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Says that his company is about to step up their efforts

It's no secret that Microsoft's tablet efforts are somewhat of a mess right now. After scrapping its much anticipated Courier concept, Bill Gates assured Microsoft's fans that his company hadn't given up on tablets -- but that didn't stop several key players from the tablet team from jumping ship.

Now Microsoft is left staring at Apple's fiscal third quarter, which featured sales of 3.27 million iPads.  Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer commented on a recent call to analysts [DOCX], "Apple has done an interesting job of putting together a synthesis and putting a product out, and in which they've -- they sold certainly more than I'd like them to sell, let me just be clear about that. We think about that. We think about that in competitive sense."

Ballmer made it clear that his company is not interested in pursuing a separate OS for tablets like Apple (the iPad uses a variant of the same tweaked and stripped down version of OS X found in the iPad).  He states, "We’re coming.  We’re coming full guns. The operating system is called Windows."

Windows tablets will soon get a boost from Intel's upcoming
Oak Trail low power CPU that's perfect for mobile applications, according to Ballmer.  Oak Trail is Intel's name for its upcoming successor to the Atom series of processors which will launch in early 2011.  Among other things it features full 1080p video and HDMI support, all while reportedly cutting power consumption 50 percent.

Ballmer insists that Windows tablets are just around the river bend, stating, "Some of you will say, well, when? When? And I say, As soon as they're ready. They'll be shipping as soon as they are ready. And it is job one urgency around here."

The real question, though, might be -- who?  ASUS has already ditched Windows CE for Linux in its smaller upcoming tablet (the larger 12.1" still presumably uses Windows 7) and HP is using webOS from recently acquired Palm instead of Windows 7.  That leaves a handful of other players -- MSI, Lenovo, Acer, and Dell (among others).  However, some of those -- like Dell -- are considering instead jumping ship to Google's Android OS.

At this point it's anybody's game to step up and challenge Apple.  Windows 7, webOS, and Android seem the top contenders.  The first Android tablet (or Mobile Internet Device, if you prefer), the Dell Streak, will reportedly hit before the end of the month in the U.S.  A 5-inch model will come first, followed by others.

With Android being the first to hit the market, Microsoft may be left vying for third place in the tabletsphere.  And that's something that's bound to get Ballmer real worked up.





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RE: "Job one urgency" is the tablet? WTF?!
By Pirks on 7/30/2010 10:50:16 AM , Rating: -1
quote:
Don't they have anybody there whose job it is to be visionary and lead the company to develop new and innovative products, rather than copy the competition?
No they don't. Apple has Jobs, a visionary and a dictator. Dictatorship with a ubersmart guy at helm always beats democracy with regard to economic efficiency. Look at Chile and look at China. Both are booming, why? They don't have democracy like in the US or in Redmond, they are (Chile WERE but anyway) pretty dictatorial (remember Augusto Pinochet?) but look what they achieved while democratic US is afraid of nuclear, retreats from leadership in space exploration, and wastes $$$$$$ on solar/wind sh!te. I mean, democracy Redmond style where everyone is pushing their own agenda and does not pay attention to a common goal is not the best management style, ya know? US wastes money on eco-sh!te, Redmond wastes money on Kin. No principal difference here.


RE: "Job one urgency" is the tablet? WTF?!
By bissimo on 7/30/10, Rating: 0
RE: "Job one urgency" is the tablet? WTF?!
By Pirks on 7/30/10, Rating: -1
RE: "Job one urgency" is the tablet? WTF?!
By sviola on 7/30/2010 11:28:46 AM , Rating: 3
Sorry, but you're wrong, Chile is not booming solely because of Pinochet, who left the government in 1990, after democractic elections. It is true that during his rule, he started the foundations that would drive the growth by starting to open the market (and he started this in mid-80's, while coming to power in 1973), but the governments that took place after him improved the economy much more. The Chilean economy really started to grow after he left the government, at 8% in an yearly basis from 1991 to 1997, being reduced to 4% in 98 due to the asian crisis and staying below 4% until 2003. After that year it recovered and started to grow at 5-7%.


