Apple will find it hard to ignore Microsoft’s new $999 Surface Laptop

Microsoft is now “chasing another category many believe is Apple’s to lose: the $1,000 laptop for everyone,” Mark Gurman and Dina Bass write for Bloomberg. “Microsoft Corp., a company once derided for buggy software, unstable hardware and indifferent design, debuted the Surface Laptop on Tuesday. The machine boots up in seconds, has a touch screen and gets a claimed 14 hours of battery life (two better than Apple’s MacBook Air). Weighing in at 2.76 pounds, about a quarter-pound less than the Air, the Surface Laptop boasts a 13.5-inch screen and is one of the thinnest and lightest products in its class.”

“Microsoft is targeting the education market—and even threw laptops inside backpacks stuffed with textbooks, notepads and keys to simulate college-kid wear-and-tear,” Gurman and Bass write. “Yet the Surface Laptop’s affordable price, portability and features could appeal to a far broader audience—including Mac loyalists.”

MacDailyNews Take: Yeah, um… no. No macOS, no sale.

“In an effort to make the surface around the keyboard more pleasing to the eye and touch, designers used Alcantara, a synthetic microfiber that’s more durable than the suede it mimics,” Gurman and Bass write. “The finished laptop, milled from a slab of custom aluminum alloy, has no screws or holes, save for a pair of microphones to converse with Cortana, Microsoft’s voice assistant.”

Microsoft's new $999 Surface Laptop
Microsoft’s new $999 Surface Laptop

“With its hardware and software teams working together, Microsoft created a new version of its operating system, called Windows 10 S, that’s tailored to the laptop,” Gurman and Bass write. “(Users can still install Windows 10 Pro over Windows 10 S, but they won’t be able to switch back.) The OS also runs only apps offered on Microsoft’s app store.”

MacDailyNews Take: Wonder where they got that idea? Oh, yeah, the same place they got every good idea they’ve ever had.

“The laptop wakes from sleep almost instantly when the lid is opened, and takes seconds to turn on from a fully powered-off state,” Gurman and Bass write. “Meanwhile, Apple has come under fire from Mac owners for focusing on the iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch—and letting the Mac lineup languish. The Air hasn’t had a serious makeover since 2010, just a modest upgrade two years ago. Stung by the criticism from the disgruntled faithful, Apple has pledged to do better.”

MacDailyNews Take: No Continuity. It’s still Windows. Etc., etc. etc.

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Oh yeah? Well, we have THIS:

Designed by Apple in California
Designed by Apple in California

So, where’s your fscking $300 coffee-table book, Microsoft?

Hello, Microsoft? That’s right. Crickets.

Ball’s in your court, Apple. Try not to blow it this time.


    1. Reduce the price of the MacBook to $999, get rid of the Air completely, add another USB-C port to the other side… and BOOM, you’ve got competition. Until that happens, this Windows laptop will continue to take students money.

      1. Niether, I’ve been a Mac user and Apple fan since before the Mac came out. I am just telling it like it is and Apple has made a costly mistake with hardware. It will take years to catch up at this point. It might as well be 1995 again.

      2. Bravo, auramac, you win fanboy of the day award. What other excuses do you have for Apple getting schooled over and over again in the laptop market? There hasn’t been a Mac release in 7 years that set new standards in anything except price tag.

        And while MDN thinks MacOS is sticky enough to bring in future kids into the fold, the dumbing down of the Mac is now becoming too much to ignore. Facebookers and coffee shop hipsters that Apple has concentrated its rose gold designs to please don’t give a shite about MacOS, nor their privacy, nor security. Apple thinks that hardest any Mac user will push their machine is to run XCode. But they are dead wrong.

        There was a time when the Mac OS and later OS X were head and shoulders above any version of Windows in efficiency and performance. Since Snow Leopard, the gap has shrunk to insignificance, and in fact, many Macs have no choice but to run Windows software or at least Office for the Mac since Apple hasn’t done anything to attract premier software developers to prioritize Mac programs. That is reality when you have the do-nothing clowns at Apple, cashing their $22million annual paychecks and accomplishing practically nothing in Mac product improvements in years.

        Oh, unless those 2 mm shaved off the thickness of the last Mac Pro meant something to you. I’d rather Apple add 2mm back and have a real keyboard and a bigger battery in it. Yeah, that’s what passes for design innovation at Apple these days. And still Microsoft beats them at that game too.

          1. Steve repeatedly stated that the driving force for Apple needed to be “build great products” and not focus on stock returns. This scenario has happened to Apple before and if you could step back and look at the forest instead of some trees you will see that Apple is forgeting to build great products. It’s becoming like Microsoft, great for investors and horrible for users.

    1. Well they can just change the price on their current line of products and there you go, a sub $1000 laptop with not great specs. It’s absurd that apple has product lines that haven’t been updated in YEARS. One product focus is how companies die.

