Microsoft's latest device lineup truly (and finally) rivals Apple's

Over the last few weeks, Microsoft held several hardware events, unveiling new devices for consumers, professionals and "creators." Back in 2012, Surface was just an experiment, an idea that encouraged third-party OEMs to build great hardware. In 2017, things are very different. Surface is a brand that people want, it's a brand that people love, and it's a brand that can directly compete with Apple's Mac and iPad.

It's a Windows user's dream come true.

For the longest time, Windows hardware was absolute rubbish. Laptops were clunky, they were slow, and they were gross. Just seven years ago, Windows had a reputation of being the OS you used for getting work done. It wasn't what the "cool kids" used. For that, you had to get a Mac or an iPad. In 2010, the MacBook Air and iPad launched to great interest. iPad and the MacBook Air left Windows devices in the dust when it came to premium, well-built hardware.

Even today, the MacBook Air is considered by many to be one of the best laptops of all time. Sure, it's no longer up to snuff spec-wise, but its design is still one that rivals new Windows 10 laptops. You can say what you want about Apple, but the company got it right with the MacBook Air. Much like the iPhone redesigned the smartphone, the MacBook Air singlehandedly created a new class of laptop, which we now commonly refer to as "Ultrabooks."

Over the last few years, however, things have changed. The launch of the Microsoft Surface in 2012 changed the Windows devices market. It put Windows hardware on a pedestal, and it said, "OK, hardware makers, this is what can be done. Do better." The Windows market is now full of premium, high-end Ultrabooks, but nothing beats Microsoft's current lineup of Surface devices in 2017. The new Surface family of devices is one that directly competes with both the iPad and Mac, a position Microsoft hasn't been in for a long time.

The new Microsoft Surface family

The Surface Laptop is a direct competitor to the MacBook Air. Not in terms of specs, but in terms of design and consumer appeal. It's the new "cool kids" device that everyone wants. It's incredibly thin, outrageously sexy and a pleasure to use. The Surface Laptop exists purely to cater directly to the same market that would buy a MacBook Air, mostly students and young adults, or people who don't need to do any demanding work on their laptops. If you use your laptop to browse the web, watch content, listen to music and edit documents, you would get a MacBook Air or a Surface Laptop.

Surface Laptop review: Microsoft's best Surface ever — but you pay a premium for it

The Surface Pro is Microsoft's answer to the iPad Pro. Or should I say the iPad Pro is Apple's answer to the Surface Pro. Microsoft defined the 2-in-1 category with the Surface, and Apple responded by making an iPad that can also be used as a laptop. We all know that the Surface Pro is the better choice out of the two, based on usability alone. The iPad Pro, running iOS, is still very limited in what it can do. It still doesn't have mouse support, and using it with the keyboard isn't very "lapable." Microsoft solved the lapability issue with the Surface Pro and Type Cover.

Next, you have the Surface Studio, which you could argue competes with the iMac. The Surface Studio is more for a niche market, however. It's less for the regular consumer and more for the avid creator who will take advantage of that beautiful 28onch PixelSense screen. Still, much like the iMac, the Surface Studio is a great all-in-one for video editing, photoshop, and casual use for things like email, music and more. It's a productivity machine, with the added benefit of being able to lay it down and work with a pen.

Finally, there is the Surface Book. I'd say this one competes directly with the MacBook Pro. Maybe not the high-end MacBook Pro, but definitely with the 13-inch MacBook Pro. Surface Book is a beautiful laptop that also turns into a tablet, although if you were to buy the Surface Book and use it primarily as a laptop, no one would blame you. The Surface Book is Microsoft's "ultimate laptop" and is a gorgeous piece of hardware.

Microsoft's Xbox One family

Alongside the Surface family of devices, Microsoft now has an Xbox One family of devices. Apple doesn't make a rival console, but the new Xbox is still noteworthy.

The One S and One X are part of the same story, and that's an important fact that needs to be pointed out. They're two versions that are part of the same ecosystem, meaning they work with all the same games and accessories. The One S is the entry-level Xbox One, allowing gamers, and even non-gamers, into the Xbox ecosystem for a lower price.

