Will Microsoft Surface promo videos take Apple head on?

Yes, we are just seven weeks away from the official launch of both Windows 8 and the Windows RT version of Microsoft's first PC hardware product, the Surface tablet. We have already seen that Microsoft is promoting Surface in NYC and LA with a street art-based viral marketing campaign.

Microsoft is almost certainly preparing a massive promotional push for Windows 8 and Surface. Today, Peter Horsten, a Dutch-based founder of the software company Goyello, posted word on his Twitter page that he has seen Microsoft's first promo videos for both products.

According to his first post, he states, "Just saw some and promo films. Seeing it you don't want anything else anymore." When we asked him to reveal more information he replied, "Very cool, almost Apple alike and with some inside jokes regarding #Apple #surface #Windows8."

If this is indeed accurate, it might mean that Microsoft could be taking the tablet marketing battle with Apple's iPad head on with the Surface, much like how Apple a few years ago had their "Mac-PC" ads that tried to slam PCs in general and Microsoft's Windows OS in particular.

Source: Peter Horsten Twitter page | Image via Microsoft

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Eskil Steenberg's Love FPS, free to download

Next Story

Latest Google doodle animates Star Trek

50 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

derekaw said,

Yay! A plastic stand. I hope it works better than this.

Sounds like you know nothing about Surface... it's made out of magnesium...

Did anyone see the video of the guy trying to use the Windows 8 desktop with touch on a Samsung Ativ? Here is a link http://goo.gl/vcAcl

It doesn't matter what marketing MS have because when you get this home and try and use it with touch you WILL be VERY disappointed. This is NO iPad.

derekaw said,
Did anyone see the video of the guy trying to use the Windows 8 desktop with touch on a Samsung Ativ? Here is a link http://goo.gl/vcAcl

It doesn't matter what marketing MS have because when you get this home and try and use it with touch you WILL be VERY disappointed. This is NO iPad.

The zoom on it should have been 125% or so, which would have made that a lot easier. Presenter fail.

derekaw said,
Did anyone see the video of the guy trying to use the Windows 8 desktop with touch on a Samsung Ativ? Here is a link http://goo.gl/vcAcl
It doesn't matter what marketing MS have because when you get this home and try and use it with touch you WILL be VERY disappointed. This is NO iPad.

That video focused more on the Desktop which I doubt you'll be spending that much time on on a RT device. Also, he didn't use Touch Mode on Office which let's keep in mind, is still on Preview. He didn't even demo some of the built in Metro apps (not that they are great).

As for Pro, I don't see it competing on the iPad. It's more of a consumption device that can you can plug in external monitors, mouse, when you need to do work or produce something since it is x86 after all.

I have a Samsung Slate running Windows 8 and you my friend are smoking the good stuff. Windows 8 is not hard to use with touch. Here's the exact same device being used by a non-retarded individual. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GOyOqzLKRKg

Anyway while the desktop is functional with touch, the GUI was designed and is intended to primarily be used with keyboard and touchpad. That's why every Windows tablet has a keyboard dock, for desktop mode. When you are in the Metro interface you certainly don't need a keyboard and mouse.

You're right this is no iPad, this is the death of the iPad. Making every single new Windows PC in the world an iPad makes the iPad's existence pointless. Windows 8 as a convergence device will do to iPad what the smartphone has done to GPS/PMP/MP3/Cameras/Portable game systems.

derekaw said,
Lets say this retarded tech guy represents your average consumer.

Your average consumer won't fiddle with the control panel most of the time, and they will use what's already presented on that full-screen colorful screen (tech retarded guy didn't)

Ativ does not have accelerometer?! Manual switching of the screen orientation will be a PITA even for not-dumb users.

Funny that non-touch users complain about Win8 being too touch friendly while this guy is using a touch device and complaining that it's more for the mouse and keyboard.

I don't even care about the price... I just want my Surface and Lumia 920 right now. MS and Nokia are a f****g sloths, they can't afford that level of laziness in this rapid changing mobile device market.

