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Microsoft says Surface Pro 3 more powerful, flexible than MacBook Air in latest ads

post #1 of 292
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Continuing its campaign against Apple hardware, Microsoft on Monday unleashed three new ad shorts for its new Surface Pro 3 tablet with disparaging comparisons to the MacBook Air.




The trio of 30-second spots, uploaded to Microsoft's Surface YouTube channel, harkens back to the days when Apple directly compared its Mac products against Windows-based machines as part of the "I'm a Mac" campaign.

In two narrated commercials, Microsoft touts the Surface Pro 3's processing power, a specification where most tablets fall short of their notebook cousins. As seen below in the spot titled "Crowded," the Mac user notes his machine is running an Intel Core i5, which gets a "this does too" response from the Surface owner.

Surface apparently stacks up favorably to the Air as it "runs Office, full Adobe Photoshop and it's got a touchscreen."



The Mac user says he also has a touchscreen, then pulls out an iPad mini. Undeterred, the Surface owner points out his tablet supports pen-based input, allowing note taking and on-the-go document markups.

Laughably, the Apple user pulls out a memo pad with a big red note to "Call Bill," perhaps an allusion to Bill Gates.

"Wow, I have got a lot of stuff to carry," he says.

"You are more powerful than you think," the Surface owner retorts, an obvious jab at Apple's latest iPhone spots.

The "Power" ad echoes the sentiment that Microsoft's Surface Pro 3 is just as fast as a MacBook Air, but includes a touchscreen and pen input as a bonus. In addition, the tablet features Mini DisplayPort and a USB input, albeit just one compared to the Air's two, as well as a detachable keyboard with kickstand.

"So you're saying it does more than my Mac," says the Air owner.



Finally, the "Head to head" ad lacks narration, but does feature the exceptionally hairless arms and hands seen in Microsoft's recent hardware campaigns. Here again specs are compared, from the 128GB of onboard storage to 4GB of RAM.

From there, Microsoft contrasts the two computers having the MacBook Air user haplessly attempt to perform on the Apple laptop what the Surface user can do on their tablet. For example, the Air owner pokes away at the non-touchscreen display and even attempts to rip it off, highlighting the Surface's multitouch display and keyboard cover typing solution.



Microsoft has been pushing hard to move its "tablet and a laptop" since the first Surface was unveiled in 2012, but sales have been slower than the company expected. The latest Surface Pro 3 is the closest iteration yet to meeting Microsoft's vision of a tablet that can run full versions of Windows 8 and corresponding applications without sacrificing portability, though evidence of its success has yet to surface.
post #2 of 292
$1.1 billion in loses and counting

Windows survivor - after a long, epic and painful struggle. Very long AAPL

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Windows survivor - after a long, epic and painful struggle. Very long AAPL

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post #3 of 292
The Surface 3 is really excellent. One piece for the keyboard. One piece for the screen. One piece for the kickstand. One piece for the power charger. One piece for the Pen.

Wow this is the world we are all dreaming of. Simplicity and no complexity. But not with the Surface
post #4 of 292
Maybe they should have shown someone using the surface on their lap? Oh, wait.
post #5 of 292
It runs Windows 8. That is not a selling point.
post #6 of 292
These r all great points and if it didn't run windows is seriously consider it!
post #7 of 292
Fisher Price are going to be worried...
post #8 of 292

So basically they still don't "get it".

post #9 of 292
Good Lord, these ads are odious. They remind me of Samsung ads taking snide asides at Apple.

A few observations:

The Surface is never shown in portrait mode. This, alone, tells me that Microsoft don't get tablets, as portrait is the most comfortable way to use a tablet.

The Surface is never held, but kept in a stand, detached. It lacks that personal element that we love in our iPads.

Whilst the Air's keyboard is seen being used, the Surface keyboard is never used, perhaps because it's crap.
"If the young are not initiated into the village, they will burn it down just to feel its warmth."
- African proverb
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"If the young are not initiated into the village, they will burn it down just to feel its warmth."
- African proverb
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post #10 of 292
Pen-based input?!?!? Seriously, this is a feature? "Siri, remind me to call Bill." Who needs a memo pad?!?!?
post #11 of 292

I dont really get why they're trying to compare this to the MBA other than they know they can't compete against the iPad Air. IMO, they can't compete against the MBA either with this. The Surface may be decent, but its not great and its expensive for what you get. Not to mention, it has Windows 8 on it. Ew!

