Microsoft has rekindled the Mac vs PC debate in an attempt to gain a larger share of the tablet market Apple has dominated in recent years. In a recent commercial, Microsoft uses Apple’s Siri technology against itself to showcase the benefits of choosing Windows 8 as your tablet operating system.
The commercial is reminiscent of the classic “I’m a PC” advertising campaign Microsoft used in nearly every advertisement it made in the late 2000s. The campaign was a $300 million effort to counteract the growing market share Apple was gaining in the world of personal computers. It was a direct attack against Apple’s “Get a Mac” advertising effort which portrayed PCs as boring and dull compared to the cool and intuitive Apple computers.
Times have changed in the 5 years since the start of that advertising campaign, a relatively short period of time in the real world. 5 years is eons in the world of technology, as people are no longer desiring to carry around a laptop because they have become bulky compared to the highly portable tablets.
Apple and its iPad have dominated the tablet market since the release of the original iPad made its debut in 2010. This marks a reverse in the typical landscape of the computer market. Apple usually holds only a sliver of the market when compared to what Microsoft commands. However in the case of tablets, Apple is the established technology and Microsoft is the one attempting to break down the door and take the world by storm with its tablets.
Windows 8, the latest operating system by Microsoft, is catered to tablets in many ways. It’s tiled app layout is far easier to use when on a touchscreen compared to a traditional computer.
Highlighting the capabilities of a Windows 8 powered tablet in the commercial, Siri’s voice makes its case for Windows superiority in the realm of tablets. Points highlighted in the thirty second commercial are the ability to update without needing a computer, the ability to run multiple apps at the same time, PowerPoint capabilities. The commercial finishes with Siri suggesting that her iPad should just play chopsticks, poking fun at Apple’s ad campaign while showing the device to be more for play than for work.
Another major selling point for a Microsoft tablet over the iPad highlighted in the ad is price. The model chosen to prove this point is the 64 gb Asus VivoTab Smart, which carries a $449 price tag. The commercial assumes that one would purchase a comparable iPad which would bring with it a $699 price tag.
As expected, all strengths of the iPad are ignored in the ad. This isn’t a surprise at all, it would be a very unusual move to bring to publicize any strengths your competitor has over your own product.
$1 billion is the budget for the current Windows 8 ad campaign, so we likely will be seeing many more attacks at Apple and its iPad in the near future. The war has been started all over again, bringing back the old rivalry that is Mac vs PC. Users of both products have strong opinions of the benefits their choice brings to the table.
The effects of the advertising campaign would have to be substantial for Microsoft to make any real headway in the growing tablet market. Apple’s control has slipped in the past year, dipping from 60% a year ago to just over 40% currently. This isn’t necessarily a warning sign for Apple however as their sales rose to 19.5 million in the first quarter this year, a 65.3% increase over a year ago. (per Forbes)
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The Guardian Express