Microsoft's Surface GM Creates a Fake News Narrative about Apple Following Surface with the iPad Pro
Microsoft is at it again. They're reinventing history to support their marketing fantasies and bravado to make themselves sound like they're now getting the leap on Apple's one-time magic. Microsoft general manager for Surface Ryan Gavin told Business Insider that the iPad Pro is a "clear example" of Apple following Microsoft rather than the other way around.
Gavin added, "Think about it, if we had been looking at [Apple] we wouldn't have made a product like Surface Pro or Surface Book. We have been learning and perfecting our products in the 2-in-1 category for years now, [but] when Surface initially launched everyone was skeptical, including them. And then they followed, and the iPad Pro is a clear example of that."
History Lesson #1 for Microsoft's GM for Surface
In Q3 2011 Apple filed for a patent titled "Cover attachment with Flexible Display." Patently Apple reported on this patent filing in a report in 2012 when the Patent Office published it titled "Apple Invents Mind Boggling Next Generation Smart Cover with Multi-Touch Flexible Display, Solar Panels & Built-in Keyboard."
Fact: Apple's patent is dated August 11, 2011 and Surface came to market officially on October 26, 2012.
Fake News: Mr. Gavin – "when Surface initially launched everyone was skeptical, including them. And then they followed, and the iPad Pro is a clear example of that."
How can Apple be following Microsoft when they had a patent application filed with the U.S. Patent Office 14 months prior to the Surface debuting? Apple was way ahead of the curve Mr. Gavin, not behind it
Lesson #2 for Microsoft's GM for Surface
In April 2013 Patently Apple posted a report titled "Apple Reveals their Hybrid Notebook Tablet Details." Apple's patent was actually filed in September 2011. Let's do the math. Apple's patent September 2011, Microsoft's Surface Book launched October 2015. That's four years after Apple's patent and 2.5 years after the patent was made public. More than enough time for a competitor to "copy" the idea. Did the Surface book use a magnetic mechanism to lock in the tablet to the keyboard like Apple's patent? I think we know the answer to that question, right?
If anyone followed anyone, there's a stronger case for Microsoft copying an idea from Apple.
The argument of course is that Apple didn't look at what Microsoft was doing and then followed them. It was Apple having long standing IP on record and management deciding when to use it. Sorry, that's the facts on paper, not the fantasy of competitors to make themselves feel good.
Patently Apple is not a typical Apple news site, in that we take time to study and publish some of patents from Samsung, Google and most definitely Microsoft. In fact, at this very second, we have 124 Microsoft published patent reports on record. So this report isn't about bashing an Apple competitor without reason.
I most certainly appreciate Microsoft's intellectual property and there have been some really interesting ideas to report on. But when a General Manager makes up a Marketing narrative that's off-base it has to be called out as fake news.
The iPad Pro was not created to "follow" the Surface tablet line. Apple had the IP on record well before Microsoft entered the market with a product. It's Apple fulfilling a patent of theirs plain and simple – end of story.
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