Xbox One S is a fantastic entertainment console. It's not just a gaming console. It can be used for Netflix, YouTube, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Video, and a wide variety of Windows 10 apps. You could say the Xbox One S is a rival to the Apple TV, with the Xbox One S being far more powerful and with far more features, such as being able to play the latest generation of console games. It's an awesome box for the price you pay and reaches out to all kinds of markets.

Xbox One X FAQ: Price, release date, preorders, specs, games and more

The Xbox One X is for the more hardcore gamer/AV enthusiast. If you want 4K everything, you want the Xbox One X. The Xbox One X does everything the Xbox One S does, but in a slightly smaller package, and with some added horsepower that enables true 4K gaming. The Xbox One X is a console in its own league and is a first for a gaming market that's used to new consoles every 10 years or so. Xbox One X breaks that boundary of generation consoles, by adding a more powerful console to the current generation instead.

What's next?

Microsoft now directly competes with Apple in several markets. It has a foot in the laptop, desktop and tablet market, as well as the gaming market with the Xbox One S. So, what's next for Microsoft? The obvious answer is to enter (or re-enter?) the phone market. But that's something Microsoft has done before, and it didn't exactly end well in the past.

Phones are the only market in which Microsoft has repeatedly failed to gain traction. Every attempt it's made has ended in disaster. Admittedly, Microsoft hasn't made a "Surface phone" yet, but the precedent of failure is still there. The fact of the matter is, however, the future of computing is mobile, and Microsoft needs to be there if it wants Windows to succeed.

Will a "Surface phone" rival the iPhone? We don't know. We don't even know if the Surface phone will even be a traditional phone. Whatever it does end up being, however, it needs to do well and gain traction, otherwise, what's the point?

Zac Bowden
Senior Editor

Zac Bowden is a Senior Editor at Windows Central. Bringing you exclusive coverage into the world of Windows on PCs, tablets, phones, and more. Also an avid collector of rare Microsoft prototype devices! Keep in touch on Twitter: @zacbowden.

