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Lying Microsoft Advertising

Microsoft put up an ad: Windows vs. iPad: Compare tablets - Microsoft Windows. It shows the iPad screen (left) compared with the ASUS VivoTab Smart screen (right).

This is not to scale. Microsoft has drawn a 10.1 inch tablet 36% larger than a 9.7 inch tablet (140x78 pixels vs 102x79). This is so far off you can visually see it's wrong.

The iPad has a screen area of 45.16 square inches, which I double checked with a calculator.

The ASUS VivoTab Smart has a screen area of 43.56 square inches. That's right, the ASUS screen is smaller than the iPad's.

The iPad screen is 7.76 by 5.82 inches. The ASUS screen is 8.8 by 4.95 inches. ASUS is larger in one direction but smaller in the other direction, and has 3.55% less area than the iPad, not 36% more as Microsoft depicts.

How can the screen with a larger diagonal measurement be smaller? Because it's a different shape. Long and thin gets you a bigger diagonal but a smaller screen, for the same diagonal inches.

At the bottom, Microsoft writes, "The ASUS VivoTab Smart is lighter than the iPad, has a bigger touchscreen...". False. It does not have a "bigger touchscreen".

Microsoft's advertising is dishonest. Twice in one ad.

I got the link from Daring Fireball.

EDIT: Changed text to say "square inches".

EDIT 2: Microsoft changed the webpage within 13 hours after I posted.

Elliot Temple on May 23, 2013

Messages (62)

Microsoft lying in their aids? Say it ain't so!

GeorgeV at 11:07 AM on May 23, 2013 | #2175 | reply | quote

Also, cloud storage

Also, Free Cloud Storage is incorrect. iPad has 5GB of iCloud + 7GB of SkyDrive space. SkyDrive is not limited to Windows.

v at 11:46 AM on May 23, 2013 | #2176 | reply | quote

Use correct units please

While you do say 'screen area', it would be nice if you expressed the area units in 'inches squared' or 'inches^2' instead of inches which is confusing and is contradictory when used as a measurement of area.

Anonymous Coward at 11:48 AM on May 23, 2013 | #2177 | reply | quote


Consider screen resolution: Ipad's 2048-by-1536 vs Asus 1366 x768 (which they call "HD".

Rob at 11:53 AM on May 23, 2013 | #2178 | reply | quote

Not really lying

Misleading perhaps, but they made no claim that the Asus tablet was larger than the iPad. Everything they've claimed is factually true.

Andrew at 11:54 AM on May 23, 2013 | #2179 | reply | quote

Really, Lying

The advert says outright "has a bigger touchscreen" which is an outright lie. Unless your definition of "bigger" involves something other than area.

Dennis at 12:03 PM on May 23, 2013 | #2180 | reply | quote

Really lying

"The ASUS VivoTab [...] has a bigger touchscreen..." does seem like a claim that the Asus tablet is larger than the iPad.

Simo at 12:04 PM on May 23, 2013 | #2181 | reply | quote

The photo is misleading too

The photos on top of the comparison table are not to scale either...

Simo at 12:10 PM on May 23, 2013 | #2182 | reply | quote

It IS a lie

Intentionally false information is a lie whether it comes as written words, speech, diagrams, or any other concrete form.

Microsoft enlarged their tablet in the side-by-side diagrams. The numbers and words are not lies (merely misleading to customers) but the size shown IS information, and it IS a claim.

That claim is a lie.

Just as it would be a false claim to show their tablet with a square screen when it's really a rectangle, even if the numbers in the labels were correct. Visuals ARE information--and that information should be true.

Orenge at 12:10 PM on May 23, 2013 | #2183 | reply | quote

Really lying

The proper word would have been "wider" screen. Unless of course your view something vertically... I'm sure all this wording was intentional on the part of Microsoft

a at 12:11 PM on May 23, 2013 | #2184 | reply | quote

Also misleading price

As pointed out here, the price is also suddenly for a 64GB iPad, and not the 32GB as stated below the device: https://twitter.com/stroughtonsmith/status/337639899383611392

JB at 12:11 PM on May 23, 2013 | #2185 | reply | quote

Accurate Comparison

For those interested, here is a mockup of an actual size comparison to scale. I could see why they wouldn't have wanted to go with that.

p at 12:13 PM on May 23, 2013 | #2186 | reply | quote

Fair game.

