Microsoft has poured scorn on Apple's latest iPad range in the face of its own Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 range, claiming its devices offer a far better user experience. It also dismissed Apple's decision to offer its iWork apps for free.
In a blog post Microsoft's head of communications, Frank Shaw, said that while some had seen the move by Apple to offer its apps for free as a "shot across the bows", it was in fact "an attempt to play catch up" as Apple struggles to gain traction with enterprises users.
"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," he said.
"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."
Shaw went on to tout the capabilities of the firm's Surface range of devices over the iPad. He not only claimed they are cheaper, but said that with a raft of extension options, such as kickstands, USB ports and SD cards, they are more suited to real-life users.
He also said that the ability to have multiple screens open at once was far more useful for "the way most people actually work".
While Microsoft's arguments may chime with some, the fact that more than 170 million iPad devices have been sold to date somewhat undermines Microsoft's position. Coupled with this, the firm sold a fairly meagre $853m worth of Surface tablets in its first attempt to enter the hardware market.
However, with the new devices in the range now available and running the updated Windows 8.1 operating system, Microsoft will be hoping for more success the second time around. But Apple will still prove tough competition thanks to its new iPad Air and iPad Mini 2 devices.
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