Microsoft, it seems, just can't catch a break in its effort to help its $799 Surface Pro 3 tablets compete with Apple's line of iPads.
Earlier, Microsoft partnered with the National Football League to be named "The Official Sideline Technology Sponsor of the NFL," with the Microsoft Surface called out as "the official tablet" of the league. Some rumors peg the value of the NFL deal around $400 million or so. But even as coaches and players used the Microsoft technology in full view of network cameras, game announcers repeatedly referred to the gadgets as iPads to the home audience.
Can you imagine that Monday morning memo? "Please don't call our advertising partner's tablets iPads."
Then, there is the partnership between Microsoft and CNN. The company provides technology to CNN, including the ability of home viewers - with Surface tablets - to "interact" with CNN's famous "Magic Wall."
During Tuesday night's mid-term election coverage, CNN's studio set prominently featured - some said "was plastered with" - Microsoft Surface tablets.
Once again, Microsoft just couldn't catch a break. Some eagle-eyed viewers spotted Microsoft's flagship tablet serving a somewhat different use than what the tech giant probably anticipated.
As CNN's election coverage ramped up, reporters, analysts and anchors got busy tapping into all their sources of information for election insight.
The Los Angeles Time reported:
During Tuesday night's coverage of the midterm elections, some panelists used the Surface to prop up their iPads, or ignored the Surface altogether to stare at another tablet on their desk.
That's when viewers began tweeting screen shots of the Surface tablets.
@adamUCF spotted one reporter using Surface as a "kick stand" to prop up an iPad.
"CNN commentators using Microsoft @surface tablets as iPad stand. Facepalm."
And @_Melbourneer_ spotted CNN anchor Jake Tapper hiding his iPad behind the Microsoft tablet.
"Even the good people at CNN who have Microsoft surface tablets in their face hide iPad."
Admittedly, Microsoft has not had the best luck with launching Apple-beating hardware. Anyone remember the iPod competitor Zune? But with the brand awareness and resources of Microsoft. I doubt these setbacks will alter its tablet strategy anytime soon.