Microsoft and Cortana respond to Apple's "What's a computer?" ad

Microsoft and Cortana respond to Apple's
At the beginning of this month, Apple released a new commercial for the 12.9-inch Apple iPad Pro. The ad called the tablet a computer once the optional Smart Keyboard accessory is attached. In a clever move, Microsoft countered with an ad of its own that stars the software giant's top of the line tablet, the Surface Pro 4.

Placed side-by-side with each other, the tablets have a conversation voiced by their virtual personal assistants. That would be Siri for the iPad Pro and Cortana for the Surface Pro 4. Siri says that there is a party going on because the iPad Pro has a keyboard. The accessory turns the tablet into a computer, according to Apple's virtual voice activated assistant, just like the Surface Pro 4 with its optional Type Cover. But Cortana notes that the Surface Pro 4 runs the full version of Office, not just the app. And with the optional keyboard in place, the Surface Pro 4 has a trackpad which is lacking from the iPad Pro's Smart Keyboard.

And the end of the 30-second spot, Siri comes to the realization that having a party to celebrate its keyboard is not a good idea after all. What is implied in the ad is that the Surface Pro 4 is more of a computer than the iPad Pro is. You can check out both ads by clicking on the videos below.

source: Microsoft

Related phones

Surface Pro 4
  • Display 12.3" 2736 x 1824 pixels
  • Camera 8 MP / 5 MP front
  • Processor Intel Core-i7
  • Storage 1000 GB
iPad Pro
  • Display 12.9" 2048 x 2732 pixels
  • Camera 8 MP / 1.2 MP front
  • Processor Apple A9X, Dual-core, 2260 MHz
  • Storage 128 GB
  • Battery 10307 mAh



1. sukrith2194 unregistered

lol!!! apple got served...

21. sgodsell

Posts: 7514; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

I remember when people in the past were saying the same thing about laptops. People back then said a laptop can never have the same processing power as a desktop, because the graphics chips required too much power as well CPUs in general generated too much heat. Not to mention all the different support chips. Nowadays the the mobile processors have all the support chips built in like the dma, mmu, GPU, CPU, and more. Also the ram today like LPDDR4X uses only 0.6 volts, and you need only 1-2 chips to give you 4gb of RAM. DIMMs and SDRAM started out at 5 volts, then it went down to 3.3 volts. They both had a ton of chips populating them. So to sum it up mobile chips are becoming more and more powerful all the time, and if people think they cannot fulfill the needs of most users computing needs, then those people are living in the past. When Qualcomm releases the SD 830 next year, then that ARM processor is almost 1 teraflop. The current SD 820 is over 500 gigaflops. The XBox One is 1.24 teraflops. PS/4 is 1.8 teraflops. Why do you think Intel is joining the Arm bandwagon. Intel use to own and make Arm processors in the past. They sold off their ARM division to STM. I bet you some exec's are kicking themselves in their butts, or fired.

22. mildorzalost

Posts: 143; Member since: Jun 03, 2014

We're not saying tablets can't be a PC...they can, there it is the Surface 4! We're just saying the iPad Pro is NOT a laptop I'm pretty shure mobile processors used in smartphones/tables, including the ipad pro are or can be so powerful, as powerful as a "decent" small laptop, but the ipad pro IS NOT a laptop... apple can say whatever he wants, but his VERY expensive ipad is NOT a laptop

24. sgodsell

Posts: 7514; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

I agree with you that an iPad pro is not a laptop, especially when it's using a limited OS like iOS. However ARM processors are more than small laptops as you put it. The OS is usually the thing that limits them. But the applications can also make up for some deficiencies in an OS.

27. L0n3n1nja

Posts: 1581; Member since: Jul 12, 2016

Laptops and mobile chips have grown far more powerful, and meet the needs of most people, but they still won't match desktop hardware. A desktop I7 will mop the floor with a mobile I7, more cores and higher clock speeds are possible on desktop. As mobile grows more powerful, so do desktops.

40. krystian

Posts: 423; Member since: Mar 16, 2016

Any CPU can run software. The CISC architecture has unfortunately hit snags in advancements while RISC based cpus using ARM are still growing and getting better and better. So there really isn't any particular thing that makes a laptop or desktop other than the input/output methods. And MS knows this and that's why they are trying to break those barriers with windows 10 and 2-in-1, 3-in-1 devices. Your software adapts to what sort of input/output you are using. It's still in early phases but even the HP elite X3 is a nice reference of what it can become. You have this dumb terminal laptop dock that has no cpu just battery and wifi/screen. And the phone powers the experience. So you don't have to pay for all these different cpus just to change your input/output method. The phone CPU is powerful enough to deal with it, there just isn't an operating system that takes that into consideration... Well there is now and that's windows 10. So hoping when redstone 2 comes out in 2017 that it will be optimized enough to actually get some attention.

25. Unordinary unregistered

Apple could easily make the same ad where the iPad grills the Surface on its tiny touch friendly app market size, need for fans, larger weight, and finish with the Surface battery dying at the 4 hour mark and the iPad battery still at 60%.

28. L0n3n1nja

Posts: 1581; Member since: Jul 12, 2016

Entry level Surface Pro 4 is fan less and far more capable than an IPad Pro, and gets more than 4 hours battery life, my Pro 3 lasts 5 to 9 hours with most tasks. However if you want touch based apps instead of a computer, than by all means, the iPad is better.

