CEO Satya Nadella has turned Microsoft around. It is relevant again. Things didn't look that way when he took over the
company. His switch of focus to the cloud was timely and has been a huge success. Much of what he says and does is
Much, but not everything.
In November, Nadella made a playful, off-the-cuff remark about an Apple iPad not being a proper computer. The comment
should not be taken too seriously. But as Sahil Mohan Gupta notes at Tech Radar
, Nadella's words speaks volume about where Microsoft is heading and how it views computing.
No doubt Nadella thinks all computers made by Microsoft are real computers. Even if some of those computers share a lot
with the iPad Pro. Microsoft's Surface models have many good points. They also have well documented flaws and angry customers
. Making too much of a comparison with iPads could backfire on Microsoft.
Nadella's comments got me thinking about the iPad, especially the large 12.9-inch iPad Pro. I use one now as my main mobile computer
As far as I'm concerned it is a proper computer. It seems the best computer for a technology writer on the move,
although others may not agree with me. Apart from anything else I find writing long documents on the iPad Pro is at
least as easy as working on a Mac. There's something about iOS 11 that helps me focus more on the job in front of me.
iPad Pro ready for serious work
A year ago the iPad Pro was not ready for serious use. The software didn't handle files outside of application silos.
Moving text from, say, a word processor to a text processor or a web-based app was simple enough. But opening a document
in a different app was often tricky.
Dealing with attachments that arrived through mail was just as hard. There were basic things the iPad could not do. My
router needed a firmware update. The new software arrived as a zip file, needs unpacking and uploading. The old version
of iOS couldn't handle that. The new iOS 11 makes it all possible.
While there are still times I need to reach for the MacBook, those 'need' times are fewer and fewer. It's already a real
There is a Windows computer that is mainly used for games, for running digital audio workshop software and for testing
Windows apps. Increasingly Windows looks old-fashioned and iOS looks like the future.
This isn't everyone's view, many people reading this will scoff at the idea.
Yet despite Nadella's comments, Microsoft takes the iPad seriously enough to make sure its key productivity apps and OneDrive
all work on the iOS hardware and stay bang-up-to-date. I'd argue that Word is better on the iPad Pro than on a Mac and
possibly even better than on Windows. What could be more serious than that?
Time to take Apple's iPad Pro seriously
was first posted at billbennett.co.nz.