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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 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

"Spreading the rumors, it's very easy because the people who write about Apple want that story, and you can claim its credible because you spoke to someone at Apple." -- Investment guru Jim Cramer

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