Print 38 comment(s) - last by Smilin.. on May 6 at 11:28 AM

Bill Gates with some early Tablet PC machines  (Source: Fortune Magazine)

HP reportedly axed the current iteration of the Slate last week.
Bill Gates says that Microsoft has some tablet projects in the works

Last week was a bad week for those awaiting new tablets based on Microsoft operating systems. First, we learned that Microsoft had canceled an internal project called Courier. Courier was a design concept that featured two 7" display screens in a "folding book" layout in addition to both touch and pen-based input.

Just hours later, a report suggested that Hewlett Packard was canceling plans to bring its Windows 7-based Slate to the market in light of its recent acquisition of Palm. Reasons cited for HP's reversal included the fact that Windows 7 wasn't ideal for a touch-only platform and that the Slate's Atom processor was simply too power hungry.

Despite these high-profile projects cancellations, Bill Gates recently stated in a Fox Business Network interview that Microsoft is still firmly committed to future tablet devices according to TechFlash.

“Microsoft has a lot of different tablet projects that we're pursuing," Gates explained. Gates also continues to cling to the idea that a pen-based input system is still needed for tablet devices -- at least for some markets.

"We think that work with the pen that Microsoft pioneered will become a mainstream for students. It can give you a device that you can not only read, but also create documents at the same time.”

It should come as no surprise that Microsoft would continue to pour money into research and development for tablets. Rival Apple is singing the praises of its recently launched iPad. Apple has already managed to sell over one million iPads in less than a month.

“Demand continues to exceed supply and we’re working hard to get this magical product into the hands of even more customers," remarked Apple CEO Steve Jobs yesterday.

The success of Apple's iPad isn't lost on Gates; he had some kind words to say about Apple's "magical" device. "Yes, I think both in general and in the specific, Apple's done a great job," Gates told Fox Business News.

Two weeks ago, Bill opinion was a bit more muted on the iPad. "It's okay. The scenarios aren't that clear. But it's good looking. [Steve Jobs] does good design, and [the iPad] is absolutely a good example of that," Gates told Phil Bronstein of the San Francisco Chronicle.

Microsoft's Courier projected was drooled over by many in the tech community, so hopefully the boys in Redmond are cooking up something that is equally impressive. Apple definitely isn't standing still, HP is going to go full bore with tablets now that it has some valuable IP from Palm, and Google is working on a tablet of its own.  

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By Denigrate on 5/4/2010 7:51:52 AM , Rating: 1
Apple is no more Microsoft's rival than the Kansas Jayhawks are the Oklahoma Sooners rival in College football.

RE: Rival?
By hughlle on 5/4/2010 8:05:54 AM , Rating: 2
well said.

RE: Rival?
By Tony Swash on 5/4/2010 8:56:41 AM , Rating: 2
Apple is no more Microsoft's rival than the Kansas Jayhawks are the Oklahoma Sooners rival in College football.

Being a Brit am not sure what you metaphor means.

Its seems to me that Microsoft is not even close to being a rival of Apple's.

Microsoft is nowhere in the new mobile space and at best can only defend its formidable powerbase in the old desktop paradigm, a space that is declining in terms of economic importance - a decline that will accelerate.

It has amazed me how quickly Microsoft has gone from dominating the industry to almost complete strategic irrelevance.

RE: Rival?
By invidious on 5/4/2010 11:48:28 AM , Rating: 4
Mobile phones and tablets are not replacing desktops or laptops. Microsoft is still making as much money as ever. Microsoft may not be trendy but that is definately not required to have economic strength.

RE: Rival?
By The0ne on 5/4/2010 1:10:35 PM , Rating: 2
Being a US citizen, I'm not entirely sure most even know where/what Oklahoma is. Anyone?

RE: Rival?
By lightfoot on 5/4/2010 2:48:09 PM , Rating: 3
Isn't Oklahoma a county in northern Texas?

RE: Rival?
By Treckin on 5/4/2010 5:51:38 PM , Rating: 2
Isnt Texas a province of norther Mexico?

RE: Rival?
By Aberforth on 5/4/2010 9:02:45 AM , Rating: 2
Oh sure, why would they make Mac vs PC ads then? It's the same teenage grudge, Apple is turning out to be an extremely arrogant company and one sided- pissing off dozen companies, pc and enterprise users, I tell you what- Apple is going to play the ball with the court one day just like Microsoft did back in 98, it's inevitable. That's when people will call it "the company has matured" and company begins a more down to earth approach. It's very funny to see users react instantly like they know how the industry moves. Learn from history kid, it repeats itself- what has happened before will happen again, what goes in will come out, what goes around will come around. There is no such thing as "it's over", just be prepared for the change.

