Microsoft's secret weapon against the iPad is very, very familiar

Microsoft's secret weapon against the iPad is very, very familiar

Summary: 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.

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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 "Don't buy and iPhone" has been replaced by "Don't buy the iPad" - nothing's changed.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?

Topics: Operating Systems, Hardware, iPad, Laptops, Microsoft, Mobility, Software, Tablets, Windows

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114 comments
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  • There's something to be said about buying a tablet

    that runs the software we already own. Particularly when that software is customized and is very expensive to port to another platform.

    I'm not saying a Windows Tablet is the wave of the future. But we have to concern ourselves with the present as well.
    Michael Kelly
    • RE: Microsoft's secret weapon against the iPad is very, very familiar

      @Michael Kelly Here is the thing... Tablets have been attempted many many MANY times in the past. Running all flavors of Windows. None have ever done well... lets be honest, with the exception of some niche users, they were big flops.<br><br>Then Apple comes along and writes an OS that is made for a tablet/mobile phone platform and it does AMAZINGLY well. Just coincidence? I doubt it. MS needs to wake the hell up and start to innovate. Make a new custom OS for their tablet and take the iOS devices head on. <br><br>This is the only way to get back in the game. Why? Because using a full OS on a tablet doesn't work.
      Geuseppi
      • Windows on the tablet has saved many lives

        @Geuseppi
        [i]Because using a full OS on a tablet doesn't work.[/i]

        Why don't you tell that to the relatives of all the people whose lives have been saved by doctors using Windows on a tablet? They'll be interested in learning why their loved ones were saved by tablets that don't work.
        NonZealot
      • RE: Microsoft's secret weapon against the iPad is very, very familiar

        @NZ
        <i>"Why don't you tell that to the relatives of all the people whose lives have been saved by doctors using Windows on a tablet? They'll be interested in learning why their loved ones were saved by tablets that don't work."</i>

        Anecdotal.
        Snooki_smoosh_smoosh
      • RE: Microsoft's secret weapon against the iPad is very, very familiar

        @NonZealot
        Hey, hoser... I am not talking about niche use I am talking about the general public's use and acceptance of an OS. iOS and Android 3 are made for tablets.... Windows it not.

        Please read someones full post before spewing some BS. (So that I am clear, I am referring to the fact that you mentioned a niche area (doctors using it for surgery) to try and argue my comment. In my first paragraph of my original post I said that there ARE niche groups that would find use from a Windows tablet... but they are few and far between))
        Geuseppi
      • Ah, I understand

        @Geuseppi
        So the only thing that counts then is that it has wide acceptance? Glad to hear you admit that every single Mac has been a flop. Or, as you put it:
        [i]Using OS X on a computer doesn't work.[/i]

        After all, it is Windows with a ton of marketshare and OS X with a very small marketshare.

        Cue the double standards...
        NonZealot
      • RE: Microsoft's secret weapon against the iPad is very, very familiar

        @Geuseppi
        " MS needs to wake the hell up and start to innovate. Make a new custom OS for their tablet and take the iOS devices head on." Copying Apple isn't innovation. Coming up with a new paradigm for computing would be innovation.
        Monkeypox
      • @NonZealot...

        You're getting even more delusional.

        Windows tablets as life savers? Nah, you're smoking something bad.
        zkiwi
      • RE: Microsoft's secret weapon against the iPad is very, very familiar

        @Geuseppi
        Couldn't have said it better myself!

        MS really hasn't got a clue what makes a pad work. They are a slave to their own Windows Dogma. They have failed for so many years with this approach and not learned a thing. They believe that because Apple has succeed with the iPad it is time for Windows to succeed. Apple succeed because they rewrote the play book on tablets to a winning strategy.

