Microsoft’s Marketing Totally Backfired When CNN Used Its Devices as iPad Stands

Not quite ready for its close-up

Microsoft's Surface Pro 3 had a bad election night on CNN when the on-air talent used the device to prop up their iPads. Microsoft was a CNN partner as the results poured in, but any positive marketing spin thoroughly backfired, with the tablet relegated to a kickstand for its biggest rival.

The journalists calling election results mostly tapped away on their personal iPads while the Surface Pro gadgets sat idly by, Gizmodo noted. Microsoft was tied into election night coverage by powering some of the action through the Bing search engine and Internet Explorer. The Surface Pros were used to feed information from CNN's "Magic Wall" to the journalists.

The Surface Pro is a hybrid device that is part tablet, part laptop, but it has had a tough time gaining market share. Still, Microsoft said last month that sales doubled to $900 million for the quarter. The iPad raked in $5.3 billion during that same time.

Microsoft has made some bold marketing moves with the Surface, so it's scratched and fought for every sale. The device is the official tablet on the sidelines of NFL games, thanks to a reported $400 million marketing deal. It's also the official tablet of the zombie apocalypse. And it's been blatantly product-placed in too many shows to count, with varying degrees of success.

Here is just a sampling of the Surface Pro's TV cameos: