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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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So to sum up
By Tony Swash on 1/25/2011 5:36:36 PM , Rating: 2
So to sum up.

According to the digerati sophisticates who post around here

All is well at Microsoft (hence the top executives flocking too the company)

Microsoft will continue to mine its old monopolies for ever - cos that's just it has always been and thus will always be so (based on Demi Moore's Law - nothing ever changes in the world of technology)

Windows tablets that will crush the iPad in the only market that's important which is the enterprise market

or

Windows tablets will not crush the iPad but that doesn't matter because the tablet market is peripheral

or

The tablet market is important but someone somewhere (apparently from the land of OEM) will make something that will crush the iPad

Macs may be outgrowing the PC market by a substantial margin, and have done so for several years in a row but will remain a tiny proportion of the PC market - cos that's just it has always been and thus will always be so (see Demi Moore's Law)

Macs will one day - real soon apparently - catch up to Windows and get some nasty malware infections. Really this time they will.

iPads are not really popular

Even if iPads are popular it just because iTunes is popular, people don't actually want the iPads.

Apple products are so popular that Apple can never get production to catch up with demand so other products will fill the vacuum (presumably products not manufactured in China and hence not also affected by the same production bottlenecks).

Apple are not important

Apple are marginal

Apple are doomed

The world is as it always has been.

We are techies - forward into the past!!




RE: So to sum up
By Pirks on 1/25/2011 6:06:33 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
We are techies - forward into the past
Hehe, now that's why you are afraid to answer my post at http://www.dailytech.com/article.aspx?newsid=20684...

It destroys and ridicules your favorite "25 year old past tech blah blah" mantra. Well, can't fight the truth eh Tony? ;)


RE: So to sum up
By Tony Swash on 1/26/2011 8:30:18 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Hehe, now that's why you are afraid to answer my post at http://www.dailytech.com/article.aspx?newsid=20684...

It destroys and ridicules your favorite "25 year old past tech blah blah" mantra. Well, can't fight the truth eh Tony? ;)


So what's your point? Microsoft is trying to update it's ancient code base. Well whoopee. What do they expect - the world to stand still while they do it?

The tech world was gestating a paradigm shift for a long time. The inflection moment was the launch of the iPhone, that not only showed just what potential the new mobile devices could have but it also pushed the Android team into a reset and they stopped trying to copy Windows Mobile and Rim, and started copying the iPhone. And Android were after the same customer base as Microsoft - the handset OEMs who had been Win Mobile customers.

And what was the response from the Microsoft CE to this major shift in the market? A dismissive laugh.

Microsoft had been trying to push a tablet solution for a decade but their vision had one product killing feature - it ran on Windows. Microsoft's tablet failure was yet another example of how the "Windows Everywhere" vision was killing MS's ability to innovate. Only where it has abandoned Windows has MS been able to innovate.

Even with their non-Windows projects (Xbox, Bing, Kinect, etc) MS innovations have repeatedly failed to create a substantial and profitable business. MS has done nothing that comes even remotely close to something that could replace or match the Windows/Office revenue streams

Lest suppose that even now Microsoft is working away on a new slimmed down OS specifically designed to work with a touch interface and a similarly slimmed down touch based Office app. Lets suppose (even though this is straining the limits of probability a fair bit) when MS finally launches it's new OS and a new Office and they both run on ARM that OEM's flock back to pay the license fees and customers flock back and buy the Windows tablets and the new Office. Where would MS find itself? Well given that the new OS would be competing against a free one (Android/Chrome) thus pushing down license fees and given that Apps seem to sell for a lot less that the old desktop packaged software (and people would expect cheaper unbundled versions for those people who want Word but not, say, Powerpoint) I think MS would find itself with a much reduced revenue flow.

There really is no good place for Microsoft to go - every option has a down side. Personally the best I think they could do would be to ditch Ballmer, ditch the failing chasing Google and Apple silliness and instead retrench into the enterprise market where, if they are lucky, they will be able to salvage a reasonable large and profitable business. Maybe. With luck.


RE: So to sum up
By Pirks on 1/26/2011 11:34:28 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
And what was the response from the Microsoft CE to this major shift in the market? A dismissive laugh.
And what was the response from the Apple CE to this laugh? A 200% drop in price. Look who was right ma! :) Ballmer laughed his butt off when he heard the whopping $600 tag on that new flashy toy, so Jobs was forced to cut the price to 30% of its initial value, otherwise Ballmer would die laughing at this idiocy :))
quote:
Even with their non-Windows projects (Xbox, Bing, Kinect, etc) MS innovations have repeatedly failed to create a substantial and profitable business.
Yeah, that's why they sold like 8 millions of Kinect and their Xbox 360 was outselling every other console in the US in the past few months. What a failure eh? :)))


RE: So to sum up
By Pirks on 1/26/2011 12:10:17 PM , Rating: 2
Apple is trying to update it's ancient code base from NeXT. Well whoopee. What do they expect - the world to stand still while they do it?


RE: So to sum up
By Tony Swash on 1/26/2011 1:08:01 PM , Rating: 2
We could toss this around endlessly. You think Microsoft is in good shape for future challenges I think they are not. You think tomorrow will be like yesterday and I think it won't.

Meanwhile Apple takes third place for global computer sales above Dell.

Times are changing.

http://www.canalys.com/pr/2011/r2011012.html


RE: So to sum up
By Pirks on 1/26/2011 1:20:34 PM , Rating: 2
You think Apple will be in good shape for future challenges when Jobs is gone, I think they won't.


RE: So to sum up
By Tony Swash on 1/26/2011 2:10:23 PM , Rating: 1
Pirks - you know you seem like an old friend to me now ;) I guess I am feeling particularly mellow tonight.

I have several old friends with whom I have many disagreements (mostly about politics) and there is nothing like getting together with them and batting the shit around.

In the spirit of friendship it would be nice to know more about you. So - to get the ball rolling - here are my salient facts

Age: 58

Location: London UK

Occupation: Now retired. I used to run European Union projects (lots of travel ) and before that back in the eighties I ran my own design and printing company.

What's your salient info?


RE: So to sum up
By Pirks on 1/26/2011 3:01:43 PM , Rating: 2
nah, I can't tell you that much since I've been burnt a few times on forums like this one when things got way too personal. I'm just a software engineer and pretty far from retirement too, at the moment I'm in Canada but lived in Germany for a while before that. with regard to IT tech - I've been through a few years with OS/2 and a few years with RedHat Linux, before switching to Windows NT and staying with it since then. hence I lived through at least two revolutions, first was when people were screaming about OS/2 soon killing MS, next was when some other people were screaming about Linux killing MS, now I'm enjoying yet another "revolution" when some people scream about OS X killing MS. "har har har" - says my lifetime experience about all this stuff


RE: So to sum up
By Tony Swash on 1/26/2011 5:49:36 PM , Rating: 2
I had a tremendous walking holiday in Canada in 2006, explored the Rockies from Banff to Jasper. Seriously great country.


RE: So to sum up
By Pirks on 1/26/2011 6:05:12 PM , Rating: 2
you might want to tour Vancouver (and BC in general) someday


RE: So to sum up
By Pirks on 1/26/2011 3:12:12 PM , Rating: 2
haha, design and print company! THAT'S WHY the Apple obsession, NOW it is all clear with ya Tony :)


"It's okay. The scenarios aren't that clear. But it's good looking. [Steve Jobs] does good design, and [the iPad] is absolutely a good example of that." -- Bill Gates on the Apple iPad














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