It just wouldn't be a major Apple launch if there wasn't a Microsoft executive calling out his old rival, would it? In a chat with AllThingsD, Windows division lead Steven Sinofsky has expressed doubts that Apple's iPad mini is really a cost-effective pick against the just-launched Windows 8. It's a $329 "recreational tablet" when there are work-ready Windows 8 laptops that cost $279, he says. He added that there are at least a few touchscreen Ultrabooks that could undercut the non-touch MacBook Air on price, and he ascribed the difference as much to "engineering" as the cost-cutting measures you'd expect.
Sinofsky was naturally just as keen to champion the advantages for work that Windows RT tablets like the Surface have when competing more directly with iPads, alluding to that Office bundle which hopefully keeps us more productive than a copy of Documents To Go. The company President would certainly disagree with Apple chief Tim Cook's view that Surface is a confused product, calling it a "PC for everyone" that just doesn't have to be used all the time. He makes valid points on the sheer value for money that you can get from both Windows PCs and tablets, although it would only be fair to mention that he didn't touch on the currently low Windows RT app selection, or if the OS was exactly what the market wanted -- we'd do well to remember that Microsoft alumni have a spotty track record when it comes to predicting Apple's destiny.