iPad vs. Surface Pro: You Might Not Guess Which One Tech Workers Want

Forrester Research, a technology research firm, polled 9,766 information workers and found that 32% of them want a Microsoft Surface Pro, while only 26% would prefer the Apple iPad. This sample size reflects a pent-up demand for an alternative to the iPad, which has dominated the tablet market since it was first launched in April 2010. 

This is good news for Microsoft, which has seen a steady decline in brand and consumer loyalty over the last decade. The Surface Pro has not received outstanding reviews, with Wall Street Journal's Walt Mossberg summarizing it as heavy and expensive, and likening it to a lightweight laptop more than a usable tablet. However, the results of the study are more of an indicator that the iOS ecosystem may finally be slipping from the title of most desired.

The iPad's dominance has been mostly fueled by the 300,000+ third party applications developed for the robust iTunes App Store; however Apple has always stalled the technology features in the iPad. For instance, Apple introduced the front-facing camera on the iPhone 4 in June, 2010, only two months after launching the first generation of the iPad, which indicates that they already possessed the basic design and hardware capabilities, but have staggered innovation with every model to keep prices high. Nonetheless, the iPad remains the leader in the tablet market, and the study also showed that 33% of the polled workers will be buying an iPhone next.

Comparatively, Microsoft has struggled to engage third party developers to build a similarly attractive app ecosystem, even fumbling during the launch of the Surface by only allowing 10,000 third party applications, of which only 5,000 were in the U.S. One of the casualties of this problem is the Nokia Lumia, which runs on Windows 8, has been ranked a better phone than the iPhone, but has stagnated due to the lack of applications developed for it. Apart from the historic nature of the Surface — the first computing device built entirely by Microsoft — it has a far way to go before it can credibly start chipping away at Apple's market dominance.

With the growing prominence of mobile computing, enterprise sales will be the final frontier of the Surface versus iPad war. Apple has been aggressively pursuing the enterprise market, and Surface will have to catch up territory. Luckily, Surface has the productivity software of MS Office that has been the business standard for almost 20 years now, but Windows 8 and Surface's biggest obstacle is the unfamiliarity of the completely overhauled design.

The sampled tech workers may be yearning for a new, design-centric approach to mobile computing, and it remains to be seen whether Microsoft's foray into hardware production and painstaking rehashing of Windows 8 will finally provide a real competitor to the iPad.

How much do you trust the information in this article?

Shwetika Baijal

Shwetika is PolicyMic's first columnist and writes for the Millenials and the Media column. She focuses on how the media frames policy and cultural issues, how the media's framing effects public opinion, and in turn how public opinion affects the policies and issues under discussion.

MORE FROM

‘Girls Trip’ finishes second at the box office, outperforming expectations

The film's success once again demonstrates how diverse films are underestimated at the box office.

‘Insecure’ season two is television for us, by us — and it’s even better than before

Creator Issa Rae shouldn't sweat the Emmy snub — her connection with her core audience is what really makes this series shine.

We talked to military experts about who will win the Iron Throne

Does Dany have a chance? Historians, tacticians and scholars weigh in on the ultimate outcome of 'Game of Thrones.'

‘Game of Thrones’ Season 7, Episode 2 Trailer: New alliances may form in “Stormborn”

Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen may have an unexpected intermediary.

Tyler, the Creator is still a “walking paradox” on the rumor-baiting ‘Flower Boy’

Is he queer? Maybe. Does he know how to use the speculation to further his art? Definitely.

Note to Ryan Murphy: ‘American Horror Story’ reveals don’t need to be a scavenger hunt

The title and premiere date of the seventh season of 'American Horror Story' were revealed Thursday.

‘Girls Trip’ finishes second at the box office, outperforming expectations

The film's success once again demonstrates how diverse films are underestimated at the box office.

‘Insecure’ season two is television for us, by us — and it’s even better than before

Creator Issa Rae shouldn't sweat the Emmy snub — her connection with her core audience is what really makes this series shine.

We talked to military experts about who will win the Iron Throne

Does Dany have a chance? Historians, tacticians and scholars weigh in on the ultimate outcome of 'Game of Thrones.'

‘Game of Thrones’ Season 7, Episode 2 Trailer: New alliances may form in “Stormborn”

Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen may have an unexpected intermediary.

Tyler, the Creator is still a “walking paradox” on the rumor-baiting ‘Flower Boy’

Is he queer? Maybe. Does he know how to use the speculation to further his art? Definitely.

Note to Ryan Murphy: ‘American Horror Story’ reveals don’t need to be a scavenger hunt

The title and premiere date of the seventh season of 'American Horror Story' were revealed Thursday.