Microsoft releases new Surface videos, continues to downplay iPad

Earlier this week, Microsoft announced that it would start providing its Surface tablets to an expanded number of authorized resellers, in the hopes that the hardware will be bought and used by more businesses. Microsoft is now trying to show the world that many companies and individuals are already using the Surface tablet to replace laptops for their work.

In a series of new videos posted on the Surface YouTube channel, Microsoft shows a variety of different scenarios for using the Surface hardware. In the video above, it shows how the exercise company FlyWheel Sports has installed Surface RT tablets at its many location for its customers to check in to work out on a specific bike on a set day with a pre-selected instructor. The Surface RT also keeps track of each person's exercise stats while they are working out at their location.

Yet another video shows how the doctors at the Palmetto Health medical health group use the Surface to keep track of data for their patients. The video adds that the group tried to use the iPad for the same work but found that Apple's tablet didn't have enough performance to handle their tasks. Also, the iPad required a remote log in to work for their system, something the Surface does not need.

The video collection includes a chat with Marcus Bluestein, the Chief Technology Officer of Kraft Kennedy, which helps to create and maintain IT systems for law firms. Bluestein says in the video that the Surface Pro has replaced his iPad, his laptop and even his desktop for his work. He uses all of his corporate and productivity applications on the tablet, which he says is something he was unable to do with the iPad.

Source: Surface on YouTube

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Microsoft adds PDF reading support to Word Web App

Next Story

The original Xbox was almost called the 11-X

42 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

I think this is great way to tell stories of what people are doing with your products. All these seem to be targeting business, which is where MS still has some strength ... so good idea MS.

The last 2 ads are great but I don't get the point of the first one. It seems to me that flywheel just uses the Surface RTs as stationary kiosks via a web interface which they could do with pretty much any other device. It misses the element that makes the other 2 ads so effective, the reason why the Surface is better at this task than the competition.

I would love a Surface Pro only if they made a bigger version. My RT is just too small to replace a laptop. I'm in the market next year for a laptop replacement and hope there is a Surface Pro replacement that offers a bigger screen (up to 13")

ZipZapRap said,
I would love a Surface Pro only if they made a bigger version. My RT is just too small to replace a laptop. I'm in the market next year for a laptop replacement and hope there is a Surface Pro replacement that offers a bigger screen (up to 13")

Look at the non-Microsoft brand Windows 8 tablets. There are several tablets with larger screens and even a bit more computing power if you shop around. There are even 'gaming' class tablets with i7 processors and discrete graphics. Larger screen sizes you can find range from 12" to 27" as actual 'tablets' with 27" to 60+" sizes also available if you have the money and a friend to help you carry it.

Don't get stuck on the 'Surface' brand, it was created to push other MFRs to adhere to its level of features and hardware quality control. (Things nobody talks about, like how the touch screen is more responsive than other tablet technologies.)

Here's my take being an iPad user. The Surface Pro is a much better product. However, I believe the Surface RT is in direct competition with the iPad. "Most" iPad owners use their device as a toy, a web surfer. They stick with the iPad because of great programs like FaceTime. Yes I am aware of Skype. Basically, what can Microsoft do to penetrate this tablet area? The Surface Pro is excellent but out of the price range of those just looking for a toy. Why is the Surface RT a better toy than the iPad? I personally know the differences but can Microsoft entice your average consumer?

JHBrown said,
Here's my take being an iPad user. The Surface Pro is a much better product. However, I believe the Surface RT is in direct competition with the iPad. "Most" iPad owners use their device as a toy, a web surfer. They stick with the iPad because of great programs like FaceTime. Yes I am aware of Skype. Basically, what can Microsoft do to penetrate this tablet area? The Surface Pro is excellent but out of the price range of those just looking for a toy. Why is the Surface RT a better toy than the iPad? I personally know the differences but can Microsoft entice your average consumer?

They have to push that it is still a full version of the OS, even if x86 applications are not supported. The full version of Office would be a good angle to work with, in addition to the more clever commercials that put the iPad side by side RT devices and showcase multi-tasking content, separate user accounts, etc.

My one reason is being able to watch Hulu on it straight from the website at work. None of that hulu+ BS, just straight Hulu.com ... being able to have that running at the SAME time as office is pretty remarkable, I even once watched Hulu while finding something to watch on Netflix.

JHBrown said,
Here's my take being an iPad user. The Surface Pro is a much better product. However, I believe the Surface RT is in direct competition with the iPad. "Most" iPad owners use their device as a toy, a web surfer. They stick with the iPad because of great programs like FaceTime. Yes I am aware of Skype. Basically, what can Microsoft do to penetrate this tablet area? The Surface Pro is excellent but out of the price range of those just looking for a toy. Why is the Surface RT a better toy than the iPad? I personally know the differences but can Microsoft entice your average consumer?

