Surface Pro 2 Tablet: Does Microsoft Get It?

    October 2, 2013
    Lacy Langley
    Comments are off for this post.

The race is on in Technologyland, with the new realease of the Kindle Fire HDX, the iPad Mini 2, and the Microsoft Surface Pro during the fall. Who will take home the trophy for best tablet? Well, I wouldn’t bet on Microsoft yet.

The Kindle Fire has a new Mayday button, which immediately connects you to live tech support via video chat, should you have a problem.The iPad Mini will come in gold and feature the same fingerprint technology that the iPhone 5s touted. The Surface Pro…

Well, we’re not really sure.


“Microsoft’s new commercial has the new high-end expensive Surface Pro and their low-end cheaper Surface that’s like an iPad in the same commercial…it seems like they haven’t figured out what the strategy is. I don’t know that consumers can gravitate towards something when they don’t even understand what it’s supposed to be.”, says Yahoo Finance tech reporter Aaron Pressman.

It’s possible that the Surface Pro’s unimpressive sales aren’t the result of the Surface Pro, itself, but poor advertising on the part of Microsoft. The tablet actually has pretty good reviews. It just seems like they haven’t quite figured out how to get people interested.

Perhaps Microsoft is relying on its “third times a charm” luck they had with the third generation of Windows? The Surface Pro 2 is exceedingly improved over the first two attempts, but it may not be enough to get people to fall in love with Microsoft‘s tablet OS, Windows RT, according to BGR.

“Microsoft’s current plight is due to its late entry to the mobile market, high product prices, and weak ecosystem compared to its competitors. Microsoft’s strategy of developing its tablet operating system using its PC operating system as the base, is the main problem preventing Windows-based tablets becoming standardized,” states a report from Digitimes, a Taiwan-based digital trade paper.

Will Microsoft be able to overtake its competition before being left in the dust? That remains to be seen, but from here, it doesn’t look pretty.

Image via youtube

  • dmvprof

    Maybe the market isn’t showing it yet, but an objective look at the features of a Surface Pro and an iPad is a joke. The surface pro is just a small notebook, and the RT is for people without a need for enterprise access.

    The iPad crowd’s myopic allegiance to everything apple has blinded them from the reality of the devices. Side by side, no label, a person who has never heard of apple or microsoft would be foolish to select the iPad over a surface. I can do anything an iPad can do with a surface, and everything that an iPad can’t do that requires you to have a tablet AND a desktop or notebook to do everything else you have to do that is unavailable on the iPad.

  • Samer Kurdi

    I will say one thing: for the first time since they came up with it, I feel like I want a Surface. They must be doing something right.

  • Steven

    Perhaps it’s statements like “The Surface Pro 2 is exceedingly improved over the first two attempts, but it may not be enough to get people to fall in love with Microsoft‘s tablet OS, Windows RT” that make it difficult for the consumer to figure things out. When the “news” sites reporting on it can’t even keep it straight that the Pro runs W8 and the regular Surface is the one that runs RT, it’s no wonder the average consumer isn’t sure what’s going on and what they need.

  • derek

    It seems like the media likes to bandwagon on the same talking points. Right now they seem to say ‘its too late for them’ and they like the story that the kindle fire is going to take them down.. if I were to make decisions based completely about opinions I would be hard pressed to go with a Pro 2.
    I have looked at some Youtube videos with the Pro being used and I am encouraged. The digital pen device is different than almost all the other tablets. I can edit documents, take notes (real notes), operate spreadsheets, and fill out forms (like the ones with the radio buttons and still write in comments) for when I do onsite evaluations. I have an Ipad now and I can’t do that– and it is usually such a pain to do anything with it work related that I don’t even try. I think the Pro 2 could be an all in one solution for my planner, notes on different caseloads, documents and files. But I am not sure that my company will support it because it is not their hardware, but would like to get the VPN.

  • Will

    Color me interested in the surface pro 2. Like someone else said, the surfaceRT has win 8RT (which I wouldn’t get since you need microsoft apps and there aren’t any), but the pro has win8 so you should be able to run any windows programs which is really why I’m interested in it.

    Also the newer pro2 has a haswell series chip, it should increase the battery life quite a bit. That was a big issue with the surface pro, poor battery life due to using an intel core processor instead of an atom. Of course if you want/need the computing power, the intel i5/i7s blow away the atom.

    I think I will be able to use my NES, SNES, N64 emulators with an xbox controller. I’ll be able to connect my 3 TB external drive, I can use MS word, excel, powerpoint.

    Can’t wait to see what the pro2 has to offer. Until apple decides that external storage is not wholly outdated, I will avoid their products. When I scroll over to another part of a movie, I don’t want choppiness and delays, I want it to just play, and streaming just doesn’t give the same immediacy as a connected drive.

  • AZJim

    The following quote is a incorrect: “The Surface Pro 2 is exceedingly improved over the first two attempts, but it may not be enough to get people to fall in love with Microsoft‘s tablet OS, Windows RT, according to BGR.” As others have stated, the Surface 2 runs Windows RT. The Surface Pro 2 runs Windows 8.1.

    I had the opportunity to test drive both of these machines in the Microsoft store in Scottsdale, AZ. They are both very impressive. For an enterprise capable machine that has a tablet look and feel, I highly recommend the Surface Pro 2. If you only need a tablet for browsing, email, games and apps, the Surface 2 will work fine.

    The fact that Apple continues to ignore requests for a cursor/mouse driver for the iPad is disappointing. Both the Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 are compatible with usb and bluetooth mice. For that reason alone, I will be moving over to the Surface Pro 2. It can do anything that an iPad can do. The Surface Pro 2 is the clear winner in a business environment with networking and mouse capabilities, especially when using remote access for support and development.

