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Microsoft's fast failures in the mobile space have bred skepticism, but call me a believer in Windows 8

Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) has had a rocky go in the tablet market.  It almost beat Apple, Inc. (AAPL) to market with its slick Courier "design book" dual-tablet, but instead opted for a wait and see process that cost it millions, if not billions in sales.  But I firmly believe that it will succeed in the tablet area, when it finally makes a serious entry next year.

Microsoft: A Brief History of Its Mobile Woes

First a brief history lesson on what has gone wrong when it comes to Microsoft and mobile...

Everything that could go wrong in the tablets market for Microsoft did go wrong.  Intel Corp. (INTCfailed to deliver on its ambitious promises, leaving Microsoft without viable mobile CPUs.  Meanwhile, Apple's tablet sales grew much faster than anyone expected, putting Microsoft far behind.  

Meanwhile, since it gained a promising quarter of the fledgling smartphone market with its promising Windows Mobile operating system back in the 2004, it's been all downhill for Microsoft's mobile efforts.  Windows Mobile pulled a Symbian and overstayed its welcomebleeding market shareKin flunked and was promptly buried; and the most promising of all, Windows Phone, has seen slow sales due to poor marketing and partnership efforts from Microsoft which sadly held back its surprisingly competitive OS from public visibility.

Tablets have been such a hit for Apple that some people are already referring to the next phase of computing as "the post-PC era"; a phrase that implies that Windows PCs will be relegated to secondary status while tablets and smartphones will reign triumphant.  Such claims are of course premature and highly speculative, but they're very damaging to Microsoft in that they do have some shred of truth -- PC growth is slowing at a time tablet growth is surging.

Tablet sales are expected to hit 70 million this year, while Gartner, Inc.'s (IT) latest sales prediction is that they will "continue to experience strong growth through to the end of 2015 when sales are forecast to reach 326.3 million units."  

Tablet sales
Tablet sales indicate we're indeed on the verge of a "post-PC era". [Image Source: Bloomberg]

And according to an eWeek report, Gartner VP David Willis stated, "By 2016, more than 900 million tablets will be in the hands of users."

With total predicted PC shipments at 385 million for 2011, that means that tablets may be the most used type of big-screen computing device, exceeding sales of laptops and desktops.  In other words, it's not the post-PC era yet, but top experts are convinced that users are headed in that direction.


But if it’s product or perish for Microsoft in this "post-PC" era we're entering, Microsoft is finally looking well prepared.  With Windows 8, everything is about to change on the mobile front for Microsoft.  You might not believe it, but Windows 8 tablets will be a hit.  After trying to explain this distinction to one last Apple die-hard I decide to put this in article form.

Note, I include opinions of a DailyTech reader to provide some extra perspective on why this platform is promising.

Why is Windows 8 a game changer for the tablet market?  Here's why:

The CPU 

Windows with ARM
A peek at Metro UI from IDF 2011. [(c) DailyTech/Jason Mick]

People have long wanted a Windows tablet, but reliance on Intel's sluggish mobile team has stunted that possibility. Now it's a level playing field, with Windows 8 fully ready for ARM.  And of course, support for Intel is still there as well, in case Intel finally catches up in the mobile sector with its promising process technologies like 3D FINFET.

..........................................................................................
An Important Note:
There's much talk about incompatibility of x86 apps on ARM Windows 8.  There some truth to these reports, but to the casual reader they can be somewhat misleading.  Microsoft has been relatively clear on this issue -- you won't just be able to pop in a disc and install an x86 app.  You'll have to obtain a new copy.

Most users get the majority of their programs from the internet anyways when they buy a new PC or mobile device, so this isn't a big deal.  It just puts pressure on Windows app makers to recompile their code to be ARM compatible.

ARM Windows 8 on laptops/tablets should use pretty much the same API interface, by definition as x86 Windows 8 on tablets/laptops/notebooks.  While the API may change slightly for the tablet version, the take home message is that most of the key system calls will still work the same way in your source code.

Barring some very deep firmware level interface apps, you should be able to take your legacy code and recompile it for ARM.  As ARM penetrates the laptop space, we should see a big effort by computer software makers to recompile their top products for ARM.  This will in term be a boon to ARM tablets as they will also gain access to these recompiled programs.

The lone area where this could be a hinderance is with paid apps.  While much of the apps we enjoy today in Windows (e.g. Chrome, DivX, FoxIt Reader, uTorrent, PeaZip, Notepad++, Open Office, etc.) are completely free, others (e.g. Photoshop, Microsoft Office) are not.  This situation is particularly true when it comes to PC games.

Of course paid apps will likely compile at least much of their offerings for ARM, but it remains to be seen whether they offer courtesy replacements to users' discs, or some sort of discount program for those who legally purchased x86 software and now want to make the switch.

So the biggest unknown is whether people will have to "repay" for paid apps.  Is this a dealbreaker?  Not really, considering you'd have to "repay" in iOS or Android too.  And it's an issue that doesn't really apply to freeware, which comprises much of what makes Windows great.
.........................................................................................

A different opinion from a reader "Da W", who agrees with me on Windows 8 tablets selling well, but disagrees about the CPU:

CPU

I'm not sure ARM will catch on. By 2012 we will have ultra low power Ivy Bridge that will certainly fit a tablet power envelope and it seems Dual-core @ 2GHZ bobcat with Radeon 7000 series GPU on AMD side, that should trounce tegra 3 GPU power. Intel's offering will certainly be pricier, but having x86 compatibility to run you countless legacy utilities is an undeniable advantage. Plus any new app, including the 40000+ windows phone 7 apps ported to WinRT, should run on both ARM and x86.
So except if having a razor-thin tablet is really important, i don't think ARM will dominate the Windows 8 tablet market.

Hardware

Google Inc. (GOOG) allows its hardware partners a wide variety of free reign in terms of capabilities.  This allows them lots of flexibility and greater consumer selection, but can hurt them in fragmentation.  Apple, on the other hand, has practiced a one-smartphone/one-tablet approach to market, which allows for consistent hardware and greater optimizations.

If Windows Phone and early reports are any clue, Microsoft will follow the middle path compared to its rivals' extremes.  It offers hardware partners a small amount of component flexibility but a large amount of flexibility in packaging, form factor, and buttons/ports.  This approach may not initially appear superior, but ultimately it seems an enlightened mobile approach.

The OS

One reason WHY people wanted a Win tablet was because they're used to the Windows operating system. The market may be shifting towards Unix-like operating systems, specifically OS X (BSD-derived) and Android (Linux), but overall people still use Windows PCs more than other operating system. There are over a 1 billion Windows PCs -- almost everyone knows the basics of how to use Windows no matter how much of a mobile enthusiast they are.

Remember too, that while Microsoft has failed in the mobile sector, in terms of consumer electronics, Windows laptops are today the world's most used personal computing products of any kind (laptops now outsell desktops).  In that sense Microsoft is the world's biggest mobile operating system maker.  While prior to Windows 8, its mobile OS was the same as vanilla desktop Windows, it's the focus on quality mobile performance that is a major part of why Windows 7 received such a warm reception and set sales records.  

So Microsoft knows what it's doing in terms of PC mobile operating systems, even if porting it to a tablet is a new experience.

Price 

Like Android, Windows 8 tablets should undercut Apple in price, while offering high level performance. This is the advantage of a third party OEM approach. Apple fans often point to the fact that design is outsourced then to Asian firms that they deride as "knockoffs" as a point of criticism for top-selling Android tablets.

