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Microsoft Turns the Tables on Apple

One of Apple's (NASDAQ: AAPL  ) most successful and long-running ad campaigns of the past decade was its famous "I'm a Mac" campaign, cheerfully poking fun at Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT  ) Windows in a lighthearted way so as not to appear too antagonizing.

Apple subtly undermined the rival operating system by calling out its biggest weaknesses. The campaign ran for a whole four years, a relatively long time in the world of advertising. Microsoft subsequently responded with a new "I'm a PC" campaign in an effort to spin the saying in a positive light.

That was all years ago, and Microsoft has now turned the tables on Apple. The software giant has released a new ad, but instead of personifying operating systems with comedians, Microsoft stacks up a pair of tablets.

The approach is very similar: Playfully call out the rival's weaknesses in a jocular fashion. Microsoft's live tiles update with information dynamically while the iPad's icons remain static. The iPad lacks PowerPoint, and can't multitask apps side by side. The iPad model shown also costs $250 more than the Windows 8 tablet displayed, the ASUS VivoTab Smart. These are all true of the selected comparison.

This comes shortly after another Microsoft ad poking at Apple's long-standing battle with Samsung. That spot pitches the Nokia Lumia 920 to the Apple and Samsung loyalists duking it out at a wedding while touching phones and talking to Siri. Microsoft's recent ads are clever, and a little less aggressive than Samsung's shots at the iPhone maker.

As rivals continue to prod it, Apple has opted to stick to the high ground and focus on its products. After a string of marketing flops, Apple went back to a reliable formula of emotional appeal combined with product demonstration, which is the same approach that Google has adopted. The search giant has also chosen not to target rivals directly in its ads, instead showcasing what its gadgets can do.

Microsoft's ad could easily prove to be a success from a marketing standpoint, borrowing from the same formula used against it so many years ago. Let's see if it translates into Windows 8 sales.

It's been a frustrating path for Microsoft investors, who've watched the company fail to capitalize on the incredible growth in mobile over the past decade. However, with the release of its own tablet, along with the widely anticipated Windows 8 operating system, the company is looking to make a splash in this booming market. In a new premium report on Microsoft, a Motley Fool analyst explains that while the opportunity is huge, so are the challenges. The report includes regular updates as key events occur, so make sure to claim a copy of this report now by clicking here.

Read/Post Comments (9) | Recommend This Article (1)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On May 23, 2013, at 8:34 PM, VegasSmitty367 wrote:

    Apple will now sue Microsoft because that's how desperate they've become now that they realize the Apple fad is over.

  • Report this Comment On May 23, 2013, at 8:42 PM, upbeatjunk wrote:

    None of you have bothered to look any reviews on this tablet huh? They're horrible.

  • Report this Comment On May 23, 2013, at 8:47 PM, BB104ever wrote:

    Apple is dead in the water now, Microsft can kill the apple toy, btw VegasSmitty367 Apple cannot and will not sue microsft Jobs signed an agreement with Microsft back in the day when Microsoft saved them from going BK. ahahhahahaha Apple better save their money

  • Report this Comment On May 23, 2013, at 8:56 PM, meToo2too wrote:

    What they fail to tell you in that ad, is that the iPad can't do Powerpoint because...

    1. Microsoft doesn't make the software for the iPad.

    2. Microsoft products are so buggy, it would be like driving a Mercedes car with a pair of cheap tires and a cheap stereo radio in the car.

    3. Microsoft and viruses come hand in hand, they both thrive on each you really want to buy a product like that? Something that you would be barely using because it is running so slow because it has another virus that you don't want to spend more more to have removed from your device.

  • Report this Comment On May 23, 2013, at 9:12 PM, jubular wrote:

    Windows 8 is, by far, the worst operating system that I've ever had the misfortune to use. It is designed to maximize your suffering, and even Vista was paradise in comparison. Combined with Microsoft's worthless troubleshooting and useless tech support, you get a trifecta of misery.

  • Report this Comment On May 24, 2013, at 12:03 AM, Sbrenner25 wrote:

    How many people need to multi-task with a tablet? My guess is not a lot.

  • Report this Comment On May 24, 2013, at 5:35 AM, doawithlife wrote:

    Personally I would get the HP Windows 8 Pro tablet.

    Same specs as the Asus one, but the HP tablet comes with two free years of unlimited 4G.

    Two free years of 4G is worth a lot of money.

  • Report this Comment On May 24, 2013, at 7:44 AM, CluckChicken wrote:

    Good to see MS actually start to have ad campaigns make sense.

  • Report this Comment On June 12, 2013, at 9:44 PM, commercenary wrote:

    I agressively favor Company A, sometimes to the point of authoritative profanity. Company B's worth is commensurate with the subject of my nearest-at-hand stream-of-consciousness derrogatory metaphor. Posting this relieves some of my unresolved stress. So there.

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