I feel bad for Microsoft. I really do. And their latest Surface Pro 3 attack ad highlights just exactly why.
In the ad, "Winter Wonderland", really does make you wonder. But not in any way Microsoft should hope. It shows a pressure-sensitive stylus being awkwardly used over a keyboard in laptop mode because they can't show it being elegantly used in tablet mode. Their failed series of iPad attack ads has caused Microsoft to switch to attacking the Mac instead.
So, now Microsoft shows a kickstand when the Mac has a hinge, and they show a USB port when — guess what? — the MacBook Air has two of them.
Microsoft does show the touchscreen, but they can't show anyone using Office with it, because, despite shipping almost half-a-year ago on iPad, touch-optimized Office won't come to Windows until sometime next year. They can't show anything beyond a swipe either, because Windows 8 was so poorly received they're skipping Windows 9 and going straight to Windows 10, and probably hoping customers don't skip Windows 10 as well by going straight to OS X.
It's sad because Microsoft has botched the Surface from the beginning, falling for their own no-compromises nonsense that led to nothing but compromises, doubling down on Windows 8 everywhere when consumers increasingly wanted it nowhere and, instead of learning from their ill-fated foray against the iPad, going headlong into the Mac — The only PC that's still enjoying unprecedented growth.
It feels like Microsoft has never let the Surface be its own thing — a laplet, or whatever the tablet/laptop version of a phablet is. Maybe showing some artists sketching away on a park bench, some college kids typing away at a coffee shop, some business people going from editing Excel to watching a movie on a plane, something, anything, that has nary an Apple product in sight, could at least give the Surface Pro 3 a shot.
Because stuff like this, alongside goofy headlines, will just continue to hand Apple all the switchers they can handle.
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Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.