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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 12:07:18 PM , Rating: -1
during his rule, he started the foundations that would drive the growth
Exactly my point. He fixed systemic problems and aligned economy right, now China is fixing it quickly by building dozens of atomic power plants as a foundation for the future while US is "investing" in green solar/wind smug. Both countries stopped idiots that prevented the growth - Chile stomped on commies and China stomped on green freaks. You see the results by yourself.

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
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.

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!

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
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?

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

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