JHBrown said,
Here's my take being an iPad user. The Surface Pro is a much better product. However, I believe the Surface RT is in direct competition with the iPad. "Most" iPad owners use their device as a toy, a web surfer. They stick with the iPad because of great programs like FaceTime. Yes I am aware of Skype. Basically, what can Microsoft do to penetrate this tablet area? The Surface Pro is excellent but out of the price range of those just looking for a toy. Why is the Surface RT a better toy than the iPad? I personally know the differences but can Microsoft entice your average consumer?

Just like a Microsoft lackey to think that the only way to be productive is to use Office or windows desktop. Ask the 10's of thousands of businesses, schools, hospitals, and musicians, that use the iPad everyday how much of a toy it is. The surface is just a net book that can occasionally be used as a tablet. Microsoft has missed the mark again. It's neither a good laptop or a tablet.

JHBrown said,
Here's my take being an iPad user. The Surface Pro is a much better product. However, I believe the Surface RT is in direct competition with the iPad. "Most" iPad owners use their device as a toy, a web surfer. They stick with the iPad because of great programs like FaceTime. Yes I am aware of Skype. Basically, what can Microsoft do to penetrate this tablet area? The Surface Pro is excellent but out of the price range of those just looking for a toy. Why is the Surface RT a better toy than the iPad? I personally know the differences but can Microsoft entice your average consumer?

Surface RT is better than the iPad in the sets that thanks to Office, keyboard and mouse and desktop environment, it can replace a laptop for a large number of users who don't require running some old legacy Intel app. I am able to replace my work laptop with RT, since all my work apps are web based, not touch friendly though, but I just pull the touch cover and use it as laptop. Is a perfect laptop replacement for students.

My 70+ year old dad uses computers basically for email and banking websites, sometimes using Excel side to side, and I've seen him gravitate towards using mouse and keyboard when he does that on his new Surface RT simply because touch might be 'cool', but navigating banking websites is cumbersome with touch; sometimes you just need to cut the crap and work with muse and keyboard, until some day in the future when all websites are touch friendly.

Marzell said,

Just like a Microsoft lackey to think that the only way to be productive is to use Office or windows desktop. Ask the 10's of thousands of businesses, schools, hospitals, and musicians, that use the iPad everyday how much of a toy it is. The surface is just a net book that can occasionally be used as a tablet. Microsoft has missed the mark again. It's neither a good laptop or a tablet.

If you just step back and look at the integrated digitizer/stylus support of the non-RT versions, by the 'original' definition of what a 'tablet' is, naturally using handwriting and handwriting recognition is what the 'tablet' form factor was initially created for over 20+ years ago.

Microsoft has been at the center of 'tablet' computing longer than Apple has, yet the 'touch only' iPad is what people think when tablet is mentioned.

It is an interesting story how we got so mixed around about tablets/notebook and why Apple is trying to convince people they should remain separate.

The simple reason handwriting is not required or standard on tablets today isn't because Apple didn't want it, but because iOS didn't support it.

When Apple was first developing the iPad, their INTENT was to run OS X on it, but could NOT get OS X running on the class of hardware needed.

If Apple had succeeded, 'handwriting' would have been a 'must have' feature to be a viable 'tablet'. Instead Apple had to abandon OS X on the iPad and instead moved to scale up their phone OS, iOS, which had no handwriting technology.

Apple originally really liked the 'stylus/pen' concept for their tablet, because it offers pressure sensitive drawing and other features 'graphic designers' use everyday. However, since they couldn't deliver OS X on the iPad, this notion was thrown out and instead Apple told their customers that a pen/stylus was not needed and silly.

(PS iOS and OS X are not the same OS , and not even the same kernel, even though Apple tries to pass iOS as being the same kernel. Many of the OS X APIs implemented on iOS are for show, as they are not using the same code to implement the functionality.)

Apple's failure to get OS X on the iPad and later the iPhone (as they had planned) is why they are taking such a strong offensive stance against Microsoft for accomplishing with NT exactly what they wanted to do. It is why they are leading the argument against merging tablets/notebooks, even though this was their original intent just a few years ago.

In a few years when hardware catches up and OS X can run on beefier mobile hardware, Apple will tell the world that the desktop and tablet 'have finally merged' and proclaim they always believed they should.

Apple did this with numerous technologies going back to 'color' screens being frivolous for 'serious' graphics/business users to even voice dialing and 3rd party App support on the iPhone being unnecessary.

For a lot of people all this needs time to sink in. Especially with companies.
But when this picks up steam, it will excelerate fast.

At least that's what I see around me.

lmaobox said,
Still no way to buy Surface in my country, nice job Microsoft.

There are several other brand Windows 8 tablets that are in the same league as the Surface and a few that are even more feature rich.

You don't need to buy a Surface to gain access to the Windows 8 tablet ecosystem.

Windows tablets are expensive while providing very low amount of useful apps in Store, sdcard support can't compensate those.