  • Microsoft has no answer for the iPhones and iPods yet. I am waiting for it.
  • are iPods still a thing?
  • At this point, it would make more sense to just get an old iPhone with no service.
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  • IPods are dead.
  • windows mobile is dead!  I can still go into most any store and buy an ipod.  windows moibles?  NADA!
  • windows for phone is not dead friend its just very much sloewed down. if you call windows mobile dead, then what is blackberry? i just bought 3 win phones last week how you cant buy one? true MS is making everyone get away from windows mobile. it's needed to make everyone forget about the bad market. to be fair. mobile market wasn't that much bad. Microsoft could stay on it and be number 3 forever. but that wasn't Microsoft. Microsoft is more of a number 1. they couldn't reach it. no big deal start over. break the good make it better. in this case the best. Microsoft will have a huge entry to mobile device. and it won't be a reentry. it's gonna be a totaly new approach and this time in Microsofts game not in apples or googles. so don't worry im sure the only failiour in MS history will be a win soon. i hope.
  • Blackberry has NEW phones at my local does not.   so blackberry is very much MORE ALIVE than windows mobile.  bad analogy there .....WM = DEAD!
  • You are mixing OSs with phone hardware. BB as a brand (hardware) is alive, WP as an OS is in life support. the Lumia hardware line and BB10 (OS) are dead. there are a couple of OEMs making windows phones and Microsoft itselt is working on mobile HW and SW, so, not dead yet.
  • NO...I am not.   I can walk into my service provider,  buy at blackberry phone....I cannot go in and buy a micrsoft lumia.   I can still go in and buy a blackberry 10 OS 'ed device I still cannot go in and buy a microsoft windows device of any "brand".....i actually can go into the same service provider and purchase an IPOD.   So,  please cut the bullshit about comparing windows mobile to blackberry or ipods or the such....there is only one dead product out of the three...and like it or not,  we ALL KNOW what that is....Windows Mobile / Devices!
  • You sound like an ass-hat.
  • You ARE an ASS-HAT!  Sorry there what I not said the truth....NO service provider has a windows mobile device available....however,  I can buy a BB10 os'ed device right now,  I can buy an Ipod right now,  and I can buy a blackberry branded device RIGHT how is that being an ass-hat other than the fact that it goes against the blind MS fangirl clouded vision that resides in here!  DO TELL......
  • LMAO. Fan girl? I left and went to Android, little boy. I was just pointing out that you are acting like a ****. Don't get your panties in a bind.
  • ha ha...yes..sure.....I am.....FANGIRL!  i bet your panties has little pink windows on them.   
  • Yes they did...It was called Zune and Windows Phone...they just killed them off...
  • yeb is very sad MS simply could just made Zuone (Zune Phone)!
  • My first thought when reading this title was phones. This title will NEVER be true as long as Microsoft has no phone equivalent. Sure we have a couple of OEM devices, but that's not the same thing.
  • Apple has no answer to the XBOX..
  • Good one. Didn't think of that.
  • Apple does not want an answer to the xbox.  
  • Its called the 950XL.  It has apps and groove.
  • It's called being cancelled and not having MOST apps that should be available to it!  Groove is not great either!
  • I disagree. OK, understandable that there are no phones coming from Microsoft, what I can't understand though is that there are no more Bands coming from them. 
  • I agree. The MS Band was actually starting to do well. Satya messed that up. After all MS did to work to get it to that point, only to cancel the Band 3. They should have just released Band 3 and began working on a Windows 10 version. If I remember an article that I read a while back, internal sources at MS revealed that the reason they canceled Band 3 was because they couldn't get Windows 10 Mobile or some part if it on the Band 3.
  • Nutella messed something up??? Say it's not true...
  • Even till now I can't find a fitness tracker that's on par with Microsoft Band 2
  • With the exception of the, iPhone, Microsoft blew pass, Apple.
  • Agreed....To bad MS had their heads up their asses and never pushed to get dev's onto windows phone.   would be much different today!
  • I agree here.....MS was not "serious" about Windows Phones/Mobile....they spent money for sure, but they were slow slow slow!! If they re-enter, I doubt they will make the same mistake.
  • Yep.  I know my plan will work to get dev's  MS just has to do it....offer 100 percent royalties for 1 year for devs.   Also,  they need to wrangle all the big players now,  hotels, airlines, banks, resturants, stores etc.....and get them ON BOARD.   Explain to them the benifits of windows apps running on desktop devices....and make sure they are UWP so that they can run on tablet/mobile deivces too.   Need a big push...If MS is not willing to do that,  then partner with Apple for phone and be done with it.