WinRT said,
I don't even care about the price... I just want my Surface and Lumia 920 right now. MS and Nokia are a f****g sloths, they can't afford that level of laziness in this rapid changing mobile device market.

Surface and Lumia 920 for me to!

WinRT said,
I don't even care about the price... I just want my Surface and Lumia 920 right now. MS and Nokia are a f****g sloths, they can't afford that level of laziness in this rapid changing mobile device market.

Windows 8 is done and ready to go, they give the hardware OEMs the courtesy of these extra months to write the drivers for Windows 8 RTM. I have a Samsung S7 Slate and Windows 8 RTM busted most of the drivers/functionality of the hardware; stuff that was working fine on Release Preview. This is normal and it just takes the hardware manufacturers time to make sure everything is working. Hopefully October 26th is enough time. Plus the holiday sales season starts Black Friday so there is no rush to get Windows 8 devices out now in September.

Christ I can't believe all the idiots asking for budget POS pricing for the Surface when it's a premium tablet. It'd be nice but it's unrealistic. There's no reason not to match the iPad, the quality and the features are the same if not better.

HP priced their touchpad the same as the iPad. Big mistake: the touchpad hardware was clunky, cheap and outdated. The surface, however, is a premium tablet with premium features. There's no reason not to price it the same as the iPad.

siah1214 said,
Christ I can't believe all the idiots asking for budget POS pricing for the Surface when it's a premium tablet. It'd be nice but it's unrealistic. There's no reason not to match the iPad, the quality and the features are the same if not better.

HP priced their touchpad the same as the iPad. Big mistake: the touchpad hardware was clunky, cheap and outdated. The surface, however, is a premium tablet with premium features. There's no reason not to price it the same as the iPad.

The screen on it sucks though. The rest is good. They should have used the same 1080p screen as the pro model in the RT model.

mrp04 said,

The screen on it sucks though. The rest is good. They should have used the same 1080p screen as the pro model in the RT model.

The Screen sucks to YOU. 1366x768 is better than 720p HD which most people probably watch on their TVs, because broadcast TV is usually in that resolution. Nobody is looking at a better than 720p display going, that sucks. Well, nobody except you.

And, let's not kid ourselves into believing the Surface RT will start at any price lower than $399 and may very well start at $499.

siah1214 said,
Christ I can't believe all the idiots asking for budget POS pricing for the Surface when it's a premium tablet. It'd be nice but it's unrealistic. There's no reason not to match the iPad, the quality and the features are the same if not better.

HP priced their touchpad the same as the iPad. Big mistake: the touchpad hardware was clunky, cheap and outdated. The surface, however, is a premium tablet with premium features. There's no reason not to price it the same as the iPad.

Sometimes it is more than just the hardware, the OS technology is what sets Windows 8 RT devices, and Surface apart.

Notice that iPads can't do things like this...

http://www.wpcentral.com/demon...let-running-unreal-3-engine

mrp04 said,

The screen on it sucks though. The rest is good. They should have used the same 1080p screen as the pro model in the RT model.

All the ARM tablets and Atom tablets have 768p displays. I would guess it's because of performance issues or as a way to keep the price of the tablets low and the profit margins manageable. If you want a 1080p display this year then you're going to have to get an Intel Core-based tablet.

Avatar Roku said,

All the ARM tablets and Atom tablets have 768p displays. I would guess it's because of performance issues or as a way to keep the price of the tablets low and the profit margins manageable. If you want a 1080p display this year then you're going to have to get an Intel Core-based tablet.

Price and also battery considerations, and gaming performance. There are coming, we just haven't seen them yet.

However there are some good arguments that are keeping MFRs from exploring higher resolution displays for Windows RT 8, with the main one being gaming.

With Windows 8 RT, it is capable of PC quality gaming, and with a S4/Tegra 3, can shove out 30-60fps gaming when running titles based on Havok, Unreal, and other higher end engines at 1366x768.

