What is a computer in 2016? Since former Apple CEO Steve Jobs introduced the iPad as a “post-PC” device back in 2010, is it still worthy to distinguish tablets from PCs nowadays? Obviously, Microsoft and Apple still have a disagreement on this.
Microsoft has published today a new ad called “What’s a computer? Just ask Cortana” that puts its Surface Pro 4 hybrid tablet against Apple’s iPad Pro. In the 30 seconds video, Siri has invited Cortana to a party to celebrate the fact that the iPad Pro now has a detachable keyboard. However, Cortana is definitely not impressed:
“I just got a keyboard, I’m a computer now,” says the proud Siri, though Cortana quickly reminds her that the Surface Pro 4 can do more: it has an Intel x86 processor, it runs the full Office apps, it also has a trackpad and external ports, and Apple’s iPad Pro can’t match that versatility.
It’s not the first time that Microsoft pits the Surface against the iPad or Cortana against Siri in video commercials. Yes, Apple now advertises the iPad Pro as a “computer” on its official website, even if the tablet still runs a mobile operating system which is optimized for touch. Many could also think that Apple has just copied Microsoft with its iPad Pro keyboard, even though both the iPad Pro and Surface Pro 4 are currently sold without their detachable keyboards.
So far, the mainstream consensus could be that the Surface Pro 4 is a good but slightly compromised computer, and and even more compromised tablet. As of now, the iPad Pro could well look like a computer wannabe, but so far it seems that Apple has been quite unimpressed with Microsoft’s Surface efforts, as Tim Cook previously referred to hybrid tablets running desktop operating systems as “toaster-fridge” combos. However, Apple is still the top tablet vendor according to IDC’s latest numbers, and the market research company also revealed earlier in April that the iPad Pro sold better than the Surface Pro 4 since its release in the market.