Mac Mini (Mid 2011) 2.5 GHz Core i5

120 GB SSD/500 GB HD/8 GB RAM

AMD Radeon HD 6630M 256 MB

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Mac Mini (Mid 2011) 2.5 GHz Core i5

120 GB SSD/500 GB HD/8 GB RAM

AMD Radeon HD 6630M 256 MB

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post #12 of 292

Anyone whose ever used the comfortable keyboard and (amazing) trackpad on a MacBook Air 13 knows that Microsoft is painting themselves into a corner by putting the Surface up against the MacBook Air. Microsoft would do much better to simply sell the Surface with a permanently affixed keyboard instead of the floppy keyboard thingy (FKT). Doing anything productive on the Microsoft platform absolutely requires a keyboard and mouse - and not touch - so why not simply put a great keyboard and trackpad on it instead of crippling it with a gimmicky and crippled keyboard. I would much rather use Ctrl+ and Ctrl- to zoom the screen versus pinching fingers on a screen since my fingers are already on the keyboard and I abhor anyone touching the screen on my laptop. Maybe touch will be important on a laptop someday, but that day has yet to arrive.

 

The thing that Microsoft is touting as the Surface's greatest strength is actually its greatest weakness. No amount of sleight of hand or fancy marketing mumbo jumbo is going to get around the fact that the Surface is a compromise solution for every use case that Microsoft touts it as a tool to solve. The Surface basically does nothing exceptionally well, other than drain your wallet.

 

The Microsoft Surface is the Pontiac Aztek of the computing world.

post #13 of 292
Using Windows 8 is NOT a plus or selling point. I had previously used Windows 3.5 through Windows 7, skipping a couple of obvious failures. There has NEVER been a version of Windows that didn't have major flaws. How much must user spend to keep Windows based computers running? Anti this, anti that, must have to keep it operational, all of which must be purchased every year to the tune of hundreds of dollars.
My Wife didn't learn and bought a new HP laptop last year with Windows 8 installed. After two months of aggravation, she removed 8 and installed 7.
I bought a MacBook Air in late 2011 and have never been dissatisfied. I also have an iPhone, iPad 2, iPad Mini, all work seamlessly together. Where are the stats and commercials from Microsoft touting THAT capacity.......hmm, doesn't exist now or ever.
post #14 of 292
Quote:
Originally Posted by DewMe View Post

Anyone whose ever used the comfortable keyboard and (amazing) trackpad on a MacBook Air 13 knows that Microsoft is painting themselves into a corner by putting the Surface up against the MacBook Air. Microsoft would do much better to simply sell the Surface with a permanently affixed keyboard instead of the floppy keyboard thingy (FKT). Doing anything productive on the Microsoft platform absolutely requires a keyboard and mouse - and not touch - so why not simply put a great keyboard and trackpad on it instead of crippling it with a gimmicky and crippled keyboard. I would much rather use Ctrl+ and Ctrl- to zoom the screen versus pinching fingers on a screen since my fingers are already on the keyboard and I abhor anyone touching the screen on my laptop. Maybe touch will be important on a laptop someday, but that day has yet to arrive.

The thing that Microsoft is touting as the Surface's greatest strength is actually its greatest weakness. No amount of sleight of hand or fancy marketing mumbo jumbo is going to get around the fact that the Surface is a compromise solution for every use case that Microsoft touts it as a tool to solve. The Surface basically does nothing exceptionally well, other than drain your wallet.

The Microsoft Surface is the Pontiac Aztek of the computing world.

I would prefer to just use the excellent trackpad for gestures on the air like I already do.
post #15 of 292

So funny MS.

 

By the way A.I. the iPhone A.I. app doesn't let me pinch and zoom (most important feature of iOS) and doen't follow the screen rotation even when i'm playing it fullscreen ...

And why is the web page the slowest I know of?

Could you please fix this.

post #16 of 292

My company purchased one for testing. These are my honest observations:

  • It's actually a nice piece of hardware (durable and "slick")
  • The keyboard is a major improvement over the Surface 2 (and 1)
  • We believe it could replace a users desktop computer as it runs non-crippled Windows and is generally fast.