So you will have a tiny Tablet with several hours of battery life that is capable of XBox 360 quality gaming even in the S4/Tegra 3 generation of devices.

These games are not just low end Need for Speed variations or Angry Birds like you will find on Android Tablets and iPads.

(Android and iOS are incapable of this level of gaming, as they do not have the full PC quality frameworks that Windows RT offers. So higher resolutions hurting gaming is not an issue for them.)

However, if you shove these devices to 1080, there really isn't an ARM GPU chipset out there that can handle DirectX9 or higher quality gaming.

So the game would have to run at a lower resolution, and then be scaled up to the 1080 display or run centered and tiny on the screen. Scaling eats performance (ask iPad users, heck even ask OS X users with the new MacBooks.)

So there is some concern about it being a light and fast device that can do some impressive graphics and gaming and in the short term, with the 1080p and 2K displays in short supply, MFRs are looking at getting a good device out there, even if the screen is not 1080p.

Personally, if higher resolutions are important, opt for the Intel based devices with Windows 8 Pro. They have the GPU power to pull off DX9 gaming at the native resolution.

There also is a not a lot of difference in weight/size/battery, as the Intel i5 Tablets are pushing out some impressive 8-10hrs times, which is really close to the 10-13hrs of the Windows RT ARM tablets. (The times are based on playing a HD movie, with moderate load on the systems.)

If they price it at $199, it basically won't be able to stay in stock and it will flood the market. I'll buy one in a HEARTBEAT. $299 makes it more difficult to make that decision... I figure if you look at the XBox which is under $200 now, they can make the Surface that cheap.

It would be HUGE growth for Windows 8 and great publicity for its app store and tablet capabilities, not to mention kicking the crap out of any iDevice there is.

Shyatic said,
If they price it at $199, it basically won't be able to stay in stock and it will flood the market. I'll buy one in a HEARTBEAT. $299 makes it more difficult to make that decision... I figure if you look at the XBox which is under $200 now, they can make the Surface that cheap.

It would be HUGE growth for Windows 8 and great publicity for its app store and tablet capabilities, not to mention kicking the crap out of any iDevice there is.

Agreed. I expect it to be $499 though

Shyatic said,
If they price it at $199, it basically won't be able to stay in stock and it will flood the market. I'll buy one in a HEARTBEAT. $299 makes it more difficult to make that decision... I figure if you look at the XBox which is under $200 now, they can make the Surface that cheap.

It would be HUGE growth for Windows 8 and great publicity for its app store and tablet capabilities, not to mention kicking the crap out of any iDevice there is.

I personally think they will sell for 299.. and will be in very limited quantity.. so that they dont compete to much with OEMs but will also get a ton of hype regarding windows 8 tablets..

I think it's something that they should stay away from for now. They needed to get the platform good enough with apps and features until they can do ads why it's better than the iPad. Just having a keyboard is not enough

ACTIONpack said,
I think it's something that they should stay away from for now. They needed to get the platform good enough with apps and features until they can do ads why it's better than the iPad. Just having a keyboard is not enough

Windows is better than iOS no matter how you look at it.

ACTIONpack said,
I think it's something that they should stay away from for now. They needed to get the platform good enough with apps and features until they can do ads why it's better than the iPad. Just having a keyboard is not enough

Surface is better than the iPad but it will basically come down to price. If they go for same price as iPad then it will lose. They need to make it $299 at most, preferably even cheaper than that.

Hackersoft MS MVP said,

Surface is better than the iPad but it will basically come down to price. If they go for same price as iPad then it will lose. They need to make it $299 at most, preferably even cheaper than that.

I personally think it could go well up to $699 you get better hardware then an iPad. Even if it's the same price as the iPad, it's not overpriced because it has beter hardware. You're not paying for a tablet you're paying for a ultrabook-notebook hardware.

