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Surface – lessons Microsoft learned from Apple
Posted on 9-Dec-2013 10:55 by Bill Bennett | Tags Filed under: Articles


Microsoft got most things right when it refreshed the Surface tablet range.

Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 are great devices. I recommend both to anyone who wants to work in the Microsoft technology stack.

They are distinct from Apple’s iPad range. Microsoft has a clearly different vision of tablet computing, these are not copycat devices unlike many of the other tablets now on sale.

There’s one important lesson Microsoft learnt from Apple: personal devices are not about features, they are about the overall experience. 

When I sat down to write this, my plan was to tell you this was a lesson Microsoft still had to learn. I was going to direct you to the iPad and Surface websites, then point out how Apple’s marketing is all based on what its devices enable while Microsoft still lists features.

The great thing about being a journalist, is you write about what you discover along the way, not what you set out to find. The two are often different.

There are two problems with my original idea to compare the brands’ marketing. First, marketing sites don’t stay the same for long, which may confuse people who read this sometime after it is written.

The bigger problem is that, at least today, Apple’s site for its iPad Air mainly focuses on the device’s features, even if it does make a direct connection from the features to the experience. Thus:

A7 chip. Desktop-class architecture. No desktop required.

The new A7 chip in iPad Air was designed with 64-bit architecture. It delivers killer performance — up to twice as fast CPU and graphics performance than its predecessor — without sacrificing battery life. So you get incredible power in a device you can take with you wherever you go.

Meanwhile, you can scroll all the way through Microsoft’s promotional page for the Surface Pro 2 or for the Surface 2 and not see a single mention of chip, performance or architecture.

That’s because these things are all meaningless to 90 percent of buyers. Few give a toss about the details, they want to know if the device is fast enough to run their apps. They want to know how long the batteries last – not how many cells or milliamp hours there are. They want to know how good the graphics look and how easily the device connects to the web.

Microsoft has this right. It had a good teacher.

[digitl 2013]

digitl on Google+







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