The Apple versus Microsoft hardware double-standard rears up again with the latest Surface...

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited October 5
Across the last couple years, Apple's new Macs have been roundly criticized for raising their prices using flashy -- rather than purely utilitarian-- new features like the Touch Bar, while delivering only incremental improvements in performance due to a reliance on Intel's processors. Yet when Microsoft follows the same playbook, suddenly high prices are reasonable, flashy but unnecessary features are a sign of innovation, and big performance gains aren't really necessary.


Microsoft's Surface Studio 2 is effectively a non-mobile tablet


This week, Microsoft bumped up the specs of its Surface Studio 2, its all-in-one PC that converts into a huge stationary tablet. It's been two years since the original revision shipped.

In the fashion of Apple, Microsoft boasted that the new machine was the "fastest Surface ever," as if it were competing against others making inferior Surface models, or that it needed to reassure the tech media that new computers are not suddenly getting slower each year after forty years.

Microsoft couldn't claim it is the fastest Windows PC, however. In fact, writing for PC World, Mark Hachman noted in his hands on, titled "Microsoft Surface Studio 2: Still the PC you desire but can't afford," that even calling it the fastest Surface "may be true in the end, though Microsoft barely squeaks by with that definition on paper."

PC nostalgia for yesterday's Mac

Microsoft will use Intel's seventh generation Core i7 chip, just like Apple's fastest standard iMac introduced in mid-2017. But rather than complaining that Microsoft's brand new Surface Studio 2 should be using Intel's latest available processor, Hachman stated, "fortunately, performance isn't why you'll buy the Microsoft Surface Studio 2: It's that amazing, vibrant display."

That's right: after decades of chiding Apple for not building a "headless" PC box from the '90s, suddenly the reason "you'll buy the Microsoft Surface Studio 2" -- and don't worry, you actually won't -- is because it incorporates a nice display.

Specifically, as Hachman detailed, a "4500x3000 28-inch RealSense display [that] puts out even more light than before-- over 500 nits!" He added that "it was like falling into a more vibrant, colorful world."

iMac Pro 5K
Apple's "vibrant" 5K iMac first shipped four years ago


Alternatively, you might say it's like walking into the summer of 2017, when Apple released its 5K iMac with 500 nits of brightness at 5128 by 2880 -- higher than the Surface Studio 2. Plus, that iMac display is in a more media-creative friendly 16:9 aspect ratio.

To speak of this stuff as being "more than ever before" and a new epoch of computing is just kind of nutty.

What the people want

The Studio does offer its novel "easel mode" that turns its display into a panel you can write on using a special stylus, effectively making it a larger version of an iPad Pro without the mobility. If it were indeed 2015, we wouldn't have any proof whether people preferred using the conventional workstation format of the 5K iMac; the then-new, ultra-mobile iPad Pro with its Pencil for direct annotations, or the in-between Surface Studio hybrid that Microsoft shipped a year later at the end of 2016.

Nearly two years later however, we know unequivocally that the 5K iMac is a hit ultimately contributing to Apple releasing an ultra-premium, super beefy version called iMac Pro. Plus, the iPad Pro has been the most successful premium tablet by a huge margin, while Surface Studio has been little more than concept so ineffectual that it has had no discernible impact on the number of Surface devices Microsoft has been selling since its arrival.

Sales of the Surface haven't grown out of the range they've been stuck in for years.

iPad Pro
iPad Pro is highly mobile and far less expensive, making it versatile and popular


Despite being a moderate upgrade that has only "finally" arrived after two years of the original Surface Studio, Tom Warren of the Verge wrote that "Microsoft has strangely decided to stick with a 7th Generation Intel Core i7 processor," and that "Microsoft isn't revealing exactly when this new Surface Studio 2 will launch." The expectation is that Surface Studio 2 will ship in December when Nvidia can deliver the faster GPU it uses.

Microsoft has priced the Surface Studio 2 at a very high tier -- it starts at $3,500, with nothing underneath it in the Surface lineup apart from its three mobile products. That's $200 more than Apple's 27 inch iMac upgraded to a Core i7, 16GB of DDR4 RAM and 1TB of SDD storage at Apple's premium prices.

Apple is known -- and often reviled by PC fans -- for its premium pricing. Yet in this case, an iMac is not just cheaper when similarly configured, but offers a wide range of significantly lower priced options starting at $1,800 for the 5K iMac, or $1,100 for the smaller 4K model where Microsoft does not.

That indicates that Microsoft doesn't expect to sell many Studio 2 units to buyers outside of a very small group that will pay whatever it asks.

So talking about Surface as being "what the people want" is not only factually false, but just plain insane. The only place where Surface has ever been popular is in the minds of PC columnists and fans with only imaginary funds to buy the products.

