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
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
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.
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.
quote: ust out of curiosity, first i shall poll the readers:1) How many people have seen an iPad in real life, being used by actual people, outside of stores selling them. I for one have seen one. It was about 2 weeks ago.2) Of the people you see using them, what are they doing. The person i saw was playing a simple game.3) How many people, estimate, would be able to fully replace their home/work computer with an iPad?The problem that i see with the iPad, and the tablets that it has inspired, is in the approach it takes. Being a content viewing device, it is not truly suited to replace a traditional computer. Think of a college student, who instead of buying a laptop or netbook bought an iPad. they would be forced to go to their schools library in order to write a lengthy report that makes up most of their grade for a class.There are many people who spend more time inputting content into a computer than they do viewing it. For them, the limited abilities of a content viewing device would cause problems, especially if it costs as much as their content input device.The idea behind the Slate, and the reason its geared for business, is as a mobility content input device. This may not be the thing that sells millions of units to the average masses, but it fills a needed role. At your desk, you dock your tablet, giving it keyboard and mouse functionality, and perhaps a larger screen. Then when you leave your desk, you pick it up and keep working on it with the touch interface.It is not a fancy new idea, it is the evolution of the portable computing. years ago someone slapped together a device with integrated keyboard, mouse, and screen and created an expensive, yet mobile computer. yet, many people didn't really like using the built in mouse, so at their desk they had another.I for one am hopeful that, just like laptops, tablet computers will evolve, become more powerful, and have longer battery lives, so that they will be able to phase out their predecessor.A content viewing device can never do that.
quote: iPad is a useless piece of crap that cannot possible catch on or replace the old style computer just seem ridiculous in the face of Apple's sales figures