Surface (table, left angled, red cover)

You would think that with an ongoing Surface sales slump that even multiple fire sales can’t fix, Microsoft would try to switch up its tactics. But nope. As it’s done several times this summer, the Redmond company posted a new tablet ad today attacking the iPad.

The new spot is called ‘Surface RT vs. iPad.’ And like Microsoft’s previous commercials, it pits the Surface against Apple’s popular tablet, highlighting their differences. This time around, the iPad is knocked for having a smaller screen, lacking a kickstand and more…

At this point, someone obviously needs to let Microsoft’s marketing department know that the majority of the people that are buying iPads aren’t interested in most of these features—USB ports, kickstands, MS Office, etc.—because they clearly haven’t figured it out yet.

A 2012 Consumer Intelligence poll showed that a majority of iPad users use their tablets to browse the web, consume media content and play games. In fact, only 12% admitted that they used their iPads for business, and even then, email was the most common task.

Microsoft Surface (multiple devices on table 001)

So who should Microsoft be pitching the Surface to if not iPad owners? Laptop owners? No. Even at $349 for the entry-level model, the Surface isn’t less expensive than many laptops, or more portable. Plus, don’t forget, the Surface RT doesn’t run a full version of Windows.

This quandary can probably help explain why Microsoft took close to a $1 billion bath last quarter in unsold Surfaces, and why all time Surface sales are believed to be less than 2 million units. It’ll be interesting to see if Ballmer and company learn their lesson moving forward.

  • Gorgonphone

    MS was dumb as hell.. surface is a big mediocre ZUUUUN…. did they learn nothing from ZUUUUN? oh well who cares

  • Prasoon Singh

    And yet they continue to make these type of ads. Microsoft is really stupid.

  • Mohammad Ridwan

    ZUNE 2.0

  • Good move Microsoft, finally fixed your marketing department (after 8 months of dancing trash)….keep trying, better than nothing

    • MarcPhilippeB

      quite nothing is lacking, to be honest.

    • Chazy Ronnie

      The “surface” doesnt even have proper tablet apps? Both Microsoft and Android tablets have great features but without proper tablet optimized apps to support it, it will just be another device. Apple is smart iOS and OSX have different use and function, you want a keyboard macbook is perfect, you want a great tablet with great apps support fluid, stable and secure iPad is still the only one that provides great support both apps and hardware…..Yet again suface “PRO” is totally different from “RT”… PRO version is a macbook air contender NOT the iPad..

      • Bro, what apps, besides kid games and fart apps (most duplicated to include a lite and a full version), does the iPad have? If gaming is all I want to do on my $500 tablet, I’m better off just getting a used PSP for under $100 and buying non-IAP-infected PS1 games for $5….

      • Chazy Ronnie

        IPad apps have great devs support major players like yamaha, EA games, ubisoft, sega, ducati, ferrari, etc. this are not a “fart apps” like you get on your Android… REAL major companies support apps for iPad…

      • What a coincidence; those are all devs of watered-down IAP-infected games…so, what’s your point exactly? iPad is all about big-brand names making more money from watered-down games? K…

      • Chazy Ronnie

        Its not just games we are talking about REAL optimized tablet apps for gamers, artist, mechanics, engineers, doctors etc. and they are not mobile stretched apps like the one you get on your Android…

  • twited21

    I’ve said this before but there is nothing flexible about a physical keyboard
    I wish they would stop trying to sell it like that the whole point of a tablet is being able to do everything whilst on the move in your hands

    Attaching a keyboard means you have to find a surface somewhere to use it
    Won’t find that on your local bus or taxi cab

    • Flexible as-in you can easily be productive (at your desk) or fold it away (like your Smart Cover) and use it as a consumption-only tablet…

      • Qiren_94

        Then I would just get an ultrabook, which is cheaper and much more powerful and equally thin and light, then the bullshit surface microsoft came up with.

      • Yeah, better off with an Atom processor tablet PC. Same could be said regarding the toyPad, yet we see people still throwing out even more cash at it when it’s not even comparable to the possibilities of that of an Atom tablet PC…guess people are just naturally naive when it comes to tech.

