- As it unveiled the Surface Laptop 3 on Wednesday, Microsoft appeared to take swipes at Apple and other competitors.
- Without explicitly naming Apple, Microsoft Chief Product Officer Panos Panay implicitly referenced the company’s controversial keyboard design, lack of mouse on iPads, and various MacBook design features.
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Microsoft unveiled the newest generation of its Surface products during a launch event on Wednesday, and it didn’t shy away from taking swipes at competition.
As he introduced the new Surface Laptop 3, Microsoft Chief Product Officer Panos Panay touted the fact that the keys travel a noticeable distance – 1.3mm – when pressed.
“There are parts of a laptop you can never compromise,” Panay said.
With that remark, Panay seemed to be referencing the drawn-out backlash over Apple’s butterfly keyboard, which has played out since the 12-inch MacBook’s launch in 2015.
For years, customers voiced complaints with Apple’s recent models of Macbook Pro and MacBook Air, saying that the butterfly keyboard – which boasts a thinner design and less movement than traditional scissor keyboards – broke regularly, could easily get jammed, and sometimes registered taps twice or not at all.
The complaints ultimately prompted an apology from Apple, a rare move for the company, and a free repair program for butterfly keyboards that launched in June 2018. Apple is rumoured to be moving away from the butterfly keyboard design in future laptops.
While Panay highlighted the non-butterfly design of the Surface Laptop 3, his apparent jabs at Apple didn’t stop there.
“If you’re using a product without a mouse it gets pretty tough to be productive,” Panay said, seemingly referencing iPads, which are not compatible with a mouse or trackpad, unlike the Surface.
Panay also went over the laptop’s appearance, contrasting it to competition. Without explicitly naming Apple, Panay pointed out that the surface has no divot at the front of the clamshell and no rubber bumper around the screen, two features found on the MacBook Pro and MacBook Air.
“It’s exactly what you can’t see on this product that draws you in,” Panay said.
Apple did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment on the apparent jabs.
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