With all the discussion lately about Windows 8, Microsoft's relatively odd Surface products, and even the question of whether Apple has lost its mojo, I thought it might be instructive to look at things in a more positive light.
While I can't directly recommend the purchase of a Surface RT over an iPad or Chromebook, or a even Surface Pro over a similarly equipped ultrabook, there are some features in both Surface models that are better, more innovative, and potentially more game changing than on the iPad.
Way 1: Active tiles
Say what you will about the iPad's launcher interface, it's definitely long in the tooth. In fact, it's pretty much the same interface that Apple has been using for 20 years.
The nice thing about Microsoft's much-maligned Start screen is that the tiles dynamically update. That may be a pain for a desktop user, but on a tablet, it could be a big help.
On the one hand, it's almost impossible to tell which tile will launch YouTube, because the tile has a picture of whatever was recently watched or is currently being featured. But, on the other hand, dynamic tiles used in, say, a medical environment. could give professionals an at-a-glance view that the iPad launcher can't come close to duplicating.