MacBook Pro Touch Bar
Hollis Johnson/Business Insider
  • Microsoft criticizes Apple’s Touch Bar in new advertisement for the Microsoft Surface Pro 7.
  • Apple is said to be planning to get rid of the Touch Bar entirely in its latest update.
  • The two companies have long gone head-to-head in their advertising efforts around computers, with the rivalry going back decades.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Apple and Microsoft’s decades-long rivalry is alive and well, with the PC-maker taking a swipe at Apple’s MacBook Touch Bar in its latest advertisement for the Surface Pro 7.

“Mac gave me this little bar, but why can’t they just give me a whole touchscreen?” a boy asks in the commercial, examining the thin keyboard display, which offers customizable keys.

Apple’s Touch Bar has come under fire in the past, as users have been saying it is inconvenient and can easily get accidentally bumped while typing.

The commercial also disses Apple’s MacBook Pro pricing compared to the Surface Pro, which has a detachable keyboard and comes at a lower price. The Surface Pro 7 starts at $890, while Apple cheapest MacBook Pro model is $1,299. Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the ad.


Apple is in the process of ditching the Touch Bar altogether in favor of physical keys, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. Apple has reportedly been testing multiple versions of the product without the Touch Bar. 

The OLED Touch Bar was introduced in 2016 and bears some resemblance to a similar touch strip Microsoft built as a prototype in 2010, called the "Adaptive Keyboard." According to patent filings, Apple has also explored the idea of a virtual keyboard with keys that could be fully customized.

Microsoft investigated the idea of incorporating touch elements into the keyboard as far back as 1999, according to The Verge. Though, the idea for an adaptive keyboard did not pick up steam like Microsoft's Surface tablet, which was released in 2012.

Microsoft applications largely do not work on Apple's Touch Bar, but in December, the company announced it is planning to contribute to the Touch Bar by building more controls for Microsoft Office applications into the bar. Microsoft intends to roll out Touch Bar Meeting Controls for Teams on Mac's within the month.

An ongoing rivalry

This is not the first time the two companies have traded insults.

Since the 80's, there has been a long standing competition between the two companies, including decades of feuding between the founders Bill Gates and Steve Jobs.

For years, Apple's "Get A Mac" ad campaign saw actor Jason Long position Apple's products as more modern than a Microsoft PC, which was portrayed by author John Hodgman.

Microsoft fired back with its "I'm a PC" ad campaign.

In 2016, Microsoft said it saw a sales boost after customers were largely disappointed by Apple's newest Macbook Pro. In 2019, Microsoft appeared to diss Apple's laptop at its Surface event. While not specifically naming Apple, Microsoft Chief Product Officer Panos Panay referenced the company's keyboard design, the then-lack of a mouse on iPads, as well as several other design features.

Read the original article on Business Insider