Apple's MacBook Air continues to bear the brunt of Microsoft's Surface ad budget

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As Microsoft begins ramping up the holiday ad blitz for its Surface tablets, the software giant has kept Apple's MacBook Air squarely in the crosshairs, continuing its string of television spots that pit the two devices against each other.

The latest spot is somewhat less contentious than its predecessors, eschewing the animated device gymnastics present in previous iterations in favor of a more simplistic comparison. The spot begins with a happy MacBook Air owner saying that his mac is "great" and "so delightful," before a chorus of Surface supporters take over to tell the watching audience that the Surface is "just as powerful."

The chorus continues to espouse the Surface's virtues —  including its kickstand and detachable keyboard — with the Mac owner occasionally chiming in in an impressed manner. "You can write with a pen?" he asks at one point.

"I like your Surface Pro 3. No, seriously, where can I get one?" the now-dejected Mac owner says to end the ad. The voiceover is accompanied by an on-screen tagline calling the Surface the "tablet that can replace your laptop."

The Surface-versus-MacBook Air campaign has been running for months, though it is unclear how well it works. Microsoft's entire Surface strategy has appeared ineffective at times, with NFL announcers continuing to call the Surface an "iPad" —  despite a sponsorship deal worth hundreds of millions of dollars —  while news anchors on CNN continued to use their Apple tablets even as Surface devices sat on the table in front of them.