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Microsoft will be releasing Windows 7 tablets this year, but its dedicated tablet build of Windows 7 reportedly won't land until next year.  (Source: Microsoft)
Microsoft looks to arrive VERY late to the tablet game

According to Bloomberg, sources at Microsoft state that the company will be making a very late tablet push, unveiling a dedicated tablet operating system sometime next year (2012).

With Apple announcing its entry-level priced iPad 2 and with a host of Android competitors like Samsung and Motorola releasing higher-powered, more expensive entries, the tablet market is on fire.  The competition is particularly fierce on the operating system side where Apple has poured a great deal of effort to make iOS better suited for a large-screen device.  Similarly Google has put tremendous effort to complete Android 3.0 Honeycomb, which overhauls the past Android UI and makes it truly tablet-friendly.  Even HP's webOS and RIM are looking to get a piece of the tablet business

Microsoft, meanwhile stands watching on the sidelines.  While it will release some Windows 7-based tablets this year, the outlook for them is somewhat poor.  They require Intel x86 processors, and the chipmaker has struggled to deliver energy efficient Atom chips for tablets.  Another trouble spot is the Windows 7 OS itself.  The operating system isn't exactly optimized for a tablet experience, and with dedicated competitors like iOS 4.3 and Android Honeycomb 3.0 on the market, that could seriously stall sales.

Bloomberg quoted Michael Gartenberg, a New Jersey-based analyst, as meeting the news with pessimism, stating, "If 2011 is the year of the tablet wars, Microsoft will be awfully late suiting up for that battle."

And he's not alone; Goldman Sachs was scathing in a recent assessment of Microsoft and Intel's combined tablet efforts.

Then again, a late entry may not spell doom for Microsoft's tablet efforts.  Its other key mobile offering -- smartphones -- looked like a mess after the downhill slide of Windows Mobile and the abysmal failure of Kin.  But by going back to the drawing board and taking the time to reinvent, the company has delivered arguably the most innovative smart phone user interface currently available.  And with a new partnership with Nokia in hand, Microsoft could pass Apple to become the world's second largest smartphone OS maker in terms of sales if it plays its cards right.

The one worrisome sign is that Microsoft is reportedly choosing to build on top of Windows 7, adding more touch features.  While Windows 7 is arguably a great personal computer OS the question is whether even a modified version will be up to speed on tablets.  While such an approach is a quicker and easier, many were hoping the company would port the Windows Phone 7/Zune operating system to a tablet, given its more touch-centric UI.  To Microsoft's credit, many users -- including DailyTech readers -- have clamored for Windows 7-tablets.

Interestingly, Microsoft appears to be preparing to follow a similar approach that Google is following with its upcoming Chrome netbook/notebook OS, giving out test units to commercial partners and the public.  Microsoft will reportedly begin distributing device with test builds of the new OS before the end of the year.

It is unclear whether current generation Windows 7 tablets releasing this year will be upgradeable to the new OS next year, but this presumably would be the case, if hardware makers cooperate.

According to reports [1] [2] by In-Stat, the tablet business will be booming over the next several years, and will, in part, cannibalize PC sales.  In-Stat predicts over 100 new designs from Apple, Android makers (Motorola, Samsung, HTC, Sony-Ericcson, Archos, etc.), RIM, HP (webOS), MeeGo tablet makers (no major named partners), and Windows tablet makers (Dell, Lenovo, etc.) to enter the market this year.  And it predicts sales by 2014 to rise to 58 million units and by 2015 to 118 million units. 

Microsoft is also reportedly preparing its next generation version of Windows, which will support ARM CPUs for notebooks, Windows 8.

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Hope they get rid of legacy support
By GiantPandaMan on 3/4/2011 12:37:21 PM , Rating: 2
Since tablets won't have any of the legacy hardware that PC's can have, I hope Microsoft gets rid of all support for it in their tablet OS. That alone would streamline it quite a bit. After all, it won't need support for floppy drives, IDE, BIOS, dial up modems and all that other crap that Win7 still works with.

Heck, I'm interested in seeing how much quicker and smaller a windows install will be without all that crap mucking it up.

RE: Hope they get rid of legacy support
By XZerg on 3/4/11, Rating: 0
RE: Hope they get rid of legacy support
By Gungel on 3/4/2011 12:53:48 PM , Rating: 4
I stopped reading your comment after this M$.

RE: Hope they get rid of legacy support
By Taft12 on 3/4/11, Rating: -1
By XZerg on 3/4/2011 1:23:18 PM , Rating: 1
M"$" to me is more of a way to say a Microsoft is still filthy rich, not in a negative way. It will still continue to be so for a long time to come.

By kleinma on 3/4/2011 1:24:00 PM , Rating: 5
And apple is simply an unconvicted monopoly abuser...

