“So you’re saying it does more than my Mac?”
That’s the line, supposedly uttered by a MacBook Air user, that caps off one of Microsoft’s new Surface Pro 3 ads. Whereas Microsoft’s previous Surface ads have pitted the hybrid PC against the iPad, the new ads (three in total) take aim at Apple’s laptops instead. The emphasis in each ad is on how the Surface Pro 3 lets you do more than a MacBook, whether it’s through the stylus, touchscreen, or detachable tablet with kickstand.
The shift to attacking Apple’s laptops is symbolic of Microsoft’s own shift as a company. Instead of trying to be all things to all people, Microsoft is now focused on productivity. “We help people get stuff done,” CEO Satya Nadella recently said in a memo that laid out his vision for the company.
As such, the MacBook makes for a better target than the iPad. While it’s possible to use an iPad for work, it’s still at its best as a device for leisure. The idea that the Surface “does more” than an iPad because of its keyboard and trackpad may not matter to a lot of users, because they didn’t buy the tablet intending to get stuff done. The MacBook, however, is all about productivity, so the idea of doing more–for instance, by drawing with the stylus–can be alluring.
These are ads, of course, so the comparisons are one-sided. They don’t mention how the Pro 3’s keyboard and trackpad aren’t as good as those of a MacBook, how the Surface’s battery life is inferior, or how the Pro 3 has just one USB port compared to the MacBook’s two. But given where Microsoft is headed, it’s at least picked an appropriate fight this time around.