Saying Surface is popular is like saying Google's Pixel 2 is popular: an easily demonstrable lie. One can be a fan of either, but you can't say everyone else is, because there aren't enough sales to matter.

Surface Studio 2: a product for creative pros that's not very pro

The primary allure to Studio 2 is the way it lies not quite flat so you can draw on the screen. This could appeal to a small sector of artists who prefer to draw by hand on a computer display, but prefer to be limited to a desk. Essentially, a $2,500 Wacom Cintiq permanently attached to a $1,000 PC so you throw both out and buy a pair of new ones when you upgrade.

By entering a small market with an expensive, over-serving product that's less flexible and offers nothing really new, Microsoft has capitalized on the opposite of disruption.

That is entirely the opposite of what Apple is doing with its iPad Pro, a product that makes hand-drawn artwork on a high-end display affordable, highly mobile, and compatible with a broad portfolio of popular touch-centric software, rather than trying to graft Apple Pencil into the existing desktop world of windows and a mouse, and requiring a complex hinge to make it possible to turn a desktop PC into a tilted drawing surface.

Really, the meat of Microsoft's Surface show was so thin that Warren asked Microsoft's Surface chief Panos Panay what else the company might do, suggesting exciting ideas like a USB-C webcam or a modular version of the Surface Studio that would allow users to upgrade its internals.

Panay replied, "Probably, you look at it and you see what's the evolution and how do we make it better for our customers. Yeah, there's still so much more to do, and while I won't tell you what it is you can put stories together."

If you wonder why Apple doesn't comment on future products, you might also wonder why Microsoft does, actively suggesting here that consumers wait for an upgradable version in the pipeline and encouraging the Verge to imagine up vaporware, which it promptly did.

The problem is, imagined vaporware is no longer a functional way for Microsoft to compete against the better, real products of its competitors. This may have worked in the '90s, when its arrogant promises were frequently used to dampen interest in real, shipping products, but leaving the tech press to imagine how great Vista could be while Apple was delivering real updates for Macs didn't work out well.

Imagining up a fantastic future for Zune, Windows Phone, Windows RT, and Microsoft Band didn't help Microsoft compete against iPod, iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch, either.

Zune, Surface RT
When hardware fails to sell, Microsoft cancels it even if it says it won't

Higher entry price, fewer options, seldom updated: why can't Apple do this?

Rather than chiding Microsoft for doing all the things they've badgered Apple about since the beginning of time, PC pundits have a whole new way of looking at the world once it's a place where it's Microsoft trying to make money rather than Apple. And yes, it's a lot like their reception of Google's premium-priced hardware boondoggles like the Chromebook Pixel.

Writing for the infamous ZD Net, Adrian Kingsley-Hughes coughed up a word salad on Microsoft's Surface announcement titled, "Microsoft's new Surface PCs are the Macs I want Apple to make."




The only way to interpret this into a coherent thought is to assume he means Apple should offer products nobody wants and then go out of business, because he has never written anything in his career to suggest otherwise. But what he says he means is that, after switching "from PCs to Macs a few years ago as my daily workhorses" he now wants Apple to "learn a thing or two from what the Redmond giant is offering its users."

He called Apple "old and stale" multiple times in a single page.

"While Apple has been neglecting its desktops and laptops to mercilessly push the iPhone, Microsoft has been busy reinventing the PC," he wrote. "And the result is that Mac sales have become mediocre at best." Those last few words hyperlinked to an article he wrote in Q3 2014 referencing 18 percent YoY growth to 4.4 million Mac sales, a number he indeed did call "mediocre" at the time. But words have meanings.

Microsoft has never sold so many Surface PCs in a year, and its sales haven't really grown since it launched the Surface idea, so it's not really clear what he's trying to say in calling Apple's vastly larger Mac business "mediocre at best." But the words he uses are that "Apple is in a position where it can let the Mac line go old and stale because Apple isn't a computer company anymore. It's now a company that sells the iPhone."

In reality, the fact is that Apple's Mac operations have generated $25.2 billion in revenues over the last four quarters. Microsoft's total Surface revenues over the same period were $4.7 billion. Of course, most of that was from sales of its hybrid tablets, more comparable to Apple's iPad business which itself generated another $19.5 billion.




To suggest that Apple doesn't care about Macs because it has a much larger business in phones is pretty silly coming from a person who is certainly aware that Surface isn't Microsoft's profit center.

Additionally, Microsoft is doing a lot of work to support Surface and its four lines of hardware. Yet at the volumes of units it's selling, it can't possibly be making sustainable profits. Apple's computing product lineup isn't vastly larger, but its sales are massive and global. That enables it to make far greater profits even with pricing lower than Microsoft's.

