Microsoft turns Siri against Apple in hilarious new Windows 8 ad

Who knew a soulless digital assistant could be so hilariously inept?
  • (PC World (US online))
  • — 24 May, 2013 08:26

After coming out swinging a few days back with a Surface ad that focused on Office, Microsoft has a new ad that confronts the iPad head-on. And here's the crazy part: it's surprisingly amusing.

None

The commercial is a takeoff of Apple's iPad Mini piano commercial. In the Microsoft version--entitled "Windows 8: Less talking, more doing"--the company pokes fun at Apple's personal digital assistant Siri, all the while showing off the advantages of a Windows 8 tablet over the iPad.

"Sorry, I don't update like that," Siri says when the disembodied hand often seen in Apple commercials tries to get Live Tile updates from the iPad's grid of icons. "Sorry, I can only do one thing at a time," Siri chimes in again while a Windows 8 tablet shows off the Snap feature that lets you view two apps at once.

Finally, in what sounds like a moment of digital exasperation, poor Siri says, "I guess one of those things isn't PowerPoint. Should we just play Chopsticks?" Fade to pricing. Hey look, the Windows 8 64GB tablet is $250 cheaper. The message is clear: The iPad is a child's toy next to a full featured Windows 8 tablet running Microsoft Office; it's cheaper and it's better.

Now, forget all the things that are wrong with this ad. Even though Microsoft hasn't released the oft-rumored Office for iOS yet, Apple offers its own presentation software--Keynote--that opens PPT files just fine, and the iPad can work with PowerPoint Web apps in a pinch.

Also, the iPad is certainly a lot more useful than Microsoft's portrayal suggests, and it starts at US$500, not the US$699 mentioned in the ad. The 64GB version is US$699, however, and that's how much storage the ASUS tablet shown in the clip packs in.

But the commercial is amusing and informative about the advantages of Windows 8--and that's what's effective in advertising.

Apple's "Hi, I'm a Mac" ads portrayed the Windows PC as a product for pencil-pushing buffoons. It was a distortion, but it was amusing and it enumerated many of the Mac's selling points over a Windows PC. Again, that's what counts.

Microsoft may lose points on originality since this ad is a spoof, but the company's latest run of commercials is impressive for a firm that has a terrible track record when it comes to marketing. Who can forget the completely meaningless Seinfeld ads that started in 2008 or the oh-so-lame I'm a PC campaign from 2009?

But this iPad vs. Windows 8 ad makes you wonder how long Microsoft plans to hype the iPad as an 'Office-less' device. After months of reported sightings and speculation, Office for iPad is rumored to show up in fall 2014, according to ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley. Is Microsoft just trying to get a few digs into its longtime rival before it's too late, or does this ad suggest a change in tactic that may keep Office off of iOS indefinitely?

You can view the new Microsoft commercial below.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Ian Paul

PC World (US online)
Topics: advertising, Apple, Windows 8, Microsoft, Windows, software, internet, operating systems, Siri
Comments are now closed.

Latest News Articles

Most Popular Articles

Follow Us

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Resources

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Compare & Save

Deals powered by WhistleOut
WhistleOut

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?