Microsoft has released a new Surface ad on YouTube titled What’s a computer? Just ask Cortana which makes fun of Apple’s latest iPad Pro ad titled What’s a computer? as well as their Office productivity apps for iOS.
Apple has been marketing the iPad Pro as a laptop replacement with keyboard and Pencil support. In the new ad, Apple showcased the iPad Pro running Microsoft’s Office apps, being used with a keyboard. They also showed a drawing app to highlight Pencil’s capabilities.
Apple even has a dedicated page for iPad Pro experience where the top app spots are all taken by Word, Excel, and Powerpoint. The headline on the page says The power of a PC. And the power to go beyond it.
Now there’s one other company from Redmond that has been positioning its product as a PC that can do everything. Microsoft has been pushing for the Surface to be adopted as a hybrid that does the best of all worlds i.e. tablet and laptop computing. They seemingly have taken offense to Apple’s iPad Pro ad and posted one of their own where they use the same title and ask Cortana what a computer is. According to Microsoft, iPad Pro only has its keyboard as a productivity tool but lacks in other areas by not having an Intel Core processor, a trackpad and external ports.
With its lack of any good tablet apps, Microsoft seems to be desperate to get Surface recognized as an iPad alternative but so far, the best it can do is be an average laptop alternative. They even make fun of their own Office apps for iPad by saying that they are not full featured apps. This actually reflects poorly on Microsoft’s part since nothing is holding them back to make those apps full featured.
With a keyboard that does not offer any competition to proper keyboards such as the ones found on MacBooks, Surface does a great job of being a jack of all trades, master of none. Well, at those times when it actually works and does not crash.
Perhaps, it’s time that the definition of the computer changes.