Satya Nadella Toasts Tim Cook

Posted on November 22, 2016 by Paul Thurrott in iOS, Microsoft Surface, Mobile with 52 Comments

Satya Nadella Toasts Tim Cook

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has finally taken Apple CEO Tim Cook to task for his hypocritical comments about 2-in-1 PCs.

And it’s about freaking time.

As you may recall, Mr. Cook was asked during a quarterly earnings conference call about PC/mobile hybrids—what we now call 2-in-1 PCs—after Microsoft launched Surface in late 2012. At that time, Cook mocked these devices as Frankenstein contraptions that didn’t meet user needs.

“Anything can be forced to converge, but the problem is that products are about trade-offs, and you begin to make trade-offs to the point where what you have left doesn’t please anyone,” he said in response. “You can converge a toaster and a refrigerator, but those things are probably not going be pleasing to the user.”

Which explains why Mr. Cook’s Apple released its own 2-in-1 computer, the iPad Pro, just three years later. Well, that and the fact that the iPad, which had been going gangbusters in 2012, had seen sales slow and then fall. In fact, iPad sales have fallen year-over-year for over two years now.

So Apple, like Microsoft and the PC industry before it, saw convergence as the solution. And the iPad was converged to be more like a 2-in-1 PC. To be more—a lot more—like Surface.

Well, Cook’s “converged toaster and refrigerator” comments—like Steve Jobs’ equally-mistaken miscue of calling out a certain tech journalist who said that “anyone who thinks the iPad is a game changer is a tool”—has triggered a long-overdue comeuppance. And now, a year after Apple launched the iPad Pro, Microsoft’s Nadella has finally called him out on it.

In an interview with the Financial Review, Mr. Nadella said that Microsoft’s bet on 2-in-1s—once mocked by Mr. Cook—had paid off.

“Take Surface,” he said, referring to boldness and risk. “Three years ago, the 2-in-1 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 2-in-1.”

This shows me a couple of things.

One, Mr. Cook’s words had their intended hurtful impact: Mr. Nadella wasn’t even CEO of Microsoft in 2012, but he clearly retained the insult.

Two, and this is no surprise, Nadella is a class act. He could have gone a lot further in his calling out of Mr. Cook–for example, by naming names—but he maintained his civility. (I couldn’t have done that. I am, in fact, not doing that.)

There is still a healthy debate to be had about which approach to the 2-in-1 is “better” if not “correct.” Apple, because iOS is so much more popular than the Mac, started with a simpler platform. While Microsoft, thanks to the popularity of Windows, started with a more powerful but complex system. Both ideas have merit, and the market will decide.

Too, Apple has a rich history of putting down product categories in which it secretly intends to compete. That said, I don’t believe Cook knew in 2012 that he’d be forced to eat crow and create his own 2-in-1.

Which, ultimately, is what makes this so wonderful.

 

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Comments (56)

56 responses to “Satya Nadella Toasts Tim Cook”

  1. 5611

    Interestingly, 2-in-1 products are not new -

    Radio Alarm Clock
    Fridge Freezer
    Microwave Oven
    Smartphone Camera
    SUVs

    Tim Cook called it a Toaster-Refrigerator, which most people would agree is a bad combination. So why didn't he call it one of the alternative combos above, which are great and very successful 2-in-1 product categories? Because he knows that most people within the Apple reality distortion field won't actually think about it too hard and the media will do its job in persuading people that he was right.

    So, I too am glad that Nadella finally called him out on this.

  2. 2354

    I'm still rockin' my Surface RT.

  3. 6844

    The irony is the smartphone is the ultimate mashing together of products. Camera/phone/notepad/etc....the camera is better separated but it's "good enough".

  4. 5553

    Frankenstein is the touch bar slapped on Macs...what a gimmick 

    • 5485

      In reply to Joe_Blo:

      I tend to agree with you.

      I believe that Paul is as much an emotional tech writer. To the point sometimes facts are overwritten by emotions or at least neglected or cluttered.

