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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 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
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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