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Firm says iPad’s success is only down to the fact it was early to market

Microsoft: We’re 18 months behind with Surface tablets

Microsoft has admitted that the Surface, along with other Windows 8 and 8.1 tablets are behind where the firm wants them to be.

Janet Gibbons, Microsoft UK and Ireland director of partner strategy and programmes, told Channel Register that the ‘OEM ecosystem is still 18 months behind where we want to be but is catching up fast’.

Talking about the iPad, Gibbons believe that its success is only down to the fact that it was early to market, and that its lack of expansion will enable Windows devices to catch up with Apple in the near future.

"In many ways as the expansion of touch devices happens, the iPad device will kind of feel somewhat marginalised, because it is what it is and does what it does, but its been a bit leapfrogged by the possibilities of other devices on the Windows platform."

Microsoft seems to be confident in the array of form factors that are coming to the market and Gibbons believes it’s the different options and the ability to print that will make Windows 8 and 8.1 tablets popular with the BYOD trend, saying people want to be ‘productive at work, to be able to print and have a keyboard.’

It was recently reported that Microsoft is planning to introduce new Surface tablets and drop the price of existing models in the US. The firm’s rumoured smart watch has also been in the news this week, the product will likely go head-to-head with Apple’s own rumoured iWatch in 2014.

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