Microsoft pays $400 million for product placement, then NFL announcer calls Surface tablet ‘iPad-like’ on air

“In among the larger-than-life humans on NFL sidelines this season, you’ll notice a slew of Microsoft’s Surface Pro 2 tablets,” Vlad Savov reports for The Verge. Microsoft committed to “spend $400 million on an exclusive advertising and equipment deal with the NFL.”

“The tablets are encased in chunky cyan protective cases and have been attracting the attention of the broadcast commentators when put to use,” Savov reports. “The only problem is that the announcers don’t seem to have been briefed on the name, leaving them to describe Microsoft’s slates as ‘iPad-like tools.'”

Read more in the full article here.

Back in May, Bryan Bishop reported for The Verge, “Coaches and players will have access to Surface tablets to aid in play calling and other in-game needs, an area that has been dominated by the iPad up until this point. Microsoft will be named ‘The Official Sideline Technology Sponsor of the NFL,’ with the Surface called out as ‘the official tablet’ of the league.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Microsoft is a silly, stupid, dysfunctional entity whose greatest (and, arguably, only real) success was an upside-down and backwards Apple knockoff (Mac OS) upon which they piggybacked a bloated office suite, a godawful web browser, and some mice. Everything else they touch that’s not related to their pretend Mac OS or forced onto their hapless customers via their Mac OS wannabe is an abject, laughingstock failure (Zune, Kin, Surface, etc.) and/or an endless money pit (Xbox, Windows Phone). To see these dummies blowing $400 million in order to basically promote Apple’s revolutionary iPad during NFL games is not at all unexpected, yet infinitely satisfying.

As we explained back in October 2012 in yet another prescient Take that even Microsoft could have read, long before they were forced to swallow a $900 million write-off over their Surface flop and chose exactly the wrong CEO to try to clean up Ballmer T. Clown’s mess:

That dumbass kickstand is yet another ill-considered, misguided, corporate committee-driven “differentiation” squirted out of Microsoft’s back door unbidden onto the public.

Microsoft is staffed with stupid and/or lazy people. There’s no other explanation besides crippling narcissism – which is a very real possibility. Most people use iPads while lounging around. All Microsoft’s Surface “team” had to do was buy some real iPads and use them for a few weeks. Steve Jobs himself even demonstrated the iPad while reclining in a comfy leather chair, not sitting upright at a friggin’ desk. Microsoft was shown the way and, once again, they failed to properly follow Apple’s lead. By now, that’s just stupid and/or lazy.

Microsoft suffers from delusions of grandeur. They think they matter and that people will buy their pretend iPad over other pretend iPads because it’s from Microsoft. Microsoft does not matter. Microsoft no longer has the power to sell superfluous products. The world already has iPad. The thinking world finally woke up and moved on from Microsoft’s soul-sapping dreck. That clueless Microsoft haven’t figured this out years ago (Zune, Kin, how many total face-plants do they need?) is illustrative of the depths of their delusions.

As with Zune, Kin, and Surface, Microsoft is unnecessary in today’s world. Their rapidly retiring/expiring IT Doofus firewall is the only thing keeping them around today.

And that’s not going to last much longer, either.

[Attribution: CNET. Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Arline M.” for the heads up.]

Related articles:
Buffalo Bills coach Doug Marrone says his Microsoft Surface tablet ‘didn’t work’ for portion of game – August 4, 2014
How Apple’s iPad is revolutionizing NFL playbooks for players and coaches – July 19, 2012
Miami Dolphins latest to replace huge paper playbooks with Apple iPads – June 24, 2012
Cincinnati Bengals go digital with iPad playbooks, join dozen other NFL teams – June 15, 2012
Denver Broncos NFL team transfers traditional playbooks to Apple iPads – April 23, 2012
NFL’s Tampa Bay Bucs give every player an Apple iPad 2 to hold playbook, video – August 25, 2011
NFL teams considering replacing playbooks with Apple iPads – February 4, 2011


  1. I never thought I would defend Microsoft in anything they have done and while I am in agreement with most of what has been said here (pretend MacOS, etc.) I must say that they hity it out of the park with “the Microsoft Trackball Explorer (AKA Microsoft Internet Trackball Explorer).” I bought TWO of these (work and home) at BestBuy for around $150/each when they were released circa 1999. It was by far the best mouse I had ever used (or have since used)…. but maintenance was essential (typical Q-tips and alcohol), and only worked for a while before the units wore out and gave up the ghost. New ones appear to be on sale … for over $600.00!! Great product, R.I.P

  2. Wow, I guess it’s true that Mac users are the biggest haters of the top three and think everything Apple is best. Apple would probably be number one if it wasn’t for the “look at me and my I-whatever I’m better than you” attitude of a lot of its user base.

    Apple makes damn good laptops/desktops and paved the way with iTunes and even tablets with the iPad but the iPhone is so vanilla. Droid definitely has the upper hand when it comes to phones and maybe even tablets now.