There may be some truth in this, but even mighty Apple recruits Asian firms for the majority of its design. Companies like Samsung and Foxconn have as much to do with the iPad's hardware as Apple does.  So don't expect the fact that a Windows 8 tablet comes from Taiwanese or South Korean firms to necessarily equate to an inferior to design to Apple's -- Apple's tablets are coming from the same place.  Of course American firms like Hewlett-Packard Comp. (HPQ) and Dell, Inc. (DELL) will likely put out Windows 8 designs to, which like Apple will have a heavy Asian design influence.

WP7 

Windows Phone has been a market failure thus far, but its allowed Microsoft to learn how to make a fast, fluid experience on a mobile device. WP7 has been held back by the lack of carrier hard selling due to lackluster carrier pushes on Microsoft's behalf. Tablets are more of a direct-sale party electronics market, so they should be able to benefit from WP7's optimization, while not suffering the same sales issues it did.

Xbox 

While not explicitly stated, chips like the Adreno 3xx by Qualcomm, Inc. (QCOM) or Tegra 4 from NVIDIA Corp. (NVDA) should allow for Xbox-quality graphics. Microsoft could have a better game library than the iPad in some ways, if it adopts an easy opt-in/auto-porting process for Xbox titles. Developers simply would dig up their sources, recompile for ARM, and use a minimal interface wrapper to translate any minor differences between Direct 3D Mobile 10 (the likely release graphics API for W8 tablets).

Microsoft hasn't mentioned this, but I do believe it could be Windows 8 tablets' secret weapon. As shown with the Asus Transformer Prime, wireless controllers and video could turn Windows 8 tablets into virtual Xboxes with full controller support and storage via SD slots.

Metro UI 

Metro UI
A peek at Metro UI from IDF 2011. [(c) DailyTech/Jason Mick]

Having played with Windows 8 (a real living tablet) I can say the Metro UI is looking SLICK. Having spent quality time with an iPad 2, I agree it beats Honeycomb in fluidity of animations. But Metro UI beats both and I think its look is very modern and Web 3.0. By contrast Apple's chiclet grid look is the same tired bag that's been around since Nokia Oyj.'s (HEL:NOK1V) early 2000s offerings, albeit with slicker animations and apps.

Security

Having an iPad 2 or an Android on a corporate network is somewhat of a scary proposition given the fledgling state of IT administrative tools and the large flow of vulnerabilities.  In iOS and Android, vulnerabilities arise for different reason.  In iOS it is primarily due to Apple's refusal to allow jailbreaking in a controlled form.  In Google's case, the publication of its source code definitely has an impact, allowing for a slightly easier path to malicious exploits.  This isn't a knock on open source software security  -- the open support community has offered great progress on the security front.

With that said, no company has as much experience working with third-parties to allow powerful IT tools as Microsoft.  Those tools should be portable to Windows 8 tablets.  Further, no company has as much experience patching an ever-present onslaught of security flaws as Microsoft.  It hasn't always been good at this, but necessity is the mother of invention, and constant warfare has hardened Microsoft into a security lion much like constant war hardened the Macedonians, Romans, and the Mongolian Horde of millennia past.

Further Microsoft again benefits from an in-the-middle approach.  By allowing a fully customizable hardware interface (akin to jailbroken tablets) it can avoid enthusiasts unwittingly unleashing security holes in their quest for modification-allowing back-doors.  But its code is closed so malicious developers will have harder work ahead to find flaws.

Final Words

Let me conclude by saying I have no affiliation with Microsoft or ARM (who would benefit from the success of ARM Windows 8 tablets) and I do not hold eithers' stock.  In fact, I rarely even interact with Microsoft on a PR basis.  About all I can say is that I am a futurist who likes to examine market trends and hunt for the big picture.  And I'd say the big picture -- how I see it at least -- looks extremely hopeful for Microsoft in the tablet sector.

We shall see if I'm right, but I know a number of readers have expressed similar opinions in my past pieces on Windows 8 and tablets in general.  At least if I'm wrong, I'm in good company with some of my loyal readers.


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WP7
By spread on 12/1/2011 8:16:08 PM , Rating: 5
It's a market failure because it's unknown and not advertised enough. Great system though. More pleasant to use than iOS, yet performance is superior to Android but unfortunately not as many apps which is very important, why? Because the more you have the higher chance you can find something that fits your need that is of an acceptable quality.




RE: WP7
By ICBM on 12/1/2011 8:54:38 PM , Rating: 5
I completely agree. I believe WP7(or 7.5 at least) is every bit as good if not better than the alternatives. Unknown and unadvertised are exactly what is the issue with it.

Case in point, I had one of our users move to a Samsung Focus S 2 weeks ago. After seeing the phone, I have 3 more people who have ordered Windows phones this week. 2 of those people are leaving iphone. Come on Microsoft, ADVERTISE!

I put my mom on WP7 last year, and she has liked it until the 7.5 update. Now she loves it. The fluididity of experience is impressive, its simple, and intuitive. And now it can multitask properly, unlike iOS. I have been a WebOS for almost a year and a half now, and WP7.5 multitasking is the next best thing, unless we count QNX.

Apps? Does anybody really care about any apps other than phone, calender, contacts, email, maps, messaging, browser and calculator? Those are what is important, and WP7 or any other mobile OS can deal with those.

Getting off point, Microsoft please, ADVERTISE! If I see one more Siri commercial I am going to puke, knowing that WP7 has been doing that as well as Android for quite a while.


RE: WP7
By stm1185 on 12/1/2011 9:19:23 PM , Rating: 5
I don't think its just the advertising and sales people though. I just bought a new smartphone, and I spent quite a lot of time researching the decision. But I could not go with WP7 even though it does look more appealing to me then Android or iOS. The big problem with WP7 for me is that MS has made every WP7 handheld a low-mid range device. No cutting edge dual/quad SOCs, no High Resolution screens. Then to make it worse the few decent midrange offerings they have (Focus S, Titan) are only on AT&T in the US. AT&T sucks!

So even though I'd have gone with WP7 over Android, I could not go with 800x480 over 1280x720, Single Core over Dual Core, 16gb of Memory over 32gb and expandable to more; and Verizon 4G LTE over AT&T.

And since I bought my phone on Amazon's 1cent sale, they all cost the same. Though even if they didn't I don't see the big deal in spending $200 over $100, or $300 over $200, when you are signing a contract that costs $2000. Its like buying the $100 cheaper laptop that has last generation parts in it.

MS needs to let the hardware partners put out cutting edge hardware with WP7 and W8 for tablets, and they need to get them on more networks, especially ones that don't suck like AT&T. I'd have bought a WP7 device, if only they have one of Verizon with compelling hardware.


RE: WP7
By inighthawki on 12/1/2011 10:49:44 PM , Rating: 3
I will agree with you on the resolution, but I don't know if you've used a windows phone, but it certainly does not need a dual core cpu to keep up, it'll only kill the battery.


RE: WP7
By Unspoken Thought on 12/1/2011 11:57:00 PM , Rating: 5
So even in the Mobile era we fool ourselves into thinking more equals better, just like we did when we thought faster Ghz = better experience.

I may like to see a higher resolution screen but with an optimized OS I would much rather have longer battery life, which removes the need for dual/quad core cpus, higher res screens, and LTE. It's more convenient to have my phone on rather than look for a charger.

Storage would be my only gripe, and with the Apollo update addressing all of the above mentioned concerns, it's a non issue.

I do agree they need to get more hardware out, as the selection is limited to a handful of phones. Sorry you are on Verizon, as their CEO is an Android fan.