Microsoft is learning from Apple, just not quickly enough to matter

It is true that Microsoft totally dropped the ball with Windows Phone and Nokia, leaving it with no meaningful remaining phone business at all. But that doesn't mean Microsoft cares more about its Surface PC hardware than Apple cares about its Macs.

The ZDNet article immediately contradicts itself, stating that Macs are indeed critical to Apple because "having devices that support the iPhone and iPad is still important because it keeps people in the ecosystem. If there are no new Macs, people will start to look elsewhere, and that weakens Apple's grip on users."

Maybe he just thinks he's the only one who thought of this, and Apple is ready to throw away the Mac even as it invests so much effort into its Continuity technology-- and most recently, its efforts in macOS Mojave to make iOS UIKit apps work on the Mac.

In fact, since Microsoft shipped Windows 10 back in 2015, it has only deployed five minor point updates to its PC users. Across that time, Apple delivered macOS El Capitan followed by six point updates, macOS Sierra followed by six point updates, macOS High Sierra with six point updates, and the most recent macOS Mojave. A reasonable person wouldn't conclude that Apple doesn't care about the Mac because its iPhone business is doing so well in parallel (and getting the same pace of iOS updates).

One paragraph later in the piece, and the author's certainty that Apple doesn't care about Macs anymore has turned into a future possibility: "But if Apple has dropped the ball, and can't keep the Mac offering updated, it seems that Microsoft, along with its army of OEMs, is ready to fill the void."

However, given that Mac sales are incrementally growing even as PC sales shrink globally, and that Apple's iPad is a central cause of PC's arrested growth, isn't it Microsoft that dropped the ball, along with its army of OEMs, and hasn't Apple already "filled the void," leaving little room for premium PC makers, including Microsoft, to make any gains?

Apple is trying new things, they're just successful

While Apple hasn't radically remixed its hit form factors, the company also isn't just conservatively selling slightly polished versions of yesterday's technology. Its iPads and Macs employ new innovations ranging from custom high performance SSD controllers to advanced displays with ambient-aware color management.

Apple pulled off porting its desktop OS to mobile, lightweight ARM hardware two years before Microsoft and managed to profitably sustain its iPad business across the five years since Microsoft gave up on RT, without destroying its conventional Mac business.

Yet outside the largely standardized form factors of mobile, laptop and desktop computing, there's something else that Apple is experimenting in that is wildly more successful than anything Microsoft has done with its Surface brand.

This performance is hidden inside Apple's Other Hardware segment, which includes HomePod, Apple TV, Apple Watch, AirPods and Beats. These specialized computers that drive personal entertainment, home audio and wearable technology have excelled in markets that other PC and mobile vendors (inclining Microsoft, Google and Samsung) have failed miserably.


Across the last four and a half years, Apple's Other Hardware has generated three times the revenues of Microsoft's entire Surface business


Apple's sales of Other Hardware have absolutely skyrocketed over the past four years, growing from $8.2 billion in 2014 to $14.3 billion last year. Over the last four and a half years, Apple's Other Hardware has sold $52.7 billion worth of "less conventional computing." That alone is three times the revenues of Microsoft's entire Surface business over the same period.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 62
    But Microsoft licenses Windows to other manufacturers so the user has many other options available to them. A Windows user isn’t forced to buy a Surface if they continue to need to use Windows.
    Ari_UgwuGeorgeBMacwilliamlondonmuthuk_vanalingamphilboogiebenage
  • Reply 2 of 62
    I am stuck using a windows machine at work for a few projects but use my Macbook Pro for every labor intensive, My lenovo workstation at work three months out of the box had to be completely redone as some update cause the whole operating system to be completely rendered unusable and drive had to be reformatted and everything reinstalled a hassle indeed. That aside the same applications on windows and on mac from adobe just feels more polished and normal on the mac, i can open and process hundred photos at a time on the macbook but the windows machine photoshop freezes if i attempt to open more then 20 at a time.. everything just is quicker onnthe mac, even adding fonts, easy to find and install not always the case on the windows machine. Sure the Lenovo was cheap but it’s a 2017 model and can’t handle the workload that my 2011 macbook pro does.. Windows seems great for utilitarian work like office, accounting, email, gaming, but when it comes down to me getting photography, design and programming done that i solely do on the mac. Ill gladly pay more for a computer system that just works and needs very little maintenance over eight years almost now... My 2006 macbook still works just slow, i’ve never had a windows machine work longer then three years
    jamieljamielhypoluxacharlesgresMisterKitmagman1979christopher126williamlondonwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 3 of 62
    hypoluxahypoluxa Posts: 637member
    epicurus said:
    I am stuck using a windows machine at work for a few projects but use my Macbook Pro for every labor intensive, My lenovo workstation at work three months out of the box had to be completely redone as some update cause the whole operating system to be completely rendered unusable and drive had to be reformatted and everything reinstalled a hassle indeed. That aside the same applications on windows and on mac from adobe just feels more polished and normal on the mac, i can open and process hundred photos at a time on the macbook but the windows machine photoshop freezes if i attempt to open more then 20 at a time.. everything just is quicker onnthe mac, even adding fonts, easy to find and install not always the case on the windows machine. Sure the Lenovo was cheap but it’s a 2017 model and can’t handle the workload that my 2011 macbook pro does.. Windows seems great for utilitarian work like office, accounting, email, gaming, but when it comes down to me getting photography, design and programming done that i solely do on the mac. Ill gladly pay more for a computer system that just works and needs very little maintenance over eight years almost now... My 2006 macbook still works just slow, i’ve never had a windows machine work longer then three years
    Exactly. The Windows environment is a giant Charlie Foxtrot, for the most part. I don't get why MS just doesn't stick to software, and making that better.
    magman1979williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 62
    danvmdanvm Posts: 655member