RE: Hope they get rid of legacy support
By omnicronx on 3/4/2011 1:51:28 PM , Rating: 5
I disagree, I think the M$ abbreviation is more or less a reminder that parents should not let their children go on the internet let a lone a blog site without adult supervision.

RE: Hope they get rid of legacy support
By p05esto on 3/5/2011 1:27:08 PM , Rating: 1
Microsoft is our friend...imagine if we were stuck on Apple products - I would give up caring about computers. Apple is the friend of people who know NOTHING about computers, Microsoft makes everything else possible for the rest of us. Build your own PC? Not really with the Mac.

M$ is childishness talk, grow up.

RE: Hope they get rid of legacy support
By spread on 3/5/2011 3:34:31 PM , Rating: 3
Microsoft is our friend...imagine if we were stuck on Apple products

You don't like hockey-puck mice, dingy yellow screens and updates you have to pay for?

RE: Hope they get rid of legacy support
By tayb on 3/6/2011 2:14:31 PM , Rating: 1
Updates you have to pay for? Please. It cost me $30 to upgrade from Leopard to Snow Leopard. Going from Vista to 7 will run you at least $100.

By Smilin on 3/7/2011 4:39:07 PM , Rating: 2
$30?? The Windows 7 service pack was free.

By bigboxes on 3/6/2011 11:43:01 AM , Rating: 3
I see nothing wrong with his post. I occasionally use M$ at times and I love Win7. The OP wasn't derogatory towards Microsoft in the least. Maybe those telling the OP to grow should grow up. :p

RE: Hope they get rid of legacy support
By Flunk on 3/4/2011 1:11:25 PM , Rating: 2
That's completely ridiculous. Microsoft can make software that runs on any available hardware they like. This could mean only supporting ARM processors and NAND Flash.

Considering the Windows is more modular than ever it's going to be interesting to see what hardware the final product does support.

RE: Hope they get rid of legacy support
By Justin Time on 3/4/2011 3:47:28 PM , Rating: 3
Yes, MS could easily port Windows to ARM (or anything else for that matter) as NT was designed from the outset to be portable - and it has previously run on a variety of hardware platforms.

However, applications are a different matter... and MS know all too well that this is an issue for them.

Windows apps (oops... there's that word) are predominantly x86 developed/compiled, and MS will have a tough time convincing most OEMs to develop a separate version... meaning that they would be starting their tablet fight from scratch, with no existing app base to leverage.

MS need Intel to help them out of this, if they want to move Windows to a tablet and be competitive... so perhaps MS have an inside line on Intel's 2012 roadmap ?

RE: Hope they get rid of legacy support
By omnicronx on 3/4/2011 4:18:16 PM , Rating: 3
.NET in particular is not platform specific. It can be compiled to X86 or ARM if needs be, meaning porting over an application could be as simple as a recompile. So its not as much of a problem as you are stating, especially for newer software.

Thats the entire point of .NET, which can especially be leveraged if the core OS remains the same. In many cases you would not need to keep a separate code base at all.

RE: Hope they get rid of legacy support
By Justin Time on 3/5/2011 12:24:24 AM , Rating: 2
And exactly how many existing Windows applications are written in managed code using .Net ??

It's a HUGE problem, as the overwhelming majority of the existing application base is written in native x86 code, developed using unmanaged source such as C++.

Not even MS are willing to re-write something like Office in .Net, so don't be expecting OEMs to be in a rush to do it.

By Spivonious on 3/5/2011 3:58:30 PM , Rating: 2
A lot more than you'd think actually, especially in the business world.

By KoolAidMan1 on 3/5/2011 12:33:39 AM , Rating: 1
I reckon that Microsoft will either place serious baseline restrictions and guidelines on hardware like they did with Windows Phone 7, or they will manufacture the hardware themselves as they did with the XBox 360 or the ZuneHD.

Both scenarios are preferable to having OEMs run crazy with their own hardware platforms and configurations. Mobile and closed-end devices seem to benefit from a baseline level of control. Windows Phone 7 toed that line between control and interface diversity pretty well. There is a baseline level of minimum hardware requirements and there is a common resolution for the LCD, while at the same time they allow for both touch and keyboard interfaces. This allows for a common user experience no matter what the hardware, and it allows for developers to target a much narrower range of hardware and display resolutions than they have to with something like Android.

If Microsoft allows hardware OEMs total control in the same "poor parenting" approach that Google does with Android (numerous display resolutions, varying levels of horsepower, varying levels of chassis and display quality), I think they will have a very difficult time enforcing a base level of quality user experience, thereby dragging down the reputation of Windows tablets.