Is this worse than Apple lying for years in their advertising about Macs being immune to viruses? :)

JW at 12:15 PM on May 23, 2013 | #2188 | reply | quote

Come On

Don't get your panties in a bunch. 10.1 > 9.7. Deal with it.

JUTAH at 12:17 PM on May 23, 2013 | #2189 | reply | quote

Apple's play book

Wow! Microsoft took a page out of apple's playbook on this one. Your assessment that the ipad is larger is true if you look at surface area. However, the industry standard for measuring screens is the diagonal length. So, based on industry norms, the ASUS has a larger screen. I don't know anyone who measures screens in surface area. Three inch phones are based on diagonal width and so are 80" televisions.

frankwick at 12:20 PM on May 23, 2013 | #2190 | reply | quote

Just looked at the ad

and that is a compelling matrix. Those Win 8 tablets looks really nice. The widescreen is appealing since I watch lots of movies.

frankwick at 12:25 PM on May 23, 2013 | #2191 | reply | quote

Industry Standard

The industry standard is diagonal for TVs that almost all have the same aspect ratio.

I fail to see how that same standard applies to categories that do NOT share the same aspect ratio.

Anonymous at 12:29 PM on May 23, 2013 | #2192 | reply | quote

Area matters

The industry norm here is problematic - as this case illustrates, the diagonal measurement does not tell the true size of the screen. It's really like measuring a house: You're not interested in the measurement from one corner to the opposite, what matters is how much floor area you have. No matter what the norm, a longer diagonal measure does not necessarily make a screen larger. Better suitable for movies, yes, larger, no.

Simo at 12:35 PM on May 23, 2013 | #2193 | reply | quote

Industry Standard

The Industry Standard of the Universe is that 10.1 is ALWAYS greater than 9.7.

JUTAH at 12:35 PM on May 23, 2013 | #2194 | reply | quote


What viruses? Trojans and exploits are not viruses. Learn your definitions. There just aren't any.

I've had Macs continuously since 1985, have never installed any security software, and have yet to have ONE virus infect a system.

As for my PC at work, now that's another story...

Pubert at 12:35 PM on May 23, 2013 | #2195 | reply | quote

Industry Standard

TVs were measured by diagonal back when they were lowly CRT 4:3 devices and continued to be measured by diagonal when they became letterbox format. You conveniently forgot to address his point about smartphone screens which routinely differ in aspect ratio.

Anonymous at 12:38 PM on May 23, 2013 | #2196 | reply | quote

Industry Standard

You are reaching with that last comment. 4:3 CRT monitors were measured in diagonal inches and so are modern 16:9 IPS displays.

frankwick at 12:41 PM on May 23, 2013 | #2197 | reply | quote

Not the first time

I posted this comparison 11 months ago:


M$ deliberately distort dimensions.

Mark Collins at 12:43 PM on May 23, 2013 | #2198 | reply | quote

I see the Microsoft Defense Force has arrived…to defend the indefensible.

Well-played as always, MDF.

RedHotFuzz at 12:44 PM on May 23, 2013 | #2199 | reply | quote

Who's to blame?

Hanlon's razor, or in Goethe's The Sorrows of Young Werther (1774): "...misunderstandings and neglect create more confusion in this world than trickery and malice. At any rate, the last two are certainly much less frequent."

The same box, in dimensions, was used for the ASUS VivoTab Smart [0], Dell XPS 10 [1], HP ENVY x2 [2], and Microsoft Surface RT [3]. WTF lies!?!? Nay, the page designer was probably just neglectful -- eyeballed or baselined each iteration from a single, different model. Also, every screen manufacturer or advertising will speak towards the diagonal length, where the VivoTab has a lengthier, "bigger" screen.


Brian at 12:53 PM on May 23, 2013 | #2200 | reply | quote

No valid argument

I clearly stated that the author is correct when using surface area as the metric but fails to mention industry norms for measuring size. You call this the MDF? When someone has no valid rebuttal, replies about the MDF are akin to the proverbial "last word" but have no substance.

frankwick at 12:53 PM on May 23, 2013 | #2201 | reply | quote

Deliberate distortion

Take another look at the photo above the comparison. The iPad's bezel is wider on the left (home button) side than the right side. That's not the case with real iPads. Just like in the earlier case pointed out by Mark Collins, the photo of the iPad is distorted.


