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Microsoft’s Surface just outsold the iPad in online sales

For a time, it seemed that the Apple iPad was destined to reign over the field of tablets in much the same way that the iPod became the go-to variety of MP3 player some years prior. However, Microsoft has since hit back with its Surface line — a device that is apparently overtaking the iPad, if recent figures are to be believed.

According to a report put together by the 1010data Ecom Insights Panel, Microsoft tablets were the highest selling in terms of online sales in October 2015, knocking Apple’s rival devices from the top of the charts. This marks the first time this year that Apple was not in the lead.

This data comes from a study of the top 100 online retailers in the United States, which are collectively responsible for over 95 percent of physical products ordered online, according to a report from WinBeta.

Related: Microsoft Surface Pro 4 review

October was a big month for Microsoft, highlighted by the company’s October 6 event. The far-reaching showcase covered the length and breadth of the Windows 10 ecosystem, and provided the setting for the unveiling of the Surface Pro 4 and the Surface Book.

It certainly seems that Microsoft’s fervour to capitalize upon the Surface brand is working, based on its robust sales in October and the fact that the company’s devices tend to sell at a far higher price than those of its competitors. Still, it will be the competitive holiday period that gives us insight on where the momentum lies heading into 2016.

Microsoft may be taking a stab at the MacBook with its Surface Book, but the iPad Pro looks set to make a similar claim at territory currently held by the Surface line. It’s difficult to tell exactly which way this rivalry is going to play out, but it seems certain that the tablet market will be a major battleground for both companies moving forward.