iPad ‘Pro’ Rumored To Compete With Surface

2/7/13 5:43PM EST

microsoftsurface iPad Pro Rumored To Compete With Surface

With a prediction from Forrester that 200 million workers will be buying a Windows tablet, Apple may be considering adding an iPad “Pro” to the market.

According to Forrester Research’s annual survey of approximately 10,000 people globally that use PCs to work, 32 percent surveyed said that they preferred Windows over Apple for business purposes. There’s only about 2 percent now that use a Windows tablet for work purposes.

Forrester’s predictions indicate that Apple will still be the smartphone manufacturer of choice among business users. It’s somewhat of a conflicting prediction. It could be that business users just prefer Windows applications like the Office suite available on tablets. A recent surveyed showed that  26 percent of consumers prefer an iPad, while 32 percent had their eyes set on Windows tablets.

Regardless of Forrester’s predictions, Apple believes that the iPad will take enterprise customers by storm.

Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing said in a recent statement regarding the new 128GB device, “With more than 120 million iPads sold, it’s clear that customers around the world love their iPads, and everyday they are finding more great reasons to work, learn and play on their iPads rather than their old PCs… With twice the storage capacity and an unparalleled selection of over 300,000 native iPad apps, enterprises, educators and artists have even more reasons to use iPad for all their business and personal needs.

He also added that “virtually all of the Fortune 500 and over 85 percent of the Global 500 [are] currently deploying or testing iPad” in industries ranging from medical to film.

Microsoft is attempting to offer customers the best of both worlds by allowing users on their devices to multitask, something that the iPad currently lacks. It’s probably the biggest difference between the two devices.

Tim Cook, Apple CEO, described Microsoft’s Surface tablet as a “fairly compromised, confusing product,” and added that “I don’t think it would do all of those things very well…” discussing the available features, and a graphical user interface that in his opinion seemed less intuitive and more of a burden for device users.

A former Apple executive, Jean Louis Gassée, discussed the problem with an Apple “Pro” in a recent statement:

Once I start writing, I want to look through the research material I’ve compiled. On a Mac, I simply open an Evernote window, side-by-side with my Pages document: select, drag, drop. I take some partial screenshots, annotate graphs (such as the iPad Pro prices above), convert images to the .png format used to put the Monday Note on the Web….On the iPad, these tasks are complicated and cumbersome… For starters — and to belabor the obvious — I can’t open multiple windows. iOS uses the “one thing at a time” model. I can’t select/drag/drop, I have to switch from Pages to Evernote or Safari, select and copy a quote, and then switch back to the document and paste….Adding a hyperlink is even more tortuous and, at times, confusing….and things get worse for graphics.

He also added that, “The more complex the task, the more our beloved 30-year-old personal computer is up to it. But there is now room above the enforced simplicity that made the iPad’s success for UI changes allowing a modicum of real-world “Pro” workflow on iPads.

We’ll have to wait and see if Apple has an iPad “Pro” in development. Until then a good thing to keep an eye on the success of Microsoft’s Surface Pro. If it is successful, Apple very well may introduce a new line of iPads in the near future.

[Image via Microsoft]