These ads are great, because of the real world accounts alone. The obvious message from these is that it can do more than an iPad, but I wonder if thats still enough to get across to consumers.

I work in the hospital and use their EMR-based system through Cerner. Their program looks like windows XP even though all our computers are Windows 7 based.

wv@gt said,
remote desktop into XP

Even more impressive is the fact that the Pro runs HyperV. Which means that you can actually host an XP VM on it (or any other OS, really).

The sooner MS can make people realize this can be used as a full desktop/laptop/tablet replacement, the better.

I'm a software developer, and I have an 8-year old triple-display machine that I use to remote into development machines running elsewhere. I got myself a USB3 docking station, and now have my full keyboard, mouse, and three 1920x1200 monitors running off of my Surface Pro, which is (a) faster (b) does not generate heat, unlike the Athlon furnace it replaces, (c) is completely silent (d) boots up nearly instantaneously and (e) is way more portable than any laptop I've ever had.

They should get Marcus Bluestein to talk to Palmetto Health medical health group, who would probably recommend he go sign up with FlyWheel....

erikpienk said,
it has a i5 processor, it has already crushed all competition!

If only the battery life was better than the 5hrs max you can get. If a Haswell upgrade can get you that same i5 but with 8hrs then we're really talking.

My doctor was sporting a Surface Pro. He's an Apple guy but he "loves it!" and was considering a Windows Phone.

Edited by scumdogmillionaire, Jul 5 2013, 2:20pm :

Put that one on TV, if anyone still watches TV. I guess make it one of that Hulu ads that plays over and over and over on the same show.

From Last video
"Bastardized version of an Application"

That's golden and to the point of how other so called apps for Android/Ipad gives you a solution.

siah1214 said,
Good. The more people realize that tablets can be more than toys, the better

My iPad is not a toy. Maybe you dont know how to use it.

sanctified said,

My iPad is not a toy. Maybe you dont know how to use it.

You're right, 'toy' is a bit of hyperbole. However the iPad is a limited functionality device, where the Windows 8 tablets have access to the full range of computing features that a lot of people and professionals need.

Even in a 'home' environment it can be easily argued these features are important. Using one as an example, having the ability to switch users and protect your personal information is important or have access to only your content and settings is important.

Mobius Enigma said,

You're right, 'toy' is a bit of hyperbole. However the iPad is a limited functionality device, where the Windows 8 tablets have access to the full range of computing features that a lot of people and professionals need.

Even in a 'home' environment it can be easily argued these features are important. Using one as an example, having the ability to switch users and protect your personal information is important or have access to only your content and settings is important.

That I agree with that.

sanctified said,

My iPad is not a toy. Maybe you dont know how to use it.

well by definition it is a toy. Its main purpose is media cinsumption. Most of that media requires playing


In fact out of the top 3 things people use an iLad for

Playing games, playing movies and playing music makes it nothing more than a toy. Out of all the apps downloaded with the ipad? More than 80% of them are games. Seeing that it is nothing more than a 9.7inch ipod touch which also is used mostly games and music.

Iy may nkt be your primary usage, but forbsom r strange reason infind it hard to believe younuse it lrimarily for anything else. Bec itbsucks at anything productivity related. It even sucks with a stykus. Why? Bec its a toy.

TechieXP said,

Iy may nkt be your primary usage, but forbsom r strange reason infind it hard to believe younuse it lrimarily for anything else. Bec itbsucks at anything productivity related. It even sucks with a stykus. Why? Bec its a toy.

what?

sanctified said,

My iPad is not a toy. Maybe you dont know how to use it.

To be fair, is not a toy, there are many things you can do with it, thanks to the applications. But let's not forget that in the months prior to the announcement of the iPad everybody was excited and expecting a device that will fully replace the laptop, running a full OS, and there was disappointment when it turned out to run a limited phone OS instead.

Maybe because it would have been too complex to port OSX to ARM, or to make it a touch OS, or more power efficient quickly, Apple 'decided' for us that 'tablets cannot be used for productivity' and that 'nobody wants to run desktop apps in a tablet', and the marketing brainwash persisted for years.

But the reality is that people don't want to have to carry a laptop and a tablet, they want their apps and data available at all times, and if someone gave them a single device that could replace desktop, laptop and tablet, they would love it and prefer it. I travel with my Surface alone for work or leisure, use it for work apps or movies or games, I don't even have to take it out of the bag at the TSA checkpoints. This is what tablets intended to be, and it took some years, took some drastic changes in user interface, which are being received with some resistance and fear of change, it took also hardware advancement in low power CPU technology, but finally someone made the perfect tablet, the true laptop replacement, and like it or not, as unlikely as it could be, that someone was Microsoft. And I respect them for that, because competition was really tough and nasty, and it is so difficult to innovate when you depend on so many OEMs and third party hardware and software makers.