A fresh volley was delivered on Wednesday when Microsoft’s corporate vice-president of communications, Frank Shaw, posted a message to the Redmond, Wash. company’s official blog.
Directly referencing Apple’s announcement on Tuesday that iWork and iLife will now come free with the purchase of every new Mac or iOS device, Shaw wrote:
Since iWork has never gotten much traction, and was already priced like an afterthought, it’s hardly that surprising or significant a move. And it doesn’t change the fact that it’s much harder to get work done on a device that lacks precision input and a desktop for true side-by-side multitasking.
That scathing passage was followed by a detailed list of reasons why, according to Shaw, the Surface is superior to Apple’s iPad. Hitting on points including price, hardware and software, the post is possibly one of the most direct assaults against the iPad that Microsoft has made since the debut of the original Surface last year.
Of course, we’ve seen Microsoft take jabs at Apple before. As recently as last May, Microsoft produced a commercial that placed a Windows 8 tablet beside an iPad, comparing them to humorous effect. However, this latest message indicates that the playful jabbing may be turning into a bona fide platform war.
Saving his best barb for last, Shaw wrote, “When I see Apple drop the price of their struggling, lightweight productivity apps, I don’t see a shot across our bow, I see an attempt to play catch up.”
But despite the passionate and detailed post, which makes a decent argument for Microsoft’sSurface tablets and associated software, it’s consumer tastes — not rallying cries for any particular product — that will ultimately decide the fortunes of both tablet platforms.
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BONUS: 5 Unusual Ways to Use Apple’s iPad [VIDEOS]
1. For Magic
Apple calls the iPad “magical” and here Japanese magician Shinya Uchida makes good on that claim with some stunning street sorcery.
2. In Zero Gravity
These brave men and women answer the burning question on everyone’s lips: Can you use an iPad in space? In this vid, the tablet gets the zero-g treatment all in the name of science.
3. During Surgery
With a makeshift protective cover, these Japanese docs use the iPad during surgery. Word to the wise: Don’t press play if you’re squeamish.
4. As a Menu
Admit it, unless the food was utterly terrible, you’d be seriously tempted to go to a restaurant where the menus were iPads. Right?
5. As an Encore
Classical pianist Lang Lang steps up his first encore by bashing out a version “Flight of the Bumblebee” on his iPad. Sheer class.
BONUS: As a Chopping Board
Perhaps inspired by antics from Stephen Colbert, Jake Gyllenhaal uses an iPad as an impromptu cutting board before cooking it in a frying pan. Good thing it belongs to UK TV presenter Jonathan Ross. That’s one way to void the warranty.