RE: WP7
By TheRequiem on 12/2/2011 1:44:01 PM , Rating: 3
+1! Yeah, I think the other major difference here is that Windows 8 Tablets won't be available until the end of 2012 so why would we need advertising? The thing is, Microsoft still makes the most popular OS for pc's and with WP7 updates coming in 2012, I think we will see much more serious competition. With MS ready to debut the Xbox (which will likely have WP8 integration and Windows 8 integration), I foresee them having a very strong, reliable and efficient echo system. I'm pretty sure that once Windows 8 launches and tablets/ pc's alike start launching, there will be a massive marketing blitz. I'm pretty sure people will buy the next Xbox's, Windows 8 tablets based on Microsoft’s strong echo system and familiarity. I'm not buying into any of the arguments presented as they wouldn't be valid due to the timeframe. The end of 2012 will Microsoft’s time, WP8, Windows 8 Xbox 3... etc. We shall see what happens then.


RE: WP7
By Mint on 12/10/2011 7:30:59 AM , Rating: 2
The only thing holding me back from WinMo is removable storage. It's just so much easier to transfer files with a memory card than rely on the cloud, wifi, or cables.

I imagine that I will eventually acquiesce, though.


RE: WP7
By spread on 12/2/2011 12:28:15 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
No cutting edge dual/quad SOCs


Nokia is releasing duals very soon. They're playing catchup right now.

quote:
no High Resolution screens.


The screen has comparable resolution and pixel density to the iPhone retina display. It's very high res... for a phone.

As far as that the devices are low end, you don't need to throw that much hardware at WP7 because it runs very fast, even the internet is fast and smooth. You don't need to brute force the OS because it's not sluggish unlike Android. They learned their lessons though and 4.0 should be very well build now that it has GPU acceleration for almost everything.


RE: WP7
By Gurthang on 12/2/2011 9:34:51 AM , Rating: 4
While I agree I would love to see WP7 compete better on the hardware side of things. I don't want to see the kind of abandonware behavior I see in Andriod land happen in WP7 land where you are held captive on a older version of the OS because the vendor has moved on and you phone has funky chip x that prevents you from getting everything working with some hacked rom.

And lets be frank here I as an Andriod user admin Android needs hyper powerfull CPUs to reduce the lag this incredibly wastefull OS has. So far having used my friend's WP7, tested them in our lab, and using my wife's iphone 4s I wish my Samsung phone with stripped clean GB rom ran that smooth.

MY problem with WP7 is I prefer to stay away from social media so those features don't exactly excite me and I like having the ability to tweak the OS I have in Android phone for now.


RE: WP7
By bond007taz on 12/1/11, Rating: -1
RE: WP7
By Unspoken Thought on 12/2/2011 12:06:19 AM , Rating: 3
Lack of Apps? There is no need to have 20 fart or kama sutra apps on your phone. Seriously, you don't.

You do know that our current mobile hardware contains ARM processors? MS has already notified developers they will make tools to port your Apps to both x86 and ARM so you can have them on whichever device you fancy at the time.


RE: WP7
RE: WP7
By masamasa on 12/2/2011 10:55:39 AM , Rating: 2
Agreed. This tablet, if done right, should be more functional than anything out there right now from a practical perspective. We shall see.


RE: WP7
By Paj on 12/2/2011 7:14:44 AM , Rating: 2
Apps are critical for the success of any smartphone - they extend its functionality. If no one makes apps for it, it won't do well. If all you needed was calculators and calendars, people would just get a feature phone and call it a day.

WP7 needs to ensure that flagship iOS and Android apps make it to WP7. If people cant get similar functionality from the available apps, why would they make the switch to WP7? Certainly not for the interface - only tech savvy types care about things like that, and theyre in the minority as far as marketshare is concerned.

This is one of the reasons why webOS did so badly, and why Blackberry is failing now - people want apps, and no one is making them for those two platforms.


RE: WP7
By Gurthang on 12/2/2011 9:19:39 AM , Rating: 5
Maybe, but what so many people fail to realize about WP7 is that unlike andriod and iphone most of what people do with smart phones like keep up with friends on facebook, surf, search, tweet, photo share, navigation, etc. are so tightly integrated in the phone OS that most of the top tier applications the people consider required on iPhone and Android that they are not just unnecessary but even the best implementrations on the competors phones are vastly inferior and require far more effort.

Where WP7 shows weakness is the immaturity of the platform and the limitations of the API with which the devs have had to extend the phone with. Things have gotten better under 7.5. But I still feel MS needs to work with the thrid party devs to create a means for them to not just add new live app tiles but to also extend/enhance the OS services. (Like allowing some new social media site to make an app that the OS can use to integrate their data at the same level as Facebook is in the OS, or Swype to offer their keyboard for use in WP7, etc.)


RE: WP7
By jimbojimbo on 12/2/2011 1:34:47 PM , Rating: 2
You're forgetting one of the most important apps, activesync. WP 7.5 still doesn't support nearly as many of the activesync features as the iPhone or many Android phones to a point that it's unacceptable in any company that requires any level of security.

When will Windows Phone catch up with good old Windows Mobile?? Until it does our company will not even consider it.


RE: WP7
By robinthakur on 12/2/2011 8:56:26 AM , Rating: 1
The problem is that the window of opportunity for WP7 to succeed was incredibly small, basically from the start of their promotion blitz to when their ad budget ran out. After that nobody who isn't in the phone/IT industry cared anymore, hardly any new handsets came out and the product fell off most people's radars.

Therefore MS is not perceived to even have a presence in the market yet again. This is the same as the Tablet market really, and Jason makes the critical mistake of not seeing one *very* important thing from the consumers standpoint. They have failed before, many times. A windows tablet and a windows phone are not new concepts, they have been tried before and both failed in the market for varying reasons. Do you and MS expect consumers to have such a short memory? Unlike hardware reviewers who get sent hardware to review for free then send it back, parting with your own money for a device which will probably lock you in to the environment (either Arm SOC or x86 or even iOS/Android - Good luck getting Adobe to send you a swap out Arm version of Photoshop Master Suite for free) is considered much more carefully and usually errs on the side of caution i.e. get what everybody else is getting. The effect on a company' experiential reputation from a user investing in a product which then fails in the market and is withdrawn is catastrophic. They tell everyone they know, write it all over the internet, its brand death basically.

The touch interface tacked onto Windows 7 (which rears its ugly head whenever you need to actually do something on non touch optimised apps) is a pretty sideshow, but ultimately MS in the mobile market is an absolutely toxic proposition for most consumers at this point, especially the ones who purchased old and recent Windows tablets, Kin, WiMo and to a lesser extent WP7, who feel like they have backed losers.

If it had to paint a picture, it would be of a company strongly identified with business computers and productivity software which has seen precious little success outside its core market of business servers and Office in recent years (besides Xbox/Kinect) and is very nearly irrelevant in the mobile market. They should consider renaming the company, splitting it or just making software for the other platforms. MS is at least 4 years too late to be in with a chance of winning this fight in its current state, which is a shame, but that's the way I see it.

You don't see Apps as important, which puts you squarely in the minority these days. The response of the people spending the money is that Apps are incredibly important, probably moreso on iOS than Android, as the quality is and range is higher. The fact that Android and WP7 have been doing a subset of what Siri does for a while is pointless if nobody knows about it or uses it...