 

The Cons:

  • For the price, we can purchase a cheap desktop and an iPad
  • Our users aren't asking for them
  • Our users want Macs (and are willing to use Bootcamp for the software that's Windows only)

 

It's still a hard sell...

post #17 of 292


Well i've put the Surface through the wringer and it fell apart just like my iPad note to my self stop putting things through wringer.

post #18 of 292

I am afraid that the change in leadership at Microsoft doesn't seem to give Microsoft any more forward vision.

 

Are these similar to the "I'm a Mac" commercials? Yeah, in a way. But in a much more important way they are nothing like the "I'm a Mac" commercials.

 

The "I'm a Mac" commercials were never about selling a particular Mac. They were about building the perception of all the Mac products, and honestly all of Apple's products. These Microsoft ads aren't about building the Microsoft image. They are just more of the same old stodgy and mostly cherry picked, deceptive ads that most people just ignore.

 

It is a very thin line to tread. And Apple didn't always tread it well itself. There were a few "I'm a Mac" commercials where they moved much more into the malignant, and these tended to get some well deserved flack. The brilliant and effective "I'm a Mac" commercials were ones that poked a gentle humor at PC. Subtlety and humor are the keys.

 

Samsung and Microsoft's commercials are about as subtle and funny as a sledgehammer to the face.

post #19 of 292
I think it's pretty obvious - MS killed the iPad, now they're moving on to kill the MBA next.

/s
post #20 of 292
They have no choice but to compare the Surface to the MacBook Air. They can't compare it to a Dell or HP computer because then they would be upset at Microsoft.
post #21 of 292

The Surface is a compromise product.

 

Not as light or easy to use as a tablet.

Not as powerful or easy to type as a laptop.

Apple Purchases last 12 months - iPhone 5S (two), iPhone 6, iPhone 6+ (two), iPadAir, iPadAir2, iPadMini2, AppleTV (two), MacMini, Airport Extreme, iPod Classic.
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Apple Purchases last 12 months - iPhone 5S (two), iPhone 6, iPhone 6+ (two), iPadAir, iPadAir2, iPadMini2, AppleTV (two), MacMini, Airport Extreme, iPod Classic.
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post #22 of 292
Quote:
Originally Posted by waldobushman View Post

It runs Windows 8. That is not a selling point.

Running Windows is oh so 1990's! 1biggrin.gif
From Apple ][ - to new Mac Pro I've used them all.
Long on AAPL so biased
"Google doesn't sell you anything, they just sell you!"
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From Apple ][ - to new Mac Pro I've used them all.
Long on AAPL so biased
"Google doesn't sell you anything, they just sell you!"
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post #23 of 292
You know: MBA can run Windows 8 too...
post #24 of 292

M$ made a product stuck between two world, and so is many other PC companies. They see their computer sales dying and no one has come up to an Ipad alternative. Google screwed them all, and M$ seems to want one platform no matter what you are doing.

 

M$ is also stuff only marketing against Apple they can not attempt to market against their partners of they will be the death nail.

 

There will be a group of people who will buy this stuff, but it will not be a hit. 

post #25 of 292
Quote:
Originally Posted by mknopp View Post
 

I am afraid that the change in leadership at Microsoft doesn't seem to give Microsoft any more forward vision.

 

Are these similar to the "I'm a Mac" commercials? Yeah, in a way. But in a much more important way they are nothing like the "I'm a Mac" commercials.

 

The "I'm a Mac" commercials were never about selling a particular Mac. They were about building the perception of all the Mac products, and honestly all of Apple's products. These Microsoft ads aren't about building the Microsoft image. They are just more of the same old stodgy and mostly cherry picked, deceptive ads that most people just ignore.

 

It is a very thin line to tread. And Apple didn't always tread it well itself. There were a few "I'm a Mac" commercials where they moved much more into the malignant, and these tended to get some well deserved flack. The brilliant and effective "I'm a Mac" commercials were ones that poked a gentle humor at PC. Subtlety and humor are the keys.

 

Samsung and Microsoft's commercials are about as subtle and funny as a sledgehammer to the face.

 

I was thinking along the same lines. 

 

The "I'm a Mac" series (to my recollection) never once claimed Apple had a faster processor or a larger screen or a name any other individual feature of a product. Where the MS and Samsung ads are rife with individual feature comparisons, ours has a huge magnificent 6.7" screen while Apple has a tiny paltry 4.0" screen. As if that single factor alone makes a great product. Lets ignore for a moment the resolution or refresh rate, color gamut, viewing angle, and contrast of one versus the other. It does strike me as funny that Apple haters believe that somehow users of Apple product have fallen victim to hype and are settling for an inferior product at a higher price just to be one of the "cool kids" but then turn around and claim that only by blindly following their choice is the better option. Apple's ads focused on the experience, and how do you quantify that in a product spec sheet?

