I just got around to taking a look at Microsoft's iPad battleplan PowerPoint deck that Mary Jo Foley posted the other day and I realized something - that Microsoft's secret weapon against the iPad is very familiar.
Very, very familiar.
Microsoft's talking about Tablet PCs ... again.
That's right. Microsoft's secret anti-iPad bunker buster is a device that the company has been trying to market for a decade. A tablet running Windows.
I find that disappointing. I find it disappointing that Microsoft can't think beyond Windows and trying to make it into a one-size-fits-all OS for desktops, notebooks and now tablets. I'm surprised that Microsoft didn't try to shoehorn Windows 7 onto smartphones, giving each user their own microscopic stylus to control the user interface.
I also find it disappointing that Microsoft is ultimately just pushing a few core Windows features and leaving the creation of tablets down to OEMs. Nothing in these slides talks about creating a compelling device.
I'm disappointed that Microsoft is focussing only on the iPad and not also keeping an eye on the emerging Android tablet market. This is a mistake.
I'm disappointed that Microsoft is pushing the same old rhetoric. "Don't buy and iPhone" has been replaced by "Don't buy the iPad" - nothing's changed.
But most of all I'm disappointed that Microsoft is busy developing PowerPoint decks when the products it is talking about are still vapor. I'm not even sure that Microsoft has a coherent mobile strategy. Partners are already causing confusion and uncertainty by talking about putting Windows 8 on smartphones. This is not the kind of stuff we want to be hearing in the early days of a platform.
I don't think Apple has anything to worry about. I don't think that Android has anything to worry about either.
What do you think Microsoft needs to to to try to wrestle market share away from the iPad?