RE: "Job one urgency" is the tablet? WTF?!
By Pirks on 7/30/10, Rating: -1
By quiksilvr on 7/30/2010 12:12:51 PM , Rating: 2
These threads go all over the place. We've gone from Microsoft and Apple discussing tablets to the governments of Chile (wtf?) and China. So lets veer this back to the topic at hand.

Microsoft is acknowledging the fact that Apple has a major head start (not an easy task for one company to say another company beat them to the punch). They are making it its highest priority NOW because they more or less finished with Windows Phone 7 OS (which doesn't look all that impressive to me. The lack of simple multitasking functionality and lack of apps is a real turn off for me).


RE: "Job one urgency" is the tablet? WTF?!
By sviola on 7/30/2010 1:04:26 PM , Rating: 2
What I find interesting as you put that they only did good during this time, which is the contrary. First and most important, free speech and transparency helps societies progress, and while Chile's dictatorship may have set the foundations for future growth, the cons outweight this.

Having a diverse and multi-cultured population is good for any country, as it helps keep goverments in check and brings discussions about actions the government will take, so that it does not impact negatively on the population. Of course, open societies are susceptible to extremes, but these, as long as are kept in check, don't have a major impact in society. One example are terrorist, which compose a really small minority everywhere (not only muslims have these, as you can see the IRA, ETA, FARCS and others) and need to be dealt with the correct means (not only war, but fighting economic issues in the countries that they gather members, because, lack of perspectives is the biggest way to conquer members into crime or terrorism)


RE: "Job one urgency" is the tablet? WTF?!
By Pirks on 7/30/10, Rating: -1
RE: "Job one urgency" is the tablet? WTF?!
By sviola on 7/30/2010 1:56:51 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Free app market without app censorship does not help the platform progress, Apple's censorship works better. Very similar to what Pinochet has done actually. Striking similarity with very bright economic results in both cases.


One has nothing to do with the other. Apple does not kill those who create apps that don't adhere to their rules. They do have one thing in common: both were not in favour of the people, only of themselves. Btw, Apple may is under investigation regarding this.

quote:
Not in the case with Apple's app market censorship. Also the cons do not always outweigh the positives. There were cases in history where prompt removal of free speech and civil freedom have actually saved societies from bigger evil. Case in point - Russia and Finland. When Russians suffered communist revolution in 1917 nobody came to help, there was noone to quickly eradicate the danger and wipe out all the commies. Hence Russia suffered 70 years of red terror and now is mostly destroyed, unable to create any meaningful modern economy because all the smart and strong people (entrepreneurs mostly) fled the country during these 70 years. Compare it with Finland which also suffered a commy revolution in 1918, but Finns were much more lucky because unlike Russians they happen to have a strong dictator - Mannerheim, who quickly killed all the commies in the country. His bloody initial policy turned out to be correct, if you compare what is modern Finland vs what is modern Russia.


Interesting point, you just forgot one thing, Russia's problems do not come because of the communist revolution of 1917, and yes due the totalitarian state it became later. In fact, because of this totalitarian state, those communists that opposed the regime where murdered (trotsky, for one).

Also, here's another example of totalitarian government: Nazi Germany! No free of speech (those against the Reich faced jail or execution). Results: huge war, 6 million jews murdered and around 50 million people dead as results of the war!

quote:
In military parlor this is also called a preemptive strike, and when you strike to kill a few people quickly to avoid larger disaster - this is not your lovely freedom of speech.


Right, cause that is worked just fine, right? I remember the US did this in Vietnam, now Iraq. What did it achieve, besides a huge debt?


RE: "Job one urgency" is the tablet? WTF?!
By Pirks on 7/30/10, Rating: 0
By cmdrdredd on 7/31/2010 12:58:09 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Hitler was a stupid dictator, not the smart one. He was a racist (meaning he was stupid)


So Obama, Holder and all the DOJ is also stupid by default because they are obviously blatantly racist.


