Original Link: http://daringfireball.net/linked/2013/10/23/shaw-standard

John Gruber talking about Microsoft’s Frank Shaw:

Microsoft’s Frank X. Shaw:

The Surface and Surface 2 are less expensive than the iPad 2 and iPad Air respectively, and yet offer more storage, both onboard and in the cloud.

… come with full versions of Office 2013, including Outlook, not non-standard, non-cross-platform, imitation apps that can’t share docs with the rest of the world.

I don’t want to argue about Shaw’s whole piece; overall, he makes a clear argument for Microsoft’s vision of tablet computing. But that second bullet point quoted above is a doozy. There’s nothing “standard” about Microsoft Office, and there’s nothing “imitation” about the iWork apps. Microsoft Office certainly remains the most-used office software in the world, but its ubiquity makes it no more a standard than Windows itself. But most interesting to me is the accusation that iWork is not “cross-platform” — what then, is the iWork for iCloud web app version of the suite?


Betting against the iPad as a device on which people can work, for any meaning of “work”, is a bad bet in the long run. Shaw though, is doubling down on just that bet.

Dave Mark, over at the Loop Insight also commented on Shaw’s article today:

And so it’s not surprising that we see other folks now talking about how much “work” you can get done on their devices. Adding watered down productivity apps. Bolting on aftermarket input devices. All in an effort to convince people that their entertainment devices are really work machines.

In that spirit, Apple announced yesterday that they were dropping their fees on their “iWork” suite of apps. Now, since iWork has never gotten much traction, and was already priced like an afterthought, it’s hardly that surprising or significant a move. And it doesn’t change the fact that it’s much harder to get work done on a device that lacks precision input and a desktop for true side-by-side multitasking.

Really Frank? How many tablets in the world have Word on them? How many have Pages? I would wager that any iPad productivity app will have more “traction” than any comparable Surface app.

And I use my iPad every single day, all without a single bolted on aftermarket input device, just the ones I was born with.

As to precision, I would love to see a side by side comparison of the iPad and Surface touch precision. I can’t imagine the Surface even coming close. Yeesh.

I have used both the iPad and the Surface… I use my iPad every day, I am writing on my iPad right this minute.

The Surface, I found you had to use the keyboard or a mouse when you entered desktop mode, Precision went out the window..

With the iPad, I do use a keyboard, but I don’t have to.. In fact, I really only use a keyboard when I want to do some heavy writing. I actually wrote the majority of the Twilio Cookbook on my iPad, and I’ve been using my iPad to work on the new book as well.

Jim Dalrymple said it best:

Shaw would do better by getting Microsoft to make a product that people actually want to buy.