Microsoft Executive Says iPad Pro Was Apple’s Response to Surface

Microsoft executive Ryan Gavin this week suggested Apple released the iPad Pro in response to its Surface devices, per Business Insider.


"When Surface initially launched, everyone was skeptical, including them," said Gavin, general manager of Surface commercial devices at Microsoft. "And then they followed, and the iPad Pro is a clear example of that."

Microsoft positions the latest Surface Pro, released on Thursday, as a "best-in-class laptop" with the "versatility of a studio and tablet."

The new Surface Pro features Intel's latest Kaby Lake processors and up to 13.5 hours of battery life on a single charge. The tablet-notebook hybrid can be configured with up to a 1TB SSD, up to 16GB RAM, and up to Intel Iris Plus 640 graphics, with a USB 3.0 port, microSD card reader, and Mini DisplayPort.

During a 2012 earnings call, when asked to comment on why the MacBook Air and iPad would not eventually converge, Apple CEO Tim Cook argued that combining the products would result in compromises.

"You can converge a toaster and a refrigerator but those won't be pleasing to the user," said Cook, a comment that Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella poked fun at four years later, alluding to the iPad Pro.

"I mean, take even Surface," said Nadella, speaking to The Australian Financial Review. "Three years ago, the two-in-one as a form factor was questioned. Does anybody need one? And now guess what, even our competition has decided that it's not a refrigerator and a toaster but it's actually a two-in-one."

While the iPad and Mac remain two fundamentally different products, the iPad Pro is Apple's closest attempt at a two-in-one hybrid device.

Apple released the original iPad Pro with a large 12.9-inch display and Smart Keyboard in November 2015, over three years after Microsoft launched its first Surface tablet with a 10.6-inch display and detachable keyboard.


Cook has said the iPad Pro is a notebook or desktop computer replacement for "many, many people," adding that "they will start using it and conclude they no longer need to use anything else, other than their phones."

As for Microsoft following Apple? "We don't really look at Apple," said Gavin.


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Microsoft Says New Surface Pro is 1.7× Faster Than iPad Pro With 35% More Battery Life

Microsoft today introduced the new Surface Pro, choosing that name over Surface Pro 5, at a media event in Shanghai, China.


Microsoft said the new Surface Pro delivers up to 13.5 hours of battery life on a single charge, a 50 percent increase over the Surface Pro 4 and 35 percent more battery life than the iPad Pro's advertised 10 hours.

The notebook-tablet hybrid features Intel's latest Kaby Lake processors, including Core m3, i5, and i7 chips depending on the model. Microsoft says the high-end Surface Pro with a Core i7 processor is 2.5× faster than the Surface Pro 3 and 1.7× faster than the iPad Pro with Apple's own A9X chip.


The new Surface Pro has a refined design with cleaner lines and curved edges, a "visually softer" camera, and an improved hinge with a 165º range of motion allows it to be placed in Studio Mode.

It's also the lightest Surface Pro ever, starting at 1.7 lbs. By comparison, the 9.7-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro weigh 0.96 lbs and 1.57 lbs respectively.

The new Surface Pro continues to have a 12.3-inch display with 267 pixels per inch, compared to 264 PPI for both the 9.7-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro. Microsoft said its custom PixelSense technology means that colors on the new Surface Pro will be "more vibrant, precise, and impactful than ever before."

The new Surface Pro and Signature Type Covers will be available for pre-order later today in the United States and select other markets at the Microsoft Store, Microsoft.com, BestBuy.com, and JD.com. The new Surface Pro will ship on June 15 in 25 countries. Pricing starts at $799.99 in the United States.

Surface Pro models with LTE Advanced will be available later this year. The new Surface Pen will be available in the coming weeks.


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