RE: WP7
By Da W on 12/2/2011 10:35:01 AM , Rating: 4
Many said in 2000:
"Microsoft is too late in the game console market.
Nintendo has been there since 1985.
They are 3 generations behind (NES-Sega master / SNES-Genesis / N64-PS1).
There are already millions of users of nintendo or sony consoles.
Sony is growing like crazy."

Yet the Xbox did catch on. Actually Microsoft learned with Xbox and perfected with Xbox 360. I see them oppening a giant can of whoopass in every non-japanese market for the next generation.

Now for those who read the future into the past, i will say this:
1- Reasons convertible tablet pc failled: Huge price tag until 2009. Still in the stylus-input paradigm. Still in the big software paradigm instead of small apps. Huge Intel/AMD power consumption. All these things are gone now, Windows 8 is something else. ARM is possible. X86 is low power. Price can range from 400$ to 1500$. touch interface is great.

2- Reasons WP7 failled: Its been only 1 year. Lack of marketing or just plain bad marketing. Too few phones with inferior hardware. Few apps. All that is changing now. It might still fizzle but i will wait one more year. There are enough apps, better hardware is coming, and it's the best communication phone there is (talking e-mails, facebook, twiter, linked in, people hub, Outlook connector and sharepoint workspace for office use). It can take the blackberry spot at least.
I don't remember Android being hugely popular until the arrival of the original Droid, and i remember Nexus One being a faillure.

Lastly, there are what, 22 millions ipads out there? Sure starting from zero you will show huge growth rates in % !!! But that's hardly an entrenched market. And people will have the choice: do you want a tablet to be a big phone or a small computer?? May be Apple/Google are right with the big phone approach. I still see additional value by having a small computer as a secondary device. I fact i will keep my desktop, and the tablet will probably take my laptop's place in my home.


RE: WP7
By jonmcc33 on 12/2/2011 12:26:21 AM , Rating: 3
I agree. I have an HTC Arrive from Sprint and I actually think Windows Phone 7 is a superior UI compared to Android and iOS. My only issue was that I wouldn't consider AT&T, lost interest in Verizon after they went to limited data plans, wouldn't get T-Mobile if they were the last wireless provider in the world and Sprint only offered one Windows Phone to choose from.

But no complaints at all about the HTC Arrive. I like HTC as a company, the phone is very well built and the WP7 interface is truly a dream to use.


RE: WP7
By ICBM on 12/2/2011 11:23:10 AM , Rating: 2
Everyone keeps dogging AT&T, but in South Texas, AT&T has the best network coverage by far. I hate having to do business with them, but for us, if we want the most coverage we don't have a choice.

If UI doesn't matter, then why did iphone become popular? I stand by my app statement. 99% of what people want/need a phone to do comes pre-installed on the phones already.

I also agree, use a year old WP7 upgraded to 7.5. It will blow your mind how low end hardware, year old hardware can have such a good experience. People dogging the hardware have never used one of the devices. Try it!

I don't think Microsoft has missed their window of opportunity either. What they need are more devices, on more carriers. Higher quality builds would be good too, guess we will have to wait on Nokia for that. Considering that most of the population doesn't realize there are smartphones other than an iphone, I think advertising and awareness are key for them. Keep in mind this is the population that keeps the Kardashians, Justin Bieber, Ice Road Truckers, and American Idol in business.


RE: WP7
By NellyFromMA on 12/6/2011 3:01:39 PM , Rating: 2
lmao @ Tim Tebow as the photo for overcoming the odds hahahaha


WHAT?!
By jms102285 on 12/1/2011 8:40:13 PM , Rating: 5
Jason Mick posted this??? I think someone must have hacked his account...




RE: WHAT?!
By jms102285 on 12/1/2011 8:57:20 PM , Rating: 4
All kidding aside, it's actually a very well written article. Practical, not idealist. So many people are looking for "the next big thing" that it's getting old. I look forward to Microsoft's evolution as the leader in computing.

Note: Yes, I love Microsoft products. Get over it. They make my life easier and are also a career (IT).


RE: WHAT?!
By just4U on 12/2/2011 2:49:56 AM , Rating: 2
NO we must keep that up!!

Jason will find it pretty funny I am sure when someone calls him a Microsoft shill who has sold out! :D


RE: WHAT?!
By ncalipari on 12/2/2011 4:42:05 AM , Rating: 3
This article seems written by a PR rather than by a journalist.

How much microsoft paid for this?


RE: WHAT?!
By mcnabney on 12/2/11, Rating: -1
RE: WHAT?!
By sviola on 12/2/2011 1:48:11 PM , Rating: 3
Lets see all the wrong assumptions you are making:

1 - First, the ARM version will have ZERO compatibility with all Windows legacy software. - Not true. .NET applications will run normally. win32 applications will need to be recompiled, but that should be easy, considering that Win8 will have the same APIs available.

2 - Second, the hardware will be worefully underpowered to manage the workload. Don't lie to me and tell me that all of a sudden MS will release an efficient OS. They won't. - Where have you been on the last 3 years? Win7 is an efficient OS. Also, WP7 is an extremely efficient OS.

3 - Third, only the fanbois love Microsoft. The general market has zero brand loyalty to the MS brand. They buy MS on their desktop/laptop because they have to in order to run their software and save money versus a Mac. - Your Mac fanboysm is showing...

4 - Win8 ARM tablet is going to have precious little software at first (compared to Apple and Android) and as I mentioned before, no legacy compatibility. - Not true. .NET applications will run on Win8 for ARM, WP7 apps will run on Win8 ARM and there will be tons of HTML applications available at launch.

5 - Fourth, non-ARM versions will be just like a netbook - useless for real computing, and ignored by the larger market. - You just gave me a description of the iPad: useless for real computing and ignored by the larger market.


RE: WHAT?!
By jvillaro on 12/2/2011 2:56:32 PM , Rating: 1
More moron or more sarcastic? Did you even read the article?


RE: WHAT?!
By Camikazi on 12/3/2011 10:51:57 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
Third, only the fanbois love Microsoft. The general market has zero brand loyalty to the MS brand. They buy MS on their desktop/laptop because they have to in order to run their software and save money versus a Mac.


Wait are you telling me that MS has the only intelligent consumers buying their products? That these consumers don't base their purchases on the brand but on the compatibility, price/performance and usability of the product? Damn MS must be doing something right to have everyone hate them yet STILL have everyone buying their product cause it does what they need it to do, GO MS!


RE: WHAT?!
By Fritzr on 12/4/2011 12:02:25 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
fanbois love Microsoft. The general market has zero brand loyalty to the MS brand. They buy MS on their desktop/laptop because they have to in order to run their software


Odd you think this is a strike against buying Microsoft. If the Mac cannot run the software the user needs (thousanda of Windows only programs exist) why shouldn't the normal OS agnostic buyer ignore Apple?

Get the App developers to port those thousands of Windows only programs to OSX and Macs might have a chance of being more than a niche product. Yes, there are some applications that are Mac only and there are people who buy Macs for that reason...they just install MS Windows on their Mac or buy a second (Windows) computer so they can run everything else :P

This problem that you ascribe to Win8 tablet edition has applied to Apple Computers for 30 years now. They are NOT compatible with the majority of programs available for home or business computers. Aside from preventing Apple from gaining significant market share, it does not seem to have hurt the company any.


RE: WHAT?!
By jvillaro on 12/2/2011 2:52:02 PM , Rating: 2
Moron or sarcastic?


Educate
By Raiders12 on 12/1/2011 8:55:59 PM , Rating: 2
"Like Android, Windows 9 tablets"...W9?

