Looks like Microsoft is up to its old tricks again!
Not happy to simply put out the Surface (and, to be honest, who can blame them?) and then let the market decide if it’s interested, the good folks at Redmond have decided on a new ad campaign that skewers Apple and its “You’re more powerful than you think” strap line.
The Los Angeles Unified School District decided to blow its entire $1 billion tech budget on an iPad for every student last year, but after security hacks and supply issues got the program off to a rocky start, the district has decided to adjust course and let on a few challengers.
Officials at the U.S.’s second-largest school district have decided to allow a group of high schools to choose between six devices instead of the iPad, effectively putting distribution of Apple’s tablet on hold district-wide.
Apple’s possible plans for an iPad smart cover reminiscent of Microsoft’s Surface were revealed in a patent application published Thursday. The design differs from Microsoft’s iPad competitor in that Apple’s keyboard would double as a Multi-Touch gesture keyboard, eliminating the need for a touchpad.
Drawings filed with the patent show how it would be possible to use the iPad cover in various configurations. Several hinges allow the iPad smart cover to fold away with the tablet and keyboard, while the cover would feature magnets to lock its various components in place. In one embodiment of the patent, Apple suggests that electromagnets could be used.
There’s a lot of different metrics out there for gauging the success of personal electronics, some more suspect than others. Many companies, for example, favor units shipped to retailers, where as Apple favors the more realistic metric of units sold.
Perhaps the best metric of all, though, isn’t what is shipped or sold, but what people want Santa to bring them for Christmas. And by this metric, the iPad is king.
The man, the myth, the sweaty legend: Steve Ballmer
It’s no secret that Microsoft’s would-be iPad-killer has been a complete disappointment, but now Steve Ballmer, the company’s ever-optimistic CEO, is admitting to employees that the Surface is a flop.
Ballmer held a “rally the troops” event on the Microsoft campus yesterday to go over the company’s quarterly earnings and boost morale, but according to people at the event, Ballmer dove into how disappointing it has been trying to make Surface a success.
When Microsoft launched the Surface with Windows RT, it was supposed to be the answer to all of their iPad problems. It runs on cellphone chips, yet still looks like regular Windows 8. It’s supposed to be awesome. But sales of Windows RT tablets haven’t been strong, and now Samsung is saying that they’re second guessing the platform.
In a recent interview at CES, Make Abary, Samsung’s senior vice president who oversees the company’s tablet business, said that Samsung has decided they won’t launch their Windows RT tablet in the U.S. after discovering there’s not much demand for them.
The tablet wars in a nuthsell: of the tens of thousands of people who opened a tablet on Christmas morning, 7 times as many people got iPads than Kindles, 18 times as many people got iPads than a Google Nexus and 50 times as many people got an iPad as a Surface. Looks like Santa’s an Apple fan.
Mall of America happens to have both an Apple Store and a Microsoft Store under one roof. In fact, they’re right across the hall from each other, so it’s a great place to gauge how enthusiastic people are for both brands.
On Black Friday, Gene Munster and his team of analyst from Piper Jaffray spend eight hours counting heads at the Apple Store. They also spend two hours monitoring the Microsoft Store and found that Microsoft didn’t sell a single Microsoft Surface tablet.
Every year Oprah Winfrey makes a list of her favorite things in life and then she gives everyone in her audience free copies of everything on her list. When you got a few billion to burn you can do that. One year Oprah said she just loooooved the iPad. Like, she said the iPad was the greatest thing ever, and middle-aged women across the country wept with joy. Now, she’s saying she’s totally off that and onto the next cool tablet – The Microsoft Surface.
Yesterday, Oprah tweeted: “Gotta say love that SURFACE! Have bought 12 already for Christmas gifts. #FavoriteThings” Thing is, Oprah tweeted about her love for the Surface from her iPad. So you know, I guess you can love an object that you never use. That’s cool. Well played Oprah.
When Microsoft announced the Surface I was shocked. Not shocked because Balmer was doing something gutsy, but shocked because the Surface actually looks cool. Like, it’s probably the coolest looking tablet I’ve ever seen, other than the iPad, and if that crazy Touch Cover keyboard thing actually works well, then holy shit, the future is here.
Even though it’s not made by Apple, I had to try the “Surface with Windows RT” because I wanted to touch the future, and I really thought that maybe Microsoft was going to pull it off and create something that amazed me. After playing with the Surface and comparing it to an iPad though I found out that the future isn’t quite here yet, but it looks promising.