How Microsoft plans to market against the iPad

How Microsoft plans to market against the iPad

Summary: Even though Microsoft's public stance, when asked about the impact of Apple's slate is "iPad? What iPad?", the Redmondians are preparing the company's partners for battle in 2011.

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Even though Microsoft's public stance, when asked about the impact of Apple's slate is "iPad? What iPad?", the Redmondians are preparing the company's partners for battle in 2011.

Microsoft is making available to its reseller partners marketing collateral to help them defend against the iPad's encroachment into the enterprise market. I had a chance to check out a PowerPoint dated December 2010 on "Microsoft Commercial Slate PCs" that the company is offering to its partners to help them explain Microsoft's slate strategy to business users.

Check out ten slides from Microsoft's iPad Battle Plan for Partners

The presentation makes no reference to Windows Next or Windows 8, which is expected to be the first version of Windows that Microsoft will optimize for slates, among other form factors. It also makes no reference to the Windows Phone OS, which some believe -- in spite of its Version 1.0 status -- should/could be a better operating system than Windows for slate devices.

The PowerPoint does, however, show how the Softies are encouraging partners to position slates and tablets running Windows 7 vs. the iPad. There are suggestions in the deck for how to sell to business users who alredy have committed to the iPad, as well as to ones who haven't yet done so.

Microsoft and its partners cannot afford to stand by idly as the iPad gains more traction. During Apple's most recent earnings call, officials there said Apple sold 7.3 million iPads in its most recent quarter. According to Apple, 80 percent of the Fortune 500 are piloting or deploying iPads. If iPads are categorized as "computers," Apple -- as a result of iPad sales -- is the No. 2 worldwide PC vendor.

Topics: Operating Systems, iPad, Microsoft, Mobility, Software, Windows

About

Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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  • RE: How Microsoft plans to market against the iPad

    MJ: Any chance we could stop referring to Windows Phone 7's Metro UI as being <i>"a better operating system than Windows for slate devices"</i>?<br><br>It's FAR more accurate to say that the Metro UI might be "a better <b>user experience</b> than desktop Windows for slate devices".<br><br>The fact is that there's a whole heck of a lot more to an OS than the UI. One might argue that the vast majority of an operating system exists outside of the UI/UXP.<br><br>Another example of why it's important to differentiate the UI from the OS is that there's a very real possibility that Microsoft will eventually replace the actual OS underneath WP's Metro UI with a minimized version of Windows itself, allowing it to bring a whole host of features to their phone OS that are currently prohibitively expensive to port to WinCE.<br><br>TIA.<br><br>So passionate am I about this subject that I decided to write a detailed blog on this subject: <a href="http://www.bitcrazed.com/post/2011/01/15/Will-Windows-Phone-8-run-the-Windows-Kernel.aspx">Will Windows Phone 8 run the Windows Kernel</a>
    bitcrazed
    • As Windows 7 is completely inappropriate for tablets, MaryJo is right on

      here. Microsoft currently has no viable tablet strategy.
      DonnieBoy
      • RE: How Microsoft plans to market against the iPad

        @DonnieBoy What makes you such an expert? You don't even bother citing any facts. Observing some of your posts, people tend to call you a troll...
        nicholas22
      • Only the Windows 7 UI is &quot;inappropriate&quot; for slates ...

        @DonnieBoy ... not the underlying OS.
        M Wagner
      • RE: How Microsoft plans to market against the iPad

        @DonnieBoy

        Exactly. The real question is "market what?"
        jorjitop
      • Either way, all those patents have already been taken

        For one Google.

        Another is considerable Android developers have applied for patents in this respect. (using up to three tabs)

        And this was over two years ago. Apple has applied for three patents:

        [APPLICATION] APPLICATION COMMUNICATION WITH EXTERNAL ACCESSORIES

        [APPLICATION] ACCESSORY AND MOBILE COMPUTING DEVICE COMMUNICATION USING AN APPLICATION ...

        [APPLICATION] ACCESSORY INTERFACE TO PORTABLE MEDIA DEVICE USING SESSIONS

        And has the gull to claim Android.

