Microsoft recruits Siri to take on the iPad in their latest Windows 8 commercial

Microsoft has launched their new Windows 8 commercial, and appears to have recruited Siri to help them take on the iPad. OK, so Siri would never do such a thing, but they're licensing the same voice, and it achieves the same effect. The 30-second clip takes aim at what the iPad can't do, that a Windows 8 tablet can. The whole thing is a parody of an Apple ad, right down to the chopsticks played on Garageband at the end.

During the clip, 'Siri' is heard to say each of the things that the iPad can't do, like Live Tiles and 'snapped' side-by-side applications. All true, but not necessarily the sort of thing that's going to turn someone away from buying the iPad. Then we get to the killer "I guess Powerpoint isn't one of those things" line. Yeah. But of course, Microsoft isn't missing out on a whole giant heap of revenue in not releasing a version of Office for the iPad now, is it?

What Microsoft didn't specifically mention in the commercial is that the tablet they were using -- the ASUS Vivotab Smart -- runs the full version of Windows 8. And, that means at some point, someone is going to find themselves operating in the traditional Windows desktop environment, which isn't exactly tablet friendly. Or perhaps they'll wonder why they have two different looking versions of Internet Explorer on the same device.

So, what do you guys think of this latest effort from the folks at Redmond? It's not at all subtle, but is there anything in there that would compel you to drop your iPad for a Windows 8 tablet? Office? Price? Live Tiles? Anything? Drop us your thoughts!

via WPCentral

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Richard Devine

Senior Editor at iMore, part time racing driver, full time British guy

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Reader comments

Microsoft recruits Siri to take on the iPad in their latest Windows 8 commercial


They don't mention the fact the device has less than half of its advertised capacity as usable space either.

As long as android,microsoft, blackberry, and amazon keep comparing their products to Apple's it will only further fuel people's interest in Iphones, and ipads. We all know Apple is awesome now can you make a descent commercial?

The price is compelling but I don't have the exact specs either. I do appreciate the thinness of the iPad, but having an Office application is also a great selling point. If MS developed a version of Office for iOS and my company allowed remote access via the iPad I would finally have a desktop replacement.

I laughed out loud. I don't have either one; I'm happy with my BlackBerry Playbook (64GB) so I'm not in the market for either one. But is was a funny ad in my opinion.

Samsung Galaxy S4 ad was compared to iPhone 5, now Windows Tablet is being compared to iPad.. They couldn't just make ads without mentioning Apple, it only shows how inferior their products are to Apple's..

Oh? Apple has made comparison ads before. Just because they haven't done it in a while doesn't mean they won't do it again.

I thought it was dumb. I don't use any tablet but if I buy one it would probably be for relaxing. See, I have a very capable MacBook Air with Office on it, that is where I work. I don't know many people who buy tablets for office. Considering that is almost the only good app on the Surface, well their situation is pretty dire because they are missing the point of a tablet..

I want to know the script of questions or commands given siri. For all we know they may have ask "Is Powerpoint a stable, user friendly application" Answer - "I guess Powerpoint isn't one of those things". I understand the need to look different or better in the eyes of the consumer but the Canadian in me says respect others and gain notoriety on your own merit not on the backs of others.

What I got from watching this commercial with volume muted: Oh man, you cannot play Chopsticks on Windows 8 tablets?? Disappointed.

This another desperate ad to try and push their failing windows 8 os. Microsoft couldn't even use their own tablet (Surface) in this ad to compare against the Ipad, instead they use Asus. Just shows how Apple products are still the best out there since it's the main product being compare to.

iPad user here... I thought it was pretty funny, if a little desperate. Might suck in some who don't know you can only choose two of: price + battery life + speed.

Two things stood out for me...
1. This is more about competing with the android tablets. Anyone caught in doing iOS/windows comparisons is already doing what MS wants you to do. Ignore the android ones.

2. Mass confusion. Go to the Verge. Go here. And you got people mentioning Surface when the Surface is nowhere to be found in this commercial. Now that's quite freaking sad when most people don't even know what product you're comparing with the ipad. Is it windows 8 or windows RT? Even the geeks are confused. Imagine the mainstream.

And mentioning price in the ad was a bit stupid. Are you actually advertising Asus (now a competitor) tablets MS? What happened with the Surface?

well what i understood by this ad is that you can see from 0:00 -0:08 is that on the ipad they have static icons while on the windows 8 side you can see that the live tiles update with the info that is important to you then on 0:08-0:12 you can see they have the same clip but on the ipad you can really mutitask without closing the appwhile on windows 8 you can mutitask on the same window without minimising then finaly you can see on 0:12- 0:17 on the ipad you can only do so much with out the office suite granted there are apps but dont come close to office but on the windows 8 side you can see you can all that. then lastly on the last part i think MS was making fun at apple for having a piano app that ms doesn't have yet. also i dont think this commercial was desparate like what others said on this article i mean i dont see any desparation when it clearly shows the beifits of using a windows 8 tablet over an ipad. aslo when some of you metioned that they didnt mention the battery life, this is a tablet that has an atom processor of course its not going to have the same battery life as the ipad. anyways thats my two cent worth of talk :)

Know what else Microsoft can do that Apple can't? Create and overprice a pointless Surface RT that no one wants, and also sell a great Surface Tablet that is also overpriced, that isn't selling very well either. All the parody commercials they can muster up, won't change those facts and make people buy these overpriced tablets instead of an iPad mini or iPad.

The best/funniest ad microsoft has done to date.

Not enough to make me buy one, but at least their marketing division is showing some sense.

