It’s natural to compare Microsoft’s Surface tablet to Apple’s iPad—in fact, we did that just today in a Spec Comparison piece—but the folks at ReadWriteWeb had the clever idea of comparing the keynote presentations between the two companies.
Looking at pieces of Steve Jobs’s January 2010 keynote introducing the original iPad to Monday’s keynote by Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and other executives side by side, it’s easy to see that over the last 28 months, Microsoft has been taking some detailed notes.
Send in the clones!
Whether or not the company made good use of those notes is one thing, but awkward repetitions of the word “reimagine” are definitely reminiscent of Apple’s masterful use of words like “magical.” There are also similarities in the way features were unveiled and the language used to describe them.
The most egregious cribbing, of course, has to be Steve Ballmer talking about “the intersection between human and machine,” which is a direct (and poorly worded) ripoff of “the intersection of technology and liberal arts,” a phrase the late Steve Jobs used again and again in his product introductions, and something he talked about for decades.
Watching Steve Ballmer blundering all over the concept without even a hint of shame is enough to make my blood boil, unless you’re Gizmodo.
The reality, however, is that it’s about time someone started taking notes. Apple has been showing the rest of the world how to design products, how to make them, and how to introduce them to the world for more than ten years, and yet no one besides Apple does a good job at it.
It might have taken Microsoft 28 months to put on its shadow puppet show on Monday, but I’d rather watch Big Redmond embarrass itself by blatantly trying to be Apple than the kind of keynote the company usually produces. Watching Steve Ballmer’s last CES keynote ever (we can hope) was one of the most miserable two hours of my life.
In any event, what do you think? Here’s the ReadWriteWeb video:
Surface vs. iPad: Microsoft’s Getting Rusty Stealing from Apple