  • oooo downvote because I said something about another phone...waaaahhhhh fangirl.
  • Apple Watch, it's not better than the Band, but at least it's available.
  • Sorry Sin,     the apple watch is miles better than the band for many reasons....1.  apps.  You can do so much more with the apple watch than you can with the band.  2.  support.  Apple updates their devices for long term use.  MS,  NOPE, band is not a watch style device so it limits it's saleability.  only people wanting fitness tracker deivces would even consider it.  And most bypassed it because of the goiter on the strap.  4.  reliability.  the MS band was plauged with problems etc.   Apple watch....NOPE.    The Apple watch is miles ahead,  Yeah yeah,  the MS lemmings love to **** on apple,  but guess what,  they sell more apple watches than ms did phones.     
  • Everyone I know with an Apple Watch says the same was a giant waste of money. Sorry, buddy.
  • It's basically useful for Apple Pay and that's it.
  • Sorry BUDDY,  The people that I know that have one,  love it.   It's useful for much more than apple pay.   plus,  it's a much better form than either of the bands,  with the goiter strap etc.   But silly design aside,  the software in the band was again,  hokey compared to the streamlined watchOS.  
  • Im so glad both your friends love them. You spend so much time talking out of your ass on here. STFU already, little boy.
  • about 30 people I know have apple watches.  How many people do you know personally that has a I bet...yourself.  please  if it's anyone that is a little boy it's you.  please open your blinders and stop crying in your windows shaped cherios and ask mommy to get you a tissue.   Again,  I speak the TRUTH...the whiny pissy little fangirls here can't handle the truth,   and then they come back at me with whiny little posts like yours.   Again,  I can go into a store now and buy an apple watch,  I cannot go into a store now,  and buy a band.   Im sorry that the "almighty" Microsoft gave you false hope of new items.   However,  in true fashion they over promised and under delivered once again.  All they are worried about is 1. buying up business facebook.  and 2 desktop OS services.   (which they are the best at).   However,  they canned the test team which is why we have the "insider program".  If you think your anything other than a beta tester for Microsoft,  then you either drank the kool aid too much,  or you are too stupid to see otherwise.  Its not microsoft going hey,  check out our new stuff.  it's microsoft going hey sucker,  test our new OS options for free and report back any issues.   So......LITTLE BOY....please,  TRY AGAIN!.....FANGIRL!
  • There's no arguing the band is a piece of crap. That thing never worked correctly in the year I owned (two) of them. Such a great concept but it just failed hard through or construction and software.
  • Far from crap. Sure thing.
  • I'm just going to assume you never owned one.
  • Owned both. I am going to assume you don't know what you are talking about.
  • Once Windows 10 came out, Bluetooth simply stopped working for Cortana connection and music control, even after resets and replacement from a split strap. The thing had great fitness tracking, so that's what I used it for, but the rest of it's functions didn't work. So I paid $350 bucks for a fitness tracker, biggest rip off ever. And instead of fixing the issues between the band and W10M (which Microsoft themselves acknowledged so if you say I don't know what I'm talking about then you are saying that Microsoft don't know what they are talking about) they just cancelled the product.
  • Funny,  Me too...and both let me down just like windows mobile did!  
  • You know what happens when you ASSume something....
  • Yes. It makes an ass of you. My point exactly.
  • Yea not really, they are still missing an actual long term Phone strategy and they also do not have any type of Surface Mini device to compete with Apple's smaller Ipads.
  • While Apple is still selling the iPad mini, it hasn't seen an update since 2015. There was no news on a new iPad mini this year at WWDC, so I don't really think that Apple will be continuing this product.
  • smaller meaning the "normal" ipad.   the surface 3 is old and slow.   The surface pro line are big devices for tablet use.   I would love to have a surface device thats 9.7" like the ipad,  but with the keyboard, pen,  and dock support.  I would also like microsoft to make "book type" bases for the surface and surface pro devices.   That would make an awesome set of accessories for the surface devices.  turn your surface into a "true laptop" with magnetic attachment and true hinge,  not like the book.  