ACTIONpack said,
I think it's something that they should stay away from for now. They needed to get the platform good enough with apps and features until they can do ads why it's better than the iPad. Just having a keyboard is not enough

Eh this worked for Droid. Same basic strategy, hey we have a keyboard and do a bunch of stuff the Apple iDon't won't do for you (ie. multi-task, run Office, print docs & webpages, use a mouse or Xbox controller, live tiles, browse files, etc.)

1. Take this commercial http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GnaAQwGcBks
2. Swap out Droid for Surface.
3. Win.

Edited by Avatar Roku, Sep 7 2012, 9:52pm :

Ricardo Dawkins said,

Windows is better than iOS no matter how you look at it.

In terms of simplicity, iOS is much better than Windows. The iPad was designed for basic functions, which is why it doesn't have a full-fledged OS. The Surface will be nice since it has a complete PC OS in a tablet chassis, but it comes down to whether people need that depth of complexity and if it comes at the right price.

Like was already said, if the Surface isn't cheaper than the iPad by a good margin, it will be a complete flop. iOS has a zillion app options, while Win 8 does not.

ACTIONpack said,
I think it's something that they should stay away from for now. They needed to get the platform good enough with apps and features until they can do ads why it's better than the iPad. Just having a keyboard is not enough

Although I would agree from the ferocious marketplace that has Apple, let's look at the Kindle when it was released: Near nada, and that was when Apple had a full throttle App Store going. Still, many millions tablets were sold.

Bu to counter attack my own post, I hope MS does not get into any trouble for "falsely advertising" or not advertising at all that WinRT won't be able to run x86 apps. ANYONE can fall for that....

Astra.Xtreme said,

Like was already said, if the Surface isn't cheaper than the iPad by a good margin, it will be a complete flop. iOS has a zillion app options, while Win 8 does not.

iPad does not have a zillion app options. Actually iPad app selection is still fairly weak. Especially when you start talking to people about now having full Office for free (Word, Excel, PPT, OneNote) on the Surface and all Windows applications on the Pro, the iPad app selection starts looking really weak.

Surface doesn't need to beat iPad in sales though. Windows 8 + Windows RT needs to beat iPad. This again is similar to the Droid example. Motorola Droid didn't need to beat iPhone it just needed to be successful. Android collectively overtook iPhone. Similarly, Surface will not outsell iPad, but Windows 8 and Windows RT devices will outsell iPad by a huge margin.


Windows does what iDon't.

ACTIONpack said,
I think it's something that they should stay away from for now. They needed to get the platform good enough with apps and features until they can do ads why it's better than the iPad. Just having a keyboard is not enough

Really? Compete?

Windows 8 RT isn't even in the same class or technology generation.

http://www.wpcentral.com/demon...let-running-unreal-3-engine

Note they mention in the video specifically that the iPad is limited to a mobile edition of the engine. This is due to OS limitations that even OS X doesn't handle well, and iOS was never designed to handle.

Windows RT is not a downgraded OS on a light tablet, it is a full OS technology on a light tablet.

When Apple has OS X fully running on an iPad, they will be getting within 10 years of the technology set in Windows 8 RT.

thenetavenger said,
]
When Apple has OS X fully running on an iPad, they will be getting within 10 years of the technology set in Windows 8 RT.

iOS basically is OS X. Sure, it's got a touch interface, and it does run different apps, but inside they are quite similar. Microsoft is just combining their touch interface with their desktop interface, and I don't mean that as criticism towards either of them. It's just that people underestimate the similarities between Apple's platforms. Remember that when the iPhone was introduced Steve described it as 'running OS X.' There was a reason for that.

THolman said,

iOS basically is OS X. Sure, it's got a touch interface, and it does run different apps, but inside they are quite similar. Microsoft is just combining their touch interface with their desktop interface, and I don't mean that as criticism towards either of them. It's just that people underestimate the similarities between Apple's platforms. Remember that when the iPhone was introduced Steve described it as 'running OS X.' There was a reason for that.

Actually iOS is a LONG way from OS X, and this can be argued at the base kernel level, up to the point that Apple themselves pass off as the 'only differences', which is deceptive.