    • MarcPhilippeB

      totally agree.

    • JaeM1llz

      Considering the keyboard is thin enough to bend and it can easily be detached and reattached, I would say it is quite flexible.

    • smtp25

      your not forced to use the keyboard though are you? I can’t recall the virtual keyboard but it must have one

  • felixtaf

    Windows RT does not justify even the 350$ price tag… While the added feature like multitasking, connect n all r there, it lacks apps… Portrait reading is a bit awkward due to the 16:9 aspect ratio… Win 8 tablet edition would have been awesome than this stupid RT edition… Its a good laptop replacement for office work, but not a tablet competitor as of now…

    • Yeah, can’t justify the price when you can get an Atom processor tablet PC for around the same thing, yet with support for all the Windows Programs out there…

      • MarcPhilippeB


      • felixtaf

        They can justify.. If they sell Win 8 pro 16 gb for 499$…. It has memory slot.. So people wont complain about internal memory… Cant imagine paying 900$ for Pro, while my Ultrabook is jus 650$…
        I really dont want Surface to fail. May be Surface 2, 3 or 4 will be cheaper and better…

      • Which ultrabook do you use? Can it be used for the following situations where tablets (with palm rejection) outright rule?
        – Hand note taking
        – Form filling
        – Document signing
        – Hand drawing
        If so, then I see your reason to expect the Surface Pro to be priced lower than your Ultrabook. Otherwise, consider re-calibrating your price expectations…

      • felixtaf

        I have Lenovo Ideapad U510… No, it cant be used for what you have mentioned. But I wonder how many people spend 900$ jus for those features. Also Acer has Touchscreen Ultrabooks from 600$ (If that make any difference)..
        Spec wise, Mine is much better than Pro. (I kno comparing a tablet power to a full PC is stupidity).

      • I didn’t buy the Surface Pro just for those features; there’s probably a kid’s tablet for all of that at less than $100. I bought it ’cause it merges all those features into my everyday Laptop.

        Spec wise, the Surface Pro (an Ultrabook in tablet form) is lacking compared to the Lenovo Ideapad (an Ultrabook), but everyday performance and the capabilities is not that different (aside from battery life, which would easily be fixed if it came with Haswell).

      • felixtaf

        As I mentioned before, I dont give a sh*t about specs… Its the performance matters. My Ultrabook (i7) is faster (In seconds) than my old dualcore Gateway laptop for day to day applications. I can see the difference only in graphic intense applications and games..

        I never used a Surface pro, so cant comment on the performance. My uncle got an RT and he s in love with it. And it fulfills his business needs…

        I jus wish that the surface pro shud have been cheaper. So MS would have got more consumers…

  • mehrab


    • Gorgonphone

      they will make as many as they want

    • You caps lock button got stuck?

    • smtp25

      Surface Pro is pretty cool, RT not so much

  • Joseph A. Ahmad

    Ballmer is so egotistical, just admit defeat. Sure, the surface does things the iPad doesn’t, but be original instead of comparing yourself.

    • They have original ads like this one (http://bit ly/193YqB4) and this one (http://bit ly/VoUCa6), can’t expect iDB to post such non-Apple stuff…

      • ✪ aidan harris ✪

        While original you can’t surely be suggesting that those adverts are a good form of marketing can you? For starters they only focused on the device itself as opposed to focusing on its software and what it can do which since it’s limited with Windows 8 RT is not a lot apparently.

      • There are other ads describing why the device suits the needs of med students, business owners, etc. You just have to look for them on their channel…which isn’t good marketing.

      • Joseph A. Ahmad

        This is true, but you can’t deny my argument either. You do make a great point though.

  • seyss

    Misleading info: 1- iPad has a smartcover that won’t let it fall like MS wants you to believe. 2- iPad also opens photo app after inserting flash drive. 3- iPad 16GB, Surface 32GB cheaper, however out of 32GB you have ONLY 15GB.

    • Misleading post: 1-That’s sold seperately for $40 more. 2-Only if you format the USB flash drive to something specific; needs to have a DCIM directory off its root, with the photos underneath it with filenames of exactly 8 characters (no spaces) plus their file extension. 3-It comes with only 16GB free ’cause it has a built-in ~8GB recovery image (no need for a seperate PC to restore to factory settings), however, you have the option to remove it (or copy it to a USB flash drive) and have ~24GB of space (with the option to expand via MicroSD).