    Microsoft has priced the Surface Studio 2 at a very high tier -- it starts at $3,500, with nothing underneath it in the Surface lineup apart from its three mobile products. That's $200 more than Apple's 27 inch iMac upgraded to a Core i7, 16GB of DDR4 RAM and 1TB of SDD storage at Apple's premium prices.

    Apple is known -- and often reviled by PC fans -- for its premium pricing. Yet in this case, an iMac is not just cheaper when similarly configured, but offers a wide range of significantly lower priced options starting at $1,800 for the 5K iMac, or $1,100 for the smaller 4K model where Microsoft does not.

    T
    The additional $200 in the Surface Studio gives you a 28" touchscreen and a GTX1060 w/6GB in the entry model, which is far better than what Apple offers in the iMac 5K and even the iMac Pro.

    Microsoft has never sold so many Surface PCs in a year, and its sales haven't really grown since it launched the Surface idea, so it's not really clear what he's trying to say in calling Apple's vastly larger Mac business "mediocre at best." But the words he uses are that "Apple is in a position where it can let the Mac line go old and stale because Apple isn't a computer company anymore. It's now a company that sells the iPhone."

    In reality, the fact is that Apple's Mac operations have generated $25.2 billion in revenues over the last four quarters. Microsoft's total Surface revenues over the same period were $4.7 billion. Of course, most of that was from sales of its hybrid tablets, more comparable to Apple's iPad business which itself generated another $19.5 billion.
    Maybe the reason for the low Surface sales is that there are options from other vendors that sell similar devices with Windows at a lower cost.  Compare that to Apple, that is the only vendor of iOS and macOS devices.  Still, I find impressive how MS is doing after only six years in a saturated PC market. 
    gatorguyberndoglkruppatomic101Ari_Ugwuwilliamlondonhammeroftruthmuthuk_vanalingambigpicsbenage
  • Reply 5 of 62
    danvmdanvm Posts: 655member
    epicurus said:
    I am stuck using a windows machine at work for a few projects but use my Macbook Pro for every labor intensive, My lenovo workstation at work three months out of the box had to be completely redone as some update cause the whole operating system to be completely rendered unusable and drive had to be reformatted and everything reinstalled a hassle indeed. That aside the same applications on windows and on mac from adobe just feels more polished and normal on the mac, i can open and process hundred photos at a time on the macbook but the windows machine photoshop freezes if i attempt to open more then 20 at a time.. everything just is quicker onnthe mac, even adding fonts, easy to find and install not always the case on the windows machine. Sure the Lenovo was cheap but it’s a 2017 model and can’t handle the workload that my 2011 macbook pro does.. Windows seems great for utilitarian work like office, accounting, email, gaming, but when it comes down to me getting photography, design and programming done that i solely do on the mac. Ill gladly pay more for a computer system that just works and needs very little maintenance over eight years almost now... My 2006 macbook still works just slow, i’ve never had a windows machine work longer then three years
    One of my customers, and architectural firm, upgraded their Dell Presicion workstations, that haven been running for +7 years, to the latest Lenovo ThinkStations with Windows 10.  They are working with Adobe CC and the latest version of Autodesk suite off apps (the name of the suite is too long), and they had no issues at all with stability or performance.  Never expect a cheap PC to give you the best experience when working with specialized applications. 
    williamlondonmuthuk_vanalingambenage
  • Reply 6 of 62
    danvm said:

    Microsoft has priced the Surface Studio 2 at a very high tier -- it starts at $3,500, with nothing underneath it in the Surface lineup apart from its three mobile products. That's $200 more than Apple's 27 inch iMac upgraded to a Core i7, 16GB of DDR4 RAM and 1TB of SDD storage at Apple's premium prices.

