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Microsoft Surface RT vs Apple iPad - Tablet showdown

How does the Microsoft Surface tablet running Windows RT compare with the Apple iPad on specs and price?

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Microsoft announced yesterday that it is taking orders for its ARM-based Surface tablet running Windows RT. The device is due to ship on October 26 with the formal launch of Windows 8.

Below is the feature-based comparison of the Surface with the reigning tablet, the third-generation Apple iPad, released earlier in 2012.

Microsoft Surface RT vs Apple iPad

In the UK the 32GB Surface RT will cost £399 or £479 with a cover, with the 64GB version costing £559 with a Touch Cover. The Surface RT therefore competes directly with its Apple rival; the WiFi only iPad costs £399 for the 16GB version, £479 for the 32GB device and £559 for 64GB.

The feature-to-feature matchup may have less to do with the final buying decision by most end users. One way of thinking about such decisions is to consider what is the "job" (or jobs) for which a user "hires" the tablet - what's the job to be done?

Microsoft is trying to capture consumer interest by offering a redesigned Windows UI (drawing on the formerly called Metro design first introduced for its Windows Phone operating system), offering it consistently across different types of computers (desktop, laptop, tablet and smartphone), and incorporating familiar Windows applications such as Office and Internet Explorer, along with online services such as SkyDrive. With the Windows RT version, Microsoft can exploit the ARM processor architecture instead of being limited to Intel.

Surface with Windows RT runs a version of Windows 8 written for the ARM microprocessor architecture. The standard software stack will also include Microsoft Office Home and Student 2013 RT preview (with Word, PowerPoint, Excel and OneNote), along with Windows Mail and Messaging; SkyDrive; Internet Explorer 10; Bing; and Xbox music, video and games. The tablet also will ship with Microsoft's "Touch Cover," which snaps in place, offering both a cover, when closed, and a full-size keyboard when open.

Initially, Surface will be Wi-Fi only, though Microsoft has indicated that 3G/LTE options are likely in the future.


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BLzeebub said: Being a child of the 60s I can remember the computer boom of the 80s I can remember the innovative company that first brought windows GUI environment to the mainstream throughout the 80s they produced more and more variations of the same products until the late 80s their innovative leader departed and their competitors overtook them with more innovative software Sound familiar That company as you have guessed was Apple and the innovator was microsoft Also the killer App that gave them the lead was microsoft office which is the reason why microsoft will be a success this time againThe Western world runs on Microsoft Office and with a massive installed base of windows users developers will be falling over themselves to produce Apps for the platform so it wont take long to catchupApple is a good product which I use but a look at their own history will show them if you stop innovating and fall behind you will be overtakenAdditionally their cynical sue everything that moves attitude is good indicator of how negative they have become they are not doers they are suers

melci said: You forget that Microsoft has no answer for the cheapest iPad - the 399 iPad 2 or the upcoming even cheaper iPad miniThey are coming in more expensive than the iPad with a tiny fraction of the apps and a far lower screen resolution and no 3G or 4G optionThey are also competing with their own partnersSounds far too much like what they did to their Plays for Sure partners when they released their own Zune player hardware - and we all know how that turned out Over a decade of Apple iPod dominance

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