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Microsoft talks trash about the iPad's business capabilities, in slide form.  (Source: Microsoft via ZDNet)
Redmond's finest hopes to score some tablet business from the corporate sector

After a long road, Microsoft is finally ready to enter the tablet market in earnest during 2011 with a number of Windows 7 tablets running on Intel Atom system-on-a-chip processors.  To date, Microsoft has only released one high profile Windows tablet -- the HP Slate 500 -- and by "high profile" we mean "sold 5,000 units at launch."

Microsoft obviously hopes for much bigger things, with rival Apple selling millions of iPads each month.  But it has its work cut out for it with the impending release of the Apple iPad 2.

In an attempt to counter the iPad's sizable market lead, Microsoft is planning to attack it where it's weakest -- on the business side.  The company has been passing about a slide deck to its partners entitled "Microsoft Commercial Slate PCs".

The slides brag that Windows 7 can do things that Apple's iOS 4.x can't do well, such as "provide remote assistance", "deploy LOB applications", and "secure corporate IP".  Clearly Microsoft plans on leveraging the fact that Windows 7 is a more secure OS, is richer in business software, and (with the help of Intel's chips) offers superior virtualization/networking capabilities.

A recent report by Seattle's TechFlash pointed out that if iPads were factored in to computer sales reports, Apple would jump ahead of Dell to become the world's second largest seller of personal computers.

But its new campaign just might work to some extent.  Many businesses have clearly been interested in the tablet craze, but have been wary of handing out hard-to-manage iPads to the staff.  If Microsoft plays its hand right and manages to offer a decent selection of affordable options, it may just win these slow adopters over.  The only big risk is the fact that Windows 7 tablets are expected to get worse battery life due to the fact that they use Intel, rather than ARM processors.

The real question for Microsoft is what to do next.  The company has to focus on developing a next generation Windows operating system focused on the tablet, and has to try to efficiently offer legacy software support for its newly adopted ARM architecture CPUs in order to close the battery life gap with its rivals.  But it also has to consider whether a full-fledged Windows environment is well suited for its next generation tablet OS, or whether it would be better off adopting its non-traditional Windows Phone 7/Zune OS in a larger form factor.

Microsoft's plans for this year is looking increasingly clear, but its long term plans are far less so.



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RE: Um...
By Luticus on 1/25/2011 10:07:14 AM , Rating: 1
agreed.


RE: Um...
By torpor on 1/25/2011 10:43:37 AM , Rating: 5
Not agreed.

Microsoft does sell hardware - typically things like keyboards and mice, but it does sell branded hardware.

Since Microsoft does not control end-to-end platform design, you can't honestly say Microsoft released a tablet.

I know (especially in light of the slide) it's probably easier to describe the whole thing as Apple vs. Microsoft, but that's not really the case. It's Apple vs. Microsoft, Intel and X, which is both the strength and the weakness of the Windows platform.

I know it was a handy stat, but in truth, Microsoft and partners have yet to take a serious swipe at the tablet market.


RE: Um...
By Flunk on 1/25/11, Rating: 0
RE: Um...
By Luticus on 1/25/2011 10:54:40 AM , Rating: 2
mmm, point taken. I agree with you that the phrase "microsoft released" is a bit misleading because it's not like microsoft even did anything new here. There's no new tablet os or anything, it's just windows 7 with a pretty "hp" skin or whatever god awful software layers they plaster on top of windows to make it more "tablet friendly", a joke at it's finest seeing as all you really need to do is tweek the ui a bit and enlarge some buttons and such (something the os does natively... or better yet use windows media center!) But the point is, as far as i can see all Microsoft has really done is "partner" with other vender's to release the hardware that runs their platform. Calling it a "Microsoft tablet" because it runs windows is like calling a car a "Bridgestone" car because it uses their tires. The difference here is that i know and understand that the author of the article wasn't trying to call it a "Microsoft tablet" and was only trying to convey that windows tablets are coming out for the business market, but then I'm not one to sit here and nitpick every freaking minor detail of an article when the authors intent is pretty clear in my opinion.

