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Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) has set out to defeat Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) in the tablet game with its new Surface, but according to one report, it may have fallen short of the iPad in one aspect already. The Surface, unveiled this week and set to start shipping in the fall, will initially sell equipped only with Wi-Fi capabilities and with no way to connect to a data network, Bloomberg reported.
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Although many users prefer to use tablets at home using Wi-Fi connections and cut down on their data costs, a lack of data capabilities may be a big problem for a device that is being aimed in a big way at business users. In additions, several features of Microsoft’s Windows 8 operating system, which will run the Surface, require internet connectivity to function, including the much-touted Live Tiles home screen app.
While Apple also sells Wi-Fi-only iPad models, all versions of its tablet have the option of using a mobile-phone chip. Its third-generation device, the new iPad, was launched in March to run on the much faster LTE data network.
“The way that Microsoft is positioning this product — that it’s highly mobile but also has the functionality of a notebook — that customer might be more interested in working from any location and not being bound by Wi-Fi,” Ben Bajarin, Creative Strategies analyst, told Bloomberg.
Microsoft is said to be working with Taiwanese company Pegatron, which also assembles Apple’s iPhones, to manufacture the Surface.
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