While the iPad has certain ecosystem advantages over the recently-released Surface with Windows RT, Microsoft's entry does of course edge out the Apple device in some key areas as well. And another major advantage of the Surface over iPad is that it comes with the simplest of hardware niceties: A USB port.
Folks, ponder the wonders of USB. This innocuous little port, inadequate as it is in its own way—it's USB 2.0, not USB 3.0, thanks to limitations in the ARM chipset used by Surface with Windows RT—is in many ways the single biggest hardware innovation in Microsoft's tablet. In fact, it's a bigger deal, I think, than the keyboard covers that everyone is so excited about.
Why is that, you ask?
Because this USB port, combined with Windows RT's built-in support for almost any useful hardware doo-dad imaginable, opens up a world of possibilities to Surface users, possibilities that are simply not available on the iPad.
(And let's not forget that there are plenty of keyboards and keyboard covers available for the iPad, too.)