RE: Rival?
By Aberforth on 5/4/2010 10:59:00 AM , Rating: 2
lol didn't see the anti-trust suite against apple, boy i am just too smart.

RE: Rival?
By Smilin on 5/4/2010 11:02:51 AM , Rating: 3
Yep, MS beat palm, Apple beat MS, Google beat Apple, now MS has a new shot in the fall.

Oh but just one thing... if you want any love in the business space you're going to pay MS in the form of Exchange regardless of which little tech fashion accessory you own.

RE: Rival?
By Aberforth on 5/4/2010 11:23:32 AM , Rating: 1
I would definitely- I use HTC HD2 and an iPhone, but don't you see where this is going? Enterprise computing will turn into cloud computing,macro computing will take new forms and triggers employment & financial crisis in the near future. Print & Ink industries will see the new light, back to the typewriters everyone.

^ I think that was a bit overkill.

RE: Rival?
By Smilin on 5/4/2010 2:27:38 PM , Rating: 3
And MS also happens to be a front runner in cloud computing (despite unsubstantiated claims that they are doing some kinda catchup)

RE: Rival?
By Aberforth on 5/4/2010 2:34:08 PM , Rating: 2
Any word on the Cloud OS since you are on the inside?

RE: Rival?
By Smilin on 5/6/2010 11:26:19 AM , Rating: 2
It was unveiled several years ago and is fully up now...

interesting video:

Demo begins at 35min.
The jaw dropping part (for me) begins exactly at 44min. The guy clicks a button to roll out some 20 extra web servers...immediately.

RE: Rival?
By Nekrik on 5/4/2010 5:44:56 PM , Rating: 2
this demo with SharePoint support for the upcoming MS phones was pretty sweet, it alone might sway some purchase decisions in the Enterprise world.

RE: Rival?
By omnicronx on 5/4/2010 11:22:01 AM , Rating: 2
Do you believe everything in the media? These days Apple and Microsoft complement each other. As long as Apple keeps their prices high to remain in a niche market it will remain as such.

Just think of it this way, Microsoft controls the corp/business market, and in the consumer market, MS makes exactly the same amount of money off a 700 PC as they do with a 2000 dollar PC assuming the windows version is the same. As long as MS continues to take the low end consumer and continues to dominate the business market, they will never really be true competitors to each others core business, at least not on the PC side of things.

RE: Rival?
By Aberforth on 5/4/2010 11:29:42 AM , Rating: 2
Buddy, I'm aware of that. You obviously haven't been inside Microsoft, the attitude is like every other company is their enemy and they'll do whatever it takes to beat them. Apple is just the same, half the time one has to listen to that boring subliminal speeches about techno philosophy and crap like that.

RE: Rival?
By omnicronx on 5/4/2010 4:05:59 PM , Rating: 2
Was I(or anyone else for that matter) suppose to gain something from that rant?

You don't make any sense and you make it out as though you've worked for both companies in which you obviously have not.

I have several friends that work for MS, and that is not the atmosphere of the company.

So please take your BS elsewhere as you are not adding to the conversation.

RE: Rival?
By Smilin on 5/6/2010 11:28:13 AM , Rating: 2
I have several friends that work for MS, and that is not the atmosphere of the company.


By 2bdetermine on 5/4/2010 11:30:04 AM , Rating: 2
This is laughable. Just like the case of misplaced 4G iPhone.

“Demand continues to exceed supply and we’re working hard to get this magical product into the hands of even more customers,"

They must had a stock pile sitting in some warehouse. Holding it back to generate more hype.

By jdietz on 5/4/2010 10:46:00 PM , Rating: 2
There is little point to holding back stock for a fixed-price product. The only effect they can hope for is a slower fall for prices on used units.

Don't discount Microsoft
By Smilin on 5/4/2010 10:54:22 AM , Rating: 2
They've been caught sleeping sometimes but competitors dismiss Microsoft at their own peril..

By damianrobertjones on 5/4/2010 11:02:58 AM , Rating: 2
I'm writing this as I'm updating my Asus R2h (Just to see what its like) to Windows 7, along with the Latitude XT2 sitting over in the corner (Waiting for an SSD Drive) and I must say, that until you've used tablets and by that I mean, "Tablets", not just one model, you may or may not realise that Windows 7 is actually very, very good for Stylus and touch.

Simply change the Display DPI to 125% and all the buttons increase in size and on something like the XT & XT2, the experience is much, much better.

I also have an Archos 9, which, frankly, needed to be changed straight from the factory, what with its damn slow 1.8" hard drive. Shame. That is also a great touch device, spoilt by tragic hardware.

