The decades-long tension between tech giants Apple (AAPL) and Microsoft (MSFT) appears to have resurfaced. After both releasing tablets billed as equivalent to laptops back in 2015, the two companies have returned with their latest offerings.

In an interview with Business Insider, Ryan Gavin, Microsoft’s general manager of Surface, the company’s touchscreen personal computer range, took a swipe at Apple, claiming that its iPad Pro tablet offers a look at who the real trendsetter in the market is.

"Think about it, if we had been looking at [Apple] we wouldn't have made a product like Surface Pro or Surface Book," Gavin said in the interview. "We have been learning and perfecting our products in the 2-in-1 category for years now, [but] when Surface initially launched everyone was skeptical, including them. And then they followed, and the iPad Pro is a clear example of that."

Microsoft rolled out its long-awaited upgrade to the 2015 Surface Pro 4 in China last month, just as Apple has launched its new iPad Pro. Most reviewers praised the Surface Pro’s sleek design, but added that it is difficult to justify the $799 starting price, particularly as it doesn’t differ that much from the previous model. (See also: Microsoft: New Surface Pro Aims at Tablet Market.)

During the interview, Gavin also sought to address why the company launched Surface Laptop when it previously said the Surface Pro can replace laptops. Gavin said that Microsoft built the Surface Laptop because "our customers wanted it," before explaining the key differences that separate the company’s latest mobile computing lineup. “If you can't take advantage of the versatility of Surface Pro or don't need the power of [Surface] Book, then Laptop is the product for you," he said. (See also: Tablet Sales Decline for 10th Consecutive Quarter.)


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