  • Love it but it lacks the most important part, a Surface Note, 2x5" foldable or dual screen 4k/2 on each, the 635 soc and 8 or more gb of ddr4 running upcoming full windows on demand as well as win32 programs. Oh yeah and it should have a TB total extension. That will be the Surface I buy on the spot.
  • 4K on 5" is ridiculous.
  • agreed,  just a battery eater.  Nothing more.
  • Sounds great, didn't realize you were already living in 2024.
  • I agree about the phone point. Apple has a device for every situation in the average user's life. Microsoft has a giant hole. But I would add that Microsoft has not only built awesome hardware, but they've got partners building awesome hardware. When Microsoft built the Surface line as an aspiration tool for OEMs, they hit that ball out of the park. Personally, I wouldn't buy a Surface Laptop. That's not a knock against the Surface Laptop at all. It's because Microsoft has inspired other OEMs to make first rate products. If Dell, HP, and the like were making the same garbage they were making 10 years ago, I'd get the Surface Laptop. But the products from other OEMs are just that good now that the Surface Laptop doesn't stand a giant among men.
  • Dan I agree with everything you said.  And yes MSFT to get back into phones is scary....  They have failed and failed again.  However I don't think timing was great either.  Apple and Android were way too far ahead to try and emulate or sway people away from.  However times are a changing.  People are growing bored of the same "stuff" the iPhone and Androids of the world do keep getting upgraded but honestly there is nothing different from a Galaxy S6 to a Galaxy s7 or 8 for that matter other than some additional HD space an iris scanner and blah blah blah...  I think MSFT is going to bring something that is not even in the same category as these...  Foldable screens, 100% screen device, hologram projection, and with the enhancements of Cortana and Continuum with CShell it will be a complete PC in your pocket.  That my friend is what will change the mobile phone market as we know it.  
  • Apple has and always will suck. Not sure why the author puts them in such high regard. I don't give a crap about my computer's aesthetics. I want ports, speed, reliability, and an optical drive. Apple offers me nothing.
  • You and everyone on here brother but the everyday consumer knows nothing about "ports, speed, reliability..." they know "cool, hip, sexy, eye catching..."  MSFT is getting there and yes their products are superior
  • Funny,  I think my dell is better looking,  performing,  and feeling than my son's MBA!   
  • Which Dell do you have?
  • Must be the XPS13 - The Spectre 13 (Laptop) also looks nicer than a MacBook Air
  • 13 5000 2 in 1.   I like it much better than my sons MBA.
  • Nice, I got a 13 7000 line 2-in-1. Last year's model but great specs and performance. Dell does make quality machines.
    It would be hard to compare it with the MBA. Different line (ultrabook versus two in one) but still a power performer.
  • I have mine upgraded with 16gb ram,  and a 2 tb sshd.  makes things much nicer.   I tried MacOS on two seperate occasions and almost bought 2 new ones this past year,  but HATED the OS.   Also,  the lack of touchscreen is another no go for me at this point.  Editing photos etc is MUCH Faster and easier on the full touchscreen than using mouse input.   the 7000 line is great as well.   I think my next machines are going to be MS products however.  Just max em out.   New laptop and surface pro.   
  • Jordan
    I disagree. Maybe not all but Many consumers know about " speed, reliability" & of course want ease of use.
    While I agree MS has hit a HR with the new Surface line they must also figure out What. makes. people. stand. in. line. for. HOURS. to get the newest iPhone! (Knowing it Doesn't even have any New Hot features)! I haven't done a true side by side comparison, I got the sense that the Surface sticker price is considerably higher than the MBA/etc. Am I wrong?
    The MAC users I've talked with say they are "So Happy" they made the switch, "Apple is so easy to use, & Fast!". I don't get what they see!! I really hope all this talk (rumors) about a Surface Phone, or Any solid WP comes to fruition... And Soon!!! At this point it's all speculation (wishful thinking...& I'm one of 'em). I am Win thru & thru, I Love my Win phone! I have to say it's been difficult Not to walk into 'That other store' because the Industry apps I need are not supported on my WP. I've had to resort to a Droid tablet to get by.😩 MS, it's not about 'You'! Or just the Product, but what you Believe In!! It's about The Consumer & what they want. I certainly hope you are listening!!!
  • Apple has succeeded.  They are an ultimate success story of how to convince people they matter. My Mac has ports, speed, reliability, and an optical drive.  And it's had this for 8 years. :)