    Apple is known -- and often reviled by PC fans -- for its premium pricing. Yet in this case, an iMac is not just cheaper when similarly configured, but offers a wide range of significantly lower priced options starting at $1,800 for the 5K iMac, or $1,100 for the smaller 4K model where Microsoft does not.

    T
    The additional $200 in the Surface Studio gives you a 28" touchscreen and a GTX1060 w/6GB in the entry model, which is far better than what Apple offers in the iMac 5K and even the iMac Pro.

    Microsoft has never sold so many Surface PCs in a year, and its sales haven't really grown since it launched the Surface idea, so it's not really clear what he's trying to say in calling Apple's vastly larger Mac business "mediocre at best." But the words he uses are that "Apple is in a position where it can let the Mac line go old and stale because Apple isn't a computer company anymore. It's now a company that sells the iPhone."

    In reality, the fact is that Apple's Mac operations have generated $25.2 billion in revenues over the last four quarters. Microsoft's total Surface revenues over the same period were $4.7 billion. Of course, most of that was from sales of its hybrid tablets, more comparable to Apple's iPad business which itself generated another $19.5 billion.
    Maybe the reason for the low Surface sales is that there are options from other vendors that sell similar devices with Windows at a lower cost.  Compare that to Apple, that is the only vendor of iOS and macOS devices.  Still, I find impressive how MS is doing after only six years in a saturated PC market. 
    Let’s talk about 7820HQ vs 7700K & Xeon W, 10-bit display and Vega 56 then.
    edited October 5 magman1979watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 62
    A lot of PC fanboy I know doesn't like Surface line-up either, most of them only cares about being cost effective and how to put a crap tons of LED in their case.

    Heck, Surface Book 2 sucks so bad on CPU-cooling, that 13" (i7) model receives 200 point less than 13" MacBook Pro in 2018 (i5).
    edited October 5 watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 62
    JWSCJWSC Posts: 187member
    hypoluxa said:
    epicurus said:
    I am stuck using a windows machine at work for a few projects but use my Macbook Pro for every labor intensive, My lenovo workstation at work three months out of the box had to be completely redone as some update cause the whole operating system to be completely rendered unusable and drive had to be reformatted and everything reinstalled a hassle indeed. That aside the same applications on windows and on mac from adobe just feels more polished and normal on the mac, i can open and process hundred photos at a time on the macbook but the windows machine photoshop freezes if i attempt to open more then 20 at a time.. everything just is quicker onnthe mac, even adding fonts, easy to find and install not always the case on the windows machine. Sure the Lenovo was cheap but it’s a 2017 model and can’t handle the workload that my 2011 macbook pro does.. Windows seems great for utilitarian work like office, accounting, email, gaming, but when it comes down to me getting photography, design and programming done that i solely do on the mac. Ill gladly pay more for a computer system that just works and needs very little maintenance over eight years almost now... My 2006 macbook still works just slow, i’ve never had a windows machine work longer then three years
    Exactly. The Windows environment is a giant Charlie Foxtrot, for the most part. I don't get why MS just doesn't stick to software, and making that better.
    Agree.  MS needs to keep their focus on software.

    Twenty years ago Apple realized that their OS architecture was at a dead end as a result of their failures with Copland and Taligent.  NeXT and UNIX and Steve Jobs saves their collective asses.  If only MS would wake up and just get on with rewriting Windows from the ground up using UNIX, they’d have much better security and stability.  Everyone would benefit.

    I might even cheer for MS a little bit.  (Wait..!  What did I just say...?)
    muthuk_vanalingamwatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 62
    danvmdanvm Posts: 655member
    DuhSesame said:
    danvm said:

    Microsoft has priced the Surface Studio 2 at a very high tier -- it starts at $3,500, with nothing underneath it in the Surface lineup apart from its three mobile products. That's $200 more than Apple's 27 inch iMac upgraded to a Core i7, 16GB of DDR4 RAM and 1TB of SDD storage at Apple's premium prices.

    Apple is known -- and often reviled by PC fans -- for its premium pricing. Yet in this case, an iMac is not just cheaper when similarly configured, but offers a wide range of significantly lower priced options starting at $1,800 for the 5K iMac, or $1,100 for the smaller 4K model where Microsoft does not.

    T
    The additional $200 in the Surface Studio gives you a 28" touchscreen and a GTX1060 w/6GB in the entry model, which is far better than what Apple offers in the iMac 5K and even the iMac Pro.

