Microsoft’s Surface Pro Works Like a Tablet and a PC; has Drawbacks of Both

David Pogue reviews the Surface Pro over at The NYT — this is the full-blown Windows 8 version of Microsoft’s tablet. (Yes, that one.) Things start to look a bit dubious when “TileWorld” (the Metro UI) is brought up:

(Since Microsoft refuses to give this environment a name, let’s go with TileWorld.)

TileWorld has been jarringly stapled to the regular Windows desktop underneath it. You wind up with two Web browsers, two control panels, two Mail programs, two completely different looks.

That doesn’t sound particularly user-friendly. Battery doesn’t fare much better — emphasis mine:

Microsoft says the Pro will get about half the battery life of the non-Pro Surface, which would mean about 4.5 hours. I say, you’ll get 4.5 if you’re lucky; I barely got 3.5 hours from a charge.

Ouch.

Guess that’s why there aren’t many other two-pound, half-inch-thick laptops with Intel i5 processors.

I guess so.

Windows 8 Failed to Reverse PC Slump During Holidays

Sorry to start off Monday with such negative news, but some details from this article in the NYT are interesting:

For weeks, there have been signs that the public was not buying new PCs over the holidays in the numbers many had hoped. Now add to them new figures from IDC, one of the best-known scorekeepers for the market, showing that worldwide PC shipments declined 6.4 percent in the fourth quarter from a year earlier.

That decline was worse than the 4.4 percent drop that IDC had previously forecast for the fourth quarter. It was also a sign that the biggest thing to happen to the PC business in years — Microsoft’s release of the Windows 8 operating system and the millions of dollars that went into promoting it — did not rescue an industry that suffered a nasty sales slump for most of last year.

Then:

Microsoft and Intel will suffer further, with the Wintel PC market share expected to decline to 65 percent in 2013, from 72 percent in 2012.

Firstly, it’s worth noting that I find this hardly surprising.

Additionally, I think this great image shows exactly what Nick Wingfield, the writer of the NYT piece, was trying to explain. There’s certainly a trend in Wintel computers, and it isn’t a positive one.

The iPhone is Apple's heart

It's easy to forget just how important the iPhone is to Apple's business. Nick Wingfield writes a great(and not too long) piece for the New York Times, giving a quick "state of Apple" and update showing where the company is today. This is my favourite section:

Underscoring how drastically Apple’s business has been transformed by mobile products, revenue from the iPhone rose 56 percent to $17.13 billion, making up 48 percent of the company’s total revenue.

Firstly, revenue from the iPhone rose 56%, year over year? Holy shit.

Secondly, the iPhone is 48% of Apple's total revenue? That's a lot.

I'd suggest that data point alone is almost enough of a reason to suggest Apple will be eager to release completely new products; perhaps they can decrease the importance of the iPhone to their business. One wrong move with the iPhone, and 48% of their entire business could suffer.

Releasing something completely new could knock the iPhone's revenue slice down to a more manageable amount, whereby less growth wouldn't effect Apple as significantly as it would today.