The ad battle between Apple and Microsoft is back


One of the most famous advertising battles is back.

After a few years of truce, Apple and Microsoft are back to advertising war, this time over the  vital question of what exactly is a computer.

In its most recent ad campaign that began earlier this month, Apple began running an ad on TV and online for the iPad Pro, trying to explain that while not traditional, the professionally-geared iPad is the next step in computing. The spot highlighted the iPad Pro’s new keyboard and the iPad’s ability to run Office apps like PowerPoint and Word as well as write on the screen, iMessage a friend and watch a Netflix video.

Microsoft seems to have taken exception to that. On Tuesday, the Windows-maker released its own response, poking fun at Apple’s ad. Using its Cortana voice assistant, Microsoft compares the iPad Pro to its laptop-tablet hybrid, the Surface Pro 4, noting how the Surface runs the “full Office,” not just the app, has ports, an Intel processor and, of course, has a keyboard and trackpad.

Both ads are clever and hearken back to the companies’ bitter rivalry from the past decade that started with Apple’s famous “I’m a Mac” ads and continued with Microsoft’s “I’m a PC” response.

The ads also come at a critical time for the companies, with the back-to-school shopping season now in full force and sales for tablets and PCs declining.

In a bid to lure college-bound shoppers Apple is throwing in a pair of Powerbeats 2 wireless headphones with every iPad Pro purchased with a student discount (which starts at $579 for the 32GB 9.7-inch WiFi Pro). Microsoft has taken up to $300 off the price of the Surface Pro 4, which starts at $699 for the 128GB version with an Intel Core i5 processor.

Though both advertise and argue about a keyboard, there is one thing they do agree on: charging you at least $150 to add one.

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