Microsoft’s Desperate Plea for Tablet Acceptance

| Editorial

You have to hand it to Microsoft. The company isn't tucking its tablet tail between its legs or even bowing out of the tablet market gracefully. The day after Microsoft announced a US$900 million write down on unsold Surface inventory, the company released an iPad attack ad to hawk yet another price cut on the Surface RT.

Here, check out the commercial.

Balls. That's what Microsoft has. Big ones. The size of Kentucky, and they're made of gleaming brass lovingly polished by Microserfs.

I've been critical of all of Microsoft product spots and response ads hawking the Surface. The original ones were unclear of their target market and had no clear message. These side-by-side ads like the one above have been ham fisted, clumsy, and push ideas no one cares about. Like John Martellaro asked in Friday's Particle Debris, did you ever see Geordi La Forge with a keyboard on his tablet?

(Digression: On the smartphone side, the only good spot Microsoft did had a message that would only be appreciated by tech partisans who had already made up their minds. At least that one was genuinely funny.)

Friday's commercial is more of the same for Surface, but in light of the enormous debacle the entire Surface experiment has been, it's galling. More so because, as Dan Farber at CNet pointed out, while the commercial features the keyboard, small print at the end says it's $100 extra. And though it's comparing 32GB prices ($599 from Apple, $349 for the write-down Surface), not even the small print notes that only 15GB of that storage is usable by the user.

Whatever. That's the nature of advertising. The thing I found the most appalling was that crack at the end, "Do you still think I'm pretty?" It's mean-spirited and invokes the language of valuing women solely on their looks. It casts Siri as a faded and damaged woman desperately seeking approval from those around her.

In a movie, such a line could well be comedic, tragic, sad, poignant, or even all of those things. In a commercial, it's creepy.

One way or another, it's not going to help Microsoft move the piece of crap called the Surface RT.

Comments

windwalker

That must be the first time anyone ever used “Microsoft” and “gracefully” in the same sentence.

Lee Dronick

The next time am passing the MicroSoft StoreI am going to give the Surface another try. Maybe it is because I am very familiar with iOS and my iPad, but I found the Surface to be clumsy to use.

jscottk

All that while highlighting the fact that Windows RT DOESN’T HAVE ANYTHING LIKE Siri! Brilliant. Though it’s at least better than their previous ad’s message: Our keyboards make a lot of noise when you plug them in! (And apparently are absolutely required to use this tablet, which can only be used on a desk.)

mhikl

Dang Bryan, from the title I actually had a humanity moment and truly felt kindly for the bald, exuberant guy and that derelict company he runs. Then saw the advert..

As punishment there will be no beer tonight. Must learn lesson.

ibuck

Desperate and misleading is not the kind of reputation anyone wants.

daemon

What exactly did they write down with that $900 million? $150 from every Surface RT?

RonMacGuy

According to an article on ComputerWorld.com:

“Yesterday, Microsoft wrote off $900 million from its earnings for the second calendar quarter to account for Surface RT “inventory adjustments.” CFO Amy Hood later defined those adjustments as losses due to the discounts, and for an unspecified quantity of components—likely parts purchased but not yet used to assemble more tablets—and accessories.”

barryotoole

ODE TO BALLMER

There was this guy from Madras
Whose balls were made of brass
Rubbed in the dark
They made a spark
And smoke came out of his a**

vpndev

MS keyboard/cover         $100
Apple wireless keyboard   $69

This is standard for Microsoft honesty/accuracy

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