Gone are the days of Apple's hilarious Mac vs. PC Ads, that drew a lot of attention from admirers and critics likewise. Those from Apple featured heavily on how Macs stood out from the PCs, i.e., superior security from malware, better software value in terms of inbuilt suites, better hardware, less confusing and tricking price points, better service via Apple Genius bars, lack of out the box nonsense-ware, etc (here is the complete list on Wikipedia). Of course most of these were true and there were area where the Apple Macs were behind the PC as well, at that time, like lack of software offerings, lack of diversified price points, etc. But at that time Apple was the underdog and going after the Market leader, Microsoft. The Ads were effective and though Apple Macs never outgrew or even came close to the PCs, the Ads were deemed a huge success.
Now come 2104, looks like the tides have changed or have they? Microsoft has been going after Apple's iPad, some time in the past, comparing them with its Surface tablets. Now it is time for it go after the MacBook Air (via MacRumors). What is interesting is the theme of these Ads. They are very reminiscent of the Mac vs. PC Ads, but the difference is that Microsoft doesn't look like it has much to go on. For example all these three Ads, pitch the Surface tablet as having a touchscreen and better connectivity or more ports, thats it. I agree (and so do many) that I would like to replace my iPad and my MacBook Pro with one machine. But am I willing to sacrifice the advantages of these two separate devices, just to get one device that crams in both of them, like a Surface tablet? I don't think so, at least not yet and so does the market. The Surface tablet is being pitched as "no compromise" tablet and laptop, but unfortunately it has ended up being a fully compromised tablet and a laptop (The Verge's Surface review). The tablet seemingly is apparently to bulky and heavy to be used as a tablet, the desktop portion of it also seems to be too confusing with both the traditional Windows and Windows Mobile like touchscreen interface. On the whole, Surface is so typical of a Microsoft product (or even Google's) where the Engineers got all their ways, say yes to everything so we can fill in the spec sheet with feature after feature. This is the exact opposite of the Apple ideology of saying no to almost everything except the very very few things that are absolutely necessary.
Another interesting thing about these Ads are the fact that though Apple's Macs are no where close to the marketshare of the PCs, looks like MacBook Airs alone are doing very well against the Surface tablets. And these Ads are a testimony to the fact that Microsoft is kind of realizing this fact that the MacBook Air like computers are going to be dominating the consumer market from now. Apple obviously realized this sooner, as they have been making the MacBook Airs much more affordable and less crippled in terms of features. It is fair to assume that Apple will be concentrating (the 12" MacBook Air?) of the MacBook Air like much more than the MacBook Pro line, in the near future, as it seems to be the favorite for majority of the people.