Based on how much control they have over Windows Phone 7, and how much more control they have over the XBox and the ZuneHD, I believe that this is the direction Microsoft will go with their tablets. Windows Phone 7 is a fine product, and Microsoft would be foolish to let outside hardware companies screw up their tablet platform without some strict parenting. We'll see.

RE: Hope they get rid of legacy support
By omnicronx on 3/4/2011 1:34:20 PM , Rating: 2
Would not surprise me if that is what they are doing. The 2012 date gives me the feeling this is no coincidence either. Perhaps having the ability to leverage the supposedly cloud based architecture of Windows 8. (would be a great idea to have a tablet based OS that could leverage legacy applications through the cloud).

RE: Hope they get rid of legacy support
By Da W on 3/4/2011 2:33:59 PM , Rating: 2
Despite being late, Microsoft acknowledge that tablets will canibalize PC sales, but they don't want them to canibalize Windows sales. That's the whole point of that gamble. Windows will run on ARM and x86, include modules with or without legacy support etc. BUT your software will run on Windows, developped in C# using Microsoft visual studio. That's what they want.

And with 15M iPad sold in 2010, even if they sell 60M tablets in 2011 and another 60M by mid 2012 when the first windows 8 tablet hits the market, there will still be a 2-3billion untapped PC user market left. It's not all lost.

RE: Hope they get rid of legacy support
By omnicronx on 3/4/2011 2:40:42 PM , Rating: 3
And with 15M iPad sold in 2010, even if they sell 60M tablets in 2011 and another 60M by mid 2012 when the first windows 8 tablet hits the market, there will still be a 2-3billion untapped PC user market left. It's not all lost.
Exactly, I also think people seem to forget the reasons why the OEM approach is far more scalable than making your own hardware.

Its just not possible to maintain capacity in a market growing this fast all on your own.(not by a longshot)

If Tablets are truly going to canabalize the PC market, its not going to be by a single hardware vendor.

As you stated, the market potential is not even been close to being tapped.

Now of course I'm not saying MS will be the one to fill that void, I'm merely commenting on the strengths of the OEM approach.

It happened with the PC, it happened with smartphones and Android, and its going to happen again with Tablets. Its all just a matter of time.

By therealnickdanger on 3/4/2011 2:56:00 PM , Rating: 2
You are both so right.

Also, I think that Microsoft's late arrival to the party will be offset by Windows 8's very powerful UI. I don't know for certain that it will be powerful, but assume that they are able to blend the power of Windows 7 with the "approachableness" of Android or WP7. Just as Apple is trying to steer tablet users toward content creation with the iPad 2, so Microsoft could bring the entire PC world of applications and productivity into the simpler tablet market. If they succeed, then they will have no trouble selling Win8 tabs... they will reinvent the market.

That's best case scenario.

By Aloonatic on 3/6/2011 6:17:42 AM , Rating: 2
I can't say that tablets will cannibalise the PC market, they just seem to offer a more specific alternative for people who want relatively simple and low power yet portable computing.

As for MS's approach, and Win8 being able to run on ARM, it just seems that they have recognised that there will be a lot of hardware out there with ARM and x86 processors, so they might as well make an OS that can run on both.

It'll be interesting to see how well Win8 works on low power devices, if that's what they want. How long, after it is released, will it take until someone gets Win8 running on an iPad, somehow?

RE: Hope they get rid of legacy support
By Mitch101 on 3/4/2011 1:40:23 PM , Rating: 2
For a guesstimate I might reference the original X-Box specs and Doom 3 requirements of a PC although GPU's in portable devices today probably have a lot more oomph in them.

The PC Version Requirements for Doom 3
* A 1.5 GHz Intel Pentium 4 chip or AMD Athlon 1500
* 384 MB RAM
* 2 GB hard disk space
* An nVidia GeForce 3 graphics card or better; or an ATI Technologies 8500 or better

X-Box 1
64megs of ram
733mhz processor
8Gig hard drive

Im Amazed they were able to do so much with 64megs of ram.

When I think of all the things I was able to do on my original X-Box its pretty much in line with tablets today.

By tekzor on 3/4/2011 1:50:38 PM , Rating: 2
you forgot to mention that a PC is running multiple programs in addition to your game which will require more processing power. Oh and you can chose the resolution you play at,therefore, the developers have to expand their programming to cover all ranges.

While for a game system, you run 1 main process at a set resolution. It is easy to see how DOOM3 ran on low end hardware.

By omnicronx on 3/4/2011 1:57:19 PM , Rating: 2
Its not that amazing, general purpose computing will always be less efficient, but it also has far greater scalability and applicability.

You can always get more performance out of a dedicated piece of hardware that houses dedicated components that are meant for specific tasks.

This holds true even for the PC, we have graphics cards, dedicated video decoders and such for this very reason.

