Microsoft's iPad battle plan for partners

Microsoft's iPad battle plan for partners

Summary: How Microsoft is arming its reseller partners to compete with Apple's iPad

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TOPICS: iPad, Microsoft, Mobility
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  • Microsoft is advising its partners to position Windows 7 tablets and slates as ideal for both content consumption and creation, able to handle offline and online situations equally well.

  • A centerpiece to Microsoft's Windows 7 slate campaign is the issue of customer choice. Microsoft is emphasizing a diversity of form factors and input methods as an advantage for the Windows slates over the iPad.

  • When calling on customers not yet committed to deploying the iPad, Microsoft is advising its partners to push the "one size does not fit all" message.

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Topics: iPad, Microsoft, Mobility

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: Microsoft's iPad battle plan for partners

    only one mention of handwriting? maybe I *am* the only tablet PC user!
    mary.branscombe
    • handwriting

      You might be. LOL. The end of an era! This is only 10 of the slides, however... Maybe there was another mention in there... :) MJ
      Mary Jo Foley
      • RE: Microsoft's iPad battle plan for partners

        @Mary Jo Foley Seriously, handwriting is the single most important feature that distinguishes Windows form those phone operating systems.<br><br>Not for long, however. As soon as N-Trig's pen/touch solution for Android is ready, Windows will be all but dead.<br><br>Microsoft's only option is scaling Windows down, before tablet operating systems can scale up.

        Right now, it doesn't look like this will happen. Windows on ARM was an important first step, but 2013 is too late.

        If they can't launch Windows 8 before the end of 2011, I won't care anymore. I know Android tablet manufacturers won't be that slow to deliver what is needed.<br><br>I might even ditch Windows for Linux entirely in 2012, because if Microsoft fails to deliver a tablet version of Windows, then it will be only a matter of time until Android derivates take over the desktop PC market, too.
        drphysx
    • RE: Microsoft's iPad battle plan for partners

      @mary.branscombe

      Nope. I am too! I still think handwriting recognition is an important tablet feature. The finger isn't everything.
      The one and only, Cylon Centurion
      • RE: Microsoft's iPad battle plan for partners

        @Cylon Centurion 0005
        Not just writing. I like using the tablet pen to sketch and share quick diagrams during meetings. And of course you can use it for signature capture in some apps.
        A.Sinic
      • RE: Microsoft's iPad battle plan for partners

        @Cylon Centurion 0005 : guess you are just one of the few who didn't gave up when they those babies lasted two to three hours tops, had styluses that were too easy to loose and just plainly gave up when you ran a VB6 app which resisted itself from recognizing things written with the pen. Ahh... and may I not forget the "pain-de-resistance", the resistive touch screens...
        cosuna
      • RE: Microsoft's iPad battle plan for partners

        @cosuna

        I've actually never had a tablet before I bought my ASUS T101MT. I bought it to try out the touch features on Windows 7 to see what all the hubbub was about. Truth be told, it's not as bad as everyone makes it out to be, and to be honest, I can get a full 5 hours out of the battery per charge.

        Having a full OS on a tablet has it's benefits. For those (like me) who hate swimming in a sea of apps, Windows gets the job done.
        The one and only, Cylon Centurion
      • RE: Microsoft's iPad battle plan for partners

        "guess you are just one of the few who didn't gave up when they those babies lasted two to three hours tops, had styluses that were too easy to loose and just plainly gave up when you ran a VB6 app which resisted itself from recognizing things written with the pen."

        Well, those can be fixed. Battery life is improving with newer devices, pens can be attached to the case with a wire if you really want to (and to be honest, I never lost mine anyways), and - well, I just never really ran a VB6 app, although I imagine support is possible if a coder wants to implement it.

        . . . although I actually used a tablet with a keyboard, so if the pen didn't work, I could just go back to the keyboard anyways.

        IMO it was a very promising technology, and if I were to to back to college someday and could afford it, I'd gladly buy another one.

        With the latest version of OneNote having equation support, it could certainly completely replace all of my old paper notebooks.

        Tablet PC + OneNote 2010 = complete replacement of paper notebooks for college students.
        CobraA1
      • RE: Microsoft's iPad battle plan for partners

        @Cylon Centurion 0005 ...<br><br>There are numerous iPad/iPod/iPhone styluses out there, and more than a few notepad-like apps to take advantage of it.

        [edit]

        But you're right, there's no official handwriting recognition to the extent that you can use it in any application you want.
        WarhavenSC
    • RE: Microsoft's iPad battle plan for partners

      @mary.branscombe I'm with you! I have a HP tm2 touch convertible laptop and I think the handwriting recognition is fantastic. I volunteer for a NSO and have to take notes and write documents as head of the coach development committee and have used the tm2's pen as much as the touch.
      bvonr@...
    • RE: Microsoft's iPad battle plan for partners

      @mary.branscombe

      I used to be one - and yes handwriting was a major use, but the challenge of interpreting handwriting as bad as mine was too much of a challenge for it!
      John Forbes
      • RE: Microsoft's iPad battle plan for partners

        @John Forbes
        I am a happy user of a HP 2710p tablet since Jul 2008.
        Why do you need interpreted handwriting ?
        When you have to write to somebody, you use the keyboard: it's faster than any handwriting, and it is clearer.
        But when you have to take notes for yourself, handwriting is much more rich of information: colors, underline, sketches, arrows, and so on. It's like having an electronic piece of paper.

