ZDnet has an answer to the Surface vs iOS/Android question:
What I think is apparent now is that everyone expected Microsoft to build a competitor to the iPad, then we saw a lot of fervent activity, and throughout we assumed that building an iPad was exactly what they were doing. Now that I hold the Surface in my hands, I'm not sure that's what they were doing at all.
There's now an additional duality highlighted with Surface. We can now see decisions that the market forced Microsoft to make with its incessant demands to keep throwing cash at Apple in exchange for iPads. Just looking at how Surface operates, everything that we see in the reimagined Windows -- the UX, the Start menu, Windows Store apps, the Metro design aesthetic, all of this is secondary to the primary goal of getting Office to run on an ARM-based tablet. It's "Office" first, "compete with iPad" second.
The Office side of this is perfect. Everything else that will make Windows RT and Surface attractive in the consumer and business markets is playing catch-up. You should only invest in Surface is your an ardent early adopter and are aware that the experience of using this thing is, as I mentioned, like using an 18-month old Android tablet.
For me, the Surface is a "Wordbook", a new device form-factor for running Word in ultra-portable, cloud-connected mode that also happens to be one degree away from a market ready post-PC tablet
Translation: Surface (and other RT Tablets) are about keeping iPad out of the corporate market not about going after the consumer media pad market. (Not yet.)
It's a productivity tablet. Not a bad place to start.