    Finally, a tablet with style, power, speed, battery life, the ability to run any application that runs on Windows 7 or 8 and mouse capabilities. The Microsoft Surface Pro 2 is the tablet that the business world has been waiting for.

    • Joe Alarcon

      “The Surface Pro 2 is the clear winner in a business environment with networking and mouse capabilities”

      I work in IT and my days are filled with walking from one conference room to another. I carry an iPad and the remote functionality to my desktop works flawlessly. I can’t even imagine walking around with a mouse in my pocket. It’s not gonna happen…

  • Michael O’Faolain

    I didn’t want to suffer through another Vista experience, so I promised myself I’d wait for what I guess is now designated as Windows 8.1.

    I am becoming more convinced that when I make the switch it will be in 2014 when the Surface Pro 2 Docking Station is available and I’ll be using:

    1. As my new tablet a Surface Pro 2 128 GB (which has approximately 85 GB storage available for user content), with the Power Cover, a 64GB Ultra MicroSDXC Class 10 Memory Card, and a flash drive (if needed), to supplement, if not replace, my iPad 1 instead of a new replacement iPad.

    2. As my desktop computer the same Surface Pro 2 in the Docking Station, with my current 25″ non-touch monitor, and through the four USB ports the keyboard, mouse, scanner, and 1TB external USB backup drive I’m using right now.

    I am bemused by those who discuss the lack of apps. The Surface Pro runs something called “software” which is simply unavailable on other tablets. It’s what I depend on for computing. And the nice folks at Amazon make a Kindle App for Windows as do most other creators of the “apps” I use on my iPad 1. Even Apple iTunes runs on a Windows computer.

    Of course, maybe I’m expecting more than the Surface Pro 2 can deliver, but somehow I think it will do what I want it to do.

    • Mike

      Exactly what I’m doing. This thing is amazing and people like the author of this article are the ones that don’t get it, not Microsoft. Maybe she needs to do a little bit more research before she post something like this. Not only is it completely illogical to compare iPads, kindles and surface pro’s and at the same time make the pro seem like the worst of the three, but she is also hurting the innovation of technology. Stop telling people that it is not a good product. I’ve read a million articles exactly like this. Stop comparing it to things that don’t let you install software or even have a single USB. Imagine if Apple was able to fit an entire Mac OS into an iPad where you could switch from the current iPad experience to the desktop experience seamlessly? People would be all over it and they would love it. But they didn’t, Microsoft did so give them some respect and stop posting articles like this. I was going to wait until they came out to get one but now I’m going to pre-order one today thanks to this article.

      • killerb255

        Although it’s illogical to compare iPads to Surfaces in general, as many tend to say that it’s more logical to compare a MacBook to a Surface Pro and iPads to the RT, the premise is still the same. The CONSUMER demand decides the market. They don’t care about installing software or using a USB port. Average Joe writes our paychecks (I’m an IT consultant), not computer geeks.

        Consumers have decided that the simplicity of the iPad is what they want. Call it bandwagoning, call the users “sheep” or “sheeple” or whatever. They’re buying it. It’s a giant iPhone–it lets them do iPhone stuff on a bigger screen.

        Whether or not Apple would succeed if they made an OSX/iOS hybrid…who knows? I would imagine there would be quite a bit of confusion, similar to that of switching from the Desktop to the Start Screen, as the UIs are radically different.

        • ryan

          You my friend are an ass. Get off your apple fanboy soap box. Millions of consumers buy and utilize lap tops..being able to have a portable pc that I can take to work, use all of my office programs, seamlessly integrate it with my office pc, printers etc. and then pop it off its keyboard and play games and watch movies in my down time, all while fitting it into my briefcase….uh, ya..that’s exactly what me and many consumers want. A do-all device.

  • killerb255

    No, they don’t get it. What made the iPad successful was that it answered the consumer question of “How can I do all the things I can do from my iPhone with a bigger screen?” (except making calls, of course).

    What consumer question does the Surface answer? Consumers don’t want miniature laptops, which is what a Surface is. Microsoft’s tablets need to use the Windows Phone OS instead of Windows RT or Windows 8.

    Windows 8 is nothing more than Windows 7 with a major Start Menu UI change. Windows RT is Windows 8 compiled for ARM processors and legacy application lockdown (as Desktop applications COULD work for it if a) they were compiled for ARM and b) Microsoft didn’t lock the ability to do so).

    Microsoft is so desperate for mobile share that they’re throwing everything they know (which is mainly Windows and Office) at the wall and hoping that it would stick.

  • michael

    i have a galaxy note 10.1 and a 3 year old i5 toshiba satellite a660 laptop – a powerhouse for its day and still goes good, but is showing signs of age.
    For me, i am getting a surface pro 2 so i can run Autodesk inventor, have my wii/n64/dreamcast emulators on it, run office properly and suffer very little load and boot time. My father is a consultant in aviation an travels all over the world and replaced his ipad and netbook for a surface pro 1 4 months ago – and never looked back. i travel for work also so movies on flights is what i want, and my digital mags, and my ability to design on the go. with the surface pro 2 i can sell me old gear and enjoy the best of both devices. I will still have my phone if i need to use a separate browser/reader/music player and i can connect a controller without using bluetooth should i desire.
    each device suits different people, my wife loves her ipad but hated the iphone 5 she had so has galaxy s4, i like my note 10.1 but hate taking that and a laptop and a phone with me everywhere, but i like the tablet formation the surface pro can offer me until i need it as a faux laptop.