      Let's see:

      In 2007 SJ said this:

      1)

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4YY3MSaUqMg

      Let's put a side the hiperbole .. the arguable stand "we invented multi touch" as if there weren't basic devices already with such capability. He is referring to the fact that was the first company that did it in an extremely efficient way. He was referring both to Tablet PCs and Smartphone devices. Tablet PC initially did not support touch, only Pen. For instance one one the best Tablet PC's back in 2004 was the Toshiba M200 (I had one) .. and it did not support finger touch input, only Pen ....

      All this devices needed a Pen to work. THEY NEEDED A PEN TO WORK!

      “If you see a stylus, they blew it" - said SJ.

      He was totally right. He told the Industry ... "look go for finger touch interaction and put the Pen aside". To support such a coarse grained form of interaction (as opposed to fine grained, such as mouse or Pen) a new UI paradign, new interaction language, need to be in place. That is Apple did and showed everyone else how to do it.

      He never told that a device should not provide Pen support and there were not interesting and usefull use cases to be solved with it.

      He never told that a tablet could not provide keyboard or even mouse support!!!! Did he? Actually the iPad 2 (2011) provided external keyboard support. Yes even before the Surface line existed (2012)!!!

      2) Second he told that Tablet like devices along with Smartphones will one day replace most PCs. He believed for such a thing to happen efficiently, with no strings attached, again a different design language in human computer interaction needs to be in place along with many other things.

      He did not believe that such thing could be successfully achieved by patching a point and click PC system into a multi touch and efficient design language driving productivity beyond what traditionally PCs allow people to do. Simple has that.

      3) Microsoft on the other hand, with its Windows driven mindset (one ring to rule them all) disagreed. And started introducing multitouch elements along with changes in the form factor to cope with this new form of Interaction. Windows 8 was the first attempt, a failed one. Justifying Tim Cook obervation about toasters and refrigerators. The experience was contrived.

      Windows 10. its looks better fundamentally because it does not hurt the PC experience has Windows 8 did!!!!

      I bet that if you ask most people that bought the 2in1 (PCs turned into tablets), if they use it often to do now things or work faster empowered by multi touch, you will see that most of people do not after awhile. Fundamentally they are very thin and light PCs, not tackling any new use cases 99% of the times. The touch language is mainly there for convenience in certain situations, its not a driver.

      Take for instance the Surface Book. How can make the case of a tablet if when the the screen is detached we get 2 hours tops of battery life? In which case is touch fundamental to this system? So much so that Paul would like to see a cheaper version, thin and light, with the touch for instance.

      Still, IMHO by bringing multi touch elements into the PC, commonly defined 2in1s (a PC with Tablet like features), Microsoft is the path to build a better PC paradigm (they are not reliable yet). 

      Which brings us to 4)

      4) Apple decided to improve the PC laptops (Macbook Pro's) by introducing the touch bar. Here is the thing. It might be a better PC ... yet those improvements pale in comparison with Microsoft improvements to the PC.

      The truth it, that once Apple was at the forefront of PC design, and today it looks like that it is not. Years and years of negleting their PC offering, focusing only on Smartphones and Tablets, and MS pushing in improving the PC paradigm such a result is not much of a surprise.

      This is the error of Tim Cook. In the end of the day, its not about 2in1, but improving the PC experience!!!!!! IMHO Macbook sales are poised to be trimmed down significantly.

      If you buy these new systems looking for a PC and a Tablet in 1 device, 2in1, you will be extremely disappointed. If you looking to buy a better PC, you will find still a buggy experience, but one can easly see that is on the right path!!!!!!!! For me, they are yet not reliable which voids the value of such things in my experience, yet one or two more generations ... maybe.

      MS needs to focus on reliability, stability, consistency, durability. Without these values in place IMHO its not worth it. Better buy a brilliant PC instead of the most advanced 2in1. But MS has nailed the foundations for a better PC!!!

      5) iPad Pro is not a 2 in 1. Its not a PC neither it was born out of it. It's not an improved PC.

      Has said before, SJ believed that the combination of Smartphones and Tablet, touch centric devices,  would replace the PC in most tasks if not for the specialized ones. He never told that a Tablet could never provide Pen support, not support a keyboard, or even a mouse!!!

