Just because something is done all the time, it doesn't mean it's a bad strategy - in fact, it usually points to a very good strategy.
Surface has gouged out an entire market from under Apple's feet. People who use tablets with active stylus tend to love them ( and they use their fingers too, but sometimes, you just want a pen... ) - And Apple's contempt for pen-based input as a marketing strategy ( eg, Macbook Air will never feature touch/pen ) allowed Microsoft to just walk in and take the place without any resistance.
It may have taken, even needed, apple to make tablets cool enough for the market to seriously consider them, but they don't know how to innovate and now Microsoft is using the same ads that are so effective in the demographic that usually buys Apple to sell them Surface.
I suspect the OP has identified this.
Reminds me of the old Apple vs PC ads. Except it looks like PC went on a diet, got ripped and is stealing chicks from Apple... Not only is he good looking now, he's funny too. And he can run real-world programs, not just apps. So he might as wear the turtleneck sweater and too eh?