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Microsoft Takes Aim at iPad Air with New Ads



Microsoft isn’t shy about marketing its Surface tablets in a way that throws punches at a particular other tablet brand, so the company is back with another comparison, only this time it’s between the Surface 2 and the iPad Air. Microsoft focuses its efforts on Thanksgiving cooking and having a device that the whole family can use.

In the two commercials, Microsoft talks about how the Surface 2 can do hands-free navigation with recipe apps while you’re cooking in the kitchen, as well as the tablet’s ability to offer support for multiple accounts. Microsoft compares the Surface 2 with the iPad Air when it comes to these features, and as expected, the iPad Air lags behind.

In the ad, we can see the user wave their hand across the screen to go to the next page of a recipe inside of the Bing Food & Drink app. It looks relatively easy and convenient to use, but Microsoft claims that using a hands-free app on the iPad doesn’t work so well, since it requires voice commands. If you’re in a loud environment (such as a kitchen, which can get loud from cooking), then it won’t really work.

However, we took a look at the Bing Food & Drink app ourselves and didn’t quite have the same smooth experience that Microsoft is gloating about. As our own Warner Crocker says, “the hands-free mode works about as well as I cook right now.”

As for the multiple accounts, Microsoft is selling that as a huge feature over the iPad Air, especially for families. Since the iPad Air doesn’t have support for multiple accounts, it can be a bit harder for families to juggle an single iPad between family members. Folders can help out, by separating specific apps, but logging in and out of frequently-used apps between family members can be a nightmare.

Microsoft does make some good points in its comparison with the iPad, but the problem is that the company finds very trivial differences between the two tablets and pinpoints its efforts to market the Surface 2, without really focusing on the big picture. Of course, the Surface 2 isn’t a bad device by any means, but Microsoft’s advertising efforts could be a little better, we think.

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