Microsoft's new Surface Pro 4 ad targets feature gaps in Apple's MacBook Air

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware
Microsoft on Monday released a new ad for the Surface Pro 4, directly comparing the tablet against the MacBook Air, and painting it as more feature-complete than Apple's similarly-priced product.




The ad highlights the fact that the Surface is equipped with a touchscreen and a bundled Surface Pen, and can be used with or without a keyboard. It also suggests that the Air is "slower, heavier, and a bit square," and notes that Surface users can log in faster thanks to Windows Hello biometrics.



Microsoft has regularly gone on the offensive with ads for the Surface line, looking to persuade people that its devices are a better value than Apple's. Most recently, the company used Apple's own marketing against it, arguing that the iPad Pro isn't a full-fledged computer, for instance because it can't run complete desktop apps.

Apple has largely sidelined the MacBook Air this year, its only real upgrade being a default 8 gigabytes of RAM on 13-inch models. Instead the company has focused on the 12-inch Retina MacBook, which is also considerably more expensive, starting at $1,299 versus the 13-inch Air's $999. The Surface Pro 4 starts at $899 -- an official Type Cover is $130 extra, but the tablet can be paired with conventional keyboards and mice as well.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 49
    nolamacguynolamacguy Posts: 4,758member
    gaps in the Air? since when is not having a touchscreen or pen -- features the Air has never had and never been designed for -- "gaps"? or a detachable keyboard? those aren't gaps.
    baconstangalbegarcwilliamlondonjbishop1039pscooter63jahbladejony0badmonk
  • Reply 2 of 49
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 1,888member
    I'm not at all sold on the Surface Pro concept. At least Microsoft is pushing their products forward. The Mac is standing still. (I know... maybe better to be standing still than moving forward in the wrong direction, but from a marketing standpoint, standing still is deadly) 



    razormaidpaxman
  • Reply 3 of 49
    foljsfoljs Posts: 309member
    Well, how well did the previous 3 surfaces sell? Not at all.
    baconstangwilliamlondonjahbladebadmonk
  • Reply 4 of 49
    You will never be great if you constantly focus on your competition instead of yourself.  Samsung and Microsoft both need to learn this but seemingly still haven't figured it out yet.
    williamlondondewmebadmonkdamonf
  • Reply 5 of 49
    My friend's office 2016 stopped working. Microsoft's dialogue box offered cryptic information and solution. After uninstalling and reinstalling failed to make it work again, he contacted Microsoft support via online chat. Support remotely accessed and did everything we had done. He gave up and offered a Slate for 899$. My friend declined, and later tossed his Windows laptop into the trash and went for the MacBook Air. No regrets.
    edited August 2016 albegarcradarthekatpscooter63jony0staticx57badmonk
  • Reply 6 of 49
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,318member
    blastdoor said:
    I'm not at all sold on the Surface Pro concept. At least Microsoft is pushing their products forward. The Mac is standing still. (I know... maybe better to be standing still than moving forward in the wrong direction, but from a marketing standpoint, standing still is deadly) 
    Except for Windows, which doesn't interest me at all, I'm not sure what's not to like.

    I'd love a MacBook product which was essentially the bottom half of a MacBook with the upper half being a hybrid iPad. When docked, it becomes the display for the MB, when removed, it becomes a functioning iPad. When removed the MB can still be used with AirPlay as a functioning Mac. When docked, the MB could have direct access to the iPad storage for accessing files in a hierarchical manner, another plus for transferring media between Mac and iOS.

    Touch OSX would be great sometimes, but definitely not essential, and in some cases possibly problematic for software not designed for it. But with the Apple Pencil, definitely much more practical than before that becomes an option.

