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Microsoft recruits iPad owners for study on its Redmond campus

post #1 of 57
Thread Starter 
Microsoft recently offered owners of Apple's iPad a "gratuity item" in exchange for participating in a survey later this month at the software giant's Redmond, Wash., headquarters.

On Tuesday, TechCrunch first noted that Microsoft, via its official Facebook page, was asking for iPad owners to come to Microsoft's Redmond campus between July 16 and July 21 for the study. Since then, the event listing has been removed from Facebook.

The original posting, from the Microsoft User Research group, noted that the Windows maker wanted to talk to iPad owners for two hours, to find out how they use the device. Specifically, Microsoft was interested in speaking with students who own an iPad.

Interested users were asked to submit a range of personal information, including their name, phone number and occupation, to uccord@microsoft.com. Those who would be selected for the study were offered a "Microsoft gratuity item."

Whether the study was canceled, or its quota was filled, is unknown. As of Tuesday afternoon, it is no longer listed as an event on the company's Facebook page.

The development follows statements from Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer this week, who said that new tablet devices running the Windows 7 operating system will launch in the coming months to compete with Apple's iPad. The hardware will be created by a number of manufacturing partners, including Asus, Dell, Samsung, Toshiba and Sony. Microsoft is looking to cash in on the new found hype around tablet computers, after Apple's touchscreen iPad sold 3 million devices in its first 80 days of availability.



One partner missing from the list of hardware vendors: HP. Even though Microsoft and HP introduced a new "slate PC" running Windows 7 at this year's Consumer Electronics Show, the computer maker has since scrapped that project. The change of direction came after the company purchased smartphone maker Palm for $1.2 billion, and a new tablet-style device is expected to run the webOS mobile operating system.

But rather than run a lightweight, mobile operating system on a tablet, like Apple has done in porting iOS to the iPad, Microsoft is still pushing its full-fledged desktop operating system on touchscreen devices. Ballmer said this week at his company's annual World Partner Conference that the tablet PC market is "terribly important" to his company.

"This year, one of the most important things that we will do in the smart device category is really push forward with Windows 7-based slates," Ballmer said. He added that the devices will take different shapes, as will be dockable and some will have keyboards.
post #2 of 57
Hahahhahahaha Boy are they desperate. Though it us possible they are testing software they wrote for it.
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2011 13" 2.3 MBP, 2006 15" 2.16 MBP, iPhone 4, iPod Shuffle, AEBS, AppleTV2 with XBMC.
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post #3 of 57
"Microsoft recently owners of Apple's iPad a "gratuity item" in exchange for participating in a survey later this month at the software giant's Redmond, Wash., headquarters."

There seems to be a verb missing in there somewhere.
post #4 of 57
Sounds like a reasonable move towards greater adoption by the EDU sector...
"Why iPhone"... Hmmm?
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"Why iPhone"... Hmmm?
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post #5 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulSorensen View Post

"Microsoft recently owners of Apple's iPad a "gratuity item" in exchange for participating in a survey later this month at the software giant's Redmond, Wash., headquarters."

There seems to be a verb missing in there somewhere.

Could you offer a suggestion?
post #6 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

Could you offer a suggestion?

Sure, how about the change they just made themselves:

Microsoft recently *offered* owners of Apple's iPad...
post #7 of 57
Once again Balmer thinks MS will just run in and sweep a market for some unknown reason.

Then again, this gives them a chance to unload all of those Zunes they have laying around by giving them away to iPad users. That'll go over well!
post #8 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulSorensen View Post

Sure, how about the change they just made themselves:

Microsoft recently *offered* owners of Apple's iPad...

Maybe I should have used bold?
post #9 of 57
Microsoft employs 88,000 people and none of them can figure out what parts of the iPad they should copy?

they've been copying Apple for decades, but NOW they aren't imaginative enough to see something and figure out what they should be copying from it?
post #10 of 57


Yep looking good.
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post #11 of 57
It's nice to have, because I can't do phone calls on the iPad.
post #12 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulSorensen View Post

Sure, how about the change they just made themselves:

Microsoft recently *offered* owners of Apple's iPad...

Ah. I thought they just meant to say a gratuitous item.
Please don't be insane.
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Please don't be insane.
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post #13 of 57
I'm curious how Microsoft can make a compelling product here; at least for me, there are an awful lot of constraints they would need to accommodate:
-the 10-hour battery life
-the upper limit on weight of 1.5 lbs.
-3G at a competitive rate plan
-great display and elegant form
-effective app store environment

Their opportunities are excellent desktop integration, more end-user flexibility in hardware and software, and potentially cost, and a more robust app-finding experience.