A friend of mine has a giant phone (perhaps more properly a phablet) not sure the model, Galaxy S3 maybe? and ever time I see it I think of the old brick phones and he says he hates it. 

One time that I got onto an elevator a phone rings next to me and the guy pulls out a "phone" plus case that is so big that when he puts it up to his ear I can barely see any part of his head and I am standing about a foot away from him. 

 

I have used a variety of operating systems for a number of years and my personal preference for what works best for me is Mac OS and iOS - does that mean it is the bet choice for everyone, everywhere, no. The folks I have run across who have been the most vocal against Apple in favor of MS - when pressed for an answer - have admitted that they never actually use an Apple product. 

I have also notice through a couple decades of using pretty much every version of both Mac OS (starting way back before System 6 even) and Windows (starting with DOS actually, and Windows 3.1 through NT etc) across a variety of hardware and with a plethora of applications/programs spanning web, graphic design, real estate, code development, etc, perhaps the most telling observation that I have made its that in my experience Microsoft's products tend to focus on themselves where the highest priority in the Windows operating system is the operating system itself, while Apple's products tend to focus on the user where the highest priority is the user experience. 

So even in cases where a system running Windows may be faster on a benchmark and even less expensive that does not mean the user will be more productive using that system. A great example of this is from the days of PageMaker (pre-historic version of Adobe InDesign) - using the same version (around 6.5 or so) on a Windows system when you clicked on a page and it started to redraw then you clicked on a menu item - the menu would NOT appear until AFTER the previous command was fully executed and the page fully rendered THEN the menu would appear, forcing the user to WAIT until the computer was ready for the next user input. Whereas on a Mac, when you clicked the menu, the page render would pause and the menu would appear - and if the selection you made in that menu change the page the incomplete page render would be abandoned and the app would move to the newly selected page ( or the render would begin again with the next setting ). 

That may have been in part a difference in how the code for that specific app was written but I have observed similar behavior in other cases.

If you pay attention on Windows - watch how many times you are doing something like scanning the Start menu for an program to launch when the OS rips control of the computer away from you and then you have to start over with what you were doing - or a dialog pops up and you inadvertently click or hit enter on the wrong choice. The is rare on a Mac - and most common in MS Office - the vast majority of the time any sort of alerts do not change the focus on the Mac allowing you to complete what you are working on before switching gears to handle the alert. 

post #26 of 292
touch input in kickstand mode = "flop" (literally)
post #27 of 292
Quote:
Originally Posted by sog35 View Post
 

The Surface is a compromise product.

 

Not as light or easy to use as a tablet.

Not as powerful or easy to type as a laptop.

Respectfully, I'm not sure I completely agree. Yes, it's not an iPad, but the weight is reasonable (it's 1.7 lbs vs 1 lbs). Also, it is as powerful as many entry to mid level laptops.

 

I think it's a fine device for those that must have full blown Windows on the go. That said, I think I'd still rather have an MBA or iPad MBP combo.

 

I'm an Apple fan, but this is the first device that I've taken notice of where I haven't said, "wow, this is dead in the water."

post #28 of 292
Quote:
Originally Posted by mitchell_pgh View Post
 

Respectfully, I'm not sure I completely agree. Yes, it's not an iPad, but the weight is reasonable (it's 1.7 lbs vs 1 lbs). Also, it is as powerful as many entry to mid level laptops.

 

I think it's a fine device for those that must have full blown Windows on the go. That said, I think I'd still rather have an MBA or iPad MBP combo.

 

I'm an Apple fan, but this is the first device that I've taken notice of where I haven't said, "wow, this is dead in the water."

 

Its not just about weight.  Its about the operating system.  iOS is miles easier to use on a tablet than Win8.  Also you need to add the key board to the weight.  Then its closer to 2 lbs.  Double the weight is a big difference for a tablet.

 

I see no reason why someone would choose a Surface Pro 3 over a windows 2 in 1.  Those are cheaper and have far better build quality and can actually be used on the lap.


Edited by sog35 - 8/11/14 at 6:27am
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post #29 of 292
Quote:
Originally Posted by knowitall View Post
 

So funny MS.

