A Tale of Two Ads: Microsoft Surface and iPad mini

Both Microsoft and Apple have new tablets out in time for the holiday season. Let's take a minute to juxtapose each company's commercial.

Microsoft Surface

Apple iPad mini

Here are some quick differences I was able to spot. You're probably able to catch a few more. | Microsoft Surface | Apple iPad mini | |:----------|:-----------| | Intense techno music | Big band jazz | | Choreographed dancers | Two hands | | Showcases clicking sound | Showcases iPhoto | | Implies that it's "cool" | Implies that it's just like an iPad | Say what you will about the features and capabilities of the Microsoft Surface, but if this advertisement were my first and only introduction to it, I really have no idea what it is. Is it a touch-screen laptop or a tablet with a keyboard? What can it do? I suppose it's targeted towards students. Apple's approach is strikingly different. Their advantage, of course, is that everyone already knows what an iPad is. The goal is to convince you that no compromises were made in constructing the iPad mini. The "magical and revolutionary" iPad you've come to love over the past few years now has an equally capable, smaller sibling. Everything an iPad can do, the iPad mini can do, too. I realize I see the world through Apple colored lenses, but I must say Microsoft is showing up painfully late to the competition. After nearly three years, Microsoft is finally delivering an answer to the iPad; while at the same time, Apple has already began their product diversification. If the iPod mini of 2004 has a lesson to teach us, it's that the advent of the iPad mini is Apple's coup de grace in the tablet space. Like their Surface ad, Microsoft is out of touch, confusing, and without focus.

Rick Stawarz

Minneapolis, MN

I am an Apple Certified Support Professional with over a decade of experience supporting families, schools, and businesses. Tech has always captured my imagination, but it's not my only passion. I'm an ordained Anglican minister;  Aeropress is a daily ritual of mine; I've driven across Mongolia; and I'm the father of three girls. I hope to provide for you a balanced and realistic perspective into the practicality of technology.