I can see a Win7 tablet getting halfway there, and a WinMo product ~75%there if the stars were aligned properly, but i can't see it creating the same kind of environment. HP and Google have a much chance.

All for keeping Apple from resting on their laurels though!
post #14 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Underhill View Post



Yep looking good.

LOL!!
I would have put up a picture of a Abacus!
post #15 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by desarc View Post

Microsoft employs 88,000 people and none of them can figure out what parts of the iPad they should copy?

they've been copying Apple for decades, but NOW they aren't imaginative enough to see something and figure out what they should be copying from it?

It's probably not a bad idea for Microsoft to see how people from a variety of walks of life use the iPad, not just Microsoft employees.

There are probably some unusual applications/uses for the device that might not be easily identifiable from a relatively homogeneous survey group such as your own employees.
post #16 of 57
I wonder if this might have been related to a possible version of the Office apps for the iPad and not a hardware device?
post #17 of 57
Just sounds like a survey to me. "What is it you like about the iPad? Would you consider a different device if it had those features but cost less? If we pay you $10,000 each, would you agree to be in a Windows Slate commercial?"

You know, that sort of thing.
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Apple has no competition. Every commercial product which competes directly with an Apple product gives the distinct impression that, Where it is original, it is not good, and where it is good, it...
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post #18 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Underhill View Post



Yep looking good.

A pencil for a chalk board ... yep that looks about right for MS R&D. LOL
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From Apple ][ - to new Mac Pro I've used them all.
Long on AAPL so biased
"Google doesn't sell you anything, they just sell you!"
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post #19 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Underhill View Post



Yep looking good.

Where are the right and left control knobs?
post #20 of 57
Seems Microsoft completely misses the point of the iPad and why it is so popular.

Everyone I show my iPad to are completely surprised by how easy to use it is. They are used to struggling with Windows, not really understanding how it works and always having frustrations. Then they see the effortlessness by which you can just "do stuff" on the iPad and they are immediately hooked and use the device like they've had an iPad for years. These aren't tech people, but ordinary mums and dads and grandmas and granddads. Within minutes they are asking me how much it costs to get one of these devices for themselves. No wonder they are selling so quickly!

So, to put a full version of Windows 7 on a "slate PC", even with some extra pretty dressing and a touch interface, is just going to transfer the pain and frustration from the world of the desktop to the world of the tablet computer. I don't see that as being very popular amongst "ordinary" people!
post #21 of 57
Microsoft will have a similar problem as Google do with Android. They'll both offer good software features, in many cases better than Apple do right now, but it'll be on mediocre looking hardware. The overall package that'll fall short in the end.

Walk around any Currys/PC world store in the UK and the shelves are awash with useful devices that all have that familiar look but seem so complicated and hard to use.

Right now it's all about cool. Brand image is where it's at and Apple have that in abundance. I'm surprised Google & Microsoft don't go it alone. Although Google has a far better brand image than Microsoft right now.

Like Android, Microsoft will gain market share for it's mobile platform but they really need to go all out and go for branded hardware and software. Go on challenge Apple i dare you.

It's funny but in the late 90's when Apple started getting its act together making decent looking hardware, it was always the fear and unknown, well price played a part as well, that stopped more early adoption. If it didn't run windows it wasn't worth having. How the reverse seems true today.
A reputation is not built upon the restful domain of one's comfort zone; it is made out of stalwart exposition of your core beliefs, for all challenges to disprove them as irrelevant hubris.- Berp...
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post #22 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

A pencil for a chalk board ... yep that looks about right for MS R&D. LOL

Hey, don't forget -- a lot of people were absolutely convinced that the iPad was going to be called the iSlate.
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post #23 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

A pencil for a chalk board ... yep that looks about right for MS R&D. LOL

Sorry forgot to mention that's optional.
A reputation is not built upon the restful domain of one's comfort zone; it is made out of stalwart exposition of your core beliefs, for all challenges to disprove them as irrelevant hubris.- Berp...
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A reputation is not built upon the restful domain of one's comfort zone; it is made out of stalwart exposition of your core beliefs, for all challenges to disprove them as irrelevant hubris.- Berp...
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post #24 of 57
sounds like they want to push the "Courier" full speed ahead and add all the features that fanboys/girls are griping about in the current iPad.

