The iPad Pro was released this week and Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, has recently spent most of his time on a press tour to promote the product; but that didn’t keep him from taking the opportunity to tell the attendees at an event in Ireland this week what he thinks about Microsoft’s Surface Book.
The one liner that has run through the headlines, is that the Surface Book is “deluded”, referring to its identity crisis because it cannot decide whether it wants to be a laptop or a tablet. Cook went on to say that it “succeeds at being neither” a tablet nor a laptop.
Apparently, his feelings about Microsoft and other PC makers that have made 2-in-1s their bread and butter over the last few years hasn’t changed. He made the comments two years ago that unlike Apple, “the competition is different…they are confused.” Apple has been adamant about keeping its tablet and laptop lines separate and it’s hard to argue with that decision as their revenues remain high.
Although he was clear on how he feels about Microsoft’s first shot at a “laptop”, Cook did described Apple’s relationship with Microsoft as “really good.” For those of you that missed it, Apple even invited Microsoft on stage during the iPad Pro Keynote in September to demo their Office products on the device.
Of course Cook also talked about the iPad Pro during the event and shared his belief that the larger iPad would reverse the recent decline in iPad sales. He has even gone as far as to make the claim recently that the iPad Pro will become the primary computer for many people and I think he has a very strong argument. The reason? Simplicity.
Historically, computing devices have had a steep learning curve and for the most part were reserved for the more nerdy among us. But with the iPhone, Apple created a simple mobile first operating system in iOS that was easy enough for anyone to use. For consumer technology, Apple has set the bar high regarding the ease of use and no other company has been able to catch up.
Microsoft Windows is an operating system that has lost its appeal over the years, especially in the consumer market, because of its complexity. Don’t believe me? Go to any local coffee shop or college classroom and tell me what you see. MacBooks are everywhere, even though most of those consumers use them for tasks that an iPad could handle with ease. Now that an iPad with a larger screen and a first party keyboard accessory is here, don’t be surprised to see more and more consumers switching to an iPad Pro.
It’s simple really. Microsoft took a complicated operating system and tried to make it work on a tablet whereas Apple started with its simple, minimal and familiar mobile first operating system and developed it to be perfect on a tablet. So no matter how sleek Microsoft makes it’s laptop on the outside, they will never reach as massive of a market as Apple until Windows becomes a whole heck of a lot easier to use.