Windows 7 and Touch isn't done just yet. (Search for the new machines from Toshiba, Fujitsu, HP for i7 & i5 machines with keyboards and multi-touch)

All hype
By dwalton on 5/4/2010 11:46:00 AM , Rating: 2
While I find the form factor very attractive, I find the underlying tech, most of these companies are trying to push, very underwhelming.

If I can buy very capable win7 netbooks at $400-$600 dollar range then whats so inhibiting about touchscreen tech that requires ripping out x86 hardware and replacing it with smartphone tech while still costing $400-$600.

I might never use a slate for anything other than watching movies or playing games, but for the prices we are seeing, I still want redundacy.

No matter if its the A4-Apple OS or Snapdragon-Android, its no way these these slates are worth anywhere near $500 especially since none of the tech inside is all that exotic and expensive.

If a bunch of start-ups can rival Apple with slate retail prices, its lets you know that any large vendor like HP or Dell can release these things at much lower prices.

Its more about novelty than functionality. Its like taking a PS3 ripping out the guts, cutting it in half, replacing the insides with PSP tech, stapling a handle to it and calling it a $249.99 Playstation Console Portable. I would have to be on PCP to buy a Sony PCP or an Ipad or its derivatives.

You cancelled Courier
By piroroadkill on 5/5/2010 5:04:51 AM , Rating: 2
... Which everyone was really, really wanting.

Do you see what you did wrong there, Microsoft?

I really like your blog
By saplondon on 5/4/10, Rating: -1
Apple = New York Yankees
By hiscross on 5/4/10, Rating: -1
RE: Apple = New York Yankees
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 5/4/2010 9:00:34 AM , Rating: 3
Being that I'm from Baltimore, your comment makes me sad -- even knowing full well that the Orioles have sucked for decades.

RE: Apple = New York Yankees
By Anoxanmore on 5/4/2010 9:35:45 AM , Rating: 2
Brandon, you should have use that photoshoot of Gates acting sexy lol :)

Bill Gates doesn't understand the KISS principle.
By reader1 on 5/4/10, Rating: -1
By acase on 5/4/2010 9:33:00 AM , Rating: 2
I'm sure it wouldn't be too complicated to make the stylus thing work. Off the top of my head, a simple switch/sensor that is flipped when the stylus is removed that makes the screen only respond to it. I'm sure the greater minds there could think of many more/better ideas then that.

By hiscross on 5/4/2010 11:24:28 AM , Rating: 2
It's a proven fact that people can type faster tha they can write. That is one reason why pen tablets haven't been successful. Remember, Apple Newton had all kinds of writing issues. I can remember when ion 2003/4 when people who worked with had those HP tablets they quickly stopped using the pen and used the key board.

By mcnabney on 5/4/2010 12:26:05 PM , Rating: 3
They can type on a physical keyboard fast, not on a wonky touchscreen that has to be held at the same time.

By Spivonious on 5/4/2010 9:50:42 AM , Rating: 2
If you want to do handwriting recognition, then you need a stylus.

If I was still in college, I think I'd get a tablet PC loaded up with Microsoft OneNote for taking notes in class.

By Smilin on 5/4/2010 10:55:31 AM , Rating: 2
OneNote rocks on tablets. Not so much for regular PCs.

By damianrobertjones on 5/4/2010 10:58:04 AM , Rating: 2
Umm, am I reading your comment wrong?

Take, for example, the Dell Latitude XT. It knows when you have the stylus in hand and thus disables the multi-touch and only uses the stylus.

By Smilin on 5/4/2010 10:59:57 AM , Rating: 1
The obvious problem with using a stylus on a touch screen is that you'll hit the screen with your hand. Also, developers won't know if people are going to be using the stylus or their finger, so UI design becomes problematic. Tablets need a single method of input.

LOL. Reader1 there is no end to your suckness.

MS solved that problem already. Tablets do NOT need a single input method. Touching the screen with your hand is NOT a problem. Developers CAN tell if it's a finger or a stylus.

And the one your beloved apple never discovered...sometimes its best to use BOTH stylus and touch...

By dwalton on 5/4/2010 12:36:33 PM , Rating: 1
"He's also too stupid to understand what "jack of all trades, master of none" means."

So whats the Ipad? Master of battery life, crappy of everything else? I rather buy an fully functional slate and an extra battery than buy a limited ipad or derivative. Ipad and its clone would be attractive if it weren't for the price. These things make sense at $200 and under but at $500-$600 you're buying a novelty.

At $500-$600 dollars I expect a slate to serves as a capable backup in case my primary lappy goes down. With a primary lappy and Ipad you get redundacy for all things you can live without except maybe email.

"It's okay. The scenarios aren't that clear. But it's good looking. [Steve Jobs] does good design, and [the iPad] is absolutely a good example of that." -- Bill Gates on the Apple iPad

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