Microsoft Shares Holiday Ad Promoting Surface Go Over Apple's iPad: 'Big Dreams Need a Real Computer'

Microsoft this week shared a new ad on its Microsoft Surface YouTube channel, this one aimed at promoting the Surface Go. As the ad begins, a little girl stares into the window of a Microsoft Store and begins singing about her preference for the Surface Go over Apple's iPad, to the tune of the song "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer."

She sings, "Grandma don't run out and buy an iPad, it was fine when I was six but now I'm 10. My dreams are big so I need a real computer, to do all the amazing things I know I can." Microsoft's ad is aimed at Apple's own "What's a Computer?" ad campaign, which began in 2016 and showed off a few of the things that the iPad Pro can do as a replacement to a traditional laptop computer.


Microsoft's description of the video includes a reference to needing a "real computer": "Big dreams need a real computer, like the Surface Go, to help make them come true. This holiday season, discover all the possibilities with the Surface Go. Portable, powerful and starts at $399."

The Surface Go launched over the summer at a price point of $399, making it a direct competitor to Apple's cheaper iPads. The Go is basically a smaller version of the $799 Surface Pro, including the integrated kickstand and a front-facing camera above the 1800 x 1200 resolution IPS touchscreen display.

Related Roundup: iPad
Buyer's Guide: iPad (Neutral)

Top Rated Comments

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19 months ago
They're not wrong, sometimes you do need a "real computer". I cannot imagine trying to do my work (software development) on an iPad, that would be real torture.

EDIT:// I'm getting a little bit of shade for this comment so I want to clarify a few things. I like the iPad, I think it's a great product for tasks well suited to its form factor.

Tasks like reading a book, watching a video, playing a game. I also think it's good as an auxiliary device within a larger creative process.

However there is a lot of creative things that you can't do entirely on the iPad. Too often there comes a point in the creative workflow on an iPad where you need to take the file you're working on to a "real computer" to accomplish something that the iPad can't do.

The biggest weak point is integration. For example lets say I'm making a website. I'm coding it, HTML, CSS, Javascript. I'm also designing parts of it in Photoshop CC and I'm also testing it in various browsers.

I can't do that on an iPad. Firstly all the browsers on it use Webkit as the browser engine. Mandated by Apple. So I can't test what I make in multiple browsers on the iPad itself. I also can't easily make stuff in Photoshop and then import that into my website. The ability to edit things and upload them to the websites server is difficult on the iPad.

And as for code editors, it's difficult there too, the workflow with lots of different files in lots of directories does not lend itself well to the iPad. The files app isn't very good.

This is just one example but it's the same for video editors, image editors, music creators. There always comes a point in the workflow where you need to do something that the software is too limited to do, either the apps don't support the same file formats or their capability is not at the level of traditional desktop class software.

I have a friend who records some of his music with his iPad but he doesn't "edit" what he records on it, it's just not got the software for his level of work (professional artist). Of course he has to take it to his Mac to finish it up and to get his unique sound on the music (it's mostly electronic songs).

I have another friend who is a comic strip artist. She draws most of her stuff now on her iPad Pro with the Apple Pencil but similarly she has to take what she makes to her Mac to be able to finish it off and upload it to her website. She told me before she can do this on her iPad but that it takes too long and it's to quote her "annoying". She loves drawing on it, but once she's done she wants nothing to do with that device for manipulating the end result, authoring it on her site, it's just not as good at that stuff as her "real computer" etc

And I think most of you here know that, if you've used an iPad you have experienced the same things I'm sure. There is a lot we take for granted on traditional computers like Windows and macOS that is not there on the iPad and we miss it. The multitasking on the iPad has gotten better over a long period of time but it's still nothing as good as the "real deal" so to speak on a "real computer".

As usual Apple is competing with themselves, macOS is so good. Pretty much every review of the recent iPad Pro's I saw harped on this fact, yeah it's great hardware but it's hamstrung by so-so software (from a creative professional standpoint which is what iPad Pro's are intended for).
Score: 85 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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19 months ago
iPad - "fine when I was 6 but now I'm 10" - Love it, great line!
Score: 64 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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19 months ago
And its actually true. Apple can't keep pushing a device with a mobile OS as a computer.
Score: 61 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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19 months ago

Too bad W10 is still an unreliable disaster.

Too bad that is completely untrue. If your W10 computer is an unreliable disaster, it's all on you. You either bought a piece of crap computer to begin with, or you downloading too many "free" things from the internet.

The truth is, W10 is one of the best, most reliable versions of Windows 10. But, feel free to post links to mainstream IT sites who say W10 is a disaster. I'd be interested in what I must be doing right for my clients who have completely a trouble-free W10 experience. As a matter of fact, one client that is mixed Mac and Windows, the Mac users have far more issues than the Windows users. Far more.
Score: 59 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
19 months ago
Irrespetive of any views about Microsoft vs Apple, and Tablets vs Laptops, and iPads vs Surface's.

Virtually every single one of the in depth reviews, both online, and in the many tech podcasts said over and over again the exact same thing:

"The hardware of the latest iPad's is totally stunning. The power, and overall quality of the device is amazing in every way. However THE BIGGEST problem, and it's so obvious, even more now is iOS. It's just ridiculous, and so limiting to have a blown up phone OS on such an amazing and powerfully device as the current iPads, and Apple REALLY needs to do something about this now, as it's just crazy given it's sheer power, that it's being held back by the OS"

Come on Apple, everyone, even your most loyal fans, can see this now.
iOS was good enough years ago, on the 1st few iPads. But now, they deserve YOU to move on, and make iPads devices that can become what so many want them to be.
Score: 47 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
19 months ago
Too bad W10 is still an unreliable disaster.
Score: 34 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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