      • ✪ aidan harris ✪

        The last time I checked the iPad also has the option to reset to factory settings and does not require eight gigabytes of space to do this either…

      • True, but that’s not the point of my post, just explained why it has only 16 GB out of the box and the fact that you can easily expand it to 24 GB; they work in different ways, they’re not clones you know…

  • MarcPhilippeB

    The problem seems to be quite complex. My thoughts on this are that people mainly buy tablets to consume content, in a more handy, more portable and more flexible way than they would do on their laptops or desktops. So, there is a clear distribution of roles: laptop to produce AND consume content, tablet to consume content, smartphone for everthing else on the go. Now the problem with Microsofts surface isnt the execution – they did a pretty good job. It’s the way the market it and the way they want the consumer to use it. It’s decent, but not great for consuming conent, while it’s decent, but no great for being productive. In order for a tablet to succeed in the market, it needs to be better in some key things (remember what Steve Jobs said at the introduction of the original iPad):

    – browsing the web
    – doing email
    – enyoing and sharing photographs
    – enjoying music collection
    -playing games
    -reading ebooks

    the iPad has pretty standard web, email and music experience, BUT a great photo experience (photo stream, shared streams with commenting function), a even better reading experience and an awesome gaming experience. Not speaking about all the hundreds of thousand amazing apps.
    Microsofts Surface can do all that as well, probably almost evenly well. BUT, it has no apps, and above all, Microsoft relates it to work, and productivity. and that’s not what people want. They want to have FUN, EXPERIENCE a product, DISCOVER, LEARN, PLAY. The iPad has nothing to do with a computer, it’s a device for itself and that’s what makes it so strong. People feel that. And it just works.

    • ✪ aidan harris ✪

      I think you’re right there. Your comment reminded me of the Together and Loud adverts Apple ran for a while about the iPad. While not one of Apples best work they did both showcase brilliantly the different things that people do on the iPad. All Microsoft has said the RT is good for is productivity and Office if they ran their own original version (by original what I mean is not a rip-off or blatant copy) of the Together and Loud adverts it would allow people to see all of the things that the Surface RT can do, that is if it can do more than just be productive and do Office all day long…

    • mehrab

      In terms of web browisng nothing defeats the ipad not even a pc/laptop. Email on the ipad is GREAT TOO

  • seyss

    is this legal?

    • MarcPhilippeB

      that’s a really good question I’ve been asking myself quite a few times. Can you use and disparage another product publicly?

      • Jarryd Richards

        Of course you can, it’s called comparitive advertising.

    • Apple did the same when they were in the same situation against Windows (I’m a PC and I’m a Mac), so, does that make it legal to you?

      • MarcPhilippeB

        But they didn’t showed nor mentioned a specific product.

      • Yeah, they were referring to the OS of PCs, Windows; ain’t that a product?

      • MarcPhilippeB

        yeah, true actually. But you could argue that it was rather against a philosophy rather than a specific product, like Microsoft does now.

      • Kurt

        no you couldn’t argue that. Mac:”I don’t get PC’s viruses” This tells the brainwashed zombies watching tv. Macs don’t get viruses at all.

      • MarcPhilippeB

        Yes, you can. the advert was about PC vs Mac. Is PC a specific product? NO. You call it “Personal Computer” and it was about showing the different approached, what Apple does, and what the rest does. They NEVER mentioned “Windows” as this would be specificaly against a one company.

        And please can’t you start expressing yourself in a more sphisticated manner? I’m sick of your abusive language and your aggresive and prejudging discussion culture.

      • Kurt

        You are just pathetic to be this dishonest. I know you know that the PC was Windows. What is wrong with you that you feel the need to worship a company? A for profit company. Steve Jobs wasn’t a “good” man but you represent yourself with his face. Go worship Apple. I hope one day you will realize how wrong you have been.

