Microsoft’s RT and Pro tablets, which arrived on the scene in the last 10 months, have so far failed to make a big impact on the market. Indeed, the Redmond-based company said recently it’d taken a $900 million write-down on unsold Surface RT tablets. And in recent months there have been a slew of promotions and offers for both versions of the slate, though whether it’s had any significant effect on sales is unclear.
In a new TV ad (below) that suggests the company feels it has so far failed to get its message across as to why it thinks its tablets are worthy of your hard-earned dollars, the Surface RT is shown alongside the tablet all rivals want to knock from its perch, the fourth-generation iPad.
The 80-second ad, which goes with an upbeat soundtrack and on-screen text (ie. no narration) wants you to know – in case you weren’t already aware – that the iPad does not come with an integrated keyboard or kickstand, whereas the RT most certainly does. However, unless you’re picking up a free Touch or Type Cover as part of a promotion, you’ll have to fork out a bit of extra dough for it.
Also highlighted as a selling point is Microsoft Office, which comes loaded with the RT but isn’t available for Apple’s tablet, though Office Web Apps offers iPad owners some options.
Multitasking! USB port!
Multitasking gets a look in too, with the ad showing the RT user using several apps at once. The iPad user, meanwhile, is shown flipping between various apps.
The RT’s USB port also makes an appearance, something the iPad most definitely does not have, and probably never will.
Finally, under the subtitle “get more”, the prices of each device are displayed – the 16GB iPad currently sells for $499 while the RT, with twice the amount of memory, is available for $349.
Apple sold over 14.5 million iPads in its most recent quarter, while the Surface, which was reduced by $150 last month, has struggled to grab the attention of consumers.
In June, Microsoft launched a promotion giving K-12 and higher education institutions the opportunity to get their hands on a 32GB RT tablet for just $199. The company also went as far as giving away thousands of RT tablets for free to the first 10,000 registrants for June’s International Society for Technology in Education conference in San Antonio, Texas.