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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 damianrobertjones on 12/16/2010 11:17:50 AM , Rating: 3
Microsoft can only do so much.

Oems are, for some reason, holding back. Are they waiting for better Atom processors? Not sure. Either way, the tablets out there now, Viewsonic Viewpad 10, Archos 9, ummm.. HP 500, Tegra 2 are all, basically, the same damn product in ever so slightly modified packages.

I went onto ebay and purchased an oem Tablet for £320 and it's fantastic. The Viewpad 10 is another China special oem device sold by various people and what do you have, a 16Gb SSD, 1Gb memory. Pathetic.

Sure, I'm going to install Windows 7 Embedded Standard to gain space and speed but oems are lazy. Damn lazy. This is what should happen:
- MS, modify the MS Office ribbon bar to slide right or left and ALL options are set as tabs.
- MS, offer one more version of Win7 - Tablet edition. Strip out all the crap and damn well give people the option to put it back in. Light, fast, streamlined. Win8 will be too little, too late.
- Start a program where you have basic Touch guidelines for Applications. (Which everyone will probably ignore)
- Offer a few more onscreen keyboards for Win7. Although the one now is fantastic
- OEMS to settle on a screen resolution. 1366x760. No more 1280x600.
- OEMS to settle on a FAST standard spec of SSD.
- OEMS to sell machines with 2Gb as standard
- New Atoms to lift the damn limit of ram and push to 4Gb.
- DAMN WELL Stop it with 4 hour batteries. We want 5.5hrs minimum

..and pigs might fly. is anyone taking charge? If OEMS don't do it for Acer, MSI etc, then MS, PLEASE, do it yourself. HP, you had the TC1100 and all you had to do was revise with Touch. Acer, you have the 1820ptz, pretty much ready to slap onto where the keyboard sits? Toshiba, well, they gave up after the 750m. Sony? Up their own backside so forget them.

Damn lazy. Why does SMUG Apple have to teach the rest a lesson.

By melgross on 12/16/2010 11:54:15 AM , Rating: 2
They're not lazy. They don't think these will sell. Why should they spend tens of millions designing products that they have their doubts about? They aren't there to make MS money, or be their test beds. How about MS doing what Google has done with the Nexus, and designing a tablet to show OEM's, and the rest of the world the right way to do it?

By Pirks on 12/16/2010 12:25:14 PM , Rating: 1
MS knows dick about designing nice hardware and they don't seem to be learning to. The failure of Zune and XBox RROD debacle proves that MS just can't do this. They have nice software but their hardware is usually a mediocre junk.

By Luticus on 12/16/2010 4:03:02 PM , Rating: 1
funny... the zune is widely regarded as freaking awesome. Personally i prefer a good old sandisk mp3 player. Cheaper and doesn't require stupid freaking iTunes.

As for the xBox, i like mine. It's not the wii at the moment but it's a fairly strong second and is doing rather well in the console race. Sure it had problems but ms spent a ridiculous amount of money fixing it and extending warranties and such. I think they contained the mess fairly well considering the gravity of it and recovered quite nicely.

By Pirks on 12/17/2010 12:35:02 AM , Rating: 2
zune is widely regarded as freaking awesome
That's why so many people own it. Oh wait...
I think they contained the mess fairly well considering the gravity of it and recovered quite nicely
Yeah, they flushed a few billions down the toilet here and there, some RROD stuff and what not, who cares right? They have some more billions left to flush next, so don't worry eh :))) hahaha, nice

By Luticus on 12/17/2010 10:27:21 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah, they flushed a few billions down the toilet here and there, some RROD stuff and what not, who cares right? They have some more billions left to flush next, so don't worry eh :))) hahaha, nice

In the end they still MADE money... so I'd say they got the last laugh. besides, you can't fault a company for admitting it screwed something up and actually making it right. at least they didn't answer with "you're playing it wrong"

By Pirks on 12/17/2010 12:43:30 PM , Rating: 2
In the end they still MADE money
Nah they just lost money because nobody knows how many more years or dozens of years will it take for MS to recoup 21 BILLION they invested, look at

Forget about making ANY money on Xbox, this is pure money drain and nothing else. They invested dozens of billions and got a freaking hundreds of millions back as a profit? WOOOWW, what a PROFIT!!! jeezzz... are you kdding me?

and there's no need to remove itunes from your mac if you don't use it, since it doesn't consume any system resources when no running, so stop fantasizing

By Luticus on 12/17/2010 1:31:19 PM , Rating: 2
Bah, where do these number come from? are they just console sales? do they include games + accessories, How about xbox live? There's a lot of revenue "synergy" because of the xbox. seriously 21 billion is a crap load of money to loose. if it were that bad they would have axed it by now.

and there's no need to remove itunes from your mac if you don't use it, since it doesn't consume any system resources when no running, so stop fantasizing

Apart from the fact that itunes can still be auto launched with head set media buttons and such (i know there's a command i can enter to disable this), this simple fact is that it's there taking up space and annoying me with it's presence. On my windows machines i do not leave items installed that I'll NEVER use and pretty much hate, why would i treat a mac any different?

By Pirks on 12/17/2010 10:10:30 PM , Rating: 2
It is that bad but if they axed it they will lose even more than they lose now. What would you choose, losing 21 billion or losing say 10 billion? MS will lose a train load of money anyway, they just try to make this money losing train having as few cars as possible ;) This is why they can't axe it.

