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Microsoft Ad Finally Describes What Surface Does

Microsoft's Windows 8/RT-based Surface devices are pretty slick and attractive to those who want both a tablet and a PC in one lightweight, ultra-modern unit. Yet most people are unaware of the benefits of the device despite a six-plus month ad blitz that's hard to miss. The commercials, slick in their own right, don't explain what a potential customer can do with a Surface.

I know many people who don't follow technology closely but nevertheless use it. Quite a few have no clue what the Surface does and Microsoft's commercials have done little to advance its cause. Microsoft today is finally acknowledging this.

"As much as we love the ads and others have, they've also been a bit polarizing," Michael Hall, general manager for Surface at Microsoft admitted in a blog post. "Some of our biggest Surface fans have been downright angry (ANGRY!) that we aren't talking about more of what it actually does!"

It appears Microsoft has finally gotten the message that if it wants to convince customers to look at the tablet hybrid, perhaps it should tell them why. The company's new ads do just that. The spots implicitly point out what you can't do with an iPad by pointing to the ability to run Office, a keyboard and support for peripherals via SD card and USB ports.

Perhaps these new commercials will help move the needle a bit on Surface sales. But I suspect until the next generation of devices hit the market, presumably with Intel's next-generation Haswell processors, it may remain a tough sell. But it's harder to convince people to buy something if they don't know what it is. Hence the new ads are a step in the right direction.

Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on 05/20/2013 at 1:15 PM


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