43. Unordinary unregistered

The best battery statistics/test site has listed the Surface Pro at 4 at 3.15 hours lmfao.

44. o7o

Posts: 114; Member since: Jun 26, 2009

And that site is?

41. krystian

Posts: 423; Member since: Mar 16, 2016

It's why I'm not a fan of attack ads. You shouldn't have to bring down the other competitor if your hardware/software is that good. It should speak on its own merits.

2. Atrixboyyy

Posts: 613; Member since: Nov 03, 2011

Served, served, Served!!!

3. sgtdisturbed47

Posts: 969; Member since: Feb 02, 2012

Tablets that run mobile operating systems will never be full-blown "computers", but they want to run the portable PC market. iPad is great for media consumption but suck when it comes to productivity and creating media.

4. buccob

Posts: 2978; Member since: Jun 19, 2012

Tell that to the Asus Transformer 3 Pro + eGraphics that I will be getting next... I see your point, but full blown computers in Tablet format are already here... Microsoft proved it with the Surface Pro 3, 4 and Book...

17. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

Those are not mobile operating missed that he just agreed with you...

23. buccob

Posts: 2978; Member since: Jun 19, 2012

You are right, however what defines a "mobile OS" today? Having a Windows machine in a mobile format is just as good. If not, using en emulator will suffice. Ever since I got my first Android (Motorola Atrix) I dreamed about replacing my personal computer for most situations, and to a certain point I did. And only left my notebook for professional creation. The Asus PadFone also reinforced that idea with a better (but not perfect) execution. But recently I've realized that neither Apple or Google have successfully converged their OS... So you still need at least 2 devices (many have 3) for both, creation content and consumption/entertainment. The Surface line have succeeded in merging the consumption tablet with the creationist notebook and I see myself using such device for work and personal.

30. 47AlphaTango

Posts: 738; Member since: Sep 27, 2015

But to be spied on you if you are using Windows 10? Also, the fact that you cannot play some old games means it's not a universal OS anymore. No offense. But Microsoft is desperate to sell their windows products. The fact that there's only 66 million people have upgraded or purchased a laptop, a desktop or even the surface pro and the book means it's a failure for Microsoft. And reports of laying off some employees means they're loosing money.

35. MrElectrifyer

Posts: 3960; Member since: Oct 21, 2014

"But to be spied on you if you are using Windows 10?" No questioning that. However, how do you know apple ain't spying on you? You have no control over your apps using the internet on iOS, so, you're merely putting blind faith in apple. At least on the spyware-infested Windows 10, I have control over what can access the internet, thanks to my firewall. "The fact that there's only 66 million people have upgraded or purchased a laptop, a desktop or even the surface pro and the book means it's a failure for Microsoft." You do realize the Surface line is just a signature for the platform, right? That your statement is a retarded as claiming "Android Smartphones have failed 'cause Google nexus devices didn't sell a lot". Windows 2-in-1s are leading in sales ( ) together.

36. MrElectrifyer

Posts: 3960; Member since: Oct 21, 2014

Thank you! Very well said!! Someone else who understands that mobile OS doesn't mean it has to be bastardized. Mobile OS ( ) merely refers to the fact that the OS was designed for use on mobile form-factors of a PC. Desktop OS ( ) refers to it being designed for use on Desktop/Laptop form-factors of a PC. Windows 8.1.1 and Windows 10 seamlessly fit both definitions, they're 2-in-1 OSs made for 2-in-1 devices like the Surface.

26. Unordinary unregistered

GoodNotes with Apple Pencil trumps anything else for college note taking

33. MrElectrifyer

Posts: 3960; Member since: Oct 21, 2014

Sounds like you have no idea what the full OneNote offers, or are just being the usual die-hard fan. If the former, have a look for yourself:

39. Unordinary unregistered


42. ZeroCide

Posts: 816; Member since: Jan 09, 2013



Posts: 432; Member since: Sep 29, 2015

Surface phone will be the same. For now the hp x3 will be a great in between to the saviour the surface phone!

6. qolamreza

Posts: 61; Member since: Jul 01, 2015

Haahaaa well done Microsoft :)

7. Fona13A unregistered

Well, Apple clearly thinks the target audience for the iPad Pro ride the short bus. I'm sure anyone in their adulthood who bought a tablet used a real computer before, or used the Surface tablets. Apple's run by hipsters when it comes to marketing and design, but it's effective, so who cares?

8. MrElectrifyer

Posts: 3960; Member since: Oct 21, 2014

Haha, very well done Microsoft.

9. L0n3n1nja

Posts: 1581; Member since: Jul 12, 2016

IPad pro isn't a computer, it runs IOS and is useless compared to Mac, PC, and even Linux. Sure it has plenty of great apps, and it can be a useful device, but it won't really replace a PC.

15. guests

Posts: 196; Member since: Jun 19, 2016

tim crook trying hard to fools those sheep by advertising the ipad pro as a pc/pc replacement... obviously the sheep are going to buy it no matter what.

31. 47AlphaTango

Posts: 738; Member since: Sep 27, 2015

Please... That's old news. The fact that windows 10 can spy on your computer and an uncontrollable Windows update schedule means it's a No no for most users. This move made by the Microsoft means they're desperate to sell their Windows product. iPad Pro may not be the best. But the fact that it's still a controllable OS means it's better than Windows tablet. Same goes for android tablets

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