Anyway, Windows 8 tablets will be great. MS has proven it can provide slick interfaces with Win 7, Zune, Live, and Mobile 7. I have no doubt Win 8 will be good, they have learned their lessons from ME and Vista folks. Also hopefully they dont fully restrict hardware, but rather just set minimum standards.




RE: Educate
By bond007taz on 12/1/11, Rating: -1
RE: Educate
By spread on 12/2/2011 12:42:26 AM , Rating: 4
On the other hand you can actually use proper applications instead of Fart App 324 in HD.


RE: Educate
By Helbore on 12/2/2011 7:37:42 AM , Rating: 2
Have you tried Windows 8 on a tablet? It's nothing like Windows 7.


RE: Educate
By mcnabney on 12/2/2011 10:06:31 AM , Rating: 2
Metro UI = Mediacenter UI

But in green instead of blue.

I have a HTPC as a mediacenter with tons of apps for me and my kids installed. I also installed the Win8 beta on a different desktop and was surprised to see the exact same UI being touted as new.


RE: Educate
By Helbore on 12/2/2011 4:12:28 PM , Rating: 2
I use mediacentre, too. It was the basis for Metro - Microsoft haven't pretended otherwise. Metro was also developed for Zune and Windows Phone, too.

They're hardly identical, though. Win 8's Metro is far more flexible for both developers and end-user customisation than MCML allows with Mediacentre. It's an evolution of that style, though.

But being that you use mediacentre, I assume you must have found the interface intuitive and useful (otherwise you'd be using some other HTPC application).


The days are gone
By ballist1x on 12/2/2011 7:18:55 AM , Rating: 2
Of people caring what OS is installed on a system. years ago it HAD to be windows or you'd end up with some backward thing or command based UI.

No one cares if the tablet is windows, IOS or Android, as long as it does what they need it to. Browse the web, make notes, watch videos.

Whoever makes the sleekest, fastest, cheapest tablet that has great functionality will win, irrespective of whether its MS, Android or IOS based...




RE: The days are gone
By Dr of crap on 12/2/2011 12:26:08 PM , Rating: 2
You'll get voted way down for that comment.
I've posted it several times and no one gets it!

It's a phone, and as long as it does what I want it to, I do not care who makes it or what OS it has.
There I said it again.


RE: The days are gone
By sviola on 12/2/2011 2:01:19 PM , Rating: 2
That's because it is not true. Once someone (most people) has invested in a platform (e.g., bought apps and media, learning), it is very hard to move to another.

Can you imagine someone who has invested hundreds of dollars in itunes videos, music and iphone apps, simply throwing all away to start using Android, WP7 or BB? Or the opposite?


I got quoted
By Da W on 12/2/2011 10:15:30 AM , Rating: 3
Gna gna gna




By chmilz on 12/1/2011 8:26:50 PM , Rating: 2
Win 8 desktop for gaming/power
Win 8 workstation laptop
Win 8 phone
Win 8 tablet

If MS ensures a seamless way to securely sync and transfer data among all devices, among different users (and the expectation is that they will), the Win 8 platform across all devices will be a juggernaut.

Simple pet peeve: current generation tablet shared amongst two people - only one "user", can't set preferences. Same thing with my company issue Blackberry, and upcoming iPad - I can't pay for apps on either, when I really should be able to create user profiles that let me expand usability.




Important update
By dagamer34 on 12/2/2011 12:58:37 AM , Rating: 2
Important update from info released today: There will likely NOT be a desktop app on ARM tablets, which means even with re-compiling, the only apps that will run on an ARM tablet are Metro ones (and rightfully so, as non-Metro apps aren't designed for a tablet environment and will run amuck on the system, causing poor battery life).

With that decision, requiring a single point of entry for installation and sale of apps for Windows 8 on ARM means that it will finally shed all the legacy crap that caused Windows to be bloated in years past.

http://www.zdnet.com/blog/microsoft/microsoft-to-d...




Wn8 tablets ?. No chance!
By fteoath64 on 12/2/11, Rating: 0
RE: Wn8 tablets ?. No chance!
By AnnihilatorX on 12/2/2011 3:46:16 AM , Rating: 2
The tablet word has been shifting in meaning. I am a die hard user of traditional tablet PCs, professional laptops with stylus pen inputs which were in market even before 2005. These are not remotely comparable to entertainment tablets like iPad.

Windows 8 is a good news to me as Windows traditionally just fails when it comes to touchscreen and stylus inputs. GUIs are not optimized for touch operation, for example buttons are too small. There are no universal integration of gesture in-built into Windows. Pinch-zooom for example works for applications that support it specifically, but not across the whole OS ecosystem.

While a lot of problems is legacy programs, having Windows to support a good tablet usage model on x86 apps is a big plus already.

Traditional tablet PC users don't care about 80% of the useless apps and games on andriod platform. We need to run MS office, OneNote, Matlab, Maple, AutoCAD, Photoshop, Illustrator with pen. And Windows 7 is not good enough for that.


Microsoft mobile history????
By DrApop on 12/2/2011 10:31:34 AM , Rating: 2
Sheesh, this article sounds like it was written by something with computer knowledge starting just 2 years ago.

Like the first MS mobile OS was on the Kin. It started a long time ago when MS tried to basically put their full OS on a PDA to compete with Palm. MS CE was pretty rotten as a mobile OS if you ask me.

Anyway, hopefully by 2014, the OS of a tablet and perhaps a laptop/desktop won't really matter. Web apps and the cloud are becoming much more sophisticated. If we can get some really good competing business and personal apps that can compete equally with OS specific desktop apps, then I think people will move to the web (assuming things remain OS neutral for the web (Zoho apps are pretty comphensive OS independent apps...then there is google apps). So there will be standard "web" centric apps and then there are the mobile appstore, OS dependent apps....some of which have a web product anyway.




Very good approach...
By Ramstark on 12/2/2011 12:10:52 PM , Rating: 2
I'm a "casual" reader of DT, I'm not a MS fanboy, I respect a lot the innovation and implementation of Google products and I despise Apple for their "design is everything" approach.
So, the future it is...I see tablets at work, people reading Office charts and modifying the on the go, reading emails, having video conferences and loosing time with "Angry Birds Multiplayer, the Pigs Revenge" (That's copyrighted Rovio!)and all of that around a safe, controlled and cloud based environment...running Windows.
Why? There are 3 factors that will continue to drill into business for the years to come:
1.Cloud based services and security
2.Virtualization
3.Online collaboration and Home Office
These 3 factors are continually growing and are "the way to go" to be a competitive, modern company where people would want to go to work.
Always consider the social factors when talking about tech, not only "SoCs and RAM"
My two cents...




Not This Again
By ResStellarum on 12/2/2011 5:30:18 PM , Rating: 2
1. Recompiling an x86 app for ARM won't make it touch friendly. If you want to see just how non-touch-friendly the traditional Windows desktop mode will be, check out the existing Windows 7 tablets. I'll save you the time - they're awful.
2. Rewriting major applications for the metro interface is a non-trivial matter.
3. I heard a rumour that the ARM version of Windows 8 won't even ship with the traditional desktop mode.
4. If the WP7 tile interface wasn't successful, what makes you think the Windows 8 metro UI will be any different?
5. And last but not least, the hardware required to run the full blown Windows is going to have to be pretty steep. More so than the rival iOS and Android platforms. This means the cost of the devices are going to be equally expensive.

Could Windows 8 be successful? Maybe, but I have some major reservations. The main one being the lack of application compatibility. If someone buys a Windows 8 tablet expecting all their apps to run seamlessly, they're going to be sorely disappointed.