      The iPad Pro, unlike the Surface, is still a touch centric device. Unlike the 2in1 its thin, light, very good battery life in all occasions, handles every app that you through at it, and the performance surpasses already the performance of a Core M in profound ways. For instance, some games built for iOS would drag in a Core M system. It can do photoediting stuff that drives a 2in1 Core 7 system such as a Surface Pro 3 and even 4 into a crawl.

      Yet the challenge is that even today it does not replace and PC to the point you don't miss it, for simple things such as the covered by Office. Its not so much as a software problem as it is system design. For such tasks, the efficiency offered by a fine the fine grained control of a mouse/touchpad along with a good keyboard is not replaceable!!!!!

      Not even for school boys and girls.

      But once Apple realizes this ... will it be a 2in1? (A PC with tablet like features, a better PC). No. Will it be a better tablet? Yes!

      6) Neither of the companies yet delivered what their vision into a product that people can rely on. But MS looks like the one that is ahead. But than again MS always looks like it is, but the reality is quite different.

      Cheers.

  5. 8632

    I'm a fan of Microsoft and Apple but despite the Windows 8 disaster think Microsoft made the better call combining touch and desktop. The real pain is going to touch the screen when changing computers from a touchscreen device and um it's not a touchscreen - serious operator error!

    Working towards the perfect device I'm running a Surface 3 with pen and IPad Pro 9.7 with pencil and they are both good but more work needs to be done!

    The pencil on IPad Pro seems more precise than the Surface Pen (pity about the pencil form)? On both devices why has more thought not gone to attaching the pencil to the device? OK I will buy the $7 loop for my Surface.

    Why oh why won't Microsoft provide a cellular option on the Pro range which Apple have offered on iPads since day one. Please don't say use Hotspot on Smartphone it's like using a musket compared to a modern rifle with constantly running cellular on tap on my iPads. The other excuse bad effect on battery life - hogwash iPad can do it, Samsung can do it with their Surface competitor. I back Microsoft to win but they are so sloooowww sometimes hitting the mark. Like solar panels on every house being the future norm likewise cellular on all mobile devices will be the norm. Microsoft the hero of the business user should be right out in front with this feature.

    Love the evolving clear path of the Surface brand taking Apple's lead on a great approach to build legendary devices. Can't wait to see where Surface goes next (portable devices that is). Surely the Windows phone as full computer will be there at some point? Docked into laptop form factor if needed and attached to Port Replicator for desktop use? The return of the Windows phone that's a full PC will be a case of the Empire striking back.

    On a thumbs up note to Microsoft (thanks Paul for putting me on to this one) finally the Photo App update on Windows 10 readily goes to full screen for cycling through photos vs trying to use Slideshow before - really wanted that feature and it's been delivered nicely. Time to scrap using the old Windows Photo Viewer - I guess the future really is Appy.

  6. 5510

    LOL...first of all, why is Paul feeling sense of vindication over what Nadella said? Steve Jobs was absolutely RIGHT and Paul was absolutely WRONG.

    "...like Steve Jobs’ equally-mistaken miscue of calling out a certain tech journalist who said that “anyone who thinks the iPad is a game changer is a tool”

    A comeuppance is overdue?

    The fact is that the, iPad IS and HAS been a game changer.

    A few things:

    1. There would be no Surface line from Microsoft, if there wasn't an iPad at all. If there WAS no iPads, tablet computing would still be looked at as a Tablet PC. I know. I have a Signature Series HP Tablet PC from 6 years ago. So did the iPad change the game? YES. Certainly, YES.

    2. Microsoft didn't "invent" the 2 in 1. Not even close! A 2 in 1 computer is basically a tablet that can be used as a computer. Paul Thurrot has gone for years on the record as saying that a tablet is not a real computer, when in fact it is. To him, a computer HAS to run a desktop OS, which is not the case, especially when the internet/web offers a comparable, capable, and specific platform solutions. Microsoft KNOWS this, as they are slowly moving away from their own Windows product.

