Microsoft tries to slam Apple in the worst possible place

Text below star rating is a free Apple product placement

In marketing, it’s often said to never mention your competitor by name, as this makes it easier for the consumer to cross-shop because you have provided them a comparable product. Knowing this, Microsoft has recently updated its Surface website to bash Apple products but they have done it at an awful location, the product selection website.

The page that Microsoft has chosen to attack Apple is the same page where you select your product to checkout. Presumably, if the consumer is already at this page, they are heavily leaning towards buying a Surface but with the added knock of Apple bashing, Microsoft has placed a competitors name at the point of sale.

Why would you ever want to do this? If the consumer is one mouse click away from buying your product, why would you mention your competitor by name as it could spark the user to go view the competition that they may not have considered without the reminder from Microsoft.

Text below star rating is a free Apple product placement

The Apple bashing appears on the Surface 1, Surface 2, and Surface 2 Pro pages that means that the placement of the text was intentional.

We can understand that Microsoft would want it’s Surface to look superior to Apple products on other marketing pages where the company is still trying to persuade the consumer to buy their device, as this is common practice. But on the checkout page, Microsoft should keep the statements free of competitors’ names to not tempt the buyer to cross-shop.

The update to the page is fairly recent as you can see in the image below, obtained by using Google’s webpage caching feature, Apple’s product names are absent from the page.

Previous text obtained via Google cache

We know that Microsoft is doing everything it can to help support its Surface business model that trails behind Apple’s iPad, but surely there are better ways to go about promoting your own product and bashing the competition at locations other than the point of sale. For now, though, Apple is getting a free product placement on the Surface checkout page, and even though it may not be a favorable statement, they are getting a free, last minute, brand placement that could turn away a few buyers.

As noted in the comments below, the text you see above is only shown to those with a user agent setting that shows you are using OS X. 

Source: Microsoft | Thanks for the tip Greg!

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