Here is the ONLY real similarity, they are both based on XNU. iOS is not based on OS X, it is based on XNU, and OS X is based on XNU, that is where the similarity technically ends at the kernel level.

Sure there some standard kernel level features that are the same, but these would also be the same on other OSes that use MACH.

Apple is clever, as they try to paint iOS as the OS X kernel but with a different GUI. Even their official developer training reads like: iOS is UIKit and OS X AppKit

They also explain the missing features of iOS below the UIKit, as it is a 'scaled down' version of OS X. However, this is not accurate, as it was built from the ground up and although it does conform to provide some of the OS X kernel functionality, the way that it handles it is quite different.

Even in dealing with drivers, memory management, scheduling you will find that iOS and OS X do NOT work the same way, even if they both expose similar interfaces to developers.

The best analogy is WinCE and NT, WinCE is based on NT concepts, but is not NT. It does not have the same security model, although similar, does not have the same scheduler, although somewhat similar, does not have the same memory management, although similar, and on and on...

At the Application later, the WinAPI layer, or even the higher .NET layers in later versions of WinCE, code can be recompiled to run on the Win32 API set of each, and with .NET software can run on both NT and WinCE without modification. (Something iOS/OS X doesn't even offer.

Even with all the similarity between WinCE and NT, WinCE is a very limited kernel/OS model technology compared to NT and there is not an OS theorist/engineer in the world that would try to say they are the same kernel or OS.

Apple bends this line of honesty, as iOS and OS X are just as different at the kernel and sub-UIKit/AppKit as NT and WinCE are.

Steve Job's "rest his soul" was taken too literally when he said the iPhone was running OS X, and yes he was intentionally trying to slightly mislead people into thinking this was true. Just like when he announced the first 64bit desktop computer, it wasn't true either, but he wanted his customers to think so, and many still think he was telling the truth.

If you follow the ramblings of Apple's people in the last year, especially when bashing Windows 8 NT running on ALL platforms, they are very clear that Apple would not do this and it is a mistake for Microsoft to do this.

The honesty in this, if OS X and iOS were the same OS, Apple could literally just shove OS X on the iPad with a wrapper for UIKit and have the full kernel and OS features of OS available.

Apple has already tried this, and are continuing work on this, but when they get OS X on a device like the iPad, it is slow and heavy. Which is why they are saying that a unified OS is a bad idea for Tablets/PCs/Devices. However, mark my words, when/if they get OS X running well on ARM or come out with an X86 based iPad running OS X, they will be the first ones to tell the world that it is the most brilliant idea ever.

Right now only NT is capable of running the 'complete' OS on low end devices like a Phone/ARM Tablet/Notebook/Desktop/Server, etc... The 'light weight' advantages of WinCE are no longer needed on ARM class hardware of today.


In my post, did you check out the video? There are some very 'real' and fundamental reasons why iOS has to use a chopped down mobile version of the Unreal Engine, when OS X can run the Unreal Engine.

With Windows 8, whether it is ARM,x86,or x64 it doesn't matter, as they all include the full complete OS and the NT technologies that support them.

So when porting Unreal to Windows RT, it was about porting it to DirectX9 and recompiling and optimizing for ARM. There is 'technically' more work in porting the Unreal Engine from x86/x64 to the XBox, which was done a long time ago, than there is porting it to RT/ARM.

The Reason? Windows 8 NT is Windows 8 NT is Windows 8 NT, and due to the architecture of NT, running on ARM,x86,x64 is the same. Sure applications have to be modified for changes if they use x86/x64 code, but essentially it is just a recompile to the new platform.

(This is where OS geeks like myself can argue that NT is far more portable than OSS OS technologies like Linux or FreeBSD or XNU. And it is described in one key feature of how NT was written and what NT uses as a base architecture. HAL )

There is a messaging problem on Microsoft's part because of the lockdown they have implemented on the ARM (Windows RT) version of Windows 8. The lock down is not because the OS is different, it is for security and to promote the more advanced new WinRT framework and get developers to abandon Win32/WinForms/etc.