        I am also amazed at the MS drones that believe it will work and point to a few niche markets where the Windows Tablet actually makes sense. They take these few susses and fool themselves into believing that the masses will adopt the W7 pad solution, that's not going to happen. The masses have tried and rejected this approach for years. Don't take my word for it just look at historical sales figures and tell me what has really changed to make this long running failure a sudden succes.
        Kabcock
      • RE: Microsoft's secret weapon against the iPad is very, very familiar

        You got it right, after all wasn't the Apple OS the base line for all of the previous Windows versions? For Microsoft its all about copy(innovate)/copyright.
        lna2000
      • RE: Microsoft's secret weapon against the iPad is very, very familiar

        @NonZealot

        You don't have any clue what-so-ever NonZealot.

        Hospitals use mobile computing carts not tablets. I have only seen tablets used at backwater "general practitioner" offices.

        http://www.cdw.com/shop/products/default.aspx?edc=1445361
        dragosani
      • Not coincidence, a different use case

        @Geuseppi What made the ipad unique was the use of the touch screen phone operating system and removing most of the horsepower usually associated with real computers. You ended up with a giant ipad.

        Really, the emperor is naked. It's not a real computer.
        Schoolboy Bob
      • RE: Microsoft's secret weapon against the iPad is very, very familiar

        I totally agree with Geuseppi! Hit the nail on the head!
        andyberrios@...
      • RE: Microsoft's secret weapon against the iPad is very, very familiar

        @Geuseppi

        iPads are mainly entertainment consumption devices, Windows tablets have been mainly for vertical market business use for data creation and capture. Microsoft has a consumer product called Windows Home (XP/Vista/7). It sells quite well around the world.

        I can tell you for sure that I have no interest in a tablet that does not run line of business apps, and after working on a computer all day I don't really want to do more of that after hours. We are setting up voice control for the entertainment PC. My programmer wife is watching for Kinect software to run it by gesturing.

        When the iPad has a wireless transmission to the big flat screen, maybe.
        mswift@...
      • RE: Microsoft's secret weapon against the iPad is very, very familiar

        @Geuseppi Technology changed... The hardware wasnt capable enough back then.
        Tommy S.
      • RE: Microsoft's secret weapon against the iPad is very, very familiar

        @Schoolboy Bob
        No, it's not a "real computer". It's a portable media consumption device. It does what it was designed to do and apparently people like it or they wouldn't be buying them.

        Failure to understand new technology does not make said technology bad; it only makes you less knowledgeable about the technology.
        slahr
      • RE: Microsoft's secret weapon against the iPad is very, very familiar

        @Geuseppi

        I think his point is you need to flip it around. Windows tablets worked fine. They were simply never marketed for mass audiences. Microsoft doesn't know how to market to the masses. Also, none of that has anything to do with the OEMs. The OEMs did a fine job making tablets. The hardware is often quite solid. I have a tablet I've lugged around the world for 9 years. The failure is with the software. If the OEMs did anything wrong, it is that they've relied on Microsoft to pick up the slack with the OSes.
        tkejlboom
      • RE: Microsoft's secret weapon against the iPad is very, very familiar

        Tommy S.
        Actually, the hardware was not the main issue. W7 on today's hardware will still be large, heavy and have poor battery life. This is only a small portion of the problem. Other reasons are performance and cost with the biggest being you are trying to shoe horn a keyboard/mouse centric OS & programs on to a tablet...it is a horrible experience. Take a ipad and run a Windows based program on it over Citrix and you'll see what I mean.

        If you're really hot to trot for the W7 on a tablet then may I suggest waiting a year after they are released and picking one up in the bargain bids, they will be full of them by that time.
        Kabcock
      • RE: Microsoft's secret weapon against the iPad is very, very familiar

        @Geuseppi
        Define "amazing."
        I won't be buying one until I can multitask.
        DJThuht
      • RE: Microsoft's secret weapon against the iPad is very, very familiar

        huh, windows on a tablet... are we considering embedded windows/ win ce? then maybe you have heard of these two small companies... fedex and ups. both use win ce tablets for deliveries.
        aiellenon