RE: "Job one urgency" is the tablet? WTF?!
By ClownPuncher on 7/30/2010 2:13:07 PM , Rating: 2
Your pro Mussolini rhetoric is obviously very important to the tablet PC debate.


By Pirks on 7/30/2010 2:33:33 PM , Rating: 1
Same as your anti-Hitler diatribes.


By Anticitizen1 on 7/30/2010 8:59:04 PM , Rating: 2
Perks, don't use a topic you know nothing about to make your vague point.

I lived in Russia for the first 14 years of my life and the reason Russia has experience downturn (what you call "mostly destroyed" can only partly be attributed to unsustainable levels of military spending in the Soviet Union. The bigger problem was that following the "Perestroyka" the level of corruption on all levels of democratic goverment reached levels unseen before in history of Man. In fact, democracy at that time was referred to as "dermocracy" by the populace which literally translates as "sheetocracy".

In regards to all "smart and stong people" leaving the country, explain to me how the Soviet Union has managed the scientific and technological breakthroughs, how Russia is currently the leading exporter of arms in the world and why is that they have some of the most reliable space technology in the world?


By wvh on 7/31/2010 11:34:26 AM , Rating: 1
You overestimate Mannerheim's power at that time. The "commy revolution" you speak of was a bloody civil war with an almost 50-50 division of forces (or well, mostly ordinary people) in active combat. You can't make history fit your arguments... Besides, the Russians also had their fair share of visionary dictators, both in the Tsar as in the communist period.

In hindsight, Finland was damn lucky to have chosen the path they did, becoming one of the world's most affluent, educated and democratic nations, instead of slowly getting pulled into the abyss of communist despair like Russia and large parts of Eastern Europe.

Apart from your example being wrong and irrelevant, I don't understand how you can link a few potential historic cases where prompt removal of free speech and civil freedom might have improved a crisis situation with Apple's app store, a stupid shop that sells trivial software for a gadget mobile phone. Are you really comparing Apple's app store with the Finnish civil war?


By Cheesew1z69 on 7/30/2010 1:52:55 PM , Rating: 2
Again? Next time? He looks stupid each post he makes.


RE: "Job one urgency" is the tablet? WTF?!
By mcnabney on 7/30/10, Rating: 0
RE: "Job one urgency" is the tablet? WTF?!
By Pirks on 7/30/10, Rating: -1
By mcnabney on 7/30/2010 11:56:54 AM , Rating: 2
They are as monopolistic as ever.

What has changed is that their monopoly is slowly becoming irrelevant. The PC used to be the required device to get things done at a reasonable cost. Fewer and fewer things require the PC anymore. Gaming has gone console. The internet and email can be handled by any number of devices, right down to a refrigerator. Media viewing has followed the same route. About the only function that requires a PC (or Mac) is productivity. Google is likely to be the one to steal this crown jewel. After that is gone I really don't see much need for Microsoft.


RE: "Job one urgency" is the tablet? WTF?!
By Mitch101 on 7/30/2010 12:11:37 PM , Rating: 2
Microsoft's 4Q 2010 Revenue Breaks A Record
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/07/22/microsoft...

Windows increased 44 percent to $4.5 billion

Office 2010 were primarily responsible for pushing that segment's revenue up 15 percent to $5.3 billion

Revenue also increased in the company's online search and advertising group and in its entertainment and devices segment, which includes the Xbox 360 video game system

Microsoft's server software group reported a 14 percent
increase in revenue to $4 billion.

I wish I were losing it Microsoft style.

If were referring to Phones - Micorosft never really had a huge market to lose but Apple demonstrated there is a lot of money to make here with the right device. Mobile 7 might be taking time but its important they get it right.

The iPad is just showing another revenue stream Microsoft could be making. Looks like HP is back in with Microsoft but I would look toward an ASUS device personally.

Bing is growing. Taking time but still growing. Google recently stole the images idea from Bing.