I.e Pretty much every manufacturer is constrained by this and is not limited to the PC but general purpose computing in general.

By KoolAidMan1 on 3/5/2011 12:38:02 AM , Rating: 2
That's what happens with focused hardware and software that is written specifically towards them. Nothing special, that's just how it is. God Of War 2 looks amazing, yet it runs on hardware from 2000. Again, a different approach, and one that is partly based on hacky workarounds on both a hardware and software level to make it happen. Nothing wrong with it, that's just how it is.

Generalized platforms like PCs are more about throwing brute force at a problem. It may not be as efficient a solution, but it also has a much much higher ceiling in terms of fidelity and performance.

By Shadowmaster625 on 3/7/2011 8:26:40 AM , Rating: 2
DOS and IDE support arent what use up space in windows. Removing all legacy hardware support still leaves windows with a huge WinSxS folder. However, there are many people figuring out how to "VLite" their windows 7 to fit onto 4GB CF cards. I just read one where they did it in 2.5GB. And now there is Se7en Lite, so we should see steady improvement. 3 years ago I was making Windows XP fit onto 600MB of hard disk without any problems. 7 should eventually be cut down to around 2GB. Kill off all the unwanted services, and you have a very lean and mean operating system. Sometimes I wonder if people are aware that they have near total control of what runs under windows....

By rs1 on 3/5/2011 7:09:50 AM , Rating: 5
Apple has also yet to release a "dedicated tablet OS" as well, or even to specify a timetable for such a release. iOS is not a tablet OS, it is a phone OS that can run on a tablet, which is why the iPad basically behaves like an oversized iPhone, and why it's stuck using the same underpowered hardware internally.

What Microsoft is basically saying here is that unlike other players (iOS, Android, etc.) they are not content to merely scale their phone OS up to run on tablets and are instead designing an OS that is custom-built for the purpose. A "tablet-friendly" phone OS is not a dedicated tablet OS, and I'm sure if MS wanted to they could have simply scaled up WP7 like everyone else did.

But they decided to go a different route, and I don't see how you can fault them for being "late" to deliver a product that no other company has delivered yet either. If what they produce is truly a dedicated tablet OS, then they will be the first company to have produced such a thing. Are they late to the tablet party? Yes. But they're also not bringing the same thing to the party as everyone else, either.

RE: Clarification
By Zingam on 3/5/2011 7:58:57 AM , Rating: 1
Why don't you just say it that Microsoft is content to upscale their 64kb DOS OS from 500 years ago from everything upto severs and phones?

Come on! Microsoft is crap, they were crap, they are crap and they'll be crap!
They are just like Coca Cola which sells basically sugar water and make billions - a totally worthless product but people a dumb enough to pay money for it. Well, water costs 1000 times less.

RE: Clarification
By rs1 on 3/5/2011 9:29:43 AM , Rating: 5
They are just like Coca Cola which sells basically sugar water and make billions - a totally worthless product but people a dumb enough to pay money for it.

Actually, I think you just did a pretty good job of describing Apple's business model there...take a mediocre product, hype it until people start believing that it's the "next big thing", toss in a few steeply overpriced accessories (docks, covers, etc.) for good measure, and watch the money roll in.

RE: Clarification
By snakeInTheGrass on 3/5/2011 11:28:20 PM , Rating: 2
It's not a phone or tablet OS - it's a slightly reduced version of the normal OSX kernel (and it's been getting back more of the missing bits over the past few years), which - given that it ran on less powerful hardware back in 1988, may not come as a shock that it runs well now too. The sad thing is that it was 23 years ahead of Windows back then, and it's still better. But don't confuse the OS with the UI - and there, both the phone and the tablet have a touch UI, but very different guidelines on how to optimize an app for them.

Microsoft is basically saying that they have no idea what they're doing - they've tried to push a keyboard-less laptop as a 'tablet' OS forever (wait - don't forget the stylus for your dropdown/popup menus!), have failed miserably, and while you may remain excited to see how they'll screw the pooch on their next tablet, everyone else is tired of waiting and has moved on to things that actually work.

Are they late to the party? Oh yes. But look, when they plan to show up to the party late bringing Windows on ARM - so, Windows minus the apps (since they claim to plan no x86 support to run all that legacy code - and it's that legacy code that makes the current Windows such an internally bloated system), what you have is... nothing. Very compelling indeed. No, wait, that's not their tablet plan, that plan is... certain to be WP7 scaled up. Take your pick, this is Ballmer's Microsoft, dysfunctional and ready to roll!

By dagamer34 on 3/4/2011 12:13:45 PM , Rating: 2
Just based on the headline, were people actually thinking that Microsoft was going to have tablet out this year?

