Microsoft counters iPad with attack plan
Microsoft iPad strategy
Microsoft has come under a constant barrage of criticism for its failure to launch a real competitor to Apple's iPad. The iPad initially seemed like a consumer-only-focused device, but now that Apple's slate is gaining real, measurable traction with enterprises, Microsoft and its partners have a real challenge on their hands.
Microsoft and its hardware-manufacturer partners are not expected to field the first credible iPad competitors until 2012, however, when Windows 8 machines hit the market. Until then, Microsoft and its associates will need to push commercial slate PCs and look for ways to slip through cracks not being addressed by Apple.
The following slides are from a PowerPoint deck Microsoft is making available to its partners as part of its strategy to help them try to sell Windows 7 slates against the iPad in 2011.
Microsoft enterprise customers
What do enterprise customers think matters when it comes to slates/tablets? Here's a list of what Microsoft says its customers are saying.
iPad plusses and minuses
There are plusses and minuses about the iPad, according to customers Microsoft execs have been surveying. On the plus side are the usual suspects, like portability and battery life. On the down side are manageability, security and form-factor choices.
Windows 7 tablets
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.
iPad customers not committed
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.
iPad customers non-committed
With customers who have committed to going with the iPad, Microsoft is advising partners to encourage them to implement a VDI infrastructure to "reduce risks".
Microsoft is pushing the familiarity and productivity benefits of its core applications and services as a way to keep enterprise users loyal to Windows when faced with the iOS alternatives.
Microsoft device manageability
Microsoft also is emphasising device manageability as a key battleground for its partners when taking on Apple and iOS.
Microsoft Windows 7 security
Security is another area Microsoft suggests its partners press when positioning Windows 7 slates and tablets against the iPad.
This story originally appeared as Microsoft's iPad battle plan for partners on ZDNet.com.
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