Microsoft shoots back at Apple’s taunts, says Surface a better deal than iPad

by David Needle

October 23 2013

Apple took several shots at Microsoft during yesterday’s unveiling of the iPad Air and other products. Today a Microsoft exec answered back. 

During the announcement Apple VP of Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue knocked competitors “who would have you spend a fortune every year just to get their apps,” just as a screen appeared showing Microsoft’s Office 365 for $99 / year. 

That’s for the Web version of Office, Microsoft actually bundles Office for free with its tablets. 

Earlier, Apple CEO Tim Cook knocked competitors for “trying to turn a tablet into a PC and PC into a tablet” in a reference to hybrid tablet models with keyboards. 

“...it’s not surprising that we see other folks now talking about how much “work” you can get done on their devices,” Microsoft’s VP of Communications Frank Shaw said in a blog post today. “Adding watered down productivity apps. Bolting on aftermarket input devices. All in an effort to convince people that their entertainment devices are really work machines.

“In that spirit, Apple announced yesterday that they were dropping their fees on their “iWork” suite of apps,” Shaw continued. 

“Now, since iWork has never gotten much traction, and was already priced like an afterthought, it’s hardly that surprising or significant a move. And it doesn’t change the fact that it’s much harder to get work done on a device that lacks precision input and a desktop for true side-by-side multitasking.” 

Non-standard productivity apps?

Wrapping up, Shaw noted the Surface and Surface 2 are less expensive than the iPad Air and offer more storage onboard and in the cloud. Both the Surface and Surface 2 “come with full versions of Office 2013, including Outlook, not non-standard, non-cross-platform, imitation apps that can’t share docs with the rest of the world.” 

While Microsoft’s first Surface RT tablet was a dud, the newer Surface 2 is getting good reviews for its design and value. 

As for the battle of words between the two tech giants, there is definitely a difference between their approaches when it comes to tablets. 

The iPad launched as a consumption device and it has evolved to be better at work and productivity tasks thanks mainly to third party software and hardware (such as keyboards). 

Microsoft has always pitched the Surface line as a ‘best of both worlds’ device, offering an optional keyboard for content creation and the inclusion of Office. 

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