It might be 2021, but to someone in Microsoft’s marketing department it may as well be the 1990s all over again. That’s because the Redmond, Washington-based company is slamming Apple products in its new ads—harking back to the time when Microsoft and Apple were headed up by fierce rivals Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, rather than today’s CEOs Satya Nadella and Tim Cook.
Microsoft recently took aim at Apple’s MacBook (or, as Microsoft called it, the “BackBook”) in an ad promoting its Microsoft Surface Pro 2-in-1s. At the time, we noted that the comparison was a bit unfair—since the Surface Pro aspires to be a hybrid device that blurs the laptop form factor with a tablet. We wrote: “A more apt comparison would be with the iPad Pro, which offers a detachable keyboard, and can be used as a tablet.”
iPad Pro vs. Surface Pro 7
Well, our wish is clearly Microsoft’s command. Jump forward a few days, and Microsoft launched an ad pitting the Surface Pro 7 against the iPad Pro.
The ad takes the form of a head-to-head comparison between the two products, measured on a few choice metrics. For example, Microsoft claims victory in the “Design” category because the Surface Pro has a built-in kickstand, which the iPad Pro lacks. The iPad’s detachable keyboard is also dismissed for being heavier than the Surface Pro’s.
The same is true for the greater number of ports on the Surface Pro 7, compared to the iPad Pro’s single port. “iPad Pro is just a tablet,” says the presenter. “Surface is a full computer, and a tablet.”
The biggest triumph Microsoft claims is the price. While the iPad Pro tips the scale at $ 1,348, the Surface Pro costs a mere $ 880.
To date, the ad—which is titled “Microsoft Surface Pro 7: Still the Better Choice”—has been viewed more than 400,000 times. However, the like vs. dislike ratio suggests that not necessarily everyone is swayed by Microsoft’s arguments.
Windows or iPadOS: The Choice Is Yours
Ultimately, the decision to buy a Surface vs. an iPad will likely come down to which operating system you prefer. A Surface, no matter how great its kickstand, is a Windows device. An iPad, with its single port, is an iPadOS device. If you prefer Windows, you’ll opt for the Surface Pro 7. If you prefer Apple’s mobile OS, you’ll go with the iPad—and, while the iPad Pro might be pricier, there are other cheaper models available as alternatives.
It’s not yet clear whether Apple will hit back in an ad of its own, taking shots at Microsoft.