Simo at 1:02 PM on May 23, 2013 | #2202 | reply | quote


your complaint is petty.

monitors have been measured diagonally for 20 years.

Anonymous at 1:26 PM on May 23, 2013 | #2203 | reply | quote


This is a perfectly acceptable add as they don't show labels to show the comparison between the two squares and the touch screen is larger length wise.

Congrats you stumbled upon the true face of advertisement you will now see this happen all the time most notably with phone carrier graphs where there are two lines that represent each company but aren't labeled so they could easily use graphs for how much fish each company consumes to let you assume its speed.

parc at 1:44 PM on May 23, 2013 | #2204 | reply | quote

MS is right. Your Math is taking the wrong numbers.

The problem here is the definition of screen size. If we are talking about physical size, iPad has a bigger area but Asus has a bigger diagonal.

But, anyway, the 36% number MS calculated IS NOT about physical size. It's about screen useful area measured in device-independent-pixels (or, as Apple calls this measure, 'points').

The iPad screen has 1024x768 resolutions in points (yes, I know it's retina and has 2x more pixels; but that's not how you measure screen useful area).

So Asus has 1366x768 which is 33% larger than 1024x768 from the iPad. MS is right.

Asus has a screen 33% more useful than the iPad. If you open the same WebPage on both devices you will see 33% more content on Asus tablet.

PS. I'm not a MS fan (I use Apple products). I'm a fan of the right Math.

PPS. MS could have explained better how this comparison is made, of course. But they are still right.

Sérgio Lopes at 1:45 PM on May 23, 2013 | #2205 | reply | quote

Big deal

Big deal.

Murgo at 1:46 PM on May 23, 2013 | #2206 | reply | quote

Industry Standard

The counter argument from the archaic 'TV industry standards' is almost completely beside the point. Look at the pixels: Ipad's 2048-by-1536 vs Asus 1366 x768 or 3,145,728 vs 1,049,088.

Anyone who buys the BS about the Asus tablet even being in the same class as the iPad deserves the pale shadow of a product they buy.

Steve Bryan at 2:06 PM on May 23, 2013 | #2207 | reply | quote

Ask Siri?

About screen size, see what she says!

Tim S at 2:37 PM on May 23, 2013 | #2208 | reply | quote

Sérgio is wrong. His math is talking about desktop OS font scaling

Nice try, Sérgio, but the iPad isn't working with fixed size fonts like a desktop OS does.

We all know that the higher res screens make fonts and windows appear smaller and more difficult to read, yet offers more screen "real estate" to work with than a lower res screen at the same physical size.

With a tablet like the iPad, fonts display at their relative intended size but pinch to zoom can adjust from there. So, unlike a desktop OS, the usable screen real estate on iOS or a tablet is essentially the size of the panel itself, independent of any fixed rendering that takes place on Mac or Windows.

That's why Apple had to make a hiDPI version of OS X when introducing "retina displays" on the MacBook line. Without this doubling adjustment, the OS would display fonts impossibly small to be usable. The iPad doesn't work like that, which makes your argument incorrect.

RobertW at 2:58 PM on May 23, 2013 | #2209 | reply | quote


The karaoke thing was a sham too. I looked into it and there is no karaoke standard. It was a lie or a bad joke. There's a page for it, but it doesn't say anything.

Jeremy at 3:02 PM on May 23, 2013 | #2210 | reply | quote

When did everyone become such a smartass

Ohh yes when the internet came out.

What a lengthy argument about nothing

jesus at 4:30 PM on May 23, 2013 | #2211 | reply | quote


Elliot Temple learn to do grade's school maths because MS is RIGHT and you are WRONG.

I suggest you take an ipad and VIVO Tab and surf to the exact same webpage and see the MS device displays 36% more content on page.

You fancy Retina display doesn't mean JACK SHIT if it's rendering the page at 1024 x 768 then simply upscaling the image.

HiroPro at 5:47 PM on May 23, 2013 | #2212 | reply | quote

Put your money where your mouth is

To "Fair Game," who falsely claims that Apple ran adds stating Macs were "immune to viruses":

I'll donate $100 to the charity of your choice [so long as it's a 501(c)(3) ] if you can provide a link to a genuine Apple ad which claims (or claimed) that Macs are "immune to viruses."