        They should not be granted these patents as they actually infringe on OHA patents for Android.
        Uralbas
      • RE: How Microsoft plans to market against the iPad

        @DonnieBoy <br>Although the windows 7 platform my not be viable certainly the wp7 platrform is with a little twerking to include making it student user friendly meaning microsoft suite with speech to text and a few others microsoft is on there way. Clearly silverlight and flash is a big selling point which apple doesn't have. Gentleman silverlight is going to make the way you compute simply fascinating just wait and see.
        jtpfla3
      • RE: How Microsoft plans to market against the iPad

        @DonnieBoy

        I see a few people attacking DonnieBoy's claim that Microsoft has no viable strategy. Yet, these attacks also lack substance. The future of this or any market is always in question. However, lets consider the facts that we do know.

        1. Microsoft's "strategy" seems to be a marketing / smear campaign against Apple.

        2. Microsoft has no viable competing product in the queue. Windows 7 (UI at least) just doesn't cut it on the tablet. That concept failed in the past and it will fail again. You need apps written specifically for this product class. Attempts to leverage existing software on tablet will continue to fail. Windows Phone 7 would make a much better competitor.

        3. Microsoft is way behind the competition in this category. If anything, Android stands the best chance of catching Apple.
        techconc
      • RE: How Microsoft plans to market against the iPad

        @DonnieBoy - As I said in my last reply to your previous assertion that MS has no tablet strategy, just because MS have yet to present their tablet strategy doesn't mean that they don't have one.

        It would be foolish for MS to talk about their tablet strategy before they have a well planned, partially implemented technology and product strategy for the biggest overhaul of the Windows UI since the move from the Windows 3.x UI to the Windows95 UI.

        I expect we'll see their strategy laid out clearly later this year when they start to unveil Win8.
        bitcrazed
    • Is Windows 7 right for tablets/slates, though?

      Hi, I agree the Metro UI is what we WP7 backers who want the OS on tablets "see" and "want." But there are a number of OEMs, customers and partners who view Windows as too bulky, cumbersome and pricey. Why not just use your phone OS -- already optimized for smaller devices and touch -- as your tablet OS, like Apple is doing? I agree, it's nice to have a USB port, but is it worth the size/price trade-off? Not convinced.

      Also: I am curious why MS has suddenly stopped talking up Embedded Compact tablets. Last summer, they were lumping them in with Windows 7 tablets, calling the whole group "Windows tablets/slates." Maybe with the ARM on Windows port that's coming, they are changing strategies? What do you think?
      Mary Jo Foley
      • RE: How Microsoft plans to market against the iPad

        @Mary Jo Foley
        Because they are going to, if not already started, unify the codebases into one Windows.
        Ram U
      • MaryJo: I am sure that the WP7 people at MS would LOVE to take on iPad, and

        create the best tablet OS possible based on WP7, but, management will not let them. They are afraid to disrupt their own businesses.
        DonnieBoy
      • And you know this how, DonnieBoy?

        Another "freind" who works high up at MS?
        John Zern
      • John Zern: MaryJo spends a lot of time covering MS, and she is not aware of

        anybody in MS being allowed to go after iPad with WP7. Microsoft management has publicly stopped talking about anything other than full Windows on tablets. Now, this could all be a smoke screen, and they have a fully funded top secret project to compete against iPad based on WP7, but, I would bet MaryJo would have heard something.
        DonnieBoy
      • Rama.NET: A unified codebase is probably years off. MS need to compete

        right here, right now, they do not have years. Time waits for nobody.
        DonnieBoy
      • RE: How Microsoft plans to market against the iPad

        nt
        Wakemewhentrollsgone
      • RE: How Microsoft plans to market against the iPad

        @DonnieBoy: Windows 8 is the gates for Unified Windows code. It will be the one.
        Ram U
      • Where does this stuff come from?

        "But there are a number of OEMs, customers and partners who view Windows as too bulky, cumbersome and pricey."

        This is troll talk. OEM's and partners know there's nothing bulky about it, it's very modular and the slate components are no omore than their android/ios counterparts. And price would be set by device and by the same for either.

        "Why not just use your phone OS -- already optimized for smaller devices and touch"

        It's not the 90's anymore. The phone OS is optimized for the devices of yesteryear. Windows is the OS that's optimized for todays phone class hw. And neither is more optimized for touch than the other, it's the shell that can be run on either that's what gets optimized for touch.
        Johnny Vegas
      • RE: How Microsoft plans to market against the iPad

        @Mary Jo Foley Windows 7 is perfectly fine for tablets, they just need to put a new custom GUI and fine tune the services to make up for the underwhelming power of a tablet and voila!
        Tommy S.
      • RE: How Microsoft plans to market against the iPad

        @Mary Jo Foley
        You have become iNaive
        mikroland