RE: Umm..
By damianrobertjones on 3/4/2011 12:48:42 PM , Rating: 2
No, because MS doesn't make tablets, the oems do.

RE: Umm..
By quiksilvr on 3/4/2011 1:07:29 PM , Rating: 2
I think they meant the actual OS for the tablet. Yes you can slap on Windows 7 on there, but it isn't the same. You need a tailor-made Tablet OS. And in my opinion, they really don't have to do too much.

I felt that the ultimate and most ground-breaking thing that Microsoft did was the new taskbar. That can be used in so many other scenarios with little modifications. I was really hoping for the taskbar to show up on Windows Mobile 7. Imagine having that functionality right there on a phone.

They need to focus their entire GUI for all platforms (mobile, desktop, tablet) around that taskbar. That's the best option they have to stand a chance in their other markets.

RE: Umm..
By omnicronx on 3/4/2011 4:25:38 PM , Rating: 2
They already have slate looking tablets out ;) Just based on Windows 7..

But as the article states, its not a dedicated OS that is meant for tablets. Its just Windows 7 with touchscreen capabilities slapped on top.

Courier concept UI
By mkrech on 3/4/2011 1:59:34 PM , Rating: 3
Is it just me, or did anyone else think the concept UI used for the prototype Courier platform was a good start?

RE: Courier concept UI
By Camikazi on 3/4/2011 4:02:44 PM , Rating: 3
I was so waiting for the Courier to be real, but MS decided to dash my hopes :(

Color me confused.
By nubie on 3/5/2011 6:54:15 PM , Rating: 2
I have an IBM tablet PC from 1994 with a Microsoft tablet OS (Windows for Pen Computing).

I am guessing that doesn't count, nor does XP tablet edition.

I am assuming that the meaning of the word "tablet" has changed.

Bah, I give up. I don't understand why Microsoft is "lagging behind" suddenly just because they aren't pandering with an entire OS when, depending on the device, a scaled down Win7 works fine, and a scaled up phone OS is fine as well.

RE: Color me confused.
By PrinceGaz on 3/5/2011 10:22:11 PM , Rating: 2
No, they do not count because they are not magical like the iPad is. I've watched the ads, and seen that the iPad has revolutionised everything (for people who only want to watch stuff, browse the net, and play games).

Not really a big deal imo
By bfdd on 3/4/2011 3:16:23 PM , Rating: 2
While there are some nice tablets out now, I don't really see the market exploding until next year anyways. It will also give MS quite a bit of time to learn from the mistakes of others in this time.

By ET on 3/5/2011 2:51:33 AM , Rating: 2
The next gen of AMD Fusion APU's should arrive in 2012, including those aimed at tablets. That should provide a reasonable basis for a Windows 7 based tablet with a graphics centric redesigned UI, something the Atom with its crappy graphics isn't that good at. Though Cedar Trail may also introduce some better graphics for Atom.

Windows is always attractive to many people due to its large software base, and Windows with a decent touch UI and developer tools to easily take care of that could make it competitive given decent enough hardware.

Windows Everywhere
By melgross on 3/6/2011 10:35:30 PM , Rating: 2
MS has a problem a lot of people here aren't looking at, being so concerned with the hardware problem. It's this Windows Everywhere concept that's getting them in trouble. They're so concerned that everything be, or at least look like Windows that they've had problems keeping up with everyone else. How long did it take them to get away from the dreadful UI on their phones? Years!

Now, with tablets, they insist on running full blown Windows. Why? Because they insist it will run Windows software. But it never has, really. Most of the software used on the Convertables were specially written to take advantage of the stylus. Mostly, they were checklist programs for warehouse inventory, and medical checklist programs. When the laptops were used for anything else, they were used with the keyboards and pointing devices they came with.

The vast majority of Windows programs just won't work, or work easily or properly on a Windows tablet, and that's something MS doesn't seem to understand.

So they're stuck with either trying to keep Windows with "enhancements" which don't work well, or drop the entire UI and have one that will work well, but that won't run Windows programs.

They've got a fear that if they drop backwards compatibility, their customers will go elsewhere, a fear that may come true to a certain extent. But they don't have much of a choice.

They should bite the bullet, and go to Windows Embedded Standard 7, which like Mac OS X is nicely modularized, and stick a good, but incompatible UI onto it for their tablets. That way, they would have an OS that is comparable in power to Android, iOS and WebOS, which are either based on Linux distro's or Unix. WP7 is based on CE R 3, which is a realtime OS, and is nowhere as extendable or powerful.

Doing this would also allow developers to keep a lot of code they now have, and make the ports easier, except for the UI, of course. So some programs will never make the switch, and that's too bad, but it's the way it is.