    But primarily, I'd love the convenience. Carrying one device on a trip rather than two. If Apple sold this, I'd buy it. I'm not saying they need to, just that I would. I'm certainly content to wait until Apple merges Mac OS and iOS, rather than Microsofts compromised solution.
    blastdoorbadmonk
  • Reply 7 of 49
    lol Microsoft 
    badmonk
  • Reply 8 of 49
    There is a fundamental misunderstanding of what Apple meant by mocking the toaster fridge concept. It comes down to the OS. For me (and some % of users) the iPad Pro and, thus, iOS replaced the MacBook Air and OS X. But for folks for whom that is not good enough, the MacBook Air is a better option. Microsoft is not zinging apple here. They're comparing 2 completely different products that really don't even compete. The surface is a... something, that is not a really good laptop or tablet, because of the OS, not the hardware. 
  • Reply 9 of 49
    why-why- Posts: 305member
    cute
  • Reply 10 of 49
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 3,678member
    Why does Microsoft keep comparing their stuff to the MBA, a product that everyone know is probably being phased out.
    badmonk
  • Reply 11 of 49
    There is a fundamental misunderstanding of what Apple meant by mocking the toaster fridge concept. It comes down to the OS. For me (and some % of users) the iPad Pro and, thus, iOS replaced the MacBook Air and OS X. But for folks for whom that is not good enough, the MacBook Air is a better option. Microsoft is not zinging apple here. They're comparing 2 completely different products that really don't even compete. The surface is a... something, that is not a really good laptop or tablet, because of the OS, not the hardware. 
    Air is not replaced by iOS until it runs some software with external controllers. Does Apple allow now connecting any devices thourgh the connector or not yet? Can I use external disks, Flash cards with iOS? So what if I have to store 16GB professional photo in RAW format? Can I do it with iOS? with Air I can do this and much more while travelling. I wish iOS was replacement, but it is absolutely not. You have misconception of iOS position vs. Air with Mac OSX.
    cropr
  • Reply 12 of 49
    I personally do not think calling out competition is a good strategy for anyone. With that said The Surface products are good. I have a Surface Pro 4. I don't use it a ton since I have iPad Pro 12. Most say it is a POS when they have not even used it. The biggest problem it has is it runs Windows.
    albegarcpscooter63
  • Reply 13 of 49
    why-why- Posts: 305member
    I don't know why everyone keeps complaining about windows. it works just fine for me
  • Reply 14 of 49
    Why does Microsoft keep comparing their stuff to the MBA, a product that everyone know is probably being phased out.
    Because they are stupid and their products sucks.
  • Reply 15 of 49
    Actually the ad should be IOS vs OSX. Pointing out all the things an iPad CANT do that the computer can. If Apple made that ad, watched it repeatedly like the guy in "A Clockwork Orange", then just maybe then Apple would understand the difference themselves and start making state of the art MacBook Pros on the same annual schedule as the iPhone. 

    were in the music and video industry and there is no way iPad will have the ability to carry the work load requiring 32GB of RAM with a 2 TB drive internal. Unless they have some magic rabbit in some theiritical hat somewhere that they will virtually be pulling out they may loose their "halo effect" and not with PC users but with Mac users who may have no choice. 

    Hey Tim. How about two less fund raisers, 6 less wind farms and put a team on getting us the state of the art "before anyone els " laptop that has the things PC users used to dream of getting. That halo effect works both ways  if you start loosing Mac users to PC because they have to have a laptop they might see Windows 10 certainly isn't nearly as bad as past window releases. It still sucks as das as viruses but some of us may have no choice. 
  • Reply 16 of 49
    this ad makes the ipad look even more worthless
    singularity
  • Reply 17 of 49
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,589member
    blastdoor said:
    I'm not at all sold on the Surface Pro concept. At least Microsoft is pushing their products forward. The Mac is standing still. (I know... maybe better to be standing still than moving forward in the wrong direction, but from a marketing standpoint, standing still is deadly) 

    Absolutely right. So many people get very defensive, and sure, maybe they don't see the need for a detachable keyboard, the ability to touch / write on the screen etc, for themselves, but personally I can easily see the advantages. But more importantly this is as you say, a marketing game. Apple usually are the masters of good marketing, even creating buzz about features that are flimsy ideas at best (hello 'Handoff'). Standing still is going backwards and it is deadly (ask RIM), in technical development and design. 

    I think this is a pretty good ad and whether the Surface is any good or not (according to people here it is not but I have heard otherwise from people who use Windows). It is part of a campaign that are works to undermine the perception that MB's and iPads and by implication, Apple products are better. I am really curious where Apple is taking the Macbook line as well as the iPads over the next few years. It feels like we are in a kind of limbo right now. 
  • Reply 18 of 49
    The Surface Pro 4 has one huge "gap".

    It doesn't have any useful or optimized tablet Apps. Which makes it a useless tablet.
    pscooter63brucemcnolamacguydamonfroundaboutnow
  • Reply 19 of 49
    As far as concept goes, this isn't different from the "I'm a Mac, I'm a PC" adverts from a few years ago.

    Two things are interesting though:
     - the obvious reason you compare yourself to the competition is when you know they are the ones to beat. In the noughties Apple was trying to reach a wider audience so they'd trash talk Windows (with the latter providing the ammo really since the "Mac vs. PC" campaign happened during Vista...). Back then Windows wasn't seeing anybody as even vaguely threatening, today they finally realize (took them long enough) that Apple's portable products are indeed vastly more popular than anybody else's (just step inside the library or coffee shop of any US university...) and are the ones to beat.
     - Old tech vs. new tech, always seem a little weak to me. We all know the MBA, at least in the 18-month old iteration shown here, is on its way out... Doesn't inspire much confidence.
  • Reply 20 of 49
    gumbigumbi Posts: 148member
    sog35 said:
    the Surface is a joke product.

    can't believe Microsoft is still pushing this POS. 

    Well, it's obvious why they are still pushing it - it's a billion dollar business that is growing...
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