    So who invented it? I don't know the exact origin, but I do remember years ago stepping into Best Buy and seeing iPad and Android covers with bluetooth keyboards attached. The fact that these products were in market and people buying them signaled a market demand, to which Microsoft answered the call first, with their lackluster first versions of Surface Pro/Surface.

    Let's not forget it took version 3 or version 4 for the Surface line to finally be successful. We all know this, as we read about Paul's adventures with Surface Pro 1 and all the peripherals he was trying to use.

    As for the 2 in 1 battle, it's not Surface vs iPad Pro. It's not tablet PCs, with vs without a keyboard. Of all people, Paul and other Computer enthusiasts should know that. It's has always been and always will be the Operating System in conjunction with User Experience. Microsoft stance has been with the desktop OS, since Surface RT failed, and Apple has always been about iOS. Users of today (not 10 years ago) want a simpler user experience. Isn't that the case? Today, one report says that the iPad Pro is beating the Surface Pro 4 in terms of sales. The fact that more people are buying the iPad Pro over the more complex "Windows 10 OS" tablet, is a telling story as to how the market is moving.

    Again, it's all about the OS and the user experience. That is probably and most likely what Tim Cook was referring about with his toaster/refrigerator thing.

    • 5530

      In reply to Bats:

      Lol. Are we really doing this? Just like "Modern" or "Flat" design, which Microsoft didn't invent, but most will agree that they were the pioneers in applying it in mobile user interfaces, which was Windows Phone 7. They legitimized it and started the trend. The same goes for 2-in-1's. Microsoft may not have invented it but they legitimized the form factor and it is now a trend. Before the Surface, the iPad had no stylus. So did the Surface change the game, just like the iPad before it? YES.

      Sales of 2-in-1 Windows convertibles are up, and iPad sales are down. More people may own iPads but a dying market is nothing to brag about.

  7. 5012

    Roast would have been better than toast in the title.

  8. 8646

    I have been a long time reader of Paul's but have always avoid commenting on articles because the comments sections, like all comments sections, are a morass of trolls, vitrial and general poor behavior.

    So, I am breaking my no comments rule because I think this article typifies a decline in the quality of output from Paul and it why I have personally opted not to pay for the premium content here. 

    First, Tim Cook's comments were made in April of 2012. He wasn't talking about Surface as it was still two months away from being announced and seven months from being sold. He was talking about Window 8 which had been announced but was not released to the general public. One can certainly argue if he was correct about Windows 8 but his comments had nothing to do with Surface or 2-in-1 devices.  

    Second, Steve Jobs never mentioned Paul's “anyone who thinks the iPad is a game changer is a tool” quote. That was Tim Cook in October of 2013, two years after Steve Jobs had passed away. 

    These are easily verifiable facts and undercut the entire premise of this article and it is curious why Paul didn't bother to verify them. Publishing this with out doing basic research was sloppy and sadly this kind of poor writing has become the standard on this site. 

  9. 5542

    Really Paul?  You know I have defended your often misdirected and myopic rants against Apple for years, I've taken the good with the bad, I've learned a lot, I've disagreed a lot but I always felt you had your view and that was fine.  But this article is borderline petty high school BS.

    Tim Cook DID NOT "mock" anything.  He gave a rational that Apple doesn't believe the desktop and tablet can converge well and used an often made metaphor.  The fact that you and Satya Nadella are still carrying this around almost 5 years later says more about the two of you.  

    No matter how hard you try the iPad Pro IS NOT a 2:1 it's a touch based OS with an OPTIONAL keyboard, which have always been available for the iPad since day one, and not a desktop OS shoved into a tablet form factor.   Why can't you just say Apple has their approach and Microsoft has their approach?  Instead you act like child making unfair, untrue, and unfortunate inferences and representations that simply aren't true!

    It's taken 6+ years of faithfully reading and listening to Windows Weekly etc., to get to this point but I'm out!  You have finally, with no shame, shown your true colors as a petty writer rather than a lover of technology who understands and embraces the benefits of competition. The only reason there is a Surface, or Windows 10, is because of Apple. Before a resurgent Apple, when you used the word beleaguered every chance you could, you got Vista. Competition and different approaches benefits us all it goes both ways...Apple users got the iPad Pro... everyone wins! 