  • speed 8 years old...come on.
  • Optical drive? In 2017? Really?!
  • I use it too.....mine is a USB drive however.
  • High regards because they did many things right, that Microsoft STILL sucks at (eg. OS user experience and OS consistency).
  • actually windows is far superior in user experience than macOS is.   MacOS is a jumbled mess.
  • For us: yes, for my sister: nope, no way!
  • I actually think Microsofts lineup is superior to Apples. Hardware and software both are better in Microsoft land now.
  • i must say this was a FANTASTIC article.  I thought it would leave out the XBOX vs Apple TV but it didn't and I thought it would leave out the realm of "Surface Phone" finally coming to fruition which it also did not. I do agree with the article as well, MSFT is now making products that rival Apple.  However I still feel the consumers have yet to catch on.  They are getting there and I think MSFT's attempt to penetrate the classroom will have an impact on bringing them back into the limelight and gain in the "COOL" factor. Keep up the work WindowsCentral - articles like these that is...
  • Ms really need to get c-she'll out on a new mobile( phone like) device and also cater for the oems to follow.
  • What about a
    * Surface Studio Performance Base with 4 iCore9 or 4 Threadrippers, loads of RAM and graphics processors to compete with iMac Pro?
    * Surface Subbase (or something), a reimagining of the Home Server making it simple to connect various laptops, media PCs, etc to an expanded "NAS"? (With current NAS, one has to operate with two different OS:s, create accounts on the NAS and give writing privileges, etc before starting to use the system... it *must* be possible to do this in a simpler way... )
  • I'd buy that
  • I am guessing that is in the pipe now.   I think it will be running xeon processors etc. 
  • These days, Apple gets most of its love and press from the iPhone. MS lack of mobile presence leaves a gigantic whole to fill for them.
  • Nicely written, Zac.  I agree about the phones.  I think Microsoft's main reason for failure is themselves.  They released an OS (winmo up to 6.x), went back and reinvented it (7.x), went back and reinvented it (8.x), went back and reinvented it (10.x), and basically shoved it in a closet.  If they would have simply built upon what they had, maintaining their supporters (myself included), instead of recreating things each generation, it would have grown. Just look at Apple's history of iOS and iPhones.  The first generation sucked.  They listened to consumer feedback and improved it, not started over.  Then improved it again and again.  Apps? No. Clipboard? No. Multitasking? No. Hardware? No.  It started out as an iPod with a touchscreen, phone capabilities, and web browser.  But it's grown into a decent system because Apple really staked their business on it.
  • Windows 8 should have been Windows 10 with C-Shell, but it wasn't. One thing is for sure, WP7 and upwards have influenced Windows 10 (across all devices) so it's legacy lives on
  • have Microsoft got anything for iwatch
  • Not any more.
  • Nope.  Never did.  Nokia was working on something but MS kyboshed that!  apple watch is awesome as are a few android wear devices like the casio protrek...
  • Surface Band please....
  • No...that nokia wearable that was teased....that would be a better idea.
  • On paper it all looks well, but "the market" decides whether this headline holds true. So a bit presumptuous....
  • wrong post
  • Any info on fitness Band, or apple watch alternative?
  • I think there is a lot of wishful thinking going on here. If I walk into my local electronics store Samsung and apple take up three quarters of the pc telephone floorspace. The remainder is divided by Chromebook and windows pc's. Somewhere tucked in a far away corner is a surface pro. The Samsung and apple displays are super attractive and beautiful. The MS display looks like something designed in the sixties and obviously MS did not pay for a prime spot. Ask the staff about windows hw or sw and they don't have a clue what you are talking about. Ask them about apple or android and they want to tell you everything they know. MS still has a long way to go before they are cool outside our circle of fans.
  • Best Buy has a nice display full of Surface devices right at the front of the computer section. It certainly is missing mobile devices though.
  • The Surface has a small area in shops here, but it's always prominent.
  • As everyone else has mostly said... This is mostly true but without something in the phone space, or a wearable it isn't really complete in most people's eyes.
  • I still have a Zune - and it is still pretty (though, non-functional).  If there are any StarLord(s) out there - It's for sell (if you are willing to pay)...  I just want my spaceship replaced. On the other note - Still waiting for #SufaceMobile or the #SurfaceCommunicator - I don't want to have fruit forced into my hands!
