Timothy B. Lee, writing for Vox, says the Surface Pro 3 shows that Microsoft “doesn’t get the tablet revolution”:
But this makes as much sense as selling a digital camera that also takes film photographs. Anyone who needs the power of a PC can and should just buy a PC. The point of buying a tablet is that it’s cheaper, smaller, lighter, simpler, and more power-efficient than a traditional PC. Those advantages are only possible because tablets don’t try to be all things to all people.
I’m not sure Timothy is entirely correct here… I actually think Microsoft knows exactly what the iPad is and why it’s popular. What they are saying with the Surface Pro 3 is that the tablet form factor isn’t necessarily only for iPad-style devices, but that it’s a good form factor for full-featured PCs as well.
Microsoft has tried to push this with the Surface Pro from the beginning, and as Harry McCracken noted on Twitter, “Surface Pro 3 seems less like an iPad-era tablet, more like the Tablet PC which Microsoft couldn’t design in 2000.”
In other words, Microsoft’s point is less about Windows 8 vs. iOS, and more about the tablet vs. laptop form factor for full-featured PC users.