Here we go again. Microsoft does love its defensive comparison charts, and it’s unveiled another, pitting the iPad against a range of Windows 8 tablets. As you might expect, it’s just a tiny bit biased and the slightest bit sneaky with some comparisons. For example, the iPad loses out in terms of display size, but, for some reason, resolution is never mentioned.
When comparing against the HP Envy, the iPad has a “$69 sold separately keyboard” —the horror! And, of course, that’s the only keyboard that works with the iPad. The end. But wait! When you compare against any of the other tablets, the keyboard comparison magically disappears! It’s almost like Microsoft doesn’t want to admit that keyboards aren’t in fact included by default with Windows 8 tablet devices!
Elsewhere, we have the usual blah blah blah about the iPad not having a million ports, not printing to “most printers” (despite AirPrint printers now being absurdly cheap and readily available), and not having Office. I’ve written about Office and Microsoft’s current direction with it before, and the new comparison chart helpfully notes:
The only consumer Office app the iPad can run is OneNote.
Perhaps Microsoft really is going to silo Office and make it a USP for its tablets, in which case, it’s going to look pretty stupid. (Teaching people Office isn’t ubiquitous is a really bad idea.) Alternatively, Office might eventually show up for iPad, at which point these comparisons will be moot, and Microsoft is going to look pretty stupid. It’s like the company’s surrounded by a sea of stupid, but rather than building a raft, it’s just drinking down the stupid.
Fortunately, Microsoft then has a minor brainwave and presents two comparisons about things that are genuinely useful. Multiple accounts are something the iPad doesn’t allow (Apple would rather you buy separate devices for you, each member of your family and, preferably, even for your pets), and it really should, at least for ‘guests’ or to provide parents with more control over what children can access. And then there’s “seeing two apps at once”, which I’m sure is something at least some iPad power users would love.
Unfortunately, Microsoft then saw fit to release the toe-curlingly embarrassing Windows 8: Less talking, more doing advert. It ‘hilariously’ has Siri saying what the iPad can’t do, and I’m sure someone important at Microsoft was thinking how great the advert was. After all, it shows how the iPad doesn’t have live tiles, “can only do one thing at a time”, can’t do PowerPoint, and then ends with
Should we just play Chopsticks?
The teeny tiny snag is, it’s easy to spin most of that in another direction:
- Man, that Windows 8 thing is a huge, noisy, garbled mess on the start screen, compared to the clean nature of iOS!
- Hang on, the iPad can speak to you? That sounds pretty great! Hey, why’s the Windows tablet silent?
- Microsoft’s proprietary formats are a really bad idea, aren’t they? Still, I bet there are some alternate Office-compatible apps for iPad, right?
- Hey, that piano app looks great. What, it’s GarageBand and costs only five bucks? Man, I’d love that. So where’s the Windows 8 version? Oh. *buys iPad*
In short, then: Microsoft says Windows 8 is amazing because it’s noisier, has split-screen and can run PowerPoint, but it can’t speak, and if you’re into music, you’re not ‘doing’—you’re just some kind of idiot who should really be making a presentation on a cheap piece of tablet hardware.
That’s Apple told.