    Microsoft has never sold so many Surface PCs in a year, and its sales haven't really grown since it launched the Surface idea, so it's not really clear what he's trying to say in calling Apple's vastly larger Mac business "mediocre at best." But the words he uses are that "Apple is in a position where it can let the Mac line go old and stale because Apple isn't a computer company anymore. It's now a company that sells the iPhone."

    In reality, the fact is that Apple's Mac operations have generated $25.2 billion in revenues over the last four quarters. Microsoft's total Surface revenues over the same period were $4.7 billion. Of course, most of that was from sales of its hybrid tablets, more comparable to Apple's iPad business which itself generated another $19.5 billion.
    Maybe the reason for the low Surface sales is that there are options from other vendors that sell similar devices with Windows at a lower cost.  Compare that to Apple, that is the only vendor of iOS and macOS devices.  Still, I find impressive how MS is doing after only six years in a saturated PC market. 
    Let’s talk about 7820HQ vs 7700K & Xeon W, 10-bit display and Vega 56 then.
    CPU:  iMac 5K have the advantage
    Display 10bit:  I find interesting that the 1st gen Surface Studio had a 10-bit display, but there is no mention for the Surface Studio 2.  Maybe still has a 10-bit display considering there were no major changes to the display.   I'll do some research to see if there any specifics on this.
    Vega 56 vs GTX1060: It's  hard to find some comparison between the two, but at least in Adobe Premier, the GTX1060 and the AMD Vega56 had similar results. 


    Maybe there are other comparisons, but I didn't find them.
    bb-15williamlondon
  • Reply 10 of 62
    danvm said:
    DuhSesame said:
    danvm said:

    Microsoft has priced the Surface Studio 2 at a very high tier -- it starts at $3,500, with nothing underneath it in the Surface lineup apart from its three mobile products. That's $200 more than Apple's 27 inch iMac upgraded to a Core i7, 16GB of DDR4 RAM and 1TB of SDD storage at Apple's premium prices.

    Apple is known -- and often reviled by PC fans -- for its premium pricing. Yet in this case, an iMac is not just cheaper when similarly configured, but offers a wide range of significantly lower priced options starting at $1,800 for the 5K iMac, or $1,100 for the smaller 4K model where Microsoft does not.

    T
    The additional $200 in the Surface Studio gives you a 28" touchscreen and a GTX1060 w/6GB in the entry model, which is far better than what Apple offers in the iMac 5K and even the iMac Pro.

    Microsoft has never sold so many Surface PCs in a year, and its sales haven't really grown since it launched the Surface idea, so it's not really clear what he's trying to say in calling Apple's vastly larger Mac business "mediocre at best." But the words he uses are that "Apple is in a position where it can let the Mac line go old and stale because Apple isn't a computer company anymore. It's now a company that sells the iPhone."

    In reality, the fact is that Apple's Mac operations have generated $25.2 billion in revenues over the last four quarters. Microsoft's total Surface revenues over the same period were $4.7 billion. Of course, most of that was from sales of its hybrid tablets, more comparable to Apple's iPad business which itself generated another $19.5 billion.
    Maybe the reason for the low Surface sales is that there are options from other vendors that sell similar devices with Windows at a lower cost.  Compare that to Apple, that is the only vendor of iOS and macOS devices.  Still, I find impressive how MS is doing after only six years in a saturated PC market. 
    Let’s talk about 7820HQ vs 7700K & Xeon W, 10-bit display and Vega 56 then.
    CPU:  iMac 5K have the advantage
    Display 10bit:  I find interesting that the 1st gen Surface Studio had a 10-bit display, but there is no mention for the Surface Studio 2.  Maybe still has a 10-bit display considering there were no major changes to the display.   I'll do some research to see if there any specifics on this.
    Vega 56 vs GTX1060: It's  hard to find some comparison between the two, but at least in Adobe Premier, the GTX1060 and the AMD Vega56 had similar results. 


    Maybe there are other comparisons, but I didn't find them.
    Premiere is better optimized for GTX.

    That aside, iMac refreshment is near, Intel is about to release their 9th-gen processor, with 8 core i9 being mainstream.
    edited October 5 watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 62
    djsherlydjsherly Posts: 987member
    JWSC said:
    hypoluxa said:
    epicurus said:
    I am stuck using a windows machine at work for a few projects but use my Macbook Pro for every labor intensive, My lenovo workstation at work three months out of the box had to be completely redone as some update cause the whole operating system to be completely rendered unusable and drive had to be reformatted and everything reinstalled a hassle indeed. That aside the same applications on windows and on mac from adobe just feels more polished and normal on the mac, i can open and process hundred photos at a time on the macbook but the windows machine photoshop freezes if i attempt to open more then 20 at a time.. everything just is quicker onnthe mac, even adding fonts, easy to find and install not always the case on the windows machine. Sure the Lenovo was cheap but it’s a 2017 model and can’t handle the workload that my 2011 macbook pro does.. Windows seems great for utilitarian work like office, accounting, email, gaming, but when it comes down to me getting photography, design and programming done that i solely do on the mac. Ill gladly pay more for a computer system that just works and needs very little maintenance over eight years almost now... My 2006 macbook still works just slow, i’ve never had a windows machine work longer then three years
    Exactly. The Windows environment is a giant Charlie Foxtrot, for the most part. I don't get why MS just doesn't stick to software, and making that better.
    Agree.  MS needs to keep their focus on software.

