Microsoft fires another salvo at Apple’s Mac with new Surface Book ads

By , Mar 9, 2016

Microsoft Surface Book ad image 001

Microsoft is back at it with new commercials that build up to the “I can’t do that on my Mac” tagline.

The Windows giant kicked off the new theme with commercials for Windows 10 that highlight some of the things “Macs can’t do” such as its built-in Cortana personal digital assistant, support for inking and drawing on notebooks with built-in touchscreens and the ability to log in to Windows with your face.

Yesterday, Satya Nadella & Co. posted new commercials for its Surface Book, a device marketed as “the ultimate laptop” because it’s performant and versatile. The commercials, first spotted by The Loop, gush over Surface Book features such as a high-resolution screen and the responsiveness and precision of its stylus.

The ads feature wildlife photographer Tim Flach, a first-time Surface Book user who’s made his animal portraits look almost human using the device and Microsoft’s stylus.

And two more ads, these ones detailing the Microsoft stylus with 1,024 levels of pressure sensitivity and the Surface Book’s high quality 3,000-by-2,000 pixel resolution screen. Both ads close with a ”I just can’t do that on my Mac” tagline.

“No matter what you’re creating, do it better on Surface Book,” reads the description. “With the power to run the software you need in an incredibly light body, plus a Pen and beautiful touchscreen, Surface Book is revolutionizing the way you work.”

As observed by The Loop, Microsoft’s ads also use a version of “Song” by Kidstreet which Apple used in its 2012 commercial for the Retina MacBook Pro.

Now, the Surface Book is definitely an interesting machine, but it’s also very pricey. At $1,899 for the mid-range model with half the GPU memory and a Core i5 dual core processor, it’s no match for the 15-inch MacBook Pro with its high-quality Intel series i7 quad core processor and two gigabytes of video RAM.

The flagship Surface Book model with 1 TB of flash storage and a Core i7 processor is $3,200, by the way. It is true, however, that the Retina screen on Mac notebooks does not quite match up the Surface Book’s high-resolution display.

Besides, I think the real competitor to the Surface Book here is the iPad Pro with the Apple Pencil. So, what’s your opinion about Microsoft’s new ads?

Source: Microsoft via The Loop

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  • Satyam Panchal

    Wow great ad I am going to buy it so I can put my Mac on surface .

    • touch screen won’t work

      • Alborz

        lol. are you sure? because it’d be funny…

  • Joshua The-Legend Wiebe

    Sure, you can’t do that on your mac, but you can on a iPad Pro connected to a keyboard.

    • Shhh. Microsoft doesn’t want everyone to know that.

    • Nelman1

      There’s really no comparison. Surface Book is a full fledged computer running Windows 10. The copy-cat attempt known as iPad Pro runs a phone OS.

      • Full fledged tablet/laptop*

      • Alborz

        Half fledged laptop + half fledged tablet.

      • nyangejr


      • Alborz

        what is that? a correction? a sentence?
        It can’t be a 100% laptop and a 100% tablet. there’s always compromises.

      • It is definitely a full tablet with and with the keyboard connected its a laptop. Just like all the other laptops with no CD-Drive..

      • Alborz

        CD-drives are obsolete anyway. No need to drag them into this.

        it has all the mouse/keyboard/touch/stylus inputs and the OS is always trying to adapt to the one you’re using, but it’s failing miserably. It’s a touch screen Laptop. that’s what it is. it’s not a tablet. In the attempt to try and be both it has given up being a proper laptop, and it’s not a proper tablet either. the compromises are just too obvious. if someone’s trying to save money and need both laptop and a tablet, then I might see how this could be a viable product. but at this price with a bit more money you can buy a macbook pro with retina display and an iPad Pro.

      • ClaudieX X

        Excelent Answer…

      • I’m sorry but how is it not a full tablet. Its more of a tablet that any tablet is… Certainly more tablet than an iPad..

      • Nelman1

        Really. so how long did you use a Surface Pro or Surface Book before you came to all your conclusions? I have been using a Surface Pro 3 since July 2014 and it works like a tablet when I want it and like a laptop when I want that. I have found no compromises. None. And I don’t need to lug around both “a macbook pro with retina display and an iPad Pro.”

      • Juschan

        yeah well the problem is not the features that come with win 10 i mean its really a great idea but it doesn’t work nearly as good and as smooth as an iPad so till they finally get it done right its more a useless tablet than a full fledged computer… :/

      • Nelman1

        Another comment based on… how long did you use your Surface before you came to your conclusions?? Try using full Photoshop on your iPad like I do every day on my Surface.