    Hey...I get it that you have to make a living, I really get that, but I don't have to read it anymore. 

    P.S. When last I looked the failing iPad still sells more in a quarter than Surface has sold since day one..I think that's still true but don't care to waste any more time with this. 

    • 5592

      In reply to Jeffsters:

      Re: Your statement that "No matter how hard you try the iPad Pro IS NOT a 2:1"

      Tim Cook in November: “Yes, the iPad Pro is a replacement for a notebook or a desktop for many, many people. They will start using it and conclude they no longer need to use anything else, other than their phones.” 

      Apparently you think that Tim Cook and Paul know less about Apple than you do. While the latter may be debatable since neither you nor Paul have inside information about Apple's internal strategies, it's hard to justify that the CEO of a corporation knows less about his products than some random commenter on a blog.

    • 5611

      In reply to Jeffsters:

      Hang on a sec, you're the pot calling the kettle black...

      "No matter how hard you try the iPad Pro IS NOT a 2:1 it's a touch based OS with an OPTIONAL keyboard, which have always been available for the iPad since day one, and not a desktop OS shoved into a tablet form factor."

      Firstly, Apple are the ones marketing this as a 2-in-1 by claiming the iPad Pro can also be a PC laptop by marketing it WITH the optional keyboard (incidentally, the keyboard is also optional on the Surface). Secondly, Microsoft doesn't just shove a desktop OS into a tablet form factor - if it did, we would be using Windows 7 on the Surface Pros and not had Windows 8 or Windows 10.

      • 5629

        In reply to WP7Mango:

        I downloaded Windows 10 Paint 3D today and tried it out.  As I expected, it is a poorly designed app that might have use on a smart phone or tablet - but is not optimized for a desktop PC.  Thus I will continue to use Microsoft Paint and rarely (if ever) use Paint 3D on my Windows 10 desktop PC.

        It seems incredibly obvious to me that Windows 10 GUI is not as appropriate for a desktop PC as Windows 7.  Microsoft made a horrible decision when it decided to use its smart phone OS as a replacement for Windows 7.

        I have to assume that Apple is not incompetent in making the decisions it makes in regard to macOS while keeping iOS for iPhones and iPads.  In my opinion, Microsoft would have been better off keeping (and improving) the Windows 7 GUI for desktop PCs.

        In regard to keyboards (but not mice) for tablets, it is obvious that the very first iPad had dozens of keyboard options sold on the Apple Store website.  Obviously there has always been an interest in using keyboards with with iPads - but, as a specialized, niche area that only a few individuals were interested in.  Apple has reached the point in its iPad product life-cycle where filling in the niches is going to be a normal, every-year occurrence.

        Apples competitors make huge design mistakes by trying to out-compete Apple by offering niche-features to distinguish them from Apple.  The better process is to concentrate 100% on core features until they are perfected.  Then - and only then - start to fill in the minor niche areas that are not core to a superior product design.  Otherwise those niche-features will have a negative impact on the core design.  Microsoft, Google and Samsung all make this mistake - and, this is a huge mistake.

        • 1088

          In reply to truerock:

          MS is not out-competing Apple at anything - they do NOT compete with Apple.  Only thing Apple is competitive in is mobile and MS has walked.  So, what exactly are they out-competing with them on?!  MS owns 90% of the PC market in US and EU and 99% of the PC market ROW.  I would think they should move into other markets!  The problem is that they didn't and search passed them by and mobile / mobile devices passed them by.  

          PCs and mobile devices are converging - and 2-in-1s are the future.  Hopefully this won't pass them by... 

        • 5611

          In reply to truerock:

          You haven't actually qualified any of your statements, therefore it's just a subjective rant. For example -

           

          "As I expected, it is a poorly designed app that might have use on a smart phone or tablet - but is not optimized for a desktop PC." -

          Apart from the fact that it's in BETA, how is it poorly designed?