Will you donate $100 to my charity of choice when you can't come up with the goods?

SJK (who signs his real name to his posts)

Steven Klein at 6:55 PM on May 23, 2013 | #2213 | reply | quote

Re: Put your money where your mouth is

Hey Steven J Klein - here's an Apple ad that claimed that Macs are immune to viruses (or at least is difficult to interpret in any other way): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R08vzi3zaRE

Fake name at 7:30 PM on May 23, 2013 | #2214 | reply | quote

Re: Put your money Do: listen

"I don't have to worry about your spyware." Could be interpereted like that. Then again, it clearly isn't meant to be.

godDLL at 7:50 PM on May 23, 2013 | #2215 | reply | quote

Thank you Elliot, now the world.....

Now the world can sleep in peace, the wrong doing is corrected by exposing the conspirators against apple, have manipulated the market standard to measure diagonally the screen size to make appear the ipad smaller, and the obscure minds that manipulated the diagrams, that average people didn't see the difference.

All your hours of research and sweat will be recompensated and blessed by the big apple.

Newton at 9:07 PM on May 23, 2013 | #2217 | reply | quote

macs cant get microsoft viruses

Now I haven't seen it lately but I do remember reading Apple stating that macs cannot get Microsoft viruses. Although this is true, they were saying it in a misleading manner to fool people into thinking macs cannot get ANY viruses. Which anyone with any basic understanding of computers will know isn't true.

All advertising is designed to put a spin on products to make them seem superior to their competitors. So instead of moaning about he said she said, just don't buy one.

Anonymous at 9:33 PM on May 23, 2013 | #2218 | reply | quote

Microsoft changed the ad

The ad now simply states the display size as 9.7" and 10.1" without the graphic behind them, and they removed the bigger touchscreen wording.

Originally, it said: "The ASUS VivoTab Smart is lighter than the iPad, has a bigger touchscreen and more ports, works with more printers, lets you see two apps at once, and runs Microsoft Office and other desktop programs."

So, I hope all the haters understand that Microsoft was wrong.

Anonymous at 10:26 PM on May 23, 2013 | #2219 | reply | quote

Check your facts

HiroPro, that is not how page rendering works on the iPad. No "upscaling from 1024x768".

"I suggest you take an ipad and VIVO Tab and surf to the exact same webpage and see the MS device displays 36% more content on page."

I suggest you do the same and see if your claim is true.

Simo at 11:00 PM on May 23, 2013 | #2220 | reply | quote


Okay, so the industry measures "size" as a scalar, which is ludicrous. So you could give Microsoft the benefit of the doubt when they say that a screen with a larger diagonal is "bigger".

But they've clearly demonstrated their intent to mislead by putting pictures of the two devices side by side with the iPad drawn at smaller scale.

As for the guy talking about points versus pixels: I'd rather be able to read the text that's actually on the screen rather than 33% more text that's not.

Hamish at 12:53 AM on May 24, 2013 | #2221 | reply | quote

Not new

And this is news how?

Since when has Microsoft (or any other advertiser) ever made an advert with the intention to tell the truth?

Distortion of the facts, if not outright lying is the expected norm. And not only in the advertising industry, but in all other walks of life also.

The idea that we can expect others to tell us the truth in our dealings with them is a huge deception in and of itself.

wtpayne at 1:45 AM on May 24, 2013 | #2222 | reply | quote

More subtle now, but...

They may have taken the not-to-scale graphic out of the grid, but the iPad is still scaled down in the photo comparison at the top.

Compare that with the video, where they place the two physical devices side-by side. The edges of the ipad are much less sharply defined in the video, which makes it less obvious, but it's actually quite a big difference.

Scaling screenshots of the photo comparison and the video so that the Asus is the same size in each, the iPad is about three quarters of a bezel-width shorter (camera-end to home-button end) in the photos.

m at 4:25 AM on May 24, 2013 | #2223 | reply | quote

serious q

so what viruses can i get?

FFT at 11:18 AM on May 24, 2013 | #2224 | reply | quote


Dude, get over it! LOL

G at 1:52 PM on May 24, 2013 | #2225 | reply | quote

Are you people in business or just gadget-freaks ?

