Microsoft Challenges MacBook Pro With Stunning Surface Book 2 – Forbes
Late last week Microsoft announced the next iteration of its own high-end fashionable laptop. The Surface Book 2 is arguably the third high-end laptop from Microsoft, following the Surface Book and Surface Book with Performance Base models. What is clear is that Microsoft continues to target the key demographics used by Apple’s MacBook Pro.
Two features stand out to me. The first is the inclusion of a model with a 15-inch screen. Maxing out the specifications on this and you can pick up a machine with 1 TB of storage, 16 GB of RAM, Intel’s eighth generation i7 processor and Nvidia’s GTX1060 graphics card. Which is frankly a beast of a machine and edges out the higher MacBook Pro specifications (although right now you can go for 2 TB of storage on the MacBook Pro).
The second stand out feature is the look and feel of the information page. While it does follow normal design trends and as such feels utterly unthreatening, it also managed to have an Apple-esque vibe with its wide graphics, promotional videos, definitive statements such as “The most powerful Surface ever”.
It’s pretty clear that Microsoft is targeting the same demographic as Apple, with broadly similar techniques. And why not? The influential core of designers, developers and bleeding-edge geeks kept the Mac project alive in the nineties with a small but influential market share. The Surface Book 2 should continue Microsoft’s push to attract this audience that started with devices like the original Surface Book and the Surface Studio, as well as continue to promote what Windows 10 can do today and guide manufacturers towards specific design modes.
Microsoft has one key advantage over the MacBook Pro machines. The Surface Book 2 (and the other Surface machines) are built around Microsoft’s core product pairing of Windows 10 and the Microsoft cloud. Following the effective cancellation of Windows 10 on Mobile, the Surface Book 2 will pick up all the benefits of Microsfot’s primary development work.
Contrast that with Apple, where all the glory and the technology is handed to the iOS-powered smartphones. Tha majority of new features to macOS tend to be closely tied to iOS features and intended to drag the desk-bound computers into a subservient role to the iPhone. The Mac range, including the top-line MacBook Pro, will always be second best in terms of hardware and software in the eyes of Apple.
The Surface Book 2 will be seen as Microsoft’s flagship machine class, picking up the latest software benefits and demonstrating all of Microsoft’s power in a single box. It offers the complete focus of Redmond in a single package and a clear vision of the future. That’s something that generates both short-term passion and long-term fanatical adoption of a platform, which in turn shows Microsoft’s path forward for the enterprise and consumer customers who are paying attention.