      • MarcPhilippeB

        Kurt, you will never understand it, so just let it be. We could argue about that for ages. Let’s just stick to the facts: I can’t see any argumentation behind your statement(s), everything you do is insulting. Steve Jobs was one of the brightes minds of our time, if you don’t want to accept this or can’t see it, please at least be tolerant or beef up your education.
        And please let profiile pitcture out of the game, we’re not sinking on such a dull level.

      • mehrab

        Jobs is the Leonardo da Vinci of the tech world he changed the wolrd android ios windows phone everything even laptops pc”s the music library animation films he gave these things the basic roots

    • felixtaf

      Does it matter? Where is justice these days, to talk about legality…

      I dont think its illegal, coz they are jus promoting their tablet, by saying that iPad cant do those things.. This would have been the same if Apple teases Surface for lack of apps…

    • Tristan

      Everything is legal if your wallet is big enough.

      • Raashid

        Lol, precisely…

  • Fahad AlMaamari

    Why do I need to have a keyboard? I will get a laptop instead of that surface. I think they misunderstand what is the the tablet (iPad) is all about

  • They are really stupid and dumb

  • Chazy Ronnie

    Surface where’s my tablet apps??????

  • JaeM1llz

    I love how when companies show where their product trumps the iPad it is considered an “attack.” Last time I checked, the point of advertising was to show consumers how your product stacks up to the competition. What are they supposed to do when sales are slumping? Release an ad highlighting how low their sales are and grovel at Apple’s feet?

    • ✪ aidan harris ✪

      As much as I’d like Microsoft to “Release an ad highlighting how low their sales are and grovel at Apple’s feet” I can see why that’s not going to happen. It would be nice if Microsoft actually showed the software their tablet can run beyond the OS by which I mean it’s apps since although a good OS is essential for a tablet it is really the apps that run on the tablet that define what it is and what it can do.

  • geekinit

    I guess to each his own, but I’m happy with my gadgets. I almost always have an iPhone, iPad, a MacBook Air 13 and a MacBook Pro 15 retina with me. I develop on multiple platforms. I even have virtual machines with Windows and Linux. The surface concept is to replace all these gadgets. Don’t see it happening. Sorry. Haha

  • Chindavon

    MS Surface Marketing Dept. needs to take a long vacation and never come back.

  • Meatloaf

    I would love to have usb port/SD card on my ipad. Hehe. When it comes on PC for me nothing will beat MS, but for tablets and smartphones, Apple wins.

  • smtp25

    Come on haters that multitasking is the shizz. for the haters just because you don’t have the capacity to multitask doesn’t mean that the iPad shouldn’t

    • ✪ aidan harris ✪

      I honestly don’t see the purpose of those tiny windows and would rather switch between apps. Also how much extra battery life is being consumed by running an app and a small window of another app side-by-side. If it were me I just wouldn’t be able to warrant the extra battery life and processing power and memory that would be consumed and rather do what I do now with my iPad and close an app down and open another app.

      • smtp25

        but those tiny windows are bigger than the 3.5-4″ iPhone screen everybody keeps saying is big enough (it isn’t should be 4.3″+)

        And battery life, its two apps you’re using not wasting power on something your not. Type an email while referring to a website at same time. At the moment you would have to keep switching or trying and cut’n’paste some stuff out. Watch a sports feed and look at twitter at same time.

  • Andrieux Querido

    As Long they keep using that CRAPPY INTEL video card I don’t want to buy one. If they release one with NVidia or ATi I would get one 4 sure.

  • Very enlightening indeed, but the major apps were mostly custom Apps made internally by the company, which has been possible on every Microsoft OS. Chazy here was referring to apps available in the Windows Store/AppStore…

  • Kurt

    Surface stands up, iPad falls. haha

    • mehrab

      Hahahaha yeah oke lets get a surface pro it can stand up while the ipad cant big win !!

  • M$ still did’t get it, there is no need for a physical keyboard…

    • smtp25

      really? I know when I need to hammer out an email I cringe at having to hen peck at the iPad (worse on iphone). On a laptop I could belt out 100 words a minute easy

      • Slow down and your mails will get more attractive and accurate

  • Nipasaurus

    Honestly, that was a nice commercial.