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Microsoft's latest Mac vs. PC ad recruits Lenovo to fight the MacBook Air

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A laptop dance-off

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Microsoft reignited the classic Mac vs. PC war back in August by targeting the MacBook Air in its new Surface Pro 3 ads. That attack is continuing today thanks to a new ad that features Lenovo’s new Yoga 3 Pro. Microsoft places Apple’s 13-inch MacBook Air head-to-head with Lenovo’s Yoga 3 Pro, initially highlighting the 17mm "thickness" of the MacBook Air vs. the 13mm "thinness" of the Yoga 3 Pro. Most of the ad then focuses on the flexibility of the tablet, touchscreen, and tent modes of Lenovo’s latest convertible, with Apple’s laptop failing to "dance" in amusing comparisons. The dance-off ends with the MacBook Air admitting it’s "game over" and closing its lid.

Microsoft switches from picking on the iPad to the MacBook Air

While Microsoft’s latest ad is a lighthearted jab at Apple, it shows the direction the software maker is focusing its latest marketing resources towards. Microsoft originally started picking on the iPad with similar comparisons to Windows 8 tablets last year, but as Apple’s tablet sales slumped Microsoft has turned its attention to the Mac. Apple recently moved into the top five PC makers for the first time thanks to an 8.9 percent increase in Mac sales in the latest quarter. That’s only 5.52 million Mac sales over a period of three months, but the increase defies the broader PC industry that’s contracting.

It’s difficult to say whether these types of ads are working, but Microsoft’s Surface revenue more than doubled in its latest quarter, hinting that the Surface Pro 3 is starting to make a mark alongside its strong marketing against the MacBook Air. Apple’s laptop still has some advantages that Microsoft isn’t highlighting with its latest ads though, namely price and battery life. The comparison site for the Yoga 3 Pro vs. the 13-inch MacBook Air doesn’t compare price, with Apple’s laptop starting at $999 and Lenovo’s at $1299. That $300 price gap is partly because of the high-resolution touchscreen display on the Lenovo, but Apple’s choice to ship an inferior screen on the MacBook Air helps it achieve an impressive 13 hours of battery life running The Verge Battery Test. Lenovo estimates around 7 hours for the Yoga 3 Pro, a compromise for the flexibility and high-resolution touchscreen display.