Microsoft Surface Stories February 1, 2016

AAPL: 96.43

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IDC is out with its latest report on worldwide tablet shipments following Apple’s Q1 2016 earnings and in the report shares a nugget about iPad Pro sales.

It may not surprise you, but Apple’s new 12.9-inch iPad, which many would have you believe is the company’s first to compete directly with detachable and hybrid tablets/laptops, outsold Microsoft Surface and other detachable tablets, according to the report: expand full story

Microsoft Surface Stories January 12, 2016

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Microsoft dismisses iPad Pro as “a companion device” and references old Steve Jobs stylus quote

A senior Microsoft spokesman dismissed the iPad Pro as nothing more than a companion device, contrasting it with the Microsoft Surface when speaking to TrustedReviews.

Dan Laycock, Senior Communications Manager for Microsoft Surface, says that while consumers can get by with a single Surface product, the same can’t be said for Apple’s heftiest tablet.

“Microsoft really wants you to only carry one device for tablet and PC use,” explains Laycock, speaking to us at the Consumer Electronics Show 2016 in Las Vegas. “Whereas the iPad Pro is always going to be a companion device.”

Laycock also said that “at one point in time, Apple declared that if there’s a stylus, that’s failure” – a reference to a quote by Steve Jobs when referring to early smartphones. Apple, of course, argues that the Apple Pencil as an optional accessory for some tasks is very different to a device which cannot easily be used without a stylus.

Benchmark tests last year showed that the Apple Pencil offered lower latency than Microsoft’s Surface Pro 4 stylus.

Via Business Insider

Microsoft Surface Stories November 11, 2015

AAPL: 116.11

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Will iPad Pro replace your MacBook? With the iPad Pro officially going on sale today, there is lots of discussion about what this means for the iPad category. Can it be a true Microsoft Surface competitor? Does the addition of official keyboard and stylus companion accessories from Apple mean the company has finally changed its stance on so-called hybrid laptop/tablet devices?

While the majority of reviews praised the bigger form factor, pen input with the new Apple Pencil, and benchmarks on par with some MacBook models, many reviewers pointed out iOS as the limiting factor in making the iPad Pro a PC replacement or hybrid competitor. But does it need to be?

Apple’s marketing message for the new iPad Pro is unmistakably clear. The company is romancing pro users (like Disney and Pixar animators) for the launch of the new device with most of its ads and marketing material focusing on content creation possibilities with the larger display and new Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard. And companies like Adobe are taking full advantage by making sure there is a lot of pro software available at launch. 

But how will YOU be using the new iPad Pro? Will you attempt to replace your MacBook or other device in one way or another? Or will the larger iPad Pro simply complement your current lineup of devices and add new possibilities to your workflow? That’s the question we’re asking in today’s poll, and we’ll be continuing the discussion in the comments below.  expand full story

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Microsoft Surface Stories May 21, 2015

Facing slowing growth for the first time since the iPad’s 2010 debut, Apple is working on several significant software and hardware updates to reinvigorate the tablet over the next year. Apple is developing a dual-app viewing mode, 12-inch iPads codenamed “J98” and “J99,” as well as support for multi-user logins, according to sources briefed on the plans. First planned for debut last year, the split-screen applications feature for the iPad could be introduced as soon as June at Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference, while multi-user login support and the 12-inch iPads will apparently arrive later…

expand full story

Microsoft Surface Stories February 19, 2015

A day after Microsoft updated its OneNote for Mac app, adding OCR scanning of text within images, it has today updated its iPad app. OneNote for iPad gets the same OCR functionality, along with the ability to add handwritten notes–a feature previously available only on the Windows and Android versions of the tablet app.

As many of you have pointed out, one major feature that has been missing from OneNote for iPad is handwriting. With today’s update, you can pen notes. To get started, just tap the new Draw tab on the ribbon. Select a pen, marker, or highlighter and write, sketch or doodle until your heart’s content.

Handwritten notes can be made using either an iPad-compatible stylus or your finger, with customizable ink color and pen thickness …  expand full story

Microsoft Surface Stories November 5, 2014

Microsoft Surface product placement in CNN election coverage fails as iPads revealed behind them [Updated]

Microsoft must have thought it had pulled off a nice piece of product placement when it gave CNN election commentators a bunch of Surface Pro tablets to help with their coverage. CNN dutifully covered its desks with the devices, resulting in a series of proud tweets from Microsoft fans.

There was just one small problem, noted by GeekWire: a closer look revealed that hidden behind the Surface tablets were the iPads that commentators were actually using. In one case, the commentator was actually using her Surface tablet as a stand for her iPad.

Microsoft, which was last year forced to write down $900M on its ill-fated tablet, has frequently taken pot-shots at the iPad, running a series of misleading Surface tablet ads attacking the iPad (and iPad mini) before more recently turning its attention to the MacBook Air. Switching overt advertising for product placement doesn’t seem to be working out too well.

Update: iMore later drew our attention to CNN anchor Mathew Sheffield digging deeper into the hole, claiming he was using both devices:

So, er, using the Surface as a dumb monitor while actually doing stuff on the iPad, then. Didn’t Microsoft tout the famed multi-tasking abilities of the Surface while claiming the iPad was only a single-use device … ?

Left image screengrab tweeted by Microsoft employee  Stephen Legler. right grab by IT developer @adamUCF

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