Microsoft exec claims iPad Pro is a Surface copycat

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You can thank Microsoft for this... apparently.
You can thank Microsoft for this... apparently.
Photo: Apple

In love with your new iPad Pro? You can thank Microsoft for that.

Microsoft executive Ryan Gavin claims Apple’s latest take on tablets wouldn’t have happened without the Surface Pro. It is a “clear example” that the company is following Microsoft’s move into ultraportable 2-in-1 machines.

The iPad Pro is great, but it isn’t exactly a revolutionary upgrade from a regular iPad. Its additional features — Apple Pencil compatibility, the Smart Connector, fancy stereo speakers, and the new ProMotion display — seem like obvious improvements.

But Apple wouldn’t have delivered all that if it wasn’t “following” the Surface Pro, Microsoft claims.

“We have been learning and perfecting our products in the 2-in-1 category for years now, [but] when Surface initially launched everyone was skeptical, including [Apple],” Gavin told Business Insider. “And then they followed, and the iPad Pro is a clear example of that.”

Gavin also claims that when Microsoft is developing new hardware, “we don’t really look at Apple.” If it did, fans would not have devices like the Surface Pro and the Surface Book, which both feature detachable displays that can be used as tablets.

Gavin’s certainly right about that. Apple refuses to deliver a 2-in-1 machine, despite their rise in popularity and the obvious advantages a MacBook that doubles as an iPad could bring. It has given us iPad Pro, but that doesn’t run true desktop software like the Surface.

However, I’m not quite so convinced that iPad Pro is a response to the Surface. Again, its additional features are obvious upgrades that Apple could have easily thought up all by itself — and iPad Pro is still a very different device that serves different needs.

Apple does market the iPad Pro in much the same way Microsoft sells its Surface Pro — as a tablet that can replace your laptop. However, Microsoft’s device does a more convincing job, thanks to a full version of Windows 10, a trackpad, and features like USB connectivity.

I don’t know about you, but I wish Apple really would follow the Surface Pro. I’d love a 2-in-1 MacBook running a full version of macOS with a touch-friendly interface.