If i were to take the study, I would suggest that whatever they produce, or propose to produce, they better make it feel as good as the ipad. It really does feel good to hold and the quality of the materials is top notch. That would be number two on the list of top features to emulate about the iPad. The number one would be User Interface. It has to be as easy to use as the iPad. Without those two, you don't even have a comparison, it will be doomed to fail, like the Zune.

I think the only other issue MS has if they are going to go ahead with the Courier is the marketplace. They need to tap into an existing MS environment. Like the XBox market for apps. Something people know and trust. That would be really smart and start to tap into the MS universe, rather than having consumers required to buy into some unknown marketplace they don't trust and have to learn all over. Could you image doing streaming live gaming from you courier or Faux-Pad to a friend's Xbox playing "insert-game-title-here"? Or, watch a netflix movie on the go in an airport waiting for a delayed flight? The current Xbox marketplace is the perfect way to launch a Faux-Pad. Google has already done it with Android too.
post #25 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

Where are the right and left control knobs?

Those are optional too.
A reputation is not built upon the restful domain of one's comfort zone; it is made out of stalwart exposition of your core beliefs, for all challenges to disprove them as irrelevant hubris.- Berp...
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A reputation is not built upon the restful domain of one's comfort zone; it is made out of stalwart exposition of your core beliefs, for all challenges to disprove them as irrelevant hubris.- Berp...
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post #26 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post

Hey, don't forget -- a lot of people were absolutely convinced that the iPad was going to be called the iSlate.

That is very true. I forgot about that.
A reputation is not built upon the restful domain of one's comfort zone; it is made out of stalwart exposition of your core beliefs, for all challenges to disprove them as irrelevant hubris.- Berp...
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A reputation is not built upon the restful domain of one's comfort zone; it is made out of stalwart exposition of your core beliefs, for all challenges to disprove them as irrelevant hubris.- Berp...
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post #27 of 57
Quote:
Microsoft is still pushing its full-fledged desktop operating system on touchscreen devices.

And this is precisely why they will fail.
post #28 of 57
So Microsoft is going to run Windows 7 on a tablet like the iPAD. Given the CPU power, memory and energy consumption of Windows 7, the tablet they are looking at is going to be re-packaged laptops and a crappy touch interface and a 3-4 hour battery life. They really don't understand what Apple has created. On top of that, for the cost of a single program for Windows 7 you can get dozens of paid apps for the iPad and about 100,000 apps and games for free. Microsoft is grasping at thin air and broken straws at this point.
post #29 of 57
Ms has wizened up, instead of copying what they see fit, they are asking users what to copy.
post #30 of 57
The "gratuity" item was probably lame and no one wanted it.

"Do you own an iPad? We want to interview you so we can copy what Apple does because we can't figure out how to do anything on our own"
post #31 of 57
Ballmer, you're an idiot.

What will power a slate device running Windows?
The Sun?

You just don't get it, do you?
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post #32 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Belmakor View Post

Seems Microsoft completely misses the point of the iPad and why it is so popular.

Hence the survey.
post #33 of 57
A Facebook promo at a MSFT-campus location for a survey regarding a competitors hot product?

I'm guessing somebody made an amateurish mistake over there. I would expect MSFT would farm out this work to a professional market research firm. They would have conducted the study on a national and international basis (diverse geo- and demographics), masked MSFT's involvement, while getting "feedback" releases in place.
post #34 of 57
My first thought for the "gratuity item" was one of Ballmer's sweaty keynote shirts!
post #35 of 57
DNFtT!!!
post #36 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Those who would be selected for the study were offered a "Microsoft gratuity item."

Any guesses where the remaining Kin phones will be going....?
post #37 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

The original posting, from the Microsoft User Research group, noted that the Windows maker wanted to talk to iPad owners for two hours, to find out how they use the device.

"I turn it on, and it just works. Any further questions?"

Seriously, if MS doesn't have enough in-house talent to "get" Apple's products, it's time to shut the company down.
post #38 of 57
Ballmer is a POS!
How could he stoop so low as to ask ipad owners about their experience. And what, he'll extrapolate that info and make the ultimate slate pc? Whatever!!!!
That fool just failed +20 with the Kin.
Hey Ballmer, you are an out of touch old man!!!!!!
post #39 of 57
A Microsoft gratuity item, eh? I smell t-shirt.
post #40 of 57
interesting. I just got an e-mail yesterday from Microsoft on my college e-mail account about an one-hour phone survey, and one of the pre-screening question was "do you own an iPad?". Hmm, sounds like the same stuff here... except I got a personal invitation.

Still don't know how they got my name but interesting anyways.

There's offer for gratuity items such as Microsoft Hardware/Software...
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