During last night's election coverage, CNN's wise electoral experts were seated in front of Microsoft Surface Pro 3s. Microsoft has been extremely active in getting the product on TV screens and this seemed like another example.
However, detail-oriented commentators at Geekwire noticed something strange. Some of the Surfaces were being used as kickstands for no, yes, oh, iPads.
Indeed, a collection of tweeters, including one named Adam, posted screen images proving that behind the Surface's surface, there lurked something that hadn't emerged from Redmond.
Adam is actually a self-described Microsoft fanboy from Orlando, Fla.. So as his tweet circulated around the ether, he needed to express his hurt. This morning, he tweeted, "I feel kinda bad about my tweet/picture about the Surface/iPad on CNN blowing up. It's a marketing failure. I really like the Surface! :(."
For Microsoft, it was bad enough when the company spent a reported $400 million to have its Surface be at the heart of the NFL, only to hear commentators."
But was this election night case one in which the supposedly credible and authoritative were involved in simple subterfuge?
CNN's chief synergizer, Matt Dornic, explained to me that the Surfaces were there to help connect with CNN's "Magic Wall." Microsoft had developed the software and it works best in Internet Explorer. However, he told me, "There was no product-placement deal."
I have contacted Microsoft to gauge its reaction to the unfortunate juxtaposition and will update, should I hear.