Microsoft is taking pot shots at Apple's iPad in its efforts to promote moribund sales of Windows 8 tablets. In a new series of commercials, the Redmond, WA company harnesses Siri to disparage iPad's one-app-at-a-time nature, and compares specs to show an Asus device is thinner and weighs less than iPad.
Screen from a Microsoft Commercial
On Wednesday, Microsoft released "Windows 8: Less talking, more doing," a commercial that attempts to convince us that the lack of voice controls on a tablet is super awesome. In it, Siri's voice tells us, "Sorry, I don't update like that," and, "I'm sorry, I can only do one thing at a time. I guess PowerPoint isn't one of those things."
Invoking Apple's very compelling iPad commercial where two people play "Chopsticks" on iPads, Siri closes by asking, "Should we just play 'Chopsticks?'"
The commercial in full:
In "Comparison: iPad vs. Windows 8 Tablet," we see some side by sides of the iPad and the Asus VivoTab RT, an ARM-based Windows 8 tablet from Asus. After being shown that the Asus device is thinner and lighter, we get the heading, "OneNote app only vs. Comes with Microsoft Office."
That heading is curious, both in terms of how bad it is grammatically and how misleading it is. It's true that Microsoft has yet to bring Office to iPad, but "OneNote app only" suggests that's the only productivity app for the iPad...
...which is far from true. In addition to Apple's own iWork suite, there are dozens of Microsoft Office clones available for the iPad. That's not to say that Office on Windows RT tablets isn't compelling, it's just calling the reality that this ad is straight up lying.
The commercial in full:
All in all, these ads are better than the recent anti-Apple and Samsung smartphone ad in support of the Nokia Lumia 928. I readily acknowledge that's not setting a high bar, but the new ads are at least clear on the target market.
They're also better than the original Surface Vibe line of commercials with the angry children and young dancers doing a bad job of pretending to be tech execs. Those commercials were also very confused about their target market.
What's most interesting, however, is how the iPad is the star of both commercials. Perhaps it's just my love of the iPad, but my attention was constantly drawn to Apple's product rather than the Windows device.
So I guess that means the new ads are a step forward for Big Redmond. Putting it that way makes me sad.
Thanks to Chris Matyszczyk for the heads up.