  1. Just another death blow to Apple. Why would I want to keep my apple products if there is no decent computer to be the center hub. Still on my 2009 imac as there is no decent replacement that is not a throw a way product. Considering my first ever PC purchase. HP work stations are an attractive, faster and more attractive alternative. Oh right I can upgrade or repair it also. You’re pissing me off apple.

      1. Reliability and usability are not hard to achieve. The key is to pick the right components, motherboard is most important.

        As far as cost, it can be as expensive or as cheap as you like. You can pick each and every component so you can go with very high end, very basic, or something in between.

        Stop by and take a look at the Golden Builds and Users Builds sub-forums for some great examples of what can be done.

      2. I’ve also considered that. I spoke to a couple of who did it and it can be a real hassle. They tell me when their hackintosh is running well it’s awesome, but updates can destroy that in seconds and each update needs a rework of a lot of things. I just want something that works. The thought of using windows day to day is horrifying, but having an imac that i can’t do basic video or photo processing is also horrifying. A dead hard drive requires great expense and downtime with current macs. I have spare hard drives at all times and if my imac goes down, i’m up in an hour and no trip to apple store, which is 2 hours away.

      3. There is a good article over at ArsTechnica about Hackintoshes.

        As others have stated, the article mentions TonyMacx86 as THE resource for Hackintoshes.

        I am not a Pro user but would buy a Pro machine for upgradability. Was planning on upgrading my 2011 Mac Mini to the 2014 version. As soon as I saw the specs I was fortunate to find brand new 2012 Mac Minis on sale at Best Buy. The 2012 Mac Mini is the pinical of the product line in my opinion. My 2012 Mac Mini has been upgraded to 16 Gb of RAM and a 2 TB solid state drive. Love the machine.

    1. All quite true. I’m still using my 2008 iMac. I’ve added RAM, installed a 1TB SSD and it’s fast enough for me. It’s not razor thin like the new ones, but I only take it off the desk about once a year so who cares?

      But I’m about to retire, and one of my “one of these days” projects was to import and edit a few hundred old family movies shot on VHS-C and Mini-DV. I would like to have a newer machine to do that on, but I’m not interested in a sealed unit. I’m looking instead at some refurbed MacBookPros from a few years ago.

    1. Even more unlikely, Apple’s claims for its MacBook with touch bar. I bought the touch bar, the one without the touch bar, and the latest Air (our fourth Air since they first came out). The top of the line with touch bar gets me about 5 hours if I’m lucky. We are writers, so not heavy battery usage. Apple’s explanation…must be something I’m doing (I’m a 27-year Mac user). The AIR is fantastic. Have loved all our Airs, although the original died too soon and the 11″ is now no longer in production. As for my 27″ iMacs, one is now 2013 and the other a couple years older. Wanting to update, but to what? Outdated equipment? Apple TV, still on 2. See nothing about the newer ones worth bothering with. It seems companies reach a certain point, then begin to lose it. I often wonder what all those people Apple employs do all day that we have such lousy output. I’ve got several iPads including the Pro 9.7, but the pencil is a huge disappointment–what the hell does it do unless you draw? Sign an odd document here and there. Useless for notating, underlining in books I read. Great ideas, neglected–that’s the Apple of today. For God’s sake, someone put a rocket under them! Oh, and my iPhone 7 Plus, damn display turns on every time I so much as touch it.

  2. That MS Surface Book seems OK, but the price is relatively high to compete with Chromebooks. I don’t expect those cheapskate schools to be paying $999 for that product. It’s definitely not going to have the resale value of an Apple product. How is customer service for Microsoft products? Is it as good as Apple’s service? I would expect some of MS’s hardware partners to undercut the price of a similar product just for spite which would likely hurt Surface Book sales.

    I don’t know why everyone in the media thinks every hardware product Microsoft offers is somehow going to hurt Apple in some significant way. Apple has all those retail stores pushing their products like crazy. I think that would be very difficult for MS to overcome when it comes to notebook sales. I don’t think Apple is even trying all that hard when it comes to media marketing their products.

  3. Another Kaby Lake machine released while Apple dithers.

    Do you guys remember when Apple took its role as a premium manufacturer seriously and made sure it was first in line for the latest chipsets?

    On the other hand, it does look like Microsoft missed a huge opportunity here. Dell and HP look like more future proofed machines in comparison. Microsoft oddly chose to stick with a an older USB3 connector in lieu of the newer USB-C. Also taking some bad cues from the current Apple anti-consumer playbook, Microsoft is forcing users to use only software downloaded from its store. Just like iOS. Even worse, everything is soldered, so future upgrades are just not in the cards. So while the Alcantara and styling are nice, I give the new Surface Laptop a failing grade. As a laptop, which most of us would desire to run any Windows application you may currently have, this device is almost as useless as an iPad Pro or underpowered 12″ MacBook netbook, but at a better price point that Apple cannot or will not compete with.

    Dell XPS for the win.

    1. At least Microsoft is making a move. It takes Apple 4 years to realize that Mac users are getting fed up with Macs that are underpowered overpriced and unfriendly to user repair/upgrade. Apple has no computer at this price and performance at all. Apple needs to deliver better value.

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