Microsoft communications manager slams iPad Pro as merely 'a companion device'

The recent launch of Apple's 12.9-inch iPad Pro tablet has generated lots of comparisons to Microsoft's Surface products. However, Dan Laycock, the Senior Communications Manager for Microsoft's Surface division, thinks his products offer more than Apple's.

iPad Pro

In a chat with Trusted Reviews, he stated:

"Microsoft really wants you to only carry one device for tablet and PC use," explains Laycock, speaking to us at the Consumer Electronics Show 2016 in Las Vegas. "Whereas the iPad Pro is always going to be a companion device." He adds: "The strategies are very different."

Like Microsoft's Surface tablets, there's an optional keyboard cover for the iPad Pro, along with a stylus. Laycock suggests that Apple copied Microsoft's strategy with these kinds of features:

"At one point in time, Apple declared that if there's a stylus, that's failure," continues Laycock. "We're a huge believer in the pen; we know our customers love it." The Communications lead goes on: "So to see Apple do something that feels a little bit similar, that is clearly skewed for a bigger screen, and more productivity built in, and the ability to use a pen." "We don't see it as a one-to-one comparison, because this is a full PC, you're running full apps."

Of course, the "full apps" argument is one that's been made many times before, and one that doesn't necessarily hold as much water as it did in years past. Microsoft has made their flagship Office apps available for the iPad, and even was on stage at the iPad Pro launch event to show off improvements they'd made to those apps for the new iOS tablet. And it's also worth noting that the stylus quote was attributed to the late Steve Jobs in an era of simple plastic stick pointers, who said "if you see a stylus, they blew it" — and neither Microsoft nor Apple refer to their respective pointing devices as styli (Surface Pen and Apple Pencil, respectively).

Source: Trusted Reviews

John Callaham