quarter.

    Surface - 1.1 billion
    iPad - 4.1 billion


  • Reply 19 of 50
    Dead_PoolDead_Pool Posts: 14member
    The article is wrong when it says that the current Surface Pro has greater battery life than the iPad, and that reduced battery life would therefore not be a great hardship. As it is, Surface Pro “real world” battery life is only about 7 hours, so losing a third or even a quarter of that will basically require being tethered to an outlet, which defeats the whole purpose of a portable computer. By contrast, the iPad’s 10-hour battery life is not an exaggeration. 
    edited May 16 StrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 50
    78Bandit78Bandit Posts: 166member
    They will need two things to be even remotely successful: well-coded power efficient apps and week-long standby time.

    I've got both a Surface Pro 4 and an iPad.  They are two completely different devices.  The iPad is simple to use with great apps for content consumption.  I mainly use it for web browsing, accessing reference books in either .pdf or Kindle formats, and reading the news on the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, New York Times, Economist, and a few local papers.  The apps on the iPad are leaps and bounds ahead of what (if anything) is available on the Windows Store.

    My Surface also runs the battery down in the space of a couple of days unless I shut it down while my iPad will lose maybe 5% per day just sitting around.  I'll charge my iPad and my Google Nexus 7 once per week while my Surface needs charging pretty much every other day.  Connected standby needs to work more efficiently so I could be confident the device will work when I pick it up.
    palomine
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