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Microsoft pokes fun at iPads in Surface Go holiday ad

Ah, the holidays. A season of gifts, time with loved ones, and a little ribbing between tech industry rivals.

Microsoft is going all-in on that last one with its new holiday ad for the Surface Go, poking a little fun at the iPad and Apple's ambitions to make it a PC replacement.

Set to the tune of "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer," the ad sees a girl joyously professing the merits of a Surface Go over the iPad.

"Grandma, don't run out and buy an iPad. Fine when I was six but now I'm ten," the girl sings, implying the iPad is a toy meant for a younger audience. "My dreams are big, so I need a real computer to do all the amazing things I know I can." Ouch.

This isn't the first time Microsoft has taken a swipe at iPads in its Surface commercials, and Apple has even fired back with its "What's a computer" ad. Whether any of this light back-and-forth is making a dent is debatable, but it's fun (if a little cringeworthy) to watch.

Surface Go is available starting at $399 from Microsoft (opens in new tab).

See at Microsoft (opens in new tab)

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the Editor in Chief for Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl. Got a hot tip? Send it to daniel.thorp-lancaster@futurenet.com.

17 Comments
  • Spot On! Finally a great commercial from Microsoft that the masses can relate too.
  • Actually, iPads are probably better for the geriatric portion of our citizenry, as it's ideal for The Facebook and Instagrams, and you can get real close to the text...
  • You think the geriatric want to go to Facebook and Instagram? What age do you consider geriatric? My parents in their 70s just want to check email and browse the web to find things mostly in Amazon. I know they can do that on an iPad, but they don't know how. They want a computer so it's either Windows or ChromeOS.
  • My father is 89 and uses Facebook on both his iPhone and his Windows 10 computer regularly. He also buys parts for his WW2 era Jeeps online and keeps up with his investments and credit card activity. That said, he wouldn't consider an iPad for his main device because he is very familiar with the PC and much prefers a large monitor when he is using it. He is much more tech savvy than a lot of people I work with who are actually supposed to know how to use a computer in their job duties.
  • I wouldn’t lump all older ppl in the same bucket. I have friends in their 70s and 80s who are very tech savvy. And then others who can barely turn a computer on. But that aside... this commercial was aimed at the little girl with her whole life ahead of her, and not wanting grandma to turn her into an automaton consumer of Candy Crush, Instagram, and Flappy Bird. But rather to teach the kid the value of being a productive person... a creator of content... a learner... a doer. Specifically... how to code. Yes... we need more girl coders. I know my parents did one of the best things for me when I was 13 they could of, when I asked for a gaming console and they bought me a computer instead. I taught myself how to code when I was 13 and haven’t looked back. That turned into a successful career in IT.
  • Yes, same thing I observe among millennials. I've had to deal with plenty of late-teen, early-twenty-somethings who, believe it or not, seem to handle READING emails but ask for help in actually GENERATING an email. That's just one example of what I see at work. The point is that the age/generation isn't necessarily an indication of capability/comprehension.
  • If it can be done with a mobile phone, is a expensive tablet (with a mobile OS) even needed? I personally find the mobile phone to far more handy.
  • But for work tools?
    Say, I'm on a ListView of a ticket system using a web browser.
    I can open ticket111 in a new window without navigate away from ListView.
    Colleague came "hey, can you check ticket112 for me"?
    "Sure" alt+d, ctrl+c, ctrl+n, alt+d, ctrl+v, end, ctrl+backSpace, 112, enter.
    What if I want to view 2 windows side by side? win+left, alt+tab, win+right.
    What if I want to open ticket112 as a new tab? ctrl+t, , alt+d, ctrl+v, end, ctrl+backSpace, 112, enter.
    How to switch between tabs? ctrl+tab or ctrl+[numKey]. Most phone app offers 1 view at a time.
    So, ListView → ticket111 → move your finger all the way to the top for the back buton → re-load ListView → ticket112. How about, instead of "save a image from a website to disk → open email app to compose an email → attach → photo app → choose a image → ok", you can paste a image directly from clipboard (memory)?
    How about dual screen setup? You can see much more info at a time, no? How efficient can you work on an iPad?
    Sure, if you are a self-employee, you can use whatever you fell comfortable. But if you are working in an office, with several thousand people...
    e.g. All your law buddies and people from other business work on PCs, you want an iPad? Compatibility? Synergy? What career path can one have if he/she has no PC skills?
    Game programmer, gamer planner, director, designer, artist, sound designer, IT dept, law dept, accountant, EDM composer, convenient store staff, arcade center staff, canteen staff, super market staff, frontdesk? There was an article from an computer science teacher, saying kids today don't know what's relative or absolute path and many basic computing stuff / mindset you'll normally discover by fumbling around a Windows, Linux or Mac. And those are the reason why class progresses slow.
  • btw, I'm a lead programmer working in a major game studio.
    Girl with no pc skill got assigned to my team... real horror story don't you think?
    We treated her like a princess, but there is no way, she's useful to the team. Unintentional mistakes, need baby sit, don't know where to find installer, don't know how to setup PC/dev environment, deleted repo / resources unintentionally, etc, etc.
    Programmer, planner, designer, IT dept, etc are def not the right place for her. MAybe... Frontdesk? Canteen staff? Arcade center? Anyway, HR is the one to blame but, her life? Kids are innocent. I blame on her parents and teachers. "My girl is genius, knows how to operate a 'computer' without me teaching" typpa parents?
    Her parent prob don't know any better but her teachers, the last resort... they didn't care.
  • This is a great commercial too. Finally some good marketing.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v70Fu2WU8-w
  • Wow, that one is fantastic, thanks for sharing!
  • What an amazing commercial
  • The guys that made this ad are geniuses, they at the same time not only targeted 10 year old kids, they targeted even younger kids by making them feel like they need to have the Surface Go because it is the tablet made for older kids and that is "cool", they targeted teens by making them not want an iPad because that is for "kids", they touched the education part that parents and grandparents like and also made fun of Apple.
    I found it very cringy but I can't deny that it was very well made.
  • At an annual run rate of 44 million iPads I'm sure Apple is really concerned. /s
  • I can follow this.
    My friend went to the biggest electronic in Tokyo - Akihabara on the release day of iPad Pro..
    Expecting a line, but... he's the only guy there. No line.
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  • Not with kids though. Most of them are on that iOS/Android bandwagon.