But, this will also solve the hardware problem so many are concerned with. I don't know how many here were around in the early eighties or early nineties. When the Mac first came out with its pixel based UI, it was slow because of that. DOS people laughed. But when Windows 3 came out, it cut the speed of PC's literally in half. 50% slower the moment Windows was installed! mac's were equal in speed, or even a bit faster because of Apple's experience with a graphical OS.

We see the same thing with Windows on an Atom tablet. To say it's sluggish is being kind. It's due to the UI, to a great extent. Getting rid of it for a much simpler one will solve much of that all by itself, and suddenly, the hardware will seem much faster.

Maybe they're doing that now. I really don't see anything else working for them. But they can't wait too long. Remember what happened to the Zune, by the time they got it right, it was too late, and no one cared.

Industrial strength failure
By Tony Swash on 3/4/11, Rating: -1
RE: Industrial strength failure
By NellyFromMA on 3/4/2011 12:06:46 PM , Rating: 2
Ya man, totally. Industrial strength failure is typically measured in what, btw? Clearly not dollars, right?

RE: Industrial strength failure
By Taft12 on 3/4/11, Rating: -1
RE: Industrial strength failure
By Mitch101 on 3/4/2011 1:50:59 PM , Rating: 2
Billions of dollars in failure. If only I could fail so miserably.

RE: Industrial strength failure
By kleinma on 3/4/2011 2:00:52 PM , Rating: 5
yeah, that xbox and kinect crap they make hardly sells at all, hell kinect only sold 3 million more units than their target was... total and utter failure!!!!

RE: Industrial strength failure
By Mitch101 on 3/4/2011 12:09:13 PM , Rating: 2
Yes It would be better for them to rush an incomplete product to market only to be ridiculed for it but then no matter what Microsoft makes you will ridicule them without ever trying the product.

iPad 2

RE: Industrial strength failure
By Lord 666 on 3/4/2011 12:14:10 PM , Rating: 2
Well, back in 2007 there wasn't even cut/paste on iPhones. Yet they worked on it and improved.

MS is honestly doomed in the tablet market because of this.

RE: Industrial strength failure
By Mitch101 on 3/4/2011 12:49:09 PM , Rating: 2
LOL. Kidding aside.

I have a $200 Nook color now with Android Froyo (Phone OS on there now) Honeycomb 3.0 will work on it but waiting for it to improve before committing. I would say it has all the power and options that should last me until Microsoft is ready in 2012. I see no die hard app necessary to upgrade in the pipeline and since the hardware specs match a lot of the Android Phones like Droid-X there will be plenty more apps and games I can run on it and those people are locked into 2 year agreements ensuring about a 2 year lifespan of the rooted nook color.

If you have an iPad 1 I would say there is no need to get the iPad 2 and most people even internal Apple staff said iPad 2 is a ho hum release wait for the iPad 3 which will be released in the Fall of 2011. By then Microsoft will probably be demoing/leaking their tablet info also and the Rim and HP tablets will be out too.

If I had to buy a tablet today Id be tempted to get an iPad but would still get a Nook Color just because I dont see anything the iPad does that the $200.00 nook color doesn't that I cant live without. Wow camera Ive got one on my PC and haven't used it in years more of a gimmick than anything else.

I went through the Microsoft demonstration on their tablet and while sad I will have to wait it should be worth it when its finally released.

RE: Industrial strength failure
By melgross on 3/6/2011 10:45:17 PM , Rating: 3
The Nook will run Android, but poorly. This is not a mainstream Android design piece of hardware. It's a rather weak device. It MAY run Honeycomb, but not in a way so that you would want to, otherwise as a hobby. Buy a Xoom if you want Honeycomb and a useful amount of speed.

No one at Apple ever said what you just said about the iPad 2. You, or your source are making that up. The iPad 2 is a much improved tablet. Lighter in weight, thinner, twice the CPU power, nine times the graphics performance, twice the RAM, two cameras, 1080p output, Apple's Nitro Java engine for Safari. Even if someone doesn't like Apple, dismissing that as minor is nuts!

RE: Industrial strength failure
By JasonMick on 3/4/2011 12:16:37 PM , Rating: 2
Only Microsoft (and perhaps Nokia) could deliver such Industrial strength failure so consistently. I am astonished Ballmer is still in post.

Do the bozos in Seattle have any idea how fast things are changing?

Tony, I'll give you this. Apple's iPad 2 looks to be priced right with a good blend of form factor, battery life, power, and application library. I'm sure it will sell well.

That said, Microsoft is unquestionably dominant in several lucrative markets -- PC operating systems, productivity software, and web browsing.

Outside these core businesses, expectations were low for many of its projects (e.g. the Xbox, Windows Phone 7), but it's managed to do surprisingly well thus far.

Any gamer could tell you that when MSFT decided to jump into the console world, they were met with skepticism at best -- now they're #2.

