Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
Microsoft Apple

Apple CEO Tim Cook: "Microsoft Surface Book Tries Too Hard To Do Too Much" (hothardware.com) 478

MojoKid writes: Apple CEO Tim Cook isn't making any friends on the PC side of the aisle this week. Cook took to the interview circuit this week to heavily promote the release of the new 12.9-inch iPad Pro and didn't waste any time kicking some dirt in the eyes of PC consumers around the world. When questioned on his thoughts about PCs, Cook wondered, "I think if you're looking at a PC, why would you buy a PC anymore? No really, why would you buy one?" Many would take issue with those comments. But we'll leave those comments behind, because Cook decided to set his targets on the current darling of the PC community — the Microsoft Surface Book. Even though Cook says that his company's relationship with Microsoft is "really good," he went on to say that the Surface Book "tries too hard to do too much" and that "it's trying to be a tablet and a notebook and it really succeeds at being neither." It will be interesting to see Mr. Cook's reaction as sales figures for the device roll in post holiday shopping season.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Apple CEO Tim Cook: "Microsoft Surface Book Tries Too Hard To Do Too Much"

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 11, 2015 @11:07PM (#50912609)

    He's trying to defend his design calls of the ipad "pro".

    The fact of the matter is that, if it weren't for Windows 10, I'd probably be looking at a surface over the ipad "pro" because it's more versatile and makes more sense. But I don't like where MS seems to be going with Windows 10's spyware and forcing everyone onto updates - So I'm holding off on any purchases for now.

    • if he didnt see it as a threat, he would ignore it like all the other devices that compete.

      I saw one in a MS store the other day and while its too rich for my blood, If i had the money to choose between surfacebook and ipad pro, im going surfacebook
      • by TWX ( 665546 ) on Wednesday November 11, 2015 @11:46PM (#50912803)
        Work issued to me a Thinkpad Yoga with the 12.5" screen, i5, 4GB RAM. It works so well that when my wife needed a new computer to replace the old Thinkpad X301 she bought the i7 version with 8GB RAM. It's running Windows 8.1 and we currently have no desire to change that.

        Cook is right, it is neither a perfect laptop nor a perfect tablet, but when she was traveling and going to be gone for about three weeks for a family emergency without reliable Internet access it made for an excellent platform on which to watch movies and TV shows, a good book reader, a good casual simple game computer (ie, emulated card and tile games), and a good computer on which to take notes. It also allowed her to do some work when she could occasionally get Internet access as it ran full versions of productivity programs.

        If I want a toy I'll buy something that's only a tablet. If I want a computer to do work on then at a minimum I want something that runs a conventional computer operating system.
    • He's trying to defend his design calls of the ipad "pro".

      The fact of the matter is that, if it weren't for Windows 10, I'd probably be looking at a surface over the ipad "pro" because it's more versatile and makes more sense. But I don't like where MS seems to be going with Windows 10's spyware and forcing everyone onto updates - So I'm holding off on any purchases for now.

      I get your point about the spyware & forced updates.

      However, Windows 8 tries to be both a PC OS and a tablet OS, and succeeds in neither. If you try using it as a tablet - as I did w/ my Winbook - it goes into the desktop mode w/ most of your common apps. Unless you were using News, Food & Drink, Health, Travel and those metro apps. Many of which are now discontinued in Windows 10. But in most cases, like if you were using Internet Explorer, it forces you into the desktop. Why?

      And if you g

  • by rmdingler ( 1955220 ) on Wednesday November 11, 2015 @11:09PM (#50912619) Journal
    Honestly, you could do worse...

    nonetheless, it is plausible that Tim Cook's assertions about the Microsoft product are possibly not completely unbiased.

    • by lgw ( 121541 ) on Thursday November 12, 2015 @12:42AM (#50913037) Journal

      Honestly, you could do worse...

      I've been using a Surface 3 for a while now, which might still be relevant to the new stuff:

      * It's a perfectly good lightweight touchscreen Windows laptop, solidly built it a bit pricey for the specs.

      * It's a poor tablet for normal home tablet use without the keyboard, because Windows software especially games just expects a keyboard, and the onscreen keyboard lacks important keys like "Escape". (Plus there's not a single consistent right-click gesture.)

      * It's great tablet for special cases like taking notes with the stylus, or anything that there's actually an app store app for (for me, Kindle and Audible are important, and it's just fine there).

      So, if I think of it as a lightweight laptop, also usable as a table for a few specific needs, I think it's great. But I won't be sitting on the couch playing games with it.

      • * Only if you don't include the weight and battery life among those specs. As a computer, it's overpriced. As a *portable* computer, it's just about smack in the middle of the pack for its class, price-wise.

        * Switch the touch keyboard to the "Standard" or full layout. It has the meta keys you are looking for. You may need to enable it. In Win10, the setting is at Settings -> Devices -> Typing -> "Add the standard keyboard layout as a touch keyboard option".