        Since I started to use OneNote I stopped using paper. And OneNote allows you to search your handwritings with a 70-80% of success (my handwriting is very bad).
        sliptcs
  • RE: Microsoft's iPad battle plan for partners

    Are you saying it's time to give the iPad the finger?
    wrcousert
  • RE: Microsoft's iPad battle plan for partners

    Well though out presentation.
    Again the different form factors might cause fragmentation a-la-android.
    anay3000
    • RE: Microsoft's iPad battle plan for partners

      @anay3000
      Different form factors are a benefit that most users appreciate, and Windows and Linux can cater for very well. But Apple insists you enjoy the form factor that Steve Jobs likes.

      Can you even get a ruggedised iPad for industrial use?
      A.Sinic
      • RE: Microsoft's iPad battle plan for partners

        @A.Sinic Yes. It's called Otterbox Defender series.
        CrunchDude
  • Here's the difference between a PowerPoint presentation and an iPad in hand

    An enterprise executive sees an iPad and what it can do. He or she can hold, touch and use this product now .. in their hands. And, they find it easy to use and it can accomplish their required tasks.

    The MS sales or marketing rep shows the executive a PowerPoint presentation and pieces of paper that tell this executive why his firm should not use the iPad.

    The executive says to the sales or marketing rep, "I don't care about PowerPoint slides. Look, I want this. Can you give me a Microsoft supported product that can do "this or that" just like I can do now on this iPad."

    All I can say is, that sales or marketing rep had better have a Windows product in hand to demonstrate to this executive the features that he wishes. PowerPoint slides just won't "cut it" anymore.

    Personally, I looked at those ten slides and they mentioned important points, to be sure, but there was one elephant missing from those slides.

    The elephant was the Apple App Store ecosystem. With easy,low cost and available apps, most of those PowerPoint bullets could be addressed. (For example, network printing.)

    And, quite frankly, I suspect that this set of PowerPoint slides have already been used when the iPhone first became a commodity that enterprise customers wanted. With very little editing of those slides, MS could have used those same slides to advise customers against adopting the iPhone in an enterprise environment. No one needs to be told how "that debate" turned out.
    kenosha77a
    • They miss the real target... Android's Honeycomb... rather than iPad...

      When CEOs, Managers and VPs get their own iPads for personal use, that doesn't mean they are willing to push enterprise wide adoption of the thingy. They are really testing grounds.<br><br>That's the reason the OEM's are betting on Honeycomb. They see a waterfall effect, specially on the enterprises. <br><br>Upper management wants an iPad, but can't afford one. IT wants Windows [easier development, more platform options, more peripheral selection] but can't justify the investment nor the inherit limitations of a non touch optimized platform. So both make a compromise and go Android. Almost as hip, none as limited (in ITs mindset), easily extended using pseudo Java.<br><br>Long story short: Microsoft should target Android not iPad, 'cause in the end enterprises as a whole won't adopt iPads (just upper management) just Honeycombs.
      cosuna
      • Android is no Panacea either...

        @cosuna

        You're scenario for Android's success is more of a bit of wishful thinking. Yes, Android makes for a better solution than what Microsoft is currently offering. Then again, that's not saying much. Android is a bit behind the curve here as well. Current pre-Honeycomb offerings are a joke compared to the iPad. However, Android based tablets are actually less suited for the enterprise due to their security / application installation model. Apple's "walled garden" plays in their favor here.

        Further, so far, due to Apple's supply chain power, they've been able to compete on price while keeping margins high. This is something no Android OEM has been able to match.

        Finally, Android based devices have only competed well in markets where Apple is not present. Where are the Android based iPod touch competitors? Clearly the market is big enough. How well has Android faired against the iPhone on AT&T? That's a rhetorical question of course, because we all know the answer. Android based vendors are about to get a similar beat down on Verizon as well (gradually over the next few quarters).
        techconc
    • RE: Microsoft's iPad battle plan for partners

      No one seems to be catching the "minor" point that all of MS's iPad-negatives are stood up against the supposed Windows-positives THAT DON'T YET EXIST. They say "iPad doesn't do this", but the Windows tablet -will-. Um, huh? Does no one think that in the timeframe it'll take MS to deliver a real, V1.0 product (late, no doubt) that possible Apple would have implemented those features into its already mature platform?

      MS is trying to sell their vaporware, to be delivered at some undetermined time in the future against the iPad snapshot they take today without allowing that the iPad platform will also grow during that time.

      Just remember MS's greatest and most abundant product: FUD. Fear, uncertainty and doubt. Delivered via PowerPoint presentations!
      mhartboca@...