Sure Kin was a colossal black mark on MSFT's record, but consider that after that most dismissed MSFT's chances expecting it to be distantly behind the trifecta of Android, iOS, and RIM OS. Now with a partnership with Nokia in hand, MSFT is replacing Symbian and looks virtually assured a #2 spot in the world market AHEAD of Apple. Not only that, it arguably provides the most innovative smart phone interface, more so than Google or Apple.

Will MSFT succeed when it eventually does enter the tablet market in earnest? I can't say for sure. But if anything, I'd look at Microsoft's many successes and be a bit more optimistic than many of the analysts out there....

Doing something first is great, but history has shown that truly great businesses don't necessarily do it first, but they do do it right. Microsoft has that opportunity when it comes to tablets.

RE: Industrial strength failure
By XZerg on 3/4/2011 12:40:32 PM , Rating: 1
Just remember when looking at Microsoft's success on anything, unlike Apple, do so by taking the collective numbers of all the vendors that include Microsoft product on their hardware. So when indeed the Windows Tablet OS is launched, it will be 1000 companies supporting Microsoft product which will be going against Apple or even Google for that matter. iOS and Android are more like a filler for till MS gets its product out. Hopefully not too late before iOS and Android gets a big % of the market.

With the way the phone companies and the hardware companies are going MS can afford to wait until end of 2013 or 2014. The key reason being prices and the money gouging that phone companies are focused on when it comes to data and contracts.

RE: Industrial strength failure
By Mitch101 on 3/4/2011 1:09:39 PM , Rating: 2
Adding to Mick's comments.

Kin is still being sold and the reviews are favorable.

Kin One

Kin Two

Phone Carriers killed the kins adoption requiring a high priced data package but the devices were good.

Microsoft is #2 in console sales but #1 in game sales. Ive seen many reports that Microsoft sells more games to their console owners than the other two consoles.

Kinect was a huge success and Im looking forward to it on the PC with the Microsoft SDK and a few more of the games in the pipeline. Those of you who hate kinect should know that Apple tried to buy them but Microsoft cut the check. Steve Jobs wanted Kinect.

Im waiting for a Windows Phone 7 on Verizon its a great phone and second because of all the additional functionality the device will be able to do that's exclusive to Windows Phone 7. X-Box, Sharepoint, Linq, and Exchange and Im sure more is in the works.

Even Apple employees have commented to wait for the iPad 3 and I dont see anyone developing an exclusive killer app for the iPad 2 that wouldn't work on the iPad 1.

Some poeple just need something to hate and Microsoft is an easy choice because 10 years ago they had a blue screen at the wrong time. The funny part is the majority of haters never tried the Microsoft products they bash. Take the Zune a lot of people hate them and made fun of them but they are the top ranked MP3 devices on NewEgg. Those who used them love them. It just wasn't cool to like a Microsoft product.

By StraightCashHomey on 3/4/2011 1:25:22 PM , Rating: 3
That said, Microsoft is unquestionably dominant in several lucrative markets -- PC operating systems, productivity software, and web browsing.

Exactly. People that live or die by the tablet or phone sales have absolutely no idea what goes on in the business world, where Apple has almost zero presense and Google has very little presense. The vastly superior products that Microsoft provides to businesses is completely out of Apple's league, and Microsoft is raking in cash hand over fist in that sector.

However, the business world isn't as talked about on here, because that wouldn't appeal to most of the McDonalds employees like Tony that have no idea what Active Directory does.

RE: Industrial strength failure
By Tony Swash on 3/4/11, Rating: -1
RE: Industrial strength failure
By omnicronx on 3/4/2011 2:34:17 PM , Rating: 2
His view is that by the end of this year Nokia will have fallen to 12% of the global smart phone market and that's before we can expect a Nokia WP7 handset.
You've clearly taken that entire article out of context. Instead of cherry picking numbers, perhaps you should actually read the article.

"Please understand, the above change is ONLY related to the Nokia Microsoft announcement and how its 'windfall' market share gift would be allocated to the major rivals. It is not my forecast for the year 2011"

He then goes on to make a far more conservative drop of 10% to 18% share, which as he explains is not neccesarily a doom and gloom story, but a natural part of the transition from one OS to another. This makes sense as now that consumers know of the switch, Symbian sales are going to wind down until the Windows based OS is implemented.

In fact the article is not necessarily a doom and gloom story at all, but about how the 10% drop (or 50 million phones including this years growth) will be dispersed among other manufacturers. Which as the article explains is more than all iPhone's sold last year which also shows the market growth in the smartphone industry. (in which 10% now accounts for more phones than 20% of the market covered last year)

Either way, Nokia still has a huge presence outside North America and even 12% share before beginning to rebound is a great thing for MS. That means 12% plus any share due to other Windows Phone manufacturers. So even conservatively that would put them into the #2 or #3 spot.

