Microsoft Surface launch vs iPad launch - the mash up
The idea is to mock Microsoft's at times ham-fisted attempt to ape an Apple-style event (and the clip below includes the excruciating moment when Windows chief Steven Sinofsky has a demo tablet crash on him; the speed with which he whips off the stage to grab a back-up suggests it's something that happened in rehearsals, too).
Microsoft's main problem was self-inflicted, however.
Steve Jobs always built to a big finale where he announced the latest wonder product's price and release dates.
Poor Mr Sinofsky was reduced to saying the Surface would be "competively price" when it was released ... some unknown time down the track.
So: a mixed event, which drew mixed reaction (see NBR's quick summary here).
Still, the Surface has hit headlines, and generated a lot of social media - which is more than you can say for most recent Microsoft initiatives.
I can see the Windows 8-powered Surface Pro doing okay in the business market. I briefly used a Slate tablet running Windows 7 (yes, there are such things on the NZ market), and the ability to run full-blooded Windows apps on a tablets is incredibly convenient. A lot of Windows software is easier to wrangle with a keyboard; embedding one in the Surface's case looks like a genius move (providing the tacticle keyboard option is rigid enough to use on your lap - these little things matter).
Buy contrast, the iPad (various add-ons notwithstanding) is still centred around content consumption, not creation - something I personally find frustrating. Same goes for Android tablets. I'm still not sure if the answer for content creation-focussed users will be a Surface (or an iPad with keyboard attachment), or to carry around an ultrabook or laptop. But at least Microsoft's in the game.
In terms of the consumer market, Surface doens't have any hardware feature to worry iPad, and its app and content strategy (not to mention price) is unclear.
iPhone apps can be used on an iPad (even if some of them don't look so good on the bigger screen).
What's the situation with Windows Phone apps?
Windows Phone 7 [the current version of the software used by the Nokia Lumia and other smartphones in the Microsoft camp is different code, with some shared logic and resources (fonts, colours, logos, etc)," explains Ben Gracewood, a developer with Auckland based Marker Metro.
The next version of Microsoft's smartphone platform will improve matters.
"Windows Phone 8 will allow us to uplift large parts of the same code we use for Windows 8 and recompile (rather than re-write like we have to do with Windows Phone 7). It's not perfect, but it's a lot better," says Mr Gracewood.
And what's the sitation with Surface RT (running Windows RT) and Surface Pro (running Windows 8 Pro)?
"The exact same code will run across Surface RT and Surface Pro, zero changes required. All the Windows 8 apps we've been building will run on both," Mr Gracewood says.