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A new report from a top investment researcher criticizes Microsoft and Intel for talking noisily about tablets, but producing no actual products to date.  (Source: PC Magazine)
Pair missed out on a key emerging market by responding too slow

Intel is vowing to release 35 Atom-core powered tablets next year sporting Windows 7, Android (Linux), and Meego (Linux); but those promises did little to stop Goldman Sachs researchers from delivering a scathing review on the companies' tablets progress.

Reports from Goldman Sachs often hold a key influence on corporate stock prices, so the report is troubling to both Microsoft and Intel, which received criticism in the report.

Analyst Bill Shope praises the progress of ARM processor makers and leading tablet OS makers Apple (iOS) and Google (Android).  He predicts sales of 54.7 million tablets in 2011 and states, "If this is the case and our tablet forecast is anywhere near accurate, this would be the first time in three decades that a non-Wintel technology has made legitimate inroads into personal computer."

Mr. Shope adds, "This rush of iPad competitors is not surprising in itself, as Apple tends to regularly define the direction of the electronic media and computing industries.  What is surprising is that many of these products are not utilizing Intel microprocessors or a Microsoft operating environment."

Another Goldman Sachs analyst, Sarah Friar, points out that Microsoft claimed that it would deliver tablets by Christmas, but that the "tablet response is still not forthcoming", having slipped to 2011.

ISuppli, a separate market research firm recently offered a similar prediction of 63.5 million tablets shipped in 2011, up from approximately 13.8 million sold this year.

The New York Times this week ran a report that Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer was set to announce new Windows tablets, including a Dell and Samsung model, at CES 2011 in January.  The source says that Microsoft may even show a tablet running Windows 8.

Similarly Intel is trying to turn around its ship, with the release of its aforementioned 35 tablets on its "Oak Trail" (Windows 7, Android, MeeGo) and "Moorestown" (Android, MeeGo) platforms.

Of course both companies were talking about releasing tablets at CES last year -- but neither delivered.

At least iSuppli shows Microsoft a little more love, commenting, "Even with Microsoft’s stumbles to date in tablets, iSuppli believes that Microsoft will figure out how to design a functional tablet operating system."

But the picture is clear -- these companies must deliver in 2011 or they risk being reduced to bit players in the next generation of computing.

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By amanojaku on 12/16/2010 10:27:45 AM , Rating: 5
I agree that Intel and MS have dropped the ball on this. It's a shame, because neither have realized the market has changed. Mick hit the nail on the head:
But the picture is clear -- these companies must deliver in 2011 or they risk being reduced to bit players in the next generation of computing.
I think the problem is both companies are GREAT at traditional computing, however the average consumer is an idiot. Computers were meant for scientists and technicians, which is a small minority. What the consumer needs is an appliance, and a simple one at that. We used to joke about people who couldn't even program a VCR!

Enter Apple and it's iDiot-proof products. Apple sucks at making PCs, but it's great at making appliances. Go figure Apple didn't become successful until the iPod, iPhone, and iPad.

Intel and MS need to get a clue and learn to sell low power, small form factor systems with long battery life and big screens. For now all the consumer really wants is mobile TV, Internet, and games.

RE: Conflicted
By superPC on 12/16/2010 11:04:51 AM , Rating: 5
and it's a bit early to say that if they don't do anything in the next year they would be reduced to bit player. heck intel is a bit player in CE even a few months ago. now their atom based CE processor product runs everything from tv, to google tv, to media streamer (like boxee box). microsoft is bit player in the days of the PS2 and XBOX. now look at how the XBOX 360 is doing.

it's never to late to come in to a market as long as they have a good product. just look at apple. as someone in this forum said intel and MS started the whole tablet / slate PC with convertibles, project origami, and UMPC. apple comes late and give people a siple content consumption tablet with great user experience and people flock to apple. MS practically ruled the smartphone market for years and apple upstage them with a single product.

intel and MS can stage a comeback as long as they have a good product with good user experience.

RE: Conflicted
By superPC on 12/16/2010 11:09:25 AM , Rating: 2
oh speaking of UMPC and tablets from intel and MS, i missed the glory days of tv shows using them instead of apple. like that old stargate atlantis show. that show uses tablet PC and UMPC all the time. seeing reruns of it reminds me how far ahead of the time MS and intel really was (and that's only 2-3 years ago) and how far behind they're now.

RE: Conflicted
By damianrobertjones on 12/16/2010 11:19:50 AM , Rating: 2
I still have an Asus R2h. Everyone thought it was cool (until the iPad) but no-one, NOT ONE person wanted one.

Odd that.

RE: Conflicted
By melgross on 12/16/10, Rating: 0
RE: Conflicted
By damianrobertjones on 12/16/2010 4:06:26 PM , Rating: 3
The HP SLate 500 is for 'business' and not general consumers.

I'd say that the first real tablet was the HD TC1100 or Fujitsu siemens so yes, they did change. Thanks. Also, the Archos 9 has been out for a long time.

RE: Conflicted
By notposting on 12/16/2010 5:53:03 PM , Rating: 2
Those Motion M1400's were around 3lb tablets. Pretty good performance too.

RE: Conflicted
By fteoath64 on 12/17/2010 2:05:03 AM , Rating: 2
To be number 3 player in the tablet space is going to be very very difficult to compete. (Apple A4 with IOS #1 volume shipped, Android + ARM variants as #2).

Also with the price pressure of trying to be way below $500 per unit, the margins are going to be squeezed real hard in the market. So I cannot see MS or Intel going anywhere in the volume market in the next 3 years, if ever. Good luck in trying though.

RE: Conflicted
By omnicronx on 12/16/2010 6:34:04 PM , Rating: 2
I agree somewhat..

What this article makes it out as though neither side is serious about tablets which is just not the case.

On the Intel end it just flat out not feasible yet. X86 Atom cpu's don't currently match up with competing ARM offerings.(performance per watt at least which is what counts in the mobile space) Until they get their smaller process up and running it will remain as such..

On the MS end, I think we need to remember a little thing called the Slate, which was displayed at CES last year, but later dropped by HP after their Palm acquisition.. This could have very well been the Windows Tablets MS stated would be released this year.

That said, neither Intel and certainly not MS are out of the ballgame yet. All current tablets on the market and most of those slated for release next year target the consumer market exclusively. (Aside from Rim's playbook which in my opinion also seems to be a quasi consumer/business device)

I think we all know the potential of tablets in the business world. That is most likely where these two players will make their biggest impact.

RE: Conflicted
By KoolAidMan1 on 12/18/2010 6:46:09 PM , Rating: 2
Enter Apple and it's iDiot-proof products. Apple sucks at making PCs, but it's great at making appliances

You're wrong about one thing, in that their computers are damn good too. I wouldn't dream of owning anything other than a high end Lenovo or a Macbook Pro. It is crazy that how many PC laptops are so horrible in comparison. 27" iMacs are a fantastic value as well, given that the display that it uses costs $1100 from Dell, but it also has a fast and silent computer built in.

I own mainly PCs that I build myself, but you can't deny how good Apple's hardware is compared to other big PC builders.

"My sex life is pretty good" -- Steve Jobs' random musings during the 2010 D8 conference

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