Microsoft Corporation (MSFT), Apple Inc. (AAPL): We Pay You

This week, Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) announced that it will give users a minimum $200 Microsoft Store gift card for a used iPad 2, 3 and 4. It’s an odd, if not desperate, attempt to lure users away from Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)‘s iPads to Microsoft’s unpopular Surface tablets — and it won’t work.

We pay you
According to Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), the deal started on Sept. 5 and goes until Oct. 27, and timing is anything but accidental. The company is expected to release the new Surface 2 tablet line on Sept. 23, and this deal is aimed at both moving old inventory and trying to get customers interested in the new tablets.

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)With a minimum iPad trade in of $200, customers could come close to the Surface RT price of $349. Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) didn’t specify what the maximum gift card amount would be, but it said on its website that “Microsoft Store gift-card value will be equal to trade-in value, and is subject to Microsoft’s discretion and manager approval.”

Maybe Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) failed to read up on the J.D. Power and Associates survey released at the end of April, showing that the iPad is No. 1 in customer satisfaction. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) beat out Amazon.com and Samsung to win the top spot — twice. In a press release by J.D. Power, the company said, “For the second consecutive study, Apple ranks highest among manufacturers of tablets in overall owner satisfaction.”

Good luck, Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT).

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) shipped more than 14 million iPads in the second quarter of this year alone — with Samsung in second with 8 million — and ranks as the world’s top tablet vendor by shipments. Handing out some gift cards isn’t going to change any of that.