Apple hits back at Satya Nadella jab with “What’s a computer?” video

Laurent Giret

Earlier this month, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella made headlines after making some comments on the press’ traditional preference for Apple hardware. During his worldwide press tour for his new book “Hit Refresh,” Nadella jokingly told a journalist using an iPad to “get a real computer,” suggesting that we’re still not living in the “post-PC” world that former Apple CEO Steve Jobs often talked about.

Well, it may be just a random circumstance, but Apple has just published a new ad for its iPad Pro titled “What’s a computer” (via Patently Apple). In the one minute clip, you can see a young kid using an iPad Pro on the go to place video calls, draw with the Apple Pencil, typing text in Microsoft Word (yes!), read some comics in the bus and more. At the end of the video, a neighbour sees the young kid casually using the the tablet and ask “What are you doing on your computer?.” “What’s a computer?,” answers the iPad fan.

It’s a pretty good ad, which highlights how much Apple’s pretty limited mobile OS evolved over the years. iOS 11, the latest iteration released back in September was heavily focused on the iPad, bringing a macOS-like Dock, a new Files app that integrates with popular cloud storage services, native support for drag and drop and more. If Apple added support for windowed apps as well as mouses and trackpads, iPads would be an even more solid PC alternative.

It’s true that you can’t do a lot on an iPad today, but a mobile OS will never replace the versatility of a real desktop OS for power users. The ability to use all the apps you want in multiple windows, being able to create virtual desktops and connecting any peripheral you want are still key to the workflow of many computer users these days. And wether Apple likes it or not, a Surface Pro with Windows 10 remains much more versatile than an iPad Pro.

Still, you can’t deny that Apple is usually much better than Microsoft at marketing. We all love the great product videos for Surface devices, but seeing a young kid use his iPad like a boss is probably a more efficient way to sell a product. And these days all the cool kids wants iPads and iPhones and not Surface devices, unfortunately for Microsoft.