I still don't understand why would you bother yourself about some apps you don't use that don't harass you in any way because you just don't use them. I know my Windows 7 box has dozens of built in Windows apps and applets and control panel sh1t I have no idea about, so what? You are anal beyond all recognition, and besides that you have an interesting double standard. All these Windows built in apps that you never use are okay but this built in OS X app is not. I call pure winfanatical BS on that. Just drop your double standard already, will ya?

By Luticus on 12/20/2010 11:06:39 AM , Rating: 2
There is not double standard. As i stated before, if i don't use it on windows i loose it. As it turns out "most" of the software that comes with windows i not only know what it is, but actually like. Windows media player being the lone exception. The only reason that remains installed is because windows media center relies on it a bit heavily.

There is not double standard with me, i'm simply holding osx to the same standard i hold everything else. On the systems i have that don't use windows media center ever windows media player is removed in favor of zoom player and winamp.

I might be a bit "anti-apple" but I'm not so much "pro Microsoft" either. I simply give credit where it's due. Apple has done some good things (even regarding their computer platform) but overall they irritate me because they directly go against everything i think a computer platform should be.

they just try to make this money losing train having as few cars as possible
i think they'll do just fine, especially with the new kinect.

By Pirks on 12/20/2010 12:52:52 PM , Rating: 2
they directly go against everything i think a computer platform should be
Yeah they cater to Joe from the street, not to the geeks. Doh.
i think they'll do just fine
As long as they have monopoly status in business and desktop OS/office and thus can compensate for their failures in hardware design that costs them billions. Not sure their monopoly will hold forever tho...

By Pirks on 12/17/2010 12:40:05 AM , Rating: 2
and doesn't require stupid freaking iTunes
iPod doesn't require iTunes either, check out yamipod or WinAMP iPod plugins and stop being so dumb please

By Luticus on 12/17/2010 10:25:15 AM , Rating: 2
iPod doesn't require iTunes either, check out yamipod or WinAMP iPod plugins

sure, unless of course you are setting it up for the first time. after that you can throw out the itues right... oh wait i forgot about software updates which are pushed throught.... itunes? me thinks.

This is pretty much the ONLY reason i have itunes on my MAC. because we have to support iphones and ipads.

I've told you before, i know my crap. you can't feed me some BS line... it will NEVER work because i know what i'm talking about and i'll call you on it every time. now if there is some program out there that will let me set up and configure these devices, get updates, etc. besides itunes... you let me know ok... i really want to remove that garbage from my mac immediately.

By kmmatney on 12/18/2010 5:31:29 PM , Rating: 2
Honestly, iTunes is not all that bad - especially at managing a crap load of music. You just install it - then uninstall the things you don't need (a few drivers most people never need) and turn off the App store. I haven't connected my phone to iTunes for over a year, but I still use iTunes all the time to manage 30GB of music. It's not any more bloated then most of the other music managers out there, and its free.

By Luticus on 12/20/2010 11:11:04 AM , Rating: 2
itunes has NOTHING on winamp. Winamp has more features, can play significantly more formats, is significantly less intrusive, far more customizable, skinnable, and, most importantly, the playlist manager is excellent compared to iTunes. Now this is all just my opinion of course but i think i'm not alone when i say winamp > itunes.

but other people are entitled to their opinions as well :D

By robinthakur on 12/17/2010 10:04:54 AM , Rating: 2
OEM's are in business to make money. What you have posited will not make them money. It would drain R&D resources, coming to market to sell very little due to being overpriced versus competitors, by companies which lack the resources and ability to market them and preceived as yesterday's-news in terms of OS. Even if Microsoft get behind them and pay for alot of advertising presence (see Windows Phone 7) it is not a space people associate with MS, and they are starting from zero.

Frankly, If people wanted to use full Windows on a slate/tablet, they have had the ability to for many years. The fact that they haven't taken it up in the slightest and also that you think price is not directly related to battery life and hardware spec, does nothing to change this. If you ship Windows Phone 7 based devices, windows users complain that they can't run their old programs on it, so it's not possible for MS to be victorious here without WP7 first being a runaway hit IMO, which it's not going to be. Most people's ideal mobile OS used to be Windows back around the pocket PC days until they actually used it and realised that it was an exercise in futility. Since then, far better options exist now.

Apple is shipping a device since April at commodity prices, which despite its consumer centric nature has been taken up by companies worldwide because there is no alternative currently worth pursuing (discounting Android for now until there is something truly competitive with the iPad based on Gingerbread, the Tablet platform) If you think that business is hostile to Apple, this is generally true, but where people in charge regularly use Apple tech in their daily lives they increasingly request it from the IT department and get it.

Apple deserves to be smug because when everybody was saying "Why would anyone ever buy a big iPod Touch" Apple had already done the customer research to know that they would. When the buzz on an Apple tablet was reaching such dizzy heights prior to it being announced, did nobody in the industry take note that the demand was high for such a device despite the lack of sales for the ones already at market and begin to question why?

By jconan on 12/19/2010 5:19:53 PM , Rating: 2
I'm holding out for the Asus EP121, hopefully they'll deliver with an ulv c2d and a Digitizer!

"Intel is investing heavily (think gazillions of dollars and bazillions of engineering man hours) in resources to create an Intel host controllers spec in order to speed time to market of the USB 3.0 technology." -- Intel blogger Nick Knupffer

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