Microsoft has released a yet another anti-iPad ad, this time awkwardly trying to make fun of the iPad mini by putting it up against what everyone on Twitter tells me is the worst period Windows period tablet period in the world period - the Acer Iconia W3.
As commercials go, it's about as clueless as Microsoft's previous anti-iPad spots. It shows both the iPad and Iconia with ebooks, then shows that the Iconia has Halo and the iPad doesn't. It shows that the Iconia has Office and the iPad doesn't. And it shows the Iconia is cheaper than the mini, at $299 compared to $429 for 32GB (it's $329 for the 16GB version).
I could waste a paragraph pointing out that it took Microsoft years to ship a mobile version of Halo, long after the iPad enjoyed innumerable fantastic FPS games. Or that Microsoft still hasn't been able to ship a multitouch native version of Office, something Apple managed to do with iWork for iPad on day one. Or that the Iconia's build quality apparently reflects the cheapness of its price.
But none of that really matters. In the classic Apple "Get a Mac" series, Apple had a better product in OS X than Windows, and were trying to get that across in their spots. I think even Microsoft knows they still have a stinker on their hands with Tablet PC, and that needs fixing an urgently. (Where's the Windows Phone-based tablet? Where's the Xbox tablet? Why not put the best software into the most popular form factors?)
Still, some people may absolutely want full-on Windows on a small sized tablet, and prefer it to the iPad mini. It's a shame Microsoft isn't prioritizing making or enabling a good version of that device. Halo's a great first step, if, again, years late. A real touch-native version of Office would be a great follow up. So would more focused, less compromised first-party hardware. Because, damn.
In the meantime, good job, Microsoft, on getting a bunch of tech blogs to run your video. Again. But can we please stop d!cking around now and start taking this a bit more seriously? Like I said last year, Microsoft has to beat Apple at tablets. They're the future of personal computing, and if Microsoft doesn't get their sh!t together and soon, they'll be facing the same irrelevance in the tablet space IBM once faced in the PC space.