CNN Election Analysts Use Microsoft Surface Tablets as iPad Stands

CNN Election Analysts Use Microsoft Surface Tablets as iPad Stands

What's behind that sleek, shiny Surface tablet? An Apple iPad!

Last night's election was great for some, not great for others, and perhaps uneventful for others still. Generic political summations aside, Microsoft is suffering from a bit of a product placement goof in the aftermath.

As all news channels do on election night, CNN was in full-on election coverage mode last night. And because such coverage always focuses on half-dozen (give or take) talking heads summarizing the changing political landscape, Microsoft wanted its Surface tablet products in full view.

And thus, a partnership was born. CNN (after some palm-greasing, no doubt) teamed up with Microsoft on election coverage, providing logistics and feedback via Bing, Bing Pulse, Internet Explorer, and Surface tablet hardware.

As the election coverage started, the Surface tablets were on full display, with CNN's coverage team seemingly using the hardware to keep tabs on elections and incoming news. But the luster wore off rather quickly for Microsoft, when changed camera angles revealed that several of the analysts were using Apple-made iPads hidden behind the Surface tablets (see the embedded tweet). That's about as harsh a product placement gaffe as I can think of.

The agreement, outlined on Bing Blogs, doesn't specifically mention the Surface hardware, which means the tablets could have simply been thrown in as a sweetener. The deal specifically points to Bing Pulse, which allowed CNN to pull in real-time feedback from viewers who were using the Pulse feature online. Bing Pulse allows users to up- or down-vote various trends and decisions, specifically focused on Election 2014 in this case.

This isn't Microsoft's first product placement struggle in 2014, either. The tech giant has partnered with the NFL to put its Surface tablets in the hands of every football team in the league. And while the hardware is used extensively, many in the various NFL broadcast booths are still referring to the Microsoft tablet by the iPad moniker.

Source: GeekWire

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I would say that it's a clearcut commentary of the state of things, tablet-versus-ipad.

Not to start a tech debate or anything, but the sad thing is that it kinda shows how little skill these analysts have with modern tech. Speaking as someone who has worked with the ipad since before its release and now works on a surface computer (I'm an illustrator and animator, at the time of the ipads release I was working with a digital publishing company and we were one of the companies with early access). The surface pro line is just absolutely more capable than an ipad. Seems like a missed opportunity on their part to take advantage of a more powerful platform that is just being given to them.

I'm honestly not a fan of one company over another (truth be told I hate both equally for different reasons haha), but this seems to me like a case of people being comfortable with one thing and missing out on something that could potentially be far more functional.

Jeez, you give the people very expensive high end stuff... and they still stick what they know.
Who'd have thunk it?

Oh CNN, how do you keep coming up with new material to laugh at you with? Are you trying to rival Comedy Central?

Paradox SuXcess:
Oh CNN, how do you keep coming up with new material to laugh at you with? Are you trying to rival Comedy Central?

They're already there. Same views, same credibility in reporting stories, same amount of actual news given to the audience.

LysanderNemoinis:

Paradox SuXcess:
Oh CNN, how do you keep coming up with new material to laugh at you with? Are you trying to rival Comedy Central?

They're already there. Same views, same credibility in reporting stories, same amount of actual news given to the audience.

And yet the Daily Show and Colbert Report brings up more pressing issues than CNN does and they are satire. Even Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO) is a great watch with better journalism.

sirjeffofshort:

I'm honestly not a fan of one company over another (truth be told I hate both equally for different reasons haha), but this seems to me like a case of people being comfortable with one thing and missing out on something that could potentially be far more functional.

That's rather normal, the amount of times I've heard people say some stupid stuff to support their favorite device (weather Apple, Microsoft or whatever) and the joy I get in shooting them down, ah memories. My personal favorite is when someone says Apple is better than Android, so I ask why and their reason is they used a Samsung phone and it was slow and unreliable, saying Samsumg makes shitty products. Personally I prefer Sony's Xperia for my smartphone so I point out that their iPhone has Samsung hardware in it and if they want quality they should go to Sony, the amount of times people have been left speachless at the reveal is hilarious. :-)

That's like using a plate made of fine China to eat nothing but a plate of Brussels sprouts.

Kind of funny considering the Surface is way better than an iPad in pretty much every way.
Really the only thing the iPad has going for it is its simplicity.

Not that there's anything wrong with them - I love mine and use it all the time, but if you want to do anything serious a Surface is going to be a much better option.

RicoADF:

sirjeffofshort:

I'm honestly not a fan of one company over another (truth be told I hate both equally for different reasons haha), but this seems to me like a case of people being comfortable with one thing and missing out on something that could potentially be far more functional.

That's rather normal, the amount of times I've heard people say some stupid stuff to support their favorite device (weather Apple, Microsoft or whatever) and the joy I get in shooting them down, ah memories. My personal favorite is when someone says Apple is better than Android, so I ask why and their reason is they used a Samsung phone and it was slow and unreliable, saying Samsumg makes shitty products. Personally I prefer Sony's Xperia for my smartphone so I point out that their iPhone has Samsung hardware in it and if they want quality they should go to Sony, the amount of times people have been left speachless at the reveal is hilarious. :-)

Sometimes it's that they get what their friends get. Sometimes they get what they think is cool. Sometimes people just make stupid choices for stupid reasons. Other times product loyalty just accidentally happens. I had one laptop product that had lots of problems all the time at both the hardware and software levels. Then I made change to another laptop product just as a try; and it has lasted 8 years, trips all over the world, an accidental trip down some stairs, and still runs like the day I got it (other than a slight rattle in the fan caused by the afore mentioned trip down some stairs), without ever crashing, without ever getting a virus, without ever being a problem. And as an artist, I've not been easy on this thing.

