After taking a little break from the classic Mac-vs- PC wars to punch a little lower (at Samsung), Microsoft has decided to return to its old rivalry, hoping to revive slow Surface tablet sales with a little anti-Apple advertising. This latest spot is a robot-future version of the cool Mac-guy-and-dorky-PC-guy campaigns that Apple used to build up its hip-cred in the aughts. But instead of getting actors to do its bidding, Microsoft used dueling tablets, creating a Siri-vs.-Surface showdown to show all the useful things Microsoft's tablet can do that Apple and its not wholly beloved Siri feature cannot:
That the ad exists at all shows a little desperation on Microsoft's part. While the company has run its fair share of negative campaigns against Apple, Google, and Samsung, this is the first such effort to sell the Surface tablet by bashing the other, most popular guy. As we've seen with Samsung's popular anti-fanboy ads that pushed its Samsung Galaxy S III and S IV sales into rivalry territory with Apple's dominant iPhone, a little poking can help the sales cause. But that only works if the product has some excitement behind it — and we haven't quite seen that for the Surface tablet, the sales for which have been falling well short of predictions.