    Twenty years ago Apple realized that their OS architecture was at a dead end as a result of their failures with Copland and Taligent.  NeXT and UNIX and Steve Jobs saves their collective asses.  If only MS would wake up and just get on with rewriting Windows from the ground up using UNIX, they’d have much better security and stability.  Everyone would benefit.

    I might even cheer for MS a little bit.  (Wait..!  What did I just say...?)
    To be fair, apple only had about 600 users and 1 vendor (themselves) to piss off when their OS was redone. The initial releases of OS X were be all accounts pretty bad. 

    cf an OS with multiple vendors on 90% of the PCs in the world, with legacy support on ancient devices keeping things like the power running and people alive. Whilst a great idea, rejigging the OS like the OS X transition is simply not gunna happen. FWIW wrangling all those competing priorities and stakeholders and still producing a pretty good Operating System (despite what many here would think) is a pretty amazing achievement. 

    The comment on non mobile tablets really stuck with me. DED must imagine that all designers curl up on a couch and noodle away producing their masterpieces. 
    Ari_Ugwumuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 12 of 62
    KITAKITA Posts: 138member
    DuhSesame said:
    A lot of PC fanboy I know doesn't like Surface line-up either, most of them only cares about being cost effective and how to put a crap tons of LED in their case.

    Heck, Surface Book 2 sucks so bad on CPU-cooling, that 13" (i7) model receives 200 point less than 13" MacBook Pro in 2018 (i5).
    The Surface Book 2 13.5" is fanless in the tablet portion and uses 15 W TDP CPU. The 13" MacBook Pro has a fan and uses a 28 W TDP CPU.

    Of course, the GTX 1050 in the base of the 13.5" Surface Book 2 does use a fan. It's also considerably more powerful than the Iris Plus 655.

    You're paying a premium for the form factor of the Surface Book. If you're not going to take advantage of that form factor, there are well equipped laptops for less money.

    Unfortunately that's not the case for Apple. If you want a laptop with macOS, you must pay Apple's premium.
    williamlondonbenage
  • Reply 13 of 62
    dewmedewme Posts: 1,678member
    Bringing up the Apple vs Microsoft thing as if it still matters is lost on me. I’ve never bought a Mac because I was trying to stick it to Microsoft. Or vice versa.  I buy Macs because I like the OS X user experience and upkeep model much more than I like Windows 10. Mac OS is cleaner and has far less claptrap than Windows 10. But Windows 10 is inoffensive and I use it for some specific apps. No big deal. I also use Linux. No big deal. For me it’s never been a zero sum game or holy war. Windows paid the bills for me and provided me with sufficient discretionary income to fuel my Apple passion. It’s all good. 
    gatorguyMisterKitAri_Ugwumazda 3sGeorgeBMacbigpicsmuthuk_vanalingamwg45678watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 62
    I really see the surface line up as a product made for companies. It something that people would feel good using or taking around because it looks nice and companies feel comfortable because it's made by the same company that makes the software. They are trying to combat the erosion of market share in enterprise and I think this does a nice job. It's definitely not an iMac Pro.
    bigpicswatto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 62
    dewme said:
    Bringing up the Apple vs Microsoft thing as if it still matters is lost on me. I’ve never bought a Mac because I was trying to stick it to Microsoft. Or vice versa.  I buy Macs because I like the OS X user experience and upkeep model much more than I like Windows 10. Mac OS is cleaner and has far less claptrap than Windows 10. But Windows 10 is inoffensive and I use it for some specific apps. No big deal. I also use Linux. No big deal. For me it’s never been a zero sum game or holy war. Windows paid the bills for me and provided me with sufficient discretionary income to fuel my Apple passion. It’s all good. 
    Well said.  Sometimes on AI, it's like a sporting event with the rabid supporters from each side going hammer and tongs.  Sometimes it's funny and at other times pathetic.  I'm drawn to macOS because of the underlying Unix based core (Unix 03 certified) and earn a living dealing with operating systems.  I only get my hands dirty with Terminal every so often these days but it is good to know I can if I want to.  I like the original Unix paradigm with lots of very small tools.  Each tool does one thing and does it very well.  The output from one tool can be the input to the next tool.  Power with simplicity.  Microsoft has always had a closed door paradigm on its operating systems, and since I'm no Mark Russinovich, this approach has much less allure for me as an IT person. 
    gatorguyuniscapemuthuk_vanalingamwatto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 62
    KITA said:
    DuhSesame said:
    A lot of PC fanboy I know doesn't like Surface line-up either, most of them only cares about being cost effective and how to put a crap tons of LED in their case.

