New Microsoft video slams the iPad on multitasking, PowerPoint and price

Summary:A new Windows video (presumably a TV commercial) knocks the iPad over multitasking, its lack of a PowerPoint app and the price of the 64GB configuration.

New Microsoft video rips the iPad - Jason O'Grady

"Sorry. I don't update like that."

"I'm sorry, I can only do one thing at a time."

"I guess PowerPoint isn't one of those things."

"Should we just play chopsticks?"

Imagine the above, spoken in Siri's voice, while comparing the iPad side-by-side with the latest Windows 8 tablet from ASUS. (The fact that Microsft chose Siri to mock the iPad is ironic considering that Windows can't currently compete with Siri.)

Then it flashes a price comparison:

iPad $699, Windows 8 tablet $449 - Jason O'Grady

Then it closes with the new Windows slogan "Less talking, more doing." That's the dialog of a new 30 second video "Windows 8: Less talking, more doing" that was just posted to Microsoft's Windows YouTube account

Where to start?

I think that Microsoft's first point about Windows 8's live tiles is the most salient point of the bunch. As I've said here many times before, iOS' grid of icons UI hasn't changed since the original iPhone came out in 2007 and it's stale as hell. Apple needs to overhaul the iOS springboard with multiple-sized, live-updating widgets. What was revolutionary five years ago has turned into a useless and kludgy interface. Case closed. 

The spot's second jab, about being able to see two apps at once on Windows 8, is legitimate, but disingenuous. While it can't display two apps simultaneously, iOS has had multitasking since iOS 4 in 2010. Ok, so it's not real desktop class multitasking, but the feature is available on iOS, you just can't view two apps simultaneously on the iPad. Deal breaker? Hardly. 

Microsoft's third point about iOS not having PowerPoint is total crap. While true, it's only because Microsoft hasn't released Office for iOS so that it give Surface a perceived advantage. It's no different than Apple not releasing Keynote for Windows. But Keynote is substantially better than PowerPoint (on the desktop and on the tablet) and it opens .PPT files so the argument is bogus. I wouldn't use PowerPoint for iOS if Microsoft offered it for free tomorrow. Microsoft would get more credibility if it mentioned Word and Excel, which are better than Pages and Numbers.

And let's not forget that the ASUS VivoTab Smart doesn't include PowerPoint, it's an additional purchase. Office 2010 costs $100-$400 more (depending on your license), Office 2013 will set you back $140-$400 and Office 365 costs $100 per year. 

The video's main argument is on price. It quotes the 64GB iPad at $699 and the ASUS VivoTab Smart 64GB at $449, both accurate points. However, the video neglects to mention that you can purchase a 16GB iPad for $499 (and a 16GB iPad mini for $329), so you only showing the $700 iPad is misleading.

Microsoft's iPad comparison website has a few legitimate points (microHDMI and microSD ports, better printing options, multiple user accounts), but a lot can inferred from the features that it omits (like unit sales, installed base, market share, etc.)

Here's the video embed, so you can judge for yourself:

What's your take on the MS spot and on Surface in general?

Update: Some of the initial reviews of the VivoTab hardware on Amazon are pretty scathing.

Update 2: At the end of its comparison, Microsoft falsely states that the ASUS VivoTab Smart has a "bigger touchscreen" than the iPad:

The ASUS VivoTab Smart is lighter than the iPad, has a bigger touchscreen and more ports, works with more printers, lets you see two apps at once, and runs Microsoft Office and other desktop programs.

Update 3: It appears that Microsoft has updated the VivoTab comparison page to remove the erroneous "bigger touchscreen" claim.

Topics: Apple, iOS, iPad, Microsoft, Tablets

About

Jason D. O'Grady developed an affinity for Apple computers after using the original Lisa, and this affinity turned into a bona-fide obsession when he got the original 128 KB Macintosh in 1984. He started writing one of the first Web sites about Apple (O'Grady's PowerPage) in 1995 and is considered to be one of the fathers of blogging.... Full Bio

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