That being said, sure it's misleading if your a moron and maybe the author should be more careful... but we're all human and it's not like I'm paying to be here. Frankly i like free news and tend to try not to whine so much about things that are free/ad supported.


RE: Um...
By torpor on 1/25/2011 1:13:51 PM , Rating: 1
mmm, point taken, if you're a jag who thinks a point is totally unimportant but you have to write a really dense paragraph on it anyway with like no punctuation or capitalization, i can see where you'd be confused and think it was ok to like say that the cocoa growers of peru sold their 100 millionth nabisco oreo today, but i guess everyone would just kinda know what you meant.

That being said, it's nice to know you think hardware is a skin on software, because of course that's what hp adds to the device to make something to sell, so try not to whine so much about the next thing you buy where the software is awesome but the hardware is crap. And I wouldn't have said anything about it if Jason Mick didn't personally tell you why he thought it was all just ok anyway using a pretty lame line of reasoning.


RE: Um...
By Luticus on 1/25/2011 1:50:06 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
no punctuation or capitalization
See, my other posts are typically punctuated nicely and usually use capital letters. Sometimes I'm in a rush because I'm posting from work; however, for the most part, my sentences are well thought out and at least somewhat reasonably punctuated. This begs the question, why would I go on a rant about how someone's incorrect use of a phrase is not really that important if the over all meaning is still understood, and then not use any punctuation or make much of an attempt to capitalize letters properly?

quote:
it's nice to know you think hardware is a skin on software

Nice random assumption. You see when I buy new hardware I buy just that, new hardware. Software is completely irrelevant regarding my hardware choices, in most cases, because I typically like to load whatever hardware I've purchased with my software of choice upon arrival. Hardware and software are two entirely separate things in my opinion and one should not mean I'm stuck with the other. It is, therefore, necessary for me to point out that your "random assumption" is completely wrong.

Yes, I do think the point is totally unimportant. I wrote a really dense paragraph on it because I think it's pretty sad when people use a free service and then do nothing but complain about the service provider. Sure... Jason was incorrect in the phrasing, and you have every right to point it out, just as I have every right to call you a whiny ungrateful moron for doing so. Isn't freedom great!

This argument is really stupid...


RE: Um...
By torpor on 1/25/2011 3:04:45 PM , Rating: 1
First off, there is no free lunch. This site most certainly is not free, it's simply extracting a cost which you and I do not pay directly, but by viewing (and hopefully interacting with) interstitial advertising. These advertisers pay money to advertise on this site because it has a sizeable, engaged, interest-focused community. Therefore, it is in DailyTech's interest to listen to that community and provide what it wants, because that community is what makes their site (and several jobs, Jason's included) viable beyond the grace of an angel investor.

Therefore, on occasions where the site administration engages the community in a meta-discussion (as above with Jason's post), I feel we, in fact, have a responsibility to give good and respectful guidance. In the meantime, my post - where I did exactly that - has been modded up by the community, while Jason's and yours have been modded down. This amounts to community feedback Jason would hopefully find useful, since growing the community is the main way Jason will grow his career as a journalist. (increasing prominence of site) The rest of our bickering between ourselves has been largely ignored, as it should be.

My individual feelings are not terribly important - note I did not make some silly threat about going elsewhere for news, and I have defended Jason in other places, especially about the Wikileaks coverage. I know that my individual pageviews are nearly meaningless. However, the communal input is the thing, and it does seem to be working.

Beyond that, if you'd like to disavow what you posted previously about HP's role in the value chain, that's fine. It was stupid anyway. But it highlights the logical dissonance you had to endure to post a defense to the "nit".


RE: Um...
By Parhel on 1/25/2011 11:48:02 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Therefore, on occasions where the site administration engages the community in a meta-discussion (as above with Jason's post), I feel we, in fact, have a responsibility to give good and respectful guidance.


I'm more of a "Mick, you suck" kind of guy, myself, but to each his own.


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