So anytime I think about a new laptop, I'm going to think about the one that has worked so well for me personally. Of course, that can carry over to other products too, depending what a person's experience is and the product that had the greatest positive impact. Disclosure: I use both ms and apple products in my digital studio - so I don't have an over-arching brand bias. But because of my experiences I definitely admit to device-specific brand biases.

So what you're saying is that Microsoft's problems are beginning to "surface?"
image

But in all seriousness, I don't think Microsoft realizes the brand damage that's been done to a lot of their stuff. IE is garbage and no one wants to use it and at this point the brand is completely poison. Hell some governments even issued official warnings over using certain versions of IE. Windows itself has not been very well received lately in regards to new OS releases since 7. Bing does almost literally nothing of note that Google doesn't and certainly has never done anything to make someone recommend using Bing over Google. Xbox is maybe the strongest brand for them, and even that right now has to be seriously suffering.

It's understandable that when you are as big as Microsoft that every move looks bad, but man, just cause it's explainable doesn't mean it still doesn't just look bad.

vagabondwillsmile:
So anytime I think about a new laptop, I'm going to think about the one that has worked so well for me personally. Of course, that can carry over to other products too, depending what a person's experience is and the product that had the greatest positive impact. Disclosure: I use both ms and apple products in my digital studio - so I don't have an over-arching brand bias. But because of my experiences I definitely admit to device-specific brand biases.

We all have our bias based on past experience, I have a few Sony devices and general prefer them due to good experiences in the past, the people I was thinking about are the type that will only buy the one brand and everything else is shit even though they haven't even looked into their options. The sort of person who claims that their brand is the best and often that they were the first or created this that or the other (I think you can imagine the type of people I'm refering to). Prefering Apple, Microsoft, Sony, Samsung or whoever is fair enough but being exclusive to them to the point of ignoring everything else that has a different logo on the box is another matter. Those are the people I have fun with :-)

I must admit they are often Apple fans sprouting crap .......

RicoADF:

sirjeffofshort:

I'm honestly not a fan of one company over another (truth be told I hate both equally for different reasons haha), but this seems to me like a case of people being comfortable with one thing and missing out on something that could potentially be far more functional.

That's rather normal, the amount of times I've heard people say some stupid stuff to support their favorite device (weather Apple, Microsoft or whatever) and the joy I get in shooting them down, ah memories. My personal favorite is when someone says Apple is better than Android, so I ask why and their reason is they used a Samsung phone and it was slow and unreliable, saying Samsumg makes shitty products. Personally I prefer Sony's Xperia for my smartphone so I point out that their iPhone has Samsung hardware in it and if they want quality they should go to Sony, the amount of times people have been left speachless at the reveal is hilarious. :-)

That's the part that always cracks me up... iPhone users always say iOS > Android because they used a [insert super old Samsung device here like the S2] and it was laggy.

Samsung make the processor in the iPhone 5S and onward (and various other iterations of the iPhone), Samsung made the screens in original iPhone all the way up to the iPhone 4S, Samsung makes the RAM/memory chips in every iPhone ever made... and the other, less important parts? Made by Foxconn... a Chinese electronics company known for their budget, low-end, cheap desktop PC parts.

Samsung makes about 50% of the iPhone, Foxconn close to the other 50%, and they're all cobbled together by interns and slave labourers in the same manufacturing facility in Taiwan that HTCs are made.

If Samsung makes crappy/bad products, then the iPhone must be truly shit, because I can guarantee that Samsung aren't giving Apple the best stuff they can produce, they keep all the best stuff for their own products (64 bit octo-core processors, 2k OLED displays, high capacity 20nm RAM chips, etc etc. All those things are in Samsung products and not sold to Apple). So if Samsung products are so shit, and your iPhone is essentially filled with parts made by Samsung that aren't good enough to be put in their own products... exactly why is the iPhone so superior?

P.S I don't think Apple make bad devices, I think they make bad devices at their price points; sell an iPhone 6 Plus for $449AUD and you've got yourself one hell of a competitive device... but at $999AUD? no thanks.

I guess it just goes to show that spec sheets don't mean a damn thing once the proverbial rubber meets the road.

No matter what people say about Apple their absurdly high customer satisfaction ratings and huge sales paint a fairly clear picture - a lot of people don't want a handheld supercomputer or a pro DSLR camera with a phone duct-taped to it, they just want something that works as a smartphone and equally well as a regular phone

What if they just need that many tablets because they're displaying something on one and something else on another and can't be seen flicking back ad forth between the two constantly because it's distracting and/or unseemly?

Yeah, that sounds like a stretch, unfortunately. Damn.

Wow... #Surfacegate is not as cool as I thought it was going to be...

Other than that, is there a possibility the Surface was also being used to check one's [personal] Facebook updates on the side?

 

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