  • Microsoft needs to realize HOW and WHY people use their smartphones. Outside of work it sure ain't for productivity! I don't know of one person, regardless of operating system, who gets a thrill at the prospect of typing a Word document on their phones. People use their phones for FUN and for talking/texting. People don't buy huge screen televisions because they want to view PowerPoint presentations. Develop a different strategy for enterprise AND a separate strategy for consumers.
  • Well I agree that Microsoft did the great job but there is still a big problem with Microsoft and its Surface line - worldwide availability. Although now there are much more markets for Surface devices than US only. Surface line is still unavailable in most markets where Apple has it's share. And even I being big Microsoft fan and supporter ended up buying an iPad not long ago for my father in law simply because there is now better alternative for the money available (in Russian market). off topic - does Windows central has a plan about fixing commenting feature in it's UWP as I'm not able to leave comments on both lumia 950 and Surface Pro 3
  • To those Windows lovers, we have to give thanks to Microsoft because Surface line really bring back more premium products.. Phone MS need to redo and make very premium phone and focus on marketing it, needs to be like Surface Book and studio something that we never seen coming #surprise lol
  • so, still, Microsoft has no true lineup to rival Apple OVERALL. They just make a good design, thats all.
  • no wearable, no phone, no car infotainment, no smart home hub thingy, nope, it is far away from a full competing lineup
  • No search, no Maps, no office...  Apple has nothing outstanding that Google and Samsung don't kick their behinds at!
  • a mediocre search and maps solution is nothing to brag about, apple also has maps, just as terrible, office is the only worthy outlier
  • Apple has all mediocre solutions: A crappy wearable, an Infotainment that is just a MP3 player, AppleTV has nothing smart about it, for the tenth time same low specs high price, same old grid of icons, no innovation iPhone, a MacBook Pro with a TouchBar crap solution, an iMac as solution from a decade ago, an iPad Pro with crippled down OS & Apps, an now a VR cheap copy pockemon solution... What a joke, Apple has nothing that Google, Samsung, Microsoft, etc. Kick their behinds at
  • The Harman Kardon home hub thingy is on the way.   
  • All they need now is an AWESOME surface phone
  • "We all know that the Surface Pro is the better choice out of the two, based on usability alone. The iPad Pro, running iOS, is still very limited in what it can do. It still doesn't have mouse support, and using it with the keyboard isn't very "lapable." The piece above ruins all the credibility of this article. 'Next, you have the Surface Studio, which you could argue competes with the iMac." This adds to the damage. Surface Studio is that which Apple has no answer to. As well as Surface Hub the author forgets about.
  • What Zac is really trying to tell us is that he is aware of a killer phone that is comming but he can not say anything.  Thanks Zac.  I know how to read between the lines.
  • They still lack in retail space. Less stores and stores are very small and have very minimal accessories. You go into Apple, and the entire wall is filled with iPhones cases alone. You go into MSFT store, and can barely find a case for your Surface.
  • What's the big drive on Apple, I would never buy an Apple machine anyway!
  • Until you can exist solely in Microsoft's ecosystem it won't rival Apple. MS has a gaping hole where the device you use most often sits. For a lot of people their phone is the first thing they pick up in the morning and the last thing they put down at night. MS make up for it to some extent with some apps on Android and iOS, however the lack of apps like Edge and Films & TV means you end up split over two ecosystems. I'm a MS fan, I've owned Lumias up to the 950 and I own a Surface Pro 4 but the biggest draw to Apple's ecosystem is how completely integrated it is. From the watch to the iMac it all works together. If MS released a 5-6in "Surface Mini" with pen support running W10 on ARM I would buy it in a second. A Surface Mini would go a long way to completing the ecosystem for me.