To me Apple is self distructing consumers will eventually get it if they dont at first. Hype can only carry you so far.


RE: "Job one urgency" is the tablet? WTF?!
By Pirks on 7/30/10, Rating: -1
RE: "Job one urgency" is the tablet? WTF?!
By Mitch101 on 7/30/2010 12:28:42 PM , Rating: 2
I dount doubt that Apple makes a pretty interface but I prefer to have a company experienced and knowledgeable in Security.

Its like buying a Jaguar it looks great but the engineering is crap. Except the Jaguar is more secure even with the door unlocked.


RE: "Job one urgency" is the tablet? WTF?!
By Pirks on 7/30/10, Rating: -1
RE: "Job one urgency" is the tablet? WTF?!
By Mitch101 on 7/30/2010 12:47:43 PM , Rating: 2
Secunia: Apple software has the most holes
http://news.cnet.com/8301-13846_3-20011403-62.html

Lets go back a little too for history
Mac versus Windows vulnerability stats for 2007
http://www.zdnet.com/blog/security/mac-versus-wind...


RE: "Job one urgency" is the tablet? WTF?!
By Pirks on 7/30/10, Rating: 0
RE: "Job one urgency" is the tablet? WTF?!
By Mitch101 on 7/30/2010 1:05:28 PM , Rating: 2
Thank god its Microsoft they will acknowledge it and correct quickly. When it happens to Apple its deny and maybe the fix will be out next year?


By sviola on 7/30/2010 1:18:13 PM , Rating: 2
Don't forget that it may only come on the next paid upgrade ;)


RE: "Job one urgency" is the tablet? WTF?!
By Pirks on 7/30/2010 1:33:24 PM , Rating: 1
Yeah, when such elaborate rootkits start appear for Macs - then come back and we'll talk again. Now there's nothing to discuss, unless you wanna compare your scary web pages with a real .LNK rootkit. I think this comparison makes no sense.


RE: "Job one urgency" is the tablet? WTF?!
By sviola on 7/30/2010 2:03:55 PM , Rating: 2
Don't worry, when Macs have a significant presence in the market, they'll get the whole package: trojans, rootkits, virii(or viruses, whatever you pefer) and other malware. On the other hand, iphones do have virus, malware and exploited hacks in the past months...


RE: "Job one urgency" is the tablet? WTF?!
By Pirks on 7/30/2010 2:42:29 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
when Macs have a significant presence in the market
keep dreaming ;)


By frobizzle on 8/3/2010 8:54:34 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
keep dreaming ;)

Finally! Apple fan boy Pirks admits that Mac will always have a minimal market share.

It really must be time for them to break out the snowmobiles in hell! :-)


By themaster08 on 7/31/2010 5:25:27 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
Microsoft's 4Q 2010 Revenue Breaks A Record http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/07/22/microsoft... Windows increased 44 percent to $4.5 billion
Office 2010 were primarily responsible for pushing that segment's revenue up 15 percent to $5.3 billion
Revenue also increased in the company's online search and advertising group and in its entertainment and devices segment, which includes the Xbox 360 video game system
Microsoft's server software group reported a 14 percent increase in revenue to $4 billion.
I wish I were losing it Microsoft style.
Funny how you seem to completely disregard this part of Mitch's comment.

Typical Pirks. Dodge the bullet, move onto another topic, continue to fight the losing battle.


RE: "Job one urgency" is the tablet? WTF?!
By Tony Swash on 7/30/2010 8:41:21 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
To me Apple is self distructing consumers will eventually get it if they dont at first. Hype can only carry you so far.


Great example of TAC

The Techie Apple Conundrum (TAC)

The TAC arises often on sites such as Daily Tech because the attraction of Apple products, and hence Apple's huge success as a company, is dependent on features and aspects of product design invisible to almost all Techies. Thus Apples success is mysterious, vexing and ultimately challenging.

Techies for example often focus on feature lists and technical specifications and compare one such list to another and look at comparative prices and cannot understand that someone would pay more for an "inferior" spec.