By snakeInTheGrass on 3/5/2011 11:40:13 PM , Rating: 1
Wow, I was going to say that this 'transmutation' of Nokia/Symbian phones into Nokia/WP7 has yet to be logically explained. Given, Symbian share will drop, but there's no logical reason to assume those users then start to pick up WP7 devices unless the assumption is that people are too dumb or lazy to switch to an OS that has more apps and market share - and will jump ship to Apple/Android or even HP if you want something more interesting. But apparently you get rated down for pointing that out, looking back up at Tony's post.

The only reasonable explanation for users to stay with Nokia/WP7 would be if they're at businesses that are too big and stodgy to change their procurement contracts - which as users are about the least likely to buy anything interesting on handsets or stimulate a real consumer market. There's nothing quite as exciting as corporate users, especially in the new world of 'You better not run anything not approved/screened by the IT security staff on that device!'. Exciting place to be.

Sorry, of course WP7 will do great now that people can switch to Nokia. I'd be surprised if there were still any competing devices in a year or two. Ballmer told me, so no worries at all.

RE: Industrial strength failure
By Smilin on 3/7/2011 4:53:29 PM , Rating: 1
The idea that the current Nokia global sales will transmute into WP7 Nokia phone sales thus propelling Microsoft into some sort giant market share is not very plausible.

We don't agree often, but here we do.

I think the partnership is a great move and will benefit Microsoft enormously while keeping Nokia afloat. The idea that there will be a 100% conversion of Nokia marketshare to WP7 marketshare is downright naive.

RE: Industrial strength failure
By cochy on 3/4/2011 12:17:38 PM , Rating: 2
When you don't have a visionary in charge of a tech company these types of things happen and innovation suffers. The writing should have been on the wall when Gates left. Surprisingly even under his leadership the tablet PC was not successful, even though he was very excited about the idea.

Look at Google replacing Schmidt with Page as further evidence of the above.

RE: Industrial strength failure
By vision33r on 3/4/2011 2:15:32 PM , Rating: 2
Microsoft's demise of late is all attributed to Steve Ballmer's "corporate" approach with tech.

He has this wait and snipe approach.

WinMo had the marketshare lead and Ballmer sat on their lead for years until Apple came out and pulled the rug from under them.

WinMo 7 was the perfect example of a failed ship still trying to set sail.

Windows Phone 7 was 5 years late and could've changed everything had Ballmer acted on it sooner.

Microsoft is now cornering themselves out of all the new markets. It doesn't matter how much money they pour into new ideas and products they will fail due to their internal culture and leadership.

Time for a change.

RE: Industrial strength failure
By Helbore on 3/5/2011 10:22:47 AM , Rating: 2
I'll give it to you that Microsoft has made some major mis-steps in recent history, but the word "demise" is seriously out of place when referring to them.

I remember hearing all these similar comments after Vista came out. It was the end of Microsoft. Look how unpopular ir was. etc, etc. Then Windows 7 happened - the fastest selling OS in history. Then Office 2010 - the fastest selling version of Office in history.

Yes, Microsoft did rest on its laurels for far too long, but all kicking them did was wake a sleeping giant. They've come tearing out of this, possibly being the most innovative and creative the company has ever been.

Windows Phone 7 is too early to call on, but so far it has done far better than most of the nay-sayers predicted. Its now unlikely to flop and fade into oblivion, even if its long term success is still unknown.

The thing you have to remember about Microsoft is that they've ALWAYS been late to the party. Windows wasn't the first GUI-based OS. XBOX wasn't the first games console. Microsoft are like a 10-ton gorilla. They have a proven track record of invading a market and bashing their way to the top of it. They are more than capable of doing so again.

Ballmer made some bad choices and it did hurt Microsoft, but it sure as hell hasn't shut them out of every new market. They may yet surprise us all.

RE: Industrial strength failure
By XZerg on 3/4/11, Rating: -1
RE: Industrial strength failure
By Smilin on 3/7/2011 4:45:45 PM , Rating: 1

Sharepoint, Dynamics CRM, Lync ... these things are setting records in time to $1 billion sales, number of users, etc.

As for how fast things are changing, Lync *IS* how fast things are changing. It sets the bar. Same for many many of their other products. Azure anyone?

Microsoft makes some 900 products and all but a small handful are industrial strength *successes*. Your problem Tony is you only think of Windows and Office. Guess what? Ballmer (or more precisely, Ray Ozzy) wrote those products off years ago as not being the future of Microsoft.

"This week I got an iPhone. This weekend I got four chargers so I can keep it charged everywhere I go and a land line so I can actually make phone calls." -- Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg

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