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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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By Luticus on 1/25/2011 1:08:04 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Important to who? For how long? The world is changing and Microsoft failed to notice until it was too late. All tablets based on Windows 7 will fail. Not a single one will get any traction in the market, in the consumer space or the enterprise space. At every turn Microsoft fell back to defending their old ageing monopoly products and now they are up shit creek without a paddle.


LOL, Really Tony... all that and for what? You have no evidence that windows 7 tablets will fail and even if they do, so what? That still doesn't mean Microsoft as a whole will fail. Microsoft is a massive tech company with the number one desktop operating system and office productivity solution. Everything else is just gravy. That's not even mentioning Windows 8 when it's released. If you seriously think Microsoft is irrelevant just because apple released some phones and an ipad you're fooling yourself. That's like saying America is irrelevant because we had a recession, obviously not the case.

Microsoft is huge, and they've just release the single best desktop operating system on the market. They've had some huge successes recently with their software. Windows Mobile 7 is looking to be a strong future contender, xbox is doing great (now), and IE9 will be a huge hit. Granted apple isn't going anywhere either but I'm not the one saying someone's irrelevant.

The next time you want to use words like "hokum" to describe one of my quotes i suggest you have a lot more than baseless speculation to back it up!


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