        * In desktop apps (i.e. non-Store apps), tap-and-hold is always right-click. In Win8.x Windows Store apps, right-clicking brings up the app bar; you can also achieve this by swiping in to the screen from above or below.

        * I generally avoid the app store stuff - for me, its limitations aren't worth it, even in a touch environment, and that's without even getting into the fact that it's a DRM system.

    • by Big Hairy Ian ( 1155547 ) on Thursday November 12, 2015 @08:46AM (#50914165)
      I think it's the "We can't do as much as Surface therefor Surface is trying to do too much" attitude
  • I remember a time... (Score:4, Informative)

    by mikaere ( 748605 ) on Wednesday November 11, 2015 @11:13PM (#50912637)
    when Apple just got on with it a made good products. Now they need to spread FUD about a competing product ?

    I've got a Surface Pro 3 - it's a great laptop replacement and the tablet form factor is handy for some situations and the fact that it runs standard Windows software makes it a great device. Unless your work consists of surfing the web and sending the odd email, why would anyone want an iPad Pro ?
    • by ShanghaiBill ( 739463 ) on Wednesday November 11, 2015 @11:19PM (#50912675)

      when Apple just got on with it a made good products. Now they need to spread FUD about a competing product ?

      There was never a time when Apple refrained from spreading FUD. Their iconic 1984 super bowl ad was an attack on IBM, and said nothing about the features or benefits of their own products. Steve Jobs regularly made ad hominem insults against Bill Gates, John Scully, etc.

      • This isn't FUD. FUD = "Fear, uncertainty, and doubt." He's not even implying that the Surface will possibly eat your babies. He's not even saying that it sucks. He's just saying that it's not great.
    • by cfalcon ( 779563 )

      > why would anyone want an iPad Pro ?

      You don't have to deal with Microsoft, plays all or almost all your ios games, has a great stylus that appears to be suitable for professional work (I can't speak to this personally, but the artist forums are abuzz for damned sure), and syncs up with all your Apple Drama, assuming you roll that way.

      The surface has some serious weight behind it to, and anyone might prefer to deal with Microsoft over dealing with Apple- it's not crapware, and Cook is obviously shit talk

    • by guacamole ( 24270 ) on Thursday November 12, 2015 @01:07AM (#50913095)

      Apple was always about FUD or making ridiculous marketing claims. I recall how in 1998, when they came up with the G3 PowerPC based computers, they were making the ridiculous claim that 233MHz G3 in an iMac was faster than 400MHz Pentium II, even though the claims were not based on some real world usage experience or benchmarks like spec int, but on some obscure Photoshop based benchmark if I recall that correctly. By the time Apple started using the G4 processors, claiming to be faster than Intel was not enough. Now they claimed that G4 is a supercomputer processor. Then couple of years later they announce the switch-over to Intel.. surprise surprise.

      Granted, in the more recent times Apple hardware has usually been top notch, but companies will always have a need to spread marketing FUD against the competitor products..

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by aralin ( 107264 )

        This post, to an old timer like me is absolutely excellent source of entertainment. Do you know the origin of the term FUD? I'd like to refer you to wikipedia, which has it more or less right. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

        As for the G3,G4 and even G5, they were faster, in some case more than twice as fast even on Intel's own benchmark than contemporary Intel chips. But they were expensive and the economy of scale was in favor of Intel. If Apple wanted to ever compete on cost with comparable high end Win

        • by Macfox ( 50100 ) on Thursday November 12, 2015 @02:53AM (#50913385) Homepage
          The G's were rarely faster. And the ones that were, cost vastly more. Kinda like saying "my Ferrari is faster than the average consumer sedan....So there!" The whole photoshop benchmark was a joke. Basically comparing optimised PPC PS plugins against vanilla x86 plugins, processing rather large images to exaggerate the difference. Anyone that worked with both on a daily basis knew the truth. The one thing Apple had going for it was it's elegant structure ("System" OS). No DLL hell, simple drag and drop. No Install/uninstall. Just delete the files. But that was all lost in the switch PPC and I guess need for extensible OS with the various clones. OSX just shoves all the nastiness under the rug.
      • You're mistaken about the G3 and G4 processors. This is going back a bit, so there may be some errors. Back when the G3 was very, very new, the company I was working for got a new IBM workstation running off a G3, I think or perhaps some very closely related version of PowerPC. Holy crap that thing was *FAST*.

        To set the scene:

        Bear in mind this company made CFD software which is one of those applications for which no CPU will ever be fast enough. However much computing power you have, you can always shrink t

  • To Quote Gandhi (Score:4, Insightful)

    by R3d M3rcury ( 871886 ) on Wednesday November 11, 2015 @11:19PM (#50912677) Journal

    "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win."

    Maybe we'll see Apple come up with a iPad Duo Dock [wikipedia.org] at some point. "It's not the same thing, though..."