By jnemesh on 12/2/2011 6:07:27 PM , Rating: 2
First, Microsoft is coming into the tablet market with a SEVERE handicap! They are coming to market 2 YEARS after the iPad and a year after Android! By the time a Win8 Tablet hits the market, its already going to be fighting an uphill battle to get people away from those two competitors.

Second, the point that because Windows computers are cheaper than Macs means that Win8 tablets are going to automatically be cheaper is a VERY flawed assumption! My guess is that they will be shooting for the same $400-$500 price points, and they could be significantly more expensive, depending on the hardware.

Third, the biggest incentive to going with Microsoft for a tablet would be compatibility with all of the apps that the user is currently running on his or her desktop or notebook computer. Win8 Tablets will NOT run desktop software...only new "Metro" apps will run...so there goes THAT advantage.

Fourth, Microsoft is assuming everyone loves "Metro". I HATE it with a purple passion! It looks like COMPLETE DOO DOO to me! Others may disagree, but I think the UI looks like it was designed by Kinder-gardeners!

All in all, I see very little reason to wait another YEAR for a Microsoft tablet...and I think the majority of customers next year will agree!

(p.s. Nice knowing you, Mr. Ballmer, good luck in your next job!)




Idiocracy
By crispbp04 on 12/3/2011 10:41:53 AM , Rating: 2
The general public is absolutely stupid when it comes to "APPS". I got asked if i could run apps on my tablet with windows 8 dev preview. "HAY CAN YOU RUN APPS ON THAT!?!?" asked the curious fellow. I wanted to smother them, but I resisted.

The first thing that comes out of someone's uninformed mouth when they see my windows phone: "HAY CAN IT RUN APPS!?!? I HEARD MICROSOFT DOESNT HAVE APPS".

Ask any kid what they want for christmas. It will be an ipod touch or an iphone. Apple has brandwashed an entire generation.

How can Microsoft right these wrongs instilled into the common consumer's psyche? It's a complex issue. Microsoft had virtually ZERO competition for well over a decade. They never had to compete, and every time they did, they'd get sued for antitrust. They've had the DOJ and European Comission breathing down their neck for the past 15 years. Microsoft learned to roll with the punches. They let Apple beome relevant again during the "Mac vs. PC" nonsense ad campaign. People now accuse Microsoft of lacking innovation and depth.

Microsoft is a stability-centric company. They won't risk their business on a gamble when the world relys on them to stick to their core business products. Everything else was just a pet project to learn from. (Zune, Courier, WP7, etc)

Thing have changed though. We're moving into a phase where new products now threaten Microsoft's core business. You better believe that this threat will be treated differently.

2012 will bring together a 10 year vision from Microsoft in the form of Windows 8. They've sat back learning, developing, envisioning and perfecting their strategy. They've pushed all in on the idea that platform synergy is the future. A familiar experience on every device.

But the real question is how do you get user buy in? How do you convince a brandwashed public that they have been misguided with marketing for the past decade? I don't have that answer, but I hope microsoft does, because their platform really is a winner. There is no question about that. I'm just worried how they're going to sell it.




me
By p05esto on 12/3/2011 1:33:31 PM , Rating: 2
I'm waiting for Win8 to buy their smart phone, tablet, new PC and possibly new Xbox if launched around the same time. Bringing all those pieces together is the secret sauce that will put MS on top. I'm in (unless they screw up badly anyhow, lol).




So go try it!
By millerm277 on 12/3/2011 2:10:33 PM , Rating: 2
Some of the comments in here about how it will or won't work are rather humorous. If you want to know, it's freaking available, go download the Dev Preview from Microsoft's site.

Let me put it this way: I loaded it up on a 3 year old convertible laptop I had (Thinkpad X series), and I'm not going back. It works, and it works quite well. We can argue about the ARM stuff all day, but I will say this, I no longer have any doubts about if MS understands touch, they do.




User Interface
By simsony on 12/3/2011 5:29:31 PM , Rating: 2
Is x86 app compatibility even relevant with touch screen tablets? So what if I can run the inhouse menu based app? How do I actually use the SW? Do I carry a stylus around a la Tablet Gen 90's?

Even if the apps are binary ported (.NET or MFC/Win32), the UI of traditional apps with menus and toolbars is useless on a tablet. Try Remote VNC on an iPad: it's helpful, but certainly not the same as a laptop or PC.

A tablet today does not match the productivity of a PC/Laptop. The apps are practical only for view/modify. Hence the apps are priced cheaper as well. They have to be, they don't offer the same value as desktop office.

The real winner of the tablet race will be the company that creates a user interface paradigm that makes a tablet truly as productive as a PC/laptop. The equivalent of the mouse/keyboard/GUI revolution on the tablet. Without needing any appendages like a stylus.

The company that does that I think will be the real winner. This will allow for the apps that can command the kind on money that office for eg does.

Until then, tablets will just be larger mobiles without a phone. Just for view/modify and short data entry bursts. I don't see Win8 having any advantage here, and therefore no value proposition above existing market solutions.




i'll wait for windows 9...
By riottime on 12/4/2011 10:55:53 PM , Rating: 2
windows 8 is going to be the first metro ui hack (ala like vista). it takes them another os release, windows 9, before they get right (ala win7). ;)




By mattclary on 12/5/2011 9:28:01 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) has had a rocky go in the tablet market. It almost beat Apple, Inc. (AAPL) to market with its slick Courier "design book" dual-tablet, but instead opted for a wait and see process that cost it millions, if not billions in sales.


I am the exact OPPOSITE of an Apple fan, but sorry, this statement is crap. MS would have never pulled it off. The OS would be sh1t (on a tablet, in 2009) and the CPU would have been an Intel chip that sucked the battery dry in an hour.




It must have been hard...
By piesquared on 12/5/2011 12:19:24 PM , Rating: 2
to not mention AMD a single time in that whole article. Especially since it's logo is sitting right next to the accompaning slide. It's all good though, I love how so many people underestimate them and get bitten in the ass for it. :)




Jason - you almost got it all...
By Belard on 12/5/2011 11:56:20 PM , Rating: 2
Unless I am kind of missing something (I was on the crapper with my iPad reading this, now on my Win7 desktop)... There is a point you should bring up.

Microsoft is pushing that *ALL* Metro (ie: Win8 apps) are required to have an ARM version/work with ARM.

Overall, a great observation from you and as I've stated around here, MS is planning their tablet/mobile market (I hope they rename it to Windows Mobile 8, since "phone" doesn't apply to tablets). We have ALL seen HP, RIM and even Android rush into the tablet market... Only Android is doing well because they came in 2nd - but its still a huge mess that I don't care to bother with.

My experience with my Samsung Android phone has little to be desired... I didn't want an iOS product as I hated Apple last year, now - I don't care anymore... whoever makes the best, I'll buy. And we needed a tablet for business and went with an iPad1 (the 2's were out of stock) over any Android device. Even today - new Android tablets come out with older operating system. This is the stupid crap that Commodore did in its dying days, selling NEW computers with 3 different Operating systems, depending on which one you bought. (1.3 / 2.2 / 3.0)

Anyway - I'm okay Android phone, it does some stupid things. But do you KNOW what made me LOVE my phone, as in actually USING the thing?
I installed the free Launcher 7 on it last Summer. Its not as fully functional as a real WP7, but *I* love the interface. No more hunting around the right 5 screens for the right APP. My main screen was devoid of buttons because even with a 4" screen - I had to watch my aim... or I'd press a button 2-3 times to get a response (I've seen others do this).