 

By the way A.I. the iPhone A.I. app doesn't let me pinch and zoom (most important feature of iOS) and doen't follow the screen rotation even when i'm playing it fullscreen ...

And why is the web page the slowest I know of?

Could you please fix this.

 

Watch the video from the main article page, not the comment page, and you will be able to view it in landscape.

"If the young are not initiated into the village, they will burn it down just to feel its warmth."
- African proverb
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"If the young are not initiated into the village, they will burn it down just to feel its warmth."
- African proverb
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post #30 of 292
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by waldobushman View Post

It runs Windows 8. That is not a selling point.

Running Windows is oh so 1990s! 1biggrin.gif
"If the young are not initiated into the village, they will burn it down just to feel its warmth."
- African proverb
Reply
"If the young are not initiated into the village, they will burn it down just to feel its warmth."
- African proverb
Reply
post #31 of 292
Two people in my office have Surface devices, and they took great delight in telling us how great (and better) they were than the rest of us who are bringing Mac Air's into the meetings.

They have a Mac Air each now. The laughing stopped.
post #32 of 292
Quote:
Originally Posted by mitchell_pgh View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sog35 View Post
 

The Surface is a compromise product.

 

Not as light or easy to use as a tablet.

Not as powerful or easy to type as a laptop.

Respectfully, I'm not sure I completely agree. Yes, it's not an iPad, but the weight is reasonable (it's 1.7 lbs vs 1 lbs). Also, it is as powerful as many entry to mid level laptops.

 

I think it's a fine device for those that must have full blown Windows on the go. That said, I think I'd still rather have an MBA or iPad MBP combo.

 

I'm an Apple fan, but this is the first device that I've taken notice of where I haven't said, "wow, this is dead in the water."

 

No, the weight isn't reasonable. 1.7 lbs is too heavy, even taking into account the size of the screen.

 

Try not using the words, "I'm an Apple fan, but," as it marks you out as the exact opposite, a troll.

"If the young are not initiated into the village, they will burn it down just to feel its warmth."
- African proverb
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"If the young are not initiated into the village, they will burn it down just to feel its warmth."
- African proverb
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post #33 of 292
Quote:
Originally Posted by allenbf View Post

I think it's pretty obvious - MS killed the iPad, now they're moving on to kill the MBA next.

/s

 

Don't forget their funeral for the iPhone...

post #34 of 292
Quote:
Originally Posted by Benjamin Frost View Post
 

 

No, the weight isn't reasonable. 1.7 lbs is too heavy, even taking into account the size of the screen.

 

Try not using the words, "I'm an Apple fan, but," as it marks you out as the exact opposite, a troll.

 

don't forget to add the keyboard weight.

makes it closer to 2 pounds or double of the iPhone Air.

Apple Purchases last 12 months - iPhone 5S (two), iPhone 6, iPhone 6+ (two), iPadAir, iPadAir2, iPadMini2, AppleTV (two), MacMini, Airport Extreme, iPod Classic.
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post #35 of 292

Because the Air is actually where the Surface actually competes. 

 

Almost everybody else thinks the Surface competes against the iPad, but Microsoft has no vision of where the iPad fits in at all. 

 

So, they still have quite a confusing message about it, although the big "my laptop can do touch" only exists because they made their OS only work effectively with a touch screen. If they didn't force the users to use touch, most people would consider the surface a laptop like the Air.

post #36 of 292


I laughed, but this would have been funnier with proper punctuation.

post #37 of 292

Smoke me a kipper. I'll be back for breakfast.
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Smoke me a kipper. I'll be back for breakfast.
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post #38 of 292
Quote:
Originally Posted by Benjamin Frost View Post
 

 

Watch the video from the main article page, not the comment page, and you will be able to view it in landscape.

I do that. Doesn't work.

Maybe iOS 8 ?

post #39 of 292
MS never fails to fail!
They use the surface aka tablet moniker knowing full well that that are selling a full fledge laptop and not a true tablet.
But to the untrained geek, what they see is a tablet(wink wink) goIng against a full fledge laptop when in fact it's a goddamn full fledge laptop disguised as a tablet(hence the use of the term SURFACE).
Sorry MS but you just got busted.
post #40 of 292
Microsoft following in Samsung's footsteps. Go to The Verge article on this and there are almost 400 comments. That's all this is for - to stir up fanboy flame wars on tech sites.

Edit: there are now almost 500 comments on The Verge website.
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