Microsoft’s new Surface Go ad calls iPads childish

Microsoft has once again taken aim at iPad in a 30-second advert which pretty explicitly calls out Apple’s tablet for being childish – a claim that would possibly carry more water if it weren’t being sung by a 10-year-old girl to the tune of “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer.”

Grandma, don’t run out and buy an iPad,” the girl in question sings at the start of the commercial. “It was fine when I was six, but now I’m 10. My dreams are big so I need a real computer to do all the amazing things I know I can.”

No, instead the child in question has her heart set on the Surface Go, apparently. It will, she continues to sing, teach her to code and help manatees – which are curious examples to pull up given the App Store has plenty of apps that can assist with both of those ambitions. But the subtext is clear: the Surface Go is a ‘real’ computer because it runs Windows 10. The iPad with its finger-friendly, locked-down OS is not.   

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There’s a certain irony in tacitly calling an opponent’s product childish with a 30-second TV spot, but it’s not like this is the first time Microsoft has taken aim at Apple in the hope of grabbing a slice of its all-conquering market share. In fact, Microsoft has been chasing after Apple’s tablet success since 2013, when it mocked the iPad’s lack of physical keyboard, USB port and kickstand in a memorable ad. They were – and are in the case of the latter two – fair criticisms, but it was hard to ignore that Microsoft was pushing the ad while simultaneously having to write down nearly $1bn worth of Surface RT stock at the time.

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And it’s not like Apple is above a good old-fashioned attack ad, of course, as Robert Webb and David Mitchell will no doubt remember.

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