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FAIL: Microsoft pays CNN to use the Surface Pro 3, CNN uses it as an iPad stand

With the American midterm elections behind us, a lot of questions remain unanswered, but one thing is for certain: CNN did not get on well with the promotional Surface Pro 3 that Microsoft apparently paid them to display on screen.

While the whole CNN rolling news team had Surface Pro 3s conspicuously propped up in front of them, showcasing the signature kickstand feature, a number of eagle-eyed viewers noticed that the CNN team was actually using iPads, hidden behind their Surfaces. One newsreader was even using his Surface Pro 3 to prop up his iPad.

Related: New OS X and iOS malware WireLurker represents a major threat to iPhones and iPads (opens in new tab)

Embarrassing for Microsoft? Certainly, but at least this seems a kind of tacit validation of its whole kickstand idea. We're waiting for the official PR response from Microsoft, but we imagine there at least a few angry phone calls going between the software giant and its news partner this morning.

Some Twitter users initially voiced support for the decision to go for the Surface.

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"Watching CNN because they are using Surfaces. FOX using," one user (opens in new tab) observed.

However, others quickly pointed out (opens in new tab) the flaw in the product placement: "nice Surface Pro 3's lined up on CNN Election center! Too bad we can still see the members using #Apple iPads. #marketingFAIL"

What do you think? Is this an embarrassment for Microsoft, or just old fashioned CNN-types not getting on board with the new Surface? Let us know what you think in the comments section below, or stop by for a chat with the ITProPortal team and other readers on ITProPortal's tech talk live chat.

Read more: Apple trolled by Microsoft in new Surface Pro 3 ads: The Mac vs PC war kicks off again (video) (opens in new tab)

Paul has worked as an archivist, editor and journalist, and has a PhD in the cultural and literary significance of ruins. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, The BBC, The Atlantic, National Geographic, and Discover Magazine, and he was previously Staff Writer and Journalist at ITProPortal.