Thursday, August 18, 2016


Even someone with a basic knowledge of the various companies making computer software systems would know about the longtime and overly dramatized competition between Microsoft and Apple. It’s been going on for something around three decades now, and if you don’t happen to be a rabid supporter of either side then you likely might have gotten a laugh out of it. Just recently the shots have been fired again in the field of commercial advertising, with MS taking another dig at Apple. But this time it had surprise “help”, a “preemptive strike” from Google.

This month saw ads from both companies appearing in both TV and YouTube, all taking some mean jabs at certain shortcomings of Apple gadgets and services compared to their gadget (for Microsoft) and service (for Google). Then again, Apple did recently unleashed an ad insinuating that its new iPad can actually replace a desktop computer, so it’s coming off as a nostalgia trip for the old Apple “I’m a Mac” and Microsoft “I’m a PC” below-the- belt ads. The new commercials sure got a chuckle out of me.

At the start of August, Google released a minute-long commercial for their Google Photos service, and its content was a roast of the Apple iPhone’s limited 16GB storage capacity. The basic gist was a series of smartphone users preparing to snap a perfect moment. There’re a bunch of friends readying a group selfie, a humpback whale leaping out of the sea, a little girl posing like she’s holding up the Leaning Tower of Pisa, even a purported Bigfoot sighting; all of these instances meet with the same fate. Just as the pic is about to be snapped, the users are greeted with a total mood killer: an iPhone- esque message pop-up declaring “Storage Full. There is no more room in your phone”.

It’s clear that Google wanted iPhone owners to rely on their Google Photos to back up their snapshots in Google online storage, but it was not entirely cruel, not like what came next.

On Tuesday August16, Microsoft rolled out their own hilarious refutation to the Apple iPad ad’s claims. It shows the Apple iPad Pro throwing a party, with a Microsoft Surface Pro 4 tablet as an invited guest. The Microsoft Cortana voice control asks the iPad’s Siri what the party was for, and Siri replies it was because she just got a keyboard add-on, making her a computer. Cortana then rips into the iPad’s capabilities compared to the Surface, like the latter having an actual Intel processor, a full MS Office suite instead of the app version, and having USB ports and a keyboard add-on with a track-pad, unlike the iPad that claimed it was a computer. In the end, Siri concedes her hardware’s “loss”.

Yes, the Microsoft vs. Apple ad wars have heated up once again, though the iPad and Surface commercials failed to mention one important detail: their add-on keyboards both cost $150 a pop. But still, it’s “I’m a Mac” and “I’m a PC” time.

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