To date, neither Microsoft nor its OEM partners has delivered anything to date that can be considered a head-to-head iPad competitor. And it looks as if Redmond's 2011 tablet strategy revolves primarily around pushing Windows 7 tablets, emphasizing their enterprise-centric focus. (It remains to be seen how much emphasis and marketing muscle Microsoft will put behind "Webpads" running Windows Embedded Compact 7.)
Unlike some pundits and press folk, I don't think Microsoft is clueless about what makes a compelling slate/tablet. But I do think the Softies are taking a risky gamble by putting almost all their eggs in the Windows 8 tablet basket, giving Apple and various Android and WebOS competitors a hefty head-start.
But no. Apple didn't unveil any new features aimed at business users -- unless you consider the introduction of a front-facing camera for videochat to be technology that might entice business folks. So I expect Microsoft to continue to try to make a silk purse from a sow's ear, and to emphasize iPads' lack of security/manageability functionality, their lack of USB support, and missing Flash/Silverlight support when trying to dissuade customers from going with Apple's "Post-PC Era" platform.
(You can click on any of these slides to enlarge them.)
As some readers of my blog know, I bought an iPad last year, and I'm still not sorry I did. I use it as a consumption device, and take it with me around town to keep up with e-mail, news and Twitter. I prefer the iPad when I need to read a lot of information quickly, and I find it far easier to respond to mail and Tweet on the iPad than a smartphone.
I don't feel compelled to sell my iPad 1 for an iPad 2, just to save a third of a pound, speed up my browsing or get a new screen-cleaning cloth. Apple didn't cut the iPad price with the new version 2 model, either, keeping me from feeling like I got cheated by spending $629 I paid for the 16 GB 3G/Wifi model.
What about you? Anyone of you readers ready to shell out for the iPad 2 in 2011 instead of a Windows 7 slate/tablet? Or are you waiting for the magical Windows 8 slates?