With WP7, I can customize where my tiles are, color them. They TELL me what is going on (email, Text, Missed calls) something useful. When I got my Android, WP7 was weeks from coming out... so only today, would I get one. And today - I DO recommend people buy one.

Back to Win8 Tablets... By tying the Desktop to the mobile, Microsoft is doing some really good thinking here that RIM, HP and even Android can't do. I don't see RIM lasting long or a way out of their problems, other than being a niche company.

It means the user can use a phone, desktop, tablet and console while using pretty much the same simple and elegant interface... that *IS* not a copy of iOS. All Microsoft has to do is, not drop the ball. Their partners have to make QUALITY products that people want, like Lenovo, ASUS and Samsung. The interface between Win8 tablets and desktops (Win7~8 / OS X) needs to be solid - not the garbage I'm seeing with Android.

With that much integration, *I* do want to see AVATAR (movie) style sharing of information/apps in which I can grab a webpage from a tablet and throw it onto my desktop.

Someone posted about how Windows7 isn't efficient and won't work well on tablets. That is true... yes it has far better memory management over Vista and is functional on an old 1ghz PC. But in reality - its a bloated POS OS based off of 1990s tech. Its huge, it has lots of legacy code, its a MESS with its stupid registry. With Metro, it is a way to MOVE off of the Win32.api Give it a few versions and we may have a 0% Win32 OS, if Metro takes off. Of course tablet and other mobile devices WILL NOT be running the Win32.api (maybe some will - like the Win7 tablets we have today)

Question:
I do have one possible issue and solution with Win8 from an article I read. The Metro interface slides left to right and works great for touch screens... but I like my display to be clean and will be using a mouse. If the mouse-hand has to be use to slide left<>right - that will be OLD very quickly.

Solution: Just use the mouse wheel. Sure its not pointed the right way (which doesn't work), but the human brain can figure this out. turn the wheel down to scroll to the right. Thus allowing us to move the pointer around while scrolling.

With that, I'd expect to see notebooks with a wheel added above or below the touchpad, where such a wheel WILL work.

When Windows8 beta comes out next year, I will most likely toss it on one of my older notebooks to give it a try.

Windows 8 *IS* the only thing I can see which maybe able to keep iOS/iPad from total control of the market. I'm not feeling it from Android and the rest won't matter.

As of today, the best performing tablet is still last March's iPad2. Nobody *NOBODY* has the battery, CPU and GPU performance to match. The new Sony tablet is quite sexy, but I'm not completely sold. I also like the ThinkPad design.

Next Spring will be interesting. If the iPad has retina display and is $500 with 16GB and Android as well as MS don't competing products out at that time, I may just get the iPad3. If Samsung has an upcoming Win8 tablets with better hardware than the iPad3, I may wait it out... before the end of the world.




really?
By Saist on 12/1/2011 10:31:54 PM , Rating: 1
http://www.gamenikkiinexile.com/g3/features/Jason....

Microsoft's chances in the mobile market with Windows 8 are well... let's be honest. Horrible.




It's too late already for windows on phones/tablets
By Dribble on 12/2/2011 5:51:03 AM , Rating: 1
It's going to be ARM + Android for the masses, and ARM + iOS for the rest. The market is already locked down, there's no space for anyone else. If it wasn't WP7 would have been doing much better by now.

Equally on the other side windows will continue to rule the desktop and high end (big!) notebooks. That's where traditional windows software support is most entrenched.

Imo the battle is actually going to be over lightweight notebooks which will soon likely be the only PC left in many houses. Will it be some intel/win 8 ultra book, or some lightweight apple ARM powered iOS book, or even a google chromebook.




Microsoft's Innovators Dilemma
By Tony Swash on 12/2/2011 7:25:20 AM , Rating: 1
I am not convinced that Windows 8 tablets will be a success in terms of numbers sold - but time will tell.

What is interesting about Windows 8 on tablets is that for the first time Microsoft is going to have to embrace the disruption of it's beloved Windows-Office business.

Microsoft does not make PCs and will almost certainly not make tablets. It makes all it's money from software licences (the X-box hardware business barely makes any profit). In the PC world Microsoft has established, and superbly defended, a model based on high prices for software, and a system where by all major upgrades to the OS are paid for as are every major iteration of Office.

The tablet ecosystem pioneered by Apple, and which all other tablets makers and ecosystems look like being forced to copy, is not like that. In the tablet system software is cheap and OS upgrades are free. Apple only breaks even on it's App store operation, and on the iTunes system in general, whilst allowing developers to make significant amounts of money (several £billion so far). Apple created the iTunes system to create a value stack for it's devices.

One can already see the dilemma for Microsoft when faced with the option of releasing the rumoured iOS version of Office. They could choose not to release an iOS version but as there are Office compatible apps on the iOS already that means ceding a rapidly growing iPad market to it's competitors and undermining the 'Office everywhere, Office as a standard' strategy. So Microsoft might decide to release a version of Office for iOS but then how to price it? In order to sell against the competition and compete under the existing iOS app market price norms it may have to offer Office for a low price, around the $10-$15 range. That's a big hit to it's traditional model of a revenue stream. And if they do that then how could they charge a lot more for the Windows 8 tablet version?

This present a true Innovators Dilemma for Microsoft.

see http://2ndbn5thmar.com/change/The%20Innovators.pdf
and
http://www.squeezedbooks.com/book/show/13/the-inno...

Leaving aside the iOS version what about software prices and upgrade models on Windows Tablet 8? Can Microsoft charge £50 or $100 for office on a Windows 8 tablet and sell in quantity? Wouldn't that invite someone else (Apple if they wanted to be devilish) to sell something as good for Windows 8 tablets for £10? Maybe Microsoft will offer a desktop-tablet bundle of Office in it's usual high price range but that would not be attractive to customers who just want a tablet version and it still leaves the market open for a low cost tablet only alternative from someone else.

What about tablet OS upgrades. This is an absolutely critical element to Microsoft's revenue flows. Can Microsoft charge for system upgrades to Windows 8 tablets when Apple and Android don't?

I thought at the time that when Apple announced the really low prices for iWork, Garage Band, iMovie etc on iOS that it was a fantastically clever move. In a stroke it cut the ground from under the high price software market by establishing a new model. Once iOS devices were selling in significant quantities (250 million iOS devices sold is a conservative estimate for 2012) then this new low price model becomes a big threat to companies whose business model is based on high software prices. Look at the prices Adobe charges for it's iOS apps. Look at an iOS app like Snapseed from Nik software (a great photo editing tool by the way) which costs under $5 compared to say Nik's Viveza Photoshop plugin which costs $99. You can see the way the wind is blowing on app pricing.

So Microsoft's dilemma is that the more successful Windows 8 tablets are the more it establishes a competing model to its current main revenue pillars and if Microsoft tries to limit or cripple the cheap app price system on Windows 8 tablets it may end up ceding tablets to Apple and Android (mostly Apple).

Watching how Microsoft tried to navigate this will fascinating.




BOYCOTT MICROSOFT
By boycottmicrosoft on 12/1/11, Rating: -1
RE: BOYCOTT MICROSOFT
By kleinma on 12/1/2011 9:52:52 PM , Rating: 3
Don't you mean you work at Apple?


RE: BOYCOTT MICROSOFT
By amanojaku on 12/1/2011 11:43:54 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
What even worse when they only pay their workers minimum wage or less
quote:
They promote how they are failing, so they only have to pay minimum wage to its workers cause they know there are thousands lined up to work for even less .
I doubt this idiot works anywhere, with statements like these.