This of course misses a critical aspect of Apple product design, one of the keys to the success of Apple in the consumer market, which is that for many (perhaps most) consumers having fewer technical features is a positive thing. This seems paradoxical to Techies but this is because they fail to comprehend what the actual experience for the vast majority of consumers of hi-tech products actually is - which is bad.

Consumers constantly encounter products that don't work as advertised, products that squeeze so many functions into an item that using it for its main purposes is dreadfully complex, products that even when their function should be simple (i.e. to play music, to play a DVD, to surf the web, to write emails) require a thick user manual (many of which which are often written by engineers and are thus unhelpful).

Most hi-tec products are user-unfriendly for most consumers. But not to Techies because they have technical knowledge and so can cope with poor/arcane design. In fact Techies like such products because they find technical challenges fun and because it makes them useful (they are always helping people solve their technical problems) and thus boosts their self esteem.

Some kit, almost all non-Apple desktop computers for example, are not just difficult and poorly designed but are positively scary for almost all consumers. Many non-Apple desktop computers seem very complex to operate, go wrong for no clearly understood reasons and worst of all seem to be under constant attack. Watching someone move from a non-Apple desktop computer to a Mac you can often see them slowly losing their awful, and most of the times paralysing, fear of infection and attack. As the fear fades the pleasure of using their computer increases dramatically and people start to love their computers rather than secretly hating them. Thus another mac-head is born.

The emblematic product for TAC is the iPad. Here is a product that comes on instantly, looks and feels gorgeous, is fast, is easy to operate and does (in a fantastically convenient form factor) most of what most people do most of the time on their computer (ie browse the web, send emails, watch movies, play music, read stuff and look at and share photos). Plus it has two huge benefits for most consumers. First it doesn't feel like a computer - this is a good thing for most people because most people's experience of using computers has been bad. Secondly it feels very safe because of Apple's curated computing model, and most users of computers have previously felt unsafe most of the time.

The very reasons that make the iPad such a huge success are the very reasons that Techies don't get it. If one product above all induces TAC its the iPad. Techies say "but Apple has an iron grip and is killing our freedoms" (people want safety much more than some obscure technical freedom), "the iPad doesn't have [insert any number of features that consumers don't care about]", "its not a real computer" (exactly).

So the continuing, relentless and accelerating success of Apple seems almost inexplicable to most Techies, "how could such products be so successful?"

The answer Techies come up are fairly predictable:

- Apple's voodoo marketing: Apple is pulling the wool over the consumer eyes (sometimes this is blamed on media hype).

- Apple's evil lock in: Apple has a locked down and closed platform, once sucked in people can't leave.

- Apple consumers and users are idiots: Fooled by marketing and glitzy packaging the sheep can be sold everything.

Because Techies believe that these are the real reason people buy Apple products (other than the more obvious reason which is that consumers actually like them a lot) Techies also believe that this state of affairs cannot possibly last and therefore the final piece of the Techie response to Apple falls into place. Deranged by TAC Techies often come up with the most delusional statement of all - Apple is doomed.


RE: "Job one urgency" is the tablet? WTF?!
By themaster08 on 7/31/2010 5:27:06 AM , Rating: 2
I must have seen you post that same drivel at least 5 times.

It's getting boring now, Tony. Please post something else.


By Tony Swash on 7/31/2010 11:35:15 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Please post something else.


The reason I think its worth reposting occasionally is that many people here post the same old drivel ("Apple is doomed", "Apple can only sell products because people are conned/stupid" etc) about Apple so the same old response seems appropriate.

Perhaps if there were a few more thoughtful and dare I say original comments about Apple around we could get a real debate going.

Currently the consensus on this site seems to that Apple's string of very successful product launches over the last decade or so is some sort of irritating mystery, in fact the success of Apple is a very interesting question worthy of analysis.

Why do you think Apple is so successful?
(And do try to avoid the non sequiturs I critiqued in my comment.)


“So far we have not seen a single Android device that does not infringe on our patents." -- Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith













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