Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 11th Nov 2015 13:53 UTC

The reviews for the Apple Surface are coming in. There's two reviews at The Verge, one at the Wall Street Journal, and John Gruber's got early access from Apple as well.

The general gist? If you've ever read a Surface Pro review, you've read all the iPad Pro reviews. Well, mostly - the complaints leveled at the Surface Pro are being tip-toed around a bit now that they apply to an Apple product, of course, and suddenly, the magic argument "but it will get better in the future" is now completely valid, while the same argument is never considered valid for the Surface Pro (or something like the Priv and its early bugs).

That being said, all reviews dive into just how uncomfortable the iPad Pro is to use as a laptop - and the problem, of course, is iOS itself. iOS is a mobile, touch-first operating system that Apple is now trying to shoehorn into a laptop role. iOS provides no support for mice or trackpads, and the keyboard and iOS lack most basic shortcut keys, so in order to do anything other than typing, you'll need to lift your arm and reach for the screen to use touch. This is something Apple has mocked for years as the reason not to include touch on laptops, and now they release a device which requires it 100%.

This is what happens when you run out of ideas and try to shoehorn your cashcow - iOS - into a role it was never intended to fulfill, without being gutsy enough to make the changes it requires. The iPad Pro is clearly screaming for a touchpad (and proper keyboard shortcuts), but it doesn't have any, and according to John Gruber, it never will (a comment I filed away for later when Apple inevitably adds mouse support to iOS).

Microsoft's Surface may not be perfect, but its problems stem almost exclusively not from a lack in hardware capability or a faulty concept, but from Microsoft's Metro environment being utterly shit. The concept of having a tablet and a laptop in the same device, seamlessly switching between a tablet UI and a desktop UI, is sound - the only problem is that Microsoft doesn't have a working tablet UI and applications. Meanwhile, trying to shoehorn a mobile, touch-first UI into a laptop form factor is just as silly and idiotic as trying to shoehorn a desktop UI into a mobile, touch-first form factor - and Apple should know better.

Or should they? Paul Thurrott, earlier this week:

While the iPad Pro was in many ways inevitable, it also points to a crisis of original thought at Apple, which has been coasting on the iPhone’s coattails for perhaps too long. At Apple, the solution to every problem is another iPhone. And the iPad Pro, like the new Apple TV and the Apple Watch, is really just another attempt to duplicate that singular success in other markets.

Thurrott really hits the nail on the head. The iPhone became a success because Apple sought - and succeeded in - designing an interface and interaction model that was specifically designed for the iPhone's input methods - the multitouch display, the home button. Ever since that major big hit, they've been trying to shoehorn that exact same interface and interaction model into every major new product - the Apple Watch, the new Apple TV, and now the iPad Pro. However, if there's one thing we've learned from Palm OS (pen-first, mobile-first) and iOS (multitouch-first, mobile-first), it's that every form factor needs a tailored interaction model - not a shoehorned one.

When you're a hammer, every problem looks like a nail - which sums up Apple's new major product lines ever since the release of the iPhone, and the iPad Pro seems no different. It will do great as an iPad+, but beyond that? It's not going to make a single, meaningful dent, without considerable restructuring of iOS' UI and interaction models - and lots and lots of crow.

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Apple just started giving (some) people the option to choose a Mac instead of a PC. They surely cannot know if there are cost savings yet. All I heard was "our new deployment method for Macs is so much better that it saves us a lot of support calls".

Yes, that was the old story. New story has IBM estimating current TCO reduction of $270 per Windows PC replaced with a Mac.

The original iPad is only a few years old and even on my iPad 2 I cannot run iOS9 without an incredible amount of problems and slowdowns.
It's 5 years old to be precise.
And still that is besides the point. You can run the old apps on newer iPads, which is what is important. The iPads themselves will be on a hardware replacement cycle which reflects the Apple support cycle.

Can I put iOS8 back on an iPad if iOS9 doesn't work?
If it doesn't work then you don't upgrade. No enterprise will upgrade all their PCs, iPads or Macs to a new operating system version before testing everything.

Hardly anyone uses apps on OSX and Windows, they run "real programs".
In contrast to PCs/Macs, iPads in the enterprise depend on specially made apps.

I don't think the word IBM was even mentioned during the iPad Pro presentation. Adobe..check, Microsoft..check, creative/artist/medical..check but no IBM. Actually I haven't seen any of the IBM apps used "in the wild". This is certainly something that Apple wants to happen, but it doesn't seem that Apple is making it happen.
The share of iPads in the enterprise is still quite small and there are only a limited number of use cases yet, so it is not surprising what you haven't seen any there. Why they didn't mention the IBM cooperation I don't know, but I guess they didn't see any advantage in doing so during the iPad Pro presentations, and they had a mentioning of IBM with the TCO thing during their earnings call.

Tablet sales haven't been declining, iPad sales have been declining. PC sales have not been declining because they aren't used anymore, they have been declining because upgrade cycles have changed from 2-3 years to 5-10 years. And all of this is a matter of qualification anyway. Should a Microsoft Surface count as a Tablet? Should an Android tablet that is only used to play media/browse without any sold apps be compared with an iPad Pro?
About Tablet sales you are right, thanks for the correction. I had the market share of personal computing devices in mind.

PC upgrade cycles have been increasing because people are shifting more usage towards mobile/handheld devices and thus don't have as much reason to replace an ageing PC as they used to.

any Enterprise Killer App
There are a number of enterprise iOS apps already. Neither will threaten the PC (so no "killer app"), but they demonstrate that the iPad can be used in the enterprise, successfully.

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