    Heck, Surface Book 2 sucks so bad on CPU-cooling, that 13" (i7) model receives 200 point less than 13" MacBook Pro in 2018 (i5).
    The Surface Book 2 13.5" is fanless in the tablet portion and uses 15 W TDP CPU. The 13" MacBook Pro has a fan and uses a 28 W TDP CPU.

    Of course, the GTX 1050 in the base of the 13.5" Surface Book 2 does use a fan. It's also considerably more powerful than the Iris Plus 655.

    You're paying a premium for the form factor of the Surface Book. If you're not going to take advantage of that form factor, there are well equipped laptops for less money.

    Unfortunately that's not the case for Apple. If you want a laptop with macOS, you must pay Apple's premium.
    XPS 13 (i5) have 100 points higher than Surface Book 2, that's a "15W" by Intel's definition.

    The 13" Surface Book only designed to cool the GPU, but I'm sure you're okay with that.
    edited October 5 watto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 62
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,239member
    My friend is a Surface Book fan and when we went on a diving trip a couple years back, bringing our respective mobile devices (I brought my MacBook Pro), his Suface Book was so unreliable, would randomly freeze that at one point, he literally slammed his mouse on the display in frustration that I thought he was going to break it.  

    Just pieces of junk.  People must really hate Apple to its core to defend their Microsoft purchases.  
    christopher126williamlondonmacpluspluswatto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 62
    kimberly said:
    dewme said:
    Bringing up the Apple vs Microsoft thing as if it still matters is lost on me. I’ve never bought a Mac because I was trying to stick it to Microsoft. Or vice versa.  I buy Macs because I like the OS X user experience and upkeep model much more than I like Windows 10. Mac OS is cleaner and has far less claptrap than Windows 10. But Windows 10 is inoffensive and I use it for some specific apps. No big deal. I also use Linux. No big deal. For me it’s never been a zero sum game or holy war. Windows paid the bills for me and provided me with sufficient discretionary income to fuel my Apple passion. It’s all good. 
    Well said.  Sometimes on AI, it's like a sporting event with the rabid supporters from each side going hammer and tongs.  Sometimes it's funny and at other times pathetic.  I'm drawn to macOS because of the underlying Unix based core (Unix 03 certified) and earn a living dealing with operating systems.  I only get my hands dirty with Terminal every so often these days but it is good to know I can if I want to.  I like the original Unix paradigm with lots of very small tools.  Each tool does one thing and does it very well.  The output from one tool can be the input to the next tool.  Power with simplicity.  Microsoft has always had a closed door paradigm on its operating systems, and since I'm no Mark Russinovich, this approach has much less allure for me as an IT person. 
    You’d be surprised with power shell then. It takes the piping paradigm and dials it up to 11. You can pipe not only text between processes but “objects”. Takes a bit of getting your head around but it’s the ducks nuts. 
    Ari_Ugwuwatto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 62
    djsherlydjsherly Posts: 987member
    sflocal said:
    My friend is a Surface Book fan and when we went on a diving trip a couple years back, bringing our respective mobile devices (I brought my MacBook Pro), his Suface Book was so unreliable, would randomly freeze that at one point, he literally slammed his mouse on the display in frustration that I thought he was going to break it.  

    Just pieces of junk.  People must really hate Apple to its core to defend their Microsoft purchases.  
    Sample size of one. My friends surface book has been rock solid since day one. There’s always going to be QC issues. 2 of the three MacBooks I’ve owned were replaced by apple because they were defective. Doesn’t mean they weren’t my favourite computing platform. 
    williamlondonbigpicsbenagewatto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 62
    danvmdanvm Posts: 655member
    sflocal said:
    My friend is a Surface Book fan and when we went on a diving trip a couple years back, bringing our respective mobile devices (I brought my MacBook Pro), his Suface Book was so unreliable, would randomly freeze that at one point, he literally slammed his mouse on the display in frustration that I thought he was going to break it.  

    Just pieces of junk.  People must really hate Apple to its core to defend their Microsoft purchases.  
    I suppose that iMac Pro users had the same reaction as your friend when they had random kernel panics. 


    Considering the issues those users had, do you think the iMac Pro is a piece of junk too?
    Ari_Ugwugatorguywilliamlondon
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