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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 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?

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

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