           

          "It seems incredibly obvious to me that Windows 10 GUI is not as appropriate for a desktop PC as Windows 7."

          How can the Windows 10 GUI not be appropriate for the desktop, when most of it works exactly the same as Windows 7? Which bits are you specifically talking about?

        • 5539

          In reply to truerock: "Thus I will continue to use Microsoft Paint and rarely (if ever) use Paint 3D on my Windows 10 desktop PC."  Wanna bet? Paint 3D replaces Paint as the in-box solution. If you aren't on insider builds, you have until the Creatives Update to decide what to do.

           

    • 5539

      In reply to Jeffsters: Apple fans have no problem bringing up Steve Ballmer's dismissal of the iPhone at every opportunity. Jobs also noted that 'if you see a stylus, they did it wrong,' and here we are with an Apple pencil. I just find it interesting that these two guys, at the top of the most successful companies on the planet, had convictions that weren't well born out. They each thought they were right, and the other was wrong, and neither were really right or wrong.

       

    • 5847

      In reply to Jeffsters:

      Yep sorry but I can understand why you could look at the toaster/refrigerator quotation here and take it as a statement rather than a derision. However, when you take into context the other quotations from Cook such as this quote from an Apple Earnings call (Source: Gizmodo):

      ...call, Cook just dissed Microsoft's new kinda-tablet-kinda-computer thing. "I suppose you could design a car that flies and floats," Mr. Cook quipped. That's sarcasm. Mean, corporate sarcasm!...

      Language says a lot about what someone thinks and if you take this off-the-cuff answer to a question posed by someone on the call. you get the sense of what Cook thinks rather than a carefully worded statement.

      Let's be frank. When you deride someone or something, rather than make a solid statement, you are setting yourself up for mocking when what you stated turns out to be false. And it is indeed false - The marketing of the iPad Pro is set out to turn the iPad away from being seen as a companion device into something that can replace your PC - exactly what the Surface set out to do in the first place.

      Paul is spot on here.

       

    • 6367

      In reply to Jeffsters:

      I won't go as far as Jeffsters, but I kind of agree with him in how pointed Paul's attacks on Apple are. To his credit he will call out Microsoft for their BS too, but deep down I feel he actually enjoys hitting Apple. To be fair, sometimes Apple deserves it but other times it feels he's taking it to a higher level than it needs be. I won't quit reading his stuff though.

  10. 249

    Wonder if Apple employees use the same negging tactic to pick up people at the bar.

  11. 728

    Paul (a.k.a. The No-Name Blogger),

    I understand that you came to regret your iPad comment (link). Are you now regretting your regret?

    Also, you said Steve Jobs called you out. Wasn't that Tim Cook? Perhaps I misunderstand.

     

  12. 5539

    In reply to Matt Lohr: The article you linked also notes that "Admittedly, Thurrott said that making predictions isn’t one of his strengths." At least he was right about not being right.

     

  13. 5611

    Paul, even the Macalope got upset by your article and threw his toys out!!! Well done :-) 

  14. 862

    Weren't Cook's comments about merging a toaster and fridge  directed at Windows 8and the regarding merging a tablet style O/S and traditional Windows. I thought they were also before the announcement of the Surface. Perhaps I mistaken. That said we all know how popular Windows 8 has been

  15. 127

    "There is still a healthy debate to be had about which approach to the 2-in-1 is “better” if not “correct.” Apple, because iOS is so much more popular than the Mac, started with a simpler platform. While Microsoft, thanks to the popularity of Windows, started with a more powerful but complex system. Both ideas have merit, and the market will decide."

    Slightly off topic, but the fact emulation of x86 on ARM might become a thing, would mean MS is on track to make Windows a whole lot simpler (assuming we will arrive at UWP)

  16. 5553

    Satya Cooked him.

  17. 5496

    iPad is not a 2 in 1. One reason, a laptop have a mouse. So that right  there cannot replace a laptop.

    The iPad pro is just a tablet with a keyboard.

    2 in 1 is also, on my opinion, is something that a laptop can do. That includes having ports, like usb ports. The iPad only have one port.