      • Juschan

        Oh well in my business i dont need photoshop and i have no clue if it is great on the surface or not … i guess its great on a 5k retina iMac too… but if i buy a product for over a thousand € and it doesn’t give me the overall experience i could get with another device at the same pricepoint… if you were not depending on this software better on the surface would you still choose it?

      • Nelman1

        Yes, I would. That was just one example of the software I use on my Surface. I agree that a better comparison would be between a Surface and a MacBook. But there is no way a Surface should be compared to a tablet that uses a phone OS.

      • funnyfalcon

        The most expensive tablets ever at 3200 bones for top of the line, 1900 bones for a minimally acceptable configuration. Some serious crack being smoked in Redmond.

    • Guito Mendez

      Photoshop on your iPad? You cant do half the things on your ipad pro then on a surface.

      • Joshua The-Legend Wiebe

        Not right now you can’t, but give it time and the iPad Pro will do more than any laptop.

      • Guito Mendez

        Thats funny

      • Nelman1

        Not unless Apple decides to put OSX onto the iPad.

      • Alborz

        they won’t. it’s been said many times by any apple executive. The thing that will change is more professional apps on the iPad. Example: uMake.
        There’s no such application available on windows.

      • Nelman1

        IOS9 is a toy OS compared with Windows 10.

  • hmm maybe you should by an iPad Pro?

  • Ángel Javier Esquivel

    Joke’s on them

  • Photoshop definitely runs on a Mac and you can almost certainly buy graphics tablets for a Mac so I fail to see how the “I can’t do that on my Mac” tagline makes any sense.

    • They’re pushing the fact you can’t touch the Macs Screen directly for an input. Well trying to at least. Unfortunately they did not make it clear.

  • rockdude094

    A Mac would instantly kill a PC in any task… Except gaming of course

    • Juschan

      guess if you wouldn’t take the variety it could compete there two but the price will always be a point on the windows or even android side

    • Nelman1

      Guess that’s why 91% of the world uses Windows for their “tasks” vs 8% Mac.

      • rockdude094

        Well the 91% use low grade computers that consequently run Windows. Plus many just use their laptops to access Facebook and YouTube which does not require a 1000 dollar laptop

      • Nelman1

        Doesn’t matter. Most of the world is on Windows, including people who use it for very sophisticated tasks. Trying to diminish it by saying most people use it for YouTube and Facebook won’t work. The same could be said of Mac OS.

      • rockdude094

        Don’t get me wrong, Windows is amazing. I just find it a lot easier to use a Mac to do my business. Mainly b/c of the smooth integration of hardware and software. I find it easier to use doesn’t mean everyone does.

      • Nelman1

        I have no issue with people using what they like and i enjoy knowing there are alternatives. Wouldn’t it be a dull, boring world if we only had Google to choose from. Or Microsoft. Or Apple. Variety drives competition and competition creates better and better products for consumers.

  • How much did Microsoft pay him?

    • Juschan

      a free copy to test it out after the comercial … they cant afford more these days

  • Ziaur Rahman

    Daamn Microsoft, back at it again with the crap ads!

  • Ethan Humphrey

    Notice how he says “I can’t do that on MY Mac.” Showing that he owns and uses a Mac over the surface book and other Microsoft products.

  • embet

    Still, Microsoft and Samsung need Apple to survive.

    • Nelman1

      They all need each other. Competition is a good thing.

  • FrankJL

    wait hahahaha

    You think the competitor to the surface book is the ipad pro LOL!!!

    I have both and mmmmmmmmm the ipad pro compared to the surface book is the dumbest thing ever. Just becuase they both have pencil?

    I am gaming FULL BLOW GAMES ON MY SURFACE BOOK! The division, star wars full blown nba 2k16 plus running industry standard professional apps.

    I cant do anyt of that on the ipad pro

    • Victor J. Lockwood

      Good for you! 🙂

  • Michael

    I find it interesting that the ad agency chose the phrase “I can’t do that on my Mac.”, as it suggest that the user owns a Mac as well. I would have said “I can’t do that on a Mac.”

  • Carleton Foxx

    I’ve never heard the word “performant” before, but apparently it means “adequate or better.” So are they saying that the Surface is only pretty good? That doesn’t seem like much of an endorsement.