RE: BOYCOTT MICROSOFT
By spread on 12/2/2011 12:41:04 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
They are riding the road to failure on purpose.


Actually they are making very good money. Have you looked at their earnings reports?

quote:
What even worse when they only pay their workers minimum wage or less


No, they really don't. They pay quite well, in fact it's been rated as one of the best places to work for according to TIME.

quote:
If you only knew how many teams/products are for sale


Well actually, Microsoft usually buys not sells other companies and teams.

quote:
the would rather hire prison workers in Washington and Texas or import bus loads of workers from the poorest towns in the world.


If they're that poor they probably don't have access to computers and the education needed to code and make applications. Windows and Office wasn't made by uneducated morons. Both products run quite well and are decently efficient.

quote:
They promote how they are failing, so they only have to pay minimum wage to its workers cause they know there are thousands lined up to work for even less.


Yeah, again, they are in the black. Dark black, they make tons of money and pay people very well.

quote:
Demand the company broken up for corruption and illegal work ethics. Demand prosecution of board members. Demand rights to software developed.


I demand to see your High School Diploma or an equivalent GED test results.


RE: BOYCOTT MICROSOFT
By spacegirl on 12/2/2011 5:10:50 AM , Rating: 2
Neat,
Here's an article by the seattle times, about a guy who works at Microsoft still (that worked for Free as an intern) for over two years.

Microsoft interns do not get paid a paycheck and live in crammed apartments with other interns. They do get a food card.

seattletimes.nwsource((DOT)com/html/microsoftpri0 /2016527369_microsoft_researcher_stevie_bathiche_bl urs_lines_b.html


RE: BOYCOTT MICROSOFT
By cjohnson2136 on 12/2/2011 8:32:30 AM , Rating: 1
Most internships do not pay. The point of an internship is for the experience not the pay.


RE: BOYCOTT MICROSOFT
By daveinternets on 12/2/2011 7:06:14 PM , Rating: 2
I don't know what is more shocking/sad.

That the Seattle Times actually wrote an article about interns not getting paid, or morons like you posting it around the web like it is some major news story.


RE: BOYCOTT MICROSOFT
By Cheesew1z69 on 12/3/2011 11:19:41 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
They will always steal other ideas and patent themselves
Sounds exactly like Apple, go figure.


IDK
By Cobra Commander on 12/1/11, Rating: -1
RE: IDK
By Argon18 on 12/1/11, Rating: -1
RE: IDK
By DeluxeTea on 12/1/2011 10:14:58 PM , Rating: 3
Crashes? Viruses? Have you used a well-maintained Win7 PC lately?


RE: IDK
By amanojaku on 12/1/2011 11:38:44 PM , Rating: 4
Of course he hasn't used a Windows 7 PC. He's still sucking Zombie Steve Jobs' cock. His brains have pickled!


RE: IDK
By ncalipari on 12/2/2011 4:48:33 AM , Rating: 2
why should I care about maintenance?

I use a computer, I'm not a sys admin.


RE: IDK
By Paj on 12/2/2011 7:05:45 AM , Rating: 2
Have you tried to get OSX, or any of its native apps (Mail, iCal, etc), working within a Windows Server environment?

Come back then and say that Windows is dead.


RE: IDK
By spread on 12/2/2011 12:43:27 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
They sit in front of their slow clunky windows peecee all day at work.


So don't buy a slow and clunky PC, you cheapskate.


RE: IDK
By ncalipari on 12/2/11, Rating: 0
RE: IDK
By retrospooty on 12/2/2011 7:15:59 AM , Rating: 4
Sorry dude, slow clunky PC died out with Win7 and Core 2 duo on the soft and hardware sides.

If you wanna compare Mac OS vs win7, your gonna lose. Win7 is not only better, its way better. Both are fast, stable, nice UI. The difference? The win7 machine is compatible with planet earth.


RE: IDK
By Helbore on 12/2/2011 7:36:12 AM , Rating: 2
I take it you haven't used the Windows 8 Developer Preview. It's still only an alpha build, but it's the fastest OS I've ever used. It's boot up time makes OSX look like an old hog.

MS have done a fantastic job optimising the OS. Don't write it off if you haven't used it.


RE: IDK
By mcnabney on 12/2/2011 10:10:17 AM , Rating: 2
It uses a hibernation gimmick to boot fast. And once it is crapped up with all of the junk people install it will start lagging too. It shouldn't matter because most users put their PC to sleep and Win7 wakes from sleep in about four seconds. I only reboot my PC when updates force me.


RE: IDK
By Helbore on 12/2/2011 4:18:02 PM , Rating: 3
Who cares how it does it. The fact is it does and it works well.

As for Windows lagging if people fill it with junk, you can't blame the OS for the idiocy of the user. The same is true of any OS. Use up all its resources and it will lag like a pig.

Doesn't change that fact that the alpha build of Windows 8 is faster than Windows 7 or OSX.


Not sold
By Ammohunt on 12/1/11, Rating: -1
RE: Not sold
By Warren21 on 12/1/2011 9:05:36 PM , Rating: 2
You can't possibly be comparing Millenium Edition to this as if W8's a new coat of lipstick. This just tastes of more uninformed Metro-UI bashing because people fear it's Microsoft ruining the core PC experience.

Metro is much more important than you give credit because it allows W8 to bridge the gap in UIs for touch interfaces and point-and-click in one OS. You will be able to disable it if you want.


RE: Not sold
By mcnabney on 12/2/2011 10:12:51 AM , Rating: 2
Metro = mediacenter. Seriously. Very very few people use mediacenter, which is why they don't recognize it when the background is changed to green and called Metro.


RE: Not sold
By acer905 on 12/2/2011 1:01:49 PM , Rating: 2
Its a design philosophy, you nut. It looks similar because its based on the same idea. Its evolution. The name is new for WP7, but its something they've been building toward for a long time.

"Early uses of the Metro principles, such as the typography, began as early as Microsoft Encarta 95, and later evolved into products such as Windows Media Center and Zune."

And besides, who will argue that this:
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/8/8d/Wind...

Is the same thing as this?
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/4/4d/Wind...

It just so happens that "10-foot" interfaces also work very well for touch input. Many people told MS for years to incorporate MediaCenter's interface into their touch products. So they did, but in an evolved fashion.


RE: Not sold
By Ammohunt on 12/2/2011 6:26:31 PM , Rating: 2
Watch and learn. Most people don't need a touch screen interface on their home PC's so that leaves full size tablets which is still a niche market. So what are you left with? windows 8 with the metro UI shutoff remind me again what the advantages of upgrading to windows 8 are? Nerd bragging rights?


RE: Not sold
By Fritzr on 12/4/2011 12:32:59 AM , Rating: 2
What were the advantages of Win7 for Vista owners? The most important advantage is continuing driver support by the vendors. Even today there are devices on the market that do not have Win7 specific drivers because the Vista driver does the job just fine.

Win8 will see the same adoption curve that XP, Vista and Win7 had. Early adopters doing the final testing of the RTM version, then SP1 with the initial fixes and finally businesses making the changeover after they are satisfied that the new edition will work for them.

Windows versions earlier than XP are still used, though Microsoft offers no official support. XP is now on the official deprecated list. Vista has an End of Support date & Win7 will be added to the list of 'previous' Windows versions once Win8 hits the streets.

Owners of Classic Macs did not need the fancy new OSX. Today though if they want to use a mainstream Mac, they are using OSX. Support for classic Mac is near zero.

In computing the only thing constant is a variable.


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