  • "Phones are the only market in which Microsoft has repeatedly failed to gain traction." Surprisingly not in the EU. The only fault of MS was NOT to advertise the Lumia series. My 1520 is still impressive and when it came out, Android could be called usable, just that. Nobody here talks about, or wants a Surface computer of any kind. It is simply unknown, due to the lack of advertising again. Apple, Samsung on the other hand are well known by everyone. Every new of their products is visible in huge Posters on the streets of Europe. NOT ONE Microsoft product had been advertised that way over the last ten years here. The ZUNE and Windows Phone were badly marketed, yet beautiful software with hardware ahead of the competitors. Their failure is a marketing failure. If they keep on like that then Microsoft will hum its way into oblivion, which will happen soon for the average computer user or happened already. Anyone when asked to search for something online takes his Android phone (some their IPhones ) and does a Google Search.
    Buying, selling and contacts with friends and family are done with it, endless access to games are ready to blow away your last free minute.
    Where does Microsoft come in here? It competes with Apples smallest, almost money losing part of their "ecosystem". Apple makes the most money with selling their phones which ties you directly to Itunes - slowly draining your money. Where is Microsoft's equivalent? Office365 ! But for how many and for how long? HB, Berlin, Germany
  • More options. Surface Studio should have multiple screen sizes, for example. And price levels. Since it is only Microsoft's desktop, it should have at least one reasonably affordable, mainstream model. Of other things... I'd like to see laptop without alcantara palm rest. While I love alcantara on my Surface's type cover, I'm finding it a bit strange as an integral part of solid, non-detachable laptop body. With my Surface, I can simply toss worn/damaged cover and get a new one. With laptop? I'd rather have solid metal. Non-Pro Surface. Granted, entry Surface Pro (with m3) is not far off, but is still much more expensive than, say, 2017 iPad (non-Pro); at least here in NZ. Maybe something will come out of this new Windows on SnapDragon initiative. While on paper MS products cover all the Apple product lines (save for phone), in real life scenarios we are still missing directly comparable options for number of Apple products. We know that MS must dance with all the OEM partners as well, trying not to annoy them too much by competing directly, so that's the reality - but I'm still hoping they will find a way to offer us more variety.
  • Except for phones.
  • Missing one product is not a fail in the midst of the hugely advanced product set that is now Surface. The integration that the platforms have, interactively, along with the similarly interactive product suite is light years ahead of a disjointed "show me the money" Apple Store. Microsoft is proving to be the tech equivalent of Amazon. Once the Surface Phone is released next year, that gap will be closed and then it will start to get REALLY interesting. John Harrington
  • Apple has no dedicated Games Console. You take with the iPhone and give with the Xbox... :)
  • A new non-Pro Surface runing Windows 10 on ARM will also flesh out the range further. Microsoft has no equivalent to Apple's Mac Pro but then, given how long it has been since it was updated, Apple don't really either. Also, a Surface-branded traditional desktop wouldn't really add anything to the market as there are already plenty of OEMs creating all manner of desktop machines.
  • We know it WON'T be a traditional phone because the CEO, and COO of surface division have both specifically said so.
  • Bias article too much? "the MacBook Air 'singlehandedly' created a new class of laptop, which we now commonly refer to as 'Ultrabooks' ", please give me a break! There were many 'ultrabooks' and great looking ones before the Mac Barbie Air came with it's totally limited specs, almost Tablet like specs!
  • Sorry...I don't equate rich snobby kids whinning about their iphones, and ipads to being cool...Give me a PC that can run the top games, or any games, which apple CANNOT do....I will gladly take the PC, regardless of its size, and mod it to death with flashy lights and fans and cooling. That's a truly cool system. Not a Apple closed sheeple system.
  • Better than whiny little fan girls in here crying about windows mobile devices that will never be produced.  
  • we just need a 15" Surface Laptop to complete the line-up!
  • Man this piece is on laptops, desktops, and tablets yet; Windows fans and Crapple fans both mostly talk about Windows Phones.  You can't say Windows phone is dead when so many people talk about it.
  • Microsoft needs to start distributing their Surface products in Mexico again, I want a Pro or a Book
  • Actually, it doesn't rival Apple's, BECAUSE THEY GAVE UP ON MAKING AN AWESOME PHONE! All they had to do was keep making flagship Lumias, but they abandoned everything that made them special for cheap hardware with 'continuum.'
  • They needed more than marketing to keep windows mobile going.  But,  I agree,  they should have kept the design language of the Nokia lumias in their phones...I mean,  one peice body, pushed the 41mp sensor in the 1020 further.....etc.   However,  without apps,  windows 10 mobile was DOA!