There’s little doubt in anyone’s mind that Microsoft made the Surface Go to compete with the iPad, as well as the Acer Chromebook Tab 10, in the education space. But as a Windows 10 2-in-1, it also straddles the fine line that divides the iPad and the iPad Pro. With Apple’s rhetoric of the iPad Pro as a computer, Redmond just couldn’t resist aiming its marketing guns at its rival, making sure everyone knows that a “real computer” is.
Just like Apple’s somewhat controversial “What is a Computer” ad for the iPad Pro, Microsoft’s 2018 Holiday Ad for the Surface Go employs the assistance of a young girl to get its message across. Singing to the tune of “Grandma got run over by a reindeer”, the girl exhorts her grandmother to buy her a real computer for a 10-year-old, versus an implied toy like the iPad, which is just fine for kids ages six and slightly above.
Of course, the reasons the girl gives are hardly convincing, but that’s not really the purpose of the ad anyway. It’s meant to be entertaining, using a catchy tune, and to directly mock the iPad.
Many will argue that the things she claims she needs a real computer for is already possible on any iPad, including the 6th gen iPad with Apple Pencil compatibility. iPads, after all, mastered touch interfaces long before Microsoft did. And while a 10-year-old might have no need for a C compiler, that’s actually also doable on iOS to a certain extent.
Regardless of factual accuracy, it’s still an interesting shot at Apple which also raises that thought-provoking question. What is a real computer these days anyway?