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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: 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 :)

"You can bet that Sony built a long-term business plan about being successful in Japan and that business plan is crumbling." -- Peter Moore, 24 hours before his Microsoft resignation

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