Jean-Philippe Courtois, president of Microsoft International, in an interview with Reuters, delved into the topic of tablets. When asked whether Microsoft was concerned about the iPad and other tablets affecting the company's dominance of the PC market, he states, "Devices are going to go and come." Microsoft is currently partnering with Intel to roll out 10 or more Windows tablets this year. But those tablets, like the currently available HP Slate 500, don't have an operating system refined for touch (they run Windows 7). And while they may offer compatibility for some files that competing tablets cannot (e.g. the iOS-powered iPad and Android devices), they are expected to also have inferior battery life, as Intel Atom SoCs are currently less power-efficient than competitive ARM SoCs used in these rivals. In the long term Microsoft plans to fix those problems by embracing ARM and releasing a version of Windows fine-tuned for tablets. Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer announced that Windows 8 will support ARM processors at CES 2011. Much like Android 3.0 Honeycomb, Microsoft’s Windows 8 will also have a build refined for a touch-driven tablet world. But Windows 8 may not arrive until 2012 -- or later. Recent reports revealed that when tablets are factored in to Apple's PC market share, it jumps to number two on the list of top worldwide PC sellers, passing Dell. And Android devices are heating up too, with the Samsung Galaxy Tab selling well and Honeycomb devices launching this Spring. Mr. Courtois says that even if Microsoft faces an uphill battle in the tablet market, those problems will be offset by Microsoft information technology gains in developing markets. He states, "We see some growth across the world both in developed countries and in emerging countries and that helps the IT spending (outlook)."
quote: c) I see no reasons why a Windows based tablet should succeed now when all previous Windows based tablets have failed in the past when there was much less competition.
quote: Why did previous generations of tablets fail to catch on in the common market? High prices.
quote: Not forgetting that tablets were virtually unheard of. It's not because people didn't want them, it's because people didn't know what they were (at least until Apple's marketing team got in on the act).I've seen one or two iPads in some businesses. They're mostly used for note-taking, remote desktop and VPN purposes. They're easier to carry around and have longer battery life than traditional Windows-based tablets, allowing users to carry them for longer periods of time, and allowing the user to be more portable.Beyond said tasks, they're virtually useless in business. As soon as those Microsoft tablets are released with the right size/weight and consumer attention, the iPad's existence in the business world will become less so than it already is. Minimal integration in the network. Exchange set up is dire. No remote assistance. Fragmentation of platforms. Lack of provision of software installation/updates. No multi-user capabilities. Need to sync with PC. High price for minimal business features.Tony has quite clearly never worked in the IT industry. He seems to believe that the consumer market is pushing the business market. Some businesses may be enticed by consumer-oriented devices, however most companies are trying to spend as little as possible, and get as much as possible out of their investments. Most of our clients are still running 5 year old PCs and seem content enough with them to not even consider an upgrade, let alone spend £400+ on each employee purchasing iPads for them.
quote: As soon as those Microsoft tablets are released with the right size/weight and consumer attention, the iPad's existence in the business world will become less so than it already is.
quote: How long will it take in your opinion before we see these "Microsoft tablets" and why do you think it hasn't it happened already?
quote: Tony has quite clearly never worked in the IT industry. He seems to believe that the consumer market is pushing the business market.
quote: It was the consumer maker pushing the business market that led to so many Microsoft shops in the first place
quote: What does lack of competition do? Raise prices. Why did previous generations of tablets fail to catch on in the common market? High prices. What is all this tablet competition going to do? Lower prices.
quote: I understand your point, but we've seen Microsoft enter a market with strongly entrenched and successful competitors, and from everything we've seen they've done it quite well. That's no guarantee they'll repeat their success, but it certainly shows that they can pull it off.
quote: The previous generation of tablets failed because they were not good products
quote: Apple is very, very good at supply chain.
quote: What's noticeable is how hard competitors are finding beating Apple's tablet prices
quote: Except against Apple (the new Apple post Jobs return). Zune went no where.
quote: quote:The previous generation of tablets failed because they were not good productsAnd why? Because there was no competition.quote:Apple is very, very good at supply chain.Apple is very, very good at fleshing out their closed ecosystem. They are not so good at integrating into other ecosystems.quote:What's noticeable is how hard competitors are finding beating Apple's tablet pricesAre they even trying? It's obvious that Apple is the 800 pound gorilla in the tablet space; it's hardly a unique business tactic to avoid a direct, head-to-head market clash.quote:Except against Apple (the new Apple post Jobs return). Zune went no where.An excellent example of a product in which Microsoft's advantages don't come into play. The Xbox benefits greatly from Microsoft's excellent developer tools and documentation; such is hardly a major plus in a consumer media player.