I fail to see the sense in the discussions above.

When Microsoft ruled the PC market, Apple users were whining about it. Now Apple runs the show on the tablet market, Apples users are still whining about it !

There is a product for every need. Gadget people buy iP*.* because everyone else has it.

Business people are better off with Microsoft or Blackberry products, face the facts.

The leftovers can go for Android.

Be happy with the product you have and don't feel attacked if somebody says theirs is bigger than yours. Or are you all just trying to compensate something smaller with a bigger screen ?

J at 3:45 AM on May 25, 2013 | #2226 | reply | quote

Clueless people are...

@J: Blackberry? REALLY?? Face what facts?

Clueless people are better off shutting their mouths or they'll just prove they're clueless...

J+1 at 2:31 PM on May 25, 2013 | #2227 | reply | quote


There legitimate reasons a business to use Microsoft products. Fact. But Blackberry? Come on...

Blackberry is finished.

Rowan at 2:45 PM on May 25, 2013 | #2228 | reply | quote

You are very confused about "business"

Business people are better off with Blackberries?

Those things have always been ghetto tech, a glorified pager and kludgy email client... If you were stoked on pagers, then yeah the Blackberry is probably like fire to a caveman. However, Blackberry, like Palm before, is exclusively a gadget with very limited appeal to a very small section of very impulsive, less demanding gadgeteers.

I'm not sure if you've been outside since 2008, but "business people" almost exclusively use iPhones.

I think you're probably confused by the name MS "Office", it's just a name, there's nothing in there critical to actually running an office. Whatever your business is running, give me Salesforce and Wordpress and I'll run circles around you all day long.

[email protected] at 5:27 PM on May 25, 2013 | #2229 | reply | quote


They did it on purpose so people would not be talking about the weight comparison

Tao at 5:28 PM on May 25, 2013 | #2230 | reply | quote

Smaller is actually better, but MS does not know that

The other stupid thing about this is that Microsoft apparently doesn't know that smaller is better in mobile. The popularity of iPad mini shows that for a large number of people, the 9.7 inch iPad was already too large. Drawing their tablet smaller would have showed they at least understand the mobile PC market.

They are also disingenuous about storage. They show the $699 price of an iPad with over 60 GB free space compared to a Windows tablet with 30 GB free space. The $599 iPad also has 30 GB free space.

Hamranhansenhansen at 12:29 PM on May 26, 2013 | #2231 | reply | quote

Apple fanboys

Typically Apple fanatics: Apple has been outright lying in practically every ad, but if MS does then it's eeeevil...

Jack at 7:16 AM on May 28, 2013 | #2232 | reply | quote

Microsoft fanboys

Typical Microsoft fanatics: Skewing true facts and calling Apple defenders "fanboys" as their defense.

For those who keep saying the iPad displays at 1024x768 and upscales the image, please go try out an iPad and see what the Retina Display is all about. Yes, web pages and text and graphics ALL render at 2048x1536. Seriously, try it.

Aaron at 11:33 AM on May 28, 2013 | #2234 | reply | quote

16x9 is standard.

standard measure for screens is diagonal. also, compare watching a movie or a tv show on your ipad with a windows tablet... huge difference. why do you think the iphone 5 has new screen dimensions? i hope most of us are finished drinking apple juice :)

get over it at 10:54 AM on May 31, 2013 | #2235 | reply | quote


whah whah whah, someone insulted my dear apple.

grow some balls you pussy

ballsohard at 11:01 AM on May 31, 2013 | #2236 | reply | quote

Very Misleading

The comparison given by microsoft is very misleading, the iPad has more battery life, the iPad is thinner, the iPad has more screen real-estate, and the iPad is only "Heavier" by 0.14 lbs which is only 63.5 grams (0.0635 Kg's) difference which isn't that much (only like a small hand full of sand) difference. And whats worse if that even though the iPad has better specs in some categories, they make it look less appealing by using a grey font to make the Asus tablet look better. Also the weight difference is probably only because the iPad is made of Aluminium instead of plastic.

supermariofan25 at 2:12 AM on June 13, 2013 | #2244 | reply | quote

Want to discuss this? Join my forum.

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