    Microsoft may suck at devices like phones and maybe even tablets but not software. You can say what you want about Windows OS and Office but they’re still top selling software generating revenue hand over fist and even Linux has a distribution that mimics the Windows OS due to its popularity.

    And then there’s browsers. IE, Google Chrome and Firefox. Yep no Safari and for good reason, the others are better. There are Apple users who still use Chrome or Firefox but I doubt there are many Windows users using Safari.

    I won’t even get in to maps.

    My point is everything Apple isn’t good just like everything Microsoft isn’t bad but you’d think Microsoft is over there selling Atari 2600’s according Mac users here.

    1. MS sucks at software too. IE is an ugly browser with menus and tools that are organized terribly, just like their abomination “the ribbon” in Office. They had a great product back in the pre-ribbon days. Now, it’s like cheeseville. Just like MDN says in their takeaway, MS survives in business because IT doofuses don’t know anything else and MS software gives them job security.

      The droid have the “upper hand” ? At what? Volume of cheap plastic low end smartphone sales at minimal profit. The higher end android products fail because the Android world is fragmented and will never be as good as Apple’s mobile world for HW-SW integration. What’s vanilla about the iPhone?

      And you compare android tablets to the iPad? Just as this article is hinting, the iPad is now ubiquitous, like Kleenex is to the world of tissue paper. Anything that looks like an iPad is an iPad even if it really doesn’t provide the same experience. But it earned it’s place because it was and still is head and shoulders above all others.

      And as for your comments about us having Apple products because we are snobs, or show offs, or whatever, that is just utter crap. You somehow think that some 40 million people per quarter buy Apple mobile products because of that? We buy them because they are the highest quality devices of their type, hold their value, work for years, have the best user experience, and in the end are a much better bargain than anything out there. Apple customer retention is among the highest in the world of any product for many reasons.

      What you don’t understand is that to be cool, you have to first understand why Apple’s products are better. You don’t, and probably never will. Which actually makes you one of the uncool.

      1. So you’re telling me the millions of IT “doofuses” are just dumb and lazy so they prefer Microsoft Office and Internet Explorer over Safari, Pages, Numbers, etc? Yeah ok. I agree, IE and the ribbon in Office are not visually appealing but millions of people still use it for functionality…not because it looks good.

        I definitely don’t think 40 million people per quarter buy Apple mobile products just because they’re Apple snobs(maybe 20 million hehe jk). But if the quality of Apple products is so good and they last so long why else are the same users buying the latest and greatest Apple device every year one drops? Because they want to have the latest and greatest regardless of just having bought one a year ago. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Hell I buy the same Madden game every year hoping something will be different when in reality it’s not. Shiny new cover a tweak here or there and that’s it. And that is what it seems like the iPhone has been over the last few years, vanilla. Same size, a few feature tweaks, Siri with a crapload of colors to choose from. It’s about time they at least updated the screensize, good lord.

        As for iPad but ubiquitous like Kleenex because it was and still is head and shoulders above all others, I guess it depends on what you consider “head and shoulders above all others” which is pretty much based on each person’s preference. On the other hand numbers don’t lie. Fragmented, cheap plastic and low end is still outselling Apple. Also, you think people call a tablet and iPad before knowing what it really is because the iPad is somehow better across the board, they say it because it’s convenient and the first thing that comes to mind because of popularity which is a huge testament to Apple’s marketing(which is top notch). Just because someone goes to a Best Buy, asks to see their iPads when they’re looking for a Surface or Droid tablet and walks out with either of those two anyway doesn’t mean Apple is better. The person still didn’t buy an iPad.

        You completely missed the point but apparently that’s because you’re “cool” and I’m not which speaks to my original comment of the “I’m better than you” attitude haha. I at least give praise to Apple where praise is due and recognize their strengths as well as weaknesses. My point is Apple has its niche with consumers, Microsoft has its niche with businesses, Google has its niche with search/Chrome and Droid has its niche with consumers who want an Apple alternative so they can customize. They are all good and bad but necessary.

  3. And while watching the Patriots game, my son saw a shot of Bill Belichek on the sideline with the tablet and said “Look, Coach Belichek is using an iPad.”

    Without constantly pointing out it’s a Surface, the vast majority of viewers will assume it’s an iPad – turning this into an ad for Apple.

  4. I just realised that every time I see tablet on TV, I assume it’s an iPad.
    If it has a shape not consistent with the bare iPad, I assume it’s an iPad with some kind of protective cover.

    Wow. Apple won this one quite a while ago.

  5. MDN.

    You were smug in your response! You know about kill us all. I was there at the opening. There is a picture of me asking Pat a question. Can you patch this response ltogether? If so then you probably know who I am. I have retreated along with Greg, Chris, Earl, Ben, Paul, and others.

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