I have felt all along MS hobbled its Windows 8 and Surface efforts with crap advertising. Surface has a keyboard that "click" attached to the tablet......well, that's not a feature that will drive people to your product. The rest of the advertisments were hipsters dancing around clicking their keyboards too and from the surface. Who cares, who does that? It revealed nothing about what the surface did, how it was different, why it was better (when I say surface, I'm refering to all windows 8 tablets, maybe not fair, but that's how I view them).

The latest round of ads are much better, at least showing what the product can do, and why MS thinks its better. You may not agree, you may not think the ad is totally truthfull, but at least it showcases the features. In my eyes this ad does just that, its pretty good (at least better than the crap ads they had before) Now they need to figure out how to do it leaving the IPad out. FYI - I'm a happy Ipad user

Spot on. The dancing hipsters have to be the most pathetic attempt to try to make a POS "cool". At least this ad was clever and did show something, even if the product is still a POS.

I like that unlike Samsung they chose to go after Apple as a company rather than ridicule their customers. It's an ad so I'm not going to go into how many things make no sense. I think it's a little too late for their ads now the Surface, which is what most people will associate this ad with, has been out forever. Even their clever ads with people dancing and a catchy beat didn't do anything so why would this?

Regardless of the validity of the product the ad will make an impression on the general public who, in my experience, increasingly see Apple as falling behind and not as useful.

I thought the ad was horrible. It was too short and only picking on a couple things. But for those asking about why ads like this are made, it's simple, it's to show what they're product can do that the most popular product of the same kind cannot do. No iOS doesn't have Office, no there isn't true multitasking (but 90% can't truly multitask anyway), and no most app icons don't update, big deal. iOS work and has great battery life.

Excellent ad, showing how iPad is simply a large-screened 2010-era smartphone, while a Windows 8 tablet is something quite different. But non-native English speakers will never get the gist here, since Siri has never been available to them.

This is from an article I wrote for my day job. I have full permission of me to post it here: :)

I will narrow my observations to three, key moments in the ad: First, when both homescreens are shown, the iPad screen looked simple and classy. It was very approachable. The Windows 8 screen was dark blue, you know, the color of the blue screen of death. Many of the tiles were blue, purple, and green, with a bit of orange thrown in. From a design aesthetics prospective, it was a screaming nightmare of a train wreck to the eyes. From a visual perspective, every tile exactly clashed with the tile next to it. Congratulations to color-blind people everywhere. It seems the Windows 8 design team is hiring. It was too loud, too busy, and too hideous. It didn’t make you want to reach out and touch it as much as making you want to reach out and smash it with a hammer.

Second, Siri is cool. Which would the average consumer rather have, a tablet that is designed to display pie charts, or one with a personality that talks to you? In this ad, it doesn’t especially matter what Siri is saying. The fact is that she is saying it, while the Windows tablet just sits there waiting for input. Even as Microsoft is mocking Siri, they are also demonstrating capabilities that are actually cooler than the ones she has. I’ll take the one that talks and has the nice piano, thanks.

Finally, PowerPoint. This is Microsoft’s biggest problem. They see everyone as someone who is dying to run Word, Excel, and PowerPoint on every possible device, including the ones that are supposed to be fun to use. Microsoft lends expression to the classic saying, “When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” For Microsoft, their hammer is Office, and to them, everything must run Office in order to be legitimate. Everybody must be unhappy with their devices unless they are able to run a 700 line formula on it. In a head to head with the iPad, their big hammer was, “We run PowerPoint.” You have got to be kidding me!.

One more minor observation. Microsoft makes the Surface. They offer the RT and Pro flavors. Microsoft chose to pit neither of these devices against the iPad. I found that very interesting. The Surface pro is prohibitively expensive, while the surface RT cannot run legacy apps. They had to go out and find an off-brand piece of junk to compete with Apple’s flagship tablet. That tells you everything you need to know about how Microsoft views the Surface. It simply does not compete in any way to the iPad, and frankly, neither does anything else they could scrape up.

David Johnson

You have no idea what your talking about, apple products are just a name, they suck, they crash, there so integrated that you can't even connect it to a different computer without it erasing all your files. That wouldn't be a problem if it was a computer witch if didn't notice, both surface products are. The reason they dont compare themselves to apple is because its a complete league of its own. apples are only good if you want to have a lot of apps that eventually crash on you, or a system that has a year expiration date. surface rt is an upgraded tablet for the people that want a smart tablet. the surface pro is a computer of the future. so before you go talking bad about the surface just remember at least it will last longer that a year and will still be making amazing breakthroughs while apple sits there using their outdated software and outdated screens on "new" products.

We are as good as an iPad. We can do everything an iPad does. Our UI is as good as Apple iOS. That is the basic slant in advertisement lately. Well why not buy the real thing, not a cheap imitation? Just my take, I am not against other products, but it is better to make your product look great by itself. Comparing it to Apple products will not do this. Comparing it to any other products is not good either. Remember the Toyota pickup commercial. After other auto companies kept comparing their trucks to the Toyota pickup, Toyota came out with "why not just buy the real thing" It worked.

This is better than the dancing ads that everyone hated on. I liked it. They didn't say iPad user are dumb or unhip. I thought it was cold how they put Siri in there though.

Most of y'all are completely ignorant to reality, these companies don't compare themselves to apple because they are inferior its because people are stupid and all anyone knows is that the majority of people in society have an apple product and they wanna be just like everyone else. So the adds are to compare themselves to apple its to make people actually listen in to something different so they can see that apple is outdated, sloppy, and running out of both good ideas and good resources. While everyone else is fresh and new making products that apple can't even touch.