  18. 5553

    Hillary and Obama had to eat crow too ?

  19. 1243

    Just wondering what the sales figures for 2 in 1s are. What percentage of annual PC sales are 2 in 1s? 
    Out in the world, I still see traditional laptops and a few non Pro iPads. 

    I don't think I have ever seen a Lenova Yoga, for instance, out in the wild. I've seen a few Surface devices (but that was back in 2013 and the original Surface Pro). I have yet to see anyone with an iPad Pro 12.9". 

  20. 5485

    In reply to ken_loewen:

    Yeah.

    I think the size of the windows app store shows how forced the 2 in 1s are. This and the fact that Paul does not really like any of them. School boyish article.

     

    why does this mattet so muchto some people? 

  21. 268

    I own a Surface Pro 2 and a Surface Pro 3 personally. I also have a Surface Pro 3, Surface Pro 4, and a Lenovo X1 Tablet as work devices. I've used these for years and am very experienced with them. That said, they are terrible desktop replacements. They are not very good laptop replacements. They are poor tablet replacements (replacing pure tablet devices like a Nexus 9 or an iPad). So in that way, Tim Cook was correct. However, people WANT these devices. They are thin, light, and have the "ohh, shiny" factor going for them. They sell. It turns out, people don't really want a "really good" notebook. They want a mediocre notebook that is very light to carry and impresses people. So Microsoft was correct in that people want these devices even if they aren't "good" replacements for really any individual category. 

    • 526

      In reply to JerryH:

      I think the fact that you and many other people own more than one generation of Surface device is proof enough that they are more than just mediocre laptop/tablet replacement. Cool and shiny to show off to your friends might get a first buyer captivated, but you aren't going to purchase another one next year if it doesn't do the job. Not at the price a Surface goes for.

      I have recommended them to many of my clients who have little/no interested in being cool and I have never had a complaint about the functionality. They love the fact that it is as powerful as a laptop, but as portable as a tablet.

      • 5611

        In reply to StriderNZ:

        My anecdotal evidence suggests you are right. I started with the Surface Pro 2, but it wasn't ideal. But the concept was great and Microsoft then delivered the Surface Pro 3, which I also purchased. And bingo! The Surface Pro 3 is my perfect device.

        I haven't upgraded to the SP4 because the SP3 does what I need. However, I did upgrade to the SP4 pen and keyboard, so I've got some of the benefits of the SP4 without actually buying an SP4.

        I think that once SP5 is out, I might upgrade, but we'll see what the value proposition is. I'm still happy with the SP3 so the SP5 would need to be significantly better than the SP4 before I consider upgrading.

        • 526

          In reply to WP7Mango:

          That's interesting, your purchase and upgrade philosophy is exactly the same as mine.

          I have a desktop for gaming and office based activities and my Surface for when I'm out supporting my customers. I love being able to use my Surface on my lap even when on the drivers side of the car (pulled over of course). The range of motion between the screen and keyboard are a big plus for me (and sometimes an a annoyance).

    • 218

      In reply to JerryH:

      I eliminated all of my computers and only have my Surface Pro 3 and one other as a backup.  At home I have it connected to the dock with a 34" monitor attached.  The rest of the time I use it as my laptop and tablet and have no regrets getting rid of my other systems.  Like the others have mentioned, I'm taking the same approach.  I started with the RT, then the SP2, and finally the SP3 which hit my sweet spot.  There weren't significant enough differences for me to jump to the SP4, but I do have the SP4 keyboard and pen.  I'll probably also get the Surface Dial when it's released.  Like WP7Mango said above, I too am waiting to see when/if an SP5 comes out if there will be enough of a change to warrant an upgrade.

    • 165

      In reply to JerryH:

      I have a SP4 and a desktop at home. Every day at work I wish I could use my SP4 instead of the laptop they provide me. I use my SP4 for all my business note taking with Onenote. that's about 3 hours of my work day.

  22. 5234

    "Hip to be square" should be the title of Satay Nutella's outfit.  The 80's called.  Bill Gates wants his nerd costume back.

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