  • by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) on Wednesday November 11, 2015 @11:20PM (#50912681) Journal

    "I think if you're looking at a PC, why would you buy a PC anymore? No really, why would you buy one?"

    To run ProTools with all the plugins?

    Am I the only one who remembers when Apple made machines for creative people? An iPad Pro is useless for them, except for being able to write an email to your parents asking for more money.

    • artists and whatnot. Or hobbyists. Yeah, yeah, lots of exceptions, but they weren't a good market once PC multimedia caught up. The Sound Blaster Live with it's dirt cheap Midi and good enough recording was a big hit. Then Intel caught up with PowerPC on Photoshop benchmarks and they lost the Printshops. They could have chased after them, but why bother when veblen goods were bringing in so much more and when they'd already almost bought the farm chasing after PCs.
    • all my audio/video friends who need on the go type machines have traded their macbooks in for surfaces when the 2 first came out.
    • by cfalcon ( 779563 )

      > An iPad Pro is useless for them, except for being able to write an email to your parents asking for more money

      While time will tell on this, a lot of people are excited about apple pencil, and I'm pretty sure there are artists that are planning on using it with their current app set (Adobe, Procreate, etc.). I doubt you could compile on it, but I bet you can draw.

      It's still speculation, but that seems to be what people are saying... so far.

      • Yes but none of the adobe software runs on the ipad except for some crippled drawing sofware, so you will need a 'real' computer to do anything with what you create with it. The surface pro has pressure sensitive stylus and can run the full version of photoshop.

  • Flamebait (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ShnowDoggie ( 858806 ) on Wednesday November 11, 2015 @11:28PM (#50912721)
    There was quite a bit of context hothardware left out. I am calling it - flame bait.
    • Maybe (Score:5, Informative)

      by rsilvergun ( 571051 ) on Wednesday November 11, 2015 @11:40PM (#50912777)
      but the Penny Arcade folks made a good point about the new surface: it's not powerful enough to drive that ultra high res display w/o input lag. If you're just mousing with a stylus you won't notice, but their artist noticed the lag right away. Yeah, he could drop res, but that means not running in the panels native res. He was using a Surface Pro 1 on the road, might still be.
  • I myself don't do any graphics/audio/video editing or creation, but I'd like to hear from people who are. As I understand, traditionally Macs were the most popular tool for the job. Is that still true? Has anyone transitioned to a tablet to do most of their work?
    • by Dracos ( 107777 )

      Since Apple moved to Intel chips, the Mac/PC divide has become mostly about branding.

      The important thing about graphics/video/audio that these are among the most complex workflows that exist, and become exponentially more cumbersome without a full keyboard and multi-button mouse. A touchscreen by itself is a regression in HID capability... that's why people don't find and paste the link into the conversation from their phone, they apologize for not being able to do so instead.

      • by cfalcon ( 779563 )

        There's a giant wad of stuff that doesn't have OS X versions (or Linux versions). Games are the biggest offenders, but so are the one-off tools that many people require. There's stuff that goes the other way too, but I'm of the opinion that each of these big OSes offers a workflow that is not entirely compatible with the others.

  • Well there are two in my house and two laptops. Both desktops get constant use and one is used by me to do everything computer wise, run and play my game server, do graphics work, work on my shops websites, browse the internet you know the regular things you do. When I play my game and chat with others on iRC there's TONS of you 14+ year old to 60+ using PC's My kids who is 16 spends most of his time on his with two monitors playing games on one and having the internet on the other screen.

    Me thinks that com

  • by Osgeld ( 1900440 ) on Thursday November 12, 2015 @12:26AM (#50912975)

    Cause I have work to do

  • by swb ( 14022 ) on Thursday November 12, 2015 @08:53AM (#50914203)

    I've owned all the iPhones between 3G and 6 Plus, iPad 1 and 3. And I own a Surface Pro 2 which I use as my daily laptop for work.

    I think the iPad would gain greatly in broader use cases if they would just allow bluetooth mice pairing.

    I begrudgingly accept at least one likely "altruistic" reason why they didn't, because they thought it would pollute the touch screen UI. I'm sure there were more mercenary concerns that it might undercut the sales of some Macbooks, too.

    IMHO, the iPad has been a great tablet for uses where a traditional laptop is just too much computer. Couch surfing, lying in bed, airplanes, all places where extreme simplicity and smaller form factor is beneficial.

    But I think the touch-only user interface has limits on usability. I have some drawing apps and while the developers seem to have gone out of their way to make it useful with a touch screen, it seems to lend itself to MORE UI complexity with only touch than it would if you had a higher precision pointing system. Then there's uses like as an RDP client where you're interfacing with a mouse-centric UI like Windows where touch is just awkward.

    Maybe they're still stuck on ideology or maybe it's all about commerce, but I think one of the reason iPad sales may be flagging somewhat is that whatever the reason, without a mouse there's only so much you can do with it.

Executive ability is deciding quickly and getting somebody else to do the work. -- John G. Pollard