----------------

And if you don't have the time to check what I'm saying, and have doubts as to whether iOS and OS X are as similar as you think, look at it like this...

Apple still provides access to the fundamental XNU portion of the OS X kernel source code, it also provides source code to many extensions.

Apple DOES NOT provide source code to the iOS kernel or extensions.

If iOS was indeed just a recompiled variation of OS X's XNU kernel, Apple WOULD HAVE TO PROVIDE THIS.

Avatar Roku said,

Eh this worked for Droid. Same basic strategy, hey we have a keyboard and do a bunch of stuff the Apple iDon't won't do for you (ie. multi-task, run Office, print docs & webpages, use a mouse or Xbox controller, live tiles, browse files, etc.)

1. Take this commercial http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GnaAQwGcBks
2. Swap out Droid for Surface.
3. Win.

Also like this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...UQkiuNZQ&feature=relmfu

Time to take the fight to Apple. There is no way this much more power, hardware and capability can come in at the same price as the iPad and the tablet prices generally are now heading downwards to the bottom. The new Kindle Fire, Nexus 7, the upcoming Kobo. Yet none of them have beaten Apple or even given them pause for thought.

Even so Apple are fighting back by answering the few price based critics with a smaller (read cheaper) iPad (if rumours are to be believed.

No I say the surface and its touch enabled sexy slim bretheren stand up and say what they are - and what they are not (see link above). Tell them this is not a toy, it is not just for consumption of content, it is not an OS that can do very little, it is not, it is not, it is not.

What is it? Quite simply it is EVERYTHING
A tablet, a game console, a consumption device, a creation device, a serious tool with real power and real value that will last you for years.

But, and here is the big thing being everything means you don't have to buy everything - it IS a tablet, it IS a PC, it IS a laptop

So do you want to spend $399, $600, $1,000 or do you want to spend $699 and be done. Hassle free, cable and power cord free and maintenance free?

Everything in one device, life simplified and improved

Astra.Xtreme said,

In terms of simplicity, iOS is much better than Windows. The iPad was designed for basic functions, which is why it doesn't have a full-fledged OS. The Surface will be nice since it has a complete PC OS in a tablet chassis, but it comes down to whether people need that depth of complexity and if it comes at the right price.

Like was already said, if the Surface isn't cheaper than the iPad by a good margin, it will be a complete flop. iOS has a zillion app options, while Win 8 does not.

Do you even know what you're saying? You are aware that MS has two tablet OS' RT which is your "simplicity" and what you described is the Pro. Come on read a bit before posting or ask.

duk3togo said,

Do you even know what you're saying? You are aware that MS has two tablet OS' RT which is your "simplicity" and what you described is the Pro. Come on read a bit before posting or ask.

Maybe you should actually read what I said...
I know what the RT version is, and compared to iOS, it's much more complex and powerful.
Do you even know what you're saying?...

Avatar Roku said,

iPad does not have a zillion app options. Actually iPad app selection is still fairly weak. Especially when you start talking to people about now having full Office for free (Word, Excel, PPT, OneNote) on the Surface and all Windows applications on the Pro, the iPad app selection starts looking really weak.

Surface doesn't need to beat iPad in sales though. Windows 8 + Windows RT needs to beat iPad. This again is similar to the Droid example. Motorola Droid didn't need to beat iPhone it just needed to be successful. Android collectively overtook iPhone. Similarly, Surface will not outsell iPad, but Windows 8 and Windows RT devices will outsell iPad by a huge margin.

Windows does what iDon't.

Last I checked, iOS has over 500k apps. If you think that is a weak selection, you must be delusional. And you clearly haven't heard of Pages, Numbers, and Keynote...

Jose_49 said,
Dude, the device can stand by itself. Apple will have a hard time suing that

But it's rectangular. People won't be able to tell the difference!